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Archive for the ‘How To Do It’ Category

Soundproofing Plugs for Windows

Making SUPER Soundproofing™ Plugs for Windows.

Obviously, you deserve relief from outside noises!  Whether it is sleeping or just enjoying quiet, windows are one of the most common entries of noise into or out of a room.  Glass and wood framed windows seem to be almost invisible to sound.

An  alternative to replacing the existing window with a double or triple pane glass acoustical window,  (a noise reduction of about 30%-70%), or to add another interior window, (90%) is to make a removable soundproofing “plug” to fill the frame and to block the sound coming through the window. (Also 90%)  While this will also block light, it won’t matter if the window is a bedroom and  noise is keeping you from using your room or sleeping.  If light is wanted for day use, make the plug removable. It can then be removed to allow light to enter the room.

Making the “Plug”.

Measure your window frame to see how much depth there is to the sill. This will determine the thickness of the (Super Soundproofing™ Mat), you can use.  If your frame depth is 4″ a thickness of 2″ is recommended.  The dead air space will work for you.  Leave a dead air space if possible, the foam should not be pressed against the window.  The soundproofing mat is cut from rolls that are 4′ wide and is sold by the running (linear), foot. So if your window was 4’X4″, you’d need 4 running feet of it. If you window is an odd size, like 4’X4’5″, order the next largest foot size: 4’X5″  If an odd size ( Like 6.25’X5.75″)  you’ll need to piece it together.

Usually, one thickness of 2″ “Super Soundproofing™ Mat” will do.  This thicker mat is relatively stiff, but windows over about 4’X4′ may need a “backing board”.  This is simply some lightweight wood or fiber board to attach (glue) the mat to.  (Luaan, very lightweight and cheap, is one type to ask for at the hardware store).  For an even better soundproofing effect, use “Homasote” or other fibrous board.  “MDF” (Medium Density Fiberboard), is also recommended but is quite heavy.  Don’t use particle board or plywood.  Use contact cement to cement the mat onto the backing board.  (We have some with a peel off backing). Cut a few holes in the back for your fingers to fit while handling the plug, if planning to remove it on a regular basis. The backing board should be large enough to go over and cover the inside frame molding right over and to it’s edges.

The plug should fit the window opening very securely without gaps which could allow  sound to enter. It probably doesn’t matter much  which way it is inserted, but if you place the soundproofing on one side of the board, you could add another layer of soundproofing mat to the room side of the backing board for even more sound reduction, if needed later.  Make sure the mat is cut an inch or so oversize to make it fit tightly into the frame to help block the sound that may come through the edges of the plug right at the window frame.

Soundproofing Plugs for Windows

An added bonus of such a soundproofing plug is the thermal insulation property of the window goes way up, keeping you warmer in winter and cooler in summer! A 1″ layer of our Super Sound Proofing Mat” alone is about R-5.5 so it wouldn’t take too many layers to equal a very high “R” number. (The R number refers to the insulation quality of a material).

If the window is exposed to full sunlight all day, it may be prudent to help limit heat buildup between the glass and the soundproofing mat by first lining the window with aluminum foil as a reflector.  The mat can withstand temperatures of over 200*F so don’t worry about it!

If a plug as described accomplishes the purpose, or if the window is very large, it may make  sense to leave part or all of it in place rather than to make it removable. In that case it can be sealed by caulking it around the edges, which will help the soundproofing effect. Add a string to the caulked in seam to facilitate later removal as in an emergency.  More layers of mat can be added to the backing board on the room side if needed.

If large amounts of sound are being passed by a window, either way, (in or out),  more drastic measures may be needed. This could entail lining your window with a limpid material to give it more mass, such as our “mass loaded vinyl” (mlv)  we call “flooring”.

We  have the mat in up to 2″ thicknesses  and it is plenty firm enough to  push into place inside the window frame if the window is not over about 4’X4″ in size  and you cut it a bit oversize of the opening.   A dab of cement like household “Goop” or even “Duct” tape will hold the mat in place if needed.  Caulking the edges is better.  The mat is made of a vinyl material which may, if brand new,  have a “shower curtain” odor when first opened.  This is harmless and will quickly go away.

Remember, somewhat of a dead air spacing between glass and the plug is needed for best reduction of sound in a  framed window  so don’t push it in all the way up against the glass.

Sometimes a heavy curtain or drape will help to additionally reduce loud sound to a more tolerable level.

You might also consider adding a shutter (Noise Barrier), to the outside of the window if it’s practical.   3/8″ clear acrylic plastic,  will even work, but must fit well!  (Use caulk!).

If you need light, use our clear plastic curtain material or better the MagnaSeal system.

If you decide you’d like to get a interior window, you have some choices.  On the West coast go to  here!    Or do it yourself:  “Poor Man’s Interior Window”

Go to Robbys   Apartment or  the  Basement Foam Mat.

Please support us if you like the services we provide!

MORE ABOUT SOUNDPROOFING DOORS – About Door Sweep Soundproofing

Buy Now

How to soundproof your door with a simple acoustical soundproofing  door sweep.        (Click Here for Printer Version!)

