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Do I Need to Cover the Entire Wall with Acoustic Panels?

Sometimes you need to soundproof certain rooms of your home to reduce noise or make them completely silent. But do you need to seal the entire wall? Covering an entire wall with acoustic panels is not always necessary and depends largely on the room’s specific soundproofing challenges and your design preferences.

Strategically placed acoustic panels are often more effective than complete coverage. Identify major sound reflection points and areas where echoes are most prominent and focus on installing acoustic panels in those areas. Also, consider the functionality and aesthetics of the space.

Sometimes a well-thought-out arrangement of acoustic panels can achieve both soundproofing and aesthetics. Soundproof panel placement can help you strike the right balance between function and design. It is not necessary to cover every inch of the wall with acoustic wall panels to ensure that the acoustics of the space are optimized.

Can Part of a Wall be Soundproofed?

It is possible to soundproof part of a wall to make it sufficiently acoustic. Using soundproofing materials such as acoustic panels on 15-30% of the room will achieve what you need. Which soundproofing material you choose is important, but it’s not the only factor you need to consider.

For a gym or dance studio, it usually has a lot of flat surfaces. Sound will bounce off of these flat surfaces. If you’re going to soundproof these flat surfaces, it’s generally best to cover half of the area.

The 50% soundproofing rule can also be used for home theaters or any other room where sound and noise need to be insulated.

If you only want to block out regular noise, start with 15% soundproofing. Then gradually increase the soundproofing area as you need it. That way, you won’t have to spend more money where you don’t need to.

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How Sound Travels

To fully understand the details of soundproofing, we need to first understand how sound travels.

There are two types of sound you need to consider when trying to quiet a room:

  • Airborne sound. As the name suggests, this is a sound that travels through the air. It could be the sound of someone talking in the next room, the sound of a radio, or something else.
  • Impact sound. The sound produced when something hits the surface of a building is an impact sound. The sound is transmitted through the vibration of the structure. As an example, you can think of the sound of a door slamming or footsteps on the floor.

Airborne noises and sounds are like water. These can enter a room from outside or inside through tiny cracks and holes in the walls. In addition to this, noise can also enter the room through light switches, small holes in the wall used to hang pictures, and even doors and windows.

How to Soundproof an Entire Wall

It can be difficult to get good soundproofing because noise and sound can come from almost anywhere. There are ways to make sure your soundproofing project is effective and won’t break the bank.

Find Out Where the Noise Is Coming From

As you may have guessed, soundproofing an entire wall can be expensive. If the walls are already very quiet, the noise coming into the room could be coming from the space under the door or even the window.

If the problem is with the windows and doors, soundproofing the walls with something like soundproofing panels won’t help. You may not need to soundproof the walls, but you can use silent curtains or door weatherstripping instead.

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You can find out where the sound is coming from by playing music loudly on your cell phone in another room. Afterward, you can walk around the area you want to keep quiet. This will give you a good idea of where the sound is coming from.

These “weak points” should be at the forefront of your mind when considering sound-deadening materials and solutions.

Blocking the Source of Noise

Noise should always be blocked from one side of the wall. For example, if you don’t want TV noise to reach your home office, install soundproofing on the side facing your living room.

If your children and their friends play musical instruments in the garage, you don’t want the loud music to disturb the neighbors. Therefore, you want to make sure that the inside of your garage is soundproofed.

When you have a home theater, you want to keep the sound of the movie inside and prevent outside noise from coming in and ruining your viewing experience. In this case, you need to keep the inside and outside of your home theater quiet.

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Soundproofing Depends on the Wall Type

Wall soundproofing mainly consists of sealing gaps where sound can leak out. Adding items to the walls also helps to better absorb and disperse sound waves. Soundproofing materials can be used on walls that are under construction or on walls that are already finished.

Soundproofing Walls Under Construction

Fill the gaps between the walls. It is best to use acoustic foam. If the walls are empty on the inside, the sound will have room to travel and become louder due to reverberation.

On the other hand, with solid walls made of brick or concrete, there is no problem with air areas. Although concrete walls still have air gaps, the thick layer of stucco is enough to block a lot of sound, making it difficult to hear loud noises.

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Soundproofing Finished Walls

To soundproof pre-existing or finished walls, you will need the following.

Soundproofing panels: Soundproofing panels can be installed on walls to not only reduce noise inside the house but also to better decorate the house.COOWIN’s soundproofing panels come in a variety of design types to meet your different design needs.

Acoustic Tape or Caulk: These materials can be used to cover cracks or holes in walls that allow sound to enter. Acoustic caulk is easy to paint after it dries. You can find it on Amazon.com.

Double layer of drywall: adding an extra layer of drywall to a wall can increase the quality of the wall, thus reducing noise.

Acoustic wallpaper and paint: while these materials can also block some noise, they may not be thick enough to completely block it.

Summing Up

It is not necessary to soundproof an entire wall to obtain good soundproofing. Laying soundproofing material over 15 to 30 percent of a room is sufficient to block noise. While there are many soundproofing materials available, soundproofing panels not only reduce noise in your house, it also make your interior space more aesthetically pleasing.

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