Soundproof Panels: Everything You Need to Know

Black soundproof panels

Last updated: November 1, 2021 at 13:21 pm

A soundproof panel is a board which absorb sounds by using dense, foam like material. They are usually made into a wedge like shape, which is optimal to disrupt soundwaves from penetrating the panel.

To enhance the effect even further, most panels have additional soundproof material fixed to the back. Most often, the material used is mass loaded vinyl. As mass-loaded vinyl both blocks and absorbs sound, the two materials combined will prevent most airborne sound from passing through and providing a substantial soundproofing effect.

Update: If you fancy yourself quite handy, we’ve just published a tutorial on DIY acoustic panels.

How to Install Soundproof Panels

There are two main ways to install soundproof panels on the walls and an additional one for the ceiling. The first, and more commonly used, is using a soundproofing adhesive and impaling clips. There are various brands, all specially formulated to work with soundproofing.

Basic Preparation for All Methods

Before you begin, you need to prepare the walls just as you would before any decorating job. First, you’ll want to take any wallpaper off and then clean the wall thoroughly to remove any dirt and debris. Sugar soap and a sponge are recommended for this task. You may need to clean the wall a couple of times before you’re sure it’s completely clean.

Once it’s clean and dry, sand the walls down a little to give the adhesive and the panel a rougher surface to stick to.

Next, measure your panels and cut them to the size you’ll need with a sharp knife. The fewer gaps you can manage, the more complete the soundproofing will be. Remember to cut spaces for any light switches or power sockets you’ll need too. Mark on the wall where each panel will start and end.

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Adhesive and Impaling Clips

Now you know where your panels will be going, fasten your impaling clips to the wall about 4 inches inside the location for each panel. Next, you can screw them in using the screws provided. Now you’re ready to attach the panels.

Apply the adhesive in an X shape on the back of the first panel. Put an extra blob next to each of the impaling clips.

Finally, press the panel firmly onto the wall, ensuring that the impaling clips dig in firmly to hold it in place. Check the adhesive’s instructions to find out how long it takes to cure, which will tell you how long you’ll need to leave it before beginning any decorating.

Z Clips

If you’d rather not have the panels bonded to the wall, then you can use a Z clip installation. You will have to plan for this in advance as you need to buy soundproof panels with the clips pre-attached at the factory. Once they arrive, check them over to ensure they are in good condition and that the clips are securely fastened.

Next, measure where the clips are in relation to the edge of the panels. Using the panel locations you drew on earlier, measure and mark the clip locations on your wall. Now screw in the Z clip fasteners and clip the panels onto the wall.

Floating Ceiling

If you’re also soundproofing your ceiling, you can use the options above, although you may want to use extra adhesive if you choose the impaling clips method. An additional option for ceilings, however, is to have them float. This means the soundproof panels will block the sound, and because they don’t touch the actual ceiling, any remaining sound is even less likely to get through.

To do this, buy your soundproof panels with eye bolts attached to the back. First, screw more bolts or your fixing of choice into your ceiling. Then, simply run some wire between the two to float your ceiling. This type of installation is an excellent idea if your ceilings are very high and cause an echo or if you’re trying to block impact noise.

Completing the Job

Once your panels are installed, you need to make sure you seal up any gaps. There’s no point in carefully fitting your panels and then leaving gaps that will reduce the effectiveness. You’ll need two additional products for this. Firstly, use acoustic tape to seal up the gaps between each panel.

Then, use acoustic sealant to seal the gaps between the panels and the floor and ceiling. Once this is done, also seal around light switches, power sockets and windows.

Benefits of Soundproof Panels

Easy to install

Hopefully, the instructions above have shown you that soundproof panels are simple to fit so long as you measure carefully and take your time. With a range of options, you can choose whatever installation option you think will work best for you.

Quiet

It goes without saying, but the key benefit of soundproofing is making your room quieter. You may want this for several reasons:

  • Noisy neighbours
  • Living on a busy road
  • A young baby who is easily woken up
  • A partner who stays up late and the tv disturbs you
  • A member of the family who plays a noisy musical instrument

Installing soundproof panels on all the walls will block most of the noise from entering or leaving the room

Complete soundproofing solution

Unlike other soundproof products, soundproof panels will soundproof a room on their own. The effect won’t be as total without sealing the gaps with tape and sealant, but it will still reduce the sound level considerably.

Privacy

Since the beginning of the covid-19 pandemic, more and more people are working from home. If you handle sensitive or confidential information, you may want to ensure no one can overhear any calls you make.

Improved productivity

We’re all used to the traditional noises in our workplace, printers, phone conversations, vending machines and so on. At home, however, noises can be far more distracting. If your partner is a stay at home parent, it might be noise from your kids. Or retired neighbours who are cutting the grass. Or noise from tradesmen working on a nearby property. Because you aren’t used to tuning this out, you may find getting work done more difficult. Soundproofing removes this problem.

Reduces echoes

If you have a very large room that tends to echo, the soundproof panels will absorb the echo and reduce it. If echoing is your only problem, soundproofing the whole room is likely more than you’ll need. Check out these tips to reduce echoes, and if they still don’t do the trick, you have this option.

Improves sound quality

If you’ve set up a fantastic home theatre room, then blocking external noise is a definite benefit and will enhance the experience. On the flip side, if you want to turn the volume up on your favourite action movie, another benefit is that you won’t need to worry about disturbing anyone.

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  • 📌【Perfect Sound Absorption for Wide Applications】 -...
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Last update on 2021-10-23 at 08:10 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

How Soundproof Panels Are Mainly Used

Soundproof panels are used in any space where excessive noise or echoing may be a factor. For example, in a commercial setting, they are used in offices and restaurants to reduce the noise echoing in the usually large area.

Theatres and cinemas also use them to improve the clarity and crispness of the sound coming from either the movie or the stage and, at the same time, block out external noises that may be intrusive and spoil the ambience.

Very high-quality panels are used in recording studios to isolate the sound of the instruments and block external noises that may spoil the recording.

It may sound like they’re not meant for home use, but this isn’t true. There are a variety of reasons they can be invaluable there too. If your house is built next to a busy road, or possibly a noisy pub or restaurant has opened nearby, thoroughly soundproofing your bedroom helps ensure a good nights sleep.

If your partner or kids are major gaming fans and love shouting at their crew through a headset, then either soundproofing your living room or the room they’re in means they can have fun without it costing you your sanity. Ditto if they’re learning the recorder or the violin!

If you work nights and your neighbours like to garden, do DIY or just talk loudly outside, then soundproof will mean your sleep is undisturbed. Pair it with soundproof blinds for the windows, and you’re all set.

Finally, suppose you’re a musician who likes to record your music for YouTube. In that case, having a soundproof room without the expense of fitting out a complete recording studio is a real bonus to show your work to its best effect.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ writes about living a quieter life, soundproofing tips and recommending the best quiet products here on Quiet Living.

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