If you are living in an area that is constantly bombarded by noise from loud neighbors, traffic intersections, machinery, band practices, and other sources of noise, then making your room or house soundproofed is a top priority.
However, turning a living space into a quiet haven can be both challenging and expensive. This is because soundproofing materials that are used to block noise are often cost hundreds of dollars just for a single project.
But I have good news for you today. In this post, I have created a list of best budget soundproofing materials you can use for your soundproofing project.
Using the following materials and techniques will allow you to achieve your soundproofing goal without spending too much.
While it is true that the more expensive the materials, the effective they are in blocking the outside noise, there are available soundproofing materials that you can trust at an affordable price.
It is also true that inexpensive materials, are, in most cases, don’t have great quality that you are looking for. However, there are inexpensive soundproofing materials that are both cheap and effective.
The key here is to find the perfect soundproofing materials within your project without jeopardizing the quality.
This post will guide you in choosing the best budget soundproofing materials that you need in your project. I hope that this will help.
But before jumping into the main topic, let me clarify first how soundproofing materials work.
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How Soundproofing Materials Work?
The success of any soundproofing projects does not only rely on the materials being used but also on how well one understands how soundproofing materials work
Well, the key here is understanding how the sound travels. Before you can block the sound correctly, you need to know first what you are blocking.
You need to remember that the sound is a type of energy that travels from one point to another in the form of a wave. It is comparable to how light travels.
The vibration creates sound and in many cases, noise. The stronger the wave, the stronger the vibration and the louder the sound.
If you want to tame this energy, you need soundproofing materials. Soundproofing materials are designed to reduce the noise by blocking or absorbing the sound. If these materials are installed correctly, you will considerably reduce the noise.
Soundproofing and Sound Deadening: What’s the Difference?
You might hear about soundproofing and sound deadening many times. But do you know that these two processes are not exactly the same?
That’s right. Soundproofing and sound deadening serve different purposes. Soundproofing is a process of blocking the external noise while sound deadening is a process of absorbing the sound preventing it from bouncing off.
That said, you need to make sure that you have the right material for your project. The most important thing is that you understand what is your main goal. What are you trying to accomplish? Do you want to block noise, or you simply want to eliminate echo?
Thus, if you want to soundproof a room, for instance, you need soundproofing materials that will block or contain the sound.
On the other hand, if you want to prevent the sound from echoing or bouncing off, then choose the sound deadening materials for the project.
Choosing the right material to use will greatly impact the result of the project.
If you are working with a music studio, however, you might need the two types of materials. This is because, in music recording, you need a quiet room and high-quality sound recording. So both soundproofing and sound-deadening materials will be used.
If you want, you can apply these materials in any regular soundproofing project. The combination of soundproofing and sound-deadening materials does really make a difference as far as soundproofing goes.
How to Measure the Effectiveness of Soundproofing Materials?
Soundproofing materials are assessed using the Sound Transmission Class (STC). This test determines how good the material is blocking the sound.
The higher the STC rate the better the material at blocking or containing sound or noise. Before buying a soundproofing material, make sure that it has good quality. You can use the STC rate for quick assessment.
Best Budget Soundproofing Materials
Soundproofing materials come with different products and different brands with different price ranges. When it comes to choosing the best materials, there two considerations; quality and price.
Unfortunately, quality and price do always come hand in hand. In fact, in most cases, the higher the price the better the quality. Therefore, expensive soundproofing materials tend to have better performance.
However, there are inexpensive materials that are as effective as their expensive counterparts. In this post, I will share with you my chosen best budget soundproofing materials you might need in your project.
The list below contains the materials you might like. Without further ado, let’s take a look.
This soundproofing material is used to soundproof a floor. As the name suggests, floor underlayments are designed to block the sound coming from below the floor.
If you are soundproofing a floor in an apartment, this is a great option. It is super easy to install. You don’t need the help of a professional to get the project done.
One of the best floor underlayments in the Roberts Super Felt Underlayment (click here to see this material on Amazon).
This underlayment has an STC rate of 66. It is undoubtedly one of the most effective floor underlayments you can have for your project.
If you have engineered wood or laminate flooring, this material is perfect. It can do the job really well.
This is absolutely one of the best budget soundproofing materials.
2. Anti-Vibration Pads
Noise is not the only threat. Vibrations from machinery could also cause a serious disturbance. If you have a machine shop of any kind, you probably familiar with this.
Vibrations are not solvable by using regular soundproofing materials. However, there are specialized and high-quality materials solely designed to reduce vibration.
