Soundproof Wallpapers: Do They Really Help In Noise Reduction?

If you’re looking for aesthetically great ways to soundproof your room, then soundproof wallpapers are a great option. In recent years, soundproof wallpapers have become a design trend for individuals who don’t want to change much in their living space but desire their rooms to be a bit more silent. This is very common among those who share walls with other neighbors in duplexes, townhouses, condos, and apartments.

Even in a detached or semi-detached house, you may still hear sounds from your neighbors, and this may be unwanted and be a disturbance under certain circumstances. Irrespective of your living condition, soundproofing wallpapers might be of great benefit if you have a problem with noise.  See my recommended wallpaper

How Do Soundproof Wallpapers Work?

Imagine the idea of something as thin and simple as wallpaper soundproofing against noise effectively.

Sounds kind of silly, right?

The truth is that it’s not like the regular kinds of wallpapers because it is designed with unique layers which are meant to dampen noise through the wallpaper. These layers are usually made up of either foam or latex with regular wallpaper as their top layer. They help to disrupt and break up sound waves that travel through it.

Also, some soundproof wallpaper contains an insulation layer inside them that further dampens the wall against sound.

Though the process and materials used to make it is different, you won’t notice any obvious differences when using the soundproofing wallpaper.

Are Soundproof Wallpapers Effective?

Though it’s hard to believe, soundproof wallpapers are effective at minimizing unwanted noise in your environment. The layer of latex or foam effectively dampens and blocks those unwanted noises coming from outside to enable serious noise reduction. If some serious comparison while shopping, then you’ll notice that few brands have an additional sound absorbing foam layer to enable more reduction of unwanted noise in the home.

Where Can You Use Soundproofing Wallpaper?

Just like regular wallpapers, you can use soundproof wallpapers in any room. Wherever you can hang regular wallpaper in your room, then this stuff can also be used there. For most people, the most obvious spot for the soundproofing product is the bedroom, and it may even be the only place you need them actually to be. Another cool place to use soundproof wallpapers is a kid’s room or nursery which experiences some noise from outside. Many people also use it in home theater rooms and living rooms to get a great acoustic environment for enjoying television and movies.

Benefits of Soundproof Wallpapers

Soundproofing wallpaper installed in living room

So we’ve been able to establish that soundproof wallpaper isn’t fiction, it exists, and it works, although its effectiveness is limited.

If at this point, you’ve got realistic expectations of how soundproof wallpapers can be an advantage for you and are interested in knowing more, then it’s worth knowing its benefits and why you should consider it over other alternatives:

They are durable

Modern wallpapers can last up to one and half decades, unlike soundproofing paint, or any other paint that will need a retouch every 2-3 years. Additionally, wallpapers are easy to clean.

However it’s important to note that durability depends on where you’ve installed them. The best is to avoid installing them in your kitchen, bathroom as the conditions in such rooms will expose the wallpaper glue to excess moisture causing it to peel.

They are cheap

The major benefit of soundproof wallpapers is that they more affordable than other soundproofing alternatives. You do not have to spend all your income to get soundproof wallpaper in your home.

Its effectiveness surely reflects in its cheap price, but if you’re only looking to reduce ambient background noises in your home, then you don’t have to break the bank to get this done.

Adds Style to Your Home

Wallpapers add style and a splash of color to your home. The decoration is something that is normally done after completing a soundproofing project. With soundproof wallpaper, the decoration is already ongoing in your project, and once you are done, the room will look beautiful without any further need for decoration to finish off your soundproofing project.

Quick & Easy Installation

The installation of soundproof wallpapers is quick and straightforward. Paste the wall and stick the wallpaper to it (ensuring that it’s hanging straight). It is this same method that is used for every kind of wallpaper.

Cut off the ends and you are done! It should not take more than a few hours if you aren’t papering a mansion!

High Stereo Experience

Soundproof wallpapers do not only help in blocking sounds from outside your home but also prevents them from leaving your home too.

