Soundproofing a Shed: A Complete Guide (2020)


soundproofing a shed

Sheds are a very versatile building. The purpose of a shed is for storage, woodwork projects, or for specific musical purposes – like a studio. But the noise these activities generate can be disturbing to the neighbors. You are probably here because you want to fix that. Soundproofing a shed is not so technical. This article will guide you through the method and the material to achieve the best results.

However, as a result of the structural integrity of sheds, you don’t have much of a solid structure to work with, on like when you are soundproofing a house. We build sheds for their functional purpose; hence the materials used in creating them are thin and cannot block even the least sound. Nonetheless, with this in mind, you don’t have to dread the idea of soundproofing a shed, although it might be tasking, it is doable.

When soundproofing a shed, you have to consider how much sound you want to prevent from sipping out. The more the sound you want to contain, the more you will likely spend in purchasing the necessary items. In any case, you can use cheap items, but you won’t get a perfect result. Let’s get right ahead.

Soundproofing the walls of a shed

The walls of most buildings are usually the largest surfaces, and a shed is not an exception. The walls, to a large extent, will determine how much sound gets in or out. Sheds mostly have gaps on their walls, so sound seeps in and out pretty easy.

One of the best approaches to effectively tackle this is to build a sort of room within a room inside the shed structure and insulate the middle. Creating a double wall makes soundproofing the walls more effective- -this is called the double-wall stud decoupling method. Because as the sound passes through the walls, the insulating materials between the walls reduce the noise and convert the sound energy into heat.

Decoupling

decoupling
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As I mentioned earlier, this is one of the best ways to soundproof the walls. Decoupling means manually separating the two parts of a wall structure, so that sound can’t pass through. The noise passes through one side and gets weakened before it gets to the other side. To achieve this method, constructing two stud walls is important -the outer wall of the shed and another wall inside of your shed is large enough.

Other methods of decoupling

Staggered stud wall decoupling

stud wall decoupling
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Here the two sides of the wall are joined together with the stud between them. This method prevents either side of the wall from having any contact with each other. The studs should attach in an alternating manner on the wall, but the studs should not touch each other, while insulating material – like fiberglass– is layered between the wall. This way, sound dissipates before it can get to the other side of the wall.

Using resilient clips

Although the other methods are suitable and work well, a shed might not have the necessary space. Using resilient clips is an excellent way to decouple with limited space. Here the two sides of the wall share one stud, but a resilient channel or clip is attached to the stud. These clips assimilate the sound vibrations before it passes through the wall. Also, you  can easily purchase these channels on Amazon. Here is the link for one of the best resilient channels by Auralex Acoustics.

Using Insulating materials

Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a cheap material that a lot of builders use between walls. It acts as an insulator and also blocks sound. People usually go for fiberglass because it is easy to work with them. However, it is vital to consider safety precautions when using it by wearing gloves and a mask.

Acoustic mineral wool

These are a kind of insulation used between walls to enhance sound absorption. Materials used in making mineral wool include recycled glass, basalt, or slag, which is a waste from steel mills. You can also use it to insulate the walls of your shed.

Cellulose

Cellulose is another kind of insulating material that you can use. It is eco-friendly and made from recycled paper. It is also less likely to enhance a fire because of how compact the material.

Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass loaded vinyl – MLV- are also a good option for the soundproofing of the walls of a shed. MLV are materials that have a high mass because it contains metal particles. They can be used alone as a reflective material to contain noise or as complementary material to the drywall. They can be used to insulate walls too. MLV can also be cut up and attached to doors, one of the ways to soundproof doors. This one has really good reviews and you can buy easily on Amazon.

Using sound dampeners

Green Glue Sealant

Green glue
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Green Glue Sealant is a sound dampener used for soundproofing walls. It works by converting sound vibrations to heat. It can be used for the shed because it works well with both drywall and plywood. Application is straightforward, use glue between two surfaces and press together. It doesn’t require screws or nails. I used this one for my shed, and it worked really well for me.

Installing a soundproof Drywall

Soundproof drywall is very useful in blocking sound, even though other drywall options are cheaper. Drywall is guaranteed to give you absolute silence when appropriately applied because they contain gypsum, mass polymers, steel sheet metals, and a very thick paper facing.

How to install a Dry Wall?

Installing drywall is not as complicated as it seems, but it can be very tasking. All that is required is lining the inner wall with insulating material- like fiberglass- and placing a resilient channel on the lined wall by screwing them to the stud -building frame- so that you can install the drywall to the wall by attaching it to the resilient channel.

Resilient channels are metal channels built to make a building structure better at sound insulation. They do this by isolating drywall or ceiling from the stud of the building so that when sound waves hit the drywall, it vibrates on its own without affecting the stud of the building, thus decreasing the sound energy. At the same time, the insulating material converts it to heat. Ensure you screw the drywall to the channel and not the stud work.

A caulk gun is an essential tool for applying sealant. Using the caulk gun, apply sealant on any cracks like where you used screws and nails. Seal up around the various walls fixtures- light, plumbing, electric box, etc.