This is All About Controlling Sound and Reducing Noise coming through Doors.

We sell hundreds of these door bottom gap sealers to hotels, motels, bed and breakfasts and apartment buildings  for cheap door soundproofing – take a tip from them!

After dealing with the exterior sound coming thru  windows,  sound control efforts in a room should focus on the door: a typical interior  hollow core door will pass sound quite readily.  (An STC of much less than 20- this means conversation can easily be heard thru it).

The door should entirely be replaced with a solid, exterior door, the thickest you can find.  “MDF” (Medium Density Fiberboard) doors are cheap and have good sound blocking qualities and available from Builders Supply like Home Depot.

Get a door without the recessed decorative panels- they reduce the thickness of the door.  If it’s important to have them,  buy some that you can attach onto the door.  Make sure the door is well fitted to the frame, no gaps or crevices for sound to migrate through. If there are  gaps, use our closed cell PVC tape,  (not from the hardware store).

The door should be sealed off as if it was 40 degrees below zero on one side.  If it has a gap over 1/4″ at the bottom, use our door sweep seal, (a metal strip with a rubber flap) mounted to it, available from us.  (As shown here).  Set it to just brush the floor.     If your door is a standard 36″ wide, you can get it and a roll of sealing tape for $36 Free Shipping!

Door Sweep Soundproofing

A seal is essential to properly soundproof a door. Our soundproofing seal is a rubber loop, carefully cut to your door width size, modified by us with sealed ends for added performance in creating a dead air space within the loop. We’ll cut this to an exact fit for  your door if you’ll give us the measurement of the width of the door.

You will also receive the screws to mount it to your door.  Depending on if it’s metal, you’ll need to drill pilot holes, if wood you won’t.  Usually, only a screwdriver and a few minutes is needed to install this very much needed attachment to block sound from coming from underneath your door.

Some notes about our “Soundproof Door Sweep”: (The part that should seal the door bottom against sound and that fits on the edge of the bottom of the door). Since our doorsweep only seals up to a 3/4′ gap, a transom seal should be used from the hardware store that fits on the floor across the bottom of the doorway.  Use this kind if you have a huge gap. Try to get one with a rubber flap. (Mechanical ones are expensive and will eventually fail).

Note, the illustration above would tend to make some believe the seal fits somewhat under the bottom of the door- not so- it just hangs down and does not slide under the door!

Door Extender Strip


Remember- it won’t close the bottom door gap over 3/4″,   if more, use  the above mentioned threshold to take up some of the gap or build down the bottom of the door with a wood strip.


Sometimes it may take both!


This wood strip was mounted with glue and screws using drilled pilot holes to avoid splitting the wood.  It was then painted to match the door finish. The doorsweep may also be painted.


The seal should lightly brush the floor, but a 1/4″ gap is acceptable when you are done.


Your new door may still need sound insulation. Use 1/8″ MLV with 1/4″ closed  cell   foam,   bonded to it or 1/4″ MLV.. Then cover with “Super Soundproofing acoustical mat”.    Usually 1″ thick will suffice. Cut it a bit oversize to cover the seam of the door at the  frame to help seal it.  You can use the mat with the adhesive backing but you may not be able to remove it later.

A typical door 3′ X 8′ is 36 sq. ft. so 8′ of the 4′  wide MLV will cover it. 9′ of the 4’X1″ foam will be needed. If there’s a lot of sound still coming through, consider hanging a “Mass Loaded Curtain” (barrier) or a acoustical curtain over the door and frame.

Door Frame

Soundproofing Doors

You could use gaskets that are ordinary thermal sealing gasketing foam strips from the hardware store, but far better results can be had if you use our “Super Soundproofing 1/8” Thick Self-Adhesive Tape” , because it is a closed cell material, will seal better and is much more durable. It is a gray tape in widths of 1/4″, 3/8″ & 1/2″ for door sealing.  Apply strips on top of each other to build up and close wide gaps.

Think you can’t replace the door with your door, Landlord problem? You can always put his door aside and rehang it when you leave. Better, create an “Airlock door system” by leaving his door in place and adding another door to the frame, opening the opposite way. (Solid core, of course!)

TIP: Remove the molding from around (use care to not split it!), the door and check the gap between the frame of the door and the rough framing.  Usually you’ll find there is nothing there!  Many times this empty space of the door frame has no insulation at all,  just covered by two pieces of wood molding. Pack the area with our Super Soundproofing Mat (you can order just a few feet, we have no minimums), or use our caulk, and cover the gap with our lead tape, then replace the molding. This tip applies to windows too! (Do not use expandable foam as for thermal insulation. It will be worse than the airgap, establishing a soundpath).

Sliding doors have little or no acoustical qualities at all and are best replaced with one that has, or if not possible, covered with a hanging sound barrier such as curtains, etc. If it’s a glass patio door, you could cover part of it with soundproofing mat and make a holding panel with mat attached to it to cover the door that moves when it’s shut.

