Acoustic Plasterboard Vs Normal Plasterboard For Noise Reduction
Over the past few years, more and more of us have been looking for ways to soundproof our home. Throughout this time, there have been a variety of ways that have proven to be quite effective, such as acoustic foam products, and much more.
Recently, however, acoustic plasterboard has become quite popular for a variety of reasons. Many of us might think that this may not play as much of a role in our acoustics as it could. Much of this is driven by the fact that more traditional drywall may not be too effective at sound absorption.
However, there have been various different types of plasterboard released over the past few years. Each of these, known collectively as acoustic plasterboard/drywall, has shown results in several ways. Alongside this, acoustic drywall offers a few additional benefits, such as being easy to install and much more.
Despite this, many of us might be hesitant to choose acoustic drywall over its traditional counterpart. While the price difference could drive much of this, some of us might not think that it’ll actually be effective.
If you’re deciding between acoustic and regular plasterboard, there are a few things that you might want to know.
What You’ll Need To Put Up Plasterboard
Regardless of whether you decide to use acoustic or regular plasterboard, you’re going to need a few things to install it. While the majority should be obvious, such as the plasterboard itself, there are a few things that are quite easy to overlook.
As such, you should make sure that you have everything you need before you start putting it up. Typically, you’ll need:
- Green Glue; In many cases, you may need to use an adhesive to put up your plasterboard. While there’s a variety of options to choose from, Green Glue can often be the better-recommended option for several reasons. Not only does it offer quite a strong hold, out it also has a certain amount of sound absorption. While this is quite small, every extra bit of sound resistance can be beneficial.
- Drywall Screws; Alternatively, you could consider using screws to put your drywall up, which could offer a variety of its own benefits. While you’ll have to put slightly more effort into screwing your plasterboard into place, it should offer much more of a hold than you might find with any other adhesives. It’s also worth noting that you’ll need specific screws for this, as the more typical products might not be appropriate for drywall.
- Screwdriver; Naturally, if you’re going to be using screws for your drywall, you’re going to need to use a screwdriver. While there’s a large range of high-quality options available, it’s recommended that you pick one of the slightly more expensive options. These should last much longer than their cheaper counterparts while being more versatile in which screws they can work with.
- A Stanley Knife; In many cases, you may need to customize the size of your plasterboard to fit your wall. Typically, this will mean cutting off some parts. While there’s quite a large number of options for this, a Stanley knife is recommended. This is mainly because it’s quite affordable while still being effective.
In most cases, you’ll have to choose between either the screws or the Green Glue, as these are two different approaches to putting up the plasterboard. Much of this can depend on the drywall that you’re putting up, with some working better with screws rather than an adhesive.
As such, you should know the various benefits of using either with your particular plasterboard. If you’re new to putting it up, then this may take more time to consider than if you were more experienced.
Either of the approaches should be effective, however, as we explain below. Regardless of which one you pick, you could find each of the above products in a typical home improvement store. However, it’s often recommended that you buy them online instead.
Doing so should mean that you’ll save some money when you buy them. While this might not be a large amount per item, it can quickly add up. This is especially true when you consider how many screws or adhesive you’ll need when putting up the plasterboard.
While this means waiting a few days before you get the materials, it should be worth the wait.
Different Types Of Plasterboard & Their Uses
There is quite a broad range of plasterboard types on the market, with each of these having specific uses. Typically, the product will be made from gypsum that has been sandwiched between layers of paper. However, what kind of gypsum the plasterboard has been made from can have quite a significant impact on its use.
Naturally, you’ll be aware of what traditional drywall is and that it’s mainly used in increasing a room’s fire resistance and adding a certain amount of sound absorption. However, there are a few other types that you may want to be aware of.
Naturally, acoustic plasterboard will be one of the more significant of these. This is typically much thicker than its traditional counterpart. Alongside this, its core is of a much higher density, which helps to increase the soundproof aspect further.
Acoustic drywall is also created using an additional layer of sound-absorbing material, although this can vary drastically from one product to another. This increased mass should mean that it’s much better at soundproofing a room than regular plasterboard.
Moisture resistant plasterboard is another option that you could take advantage of. As the name would suggest, this is made using waterproof materials such as silicone or something similar. Foam-backed plasterboard is quite similar to this, although it’s more focused on preventing condensation inside the walls.
Alongside this is foil-backed plasterboard, which offers many of the same benefits as both of these. However, it has the added advantage of sound absorption, which could help make it a more recommended option if you’re worried about any kind of water damage. This is also known as vapor barrier and vapor check plasterboard.
