Hat Channel vs Resilient Channel: Which is Best for Soundproofing Walls?

When you want to build a quiet home (or renovate your existing one), starting from the studs with soundproofing in mind can make a world of difference.

But, you have a few options here, and when it comes to hat channel vs resilient channel, or resilient channel vs sound isolation clips, many doubts arise as to which one best fits the construction’s needs to be done.

Thus, if you have to ask yourself which materials would be better for the structure, these questions will resolve your doubts, because they will be useful for you to know the pros and cons of the wide variety of options that are available in the market.

What is furring?

Furring are thin strips of wood or other metal traditionally used to level or raise surfaces of another material to prevent dampness, to make space for insulation.

This space (whether you fill it with soundproof insulation or not) helps prevent noises, vibrations, or sound shocks. 

Hat channel, resilient channel, and sound isolation clips are types of furring.

They’re a little hard to install, but it’s beneficial, of course, some builders use aluminum hat channels with a better price and quality. 

When the furring channel is being established, this one will install flush vertically in the wall.

There are some kinds of metal furring channels that keep the building or house; then, we have the aluminum channels that provide a quick and cost-effective way to level out walls and ceilings.

On the other hand, we have the hat channels and Z channels, commonly, these materials are used in remodeling projects, and constructions and both are resistant to fire, corrosion, and moisture. Therefore, these materials are recommended for being used in construction.

How do you fur out a wall? 

Furring a wall involves placing furring strips like hat surfaces. However, these materials are placed in a perpendicular position, and the useful wall studs for building walls, drop ceilings, and basement renovation would be a good option.

These walls studs may carry vertical structural loads; they can support the weight in the wall. 

Even when a “vibration” or a sound shock impacts the material, this wall stud will prevent the noise and the vibration, for that, these materials are placed in a vertical position, but not only support the walls. 

Also, the wall stud can hold windows or doors, etc. They are helping to give shape to a building.

Using wall studs is really useful, as we know; most of the buildings use them during the constructions for being inside the wall and thus keeping it safe. 

Nevertheless, we recommend using this material because it is effective, safe, and high-quality material.

What is a hat channel?

A hat channel is an aluminum channel used for furring walls; this is what many builders use to give shape to the edification and finally complete the house or any other edification.

It’s high-quality and useful material. There exist other kinds of channels like the RC channels or drywall channels, and some channels are better options than others. 

Those other channels are from different materials, and these can protect your interior and exterior from fire, moisture, and corrosion.

When a house, building, laboratory, etc., are being built, we have to know during or before the construction what might be possible trouble in the future because not all channels are as efficient as others. Therefore, we can see and choose a special channel for edification.

Resilient Metal Hat Channel - 8.6' long - Pack of 20

Metal is found to be better for structural support and can be easily installed without damaging the other materials around it.  Metal is also a preferred choice by many builders because it is fire and sound resistant.

However, there are different types of hat channels that can be adapted to your needs:

Steel Channels

Hat channels are available in galvanized steel, which can be used in walls or drop ceilings.

Steel channels can come in heavier gauges, which makes for a greater loading capacity. If you are building a heavy-duty basement, a steel channel is the most durable, rigid, and reliable material to use.

The steel is galvanized to protect it from any chance of corrosion or flames, making it a safe and long-lasting choice to bond to your ceiling or walls. Plus, they’re incredibly easy to install!

Aluminum Hat Channels

Extruded aluminum is great for when you need custom hat channel sizes. 

Since this is a fairly lightweight metal, it is easy to cut, so you can special-order hat channels in the dimensions that you need. 

Aluminum hat channels take on the same primary functions as other metal channels, helping to even out irregular surfaces on your interior or exterior walls.  

This is a cheap and lightweight material to use as well. However, it’s just as fire and water-proof as the steel options.

Dimensions of hat channels vary depending on your furring project. While different types of hat channels may require additional measurements, you can easily follow the table below to get a good feel for the average sizes you’ll be working with.

Lengths:

  • 10’ long
  • 12’ long

Depths:

  • 25-gauge
  • 20-gauge
  • 18-gauge
  • 16-gauge

Of course, there are always alternative sizes available depending on the uniqueness and complexity of your project. 

Basement renovations can sometimes require custom work, in which case an off-sized hat channel may be necessary. Otherwise, you can equip standard lengths to fit across a ceiling or wall.

What is a resilient channel in drywall?

This kind of channel is a holed strip material, and one end of the channel is fastened to the studs. These channels are very easy to install and even prevent noise transfer, but this channel may be easy to compromise if it is not installed correctly. 

Resilient channels could be a better option because this improves sound transmission more safely. 

Resilient channel is a little expensive, but its effectiveness is pretty good than others because these prevent in a better way the sound shocks, etc., and it’s not hard to install, although this material is commonly used for ceilings than for walls.

Auralex RC8 Resilient Channel in 25 Gauge Metal; Box of 24-...