Another option is to add another patio door with a new frame. This double door will block a lot of sound by trapping air between the door panels. Commercially available soundproofing sliding glass doors can be had here.  But you can do-it-yourself!

French double doors need a “T” strip and special techniques to reduce sound transfer.  Best to call us to discuss.

Open doorways? Curtains hung across open doorframes usually don’t perform well acoustically, but do some sound blocking if they are heavy and fitted well to the frame. If made of clear plastic and cut into strips for egress, the strips need to be overlapped about 50%. When using clear plastic, use the heaviest you can, we have it in up to .160 thicknesses. Acoustical curtains perform about the same. If possible, consider hanging curtains on BOTH sides of the doorway for greatly improved sound reduction. This is because the dead air trapped there works for you. Such curtain installations should touch the floor. Use double-sided tape to attach the curtains to the wall at the edges to help seal the curtain.

Garage doors are another problem, especially bad if they are segmented doors. (Panels that are hinged). Such doors may prove difficult to deal with because of the gaps created by the hinging. However, our “Super Soundproofing Mat” glued to the inside may flex enough to work O.K. Use as thick of material as you can. It will also help to use a barrier like “Super Soundproofing Flooring” (MLV) to cover the entire door area including the walls to outside. (More on this on the web page about soundproofing a garage).

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Noise reduction kits by Super Soundproofing Co™.

Noise Reduction Soundproofing Kits using Super Soundproofing™ Materials!

A variety of sound proofing methods and techniques can utilize our materials for noise reduction and abatement.   Make your own sound proofing kit by ordering the materials for it yourself.   Here are some of the most common uses for noise control as related to us by our customers:

Soundproofing a TV in the apartment overhead: Noise reduction eliminates a potential enemy!

The upstairs tenant was totally unaware of the loud annoyance she created for the folks downstairs by the noise of her TV.   The downstairs folks approached her very diplomatically and offered to install under her TV, without cost to her, our “Super Soundproofing™ Floor Mat” .  She agreed and they ordered five running feet of the floor mat material, P.N. 09-42750 (This is the 1/8″ thick “loaded vinyl” with a 1/4″ foam backing) and at the same time, ordered four small vibration pads

They picked up her TV and laid the mat over the rug, (it could have been placed underneath it), placed the isolation pads under the TV and report the sound heard from it  downstairs  was now reduced to a very low,  acceptable level.  The lady upstairs is more friendly now and the downstairs folks  report they’ve turned  a potential enemy into a friend.

Soundproofing a washer, dryer or refrigerator. The above works just as well for these sometimes noisy appliances!  Use a dab of a adhesive to the pad and the foot of the machine to keep ,it from “walking” out.  If you are wishing for some relief from such noise yourself, a pad of our Super Soundproofing™ Mat attached to the back wall, in addition to the barrier mat placed under it as explained regarding the TV above works wonders to reduce noise produced in the room.   Use at least half inch material, PN 09-42725. (one inch is better). Tip: They make “roll-out” casters for the fridge to make handling easier. (More about this noise reduction method!)

Portable panels: If you plan on moving but still want some immediate relief from sound  annoyances, make some portable panels you can take with you. Buy 4’X8′ wall paneling (also called “Panel-board”.  “Homasote” and ordinary “Soundboard” also works well.) from the hardware store and attach Super Soundproofing™ Mat to the backside with contact cement.   Use at least 1″ thick material. (PN 09-42730).  (Well, OK, 1/2″ may work pretty good, too).  Push the panels up into place on your wall using a long finishing nail here and there to hold them in place.  (Tip: seal the edges of your panels with our acoustical caulk for best results).  A noticeable sound level reduction will be made and you can take your panels with you!

You can leave them behind because they are so inexpensive.  (So is a material called “Wonderboard” Also Duroc,  which is made of concrete!).  Caulking around the edges of your panels as mentioned above is essential.  We have a new portable panel easily removed leaving little evidence they were in use. Call!

Window “Plugs”. The most popular method for getting a good nights sleep.  Use 2″ thick Super Soundproofing™ Mat (PN 09-42760) cut to the size of your window (s) and press fit into place. Flexible, yet firm, it will stay in place. More on this.  If the noise is so loud one panel doesn’t do it, use two.  A FM radio tuned to the hiss between stations will help to mask noise while sleeping, too.  (Also a running fan).

Investigate our Interior Windows for where you must have light and soundproofing too! (Or look into using clear vinyl sheeting as listed on our curtains page).

Masking sound.  Some have reported that the electronic devices made by Marpac mask out sound very well.  (You can use a fan in the summer!).

Noise Reduction for Doors!   How to do it!

Fencing Out Noise. Due to many requests, we’ll now give you some info on doing this:  Masonry walls are best.  Important!: Walls need to be at least 8′ high.  Federal noise reduction regulations normally preempt local height ordinances, so you should be able to go higher.  You can make your own noise panels using 4’X8′ sheets of CDX exterior plywood with our absorbent mat sandwiched between and bolted to the fence.  A layer of barrier material like our “Mass Loaded Curtain” material is then stapled over the assembly. These panels are to go on chain-link, wood or masonry fencing and absorb and block loud noise such as produced by machinery, roads and freeways.  They can be used in the backyard for noise reduction as they are designed for outside use.   Caulking seams is essential. Call us for more info.

