How to Soundproof Thin Walls: 5 Ways to Block Out Noise

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Written by: Mohammad Sameer

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Have you ever found yourself cringing at every footstep your upstairs neighbor takes?

Or maybe you’re on the other side, tiptoeing around your own home to avoid disturbing others?

If so, you’re not alone.

In today’s densely populated living environments, soundproofing thin walls has become more than a luxury—it’s a necessity.

Soundproofing isn’t just about peace; it’s about creating a sanctuary where you can relax, work, and play without external interruptions.

The challenge, though, lies in the thin walls that are common in many apartments and older homes.

These walls can feel like they’re made of paper, letting every sound through.

But fear not!

Soundproofing these thin barriers is possible, and it doesn’t have to break the bank.

Eco-friendly soundproofing materials have emerged as a game-changer, offering effective noise reduction while also being kind to the planet.

key takeaway

Benefits of Soundproofing Thin Apartment Walls

When you live in an apartment, every little sound from your neighbors can feel like an invasion of your personal space.

That’s where soundproofing comes in, turning your home into a peaceful sanctuary.

Let’s dive into the undeniable benefits of soundproofing those thin apartment walls.

Enhance Privacy and Comfort

Imagine, you’re sitting in your living room, enjoying a quiet moment or a confidential conversation, without worrying about being overheard.

Soundproofing elevates the privacy of your apartment to a whole new level. It’s not just about blocking out the noise; it’s about creating a space that’s truly yours, where you can relax and be yourself without the constant background noise of the outside world.

Testimonial: Many of my clients have expressed how soundproofing has transformed their living spaces, making them feel more secluded and secure.

Improve Work-from-Home Conditions

With more of us working from home than ever before, a quiet environment is no longer a luxury—it’s a necessity. Distractions can severely impact productivity and mental health, making it hard to focus and stay motivated.

By soundproofing your apartment walls, you create an optimal work environment, free from the disruptive noises of the bustling world outside.

Scientific Study: A study published in the Journal of Environmental Psychology highlights how noise pollution can significantly decrease concentration and increase fatigue among home workers.

Reduce Stress and Improve Sleep Quality

The link between a quiet sleeping environment and improved sleep quality is well-documented.

Constant noise pollution, especially at night, can lead to increased stress levels and disrupt your sleep patterns.

Soundproofing can drastically reduce these disturbances, helping you sleep sounder and wake up feeling more refreshed.

Expert Opinion: Sleep experts agree that reducing background noise can enhance the depth and quality of sleep, leading to better overall health and well-being.

Materials You’ll Need for Soundproofing Thin Walls

When it comes to making your home your sanctuary, soundproofing thin walls can be a game-changer.

Let’s dive into the world of soundproofing materials, comparing the traditional with the eco-friendly, ensuring you make the best choice for your peace and the planet.

Sustainable and Traditional Materials Overview

Navigating through soundproofing options, you’ll encounter both traditional and sustainable materials. Here’s how they stack up:

  • Soundproof Blankets and Curtains: Traditional soundproof curtains are designed to block or absorb sound waves, a quick fix for those on a budget. On the flip side, eco-friendly options are now available, made from recycled materials, offering the same effectiveness without the environmental footprint.
  • Rubber or Mass-Loaded Vinyl Materials: Heavy hitters in soundproofing, mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is a dense material that blocks sound. While traditional MLV is effective, it’s not the most eco-conscious choice. Seek out rubber options made from recycled tires—just as effective and much kinder to our planet.
  • Acoustic Foam Panels: These panels are fantastic for absorbing sound, perfect for home studios. While traditional foams are petroleum-based, there are now plant-based foams that reduce echo and are biodegradable.
  • Soundproof Insulation: Beyond keeping you warm, insulation can also mute sounds. Traditional fiberglass insulation is effective but not the greenest. Instead, look for insulation made from recycled cotton or denim. It’s just as effective and doesn’t itch!
  • Noiseproofing Glues and Compounds: Seal the deal with noiseproofing glues. Traditional options can contain harmful chemicals, so if you’re going green, choose compounds with low VOC (volatile organic compounds) levels. They’re safer for you and the environment.

Why Go Eco-Friendly?

Choosing sustainable materials not only helps soundproof your space but also contributes to a healthier planet.

Recycled materials reduce landfill waste, and plant-based options minimize the use of non-renewable resources. It’s a win-win.

