Having a comfortable home free from traffic noise, noise from your neighbors or internal noise transmission is always appreciated. Mass loaded vinyl is a common and effective soundproofing material that is used to keep the noise out, but what materials can you use to substitute it? What material is more effective and cheaper? Let’s get this party started and find out what are the best Mass Loaded Vinyl alternatives in 2021.
In a hurry? Mass loaded vinyl is one of the most effective sound-deadening materials out there, but what are some equally effective MLV alternatives? The best substitutes for MLV in 2021 are the highly rated Acoustic Foam Panels and Green Glue. Use Floor Underlaymentfor for soundproofing floors and Acoustic Ceiling Tiles for ceilings instead of MLV.
MLV Alternative: Quick Comparison
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Best Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternatives 2021
1. Acoustic Foam Panels
Best Substitute to MLV
They work by converting the incident sound energy into heat energy so that the intensity of sound that goes through is reduced.
Unlike MLV, acoustic foam panels are softer, and they also come in different colors and designs.
This means you have different choices to make for your home based on your preference.
Note however that these foam panels even though very effective do not completely stop noise transmission.
They however reduce it markedly. We recommend the highly rated Foamily 12 Pack Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges and JBER.
For a maximum soundproofing effect, use them with some other methods listed below like Green Glue, Acoustic Ceiling Tiles or Floor Underlayment. To reduce the noise coming in from the windows, use soundproof curtains. Keep reading to find out more information about them.
2. Green Glue
Green Glue is a great mass loaded vinyl alternative as it’s very effective and relatively cheap.
As an adhesive, it’s used during construction to hold panels together to reduce the sound that passes through.
Due to its fluid form, it can even reach places MLV wouldn’t such as cracks or holes.
If you have an open space through which noise can pass through, green glue is the best mass loaded vinyl substitute for the job.
Its working mechanism changes sound energy into heat energy, thereby reducing noise.
Green glue can be used in your home without causing so much change as it doesn’t stand out but blends in. it’s best for use on walls and ceilings as it reduces noise transfer through surfaces.
During installation, the Green Glue sealant is applied generously in between drywalls, or on acoustic foam panels that are meant for the wall or ceiling.
It isn’t restricted to walls and ceilings however as it can also dampen impact noise by applying on the floor as well.
3. Floor Underlayment
Best MLV Alternative for Floors
Its function is to reduce impact noise, thereby dampening noise transmission from one part of the house to another.
It is usually installed beneath the floor just above the subfloor to absorb every vibration above due to impact.
Floor underlayments are very important for floors with the most noise such as hardwood floors.
When installed, it cushions the surface beneath the floor to reduce whatever noise may be produced due to impact.
We recommend the highly rated Roberts 70-193A Flooring Underlayment and Roberts Cushion Roll for Engineered Wood and Laminate Flooring Underlayment.
4. Acoustic Ceiling Tiles
Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternative for Ceilings
Our top suggestion of this mass loaded vinyl substitute is the Armstrong Acoustic Ceiling Tiles.
Every box comes with 16 2’ x 2’ pieces of tiles, so it’s cheap and affordable to use. each box gives you 64 sq ft of tiles, so you can do more even though you spend less.
For your office ceilings, house ceilings, basement ceilings, corridors, and others, acoustic ceiling tiles are a great way to keep the noise down. Armstrong Acoustic Ceiling Tiles are made using closely compressed mineral fibers.
They function by reducing noise transfer between different rooms. They are also fire resistant just like MLV and have mold and mildew resistance.
5. Fstop Grey Acoustic Soundproofing Tiles
The Fstop Grey Acoustic Soundproofing Tiles are an easy and cheap alternative to MLV.
They allow you adequately soundproof your interior wall so that the noise transmission through the walls are reduced.
Being easy to cut as well, installation is an easy and less time-consuming process.
Made with 10% eco-friendly polyester fiber, they are light which also helps with installation ease. Thanks to their design, you won’t have to worry about the aesthetics of your room after installation.
It works by eliminating both reverberations and sound reflections, so whatever noise that’s made inside stays inside.
6. Soundproof Curtains
Easy to Install Alternative to Mass Loaded Vinyl
Unlike regular curtains, soundproof curtains are made of denser material that can absorb and dampen sound waves from getting through.
This way they reduce the transmission of noise in the home and also prevent the entry of outside noise.
In a room with so much noise, acoustic curtains absorb the sound waves and also reduce reverberations in the room. This is achieved by the thickness of the material used thanks to the multiple layered designs.
In visible parts of the house where mass loaded vinyl can’t be used due to its lack of aesthetics, acoustic curtains would serve as wonderful mass loaded vinyl alternatives. You can choose any color and design based on your home.
Using soundproof curtains doesn’t completely cancel the noise, but reduces it drastically. So what passes through is more like a whisper.
Factors such as the size, type of material, weight, and curtain rods that are used all play a role in how much noise your curtain can absorb. We recommend the highly rated NICETOWN Bedroom Blackout Curtains Panel.
7. Sound Clips
They work by reducing noise transfer between rooms when installed as they reduce the vibration between wall, ceiling, and floor surfaces.
And so the noise that gets to your ears is very minimal.
Since sound clips are very cheap and easy to install, they are great options for you if you have a tight budget and need an easy-to-install alternative to MLV.
A great choice under this category is Trademark’s RSIC-1 Resilient Sound Clip.
Drywall is another product that serves as an MLV alternative. It dampens the noise coming into a room making it quieter.
Different types of drywall have varying effects on noise reduction. The more traditional drywall of gypsum and paper reduces noise considerably, but improved drywalls are much more effective.
They contain ceramics, gypsum, and viscoelastic materials which improves their sound deadening properties.
When you use drywall, your walls get thicker and so noise has to travel through more material before it gets to you.
Thanks to absorption, the energy of the sound wave get reduced before it reaches you. For the best effects, use drywall with Green Glue.
9. Carpets & Carpet Padding
It works similar to floor underlayment but is easier to install and cheaper to purchase.
Its use has no boundaries as you can benefit from their noise-reducing properties both in your home and office.
When using carpets for sound deadening, consider the density of the carpet you are purchasing.
Also, take a look at how tight the weaving is because a dense and tightly woven carpet better dampens sound. A good choice here is the ACTCUT Super Soft Indoor Carpet.
You can as well use carpet padding if you already have a carpet that doesn’t do much to dampen noise from impact.
Paddings are cushions made of foam, rubber, or fiber. Just as with the carpet, the thickness of the carpet padding is a factor to consider as thicker pads dampen noise better.
When used with padding, the lifespan of your carpets would be prolonged.
They are also even cheaper and easy to install, so there is no much stress involved.
Final Thoughts About Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternative
Mass loaded vinyl has made a name for itself thanks to its effectiveness in soundproofing. Its however not the easiest product to install neither is it the cheapest to purchase. Thanks to mass loaded vinyl alternatives, you can achieve sound deadening even when you can’t get to MLV.
Soundproof curtains like NICETOWN Bedroom Blackout Curtains are an easy to install substitute for mass loaded vinyl.