Soundproofing a car hood: More on this here.

Need a copy of the EPA’s  popular (but out-of-print), book on Soundproofing? “QUIETING: A Practical Guide to Noise Control”?   (Over a hundred 8.5″X11″pages).  Read this and you won’t need a noise control consultant! Get info on sound walls, materials and STC ratings and much more!  Many illustrations.  We provide it for just $15 PP to cover copying costs and postage. Or you can download it now! Amaze everyone with your new-found expertise!  MORE

FOR MUSIC PRACTICE and Soundproofing Musical 


You should give careful thought to the selection of a place to play your music!

Soundproofing should be done as a last resort. It can be expensive and time consuming.

Commercial locations are best because people go home around 5 PM, just when musicians may start to be creative!

If playing locally, try to anticipate conflicts. Neighbors who may complain, either next door or even way down the street may cause you lots of grief. Before you start playing, go and meet whoever could be a problem and make it clear that you have consideration for them. This advice alone can save you lots of soundproofing dollars! Mentioning that you plan to soundproof if it needs it is a real plus. Give them your phone number to call instead of the police. Once they start complaining, real expensive soundproofing effort may not be enough! A little “PR” will go a long way!

No neighbors nearby or at all would be the best solution of all!  Our Band with Music Room Soundproofing

If you can’t take your practice someplace where the sound will not be a problem for someone, try to choose the best place for your practice room where the level of annoyance will be at a minimum. The basement is best, followed by a room (or building) located as far from a potential complainer as possible. Masonry makes the best soundproofing material, especially for low frequencies, like drums. Garages are difficult because of the large door opening. Our portable sound booth could be placed in a garage or even a room. A mobile sound practice studio may fit your needs.

Windows are your enemy because they pass sound so readily. Hollow core doors are also almost transparent to sound. (Any door that’s unsealed will pass sound easily). Don’t think carpet and egg-crate material will help soundproof anything, they’ll just make the music room “dead”, seemingly soundproof.  Sometimes, adequate sound reduction can be had with a “Double-Drywall” technique where a layer of drywall is applied over the existing wall, (and/or ceiling) with visco-elastic coating,  suspended on resilient metal channels  or sound clips with a layer of thin acoustical absorbent mat in between.  This provides more mass, vibration isolation and absorbency with one technique.

In many cases, the best solution to a very high volume of noise is a “Room-within-a-room” with the inner walls a foot or so from the existing walls. Covering the walls with acoustical mat will certainly help, but it’s hard to predict to what degree. Perhaps a floating drummers pad or even a full floating floor or room will help.  This means some knowledge of sound control and carpentry is needed to do some non-structural construction. Careful attention to certain details (not mentioned on the site), could mean the difference between success and failure of your sound reduction project!  (You’ll get these vital details when you become our customer!)

A typical practice room would have sound barrier material applied to the old walls before building a false wall and ceiling out from that wall a foot or two. The airspace between must be sealed off with caulk and be a complete compartment of itself. (Each wall, ceiling and floor). Another layer of barrier, resilient channel and a layer of  “Homasote” or “Green Glue” and drywall would complete the walls and ceiling.

For a door, use an exterior door, or better, two doors opening opposite ways. More on doors.

Specifics about these methods and materials, including illustrations and detailed instructions on construction can be had from our Internet web pages. Our soundproof booth may be of interest. We have panels that can be simply hung on the existing walls, too.

Expert Village
Jul. 31, 2006. 11:03 PM EST
In this instructional video, you will learn about the best kinds of microphones to use when assembling your own recording studio.
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Jul. 31, 2006. 11:03 PM EST
Learn about microphones for a professional recording studio in this how-to video clip on professional recording equipment.
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Learn the function of the preamplifier, or preamp, in a professional recording studio in this how-to video clip on professional recording equipment.
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Learn what types of recording studio software are available in this how-to video clip on professional recording equipment.
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Learn how to soundproof a professional recording studio in this how-to video clip on professional recording equipment.

Mold and how to avoid it

Do Soundproofing While Preventing Mold!


Newspapers and television programs are increasingly reporting on mold problems with newer homes and schools.

In one such instance, the Ballard family of Texas had their home demolished in April of this year due to mold infestation that could not be removed. Their son suffered permanently scarred asthmatic lungs, while the father lost his memory and his job. The mold got so bad they needed hepa filters to enter the house.

Erin Brockovich and her family are also battling mold related illnesses, like respiratory ailments and chronic headaches, to name a few. Tests on the home revealed serious construction flaws and high levels of several molds. Blood test results indicated a severe reaction to two of the molds that showed up in the home. For more information, visit (search Ortiz) under the “Landmark Toxic Mold Legislation Draws Support From Local and National Advocates” article.

There are specific environmental conditions required for mold to propagate. A specific temperature range and source of food are the basic factors that must be in place, but the most important element is the presence of moisture.