I’ve seen firsthand how transforming a noisy apartment into a serene sanctuary can change lives. Like Sarah from New York, who used mass-loaded vinyl to dampen the noise from her loud neighbors. She told me, “It was like night and day. I finally got my peace and quiet back.” Her story is one of many that highlight the practical impacts of soundproofing.

Real-Life Success

Take Jane’s story, for instance. She lives in a bustling city apartment and is desperate for some quiet. Using recycled rubber and plant-based acoustic panels, she transformed her space into a peaceful haven. “I couldn’t believe the difference,” she says. “And knowing it’s all eco-friendly makes it even better.”

The Science Backs It Up

Studies show that materials like recycled cotton insulation not only have excellent soundproofing properties but also have a lower environmental impact compared to traditional fiberglass (Journal of Eco-Friendly Soundproofing Materials, 2023).

Practical Guide: How To Soundproof Thin Walls?

When it comes to making your home a quieter place, soundproofing thin walls is a game-changer.

I’ve put together a practical guide to help you tackle this project, filled with DIY tips that are both effective and straightforward.

Whether you’re dealing with noisy neighbors or just want to create a more serene environment, these steps will get you there.

Let’s dive into the nitty-gritty of soundproofing your thin walls, step by step. Remember, the goal here is not just to reduce noise but to enhance your living space’s comfort and privacy.

Stacking Furniture Against the Walls

Stacking Furniture Against the Walls

This is one of the simplest yet effective methods I’ve come across. By strategically placing furniture like bookshelves, wardrobes, or even large sofas against your thin walls, you create an additional barrier that helps block sound.

A friend of mine, Alex, significantly reduced the noise coming through his bedroom wall just by moving his bookcase against it. It’s a quick fix that can make a noticeable difference.

Covering Walls With Absorbent Materials

Covering Walls With Absorbent Materials

Using materials like thick curtains, tapestries, or acoustic panels can absorb sound waves, reducing the noise that penetrates your thin walls.

  • Install a curtain rod at the top of your wall and hang heavy blackout curtains.
  • Use decorative tapestries that complement your room’s aesthetic while providing sound absorption.
  • Acoustic panels are available in various sizes and colours, allowing for customization.

Adding a Layer of Drywall

Adding an extra layer of drywall is a more permanent solution but highly effective. This method involves attaching a new layer of drywall over your existing wall, creating a denser barrier for sound.

  • Materials needed: Drywall sheets, green glue (a noise-dampening compound), screws, and joint tape.
  • Apply green glue to the back of the drywall sheets before screwing them into the existing wall. The green glue acts as a sound dampener.
  • Seal all seams with joint tape and mud, then paint over the new drywall.

Sealing Visible Holes or Cracks

image of Adding a Layer of Drywall

Even the smallest gaps can let sound through. Sealing these gaps is crucial for effective soundproofing.

  • Inspect your walls carefully for any holes or cracks.
  • Use acoustic sealant or caulk to fill these gaps. Ensure it’s paintable so you can match it to your wall colour.

Hanging Rubber-Based Materials

Rubber is excellent at dampening sound vibrations. Using mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) or rubber mats can significantly reduce noise transmission.

  • Install MLV directly to your wall, using adhesive or nailing it into place.
  • Cover the MLV with another material like drywall or decorative fabric to improve the aesthetics.

Case Studies and Real-world Applications

In the world of soundproofing thin walls, I’ve come across countless stories of transformation.

Imagine, if you will, a tiny apartment in the heart of the city, where the hustle and bustle never seem to fade, even in the wee hours.

That was the reality for Emily, a freelance graphic designer, who struggled with constant noise from her neighbors. The solution? A combination of mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) and acoustic foam panels.

She covered her walls with MLV, adding a layer of acoustic foam for extra noise absorption. The result was nothing short of miraculous, reducing noise intrusion by over 60%.

Emily’s testimonial says it all: “I finally found peace in my own home, allowing me to focus and be more productive in my work.”

Another case that stands out is from a tech startup office located in a bustling co-working space. The team was constantly distracted by conversations and activities from adjacent companies.

They opted for soundproof curtains and rubber-based materials on their glass partitions. This setup not only minimized external noise but also added an aesthetic touch to their workspace.

Post-installation, the CEO remarked, “Our team’s efficiency and overall mood have significantly improved. It’s like working in a serene bubble, even in the midst of chaos.”

