MLV- The ultimate noise barrier for Flooring or Walls- almost as good as lead! (Yes we have AcoustiLead!)
Sound transfer through floors and ceilings is a continuing noise control problem, especially in older buildings. There are two main issues regarding noise transfer: airborne sound and impact noise. Each are different and require separate soundproofing treatments. Airborne sound is most easily dealt with using MLV.
Impact noise is dealt with by using “Super Seal” subfloor or SSP-FL or Tl. Normally you need both impact underlayment and MLV with a foam backing or a combination of both. (Best to call us about our unadvertised solutions).
Use this “Mass Loaded Vinyl” barrier (MLV), (1 Lb per Sq. Ft!), as a carpet under-layment. It’s as heavy as lead that provides a soundproofing layer on the floor and under the carpet and padding for noise control. It is a tough, wear resistant material that may be placed on or under floating (not nailed) hard floors for slowing noise transfer above and below. When used as an under-layment for hardwood floors or tile, it reduces sound transfer dramatically. Can also be used in walls and ceilings. When installed inside the wall, it more than doubles the STC. For instance, a standard hollow sheetrock wall, with 1/2″ Gypsum board on metal studs has a STC rating of about 20. (Ordinary conversation through it can be understood). Adding the MLV can increase it to about 53! (Loud shouting is not heard). Just staple or glue the material to the wall, then cover with another layer of sheetrock- tape off and paint. Want more sound reduction? Use a double layer of MLV or double weight (2 Lb) material!
You can use our fireproof white MLV as a direct wall covering – inquire!
MLV is commonly used as a carpet underlayment, one type has a foam backing, the other doesn’t. The foam backing mat is recommended under carpets as it provides a vibration cushion, floating the barrier just off the floor. This helps reduce footfall and impact noise. MLV without the foam cushion would be under the subfloor or in walls and ceilings or as second layer to increase sound reduction even more. The type with closed cell foam is far more effective than the other two types in reducing impact noise. See the reference to Dimple Pad material further down this page.
Typically used this way: seal subfloor cracks and gaps with acoustical caulk first. Tape seams of the floor with metal tape. Lay the MLV down, butting together joints and seal edges with metal tape. Cover with carpet pad and carpet. If using the one with and without foam backing together, place the foam backed material down first. Install 90 degrees to each other. Important! Do not skip the step of inspecting and caulking/taping the gaps and seams of your bare subfloor!
Combined with the “Double drywall” technique described in the resilient channels page, MLV provides the ultimate in sound reduction.
MLV may even be painted. (Clean well with alcohol and use vinyl or latex paint).
Fast way to get superior sound control in your apartment: and make it removable Buy imitation wall paneling from the hardware store. Carefully cut to fit your wall. (No gaps). Apply MLV to the back of the paneling with either contact cement or using the version with PSA. (Pressure Sensitive Adhesive).
Attach to your wall with a few finishing nails. Panels can be removed with a minimum of small holes when you move! Tip: Using metal tape on the walls at the place where the joints are will increase the sound blocking effectiveness of your panels. (It may be hard to remove!)
The three types of Paintable MLV we sell are the:
GOOD: Super Soundproofing MLV: STC is 26. Same as above for homes and offices, but without the foam backing. Somewhat less expensive at approx. $5.02 per running foot. ($1.25 per Sq. Ft). Available in 4′ widths X 30′ lengths: $1.14 Sq. Ft. or $5.63. per running ft. for 54″ wide Material. Also available with peel-off adhesive backing! (Eliminates the mess and odor of adhesive and is easier to install on walls/ceilings.) Available in 2# weights too. See the buy button or better, CALL!
BETTER: Super Soundproofing MLV: STC is over 26 because of the composite foam bonded to it.Useful for vehicles, too. 1/8″ thick. It has a 1/4″ open cell foam bonded to the underside to provide additional vibration isolation. $11.22 per running foot: (54″ wide). ($2.49 per Sq Ft). PN 09-00004-F 30′ Roll: $258.75 09-00004-1
BEST: We also have Super Soundproofing MLV- Has a better STC as well as a IIC rating.same as above but with 1/4″ closed cell foam bonded to the MLV for superior noise damping and blocking. $15.93 per running foot: (48″ wide). ($3.61 per Sq Ft). PN 09-00005CC-54F 30′ Roll: $433.20 PN 09-00005CC-54R [BUY]
Flammability: These Versions meets certain UL and building Department requirements but are not completely FAA approved for certified aircraft. (Homebuilt OK). We do now have a certain MLV that meet Firecode regulations- inquire!
