Soundproofing Your Teenager’s Bedroom


Soundproofing Your Teenager’s Bedroom

So what ever happened to kids listening to The Beatles, or the Rolling Stones? Teen’s today march to a much different beat than most of us did back in the 60’s and 70’s. The Rap and Hip-Hop music of today has a much more bass (low frequency) sound and instead of singing the lyrics; these artists speak the lyrics with a rhythmic beat. This music can drive a parent or even an older sibling crazy after listening to it for hours on end.

What can you do besides forcing the teen to move out? Perhaps sound proof walls between your living area and theirs is the answer, but in my opinion, the best remedy is to make your teens bedroom a completely soundproof room. That way if the music bothers others in the house, they will get relief as well.

One method would be to layer over the existing drywall in the bedroom with a material called mass loaded vinyl. American Mass Loaded vinyl is a superb choice as it has the sound blocking ability and is fire retardant. Note: if you are installing the MLV directly over existing drywall, it will be necessary to install 1″ wooden furring strips to the stud structure and then attach the MLV to these furring strips. For a standard 8′ high ceiling you will need at least 4 x 1″ strips, one at the top, 2 in the middle and one at the bottom. With the MLV attached to the furring strips, it will allow the vinyl to breathe and resonate with the sound. This is only necessary when installing MLV over existing drywall.

Once the MLV is installed on the furring strips you will need to liberally caulk all seams as well as the entire perimeter. This will insure that the vinyl becomes a sealed resilient membrane.

The MLV can be stapled or nailed (roofing nails with large plastic heads) to the furring strips that are screwed to the bedroom walls. The seams of the MLV are butted together or overlapped if possible, and the seams as well as the perimeter of the newly installed vinyl would be caulked with OSI-175 acoustical caulk. You will then need to tape the caulked seams with a lead tape or a sealer tape. If you have tape to spare, then go ahead and tape the perimeter of the MLV, this will help, but is not essential. What we are looking for is the “membrane effect” in the center of the walls and ceilings. The MLV is a reflective barrier that will keep the music within the confines of the teens’ bedroom, and keep your sanity intact.

If you’re dealing with a lot of noise upstairs coming from your teen, look into our floor soundproofing guide to handle that issue. Try to have your teen move the stereo or Boom box away from the walls as best as possible, especially if you feel a vibration in the wall while the music is playing.