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Learn about Mass Loaded Vinyl.
Mass Loaded Vinyl or MLV is a special soundproofing material that is designed with the primary purpose of serving as a sound barrier.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
- Installing the vinyl sound barrier requires two people due to its heavy weight and large size.
- If installing in an open wall, the wall cavity between the studs should be insulated first with either fiberglass or mineral wool.
- It is key to create a strong seal around electrical boxes or any other object protruding from an insulated surface. Similarly to water leaks, sound leaks will compromise insulation performance.
- Mass Loaded Vinyl is highly resistant to tearing; however, it can still be damaged under its own weight. It is critical to disperse the weight with multiple fasteners.
- Fasteners such as heavy duty staples, screws, or nails with large washers.
- A staple gun if using heavy duty staples
- For steel studs, use three-quarter inch wafer head TEK self-tapping screws with washers.
- A straight edge or T-square tool
- Acoustic caulk
- Tape measure
- Utility knife
- Seam tape (vinyl or PVC)
- A ladder
- Acoustic putty pads (optional)
- Measure the wall distance between the floor and the ceiling. Subtract one-quarter inch to create a small gap around the perimeter.
- Unroll the vinyl sound barrier on a flat surface. Using a T-square or straight edge, cut the vinyl with a utility knife to the measured length. It’s not necessary to cut the MLV all the way through. It can be scored then pulled apart.
- For greater sound isolation, use putty pads over electrical boxes before installing MLV.
- Starting in the upper corner of a wall, with two people holding it in place, position the material squarely across the top edge so it drapes the wall evenly.
- Begin by fastening the barrier along the top of the frame using a fastener at every 8 to 12 inch span. Continue down the length of the studs with the same process.
- To create a seam on a stud, join two pieces of MLV against one another. Do not overlap them – these should be precisely aligned. Fasten each length of MLV to the stud. For seams which fall between studs, overlap one length of MLV approximately 2 inches over the next length of MLV. Cut away the overlap at both the top and bottom of the frame. This is important to install drywall flush against the frame. Seal the seams with 2 inch vinyl or foil tape.
- Expose the electrical boxes by first gently pressing MLV against the box. Use a utility knife to carefully cut an opening around the edges of the box. Keep the hole as closely and tightly as possible to the box to maintain a strong seal.
- Repeat steps 4 to 7 until the entire wall or ceiling is covered with MLV.
- Hang drywall over the sound barrier. Caulk the perimeter seams with an acoustic sealant, such as OSI SC-175 Thermal & Acoustic Sealant. Finish installing the walls or ceiling with drywall mud/caulk and tape.