Is sheetrock good for soundproofing?

The answer is Yes, Sheetrock soundproofing does work! However, value for the money is dependent on the noise control needs, building demands, labour expenses, total budget, and existing site circumstances.

Sheetrock is composed of calcium sulphate dihydrate (gypsum), pressed between two thicker paper sheets and may contain additives. Plaster may be mixed with a wide range of fibres, polymers, additives, and foaming agents.

How does sheetrock help with soundproofing? 

Here are the factors how sheetrock helps with soundproofing a space:

  • Absorption: Sound absorption can be performed using several materials among your sheetrocks to enhance the STC. The materials for sound absorption like fibreglass, viscoelastic foam, rubber, and Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) can be put within your sheetrock layers to absorb sound vibrations. 
  • Dampening: Dampening the existing barriers sheetrock, for example, can be made into the dead panes to cancel the vibrations of sound waves. Typically, this entails using a dampening substance, such as Green Glue, across the two layers of sheetrock to create a rubber barrier that stops vibration transfer. You may increase your STC by almost ten points by adding fibreglass insulation to the available spaces in between the steel stud partitions.
  • Decoupling: Sound waves are deceptive as they move faster from one surface to the next. The decoupling method involves disconnecting the sheetrock attachments from studs and breaking the direct sound route. A scattered stud wall decouples sound vibration transmission by generating a break inside the rigid connections.
  • Mass: Mass is crucial when it relates to minimising the vibration delivered by sound waves. Sound waves vibrate slightly to pass through a wall, and the heavier the wall gets, the lesser vibration it continues to carry. Sheetrock, especially a 5/8′′ double layer of sheetrock, is among the cheapest ways to add mass.
sheetrock and drywall

Is the cost of soundproofing sheetrock justified?

Overall, the benefits of soundproofing sheetrock can significantly outweigh the price, but it all relies on the job’s complexity, design specifications, timeframe, and cost of labour. The issue of cost-benefit analysis is intimately intertwined with the repercussions of project failure. It is usually more expensive to install a partition twice than to do it correctly the first time.

Using a standard double-sheetrock specification can save money. However, when noise control needs surpass STC 55, setting thicker and higher quality soundproofing sheetrocks instead of numerous sheets on each side of the wall might save time and money.

Because the total depth of a wall design could be thinner, soundproofing sheetrock can help improve available floor space. Soundproofing sheetrock will enhance usable floor space in medium-to-large projects with many divisions into small offices or rooms. Compared to traditional noise control solutions, each wall can be relatively thin, with multiple drywall layers on each side.

Soundproofing sheetrock, when properly constructed, outperforms the old-school methods of doubling/tripling the sheetrock layers. Most significantly, it’s far more dependable than DIY methods like manually applying a viscous compound such as QuietGlue or GreenGlue between two sheets, which necessitates a highly competent staff that won’t make any mistakes throughout construction.

What are some key factors to consider while choosing amongst soundproofing and regular sheetrock?

Before coming to the final decision, there are numerous aspects to consider. These are some of them:

  • The requirements for acoustic performance
  • Materials can be purchased with a short lead time.
  • Timeline for completing the project’s installation 
  • Installation labour expenses
  • The subcontractor’s and crew members’ skillsets are both available.
  • The total cost of specified ceiling and walls assemblies
  • Overall ceiling or wall depth (and resulting leasable or usable floor areas or ceiling heights)
  • Tolerance for non-compliance with acoustic performance requirements
  • The total budget available

5/8-inch sheetrock and 1/2-inch sheetrock: Which one to consider?

If you are building/ upgrading any home, you must consider using 5/8′′ wallboards on the ceilings and walls.

Most homes built in the previous 20 years or so have 1/2 inch sheetrock on the walls and 5/8 inch sheetrock for the ceilings. Some people utilise 1/2′′ sheetrocks on the walls instead of 5/8′′ ones to save money.

Why choose 5/8′′ wallboards for the ceiling instead of 1/2′′?

Because 5/8′′ sheetrock is tougher than 3/4′′ sheetrock, most builders utilise it for the ceiling. Another advantage of using 5/8′′ sheetrock for the ceiling is that it considerably reduces the possibility of the sheetrock bowing in between ceiling joists, especially if they are spaced on 24′′ centres.

Obviously, you’ll get better soundproofing if you use a thicker substance.

Why is 5/8′′ sheetrock better than 1/2′′ sheetrock for Walls?

As previously stated, most modern homes will have 5/8′′ sheetrock mostly on ceilings and 1/2′′ sheetrock on walls.

The reason for the preference for 5/8′′ sheetrock is that when we frame a house using traditional lumber (though we mainly utilise finger-jointed lumber), the 5/8′′ sheetrock smooths out all the irregularities.

All stud irregularities are gone, giving your walls a considerably better overall finish. The thickness of the 5/8′′ is another reason why it is superior for soundproofing. More bulk equals more thickness, and more mass equals better soundproofing.

The 5/8′′ sheetrock is much more durable than the 1/2′′ alternative.

For an entire house, what is the cost difference between 5/8′′ and 1/2′′ sheetrock?

You’re probably wondering how much the difference in the two sheetrock thicknesses will cost you if you opt to go with the 5/8′′ thickness throughout the house. To say the least, the price difference is insignificant, especially when one considers the difference in durability and quality.

To give you an idea, switching from 1/2′′ to 5/8′′ wallboard costs about $300 extra for a 2200 square foot home. It would be amazing if you inquired with your builder about the cost of upgrading from 1/2′′ to 5/8′′ sheetrock in the entire house, not only the ceilings. The price difference is insignificant compared to the variation in the entire appearance of the walls.

Is 5/8-inch sheetrock too heavy to handle compared to 1/2-inch sheetrock?

Now that we’ve covered why 5/8′′ sheetrock is better in terms of quality and noise absorption, are you wondering if it’ll be too heavy to manage? To that, the answer is both yes and no.

Of course, the 5/8″ sheets of sheetrock will be much heavier than the 1/2,” but USG UltraLight Firecode Tapered Edge Gypsum Board is a lighter 5/8″ sheetrock option. This type of sheetrock can be found at your local Hardware Store.

USG Ultralight 5/8′′ sheetrock was created as a lighter alternative to traditional 5/8′′ type X sheetrock. The USG Ultralight is 30% lighter (27 pounds) than the 5/8′′ alternative without losing performance or beauty.

These wallboards can be used anywhere. Type X boards aren’t required to minimise noise or provide fire protection. If you want a more soundproof chamber, you might use typical 5/8′′ sheetrock. Use the Ultralight in areas where noise reduction isn’t a concern.

Key factors to be considered when setting up a Sheetrock

  • Sound frequency vibrations can be transmitted from one area to another via heating pipes, vents, switch boxes, and light fixtures. Sound can be reduced with the use of putty pads.
  • There must be a gap between your sheetrock and the adjacent ceilings and walls. To reduce the sound transfer, seal such locations with acoustic caulking.
  • Sound can also be reduced by 12-15 STC points using resilient clips or channels.


When it comes to soundproofing your home, sheetrock works effectively. Sheetrock is perhaps the most cost-effective option if you want to eliminate general sounds in ordinary ratios.

You’ll always be able to deploy/ install a much heavier, cheaper, and higher-performing board than a pre-damped board. This is true even though the labour cost to put up the wall is factored in.