Soundproofing your home doesn’t have to cost a fortune. If you are under new construction we all know money is tight. There are many common hardware store items available for soundproofing that won’t break the bank. Most people don’t think of sand as a soundproofing material, but it’s actually a very good soundproofing material. If your walls are reinforced, you can use sand as sound insulation in the stud cavity. You have to make sure your walls can withstand the weight of the sand. Always use refined or purified sand, rather than common beach sand, as they can lead to mold or other bacteria that can cause you problems.

Let’s say you’re doing new construction in your new home and you know that one of the rooms is going to be your new home theater. You want that room to be soundproofed, but your budget is stretched to its limits. Did you know you can use Home Depot or Lowe’s regular roll roofing? Rolled roofs are often used on buildings such as chicken coops and other roofs where aesthetics are not an issue, but preventing leaks is an issue. Rolled roofs typically come in rolls 30 feet long and 3 feet wide. I hear the little wheels in your brain spinning at a hundred mph. What am I going to do with all this rolled up roofing material? Well, I’m glad you asked. One of the best soundproofing agents on the market today is Mass Load Vinyl, (MLV for short) Mass Load Vinyl is a premium vinyl impregnated with barium salts and silica to give it the same sound insulation as lead sheet performance without danger associated with lead.

Right now, MLVs can cost anywhere from $1.25 to $2.00 per square foot, and when you’re building your new dream home, that might be out of your budget. So now into rolling roofing materials. If you’re soundproofing the ceiling, I recommend stretching the rolled roofing material onto the studs or joists. You will nail or nail the rolled roof directly to the stud structure, like a membrane through the surface of the stud. The next section of the rolled roof should overlap the first piece by at least 1 inch. Filling the overlap with soundproofing caulk is a must (hey, you have to buy something from a soundproofer to give you all this free advice, right?). Acoustic caulk can be purchased from any reputable Purchase from a soundproofing company such as Acoustical Solutions, Sound Isolation Company or Soundproofing America. Any of these companies will provide quality acoustic caulk and can ship it to you. Now back to our soundproof walls. Once you have the rolled roof in place and caulked the 1″ lap, you will also need to caulk the entire perimeter of the newly installed rolled roof membrane. We have a saying in the soundproofing industry, “caulk is cheap.” I think you get the pun. The key is to use as much caulk as possible to seal every joint gap or crack in the acoustic membrane. You want this roofing material to be as airtight and airtight as possible. Now seeing that rolling roofs don’t have the same soundproofing horsepower as MLVs, I highly recommend applying a second layer of rolling roofs to every wall and ceiling area you are soundproofing. Stagger the seams as much as possible This is a small investment in equipping your home theater with a soundproof room or a quiet place to study.

Once you’ve installed the 2-layer roll roof on the walls and ceiling and everything has been heavily caulked, it’s time to finish the drywall layer. I recommend installing a layer of 5/8″ fire specification drywall to complete your soundproofing project. Don’t forget to tape the grout and coat the finished drywall.

Now finally I want to talk about acoustic caulk. Soundproofing caulk is a cheap commodity when compared to the cost of other soundproofing compounds, but it is one of the most important parts of any soundproofing job. Buy a good soundproofing caulk instead of some cheap silicone caulk. We’re already frugal with soundproofing materials; let’s not skimp on caulk. A good acoustic caulk is OSI-175 SC caulk or Tremco Smoke and Sound caulk. Both caulks have excellent acoustic properties. If you have any questions about acoustic caulk, please call one of the online soundproofing companies and they will be happy to assist you.

Once the drywall is up and the rolled-up roof is fully covered, you’ll find that you have a well-insulated room for half the cost of using professional soundproofing. Having said that, today’s modern soundproofing products are very effective, and compared to other professional building materials, I find the price to be very reasonable. In this article, I just wanted to show that there are other ways to soundproof a wall or ceiling without using more expensive professional soundproofers. I hope this narrative is informative; it was a pleasure writing it, as there is so little information on soundproofing online. Again, this is Dr. Bob…get out!

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