Each of the different types of plasterboard should offer a significant amount of fire resistance. This is primarily because they contain water crystalline molecules as one of their main ingredients. As a result, you should expect a significant amount of fire protection once it’s installed.
However, this can vary drastically from one product to another. While each should include water crystalline molecules, many will also feature other materials that could offer fire resistance. This should mean that you might want to pay a certain amount of attention to these materials.
There’s also impact plasterboard, although this isn’t well-used outside of commercial and public buildings. As a result, you might not have heard about it if you’re renovating your house. This is a much more durable product than many of the others, as it’s designed to withstand a certain amount of damage.
Over the past few years, some manufacturers have started creating 4-in-1 plasterboard. As you might guess from the name, this is a multi-purpose solution that offers water, fire, impact, and sound resistance. However, this is typically much more expensive than many of the other options, although it could be worth the investment.
More On Acoustic Plasterboard
While the color of the plasterboard may differ from one product to the next, you can typically expect one side to be brown while the other is ivory. This is especially true with an acoustic plasterboard. In many cases, you might wonder which side you should plaster over and which one you should paint.
The majority of homeowners tend to plaster over the brown side of the drywall while they paint over the ivory side. This is usually because the ivory part of the plasterboard is much easier to apply the paint to. However, you should also be able to do this the opposite way around without much of a difference in results.
You might wonder how much your acoustic plasterboard should weigh, as this could have an effect on various things. This is especially true when you’re installing it. However, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to this, as there are a variety of factors that can influence how much it weighs.
Most of this will focus on the materials that are used and how thick the plasterboard is. You should expect that the drywall will weigh anywhere between 18kg and 40kg, although it’s not uncommon to see products that fall outside of this range.
In terms of thickness, you should expect the plasterboard to be either 9.5 or 12.5 mm. If you’re looking for acoustic drywall, then it’s recommended that you choose the thicker alternative, as this should offer more sound absorption.
Alongside this, the majority of drywalls typically come in roughly the same lengths and widths. These are generally between 0.9 and 1.2 meters wide and 1.8 and 3.6 m thick, although you might find some that are slightly outside this.
A Brief Instruction On Acoustic Plasterboard Installation
While you might think that putting up acoustic plasterboard will be complicated, it’s much easier than you’d expect. This is because there are only two steps to this; cutting the plasterboard and putting it up. However, this might take up a little bit of time, as you’ll need to be careful when you’re cutting it.
Once you have the plasterboard cut to your desired length and width, it’s time to apply it. There are two options you can choose to do so, with the first being to dot and dab it. To take advantage of this, you’ll need a high-quality adhesive such as Green Glue.
This should be as simple as gluing various parts of the drywall and then attaching it to the wall. Alternatively, you could use screws to do so, although there are a few things that you’ll need to be aware of when doing so.
The most notable of these is that plasterboard can warp when put under a lot of pressure. This could occur when you’re using screws on them. As a result, it may not perform as effectively as you might want when it’s installed.
However, you should be able to avoid much of this by using special screws when you’re installing the plasterboard.
Despite how easy both of these methods are, you should still take a significant amount of care with them. Mistakes are easy to make, so you should make sure that you avoid them.
Is Acoustic Plasterboard Really Effective In Soundproofing?
Naturally, you’re going to wonder whether acoustic plasterboard can help with soundproofing a room. This is especially true given how much more it can cost compared to regular plasterboard. In short, it should have quite a significant impact on sound absorption when properly installed.
However, there will be a variety of things that will have an effect on how much sound absorption you see with it. Much of this will be focused on the room itself, as there’s quite a large number of things that can impact whether or not a room is soundproof.
For example, you’ll need to look at whether there are any holes or crevices around the room, as well as the floor and ceiling. As such, you shouldn’t just rely on acoustic plasterboard. Instead, you should use it with a variety of other things to make sure your room is soundproof.
Final Verdict: Acoustic Plasterboard Vs. Normal Plasterboard
If you want to reduce the amount of noise that gets in or out of a room, then acoustic plasterboard can be well-recommended. This is because it can drastically improve the acoustics of an entire room with only a minimum of effort.
While regular plasterboard offers a variety of benefits, each of these will also be seen with its acoustic counterpart. Though you’ll have to pay somewhat extra for it, the additional sound absorption should be more than worth it.
However, if you’re looking to make your house or room as soundproof as possible, you should use a variety of methods together. While each might not be as effective as you want by themselves, they should have quite a significant impact when used together.