Installing an Acoustic Barrier

An acoustic barrier.
  • 10-20 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 500-2,000
What You'll Need
Screw Gun
Drop Cloth
Putty Knife
Pen and Paper

If you are looking to create an area that has a little extra soundproofing, you should try to install an acoustic barrier. The acoustic barrier is designed to reduce the sound traveling from one room to the other. It is not hard to install. The project can be completely finished in one weekend.

Step 1 - Determine Barrier Placement

Pick your location for the barrier. If you are a psychiatrist that sees patients in the home, then you may want to tackle your office space and entrance.

Step 2 - Measure

Pull out your measuring tape or electronic tape measure and take measurements of the area where you will be installing an acoustic barrier. You will want to note your measurements on a piece of paper.

Step 3 - Create and Fill the Panel

Create a panel alongside the wall. Alternatively, you can remove the sheetrock from the wall and used the spacing between exposed framing as your barrier layer. If you would rather keep the room the same size and not add an additional layer of wall framing, it would be much easier to strip down the existing sheetrock in strips and reinstall it later. You will need to remove the sheet rock screws as well. Put the sheetrock aside if salvageable. Dispose of it otherwise.

Fill the open panels with a layer of insulation. The insulation that you install must be a sound-absorbent type material. This type of material, when installed, will block the sound from penetrating inside the panel, and therefore inside the room.

Step 4 - Cover the Insulation

Once the insulation is installed, you can cover it with a new layer of sheetrock. Screw the sheetrock in place. You can use some of the old pieces of sheetrock you tore down, assuming they can be salvaged.

Step 5 - Tape and Smooth Walls

Tape the sheetrock and add putty over the screws and over the taped joints. The putty will help you to smooth out the walls. Sand down the walls until you have a nice flat surface.

Step 6 - Prime and Paint Walls

Prime the walls with a wall primer. The wall primer will soak right into the new sheets of sheetrock. Let the primer dry for at least 24 hours. When dry, apply a coat or two of paint. You will need to allow your wall to dry in between coats of paint. If there are still imperfections in the wall, then apply a little spackle, sand, and repaint. Test out your acoustic sound barrier.

Alternate Method: Surface Layer Addition

You may be in a situation where you need to quickly add acoustic barrier properties to your wall and door. If this is the case, then there are many different materials you can use to add over the existing walls. Here are a few options.

Fabric Panels: These types of panels can be laid right over the existing surface. You can attach them to the surface with nails, screws or even a staple gun in some instances. The fabric is pleasing to the eye and will keep your decor looking great.

Acoustical Foam: This does not look as great as the fabric panels, but it is a great sound absorber. In fact, this type of material is used in many recording studios. It can be fixed onto any wall, ceiling, or doorway using adhesive and tack strips or nails.