Drywall is one of the most used materials in construction, especially when soundproofing walls, rooms, or an entire house. Of course, there are panels more suitable than others. A very common debate is QuietRock vs. double drywall. Which is better to reduce noise?
Although both types of panels offer adequate sound transmission, they’re different in many aspects: characteristics, uses, prices, etc. And all of them are factors to consider before choosing one or the other.
In this guide, we’ll do a brief QuietRock review, and also, an overview of the different types of drywall. We’ll also define which method is better for soundproofing: using QuietRock panels or using double drywall panels. Let’s take a look!
What is Quietrock sheetrock?
QuietRock is the most popular soundproof drywall panels brand on the market. Made by PABCO Gypsum, these panels are ideal for wall and ceiling applications, achieving greater sound dampening than common drywall panels.
QuietRock panels are essentially made up of three layers: two layers of ¼-inch thick plaster, plus a layer of viscoelastic polymers in between. This intermediate layer is responsible for dissipating sound, and its materials are more efficient than other polymers or synthetic rubbers.
Being a special type of panel for sound damping, it’s obvious that this question comes to mind: how much does QuietRock cost? The cheapest variety, QuietRock 510, is priced per sheet around $54. This is roughly the same as seven sheets of drywall would cost.
Now, what are the benefits of using QuietRock panels? Here are some of them:
- A single sheet provides the same sound dampening as eight sheets of regular drywall.
- It doesn’t require additional layers.
- Takes up less floor space.
- Saves labor costs.
- You don’t need additional products.
However, using QuietRock has some disadvantages:
- These panels are more expensive.
- They are difficult to use for ceilings.
Although its cost makes it prohibitive for tight budgets, using QuietRock is the most recommended option for those who need more sound dampening. This includes recording studios, houses with noisy neighbors, rooms that require a quieter environment, and more. While using them requires a large monetary investment, the results are worth it.
Types of Quietrock wall panels
According to its official website, there are six different types of QuietRock panels:
- QuietRock 510. It’s the most affordable option for the brand. These are ½” thick panels, and they come in different lengths: 8, 9, 10, and 12 feet. They’re as easy to install as traditional drywall.
- QuietRock EZ-SNAP. These sheets have a thickness of 5/8” and lengths of 8, 9, and up to 10 inches. Besides, they have a special paper that adheres easily, taking up less space compared to other sound dampening methods. Also, they offer high STC performance.
- QuietRock EZ-SNAP Mold Resistant. Unlike the standard version, the adhesive paper and the core of these panels offer greater resistance to mold. This allows them to provide a healthier indoor environment.
- QuietRock 530. These panels are denser and heavier, offering shear and impact resistance, besides of optimal noise reduction. Also, they have a UL fire rating.
- QuietRock 530 RF. It has the same characteristics as the 530 panels, adding radio frequency (RF) protection.
- QuietRock 545. These are 11-layer drywall panels that offer maximum sound dampening. They’re highly recommended for commercial or home studios, sound halls, and theaters. Also, these are ideal for places that require maximum isolation from vibrations and low-frequency sounds.
What is drywall?
On the other hand, we have a classic element used for indoor constructions and walls and ceilings: drywall panels.
These panels are mainly composed of plaster mixed with fiberglass or paper, foaming agent, and plasticizer. They’re characterized by their tapered edges on the long sides. Besides, they can include other additives to offer specific characteristics such as mold resistance, water absorption, and flammability.
It is worth mentioning that drywall can be found on the market with different names: gypsum panel, gypsum board, wallboard, plasterboard, buster board, custard board, among others. Also, it’s even known by its most popular trade name: Sheetrock. Despite the many names, they’re all the same product.
Drywall uses in construction are very varied. These panels can be used for room divisions, structures, shelves, ceilings, and, of course, for soundproofing.
So, why are drywall panels so popular? This is due to the perks they offer. Here are some of them:
- It’s a very inexpensive construction material.
- It is easy to get, which is ideal if you have to replace a sheet.
- It’s fast to install.
- It’s very easy to cut if necessary.
However, drywall panels also have some disadvantages:
- Most of them are prone to damage due to water and humidity.
- They offer less durability and less resistance to impacts.
- It’s a difficult material to recycle.
- Due to their thickness, these panels reduce the space available in rooms. Especially if you use multiple layers.
As you can see, using drywall panels has its pros and cons. However, its low price and versatility keep it as one of the favorite options for noise-proof wall construction.
Types of drywall
The next thing you need to know is that not all drywall panels are the same. Currently, there are seven types of drywall, each with different characteristics and uses. Up next, we briefly explain each of them:
- White board or regular drywall. This is the most common type of drywall, as well as the cheapest on the market. These panels are usually white on the front side, while the backside facing the wall is brown. You can find them in different thicknesses, from 3/8 of an inch to one inch.
- Green board. These panels have a green coating that allows them to offer greater resistance to humidity than regular drywall, although they’re not water-resistant. Green board drywall is recommended for laundries, kitchens, utility rooms, or even as a backing on basement or bathroom walls.
- Blue board. Commonly used for plaster finishes, these panels are resistant to water and mold. They’re ideal for bathrooms and places with high humidity. Also, it’s one of the best drywall for soundproofing that exists.
- Paperless drywall. As the name implies, these panels are not covered in paper. Instead, they have a fiberglass cover. This allows them to be more resistant to moisture, mold, fungus, and rot. Besides, these panels offer greater resistance and durability than regular drywall.
- Purple drywall. They’re very similar to regular drywall, with the difference that they offer greater resistance to mold and moisture. Also, these are ideal for places where there will be water contact.