Use MLV under machinery, speakers and health / exercise machines for noise control into and through the floor! You’ll need at least a 3′-4′ margin of Mass Loaded Vinyl barrier around your running machine to reduce flanking sound from penetrating down through the floor. Special dimple Vibration pads will help here too!
Another use we discovered is to lay panels of the “MLV” (loaded vinyl barrier with a foam backing), inside/above a dropped acoustical tile ceiling. The material needs to be cut so that it overlaps each adjacent layer by a few inches. This is done by cutting a length of the 54″ wide material long-ways into two 4′X2’3″ sections. These will then cover two 2′X4′ sections of the dropped ceiling tiles with an overlap. Start with a run of ceiling tiles in place against the walls and caulk the seam at the wall in place using our non-hardening caulk. (See our “Products” page). Cut a slit in the panels with a knife or scissors to clear the suspension wires and caulk the cut seam and the area where the wire passes through with a heavy blob of caulk. Before starting this job, evaluate the strength of the wires holding the ceiling up. If need be, add wires to reinforce the suspension system. Bear in mind this mat weighs one pound per square foot and the ceiling support wires may not be normally stressed for this kind of weight. (But we’ve found most are overly wired and are OK).
Things to keep in mind: Be sure to cover the entire area, caulking gaps and seams to prevent air flow that will carry sound. Have someone help to cut panels and hand them up. This will make it much easier while working standing on a ladder inside the ceiling area.. If the walls of the room do not extend up through the ceiling to the roof, consider adding higher walls to the “stub” walls so as to prevent flanking sound from passing through and over from the adjoining ceiling.
Tip: lay out the material and leave overnight to let it flatten and to prevent curl and billow type bubbles due to uneven expansion. This is an inert material and has no ability to outgas.
Dimple Pad: Now, a product for reducing impact noise for under hardwood and tile floors!: SUPER-SEAL: “Sub-Floor -Plus” floor underlayment. At last! A dimpled product that reduces impact noise created by walking on hardwood or tile floors. It’s just 3/8″ thick, comes in rolls 6’6″ wide. Just $1.85 per sq. ft. (You’ll need a combination of this and MLV too if there is an issue with airborne noise). VIDEO
We have yet another product that combines impact and airborne sound control in one composite membrane.
Tips for new construction or renovation of floors:
The subfloor is the culprit in sound transfer. Sometimes it’s not thick enough, or strong enough, (where thin subfloor panels are used over floor joists that are spaced too widely for the thickness of subflooring). Or where the subfloor is improperly attached with too few fasteners or just nailed. (Use screws!) If your floor joists are exposed, now is the time to forestall problems in the future. As a minimum, use our green Sound Isolation Tape to tape the faces of the joists/subfloor joints to help prevent squeaks and to reduce sound transfer into the joists. It comes in 1-7/16″, 2″ or 3″ widths for this purpose. You can apply the tape easily by hand.
Better, buy the 2′ or 4′ wide material (yes, that’s 2 “Feet” and 4 “Feet” wide!), similar to “Green Glue”. to cover the underside of the entire sub-floor panel. This will add dampening to the panel, reducing the resonant “boom” when walking on the floor. We have that, too – Inquire!
All these tapes come with a peel off backing for easy, clean, no-mess adhesive application.
A less expensive, more labor intensive method is to glue 1/8″ or 1/4″ closed cell acoustical foam to the underside of your sub-floor panels. (Cost: About $1 per sq. ft.)
This also works well for drywall panels, too.
There are many ways to use these sound barrier underlayment materials in combination- for maximum results call us to help you tailor your installation for your specific needs. 760 752 3030 8-5 PST 5 Days
New! “FFNB” Flexible Fireproof Noise Barrier. Concerned about flammability of MLV? – use FFNB instead – CALL!