Brick and drywall are the two most common materials used in constructing walls. Brick walls and drywall both have advantages and disadvantages depending on what you wish to use in the room. So which of these two materials is best for soundproofing?
Brick is an excellent soundproofing material, whereas drywall is poor at soundproofing a room. Bricks are denser objects that do not allow sound to pass through easily. In contrast, drywall is a lightweight material that usually contains gaps.
Keep reading for an in-depth view of the advantages and disadvantages of using either bricks or drywall when soundproofing a wall. I will explore ways to enhance the soundproofing qualities of each material and which is best for soundproofing your home.
Also read: How to Soundproof a Room (Almost Completely) in 10 Steps
Brick vs. Drywall for Soundproofing
Bricks and drywall have many benefits and downsides. However, there is a clear winner when it comes to soundproofing.
Brick walls are dense and heavy, making them fantastic for preventing sound from passing through. In contrast, drywall is lightweight and allows sound to pass through, making brick walls more soundproof.
However, how much more quiet is a room with brick walls than drywall walls?
A brick wall can reduce noise by up to 50% compared to lightweight walls like drywall. Similar dense materials like masonry stones or concrete will significantly lower noise levels than lighter materials.
The dense nature of bricks stacked on top of each other create conditions that do not allow for a lot of sounds to pass through. As a result, you can experience a significant reduction in noise in your home by choosing bricks over lightweight materials like drywall.
Pros and Cons of Brick and Drywall for Soundproofing
Bricks are excellent and sturdy materials used in constructing houses and buildings. They also come in various sizes, shapes, and ingredients to customize your space, making them one of the most popular construction materials.
On the other hand, drywall is also a pretty popular construction material, owing to its lightweight and highly customizable design.
While both materials seem appealing, there are plenty of differences that homeowners or construction companies need to consider when choosing between the two.
Check out the list of pros and cons of using bricks and drywall:
- Low maintenance
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Long installation time
Bricks are durable and long-lasting materials that will not need replacing for a very long time after installation. On top of this, bricks are dense materials that hold significant mass compared to drywall.
The additional mass of a brick wall compresses the wall together. This prevents vibrations from sound waves from effortlessly passing through and resulting in enhanced soundproofing for the room.
However, it’s important to note that brick walls are heavy and expensive to install, making them an unrealistic option for many homeowners seeking reasonable effort and cost in building their homes.
Read my article How to Soundproof a Brick Wall
- Quick and easy to install
- Easy to customize or replace when necessary
- Poor Soundproofing
- Higher maintenance than brick
Drywall is widely used in homes and buildings across the world. It is quick, cheap, and easy to install. Especially when compared to bricks which will take days to install and up to a week if you add plaster over them.
However, drywall is poor when it comes to soundproofing. It often has cracks and gaps that allow sound to pass through. On top of this, drywall is a lightweight and flexible material that allows easy passage for sound waves. However, there are some tricks that you can employ to make your drywall more soundproof.
How To Make a Room With Existing Drywall Walls Soundproof
If you have a room with drywall walls in your home, increasing the soundproofing qualities can be challenging. Luckily for you, I have established some time and tricks that you can use.
Here are some things to consider to make a room with existing drywall walls soundproof:
- Mass Loaded Vinyl
- Acoustic Foam Panels
- Extra Layers of Drywall
See below for a breakdown of the points mentioned above.
Install More Insulation
One of the ways to significantly reduce noise pollution in your home is by hiring an expert to install insulation. Good quality insulation massively reduces how much noise can pass through the walls.
Insulation is also quick and easy to install underneath the drywall. You can remove the drywall panel, add the insulation, then reinstall the paneling.
Add More Weight to the Wall Using Mass-Loaded Vinyl
The main reason bricks are more soundproof than drywall walls is the added weight. Therefore it makes sense to add weight to your drywall to improve the soundproofing. You can purchase mass-loaded vinyl that’s excellent for preventing noise from passing through the drywall underneath.
Install Acoustic or Soundproof Paneling
If you want to keep the sound out of a room, you should consider investing in acoustic or soundproof paneling. Soundproof paneling prevents any noise from entering from outside, preventing noise from escaping.
The precise shape of soundproof paneling bounces sounds around inside the panel until they can no longer be heard.
Add Extra Layers of Drywall
Drywall is affordable, lightweight, and easy to install. As a result, you can easily double up on layers of drywall. This will cover over gaps while also doubling the weight of the wall. On top of this, the additional layer of drywall is thicker, preventing sound from escaping.
You can also plaster over your new layer of drywall, which would provide the wall with even further soundproofing.
This may take much time and effort. However, it works better than tearing down the drywall and replacing it with bricks, concrete, or other heavy materials. In addition, you may customize the design of the added layers to your liking.
Brick walls and drywall walls are found in buildings of all shapes and sizes. However, the materials differ significantly, with benefits to using each material. Here are the essential points of interest to remember when considering which material is best for soundproofing:
- Bricks offer better soundproofing.
- Bricks are also heavy and expensive.
- Drywall is cheaper and lightweight so that you can add more layers.
- Insulation can also be added to both materials for added soundproofing quality.
Regardless of which material your house has been built with, there are various ways to remedy the situation if you need more soundproofing.