Author Topic: Sand-filled walls  (Read 15019 times)

Robert Victor

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Sand-filled walls
« on: August 23, 2003, 02:25:42 PM »
I read a lot about using mass-loaded vinyl for sound proofing.  It seems that more mass is better for sound absorption, so why don't I see much written about filling spaces with sand?  What would happen if you built a wall using conventional stud-and-drywall construction, but rather than screwing the wall board to the studs, you adhered strips of neoprene to the studs and then adhered the drywall to the neoprene (using contact cement, I suppose) so there was no contact between them.  Also say you did this where the wall contacts the floor.  

Then you filled the wall with sand.

Beside the possible structual considerations of holding back huge amounts of sand, how would this perform acoustically?



John Tower

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Re: Sand-filled walls
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2003, 03:53:33 PM »

  Your idea about the neoprene attached to the studs does make sense. However, you would want a better material that had viscoelastic properties. has something called wall damp that does this very thing. However, I don't think this works as well as resilient channel with a couple of layers of drywall on it. If you actually use the viscoelastic material where you attach the resilient channel to the studs, then on the channel itself, then in between the layers of drywall, you have an extremely resilient system.

As for the sand, that would add quite a bit of mass to the wall and in theory would help, but don't forget that a big percentage of the sound is coming through the studs, which the sand wouldn't help. I would worry about the logistics of dealing with the sand personally, especially in a wall since it would settle over time and probably leak a bit. Personally, I would just go with the viscoelastic material at each layer, resilient channel, and two layers of drywall. That is proven to work.

John Tower


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Re: Sand-filled walls
« Reply #2 on: September 11, 2003, 09:07:40 PM »
Robert and John,

I would have to agree with John as far as the logistics and the mess of using sand, there is also the moisture issues related to  sand. That being said, sand is indeed a very good soundproofer due to the sheer mass of it when it's packed into a confined space such as a wall assembly.
With the use of a closed cell foam tape on the face of the studs, you would virtually eliminate any transmission of sound through the studs. This closed cell foam tape is effective and very inexpensive considering the great soundproofing results that can be attained with it's use.
Other materials that are good soundproofers are things like rolled roofing material (readily available at Home Depot or Lowe's), and also hay bales, though the hay bales are not generally very practicle (rodents, lice and health issues etc.) nevertheless Hay bales are a good soundproofer.
Robert, if you decide to do the sand filled walls, please re post and let us know your results, it is a doable project and should give you good results. Thanks for your very interesting post.

Bob Orther
Super Soundproofing Sales/Technical Associate.
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