Moisture can be present within building walls, ceilings, attics, and crawlspaces via:

  1. gravity
  2. capillary action
  3. air leakage
  4. diffusion

In order to minimize the potential for mold growth, a building envelope system has to meet all of the following criteria:

  • The building envelope must prevent water from penetrating. Therefore, the structure must be properly sealed and contain an effective drainage plane / rain screen.
  • The building envelope must control air leakage. Uncontrolled air leakage leads to condensation and mold growth within the building envelope. A sealed building is more of a soundproof building.
  • The components of the building should resist moisture and once wet should then have the potential to dry quickly (they should be hydrophobic). As supported by test results from leading building product laboratories, Super Soundproofing Absorbent Mat does not wick or absorb water. Moisture cannot pass through SSP mat and once dry, the product returns to its full performance value without deterioration.
  • All sound control components should be able to be installed with relative ease and should not be installation-dependent for their ultimate performance. Good results can be had by the average DIY’er or handyman.

The key to winning the war against mold is to take pre-emptive measures for the future health of your family. It’s not the materials so much as the infiltration of moisture. For more information on how to evaluate your home for susceptibility to mold infestation, check with a mold control expert.

Certain types of air purifiers are effective against established mold.

Soundproofing Resources Page, Super Soundproofing Co,

Super Soundproofing LINKS to other Resources.

Here’s a list of links and resources of interest for those of you with noise control and soundproofing issues, not in any order of importance.  This is by no means all the links on this subject on our site, but just the ones we’ve taken the time to catalog and place here for your convenience. The most recent are listed at the top.

See Soundproofing videos at the new SuperSoundproofingTube video site! Get some fame!  Upload your soundproofing, remodel videos!

The right stuff to put in your floor for airborne sound and impact noise!>[GO]

We have now combined all our books and info about soundproofing on our Books page.  Go here for a quick look-see of the material we recommend.  Some are hardcopies, some can be downloaded instantly and some are FREE!

A couple of the most popular books located there is on sound control for buildings:  Building Sound Control Try it!  Another important book is Noise Control Manual For Residential Buildings Both of these books are highly recommended as far more comprehensive than our EPA reprint.

We constantly get questions about where to get someone to do an acoustical evaluation or install material.  Check with your State building contractors license board.  Mostly, people doing this type of thing need to be licensed by the state they are in.  But, if you are willing to educate them and don’t want to do-it-yourself, almost any handyman can do the Don't Dispair!soundproofing type of insulation installation, not-with-standing many states requirements for licensing.  Some of the Builders, Internet usegroups such as and other Do-It-Yourself forums are invaluable sources of information!    To see a cost estimate of the work, check in with get-A-Quote! One of the most asked questions is answered here! How to hire a contractor. Or How To Select Soundproofing Suppliers!

We have a list of contractors in many areas, check for one near your location by calling us.

Discussion community for home remodeling, renovation and repair. Also general discussion on topics such as insurance, buying/selling and more.

Located in the UK? Here’s a site with similar products to ours, but you’ll still need our “Books”!   (and the sample kit may allow you to match up with something similar, obtainable locally!).

Another interesting link for those who want Music Rooms or you have a need to quiet your  piano?   This other site shows how to quiet the keys!

Home repair and upgrading: Best site we’ve seen so far is Jim Evans effort.  Check out the  “Computer and Office Desks” Page – the have additional resources for home improvement, too.  

We get lots of requests for info about noise-canceling, or Active Noise Reduction.  (ANR)  In Desert Storm, the enemy were astounded and dismayed when they couldn’t hear the American tanks drive right up into their camps!  That’s a link to a site on that subject.

Some of our customers have had good results by “Masking” annoying, intolerable noise with white noise generators made by MARPAC or SCAMPMASK.  Hard to see that adding more noise will relieve the noise, but to see if this will work for you, use a FM receiver tuned to between stations to see if this will tend to mask your noise source. A running fan will sometimes work, too.  A better inexpensive solution is headsets/earplugs: (Earmuffs).

Sound, noise,  legal problems?  Need help?  Try the NO-NONSENSE national clearinghouse to reduce noise pollution; They have impressive resources! Another site of interest is: The noise enforcement and code compliance experts, offering a full range of noise-related services. A link to a reading of annoyance and comparative zoning regulations is at BKL Consultants Ltd.

Our own FAQ page covers info gleaned from the old forums on the old (months ago) web site.  The other archived forums can be accessed from the Navigation sidebar. This is still very good info, just like our own current Forum.

For wet blow-in insulation, though it’s been found that it doesn’t have much sound insulation qualities, check the Nu-wool company for a dealer near you.  Don’t bother with common loose cellulose filling, it has even less  in acoustical properties!  (About the same as fiberglass insulation!) Another possibility is “Icynene”.  (They say it has “Noise reduction” but don’t say how much).  Cotton batting does!