Finally, when soundproofing shed walls, all the materials listed can be used individually, but they work better by complimenting each other. If you are still having any trouble, here is an extensive article I wrote after my first attempt at soundproofing drywall.

Using acoustic foam panels

Insulation foam panels are an easy way to soundproof the shed’s walls if you cannot afford to venture into decoupling. It might even be the cheapest option. They can be glued to the walls to reduce the noise from getting out. It is usually the go-to method for soundproofing walls. When considering using acoustic foam panels, the thicker the material, the better. Check here to know the depth and dynamics of acoustic panels.

For installation, watch this amazing YouTube video to learn everything about it.

Soundproofing the shed windows

shed window
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Windows are usually where noise is likely to sip through, because it is an opening, and glass pane does not do much to block sound. You can prevent sound from getting out through the window by ensuring there’s no air space on and around the window – windowpane or seal- by using a mechanical barrier, or by going for a soundproof window altogether.

Installing high-density windowpane

One way to effectively soundproof a window is by increasing the density of the window. The thicker the material, the harder it is for sound waves to get out. A triple pane window works excellently well, and if you are willing to splurge, they work well to reduce and contain sound. A laminated triple plane works by reducing both sounds and vibrations. Ensure that the cracks around the window are adequately covered up with a sealant.

Using acoustic glass

Acoustic glass is another excellent choice for windows. They are sheets of glass merged by inter-layers of polyvinyl butyral. It has sound dampening properties that reduce the sound that gets out. Using acoustic glass on windows can significantly decrease noise.

Proper installation of soundproof windows is crucial; otherwise, the whole hassle of getting the windows soundproofed will be defeated. Ensure you seal open spaces and gaps around the window completely. For that, you can use a sealant or insulation tape for this.

Installing soundproof curtains and blinds

Soundproof curtains and blinds are also an excellent way to contain sound, because of their thick, dense properties, that can block sound. These one are available in a variety of colors, so you can choose any according to your choice.

Soundproofing the shed floor

soundproof shed floor

Like the shed’s walls, the floor is typically as flawed with gaps and spaces that noise can sip through. You can block the noise and vibrations that sip through the floor of the shed with carpets, mats, or plywood.

Using rubber mats -like gym mats- is a good way to soundproof the shed’s floor. Make sure the mats are appropriately layered, and they fully cover the full extent of the shed.

You can also invest in soundproofing mats, although mostly used for cars, they can also be layered on the floor of a shed to achieve good results. Noico solutions offer some really good soundproof mats, that can be used for a lot of places. Here is the Amazon link.

Another way is to use old rugs or carpet, although the effect won’t be as good as rubber mats it is cheaper. Again ensure they’re adequately layered.

Laying plywood on the floor is another way to soundproof floors. By creating another floor, it makes the floor thicker for sound to pass through.

Using all three materials can be a game-changer. Layer the floor with the rubber or soundproof mats cover with plywood place a carpet or rug over. And voila! The noise and vibrations have nowhere to pass through.

To learn more about it, also give this one a read.

Soundproofing the shed roof

shed roof

Even after soundproofing the entire shed, if the roof is left out, chances are sound will still get out. To do this, consider using plywood because they are light and quite easy to use. Or the same materials used in soundproofing the walls -drywall.

You can also use acoustic foam panels to soundproof the roof. Soundproof blankets work too, just do well to inspect the roof’s nature to ascertain what works better.

Soundproofing the shed door

shed door

It is important to soundproof your shed doors as well. Noise can escape through doors, just like any other open-access of any room. Even when doors are properly closed, noise can still sip through cracks and gaps, just like windows. These cracks can be covered using an insulating sealant or tape.

Soundproof blankets and curtains

A soundproofing blanket or curtain can also decease or dampen sound. Just like the windows, you can use weather stripping tapes to ensure that when the doors are closed, no noise gets out through the door.

Door sweep

A door sweep is another sure way to prevent sound from entering through the space below the door. Installing door sweep below doors can block noise, light, moisture, etc.

Door gaskets

They create airtight seals on a locked door, and sound can not get out when the door is closed. Using this on a shed door contains the noise. Watch this YouTube video to learn how to install it for soundproofing your shed door.

To learn more about soundproofing a door, just go through this article in which I have explained everything in great detail. I’m sure it’d be a great help for you!

Other important considerations

When a room is soundproof, it means it is airtight, so make necessary provision for airflow into the shed so that it does not get stuffy, and breathing is possible within the shed.

Take account of all the fixtures within the shed -wiring, cords, lighting, etc.- and make sure they are correctly aligned.

Final thoughts

Soundproofing a shed depends on the type of shed; however, the methods and materials outlined can work well regardless. A general rule of thumb is if air can get in or out, so can sound. It essential to make sure there are no cracks. A soundproof shed is airtight, therefore proper ventilation is a requirement. Make the necessary inquire about the required materials that you might need, keep in mind that the denser the soundproof material, the more effective it would be.

Good luck.

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