Mass Loaded Vinyl On Ceiling: Does MLV Work? How to Install?

Mass Loaded Vinyl Ceiling

If you have noisy neighbors upstairs, you’ll want to soundproof the ceiling to absorb the noise from disturbing your peace. You may also want to soundproof your ceiling if you want to isolate your room noise from the rest of the building. Installing mass loaded vinyl on the ceiling is also very important if you want to have better internal acoustics for say, your studio. How then do you go about the installation when gravity isn’t even on your side? Does MLV work? How to even install it? Read on to find out.

In a hurry? The best mass loaded vinyl brand you can use in dampening structure-borne noise from traveling across the ceiling is the highly rated Trademark Soundproofing Mass Loaded Vinyl. It comes in large sizes so you can do more, and its effectiveness is perfect for the job. The Noise Grabber MLV also works well. It dampens both the noise traveling through the air and the vibrations through the ceiling thanks to its high STC.

Mass Loaded Vinyl Ceiling Installation

Unlike with floor and walls mass loaded vinyl installation, it’s not as easy to install mass loaded vinyl on the ceiling.

For one, mass loaded vinyl isn’t exactly a lightweight material, so keeping it up can be difficult. Another reason is gravity. You would need a lot of modifications to get the job done properly.

1. Measure, Mark, And Cut

Measure the entire ceiling with a measuring tape so you can know the size of MLV you would need. Allow for a perimeter gab by subtracting about 0.5” from the measured dimensions.

This perimeter gap allows you to properly seal the ceiling when you are done as the perimeter is the most difficult to completely seal off. 

Estimate the size and be generous enough as it’s better to have more than less. Roll out the MLV and with a marker, mark out the dimensions so you would be guided as you cut.

Unlike with other installations, you would cut the MLV sheet into smaller squares or rectangles so you can attach it to the ceiling.

Bigger pieces would fall and be very difficult to install. Cut with a utility knife or heavy-duty scissors.

2. Prepare Ceiling for Installation

Clean your ceiling properly to ensure a perfect seal during installation. Dirt or other forms of unwanted particles if left could hold air and resonate with the vibrating noise, reducing the performance of your MLV installation.

3. Hanging MLV On Ceiling

You would need someone to assist you if you want to succeed with this installation.

If the ceiling is high up, you would need to stand on a ladder comfortably, ready to collect and mount the MLV.

Your partner applies green glue sealant, or any other form of sealant to the cut MLV piece and hands it over to you. As you place it on the ceiling, be sure to reinforce with a staple gun as the glue won’t hold just yet and the MLV would fall if you let go.

An alternative to a staple gun is the use of a nail gun or screws to hold the MLV fast. Use as much as is necessary to hold the MLV in place.

Continue installing this way until your entire ceiling is covered with the pieces of cut mass loaded vinyl.

Place the sheets close together to avoid any space through which noise could escape. Don’t stretch the material when installing as it reduces the integrity and performance.

Also, avoid the temptation to overlap them as there would be a potential space left which would be the weak point of the installation. If there is a space left between the pieces, use a seal tape to seal it up and ensure no part is left uncovered.

Final Adjustments

While installing, you may have covered some ceiling lamps. In such a case, cut them open after you are done with the installation.

If you would forget their location, do well to mark out their spots before you cover up with MLV. Use the acoustic sealant here too to caulk the perimeter of the cut part as your result would depend on the quality of seal you achieve.

To further ensure proper sealing, caulk the ceiling perimeter using an acoustic sealant. This way, any tiny gaps that exist would be covered properly, giving room for even better performance once you are done.

Once you are done with the installation, apply your desired finish to the ceiling and personalize according to your preference.

Additional Tips

When you purchase your mass loaded vinyl material, you shouldn’t immediately go ahead with the installation.

Instead, allow the material to sit in the environment for at least 24 hours. Don’t leave it in the sun for long hours or else it will affect the integrity of the MLV negatively.

If your ceiling has been recently made and is the type that needs to dry, make sure its properly dried before you install the MLV.

ceiling mlv install


Complete sound insulation is especially important when you need to keep the noise in or keep it out.

So if your neighbors upstairs make a lot of noise, or you are noisy yourself, you might want to consider this to maintain peace and quiet.

It’s also important when you need the best performance from your speakers such as in a music recording studio.

MLV ceiling installation is particularly difficult because gravity isn’t in your favor, and mass loaded vinyl is a bit heavy (which is one of the reasons for its effectiveness).

But with these mentioned steps, you would find it easy to install. We recommend the highly rated  Trademark Soundproofing MLV or Noise Grabber Mass Loaded Vinyl.

It also lies in complete insulation, so cover up every space and leave no room for airborne or structure-borne noise.