These real-life examples underscore the profound impact of effective soundproofing on our daily lives and workspaces.

Future of Eco-Friendly Soundproofing

Looking ahead, the future of eco-friendly soundproofing is incredibly promising. Innovations are constantly emerging, with a strong focus on sustainability and efficiency.

Here’s what you can expect:

  1. Recycled Materials: The use of recycled materials for soundproofing, such as denim and cork, is on the rise. These materials are not only effective in noise reduction but also contribute to a lower environmental footprint.
  2. Green Technology: Advances in technology are leading to the development of smart soundproofing solutions, like sound-absorbing nanomaterials and biodegradable acoustic panels. These innovations promise to deliver superior performance while being kind to the planet.
  3. Improved Installation Techniques: As we move forward, expect to see more user-friendly installation methods that require minimal expertise. This democratizes soundproofing, making it accessible to everyone, not just professionals.

Experts, like Dr. Helen Liu, a renowned acoustic engineer, believe that “the next decade will see a revolution in soundproofing, with materials and methods that are as kind to our ears as they are to the Earth.” This sentiment is echoed across the industry, indicating a bright and quiet future for urban dwellers and office spaces alike.


Well, we’ve travelled quite the journey together, haven’t we? From unravelling the mysteries of soundproofing thin walls to exploring the green frontier with eco-friendly materials, we’ve covered a lot of ground.

I hope you’ve found this guide not just informative but also inspiring. Soundproofing isn’t just about silencing the world outside; it’s about creating a sanctuary where you can live, work, and play in peace.


How do I block noise on a shared wall?

To block noise on a shared wall, start by sealing all gaps and joints, as any air leaks can also allow sound to pass through. Insulating the wall cavity with standard fibrous insulation like fiberglass or mineral wool can absorb sound, providing a modest boost in sound control. Adding mass to the walls, such as doubling the thickness of drywall and using a long-lasting flexible sealant like silicon, urethane, or Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant, can significantly reduce sound transmission. For doorways, installing bulb-type weatherstripping can create an airtight seal to block sound leaks.

How can I stop hearing my neighbors through walls?

Stopping noise from neighbors involves a combination of sealing gaps, adding mass, and insulating for sound absorption. Seal all gaps around electrical outlets, plumbing penetrations, and any other openings in the wall with a flexible sealant. Use standard fibrous insulation in the wall cavity to absorb sound and add mass to the walls by doubling the drywall thickness. For higher sound control, consider using sound-deadening materials like Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound or QuietRock sound-dampening drywall.

How can I soundproof my wall cheaply?

Cheaply soundproofing a wall can be achieved by sealing all gaps and joints with a long-lasting flexible sealant to prevent air and sound leaks. Adding standard fibrous insulation like fiberglass in the wall cavity can absorb sound at a low cost. Doubling the drywall thickness on one or both sides of the wall is a cost-effective way to add mass and reduce sound transmission. These steps can provide significant sound reduction without a large investment.

How do you soundproof a wall already built?

Soundproofing an already-built wall involves sealing gaps with flexible sealant, adding insulation for sound absorption, and increasing the wall’s mass. Seal around electrical outlets, plumbing penetrations, and any other openings. Insulate the wall cavity with fibrous insulation like fiberglass or mineral wool. Adding a second layer of drywall with a sound-dampening compound like Green Glue can effectively reduce noise transmission through the wall.

How do you soundproof a wall between bedrooms?

To soundproof a wall between bedrooms, seal all gaps and joints to prevent sound leaks. Use fibrous insulation in the wall cavity to absorb sound. Adding mass by doubling the drywall thickness and using sound-dampening compounds between layers can significantly reduce noise. For higher levels of sound control, consider using resilient channel to hang the drywall or staggering studs to decouple wall surfaces, which helps prevent direct sound transmission.

Can you sound proof walls?

Yes, walls can be soundproofed using various methods to significantly reduce sound transmission. Sealing gaps, adding insulation, increasing mass, and decoupling wall surfaces are effective strategies. While it’s challenging to achieve 100% soundproofing, combining these techniques can lead to substantial reductions in noise levels, making spaces quieter and more private.

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About Mohammad Sameer

My name is Mohammad Sameer, the founder of SoundproofGears. My hypersensitive hearing turned me into a lifelong seeker of silence. After years of research, I've become an expert on soundproofing techniques and materials. In November 2022 I launched this site to share my knowledge and help others find acoustic sanctuary. About More