Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is used almost everywhere to assist in blocking sound — walls, ceilings, doors, window, machines, interior or exterior, and commercial or residential applications. As you will learn, MLV takes many shapes and forms to easily add mass to sound blocking assemblies and products.
What is Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)?
In its base form, MLV is a thin (typically 1/8″ or 1/4″ thickness) sheet of vinyl with that is loaded with Barium Sulfate (non-toxic & very dense) to add weight to such a thin product. What that means is the 1/8″ thick MLV weighs 1 lb. per square foot and the 1/4″ thickness comes in at a whopping 2 lbs. per square foot.
Why is MLV Important?
No matter the type of sound(s) one needs to block, the first two keys in sound blocking must be implemented: adding mass and total coverage. MLV takes care of both.
The mass and suppleness of MLV offers effective sound reducing abilities, and it’s relatively easy to apply. MLV is typically attached to joists or studs covering the entirety of a new wall or ceiling assemblies before being finished with drywall. Because of its thin “thickness”, it’s a great way to add more mass to assemblies.
Also, by installing it directly to the joists/studs, it remains somewhat limp against the inside of the joists/studs. This is called “limping” or “limped mass”. Limped mass makes the assembly more effective with some larger soundwaves because it allows some “give” ensuring optimal soundproofing performance.
Think of it this way: in baseball, the foul ball net hangs loosely. This way, when a foul ball is hit into it, the net “gives” or moves with the ball, absorbing the ball’s energy. If the net were tight or rigid, the ball would bounce right back into the infield. It’s the same with sound waves and limped MLV.
Examples of MLV
Our MLV is known as AudioSeal® Sound Barrier. It has been used in a ton of applications, including the examples below of where and how it can be implemented to block noise.
Our AudioSeal® Sound Barrier is often used in sheet rock walls and ceilings in spaces like&helip;
Residential and Commercial Buildings
Conference Rooms and Offices
Studios and Theaters
DIY-er builds like soundproof doors or boxes/enclosures
You’ll also find MLV used in combination with other products to help with specific sound issues.
So as you see, MLV is effective and used in many ways to block sound.
Tips and Reminders for MLV
But what if you can’t rip down your wall to put up MLV? That’s fine, no need to, really. The solution here is to find the studs behind the existing sheetrock with a stud finder, mark them with a blue line, and screw in some furring strips vertically through the sheetrock into the studs.
What is a furring strip? It is a 1″ x 3″ piece of wood, kind of like a mini 2′ x 4′. After that, install the Mass Loaded onto the furring strips, and then sheetrock over the whole thing. Easy-peasy, and you have retained the maximum potential for sound blocking that the product can offer.
But make sure to caulk all the seams and gaps in the sheetrock to ensure optimal soundproofing!
Also, you can always email or call me if you’d like to talk about a specific application or place an order.
Mass Loaded Vinyl can be an effective, flexible, and affordable product for soundproofing when used correctly. On studio projects, movie theaters, and residential applications it can improve the Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of a wall and help attenuate excess noise.
To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.