Sheetrock is a brand of drywall. Drywall is a panel of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper. Sheetrock was invented in 1917 by a company that made drywall (which was invented in 1884).
There are specific types of sheetrock that have soundproof qualities. Sheetrock or drywall that is thicker than regular, has more soundproofing qualities to it.
There are certain brands of soundproof sheetrock in which you can explore here. You can pick what type of sheetrock to buy for your specific project.
How is it Soundproof?
To be soundproof, drywall or sheetrock must have a mass to it. Adding mass adds another layer that noise gets dampened by. This means that there are enough materials in between the two panels of thick pieces of paper that no sound can travel between.
The mass to drywall creates a “transmission loss” according to Soundproofing Company, INC. The transmission loss is when the reduction of sound does not travel between one wall to another. This allows for the room that has these panels to be “soundproof.”
The thicker the material, the better the chance of soundproofing your room. Regular drywall or sheetrock is about 1-2 lbs per sheet and ¼”-3/4″. Soundproof drywall or sheetrock is going to be heavier and thicker than that. Some brands have drywall or sheetrock panels that are a couple of inches thick (5-6 inches).
The inside makeup of the soundproof drywall or sheetrock is made up of materials that have dampening polymers such as gypsum, ceramic, and viscoelastic materials. All of these materials help eliminate the noise factor from the other side of the wall.
Sheetrock and Drywall
Sheetrock is a brand of drywall that was made in 1917. Drywall was invented and started to be produced back in 1884. For this article, we are going to be talking about drywall and sheetrock interchangeably.
Drywall is a panel of gypsum plaster pressed between two thick sheets of paper. Gypsum plaster is a type of building material that is made of gypsum (mineral) and is dehydrated to make a plaster-like base. Some call this process cementing. Sheetrock is no different, except that it is a brand of this drywall.
Sheetrock and drywall come in different types and brands. If you are looking for specific types of drywall or sheetrock, you should look at what it is all made of, where it was made, how thick it is, and what the materials are used for. There are sheetrock and drywall for every type of project like soundproofing, mold-resistant, fire-resistant, etc.
Where Could You Use Soundproofing Sheetrock?
It sounds nice to be able to soundproof every room in your house. It would be even more helpful to be able to soundproof your ceilings and floors as well, right? Well, you can. However, you will be looking at a costly project if you wanted to soundproof everything in your home.
The products that are in soundproof sheetrock or drywall are extra materials that normal drywall and sheetrock do not have. The sheetrock and drywall panels for soundproofing are thicker and weigh more. Due to all of those factors, soundproofing and drywall are more expensive than normal drywall.
This could be looked at from this perspective: soundproof sheetrock increases in price by twenty-five percent but increases the chances of soundproofing that room by fifty to seventy-five percent. So, while soundproof sheetrock is expensive, it could be an investment in your home or project.
Where Would You Use Soundproof Sheetrock?
That question is solely up to you and what project you want to complete. Soundproof sheetrock or drywall can be used in places that you feel are needed, such as bedrooms, bathrooms, and offices. You can use other places as well, but sometimes the panels can cost around forty dollars a panel so that that cost will add up.
Put the soundproof sheetrock or drywall in places where noise would be your biggest concern. Also, look at the project from the standpoint of everyday life. What happens in that room? What type of noise could you hear? Will it affect the rest of the household or daily life? Can you afford to soundproof the whole room or just in certain areas?
Where we usually see soundproof sheetrock or drywall in construction is in single homes, apartments, multifamily homes, condos, offices, hotels, and schools. Ultimately, this is your decision on what you think is best for your home and/or project.
Are There Other Ways to Soundproof?
There are other ways you can soundproof a room without buying soundproof sheetrock or drywall. These ways were used before soundproof sheetrock and drywall were invented. However, word to the wise, these are also why the soundproof sheetrock and drywall were invented.
Soundproof drywall or sheetrock was invented in 2003. This means that before 2003, we only had the below methods. We will be exploring different methods and discussing the good and bad for each method.
Adding Another Layer
When putting up drywall in your room, you could add another layer of drywall on top of the first layer. This would mean that you had two layers of drywall back to back to dampen the sound. This can be effective as a dampening to noise in the other rooms.
The downsides are the following:
- You will still be spending more money to buy another layer for the entire project.
- You will have to install twice as much, which is time and money.
- You are not guaranteed as much soundproofing from this method.
Install Installation in Between Two Panels
Installing installation in between two drywall panels will ensure that you are drowning out the noises in the other room. This can be very beneficial with soundproofing a room. The installation makes sure that noise gets stopped before entering the other room.
There are several downsides to this as well:
- You are spending even more money on materials: twice as much drywall and installation.
- You are spending more time putting in the installation and materials.
- You are going to be leaving areas in the drywall that could see a deterioration of materials (installation) and need to be fixed in the future.
Allow Space Between Two Panels
This is the last method that you could look into besides using soundproof sheetrock. This is putting up two drywall or sheetrock panels, but allowing space in between them. The space is dependent on how much room you can use and how much soundproofing you want.
This allows for noise to get “trapped” before entering the other room. While this is a good idea, it has more downsides than the rest:
- You are spending more money on materials again: two sets of panels per space.
- You are spending more time putting in the two panels per space.
- You are going to be leaving areas of extra space in your home unaccounted for.
- You are going to be wasting space in your room (2-3 inches per side). This adds up.
Overall, you want to do what is best for your project. You want to pick out whatever type of soundproofing that would fit your needs and budget. The soundproof sheetrock or drywall was invented to simplify the soundproofing project when doing construction projects. Soundproof sheetrock or drywall has the dampening polymers inside, so you don’t have to worry. The material is there for your project and is proven to be effective.
- Diffen (n.d.). Drywall Vs. Sheetrock. Retrieved from: https://www.diffen.com/difference/Drywall_vs_Sheetrock
- Gibson, S. (2010). How to Keep the Noise Down. Q&A Spotlight: Green Building Advisor. Retrieved from: https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/how-to-keep-the-noise-down
- Modernize Home Empowerment (n.d.). Soundproof Drywall: Creating a Sound Barrier. Retrieved from: https://modernize.com/home-ideas/17760/soundproof-drywall-creating-a-sound-barrier
- Soundproofing Company, INC (n.d.). Should I Use Soundproof Drywall or Build My Own? Retrieved from: https://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing_101/building-soundproof-drywall
- Soundproofing Tips (n.d.). 15 Best Soundproofing Materials and Products. Retrieved from: https://www.soundproofingtips.com/soundproofing-materials/