Have you ever wished you could make a wall a little more soundproof? Or, maybe a little more than a little? I’ve come across the question of soundproofing many times over my career and the options have never been great. It’s been “possible” for a long time, but never inexpensive and never easy. I think those days are gone!
Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound
I recently had a project that included, among other things, a desire to reduce noise coming from the exterior. The hope was that we could come up with a way to improve exterior-to-interior sound transmission in both the Master Bedroom and Living areas.
In addition to the walls themselves, we had to reduce the sound coming through the windows. Eleven of them! I’ll show you what we did with the windows soon, but first we had to tackle the walls. After extensive research, we settled on Green Glue for the walls.
Add A Layer of 5/8″ Drywall
We went right over the existing walls with another layer of 5/8″ drywall. This, by itself, would have made some improvement, but not much because sound tends to transfer more easily through firmly connected surfaces. (That’s why a “staggered stud” wall was the best method in the old days). But by adding Green Glue between the existing wall and the new drywall, we could make a highly significant difference in the soundproofing of these exterior walls.
Use of the product is incredibly simple. Using a large caulking gun, you simply apply the Green Glue randomly to the back of the new drywall before you install it. We used a consistency of two tubes per 4×8 sheet (you can use as little as one tube or even less and make a real impact).
Since it was my first time using Green Glue, I thought the moment should be memorialized in a photograph. Just like a kid, I was very happy to be playing with gooey green stuff (just don’t get it on the carpet!)
There really isn’t much “technique” to installing the Green Glue. You just randomly put it on until you’ve got about two tubes per sheet on the work-piece. After a couple of sheets, you get a feel for what that looks like and it becomes easy on odd shape or size cuts to use the right amount. Two tubes per sheet looks about like this:
We really didn’t run into any problems with the installation. The biggest challenge was missing the studs when screwing the sheet up. Since you cant see the framing or the screws in the original drywall it can be a little time consuming to find the studs, but no big deal. I found out later that they make a special drywall screw called a “laminating screw” which will “bite” into the existing drywall sheet. Next time, I’ll see if I can round some of those up.
Finish, Texture, and Paint
Once the chosen walls are hung with the new layer of 5/8″ drywall with Green Glue between layers, it’s just a matter of finishing and painting the drywall like any other job. This house had a fairly heavy wall texture and the texture man did an excellent job of matching it.
When the painting is finished, the work will be totally invisible and only 5/8″ of space was lost in the room.
I will say that the use of a professional to finish and texture your drywall is a great place to splurge for the DIY’ers. There is an art to both finishing and texturing that can’t be learned overnight. The finisher we used on this job was so skilled that he didn’t create ANY dust. His mud-work was so smooth that he never sanded a bit. In my twenty-plus years, that is very rare.
Window Trim and Window Soundproofing
Wall soundproofing complete, we moved on to do some beautiful window casing, sills and aprons, and we installed new baseboard and crown molding. We also integrated a system into the window trim that will hold inserts of 3/8″ thick Plexiglas to cut the sound transmission through the windows. The overall result is both beautiful and very effective for soundproofing.
I’ll get the posts up ASAP to show you the rest of the work. In the meantime, you can read all about Green Glue at the website www.GreenGlueCompany.com ! (I ALMOST bought a material called QuietGlue, but from what I read in a number of forums, Green Glue is much better so we went that route even though it is a bit more costly)
So, if you have some soundproofing needs, this may be the ticket! Have fun!