Looking for HARD DATA about soundproofing measurements and comparisons of ratings?  Well, we don’t go into it much here on this site because it’s all relative and lab figures can be very misleading!  Materials behave differently depending on their care in installation and the surroundings. Annoyance levels are subjective and so is the materials to control them!  But if you need a noise control primer and want to look at some graphs and charts, here’s the site!

Churches usually have limited budgets, so the sound control in them may be badly handled.  Here’s some links to those specializing in this:

Church Myth: Wires for soundproofing!?

The Church Sound Discussion Group part of The Church Sound Network. Listing of appropriate books on sound systems.

Our own sound control Solutions to everyday noisy sound-proofing problems.


Products List

Soundproofing Myths You Should Know About!


Save time by avoiding these common soundproofing errors!


The video shows swatches of carpet “soundproofing” the room!”

As a service to those doing their own analysis, noise control planning and sound proofing, we’ve prepared this list of Don’t.  We can’t explore every aspect of doing a good soundproofing job, but avoiding certain materials and processes can save you lots of time and money.  Don’t waste time and money on ineffectiveness.  If you have lots of  time and wish to experiment with different techniques and unknown materials, please do so!  (and let us know how it comes out!).  Many people have made the errors mentioned here and some have been kind enough to pass them on to us for inclusion.  Please feel free to contribute!

Get Help!

If you have anything but a simple problem and the solution isn’t obvious, get help!  No need to figure this out all by yourself, it’s too easy to make expensive mistakes.  There ARE many experts doing work in this field.   Most states require them to be licensed. You can find help in the local yellow pages under “Acoustics” or check with your local building code department or state contractors license board.  For a contractor to work under your direction, locate one using the contractor locater service, such as ““,  listed at the bottom of our pages.  At least read everything on this site and better, get the EPA manual we sell here.Unless you have time and money to waste: DON’T experiment!  We’ll help you- call us!  Or we’ll even call you! (See the sidebar).

Read up on other’s experiences: see the sidebar for the “FORUM”.  Maybe your situation has been dealt with there!

Materials Problems

Some materials to avoid are:

  • common “Eggcrate” cardboard egg holders.You have no idea the number of people who tell us their trials and tribulations to find quantities of it, buy it and install it only to find it does little or no soundproofing! This appears to be because it is frequency “holy”.  That is, it has characteristics where sound at certain frequencies passes freely through it!  Some have told us that some sound transmissions seems to be somewhat enhanced!
  • foam rubber of the common sort, such as that of which rubber mattresses are made.  While this has some possibilities, other disadvantages don’t, (such as it’s durability:),  the cost isn’t all that much different than “made for soundproofing” products when so much more of it is needed to be the equivalent of professional materials. Lastly, and maybe most important is that it will burn like crazy!
  • rubber floor mat. One would think a rubber material would be a good soundproofer and perhaps it is if properly used, but simply laying it on the floor will do little against noise coming in (or going out).  Rubber and Neoprene are in the same class here.
  • old mattresses nailed to the walls.  This technique has it’s followers, but unless butted well together with no spaces, caulked edges, and only if you are willing to put up with the possible odor, mold and moisture they have or can accumulate, not to mention unwanted rodent critter type “guests” that may take up residence – are they a possibility.
  • dark paint? Yes, a lady called to check with us if what she was told was true: that painting her hallway with a dark color would perform a soundproofing job.  She had been assured it would.
  • cellulose- the kind that they “pump” into walls.  Some people make a living doing this- how?  While it’s not useless, it’s not very effective.  When you pay big money to have this done, you would want to see some serious results, not have someone say  “Well, I THINK I can tell some difference!” (Spray-on wet cellulose over opened walls may be a different matter).
  • carpet – Old or New.  Doesn’t make much difference, it will all deteriorate and begin to stink.  The newer will take longer, that’s all.  Same problems as with the Mattress as explained above. Carpet WILL increase the acoustic absorbency of a room, but do little in the way of soundproofing.  (Blocking sound coming through).
  • common fiberglass insulation: makes a great thermal insulator, but not a very good acoustical insulator. (Really!) Contrary to the hyped Lab Reports of the drywall manufacturers!
  • plywood panels/ particle board are not good for soundproofing as wood transfers sound very well.
  • hay bales Yes, these make fine soundproofing units, but are rather temporary, subject to fire, critters and vandalism and obviously for outdoor use. Plastic covering can make them more hygienic.
  • Now, our favorite myth- wires in the ceiling!?   Check this out!

Procedure Problems

Sound control is sometimes not easy to understand.  Some things that make logical, perfectly good sense don’t seem to work well in practice.  Laboratory results don’t always prove out in the field.  Field techniques can’t always be duplicated in the lab.  One area of misunderstanding is  wall space inside a wall.  Dead air space works for you, better than filling it up with something like styrofoam, etc.!  If you do, sometimes packing stuff in can make the sound transfer worse! A larger air space is superior to several smaller ones. This means a wall with 6″ studs creating a 6″ air space is superior to a wall with 4″ studs and a extra layer of drywall with 1″ air spacing on each side.

Don’t blindly accept the experiences of others who have done soundproofing before, there may be newer materials and techniques that cost less and provide more newly available.

