The Ultimate Guide to Soundproof Thin Walls (Look No Further!)

Thin walls are a common problem in many homes and apartments. These walls tend to be made of very thin wood or plaster, which makes them difficult to soundproof. However, it is possible to make thin walls more soundproof with some easy and effective ways.

How to soundproof thin walls? The best way to soundproof thin walls is to use a combination of drywall, fiberglass foam insulation and mass loaded vinyl. Drywall can absorb sound waves, while insulation keeps the drywall from vibrating. Mass loaded vinyl also helps to reduce sound vibrations because it is heavy and dense.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the best ways to soundproof thin walls and get back some peace and quiet. Combining these methods can help you block up to 90% of your neighbor’s noise. This guide is a simple and permanent solution to soundproof thin walls.

How to Soundproof Thin Walls (with Installation Tips)

To keep noise from traveling between rooms, add insulation to your walls, and put acoustic panels between rooms that share a wall. Acoustic panels are usually made of foam or fiberglass and help block out any noise coming from one room to another.

How to Soundproof Thin Walls (with Installation Tips)

There are several other ways to soundproof thin walls. Some of the most common methods are:

1. Add Mass to the Walls Using Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)

One of the best ways to soundproof thin walls is to add mass to the walls using mass loaded vinyl. Mass loaded vinyl is a material that can be applied to the walls of a room and will help absorb some of the sound that comes from other rooms or from outside. 

This can be especially helpful if you live in an apartment building or near other houses where there is a lot of noise.

Quick Tip: To make your soundproofing even more effective, try combining this method with Method #2 (read now).

How it works

It’s made of a thick layer of vinyl and a thin layer of foam, which is what makes it so good at absorbing sound.

The foam absorbs the vibrations that create noise, while the vinyl itself acts as a barrier to further noise transmission. This means that when you put mass loaded vinyl on your wall, you’ll be able to keep all sounds from escaping through it.

How to Install

The material is easy to install and doesn’t require any extra tools or materials, which makes it an ideal choice for homeowners and DIYers. Here are the steps to install Mass Loaded Vinyl on a thin wall:

  1. Measure the wall: Determine the size of the room you’d like to soundproof, and calculate how many sheets of mass-loaded vinyl you’ll need.
  2. Clean the wall: Make sure that your walls are clean and dust-free. If they’re not, use a damp cloth to wipe them down.
  3. Cut MLV to size: Cut the mass-loaded vinyl so that it’s slightly larger than the wall. This will allow you to trim off any excess around the edges later on.
  4. Attach the MLV: Apply a layer of glue to one side of your first sheet of mass-loaded vinyl using a paint roller or brush. Apply this glue only in small sections at a time, as it dries quickly. Or you can simply use nails.
  5. Double check for imperfections: Press the sheet onto your wall so that it sticks in place and covers any imperfections in its surface. Make sure that there aren’t any bubbles or wrinkles underneath before proceeding with additional sheets.

2. Install Insulation and Hang Drywall

Install Insulation and Hang Drywall

Drywall is an easy way to add soundproofing when combined with insulation. It’s relatively inexpensive, easy to install yourself, and can be done in just a few hours (or days depending on the size of your wall). 

Adding a layer of drywall with insulation will help keep noise out of your apartment or condo, which will make it easier for you to sleep soundly at night.

How they work together

Insulation works by trapping air and dampening sound waves, as well as blocking outside noise from getting in. 

Drywall is also effective at blocking noise, because it’s made from dense materials like gypsum or fiberglass. 

Together, these two products create a solid barrier that keeps unwanted sounds from passing through your walls.

Quick Tip: If you want to add the layer of Mass loaded Vinyl, then the insulation should go in first, followed by the sheet of MLV and then drywall.

How to install

For this step, you need to install the insulation first by following these steps:

  1. Measure and purchase: Measure the area of your wall that you want to insulate. This can be done by measuring the length and width of the wall, and multiplying those numbers together to get the square footage of the area you’re insulating.
  2. Clean the walls: This is a crucial step, because you want to make sure that the wall is clean and free of dust or debris. If it’s not clean, then the insulation won’t stick to it, and it won’t do its job properly.
  3. Unroll Insulation: Unroll the insulation and lay it out on the floor. Check to make sure it’s not damaged.
  4. Trim the Insulation: Trim down your insulation so that it will fit appropriately in the space you have chosen for it, making sure that none of the insulation extends beyond the edges of the room or walls being insulated.
  5. Install the insulation: Push the insulation into wall studs. Make sure that it’s pushed in as far as it will go and then fasten it down with screws or nails.

