There are a variety of ways to soundproof any room in your house or office space. It is always easiest if the drywall has already been removed. If you are working from bare studs and ceiling joists your job will be much easier and you will get the best amount of soundproofing possible.
Once you are down to the bare studs you will want to install a sound absorbing insulation into the wall and ceiling cavities. One of the best insulation products is called Ultra Touch. This is a bonded cotton insulation that is a LEEDS certified green product which will provide excellent sound absorption in both the wall and ceiling cavities. It is best to completely fill the cavities with the Ultra touch insulation in order to get the most absorption possible.
Once the insulation is installed you will want to line the walls and the ceiling with a product called Luxury Liner Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV for short). MLV is a high grade vinyl that is impregnated with barium salt and silica (sand) to give it the same mass as lead sheeting. MLV is great for wall and ceiling noise reduction.
The Mass Loaded Vinyl will be either stapled or nailed directly to the face of the studs or ceiling joists. The best way to describe this is that the MLV will be like a membrane across the stud and ceiling joists. It is recommended that you over lap the seams of the MLV by at least 1 inch and then we suggest that you caulk the overlap using and acoustical caulk to seal the seams as well as the perimeter of the MLV membrane, this will lead to the best possible wall soundproofing. Just a quick note if you have steel studs, the MLV will be attached using self tapping sheet metal screws that have large washers on them.
If you have light switches or electrical outlets we recommend using soundproof putty pads for this application. The putty pads will seal off the electrical outlets and light switches and prevent sound from transmitting through these areas.
The final step would be to put up new drywall directly over top if the MLV membrane. You have the option of using a soundproof drywall such as the Sound Break XP or you can simply us a high quality 5/8” thick drywall from your local hardware store. Generally Home Depot or Lowe’s carry high grade drywall. Some local hardware stores carry very cheap and thin imported drywall that does not have great soundproofing properties, try to avoid these types of drywall.
Make sure you seal the seams of the drywall once again using an acoustical caulk to make sure that no sound can leak through this soundproof system. The caulk can be used to seal any air caps, we often recommend check around your windows to quiet your noisy windows. Also, check around your HVAC vents if you have a noisy air vent in bedroom.
There are other methods for soundproofing a room that we will cover in subsequent articles, but the method above will give you a very soundproof room for playing live music or just a place of quiet solitude where there are no interruptions. If you need to take your soundproofing to the next level, check out our guide on recording studio soundproofing.