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Introduction to soundproofing materials

An introduction to the materials commonly used in soundproofing.

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Effective soundproofing can only be provided by materials which reflect sound energy.

Such materials would be massive and non-porous, such as concrete, or a well-made brick or blockwork wall.

Here is a list of suitable materials:

  • Concrete
  • Bricks or non-porous blocks
  • Plasterboard (also known as drywall, sheetrock, wallboard, & gypsum board)
  • Plywood and dense particle board
  • Glass
  • Metal
  • Proprietary flexible soundproofing materials

The two characteristics that all of these have in common is mass and non-porosity.

The last item, 'proprietary flexible soundproofing materials' covers an immense range of potential solutions, some of which - when you look at their advertising material - seem to work by magic rather than physics.

They will only work if they are massive and non-porous - simple as that.

By David Mellor Tuesday February 1, 2000
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