Soundproof acoustic plasterboard goes through a different manufacturing process to standard plasterboard, resulting in a much higher density core. It is this core which lends itself to the reduction of noise pollution; as sound energy struggles to travel through it, allowing for a noise reduction of between 30-50 decibels.
Acoustic plasterboard manufacturers tend to use layers of dense soundproof foam, fibreglass, or mass-loaded vinyl. You can add mass-loaded vinyl between two layers of plasterboard for a soundproofing project as it's simple to do, however, it is a touch costly. The more mass, the more effective the sound blocking.
Acoustic plasterboard comes in exactly the same thicknesses as normal plasterboard so can be used alongside it without a problem. The core is denser, rather than thicker, thus preventing sound from travelling through it to the same extent as normal gypsum plasterboard.
Soundproof acoustic plasterboard comes in thicknesses of 12.5mm and 15mm, with a consistent size of 2400mm x 1200mm across all thicknesses. Depending on the brand and thickness, the boards also exhibit some thermal conductivity and thermal resistance.
Sound block plasterboard can markedly reduce the noise levels that penetrate the walls of a room, in either direction. It can make a real difference to the quality of life in houses, student accommodation, hostels and hotels where there is likely to be a lot of sound transfer, such as snoring or noisy neighbours.
Soundproofing plasterboard is one of the most cost-effective ways you can enhance the sound insulation in your home. It won't completely sound proof your home but the noise permeation will be drastically reduced, by up to 50 decibels, in fact.
For example, a 100-decibel noise like a lawnmower, leaf blower or jackhammer would reduce to around the same volume as a quiet conversation, office background noise or refrigerator. That is a significant reduction and it, therefore, says a lot for the acoustic properties of plasterboard that it can be reduced to such an extent.
Acoustic plasterboard is not fire-rated which means a fire could spread through the building far more easily than if its progress had been impeded by fire-rated plasterboard. It is often the case that junction boxes and rooms with electrical equipment are constructed using fire-resistant plasterboard with a class 0 fire rating, as this allows the spread of the fire to be contained for a period of time to allow safe evacuation or action to extinguish the fire.
Yes, paint can either be applied directly to the acoustic plasterboard or it can be plastered and then painted. Intumescent fire-rated paint can also be applied as this will add a measure of fire resistance that would otherwise not be there.
There are several places where using soundproofing solutions can make a big difference to your quality of living:
Acoustic plasterboard is denser than regular plasterboard. It is also blue in colour. This is because of the properties infused into the gypsum during the manufacturing process, and the colour of the paper strip used to differentiate it from other types of plasterboard which have different properties. Moisture resistant plasterboard for example has a green colour and fire rated plasterboard has a pink tinge.
Soundproof plasterboard is exactly the same tapered edge and thickness as normal plasterboard, despite the extra density, so the plasterboards can be mixed and matched interchangeably, depending on what your requirements are for the area that you are working on.
Acoustic plasterboard can be installed in exactly the same way as normal plasterboard, by using adhesives or screws. Hammering will likely damage the structural integrity of the boards, so that is not an option. Remember to always hang plasterboard with the grain running horizontally in order to maintain its strength and durability.
It’s very important to measure and mark the wall lining where the stud wall is behind the panels so that it is easier to affix the boards both flush and securely to the structure of the building. From there it is simply a case of positioning the boards as required and driving in the screws needed to keep the boards in place.
Soundboard plasterboard ranges in price depending on the dimensions and the manufacturer. It is generally marginally cheaper than fire-rated plasterboard but this does depend on the size.
Here at Materials Market, we offer competitive prices on big-name brands such as Knauf Tapered Edge Gypsum Plasterboard, and Gyproc Tapered Edge Gypsum Plasterboard. Even though acoustic plasterboard costs more than normal plasterboard, it is worth buying if you are concerned about noise levels from neighbours or would just like the peace of mind that comes from knowing you will be able to sleep quietly.