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Best Insulation For Soundproofing Ceilings & Walls

In recent years, soundproofing has become increasingly important in our homes. Your aim could be to mitigate against noise from neighbors above, below, or to your side. You might want to prevent outdoor noise such as traffic or street noise. Perhaps you want your bedroom to be a peaceful space, free of the noise from children in adjoining rooms. Thankfully, insulation can help. 

Fiberglass insulation is arguably the best for soundproofing ceilings and walls. Fiberglass insulation can reduce noise transmission drastically. It is also an extremely versatile material, and it is somewhat easy to work with. Various types of insulation are made using fiberglass.

The range of insulation types currently on the market is substantial. There are, however, several types of insulation that are less suited to the purposes of soundproofing. Due to this, it is important to conduct proper research into the strengths and weaknesses of various soundproofing types before making your decision.

Best Insulation For Soundproofing Ceilings & Walls

Whatever your reasons for wanting to soundproof your ceilings and walls, it is important to find the best insulation. While there are countless ways to soundproof your ceilings and walls other than insulation, insulation might be the best starting point to achieve the soundproofing results you are aiming for.

Fiberglass insulation is excellent for creating a significant reduction in noise transmission. At the same time, it remains versatile and easy to work with. This adds to the material’s positioning as a great soundproofing choice for any home.

There are differences in the soundproofing requirements between the two elements regarding soundproofing ceilings and walls. With walls, for example, the R-value required for insulation is significantly less than for ceilings. An ideal R-value for internal walls is R13. 

This value will ensure sufficient soundproofing between rooms on the same floor. However, it will ensure that there is still some degree of airflow through the walls and a tiny amount of sound that can be heard. 

This is advisable, as completely soundproofing a room may result in you not being able to hear anything outside the room, creating a potentially dangerous situation for the occupants of the building.

When it comes to the ceiling, it is advisable to eliminate as much noise as possible. The sounds emanating from the floors above you can be extremely disruptive, whether in your home or an apartment above.

As a result of all the above, ceiling insulation should have an R-value of R19.

Installing Soundproofing Insulation In Ceilings & Walls

Installing your own fiberglass insulation is somewhat simple. While the job is always best left to a professional, you can achieve a good result independently, provided you are careful and consistent. 

You can use either faced batts of insulation or faced rolls of insulation for soundproofing your ceilings and walls.

When installing fiberglass insulation in your walls, begin by cutting the insulation to size to ensure a perfect fit. This cutting can be done using a utility knife. When trimming the insulation to size, ensure an extra inch for its width to sit tightly between the wall joists.

To ensure effective installation, ensure the insulation is placed with its vapor barrier facing onto the plywood.

When installing insulation on your ceilings, ensure the vapor barrier faces outward. You will notice that the insulation has mounting tabs on the outside edges. These tabs can be used with staples to effectively mount the insulation onto the inside edges of the timber joists.

Insulation Products For Soundproofing

Various brands produce high-quality insulation for soundproofing. Each of these insulation types varies in its ability to provide sufficient soundproofing. Some of the best products to look into include:

  • Auralex mineral fiber insulation panels
  • Owens Corning 703 with ASJ facing
  • Acoustimac eco cellulose insulation
  • Acoustisorb
  • Aerolite – Aerolite is a brand of insulation made using recycled glass and sand. 

Additional Soundproofing Measures

Some other measures that can be adopted to help soundproof your chosen room can be employed in addition to insulation.

For example, an extra layer of drywall can greatly reduce the vibrations from sound traveling. To add to the effectivity of this soundproofing method, a layer of acoustical caulk can be placed between the two layers of drywall. An alternative to acoustical caulk could be mass-loaded vinyl, which will help significantly to deaden sound.

Acoustical caulk can also be used around fixtures to prevent sound leaks. 

To help absorb sound within a room, acoustic panels can be used. Rugs, carpets, and thick curtains can also help to reduce sound to a large extent. If there are noisy ducts near your space, there are duct wrapping materials available to deaden the sound. If the doors in your home are of the hollow-core variety, replacing them with solid doors will significantly impact a room’s soundproofing.

Insulation Explained

The heat flow through conventional insulation, mostly fiberglass, can be reduced by about 35%.

