Alternatives to Soundproof Wall Paper: Introducing Sheet Rock
Soundproofing makes a huge difference when trying to control the noise level of your restaurant, school, office, or other facility. In fact, across industries, soundproofing a room can come with a number of important benefits, like improving focus, enhancing productivity, increasing customer satisfaction, and even minimizing confidentiality risks.
Take, for example, a hospital or clinic with doctors’ offices right next to each other. If a patient in one room can overhear another patient’s conversation in the next room, that’s a confidentiality risk. So, what can you do to prevent this unwanted noise?
If you’ve been looking for a way to improve sound control in buildings and soundproof the rooms in your facility, you may have come across soundproof wallpapers as an option. But what is soundproof wallpaper, and do these types of acoustic wall coverings actually work?
We’re here to break down this material, how to use it, and whether it’s appropriate for your soundproofing needs.
What is Soundproof Wallpaper—and How Does it Work?
Soundproof wallpaper, also called acoustical wallpaper, is similar to standard wallpaper, except it’s made with layers of material that are meant to prevent sound from escaping a room. Often, this material is:1
- Thicker than regular wallpaper
- Softer than regular wallpaper (typically including layers of foam)
Both of these qualities allow soundproof wallpaper to improve sound absorption within a room.
However, no single wallpaper can be completely soundproof because sound travels through air and solid materials. While soundproof wallpaper may help keep sound confined to a room, noise may still be able to escape (or enter) through any gaps in the building’s structure.
This means soundproofing a wall using this type of wallpaper will only help reduce noise by a small amount. Rather than spending time and resources with this soundproofing method, consider investing in a better, higher-quality alternative.
3 Alternatives to Soundproof Wallpaper
The key to soundproofing a wall, ceiling, or floor is to increase the mass of the material in these structures. This reduces the space between particles and limits sound travel through the air. Likewise, increasing the density (via specific materials) can make it harder for sound to pass through walls, ceilings, and floors.
Let’s explore three great alternatives to soundproof wallpaper below.
#1 Soundproof Sheetrock
Made with a much higher density than traditional drywall material, soundproof sheetrock dampens and deadens sound within a room, making it a better alternative than soundproofing wallpaper.
Acoustical Surfaces’ Soundbreak XP Gypsum Board can contain sound within a room and block out external sound thanks to a viscoelastic damping polymer (which enhances sound dampening) sandwiched inside a high-density gypsum core (which increases the drywall’s mass).
The Soundbreak XP Gypsum Board’s soundproofing design also has high Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings, increasing its suitability for both commercial and residential applications.
#2 Green Glue
When adding a double layer of drywall to your walls as a soundproofing option, you need glue that effectively holds these materials together. Luckily, Green Glue doubles as a viscoelastic dampening compound that enhances sound dampening by as much as 30% when added to sheetrock.
Green Glue also reduces both airborne and structural-borne sound when added to walls, ceilings, and floors. Besides its low cost, Green Glue:
- Doesn’t require mixing
- Is applied easily in the same way that caulk is
- Is non-toxic, making it suitable for commercial use in places like offices, schools, and hospitals
#3 Vinyl Barriers
Mass-loaded vinyl sheets are another excellent option for soundproofing a wall, as they can reduce sound transmission more effectively than soundproof wallpaper.
These sheets are designed with a high-density barrier material that prevents noise from traveling through walls—but they can also be used around pipes and air ducts and installed on floors to minimize noise transmission across a building’s levels.
Benefits of Soundproofing Walls
Soundproofing walls in your building—whether with soundproof wallpaper or other, more effective alternatives—can provide a number of benefits, including:
- Better acoustic quality – In facilities like cinemas or auditoriums, soundproofing can dramatically improve the audio quality, enhancing the overall experience. Plus, listening to a performer with minimal background noise can make a performance more memorable and leave your audience with a positive impression of your facility (and that means repeat visits). Discover more ways to improve your room acoustics.
- Improved focus and productivity – Imagine an office space where several meetings are happening concurrently, but the participants in each room (and around the office) can hear each conversation. Soundproofing limits these loud noise disruptions, effectively making the office environment more conducive for high-focus work.
Achieve Effective Soundproofing with Acoustical Surfaces
In both the short– and long-term, there are extensive benefits to soundproofing the rooms of your building, especially if you choose high-quality materials that can meet your soundproofing needs. Learn more about how to block sound between rooms with Acoustical Surfaces.
And to understand which products may be best for you, consult our team today! With over 35 years of experience, we’re committed to helping you solve your noise problems with effective solutions that match your needs, goals, and budget.
- Family Handyman. What Is Noise-Canceling Wallpaper and Does It Work? https://www.familyhandyman.com/article/what-is-noise-canceling-wallpaper-and-does-it-work/