For those of you who are seeking a quick answer, it is no. Newspapers are not efficient for soundproofing.
Have you ever wanted to soundproof a room or even a house, but you didn’t have much money? I know I have been there. And what did I do?
Probably like you, I started to do my research about cheap methods to soundproof space. After a while, I stumbled across the newspaper.
Yes, you heard that right. Some people are saying that this is a decent material to work with for soundproofing.
That’s why, in this article, I’m going to answer this very unusual question: does soundproofing with newspaper really work?
The short answer
Unfortunately, I do have some bad news. This method is not efficient at all. I am not saying that it doesn’t work at all. If you are going to glue a lot of layers of newspapers and stick them to the walls, you will feel a little difference. It also is also a big time-consuming procedure that simply is not worth trying.
Don’t worry though. I will still help you by giving other alternatives for soundproofing that may suit your needs, so don’t quit now.
Why it doesn’t work
Before getting to my recommendations, you probably want to hear why the newspaper doesn’t act as a soundproof material. As you know, newspapers are made from exactly what their name says, and that is paper.
A very important factor that makes a material soundproof is its density. Paper is not too dense, and layering it doesn’t help much either.
You don’t need to buy a whole stack of this and take 2 days off work in order to glue them together. Time is money, so don’t make that mistake.
If you want to execute a serious project, my advice is to save up some money and be patient. Once you have the necessary funds for this, you can try one of the next options.
Other alternatives: Green Glue
After you’ve convinced yourself that newspapers aren’t a good time and money investment, you need to move on. Instead of doing more research and losing more time, you can follow my advice, and you will not regret it.
The first option I am going to recommend is Green Glue. It is a very popular compound that made a lot of people happy according to reviews.
Although this method may seem simple and very inexpensive, you shouldn’t get too enthusiastic.
Keep in mind you that have to apply this compound to your room’s drywall. Depending on the room’s size, that will require little to a lot of time.
You can buy this product from a lot of distributors, but you can also find it on Amazon here. This is most likely the best deal on the market right now with 6 tubes for only about 100$.
It is rated 4 out of 5 by the customers who seem to be very impressed by it. So, what are you waiting for? Order it while it is still available. If you feel this option isn’t for you, don’t panic. I will tell you about another option shortly.
But first, you probably want to know how to install this as well. It is really easy, but a tiny mistake can screw everything up. So, let’s get to work.
How to install Green Glue
First off, we need to talk about the materials we need for installation. Another advantage of the Green Glue is that it doesn’t require too many of these.
You can apply this differently, but the most common method is from 28-ounce tubes. You are going to need: 28-ounce tubes, the nozzle that comes in the package, a utility knife, and a caulk gun.
Prepare the compound. Tap the 28-ounce tube on a hard surface, so the substance doesn’t drip when you open it.
Using the utility knife, cut a little hole in the tip of the tube, then screw the nozzle over it. Using the knife again, cut the same hole in the tip of the nozzle.
Make sure you can fit your prepared tube into the caulk gun and leave it there.
Get the drywall and place it with the face on the ground. Pull the trigger of the caulk gun and dispense the product evenly across the drywall. Remember to leave a little border around the panel in order to handle it easy when finished.
It is recommended to apply 2 28 ounce tubes for each 4×8 foot panel. Once the first tube is empty, repeat the first 3 steps for the second tube. While dispensing the second tube, try to cover up the empty spaces from earlier.
After you applied the second layer, you have 15 minutes to fasten the drywall with screws. Repeat for every 4×8 foot panel of drywall, until you have installed all of them. You will notice a small difference right away, but it takes up to 30 days to get the full benefits of Green Glue.
Other alternatives: MLV
If I couldn’t convince you with the previous product, I am going to present you another one. Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is another popular and multifunctional product, used in a lot of industries. It is flexible and very dense, things making it the perfect soundproofing material.
You can find it under a lot of brand names, for example, Acoustiblok. Very few people know this is actually MLV.
The main advantage of it is that you don’t have to tear anything apart to use it. You can just install it directly on the surface; although, I don’t advise you to do that.
However, if there isn’t a second option, go for it. Why is that? Because MLV only comes in black, and not too many people sacrifice design for effectiveness.
The design of basements and garages doesn’t really matter, but if you want to soundproof your dining room, that is where this problem comes in. You need to install it during the construction phase to eliminate that problem.
You can also avoid this design issue by painting the MLV. Trust me, no one will notice it.
Although it is a little bit more expensive than Green Glue, it is a great option as well. You can find this pretty much in any specialized constructions shop, packed as big rolls. Don’t be afraid of this little detail.
You can easily cut it with a normal knife. You can find those rolls for about $100-200, depending on the size. You can also find this online on Amazon, with a 3.9 out of 5-star rating. The link to it is here.
It is also really easy to install. I’m going to present a guide on how to do that right now:
How to install MLV
There are 2 ways to install MLV onto the wall. You can either go for a spray adhesive or typical nails or screws. Both have advantages and disadvantages. I will list those, and then you can choose your favored option.
The spray is very effective, in fact, maybe too effective. If you are ever going to decide to remove the MLV, it will be a very difficult job. If you somehow manage to do it, there will be huge marks on the wall.
Screws are the better alternative in this case, as they are effective, and they are easy to remove. Unfortunately, they will leave small holes, but you can make them vanish in a couple of minutes by caulking them. If I made that clear, we can start installing it:
You are going to need the MLV roll, a tape measure, a razor knife, nails or screws, foil tape, and maybe the help of another person.
Measure the distance of the wall you are going to soundproof. Use the tape measure and make sure to subtract about half an inch.
Roll out the MLV and cut it with the razor knife, according to the measurements from step 1.
If the resulted MLV piece is too big, ask for help to position the MLV onto the wall. Make sure it is straight.
Place the nails or screws in the key points and fasten them.
After you installed every piece of MLV, combine them with the foil tape.
Cut around the switches and electrical outlets to make sure you don’t forget about them.
That was it! You’ve managed to soundproof your room!
Overall, you can’t soundproof a room with newspapers, but there are a lot of effective and inexpensive methods out there! Don’t be stingy with the money, as this is a long time investment that may change your life in some way.
Consider my bits of advice and choose the best option for your case, and let me know which one was helpful. Do you know another soundproofing material that is better than those two?