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Easy Wall Soundproofing with SM20 Panels

Soundproofing a wall with SM20 panel

SM20 Soundproofing - How it works
The SM20 panel system is a high performance wall soundproofing solution aimed at those who want good acoustic performance. Unlike other solutions this dense recycled rubber is easy to fit and will provide a reliable soundproofing barrier.

The system is straightforward to fit. The high density recycled acoustic rubber panels are simply cut to size and stuck to the party wall covering the whole offending surface. We provide the necessary proprietary adhesive. The wall is finished off by adding two layers of acoustic plasterboard.

If you wish to calculate or buy the materials just use the blue calculators to the right of this page. Our delivered solutions come with all the necessary parts to complete a DIY soundproofing job. For more detailed instructions simply click on the fitting instruction link.

The SM20 insulation is a highly effective solution. Where the system, as shown in the diagram above, is employed, the performance of the single skin brick wall is increased to in excess of 48dB Dnt, W +CTr which exceeds Part E for party wall sound proofing requirements. This can be improved upon using the alternative upgrades we offer.

Don't forget to soundproof your plug sockets too. You can find out more in this article.

Can I upgrade this system further?
As with many solutions there is the possibility of an upgrade to this system for those who wish an even higher levels of soundproofing. By adding SBX boards to this system you will further improve the performance particularly from a low frequency perspective. The SBX board brings an almost unique property in an acoustic board in that it has virtually no resonant properties. Read more -Why the SBX upgrade?

Where space is at an absolute premium, a single layer of plasterboard can be applied, ideally upgrade to 15mm if using one layer. This will result in a small loss in overall performance over the basic system, but still a significant improvement over the original wall.

Dry lining SM20 Wall to a smooth decorate-able finish
We are often asked what is the final finish and do I need a plasterer? We provide all the materials necessary to achieve a smooth decorate-able finish. Please see video below on dry-lining. The wall you end with will be similar in appearance to the video. We supply the finishing compound that allows you to achieve a smooth wall without plastering. All items are automatically added when you press the blue calculator.

More Information. Chimneys and flanking sound

A note on fireplaces: 
We are frequently asked whether it is necessary to run wall soundproofing around the chimney breast on a party wall? While there is no definitive answer on this  acoustic question, we are of the opinion that sound proofing the alcoves either side is usually sufficient. This is because chimneys are typically constructed to be fire and smoke proof and are at least of double brick construction, whereas the walls either side, the alcoves, may be poorly constructed and of single brick. Of course there are exceptions, but in the majority of cases you can reduce your labour and time considerably by just sticking the acoustic panels in the  alcoves. Due to the acoustic nature of stud walls and timber framed walls we would recommend a different set of treatments when upgrading these walls as described in solution 5, stud wall soundproofing. Example results based on typical party wall construction of 100mm brick wall (38-43dB)

Flanking Transmission
The best results for the SM20 system is achieved with solid brick party walls. Breeze block walls may suffer from flanking transmission problems so any soundproofing treatments require an assessment of this possible difficulty of flanking transmission .

Understanding Soundproofing Performance

Successful soundproofing of a wall involves improving three key elements. 

  1. The weight of the wall- This is normally achieved by adding heavy materials like acoustic plasterboard. High density products are important too such as the SM20 acoustic panel.
  2. The springiness or "resilience" of the wall-. Without this, the addition of the mass will have very little impact. The Sm20 acts as resilience and mass. A common mistake is to just add acoustic plasterboard direct to a party wall. This will have virtually no effect 
  3. The sound absorption of the wall. Most walls have little in the way of absorbency. The heavy rubber layer of the SM20 solution acts to "trap" the energy of sound within the wall.

SM20 noise insulation panels take advantage of advances in acoustic control technology to strike a highly effective balance between increasing the mass of the transmission wall via the heavy rubber and heavy plasterboards and introducing a dampening spring element of the rubber mats.

Understanding Performance

A great deal of confusion is created on many sites when referencing to performance. The total performance which is normally quoted on the majority of sites refers to the performance of an average wall with soundproofing materials added. The draw back of this is that you don't really know the impact of the soundproofing you are adding.

For this reason we also give an indication of acoustic performance uplift. For every 10dB of performance uplift there is a correspondent improvement of about 50% in the performance of the wall.  A 20dB should provide a 75% improvement over and above the original wall.

Sound Proof an Electrical Socket

Acoustic Putty
If you are thinking of refitting electrical sockets back into the wall. you might be advised to line your electrical boxes with our acoustic putty. Remember a 1% hole in your soundproofing surface can reduce performance of your soundproofing by up to 10%. Lining your plug sockets will go some way to reducing this leakage.


Key Points:

  1. A slim fitting wall soundproofing solution
  2. Fast clean sound proofing
  3. A very DIY-able stick on solution
  4. Rubber panels and plasterboard finish just 45mm thick
  5. Materials delivered to your door in as little as 24 hours


Solution Calculator

Our three solutions are:

  1. The standard solution which is our most popular. This includes all the materials you need to soundproof a wall.
  2. Some customers prefer to source their own plasterboards so we just offer the SM20 , Staput adhesive and acoustic mastic.
  3. The third solution offers the maximum upgrade that incorporates the SBX board. This extra will offer around 5dB of extra acoustic protection.
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Download Fitting Instructions Fitting Instructions

SM20 Rubber Panels Sound Insulation performance table

Wall Depth Gain Total system Performance airborne Typical Airborne Improvement
full solution with acoustic plasterboards 45mm 56 dB 16 dB
full solution incorporating SBx Upgrade 43mm 61 dB 20 dB
for those wanting only to order SM20 and Glue from us.
Total system performance is an attempt to give the performance of a basic single skin plastered brick wall with SM20 added to it.  The improvement figure that is quoted are an idea of what can be expected over a basic starting point of a single skin
Compare all our wall solutions here.