One of which is the Anti-Vibration Pads (click here to check these materials on Amazon).
Anti-vibration pads work by absorbing vibrations produced by machines. These pads are placed just under the machine. They are made mostly from recycled high-quality rubber making these materials versatile and strong enough to withstand heavyweight shop equipment.
3. Plastic Sheeting
If you want a quick remedy for the noise, you might want to have a temporary solution. Most of the soundproofing materials require time and effort to apply.
Fortunately, there are materials that provide a quick remedy for the noise problem. One of which is the Plastic Sheeting (click here to check this material on Amazon).
With this material, you can simply cover all the gaps on the walls or other weak points in the house where the noise could readily penetrate.
If your neighbor is holding a party, you can protect your room or house from the disturbing noise by applying plastic sheeting on the wall or other weak points of the house.
Just use double-sided tape to stick this material in place and you are good to go. Undoubtedly one of the best budget soundproofing materials.
4. Sound Clips
If you are living in a rental apartment, there are many sources of noise. It could come from your neighbor below or above.
If the noise is coming from above, that would be a great challenge to deal with. This is because not all apartment owners allow tenants to make modifications inside the unit.
So how can you soundproof a ceiling of a rented apartment (if the noise is coming from the inconsiderate neighbors above)?
Well, the best option is to use Sound Clips (click here to check this material on Amazon).
These materials will allow you to create a floating ceiling. Sound clips work by holding up drywall and other soundproofing materials to create the second layer of ceiling just by using screws.
This way, you don’t have to make major modifications to an apartment unit. There will be no damage to the original structure of the ceiling while enjoying a soundproofed ceiling.
5. Green Glue
Green Glue is not, in my opinion, a soundproofing material per se. However, it is being used along with soundproofing materials such as drywall.
Green Glue (click here to check this glue on Amazon) is super effective not only in keeping soundproofing materials in place but also in sealing the gaps.
If you have small leaks and cracks on the wall, that means that the room is not safe from outside noise. The green glue can provide an easy and quick solution to that issue.
6. Hanging Baffling
Another great material that gives you the ability to soundproof a ceiling without undergoing major construction is Hanging Baffling (click here to check this material on Amazon).
Because it is made of hardened acoustic fiberglass, it does a very good job of soundproofing a living space.
The good thing about Hanging Baffling is that, unlike other soundproofing materials, it comes with nice texture and design making it perfect for commercial spaces.
But of course, it can also work in your room. It adds aesthetic value to the existing internal design of your room.
Another great thing about this material is that it comes with several attractive colors you can choose from. So pick the one that complements the internal ambiance.
7. Mass Loaded Vinyl
The secret to achieving a successful soundproofing project is to use high-density soundproofing material. And one of the best budget soundproofing materials in this category is the Mass Loaded Vinyl.
This material is usually used to soundproof walls and ceilings. Because it has high-density, it effectively reduces the transmission of sound or noise.
The higher the density, the more effective the MLV. This means that if you won’t get better results, you should go with heavier MLV.
When it comes to choosing the best MLV, I cannot ignore the Acoustic Soundlock Mass Loaded Vinyl (click here to see this material on Amazon).
Tips for Soundproofing Materials Application
If you have been doing research on soundproofing for a while you probably have realized that there are hundreds if not thousands of ways to soundproof a space.
Depending on a situation, all of those tips may or may not work. Part of the process is a lot of experiments. You have to try what really works for your project.
My general recommendation is that, whenever you buy material, just make sure that you buy the materials specifically designed for soundproofing.
This way you’ll be able to minimize the wrong decisions and achieve better results.
At this point, I want to share with you some of the tips and tricks you can use to achieve successful soundproofing.
Tips and Tricks for Successful Soundproofing
After doing some soundproofing projects, I learned important lessons that I want to share with you today.
- Choose high-quality and best budget soundproofing materials. The way you do this is to take the STC rating into consideration. As mentioned, the higher the STC rating the better the soundproofing material does its job.
- Choose the soundproofing materials that complement each other. This is another important thing to consider. Every material is designed for a specific purpose. Some are for soundproofing while others are designed for sound deadening.
- Check all the gaps and leaks if you still hear the outside noise after applying soundproofing materials. If you found any, apply soundproof caulk or green glue to fix the gaps. This seems to be a small problem but it isn’t. you’ll be surprised how much noise could pass through those small spaces.
I hope that this simple post helps. To learn more about soundproofing, feel free to visit Soundproofing Guide.