Spray foam insulation, known as “closed cell insulation,” is incredibly dense and forms a great barrier against sound, water vapor, and air, with a 98% reduction in heat movement.

While less dense than closed cell insulation, open cell insulation is similar to closed cell insulation. Additionally, over time, its insulating qualities tend to degrade.

The structural stability of the building must always be taken into account because of possible severe weather. Due to its density and rigidity, closed cell insulation can strengthen the structure of your home by basically “tying” the roof and walls together. This increases the overall strength of the building.

Another argument favoring closed cell insulation over fiberglass insulation is that it is more environmentally friendly. Its advantages as an option for insulation are thus strengthened by this environmental benefit.

Thermal resistance values of R-13 are required by energy regulations for walls. Closed cell insulation has a thermal resistance value of R-16 when installed at least two inches thick.

It is advisable to cover the entire home’s envelope in closed-cell foam insulation to produce the ideal atmosphere. This will secure your home in the best way possible while cutting your energy expenditures by up to 40 percent.

Closed cell insulation is used in the attic, floor, and house walls to produce a completely insulated envelope. This will considerably minimize the flow of heat and sound while avoiding needless harm to your home.

Different Types of Insulation

Understanding the various types of insulation and how they work in a building project will help you make an informed decision about your insulation options.

Understanding where insulation is used and how the heat flows in these various dwelling regions compares is also essential.

Insulating Attics

According to regulations, the house’s roof must have a thermal resistance value of R-30. The roof allows for significant heat input (and loss). Therefore, it is crucial to effectively insulate a building’s roof to reduce heat transfer.

A building’s roof has the potential to transfer a significant quantity of heat, regardless of how well-insulated the walls are.

In an attic, insulation materials like fiberglass, cellulose, or spray foam can be used.

One of the first types of insulation, cellulose, is manufactured from recycled newspaper or denim fabric. On the attic floor, it is set up as loose fill.

Although it is a cheap substance, it is movable and does not produce an airtight seal. As a result, there may be nothing to stop hot air from circulating around the attic.

The attic can also be lined with fiberglass. Despite being a widely used insulation product with a low cost, it is the least efficient for this particular function since it still permits airflow into the attic.

The best solution, it would appear, is spray foam insulation for attic air barriers. This is because it can enlarge up to 100 times its original size and completely fill the attic surface.

Spray foam is also fire-rated (class one), which means it won’t act as a spark for a fire. It won’t encourage the formation of mold or mildew because it doesn’t hold water.

Insulating Walls

Insulation is crucial in the walls, just as in the roof, to maintain a stable and comfortable climate in the house by forming an air barrier, limiting air leakage, and minimizing the transfer of sound between neighboring rooms.

The most popular wall solutions are wet-applied cellulose, fiberglass batts, and spray foam.

You can put fiberglass insulation in open wall cavities (in the shape of batts or rolls). A bonding agent is combined with wet-applied cellulose before spraying into the wall cavity. To allow for the formation of an air barrier, spray foam insulation is sprayed directly into the wall cavity.

Another choice combines fiberglass batt with spray foam insulation. This entails sealing the area with spray foam insulation, then covering it with fiberglass batt insulation.

However, this will only be effective if the spray foam insulation is installed at the minimum thickness of 2 inches needed for adequate insulation.

Traditionally used insulation materials like cellulose and fiberglass permit airflow into and out of the house. However, foam insulation is a suitable insulator and establishes an airtight seal. This denotes a full restriction of airflow.

What About Basement Insulation?

Ceiling insulation will have a significant positive impact on basement ceilings. Depending on how the basement is used, this might be very good.

First off, soundproofing provided by basement ceiling insulation will keep basement activities from disturbing the spaces above, even if the basement is used for noisy activities like band rehearsals or a huge entertainment system.

On the other side, soundproofing will stop the noise in the above spaces from disturbing those using the basement. Basement ceilings must be adequately insulated to comply with some building requirements. Complying with building codes is a key benefit of basement ceiling insulation.


Generally, fiberglass insulation is the best option for soundproofing ceilings and walls. Various manufacturers produce several types of insulation that are extremely effective in creating a soundproof environment. It’s important to remember. However, that sound travels through air gaps, so insulation alone is insufficient to soundproof a room.