Quick Tip: You can use any type of foam insulation, but Fiberglass tends to be the most effective for soundproofing thin walls.

Next, drywall will be installed over the insulation. Follow the steps below to install drywall appropriately:

  1. Measure the Wall: Measure the interior of each wall to determine how many sheets of drywall you’ll need to complete the project. Use your tape measure to mark off the measurements on each wall, and then use a pencil to mark where the studs are located.
  2. Drive the screws into drywall sheet(s): Drive screws into the drywall sheet on wall studs. Use a drill to drive the screws into the studs, and make sure you’re using enough pressure so that your drywall does not shift around when you’re screwing it in.
  3. Cutout drywall: Cut out holes for outlets and switches by drilling a small hole near where you want to make a cutout, then using a utility knife or reciprocating saw to cut out the rest of the hole.

Quick Tip: Use multiple sheets of drywall for better soundproofing results.

3. Install Acoustic Foam Panels

Install Acoustic Foam Panels

Acoustic panels are the best way to soundproof thin walls. They are easy to install and can be cut to fit any space you have. The panels consist of a foam core, which is covered with fabric on each side. The fabric helps absorb sound waves and prevent them from bouncing off the walls and into your living space.

Quick Tip: You can also use this method in combination with other methods.

How are they made

Acoustic panels are made from a variety of materials, but they’re all designed to absorb sound rather than reflect it. Panel materials include glass fiber, mineral wool, polyurethane foam, and recycled materials like denim or cotton.

The size and thickness of the panel will determine how effective it is at absorbing sound. As a general rule of thumb, the larger the surface area of your acoustic panel, the more effective it will be at absorbing sound waves.

How to Install 

Follow these simple steps to install acoustic panels on your thin wall:

  1. Sand the surface: The first step to installing acoustic panels on a wall is to sand the surface and clean any dirt or debris. If you do not do this, the paneling will not stick properly and may fall off after some time.
  2. Mark the area: You’ll need to measure out the area where you want your acoustic panels to go. It’s always a good idea to use a straight-edge level and a pencil to mark the area.
  3. Use leveling brackets: Screw the leveling brackets into place on the wall. You’ll want to do this before you start attaching acoustic panels, because once they’re up, it will be difficult to adjust them.
  4. Apply adhesive: Now, apply adhesive to the back of the panel. The adhesive will stick the panel to the wall, so make sure you use enough. 
  5. Install the panels: Once you’ve applied the adhesive, press your panel into place on the wall and hold it there for 5-10 seconds, allowing the adhesive to set up.

4. Seal Any Cracks or Gaps Using Acoustic Sealant

Seal Any Cracks or Gaps Using Acoustic Sealant

The cracks and gaps in the walls of your home can be a great cause of noise. These gaps are the main source of noise and sound transmission from one room to another. This happens because sound waves travel through these cracks easily. 

Acoustic sealant is a flexible material that you can squeeze into the cracks and gaps in your walls. When it dries, it creates an airtight seal that prevents sound from escaping through these openings, so it’s perfect for soundproofing thin walls.

5. Hang Quilted Fiberglass Panels

One of the easiest ways to do so is by hanging quilted fiberglass panels on the wall. These panels are super effective at absorbing sounds, so they’ll help keep the noise in one room from bleeding into another.

The only downside of these panels is that they don’t look very nice. If you want something that will improve the appearance of your apartment, you’ll need to look at other methods.

How are they made

Quilted Fiberglass Panels are made of fiberglass and polyester, which is a synthetic fabric that is commonly used in clothing. 

The combination of these two materials makes a very strong and durable material. The panels are also quite lightweight, so they can be easily installed on the walls without causing damage to the structure of your home or apartment.

How it works

The quilted surface of the panel helps with soundproofing by reflecting sound waves back into their original direction instead of allowing them to pass through the panel itself. This reduces how much noise gets through from one side of the wall to another.

Soundproofing Curtains for Thin Walls

Soundproofing Curtains for Thin Walls

If you’re looking for an affordable and easy way to soundproof your thin walls, then soundproofing curtains might be a great solution for you. 

These curtains are designed to absorb sound and reduce noise pollution in your home or office. Here, we’ll discuss the basics of soundproofing curtains and how they can help you soundproof your thin walls.

What are Soundproofing Curtains?

