How To Soundproof Walls And Ceilings Without Removing Drywalls

Beginner Info, Soundproofing

how to soundproof walls and ceilings without removing drywalls
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Well, in this post, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of soundproofing walls and ceilings without removing drywall.

Moreover, all the steps that we’re gonna discuss are budget-friendly as well as highly effective.

Do you want to soundproof your walls and ceilings without removing drywall?

Well, if that is the case, then you’ve landed on the correct post.

The good news is, that you don’t have to spend a fortune on these steps.

If that makes sense to you then keep reading:):):)

Though I’ve been working as a soundproof consultant for quite a few time now still I think I’ve lots and lots of things to learn.

A few years back, an interesting project fell into my kitty where I was asked by my client to soundproof the walls and ceilings of his room without removing drywall.

I was well aware of the fact that it could be done with ease but at the same time, I didn’t have any hands-on experience, so I was a bit skeptical about taking that project.

Nevertheless, I gathered all my courage and decided to move forward with the project, and you know what, the rest is history.

It was an amazing experience, indeed.

I learned a lot in that project and it is still one of the best projects that I’ve executed in my career.

Today I’ll be sharing my experience as well as learning from the project and how you can implement the same in your soundproofing wall and ceiling project.

Does it make sense?

The non-invasive soundproofing technique is the need of the hour, and there are enough reasons why you and I need it, right?

Let’s have a look at some of the reasons that we can’t ignore.

Points to be Noted
  • You are a tenant and NOT the owner of the space
  • Trying to save money
  • Not ready to carry out modification in the wall because of aesthetic reasons
  • Looking out for quick and easy soundproofing solutions

Fortunately, the internet has helped me to reach out to you and let you carry out your project in the best possible manner.

So, I’ll be walking you through all the methods that you can use to soundproof your walls and ceilings without removing drywall.

Needless to say, the methods are in the order of easiest to toughest.

A Step-by-Step Method to Soundproof Walls and Ceilings Without Removing the Drywall

If you’re an avid reader of this blog then you’ll be well aware of the fact that I always start with the soundproofing method in which you can capitalize on the things that you already have in your home.

In short, the cheapest soundproofing method because you don’t need to buy anything from the market.

So, without any further ado, let’s begin…

DECOR Can Be a Game-Changer

As a newbie or a soundproof enthusiast, I would suggest, that you should know a little bit about the soundproofing concepts because it will help you in making an informed decision.

It goes without saying that decor can be a game changer in case, you’re well aware of the innovative ways to use it to its full potential.

I can assure you that the decor can be very helpful when you’re planning to soundproof the ceiling or the walls of your room.

It is not only extremely effective but also, can blend in easily.

Do you know that there are some weird ways in which you can use the decor to your advantage?

Well, before I talk about it, allow me to throw some light on how you can capitalize on decor in soundproofing your wall.

Did you get a chance to go through the article on soundproofing walls?

I had an in-depth discussion on how furniture and decorations are great ways to soundproof walls.

  • Place wardrobes, bookshelves, and furniture as close as possible to the wall which is either a common wall or faces the outside environment. Always leave some gap between the wardrobes and the wall to prevent the furniture or wardrobe from vibrating against the wall and causing impact noise.
  • Don’t leave the room empty. In fact, fill it with soundproofing as well as sound-absorbing materials. You can hang moving blankets, carpets, curtains, quilts, etc on the wall. To add to it, you can also install paintings on the wall.
  • Even soundproof wallpapers can do the job. However, the selection of good wallpaper is the key to success. Without any doubt, the market is flooded with soundproof wallpapers, and getting the one that can cater to your needs could be a bit tricky at times.
  • Personally, I prefer self-adhesive foam wallpaper because it helps to soften the wall surface, and thus, reduces the bounce rate. It will sync easily with your decor because it has the look and feel of a brick wall. On the downside, you may need to have some glue on your wall to place the wallpaper intact.
  • Place the household appliances, TVs, speakers, and computers in a way that the noise doesn’t bounce much from the wall. In short, shuffle the noisemakers around.

The best thing about playing with furniture is that you can adjust it as per your requirements without spending a penny.

So, all you need is to move furniture and other home decor here and there to dampen the unwanted noise.

 You may be inquisitive about how can I use decor to my advantage when I’m soundproofing the ceiling, right? 

Hang Fabrics on the Ceiling

Do I need to convince you that ceilings are hard to soundproof?

Well, I don’t think so.

It becomes really irritating if the person staying upstairs isn’t ready to understand that the frequent noise created by him is going to affect you and your family.

If you’re facing the aforementioned issue then let me tell you, I’ve dealt with numerous clients with a similar problem.

So, what is the solution?

You can install fabric on the ceiling.

However, it wouldn’t be as easy as nailing or tracking it on a wall.

Pro Tip: The thicker the blanket the better it will combat noise.

You can also use light fabrics but you’ll have to multi-fold it or increase the layers to get an optimum result.

Installing fabrics such as soundproof curtains, moving blankets, and carpets on the ceiling can be achieved by nailing them on the ceiling or using double-sided fabrics.

Exploit the Soundproofing Materials to the Maximum

High-quality soundproof curtains or soundproof blankets can be of great help.

As discussed in my previous post, how you can use moving blankets to soundproof your room?

Again, if you’re very particular about the aesthetic appearance of your room then a soundproof curtain could be a better option as compared to soundproof blankets.

These noise-canceling curtains come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes.

Another good alternative could be acoustic foam panels. 

They will not only add to the decor of your room but will also absorb some noise.

