Acoustical Sound Barrier
Mass-loaded vinyl is a low-profile solution for stopping sound transmission.
Stopping the transmission of noise through walls or floors requires a two-pronged approach: Stop sound as it travels through the air, and also as it travels through the structure. Airborne sound can be controlled with good air-sealing techniques and sound-dampening materials such as batt insulation. To control the vibrations, the best one-and-done solution may be mass-loaded vinyl. Very thin but also heavy, a roll of mass-loaded vinyl has the feel of a roll of lead flashing—your brain can’t quite reconcile the disparity between size and weight. But it’s this heft—1 lb. per sq. ft. at 1/8 in. thick—that makes it so useful for stopping sound. It can be fastened to framing with screws or pneumatic staples, it provides a sound-transmission class (STC) rating of 26, and it’s available from a variety of manufacturers, including Acoustiblok (acoustiblok.com) and SoundSense (soundsense.com).
From Fine Homebuilding #283