I find both Green Glue and resilient channels useful in their own ways for soundproofing projects.
In this article, I’ll go over the uses and advantages of both Green Glue and resilient channels. Hopefully, by the end, you’ll have a better idea of which would work best in your soundproofing project.
Also read: Green Glue vs. MLV
Green Glue vs. Resilient Channel – Which is Better?
There are four main elements of soundproofing which are essential for a successful soundproofing project. They are mass, absorption, decoupling, and damping. Out of the four elements, decoupling and adding of mass have the greatest effect on soundproofing.
So, which is better?
Resilient channel provides decoupling whereas Green Glue is a damping compound. As decoupling is more effective than damping for soundproofing, resilient channel would be the better choice as compared to Green Glue. However, both materials when used together would provide the best results.
Uses of Green Glue and Resilient Channels
In order to understand which product will be more useful, it’s first worth understanding what they are and how they work.
Green Glue (Amazon link) is a brand of acoustic caulk. It dampens sound waves by preventing them from vibrating through a structure.
But how does it do this?
Green Glue is what’s known as a viscoelastic material. This means that, even after it cures, it remains slightly elastic.
As you probably already know, sound waves are simply vibrations. Whether they’re passing through the air or a solid structure, they’re still vibrations.
A material with viscoelastic properties will dampen vibrations because it stops them in their tracks. Rather than passing vibrations through the structure, Green Glue essentially forces them to expend their energy.
In the process, the sound waves are converted into heat energy.
Green Glue is a fairly effective sound dampening product that basically isolates one side of a structure from another. In short, it acts as a miniature decoupling process.
The resilient channels are metal bars that you screw to the wall’s studs. You then attach the isolation clips to the channels and hang the drywall from these clips.
Therefore, on their own resilient channels aren’t much. But when combined with isolation clips, they do a great job of preventing sound waves from passing through a structure.
The process of decoupling is one of the most effective soundproofing methods.
You basically isolate each side of a wall from the other so that sound waves can’t pass through. While they might enter the structure through one side, they can’t pass into the other because it’s entirely disconnected.
Consider checking out this video on decoupling for more specific information.
So when it comes to the question of Green Glue vs. resilient channels, there isn’t a clear-cut answer.
Both offer different ways of soundproofing and definitely work best when combined with other methods. I’d suggest using both if you can.
Pros of Green Glue
Easy to apply
One of the main advantages of Green Glue is that it’s really easy to apply. It comes in the same packaging as all caulk, so you just need to squeeze the trigger and apply it to a wall.
Of course, you have to be fairly liberal with it for best results. I recommend using 2 tubes per 16 square feet of drywall.
Can be used for blocking gaps
Along with isolating a sheet of drywall, you can also use Green Glue to plug up small gaps in an existing structure.
Sound acts much like heat in the sense that it can escape through even small gaps. Therefore, it’s worth doing everything you can to block these up.
Luckily, Green Glue is a liquid that can be crammed into small gaps.
It works against low frequencies
Soundproofing products such as mass loaded vinyl (Amazon link) are great for dealing with mid-range and high frequencies but don’t work too well against low frequencies.
These are often much harder to block because they travel further through a structure.
Luckily, Green Glue is ideal for combatting low frequencies because it’s very effective at isolating parts of a structure.
Cons of Green Glue
It can be expensive in large quantities
Compared to other soundproofing products, Green Glue isn’t the most expensive thing out there. That is, of course, until you need it in large quantities.
Once you start looking to buy in bulk the price can really go up.
It takes a while to cure
This isn’t really a disadvantage, but it’s worth noting because it might affect your project.
Green Glue takes around 30 days to fully cure. It’ll never set completely, but you won’t see the best results until after the 30-day mark.
This might not be a big issue, but factor it into your timeline when planning the project.
Pros of Resilient Channels
Decoupling is incredibly effective
The process of decoupling a wall is probably the most effective soundproofing strategy.
It’s what’s used in recording studios to create a room within a room.
When done properly, it cuts of all noise between rooms without fail. You can’t get these kinds of results from any other method.
Of course, resilient channels are integral to this approach.
They’re easy to set up
Although decoupling is a fairly big project, putting up the resilient channels is pretty easy.
You literally just need to screw them to the wall studs. Even someone with minimal DIY experience can do this.
Cons of Resilient Channels
They do nothing on their own
On their own, resilient channels offer nothing for soundproofing. This means you have to buy other products to make them effective.
This is perhaps their biggest con because you can’t really consider them on their own merit.
Decoupling is expensive
Getting all of the materials together for decoupling a wall is expensive. You need resilient channels, isolation clips, and drywall, at a minimum.
So while it’s the most effective way to soundproof a room, it’s also the most expensive.
Decoupling is invasive
Similarly, to decouple a wall you need to completely tear it down and start again. Not many people are able to do something so invasive in their homes.
Which is Better, Green Glue or Resilient Channels?
In short, the Green Glue vs. resilient channels question largely boils down to budget.
Green Glue can be used alone, while resilient channels require other materials. If you’re on a tight budget, I recommend going with Green Glue.
However, if you want the best results possible, go with resilient channels.
Some Final Thoughts
Hopefully, this article has given you some more information on the Green Glue vs. resilient channels debate.
I recommend using Green Glue where possible because it’s cheaper and pretty effective. But if your budget and skills allow it, definitely try resilient channels.