Soundproofing curtains are curtains made from dense materials that are designed to absorb sound. They can be used to reduce noise pollution in a variety of settings, including homes, apartments, offices, and recording studios. 

These curtains are typically made from a combination of materials such as fiberglass, cotton, and polyester, which work together to reduce sound transmission.

How Do Soundproofing Curtains Work?

Soundproofing curtains work by absorbing sound waves as they pass through the material. When sound waves hit the curtain, they are absorbed by the dense material and converted into heat energy. This process helps to reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted through the curtain and into the surrounding environment.

Benefits of Soundproofing Curtains for Thin Walls

There are many benefits to using soundproofing curtains for thin walls. Some of the most notable benefits include:

  • Improved privacy: Soundproofing curtains can help to reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted through your walls, which can help to improve privacy in your home or office.
  • Better sleep: If you live in a noisy environment, soundproofing curtains can help to improve the quality of your sleep by reducing the amount of noise that you hear.
  • Reduced noise pollution: By absorbing sound waves, soundproofing curtains can help to reduce the amount of noise pollution in your home or office.
  • Easy to install: Soundproofing curtains are easy to install and can be hung just like regular curtains.

Types of Soundproofing Curtains for Thin Walls

There are several types of soundproofing curtains available on the market today. Some of the most popular types include:

  • Acoustic curtains: Acoustic curtains are designed to absorb sound and reduce echo in a room. They are typically made from heavy, dense materials such as fiberglass or vinyl.
  • Blackout curtains: Blackout curtains are designed to block out light and sound. They are typically made from thick, opaque materials that can help to reduce noise transmission through your walls.
  • Industrial curtains: Industrial curtains are heavy-duty curtains designed for use in industrial settings. They are typically made from PVC or vinyl and can be used to reduce noise pollution in factories, warehouses, and other noisy environments.

Installation Tips for Soundproofing Curtains

Installing soundproofing curtains is easy and can be done in just a few simple steps. Here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Choose the right type of curtain for your needs: Consider the type of noise you want to block and choose a curtain that is designed to absorb that type of noise.
  2. Measure your windows: Measure the length and width of your windows to ensure that you purchase curtains that are the right size.
  3. Hang the curtains properly: Hang the curtains close to the wall to ensure that they are able to absorb sound waves effectively. You can also use a curtain track or rod to ensure that the curtains are properly secured in place.
  4. Consider layering curtains.

Some Misconceptions About Soundproofing Walls (Don’t waste money on these methods)

When you’re looking to soundproof your walls (thin or thick), there are a lot of misconceptions about what will work and what won’t. Below we’ve debunked some of the most common myths about soundproofing walls.

Soundproof Paint

Soundproof Paint

Soundproofing walls with paint is not only expensive, but it’s also unnecessary. There’s no such thing as soundproof paint. The only way to truly soundproof a room is to fill it with materials that absorb or reflect sound waves. At 30 thousandths of an inch thick, it will not absorb any sound wave or reflect it.

Soundproof Wallpaper

Soundproof wallpaper is a new product that many consumers believe will help them soundproof their rooms.

However, most soundproof wallpaper is the same as regular wallpaper but with a thin layer of foam added to the back. Most soundproof wallpapers will not block any sound waves, so it is not an effective soundproofing material.

Adding Furniture

Adding Furniture

Don’t make the mistake of thinking that adding furniture will make your walls soundproof. Adding furniture to your room may help reduce the echo inside the room by absorbing sound waves, but it won’t help to block sound from traveling through the walls. 

Instead, you should focus on blocking sound by improving the wall’s structure and creating a barrier from one room to another.

Benefits of Soundproofing Thin Walls

Benefits of Soundproofing Thin Walls

There are many benefits to soundproofing thin walls. Some of these include:

Improved Sleep Quality

If your house has thin walls and you live with other people who don’t respect your need for quiet time, then you might find yourself sleeping less than usual because of all the noise that wakes you up at night. 

Soundproofing walls will help keep out those sounds so that your neighbors don’t disturb you anymore

Reduce Stress

The sound of busy city traffic, loud neighbors and other background noise can be distracting, especially when you’re trying to work or relax. Soundproofing your thin walls will help block out these noises so you can focus on what’s important: your own peace of mind.

Improve Productivity

Soundproofing thin walls can help you become more productive. If the walls are too thin, it can be hard to focus on your work because of all the noise from outside. Soundproofing helps block out this noise and allows you to focus more on what you’re doing.