There are standard ways of dealing with walls, floors and ceiling, but each case is different.  Because of this, different material combinations are required.  Run your plan by us, we’ll point out if it can be improved.  Use the email link below.

Interior Windows for Soundproofing

Glass or Acrylic Interior Windows for MAXIMUM SOUND CONTROL!

Soundproof windows!

If you need REAL sound reduction, interior secondary soundproof windows may be the solution. An 80% sound reduction and more can be had over the performance of the prime window!

These windows are made to fit inside the frame of your existing window, inside the living area, providing a large airspace between the existing window and the new one. This DEAD AIRSPACE increases noise reduction dramatically. Windows can be made to open or not, be flush or not and you can have a selection of frame, glass, tempered, tinted, etc.

If you can install a shower door, you can install one of these windows. The hardest part is taking fairly close measurements! You won’t find these  inside storm windows at Lowes or Home Depot!  [ BUY ]

More About



HOME-OWNERS: Professional On-Site Noise Control Evaluations AND CONSTRUCTION SERVICES!

Residential Noise Control Specialists

  • Office/Commercial Improvements

Evaluation of noise problems:

  • Airborne (Traffic, stereo, voices, music)
  • Impact (foot-falls, machinery vibration)
  • Reflective (reverberation in offices, gyms, sound studios)


  • Cavity Space
  • Mass
  • De-coupling
  • Different Densities
  • Tightness of Fit

Typical Remedial Situations:

  • Traffic Noise – windows
  • Condo neighbors – Walls/Ceilings
  • Between separate offices
  • Isolation from machinery
  • Bars/Restaurants isolation from mixed usebuildings

Construction Services: A Super Soundclip authorized installer!

  • Walls
  • Floors
  • Ceilings
  • Windows
  • Doors

We’ll drive or fly to you to help you solve problems! Inquire!

Information about  BAY AREA NOISE CONTROL: We are a independent consulting firm, (and a licensed acoustical contractor)   located in the San Francisco, California Bay Area and  are offering a full range of services for large and small projects.

More Details:

Established in 1983, our staff’s experience in consulting dates back many years.  From a practical basis, we have provided consulting services, (products and constructions), in acoustics and systems design to architects, (homeowners, engineers, (property) managers and building owners, (condo and TIC associations) for a range of architectural, environmental, and industrial projects.  Some of our past architectural projects include homes, office buildings, schools, hotels, recording studios, performing arts facilities, theatres, churches, laboratory, industrial and medical facilities.

Our Services:

We provide consulting services suited to the particular needs of the client.  Our consultants assist the architect or (direct) other clients in developing a total solution (if desired) that integrates acoustics, sound system, with other architectural and engineering considerations.  Our projects have included work on the initial design of facilities as well as noise control modifications. We’re remodeling and retro fit specialists.  Services include establishment of appropriate sound and vibration criteria, analysis of system needs, preparation of initial recommendations, detailed system design documentation (plans and specifications), on-site acoustical measurement and analysis, bid review, construction observation and reporting, and final system testing and adjustment.  Because we maintain a comprehensive range of precision test equipment, sound and vibration measurements may also be conducted when appropriate.

Touring a Soundproofed Basement / Soundproofing a Basement for music practice

Join us now for another virtual tour through a soundproof basement project

Robby is the young dude you met when you visited his soundproofed apartment. He seems a little more friendly now, perhaps because you’ve already met.

“I joined a band” he explains. “then we found we needed a place to practice. We had the cops come a few times before we realized we absolutely needed a place quiet enough where we wouldn’t disturb the neighbors”!    (more)

“What did you do”? You inquire.

“At first, we had some luck by moving the practice out to the country, but that was not practical for all members of the band. We tried a large room in the back of a house and then a large garage, but that was no good at all.  We always found we needed soundproofing.  Some of the guys tried out their ideas of egg cartons and mattresses, but that turned out to be a joke, a real waste of time and money!”  (See Myths)

” We knew we needed solid walls, so we tried putting the practice in a basement, but the sound just went up through the house and out as well as out the windows of the basement.  We were now certain we had to make a serious effort to soundproof our practice area and figured the basement was the best place to start.  Reading up on the subject here at the website, we found that masonry is a good soundproofing material and our basement was quite full of it!”

“What seemed to be the biggest obstacle to soundproofing the basement, the sound passing up into the house”?

“Well yes, we knew it probably wouldn’t be possible to do good enough of a job to allow watching TV upstairs while we practiced, we are really loud!  But we wanted to at least keep the neighbors happy!  Any soundproofing effort has limitations, translating to a question of time and money.  Different levels of soundproofing are reached with a different application level of effort and materials.  Neighbors have different annoyance levels too.  Perhaps some acceptable level can be reached with a minimum effort and money, but maybe one has to go “all out” from the beginning.  This is what we decided to do, at the same time trying to substitute cheap labor, (the bands), for costly materials”.

“Did you make a plan”?

