What is Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV)?
Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is an extremely dense, thin and flexible product that adds mass to any structure and provides excellent soundproofing qualities. The rubber-like, polymer material is made up of post-industrial recycled content and can vary in different thicknesses and densities. While it is a very thin product, it tremendously reduces vibrations and the transmission of airborne noise.
Sound Transmission Class (“STC”)
MLV generally ranges in different densities, from 0.5 lb. per square foot to 2.0 lb. per square foot. Each density carries its own acoustic properties that will determine the level of noise-blocking power, or Sound Transmission Class (“STC”). The “STC” number is directly correlated to the number of decibels that can be reduced by the product. When it comes to Sound Transmission Class, the higher the STC rating, the higher the noise reduction.
Sound Transmission Class (“STC”)
|50 – 60||Excellent||Loud sounds heard faintly or not at all|
|45 – 50||Very Good||Loud speech heard faintly|
|35 – 40||Good||Loud speech heard but hardly intelligible|
|30 – 35||Fair||Loud speech understood fairly well|
|25 – 30||Poor||Normal speech understood easily|
|20 – 25||Very Poor||Low speech audible|
Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV) Installation
MLV is generally installed within wall systems to limit the amount of sound transmitted from one room to the next. It is frequently utilized in commercial buildings, as well as shared living spaces and homes. If MLV is applied to the demising wall (shared wall) in an apartment, this will block all of the noise from transferring to the neighboring apartment.
Aside from applications within the wall, it is also commonly used in ceiling structures of commercial and residential buildings. When MLV is installed in the ceiling, the dense layer blocks the sound transmitting through the ceiling. It is very common for contractors and installers to apply this product directly above grid ceiling tiles, to absorb and block unwanted sound that escapes through the ceiling.
Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV) Cost Analysis
Mass-Loaded vinyl is typically cheaper than adding extra layers of drywall, is much faster and easier to install, and provides a higher STC rating overall. MLV can be a very cost-effective option for “soundproofing” any room, when compared to other alternatives. However, since the total weight and overall mass of the product is very high, the price per square foot can also become higher when dealing with heavier densities and shipping costs.
Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV) Considerations
When assessing what type of Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV) product to use for your upcoming job, there are a few things to consider:
- What is the total square footage needed for complete coverage?
- What is the “STC” requirement for the job?
- Where will the MLV be installed (wall or ceiling)?
- What is the overall budget?
While in the planning phase, it is important to keep these considerations in mind to select the proper MLV product.
Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV) Products at Sound Acoustic Solutions
Here are some of the MLV products offered by Sound Acoustic Solutions:
- 5# per square foot – 1/16” thick (STC 20)
- 0# per square foot – 1/8” thick (STC 26)
- 0# per square foot – ¼” thick (STC 31)
Contact us today to ask about available roll sizes or custom lengths, click HERE.
SilentWrap™ Mass-Loaded Vinyl PSA (MLV + Pressure Sensitive Adhesive backing)
- 1.0# per square foot MLV with adhesive backing for peel and stick installation
- Roll size: 4’ x 25’ (100 square feet per roll)
SilentWrap™ MLV + Reinforced Foil Scrim (FSK) – ASTM E-84 Class A Fire Rated
SilentCeiling™ Cap – precision cut to fit grid ceilings, features a foil scrim with a fiberglass layer
- Fiberglass layer acts an absorber
- ASTM E-84 Class A Fire Rated
- STC 29
SilentCurtain™ – mesh-reinforced MLV with UV protection for outdoor applications
For more information on available SilentWrap™ Mass-Loaded Vinyl products from SAS, click HERE.
Soundproof Living – “What is MLV?”
Acoustical Solutions – “How is Mass-Loaded Vinyl Used in Soundproofing?”
Acoustics First – “MLV”