More Privacy

Privacy is important, especially in a shared space. With thinner walls, you can add soundproofing and make sure your neighbors can’t hear you having private conversations or listening to music.

Additional Tips to Soundproof Room with Thin Walls

Here are some other ideas to help you soundproof your room (with thin walls). They are less expensive than the methods mentioned above. You can use them to improve your sleep or to focus on the work you need to do.

Use Ear Plugs

Use Ear Plugs

Ear plugs are the best way to soundproof your home. They’re small and easy to use, and they come in a variety of styles. Plus, they’re affordable.

Ear plugs are made from silicone or foam and can be purchased at any drug store. They block out noise by sealing the ear canal and creating a barrier between the outside world and your inner ear.

You can wear them for just about anything: sleeping, studying (especially if you have noisy neighbors).

Use White Noise Machine

Use White Noise Machine

White noise machines emit a consistent sound that can help block out other noises, such as traffic or neighbors. 

The sound can be anything from rushing water to wind blowing through trees. It works by distracting your brain from the sounds you don’t want to hear, and instead focuses on the white noise.

This won’t eliminate all noise, but it will help reduce it and make it easier for those in the room to focus on what they’re doing.

White noise machines are fairly inexpensive and easy to use. They come in many different shapes and sizes, and can be found in most stores that sell electronics or online.

Buy Noise Canceling Headphones

Buy Noise Canceling Headphones

Noise canceling headphones are a great way to soundproof your room with thin walls. Noise canceling headphones work by using special technology that creates an interference signal that cancels out external noises. 

This means that once the signal reaches your ears, it blocks out any sounds coming from outside sources like cars honking or people talking nearby.

The only downside to these types of headphones is that they tend to be expensive compared to traditional models which means they may not be affordable for everyone.

Ask your Neighbors to be Quiet (Should be your last option)

Ask your Neighbors to be Quiet (Should be your last option)

You may not want to do this right off the bat, but if you’ve already tried everything else and you’re left with no other options, it’s time to pull out the big guns: literally ask your neighbors to be quiet.

It can be awkward, but being polite will go a long way. Try saying something like:

“Hi! I’m sure you didn’t realize that your music was so loud when you were inside, and I know that it’s hard for me to sleep with all the noise coming in from outside. I’d really appreciate it if you could turn down the volume or shut the windows.”

Conclusion

The best way to soundproof a thin wall is by using a combination of insulation and soundproofing materials, such as acoustic foam. Insulation will help trap and hold any sound that comes into contact with the wall, while acoustic foam will absorb any remaining noise.

This is an ultimate guide to soundproof your thin walls and to get rid of your neighbors’ noise permanently. It’s not easy to find the right method, but we tried our best to provide you with a wide range of options that are easy to use and affordable.

You can choose any of these DIY methods or hire professionals to do it for you. Soundproofing walls can be very time-consuming and expensive, so make sure that you have enough time and money before starting this project.

Frequently Asked Questions (Soundproof Thin Walls)

How can I soundproof an existing wall cheaply?

If you’re looking to soundproof an existing wall, the best way to do it is with quilted fiberglass panels. These panels are composed of two layers of fiberglass that are glued to a layer of insulation. These panels are easy to install and will help to keep your home quiet.

The panels work by absorbing sound waves as they enter through the fabric. The sound waves bounce off the layers of fiberglass and lose energy as they go through, making them too weak to make it out of the other side.

What can I do about thin walls in my apartment?

Fiberglass foam insulation should be installed inside your walls in order to block out noise effectively. The next step is to install drywall on top of the foam insulation. This will make your walls soundproof and give them a smooth finish.

What is the thinnest soundproofing?

QuietRock is an extremely thin but durable material that can be installed on the walls of your home or office to help reduce the amount of noise coming through. This means you can add it to your existing home without significantly altering its appearance or structure.

How thick a wall should be soundproof?

The thicker the wall, the better it can absorb sound. A good rule of thumb is that if a wall is more than 10 inches thick, you should expect it to be pretty soundproof. However, if you want to hear other sounds, then a thinner wall may work better.

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Brendan Ratliff
Brendan Ratliff

As a soundproofing and acoustical professional, I have helped new homeowners, builders and remodelers with their projects. I also help contractors/designers learn how to properly install soundproofing in their clients homes.
I enjoy helping people understand the process of soundproofing and acoustical construction. SoundproofProfessional.com is a one-stop solution for all of your soundproofing related questions.