“Yes, we decided to carefully survey what would be required by reading everything here on the web site and to then select materials and determine a systematic method to apply them. The experts at the website were very helpful, too”.   (760) 752 3030

“How did it work out”?

“C’mon, let’s go downstairs”! He points to a door.

You stop to examine the door. “Say, this seems a bit unusual”.

Yes,” he explains. “This is a solid core “outside” or “exterior” MDF door. You’ll notice it has padding on both sides of it.  The inside padding is cut a little oversize so as to provide a seal over the crack around the doorjamb. We used gasket material (tape) for additional sealing and a doorsweep to cover the gap at the bottom

We left the regular interior door in place and added this door, creating a kind of “Airlock”!

You follow him down the stairs into the basement, shutting the doors carefully behind. You enter an area that seems muffled, noticeably quieter, yet somehow full bodied. Obviously, the acoustics were much improved.

Soundproof Basement EXPAND

“This house has part of the basement exposed above ground so we elected to soundproof the entire outside walls from top to bottom, rather than just the part that was exposed to the outside. This proved to be a good move because we improved the acoustics, too.  We first applied a vapor barrier, studding and MLV sound barrier under 5/8” drywall.  Again, the mat would have been the  first choice, but for the expense. We also could have used asphalt roofing material as it’s also cheap, but has an odor and tends to outgas forever. We did save money by not using resilient channel or rubber sound clips, we just taped the studding with the stud isolation tape for padding”.

“What about the windows? You ask.

“They are now history, because of the excellent way glass transmits sound energy. They are still in place, but we first sealed them with caulking compound. Then we cut 2” Super Soundproofing™ Mat slabs to a little over the inside frame size and forced them in, again sealing the edges.  We then covered the entire window frame with Celotex ceiling tile cut to fit even with the basement wall. We could have made removable  “Plugs”,  but because we don’t care about the light, or need to open them, we didn’t bother.

This is a large basement so we weren’t concerned with losing space to the false walls we constructed by studding away from the cement block walls. The false walls were built so that none of it touches the rest of the building except through “mounts”.  It is thusly suspended. We made the mounts from vibration isolation pads obtained from the web site, spaced about 2 feet apart. We framed it using as few studs as possible and placed more “Soundboard” inside the framing. It is spaced out from the house basement wall about six inches, creating a dead air space. On the outside is Gypsum wallboard, thin soundproofing mat (1/4″), and then a layer of Celotex ceiling tiles for looks. We used as few nails as possible to aid vibration isolation! When the wall was in place we caulked all around the edges of its rubber mounting, sealing all cracks and crevices” thusly creating a dead air space that sound doesn’t like to travel thru.

You look around. “I see the lights are not built into the ceiling”!

“Remember, the ceiling is for soundproofing!  We didn’t want holes in it! The ceiling is quite high, so we could suspend the light fixtures from the dropped ceiling easily using chains.  Otherwise, we’d use indirect lighting or low profifle tube lighting”.

“Say, Robby, what are these”? You indicate some large wheeled portable panels covered with acoustical soundproofing material.

“We found that the low frequency from the drums was still noticeable outside, so following the principal of attenuation of sound at the source, we made these panels from 3/4” plywood covered with Super Sound Proofing Mat . We cut the panels in two and hinged them for storage. They open like a “V” on it’s side. We pull the panels over to surround the drums and put them back out of the way when not needed”.

“Did you run into anything unusual in doing this job”?

“Yes indeedy! We discovered the furnace ducting was carrying the sound of the band up and out of the basement”!

“Then what did you do”?

“We painted the ducting inside with Super Soundproofing™ Liquid, then covered it with the black foam mat. We still had a bit of a problem, because the sound was following the ducting, so we made a hinged door the fits inside the duct. It is covered with the mat and is hinged closed so as to swing open when air passes through the duct. Otherwise it’s closed at all times, effectively blocking any sound through the ducting. That took care of the problem. Ducting made of fiberglass instead of metal would have perhaps prevented the problem in the first place”.

“Can you give me some pointers”?

“Sure! Before you even start, make sure all cracks where sound can escape are sealed!  Cover the windows!  Cover and seal the doors! Provide mounting isolation to your sound walls and seal them too!  Forget about built in flush lighting, hang ’em outside! (Or use indirect lighting!)  Paint metal ducts with Liquid sound proofing and cover them with mat! Make and use portable acoustical barriers! Use common materials if possible, but when you need it, don’t be afraid to use professional stuff! BTW, egg cartons are not suitable for sound proofing, nor is fiberglass batting”! (A better replacement for fiberglass batting is Natural Cotton Fiber).

“What happens if you do all this and it’s still not enough?”

“You can always put MLV under the carpet upstairs!”

“Thanks, Robby, you’ve been a big help”! I’ve got to go home now.

“Thanks for coming!

Any questions or pointers of your own, please post to the Q&A Forum Discussion Group so everyone can see the answers!! (See the sidebar).

See our article on soundproofing a basement for fun and profit.

Call us for free info from one of our sound control Specialists or visit us!  Questions?  Call or use the form below.

760-752-3030 8-5 PT  [BUY]

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