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Green Glue vs Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass Loaded Vinyl vs Green Glue

Mass Loaded Vinyl vs Green Glue

A common misconception on the internet when it comes to soundproofing is that you need to cover your room with egg cartons, foam, or some sort of acoustic paneling. While this advice isn’t incorrect in every situation, it is misguided. This is because much of what you read treats acoustics the same as soundproofing, but in fact they are different problems with different solutions. While acoustical materials help you increase the sound quality in a space, soundproofing is all about blocking sound from getting into a space at all. You can read more about the difference between acoustics and soundproofing here.

 

Now to get to the real reason you’re here…soundproofing! The foundation of any good soundproofing barrier is (1) creating an airtight structure and (2) making that structure as dense as you can. In this article we’re going to talk about two of the best products on the market that will help add density to any wall or structure you want to soundproof.

 

A common misconception on the internet when it comes to soundproofing is that you need to cover your room with egg cartons, foam, or some sort of acoustic paneling. While this advice isn’t incorrect in every situation, it is misguided. This is because much of what you read treats acoustics the same as soundproofing, but in fact they are different problems with different solutions. While acoustical materials help you increase the sound quality in a space, soundproofing is all about blocking sound from getting into a space at all. You can read more about the difference between acoustics and soundproofing here.

Now to get to the real reason you’re here…soundproofing! The foundation of any good soundproofing barrier is (1) creating an airtight structure and (2) making that structure as dense as you can. In this article we’re going to talk about two of the best products on the market that will help add density to any wall or structure you want to soundproof.

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Popular MLV and Green Glue Products


Luxury Liner™ Roll - Mass Loaded Vinyl
Luxury Liner Pro™ Sheet - MLV + Foam
Green Glue™ Noiseproofing Compound

What is Mass Loaded Vinyl?

Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a polyvinyl chloride, or PVC, that is designed to act as a noise blocking barrier. Our MLV Luxury Liner is one of our favorite and most versatile products when it comes to soundproofing. We make it right here in the USA, and it’s combination of versatility and effectiveness make it one of our favorites.

Product Features

    • Flexible - pliable and easy to manipulate, MLV is designed to easily apply to any wall or wrap around vents and other curved surfaces
    • Tear resistant - while flexible, MLV is still very strong and you won’t have to worry about it tearing and letting sound in (as long as you get good MLV and/or take appropriate installation steps)
    • Odorless – if you find discount MLV, the reason it’s so cheap is that the manufacturer is dipping into chea, impure streams of recycled raw inputs instead of sticking to the good stuff. Bad odors are a common side effect of the “bad stuff.”
    • Fire Rated - many of our customers cover a great deal of their room with our products. Our standard MLV is certified according to FMVSS 302, but we can do Class A fire rated MLV on request. Safety is a top priority so you have peace of mind while installing MLV in your home.
    • Building grade - we recommend MLV for a variety of soundproofing projects because it’s effective and commonly used for both home and automotive use.

MLV is most effective when attached to the studs of the wall. We do not recommend installing MLV on top of, or between layers of drywall. Remember to get 100% coverage between the studs to create an airtight structure, and then seal the seams and perimeter with acoustical sealant and tape. Even though MLV is only ⅛” thick it will add enough density to substantially increase the STC of your wall. STC or sound transmission class is the industry standard method to measure how well a structure blocks airborne sounds (learn about STC ratings here). Depending on which MLV product you use and the exact wall structure, your wall will typically increase from around 30 to an STC rating between 45 - 55.

alternatives to mass loaded vinyl for walls

What is Green Glue?

Green Glue is a noise proofing compound used between two rigid layers of material, usually drywall or wood subflooring. It can be applied with a caulking gun and helps decouple two layers of drywall, which improves the soundproofing ability of each layer. By putting Green Glue on the back of a 2nd layer of 5/8” drywall, you increase a barrier’s density and improve your ceiling and wall soundproofing performance. As with mass loaded vinyl, you want to seal around the perimeter and and penetrations with acoustical sealant.

One of the reasons we’re such a fan of Green Glue is because it makes it is by far the most cost effective way to soundproof an existing wall. By adding Green Glue and a new layer of ⅝” drywall, you can increase your STC rating into the low 50s without ripping out the current wall.

Quick Tip: Should I use MLV or Green Glue?

If you’re working on a soundproofing project that involves new construction, we often recommend MLV since it’s effective when attached to the studs, but Green Glue is great too. It just depends on what you’re most comfortable installing. If you’re soundproofing an existing room, we often recommend Green Glue to add on to current drywall to prevent a full demo. Remember to always use ⅝” thick drywall in your soundproofing projects.

One big caveat here is for structural noise like footsteps and other impacts. Neither MLV or Green Glue are an effective treatment for this type of noise if you are trying to soundproof a floor. Instead, you should be considering our UnderBlock rubber underlayment for the floor above or our RSIC clips for a soundproof ceiling.

Can i use both?

Absolutely! If you have high STC requirements, using MLV and Green Glue together will yield even better results (MLV + 5/8” drywall + Green Glue + 5/8” drywall). In addition to Green Glue and MLV many of our customers also use RSIC or sound isolation clips to if sound isolation is needed, so that the drywall is decoupled from the building’s structure (to stop impact noise). No matter your preferred method, you should always use acoustical sealant on any seams or gaps!

What Else You Got?

We hope that we’ve created some clarity around how MLV and Green Glue are used, as well as cleared up some confusion about bad soundproofing advice. Our goal is to make sure you know the basic, so you start in a good place for your soundproofing project. If you're curious how much does it cost to soundproof a wall we have the perfect breakdown to calculate your project costs and options. If you’re looking for more tips or curious about other products, feel free to call us and we can help create a custom plan for whatever soundproofing project you’re trying to tackle.

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.800.679.8511