Though they may not block all the external noise still they can enhance the quality of sound in your room.

They perform REALLY well when installed on the ceiling.

In case, you don’t have a budget constraint then I would recommend you use styrofoam ceiling tiles in place of foam panels.

Other than giving a similar effect as foam panels, it will keep your room visually appealing.

These tiles are known to preserve an open white ceiling.

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There are many similar ceiling tiles that will prevent sound waves from bouncing back and creating problems such as echoes, reverbs, and vibrations.

These tiles come in various designs and you can select the one that suits your room decor.

However, if you’re the one looking for acoustic foam panels then my preferred choice is none other than these amazing panels from ATS Acoustics. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)

The panels from ATS Acoustics can be easily installed on the ceiling as well as the floor.

The good news is that you can make an acoustic panel by yourself.

 All you would need is some wood for making a frame, some insulation to stuff it, and some fabric to wrap it. 

The panels could be easily hung from the ceiling with the help of string and screw hooks.

So, what are you waiting for?

Modification on the Top of the Drywall


I’m not saying to remove the drywall.

But, what about building on top of it?

Needless to say, building a wall on top of drywall isn’t as tough as it seems to be.

However, you’ll need some materials such as wood to make the stud frame on the top of the wall.

Moreover, you’ll need to nail the board on the ceiling as well as the floor.

Don’t forget to add some evenly-spaced vertical boards.

Once you have got the frame in place, I would recommend you go through the article on soundproofing walls.

The linked article has explained the step-by-step method.

In short, adding a layer of soundproof insulation should be effective.

Build a frame, add insulation, MLV, and another layer of drywall.

  • Stuff the studs with soundproof insulation
  • Then, cover it with mass-loaded vinyl
  • Furthermore, top it off with drywall
  • Finally, seal the remaining gaps, holes, and cracks if any, with an acoustic sealant
 Nonetheless, I would advise you to create a dropped ceiling as compared to soundproofing a ceiling. 

Drop the Ceiling

I’m sure that this is NOT the first time that I’m vouching for this step.

Still, I would’ve never explained how you would drop a ceiling in an in-depth way, right?

The USP of this technique is that you won’t have to touch or even come close to the ceiling itself.

To start with, you need to line the perimeter of all the walls, a few inches under the ceiling with L-channels.

If you’re NOT aware then let me tell you, these are L-shaped metal pieces that will hold your grid.

All you need to do is to screw them exactly where you want them.

It is advisable to not build a ceiling that’s less than 7.6 feet tall.

After performing these steps, the L channels will be in place.

The next thing, you need to do is to install the T-channels to complete the grid, using wire to hang the construction of the hook screws in the ceiling.

Once you’ve secured your grid, you’ll be able to easily put ceiling paneling onto it.

 For optimum results, you can install some foam panels, so that the air between your ceiling and the suspended ceiling will allow sounds to disperse. 

Soundproof the Floor

Time and again, I’ve conveyed to my readers that the room can’t be completely soundproofed without soundproofing the floor.

Soundproofing floor isn’t as difficult as you think.

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  • Install thick carpets, covering as much of the floor as possible
  • Place MLV and rubber underlay under the carpet
  • I would recommend you to try either of the two options; memory foam carpet underlay OR felt one with a rubberized bottom side.
  • For superlative results, I would recommend you lay down some soundproof underlayment.

Living in an apartment building has its own PROS and CONS.

At times, living in an apartment can be irritating as well as annoying if your neighbors’ are noisy and not friendly.

Especially, if the noisy neighbor stays upstairs then you may have to pay the price by compromising on your peace.

For example, your noisy neighbor may prefer to hear music at a loud pitch or their kids may create lots of nuisance.

Even the noise caused by the dog’s claws can distract you.

In the aforementioned cases, the best thing that you could do is to ask your neighbor to implement cheap floor soundproofing methods.

Lastly, if everything fails, simply go and talk to your landlord.

I had faced a similar case in the early days of my career, and you know what, the soundproofing floor helped me to get rid of the problem.

At the same time, convincing your neighbor couldn’t be as easy as you think.

All your convincing skills will be at stake.

It’s A Wrap

  • So, I hope you’re now well aware of the fact that there are numerous ways to soundproof ceilings and floors without removing drywall.
  • It is quite possible that some of the methods may leave adhesive residue or holes in your wall.
  • If you’re looking out for the superlative result, then definitely prepare yourself to see some holes in the drywall.
  • Of course, it has NOTHING to do with removing the drywall.
  • The main reason behind emphasizing soundproofing walls and ceilings without removing walls is that many of the tenants aren’t allowed to do any sort of modification to the existing structure of the wall.
  • If you’re the one who doesn’t have permission to alter the walls and the ceilings then you should concentrate on the methods that don’t ask you to modify anything in the room.
  • Shift the furniture and other household appliances.
  • Seal all the gaps, cracks, and holes to prevent noise from entering the premises and vice-versa.
  • For installing blankets and curtains use removable mounting putty.
  • In case, you’re on a shoestring budget then I would suggest that you should make the best use of the blankets that are lying around your house.
  • At the same time, moving blankets may not be the best option for people who are looking for a visually appealing option.
  • I would advise them to better try soundproofing curtains.
  • Even hanging tapestries and painting on your walls can do a great job.
  • What is your favorite method of soundproofing walls and ceilings without removing drywall?
  • How many of you’ve budget constraints?
  • Are you willing to try new innovative and cost-effective soundproofing methods?
  • Let us know your views in the comment section.
  • Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are looking for it.
  • After all, sharing is caring.

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