You will get a better experience with games, music, sports, movies or any other form of stereo media. It can make your lounge to feel more like a local Odeon when the lights are dim, and you watch a good film.

Fire and Smoke Resistant

Sound resistant wallpapers are designed in such a way that they meet the standard interior fire and smoke requirements, so you do not have to worry about them being a fire or smoke hazard. Adding a thick soundproof wallpaper will help to increase the fire resistance in your room.

How to Increase Effectiveness of Soundproof Wallpaper

No matter how sound resistant or thick soundproof wallpapers claim to be, they have their limitations. However, there are other things which you can pair with them to improve their performance:

Acoustic foam panels

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These are soft sponge-like kinds of stuff that form foam panels which help to prevent sound from reverberating on the room by absorbing it. I’ve probably covered this material in every other article that involves soundproofing.

These egg crate shaped products are commonly found in music recording studios and night clubs to muffle sounds and enhance the clarity of music recording systems.  You can install them on the walls and they’ll do a good job in absorbing echoes and sound that reflects.

However the only problem is that you might find them not aesthetically appealing especially when you install them in the living room or a room that’s regularly visited.

Acoustic paints

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These are soundproof paints that help to dampen mid-range sound waves with a budget price. With a thin layer of about thirty to forty-thousandths of an inch, they are not as effective as wallpapers at reducing noise. However, painting a few coats behind the wallpaper will result in a significant cumulative effect of both combined.

Cellulose insulation:

This is an old form of commonly used insulation which is effective and simple. With the use of a big machine, it can be blown into a cavity wall. Though it is primarily used to insulate heat than sound, it can also transfer sound insulation.

Mass loaded Vinyl:

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This option is very effective at blocking sound. They are usually hung on a wall frame and will require more work than soundproof wallpapers to install them properly.

You can combine both sound resistant wallpapers with mass loaded vinyl to achieve the best noise reduction. Once you’ve installed the MLV you can cover it with the wallpapers in this case.

Decorations and Wall Hangings:

The method works on the fact that it is more difficult for sound to move around in a room that is filled up.

Furniture and wall hangings can be used to do this. Paintings, pictures, plants and other decoration items can be used for covering up walls to disrupt sound waves.

Douple/Triple Pane Windows

Double pane windows provide an additional layer of removable glass you can simply attach and remove from your window when you don’t need it.

The additional layer of glass adds air pocket where noise can be trapped and that way no sound makes its way in your house.

Additionally, you can install triple pane windows. Like the name suggests, triple pane windows use three glasses and two spacers compared to two glasses and one space used in double pane windows. Glazed windows can reduce noise up to 70%.

Weatherstripping and door sweep

Your noise reducing wallpapers won’t do a thing if you’ve not taken care of other potential culprits.

The small holes and cracks in the window and doors will allow unwanted sound into your room. You’ll need to seal them using this Weather strip and seal all the cracks and holes.

You can use this door sweep to seal the space that exists between the door and the floor.

Additionally, you should also take care of the cracks on the wall and ceiling, you can use an acoustic caulk such as green glue to seal such gaps. If green glue is not available in your country, you can try these alternatives.

Should you buy noise resistant wallpapers?

Well the decision whether to buy or not solely depends on you. If you’d ask me- I’d tell you it’s worth the shot, especially if you’re looking to add some aesthetic beauty to your house as well as reduce some noise to manageable levels.

But you shouldn’t expect the product to give same results as some high end products such as acoustic panels, DIY bass traps or soundproof curtains but you will notice slight changes in noise reduction.

Additionally, it’s important it to note that you notice a reduction in the mid range and not in the high frequencies or low frequency sounds. But that’s the same results you will get with a soundproofing paint.

Final Thoughts on Soundproof Wallpapers

Well, its evident clear that wallpapers can go a long way in dealing with unwanted sound. However, it’s important to note that, alone the noise resistant wallpapers will work effectively when combined with other soundproofing methods.

Interested in more DIY soundproofing methods, here are some articles to get you started

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