- Type X drywall. These panels are made from special non-combustible fibers and are thicker than regular panels, making them ideal for soundproofing. They’re usually required by different building codes. Therefore, it’s commonly used in garages, apartment buildings, schools, meeting rooms, etc.
- Soundproof drywall. These are composed of a layer of polymers between two gypsum layers. Also, they’re much denser and difficult to cut. This type of drywall is recommended for homes with noise problems or rooms that require being quieter.
Quietrock vs double drywall: Which is better for drywall soundproofing?
Now, it’s time to compare: QuietRock vs. double drywall. Which one is better for soundproofing?
Without any doubt, the best option is to use QuietRock panels. Here are some reasons for this:
- They offer a higher STC value. Drywall panels have an STC (Sound Class Transmission) rating. The higher the rate is, the greater will be the sound dampening. Also, a single layer of QuietRock offers the same sound dampening performance as eight layers of regular drywall.
- Allow more floor space. Using multiple layers of drywall not only means thicker walls, but also a significant space reduction. This is not the case with QuietRock panels, as they are thinner than regular drywall panels.
- Easy installation. Installing multiple drywall layers or using other methods like Green Glue can be tricky. It might even be necessary to put it in expert hands. Meanwhile, QuietRock panels are simpler to use and don’t require additional products to improve their performance.
- Can be combined with regular drywall. If you already have drywall panels in the room you want to soundproof, you can install a QuietRock panel over them. By doing that, you won’t have to get rid of those drywall panels, plus you’ll have a higher STC rating.
However, there are some factors to consider when opting for QuietRock over drywall panels to soundproof a room:
- Costs. One QuietRock sheet costs about the same as seven regular drywall sheets. Although you won’t need to use multiple layers, the expense will be greater.
- Use on ceilings. QuietRock isn’t recommended for ceilings, while drywall panels are. Therefore, you may need to combine both types of drywall.
Choosing between QuietRock and double drywall will depend on many factors: available budget, soundproofing requirements, additional materials, added costs, etc. Because of this, it’s best to evaluate these factors before choosing one of them.
Other methods of soundproofing drywall
Of course, these aren’t the only ways to reduce noise in a room or house. There are other methods for soundproofing drywall that may be more viable depending on your case. Here are some of them:
Quietrock vs resilient channel
One of the most effective methods of sound dampening is using resilient channels. These are perforated metal strips that are bent to create a spring-shaped channel. They’re often used for soundproofing drywall and ceilings.
These channels offer a very high sound transmission rate, achieving maximum efficiency. Also, they prevent the sound from being transmitted to the next room. For this reason, they’re very common in hotels and apartments. However, they’re also ideal for home installation.
Now, when talking about resilient channels as a soundproofing alternative, it is usually compared to hat channels and isolation clips. And it’s valid since the three methods are somewhat similar.
However, let’s make an interesting comparison: QuietRock vs. resilient channel. Which is better to soundproof your home?
As we mentioned before, the resilient channel is quite an effective method. Compared to QuietRock sheets, it offers these advantages:
- It can dampen sound in a wide range of channels.
- Easy installation.
- Can be installed on ceilings.
However, using these channels has some cons:
- They are more expensive.
- They can cause short circuits.
- Require professional installation.
In summary, using resilient channels can be an interesting alternative if you live in a building, want to prevent noise transmission from one room to another, or it simply seems the best option for your ceiling. However, its cons make this method somewhat impractical.
Green glue vs quietrock
Another popular alternative for soundproofing drywall is Green Glue. It’s noise reduction glue whose polymeric formula redirects and disperses sound easily.
To achieve its effect, Green Glue must be applied between two materials. And in this case, it would be between two drywall layers. However, this product must be applied properly and follow the instructions to get great results.
Now, let’s compare. QuietRock vs. Green Glue. Which one is better?
While both products are capable of a significant noise dampening, QuietRock outperforms Green Glue in several ways:
- It’s easier and faster to use.
- Doesn’t require additional materials.
- Takes less time.
- It’s less expensive.
However, there are aspects where Green Glue has certain advantages:
- It’s more versatile.
- Can be used on ceilings.
- Provides greater coverage.
Of course, choosing between one method and another will depend on your needs and your available budget. But if you simply want to pick the most recommended one that would be QuietRock.
Other soundproofing materials
It’s worth saying that the soundproofing methods we’ve mentioned so far are not the only ones out there. As a matter of fact, there are other quite popular soundproofing materials, each of which works better in certain cases.
Here are some of them:
- Acoustic foam. This material is characterized by its pyramid shape, which allows it to absorb sound efficiently. Also, it can adhere to the walls or be located on the ceilings acting as a deflector.
- Acoustic isolation. It consists of blocks composed of fiberglass and mineral wool and is located between the wall studs. In this way, they occupy airspace that can transmit sound.
- Floor underlayment. When soundproofing a tile or hardwood floor is required, it’s necessary to use base materials to accomplish this task. The most used ones are usually polymers, cork, and felt.
- Architectural soundproofing. More than a specific material, this gathers a group of materials commonly used for building structures: soundproof walls, windows, and doors, as well as the decoupling products they require for their installation.
- Acoustic coating and sprays. These are effective and economical solutions, ideal for soundproofing many rooms. They’re usually applied in layers of rubber, and they isolate noise with high efficiency.
These are basically the most popular drywall alternatives for soundproofing buildings. For more information on specific products, you can take a look at this guide to the best soundproofing materials.
As you can see, there are many alternatives to soundproof your home or room besides drywall. Of course, choosing the most appropriate one will depend on your requirements and budget, among other factors.
However, keep this idea in your mind: how quiet do you want in the room you want to soundproof? By answering that question, you’ll know what type of drywall is right for you.