You are probably wondering when to use a resilience channel, what possible problems might arise at the installation time. For that reason, it is necessary to take into account specific considerations. 

Check out this post from Construction Specifier for more details on the best uses of resilient channel.

What are sound isolation clips? 

The sound isolation clips are handy for controlling the structure’s sound vibration, and these clips can effectively block sound transmission by air. It’s effortless to install on the channel.

Usually, this is used for the hat channels because the hat channels are not a holed strip of metal; thus, the hat channel is not as flexible, so the resilient channel.

These sound isolation clips for hat channels can prevent a strong vibration or any accident involving sound shocks.

GenieClip RST - Resilient Sound Isolation Clips - 100/Box

Sound Isolation Clips dramatically improve the privacy and soundproofing of any partition.

Soundproofing a ceiling or wall has never been so cost-efficient or straightforward. You won’t need any exotic sheetrock or tools. Installation is no different than what is being done already; the real difference is that this method provides a proper quiet solution. 

Some benefits of sound isolation clips include:

  • Used with everyday building products, which are available locally at your home center.
  • Better performance and lower installed cost than any other soundproofing product.
  • No need for double stud, staggered stud, or double wall assemblies.
  • No chance of short circuits that are commonly found in resilient channel installations.
  • Available for immediate shipment to your jobsite.

Hat channel vs resilient channel: which is better for a furred wall?

According to the concepts about these channels, a hat channel is stronger than the resilient channel. Still, the hat channel is less effective than another because it may damage itself during an impact. 

This hat channel does not support as good as the resilient channel; that’s why the resilient channel is a holed strip of metal that is flexible. Therefore, it can adapt to sound shocked in a significant way than the hat channel, making the resilient channel a better option.

It is more expensive than a hat channel, but you can install it more comfortably than any other, but if you have a hat channel ceiling or wall already built, it would be better to buy sound isolation clips so that you could save your money.

Since it is a better option, it may be the most sought after. For that reason, you must know carefully what the possible errors can be at the time of your installation. 

Commercial Accoustics offers a great guide on the best and worst uses of resilient channel – check out their guide on the subject here!

Sound isolation clips vs resilient channel: which is better for a furred wall?

Both materials are beneficial, but sometimes it depends on the quality and the length. If you want to build a ceiling, it would be good to use resilient channels because it is an effective and high-quality material for sound shocks.

But if you have a hat channel ceiling (already built), it would be better and economical to buy sound isolation clips for hat channels so that you would save your money.

So both options are pretty good, but we have to know which way is better than others. 

A resilient channel would be a good option. Still, tearing down a ceiling or wall to put in a resilient channel would be a big waste of money, it is recommended to modify the structure rather than destroy it and put another ceiling.

Having answered the questions, we know that there are materials that are a better option than others, but they can also be costly. 

Thus, it is necessary to know very well the purpose of the structure to see if it is required to invest in materials that improve its mechanical operation, this gives it more excellent durability and adaptability to the building of possible external disturbances. 

How to choose Resilient Channel vs. Soundproofing Membrane?

Ultimately, every architect needs to determine their STC (Sound Transmission Class Ratings) requirements and the most cost-effective way to meet them.

If you consult experts in the area, they usually recommend RC channel for plaster ceiling assemblies under open mesh trusses and concrete covers. Also, it has been found very useful in walls that require 2-hour fire ratings that do NOT require heavy loads suspended on them (anything over 50 pounds).

In hotel rooms or apartment complexes, adjoining walls should strongly consider a range of soundproofing membranes that best meets their needs, often at a significant cost reduction from RC while still hitting higher dB losses.

The soundproofing of an environment depends on four indispensable elements: absorption, damping, decoupling, and mass.

We cannot soundproof an area altogether unless we create a vacuum. But by paying attention to these four factors, a room can almost be soundproofed.

In the process of decoupling, soundproofing clips and rc channels are used to reduce noise.

If you want to know more about the soundproofing of walls, we will give you the best advice to make you take into account all possible cases that may arise. 

How can I soundproof my walls if they’re already built?

You may be wondering what you can do if you have already built the house? How can you apply the soundproofing to the walls?

Before you start trying to soundproof a room, it is always important to know what the source of the noise is and how much you will spend on that project you have in mind. 

You can spend thousands of dollars to a few hundred, depending on what materials you use. It can be more economical if you use materials you already have in your home, believe it or not!

You can use blankets, put glue in the cracks you see with the naked eye and even tape under the doors and many more tricks so that the sound has no place to travel.

The objective is always to reduce the structure’s noise, starting from what we have at hand and, of course, which makes it easier for us to control. 

And although it may seem complicated, it’s not. Try it starting with the things you have at home and if it doesn’t reduce as much as you expected, don’t hesitate to look for other options to help you solve your problem.And if you’re looking for more ideas for wall soundproofing, check out our how to soundproof walls post here!

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