Home Improvement--General/soundproofing walls


QUESTION: Hello Thomas,
What is the most effective way to soundproof one wall to block sounds from coming from the other side of the wall? How much weight and thickness would this add to the wall? We can soundproof only one, not both, side of the wall. Thank you in advance.

ANSWER: First, the idea that you will soundproof a room from treatment to one side is not feasible.

You may dampen the sound. The ability to treat the side of the wall on which the sound is to be damped is more limited than by treating the side the sound is hitting. Once the sound is through the wall it is a bit too late.

The most effective possible option I am aware of for treating the inside wall, and this disregards the sound transmitted through the ceiling and/or floor, is to install resilient 'Z' channels, filled between with a matt of fibrous material and covered with a sheet of drywall.

1/2" drywall, 8 Ft high, weights about 14# per foot.

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Hi Thomas,
Thank you for your reply. What's the product name for the fibrous material? If I go to the store, what do I ask for? Which brand do you recommend? How about thickness?

Have you heard of the Green Glue damping product? http://www.greengluecompany.com/products/noiseproofing-compound
If so, do you know how effective it is?

Thank you in advance.

There are insulation products called Sound Batting that you would be looking for. The thickness will depend on the depth of the resilient Z channels used (example of Resilient Channel: http://www.clarkdietrich.com/products/sound-rated-systems/resilient-channel-syst) but I guess you will only be looking for something in the 1/2 to 1" " range.

I have no direct experience with Green Glue. From a quick read of the link you sent it would act like the resilient Z channels I mentioned by decoupling the wall surface and reducing the action of the wall as a diaphragm. Be cautioned that everything that is sold as a good idea isn't.

You will need to do research to determine what your sound dampening installation is going to be and the qualitative results that can be expected.

Home Improvement--General

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Thomas Buford


Licensed Architect in Virginia since 1984.
New Homes, Additions, Alterations, Outbuildings, Failure Forensics;
Small Construction Projects; Remediation and Repair



Architectural design, planning, construction and repair.
Schematic Design
objectives statement
space planning
feasibility study
structural, mechanical, plumbing
and electrical system integration
Permit Drawings
Construction Drawings
Contract Documents
Construction Administration
construction management
pre-qualification of bidders
general and/or sub contracting
construction progress and
construction contract review and interpretation
pay request certification
Construction failure diagnostics
water intrusion
structural failures, ...

Due to life safety concerns regarding some aspects of construction I may not be able to help with all questions.
I do not answer structural specification questions without a site visit.

Arlington Journal

5 year Bachelor of Architecture from
Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (VPI-SU)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.