You’ve probably seen the hype regarding soundproofing wallpaper, with most people claiming that they offer more than decorative capabilities.
Well, in this guide, we shall be debunking this ole myth, and you’ll probably discover that you’ve all been lied to.
In my previous article, we saw that soundproofing foam doesn’t soundproof against noise, but instead, it only helps absorb echoes and reverbs.
Does Soundproof Wallpaper Work? How Does It Work?
Soundproofing wallpapers don’t work.
They don’t soundproof against noise. In simple terms, they don’t block noise, but instead soundproof wallpapers absorb sounds.
The better term to refer to them would be – sound absorbing wallpaper.
If you thought you could block noise from leaking in and out of the room by simply using wallpapers- you’d only be let down.
Just like soundproofing paint and acoustic foam panels, wallpapers will help acoustically treat the room.
As a result, you’ll eliminate echoes, reverbs resulting to better audio qualities.
However, its to be noted that acoustic wallpapers are not your ordinary wallpapers.
They are made from multiple layers that help absorb sound waves rather than reflecting them to the room.
I’ve seen other bloggers falsify that acoustic wallpapers will help block outside noise from leaking to your room- that’s a lie.
As a matter of fact, acoustic wallpapers won’t block low-frequency sounds or high frequency as well.
If you have a problem with bass noise coming through a wall from the neighbors, you’d rather stick with drywall or mass-loaded vinyl.
Recommended Soundproofing Wallpapers on the Market Today
There are several acoustic wallpapers offered on the market today. However, I will only be discussing one of the most recommended soundproofings you can buy off amazon today.
Latex Sound Insulation Liner
The Latex Sound Insulation Liner is a do-it-yourself product that not only decorates your house but also helps insulate it against noise.
The product works well on both ceilings and walls and helps absorb echoes and protect against medium frequency noise such as the human voice.
The product is made from advanced microcell latex foam and then covered with a paintable liner.
According to the manufacturer, this product has been tested in different environments to back its claims.
Below are noise reduction rates offered by the Latex sound insulation liner product:
- It reduces up to 30% noise at 1000Hz, which is compared to a normal conversation.
- Reduces up to 60% at 2000Hz noise, which is comparable to radio noise or television noise.
- The product also reduces up to 75% sound at 3000Hz, comparable to a Vacuum cleaner.
Because the wallpaper is thick, it will cover rough and damaged surfaces.
You will need an adhesive to paste the wallpaper to the wall and don’t overlap but instead butt-join it.
Soundproofing/Sound Absorbing Wallpaper Alternatives
There are several great acoustic wallpapers on the market today. Below are my most recommended soundproofing wallpaper alternatives.
I love both acoustic wallpapers and sound-absorbing paints.
It’s obvious that you won’t be using acoustic wallpapers in every room in your house.
For this reason, I would recommend a combination of both wallpapers and soundproofing paints.
Just like the sound-absorbing wallpapers, soundproofing paint will help absorb echoes and reverbs from bouncing off the walls.
However, you should be ready to apply multiple coats to the wall for an effective solution to tune low-level background noise.
One of my most recommended soundproofing paint is the Acousti Coat soundproof paint, which costs about $50-$75 per gallon.
Alternatively, you can get Soundguard paint from their official website.
Acoustic Foam Panels
If you have an office, gaming room in your house, then acoustic foam panels would be the ideal pick. (Here is full detail on how soundproof foam works)
Not only do they give a professional appearance but also, they help absorb reverbs and echoes.
Acoustic foam offers more advantages than acoustic paint and wallpapers.
For example, the installation process is quite simple- you only need pins or glue to attach them to the walls or ceiling.
Below is my detailed guide on how to hang acoustic foam panels.
Mass Loaded Vinyl
If you need true sound blocking and absorption, then Mass loaded vinyl the product for you.
Also known as Noise Blok, mass-loaded vinyl is used for soundproofing ceilings, walls, pipes, and ducts.
It’s easy to install a sound barrier that provides the best soundproofing for different sound control applications.
Additionally, MLV is an environmentally friendly material that doesn’t smell- (doesn’t have the smell associated with black construction materials).
Mass-loaded vinyl is a versatile product ideal for a wide range of projects, including soundproofing a fridge compressor, sound deadening doors, ceilings, air conditioners as well as soundproofing hollow doors.
It also has a smooth, consistent finish allowing you different options to finish a project.
If you’re on a budget, then check out these mass-loaded vinyl alternatives.
Acoustic sealant is a complement rather than a substitute.
A good example of acoustic sealant is green glue sealant.
It’s used to seal all the gaps and cracks on the walls or ceiling to help prevent noise from leaking through the walls.
How does acoustic sealants such as green glue work?
Well, this product works by converting sound waves into small negligible amounts of heat.
Green glue isn’t the only acoustic sealant on the market. There are other great effective products that can serve as alternatives to green glue with the equally same effectiveness.
Drywall is a popular product in the DIY soundproofing world, thanks to its effectiveness.
However, this product does require technical installation experience than all other products in this guide.
Drywall works by creating a gap (for example, a shared wall in an apartment) between the existing wall and the layer of drywall material.
This way, structure-borne noise, in the form of vibrations from the existing wall, isn’t transmitted through to the added drywall layer.
The vibrations fade off before they reach your side of the walls, hence deadening noises.
One of my most recommended drywall boards for this project is the Quietrock drywall board.
Final thoughts on Soundproofing Wallpaper
While soundproofing wallpaper doesn’t really soundproof, it’s a yet an excellent addition to any soundproofing project.
You get improved audio qualities without breaking the bank.
Hi, my name is Todd R. Bressler and I am the founder of this soundproofing blog. I’m a DIY enthusiast from Cincinnati, the city that just beat New York for the City That Never Sleeps Award in 2020. (Original) I have been in the DIY soundproofing industry for close to 5 years, running a YouTube channel and a Podcast show every Saturday. I started Crafty Soundproofing to help you learn the basics of “self defending yourself against noise”
Have an idea worth sharing? Please contact me and I’ll be happy to respond ASAP.