Find the Best Insulation for Soundproofing Your Home

Cellulose insulation, Rockwool insulation, Fiberglass insulation, and spray foam insulation are some best insulation for soundproofing to choose from. All of these materials have great noise-reduction capabilities and provide good sound insulation.

This article will go through all of the greatest soundproofing insulation materials.

What Is The Best R-Value For Soundproofing?

Many people only associate R-value with thermal performance. A greater R-value, on the other hand, indicates superior soundproofing.

The thicker the material, the greater the R-value and the more noise absorption when it concerns insulation. As a result, you should buy insulation with an R-19 rating.

Multiply the specified R-value by the inches of thickness to get the total R-value of a product. For instance, if an item is 3 inches thick and has an R-value of 5, multiply 3 by 5 to get a total R-value of 15.

Best Insulation for Soundproofing

1. Mineral wool

Fiber, mineral cotton, and mineral fiber are other names for it. It is water-resistant and fire-resistant.

Mineral wool is arranged in the shape of a mat of fibers that impede air movement and maintain the temperature of the space. This works well for both aerial and structure-based noise.

Mineral wool insulation has a greater R-value than fiberglass insulation since it is lightweight and exceptionally dense.

mineralwool insulation

The NRC of certain higher-performing mineral wools is as high as 1.05. It is good for boosting the audio quality in rooms and having outstanding sound absorption capabilities. Mineral wools with an NRC of 0.852 minimize noise and resound even in lower-performing applications.

2. Cellulose

Cellulose insulation is a plant fiber utilized in the ceiling cavity between the joists and the wall cavity between studs.

They are noise-free and draught-proof, making them an excellent choice for dampening or absorbing noise from the other side.

cellulose  insulation

They comprise loose-filled fibers that improve thermal efficiency by trapping air, which also traps noise, and their capacity to fill each smaller air pocket enhances the noise insulation efficacy of the wall.

3. Rockwool

Rockwool is a type of insulation consisting of stone and rock. Each of its threads forms a structure, exactly like a honeycomb, in itself and inhibits the passage of air, making it a good thermal and sound insulator.

The overall NRC value of the 2′′ Rockwool Insulation is 0.9, indicating that it is a good sound absorber.

rockwool

It has a density of 8 lb/ft3, which is excellent and shows that it is also heavier and denser, and it is evident that a thicker, denser, and heavier product completely blocks sound.

Rockwool insulation is fireproof due to its stone contents and the recycled content. It can withstand temperatures of up to 2000°F. It is hydrophobic and has better thermal drift and dimensional stability.

4. Fiberglass

Fiberglass insulation is constructed of glass. Fiberglass insulation works in the same way that Rockwool insulation does. Each fiber of this fiberglass insulation forms a honeycomb structure and inhibits airflow, making it a good thermal and sound insulator.

fiberglass  insulation

Fiberglass insulation has an R-value of 2.5 to 3.7 per inch, which is lower than the R-value of Rockwool insulation. In addition, its NRC rating ranges from 0.5 to 1.

Because fiberglass insulation is not waterproof, this can soak moisture, causing it to clump and lose its insulating characteristics. It’s also not fire-resistant. Due to its fluffiness, it is a little difficult to install and must be attached with staples.

5. Denim

Denim insulation, constructed of recycled cotton insulation, is among the most popular recycled insulating material products. It’s fire-resistant and mold and mildew-resistant.

denim

Denim insulation works just how that other fiber insulation does. This material does not give much thermal resistance, but it effectively traps air in between its pockets of fibers, which is why its NRC value is so high.

Denim has an excellent NRC value of 1.15 and a good STC rating of 45. Even when installed without safety goggles, gloves, or a dust mask, denim insulation does not cause itching or irritation.

6. Spray Foam

Spray foam insulation comprises two chemical products: resin and isocyanate, which react and spread 30-60 times when mixed.

spray foam

It means that each cavity will be filled, and it will be simple to fit even in the smaller spaces with any predetermined shape, resulting in good thermal insulation.

This is an alternative to typical building insulation such as fiberglass, and this could not be done on your own; expert help is required.

Best Insulation for Soundproofing Ceiling

Mineral wool or Fiberglass would be the best insulation for soundproofing ceiling, both of them are dense materials that help in blocking noise effectively. You can also use acoustic panels that help in absorbing sound if you have drop ceilings.

The key to soundproofing ceilings is mass, add more and more mass to block noise. One of the best ways to add mass to your ceilings is installing soundproof drywall. Take 2 sheets of drywall and sandwich a Mass Loaded Vinyl Sheet in between for more effective results.

MVL sheet is a dense soundproof material which can also be installed directly to the ceiling or with the insulation.

Best Insulation for Soundproofing Basement Ceiling

Basement ceilings usually are less soundproof compared to normal room ceilings because of multiple reasons like:

  • You will hear a lot of noise from appliances and HVAC systems in the basement.
  • Footstep noise is very common in basements.
  • Noise gets reflected a lot in the basement because of hard surfaces, so sound quality issue will be there because of echo.

Definitely, basement ceilings require more work on soundproofing and I would highly recommend contacting a professional to get the job done.

But in case you want to do it yourself, you should use fiberglass insulation and MVL sheets altogether. Installing soundproof drywalls which are thicker and denser than regular drywalls is highly recommended.

Also Read: Green Glue: Does it work For Soundproofing?

Best Insulation for Soundproofing Walls

Insulation Boards are the best insulation for soundproofing walls, with these boards installed the STC of your walls could reach upto 52 which is excellent.

source: rockwool.com

Here’s an example of Insulation Board from Rockwool called Rockboard, it can also be used in ceilings and floors. You’ll get two different thickness options to choose from and tons of other customization options like dimensions.

Tip: Use Caulk or other acoustic sealant to fill in the gaps and cracks in the wall. Also, make sure the space around electric outlets is perfectly sealed. It could be a large source of noise.

Best Insulation for Soundproofing between Walls

Insulation Board or panels are best for soundproofing between walls, there are other options as well which you could use such as blown-in insulation.

Specifically, Cellulose is the insulation compound when used as a soundproof insulation between walls could help you reach an STC 44. Batt Insulation could get your walls an STC of upto 39.

Best Insulation for Soundproofing Between Floors

Acoustic Underlayment is the best insulation for soundproofing floors, it’s highly designed for soundproofing purpose and comes in different material types. Although the price of this insulation is not very pocket friendly compared to other soundproof insulations for floor but it’s effectiveness is worth it.

One of the major cons of acoustic underlayment is that it must be installed while replacing your flooring. Here you can find some great acoustic underlayment.

Some other pocket friendly options are Felt Underlayment or Insulation Boards(Rockboard).

Conclusion

Choosing the correct insulation solution for your needs can be difficult, especially if you’re trying to soundproof the acoustics of your home. In this list of soundproofing insulation options, mineral wool and fiberglass are the top ones, then followed by cellulose, Rockwool, denim, and spray foam.

We also saw different options specifically for walls, ceilings and floors. Overall, mineral wool and fiberglass insulation could be used anywhere if you’re looking for an effective and affordable option.

If you want to insulate an existing wall that has already been drywalled, you will need to hire a professional.