It’s time to ask the million-dollar question: QuietRock vs. Double Drywall — which among the two soundproofing materials is better to install?
QuietRock is the best material when it comes to maximum soundproofing. It’s also perfect if you’re running on a tight budget.
Read more to find out why it outdoes its double drywall counterpart.
What is QuietRock?
QuietRock is the first sound-dampening wall panel being sold in the market since 2002, as stated by its manufacturer PABCO Gypsum.
It’s currently one of the most popular products in the soundproofing drywall panels category and is a staple in many wall soundproofing guides.
QuietRock utilizes a 3-layer tapered edge structure, with viscoelastic polymers in between gypsum layers.
The middle layer is the one responsible for dissipating sound waves. Gypsum material, on the other hand, is the one doing the sound-absorbing.
These types of panels can be applied in any building structure, thus resulting in EFFECTIVE SOUNDPROOFING!
The 6 Types of QuietRock Panels
As much as QuietRock is designed to reduce transmitted airborne sound, PABCO still offers several types of drywall panels that cover a wide variety of features.
1. QuietRock EZ-Snap
EZ-Snap has a 5/8″ thickness and dimension of 4’x8′ up to 10′ inches. It weighs around 2.6lbs/ft2. It can be scored and snapped like regular drywall. It’s also UL fire-rated (1 hour).
- Its STC value is 48-60.
- Cost per 4’x8′ sheet: $80-$100
2. QuietRock EZ-Snap Mold Resistant
The only difference this has from the EZ-Snap is it offers great resistance to mold, just as the name implies.
EZ-Snap Mold Resistant is recommended for damp environments such as bathrooms, kitchens, and laundry rooms.
- Cost per 4’x8′ sheet: $90-$120
3. QuietRock 510
QuietRock 510 is 1/2″ thick, and its dimension varies, from 4’x8′ up to 12′ inches. It weighs 2.13lbs/ft2.
This is the most affordable among all of its sister products. It’s an entry-level product and is mostly purchased by people who are interested in innovative home experiments.
- Its STC value is around 47-69.
- Cost per 4’x8′ sheet: $54-$100
4. QuietRock 530
This is a heavier and denser drywall panel thanks to the following measurements:
- Thickness: 5/8″
- Dimensions: 4’x8′ to 12′ inches, and
- Weight: 3.3lbs/ft2
QuietRock 530 is sheer and impact resistant. It works well with sound blocking, thanks to its great physical qualities.
And just like EZ-Snap, it is UL-fire rated (1 hour) as well.
- Its STC value is around 52-74.
- Cost per 4’x8′ sheet: $160-$200
5. QuietRock 530 RF
QuietRock 530 RF is like the original 530, but this one’s responsible for soundproofing radio frequency.
It’s essential in information-sensitive areas like government agencies. Controlling radio frequency noise is a possibility because of the added shielding feature of the wall.
- Cost per 4’x8′ sheet: $170-$230
6. QuietRock 545
QuietRock 545 is heavier and thicker soundproofing drywall as it consists of 11 drywall layers, with 1-3/8″ thickness, 4’x8′ dimension, and weight of 6.25lbs/ft2.
It works very well with low-frequency sound. This is highly recommended for places with low radio frequencies like recording studios, theaters, meeting rooms, and home studios.
- Its STC value is 60-80.
- Cost per 4’x8′ sheet: $350-$400
So Which One Stands Out the Most?
In terms of soundproofing panels, QuietRock 545 drywall, which is better than regular ones, is the BEST CHOICE for this category. The only present downside is it’s very pricey.
Although if you don’t mind throwing out money to achieve maximum soundproofing for your home, then go for it!
Higher Sound Transmission Class (STC) value can be achieved with the right approach when building drywall panels.
- Building QuietRock on a single staggered stud wall can produce up to 56 STC.
- Decoupling with a double-thick stud wall, STC can increase up to 75.
- Installing a double layer of QuietRock 545 can produce a total of a whopping 80 STC.
So, if you’re planning to install it, you can refer to the installation guide from QuietRock’s website for more accuracy.
Where to Buy QuietRock Products
You can purchase their drywall panels through their website. They have a dealer locator, so you don’t have to worry about manually locating the stores.
The price indicated above ONLY APPLIES to the US and Canada. If you want to know how much it sells in your area, contact the vendor.
- Single-layer drywall provides a noise transmission barrier equal to 8 sheets of regular drywall
- You can apply them over existing drywall (you can save time, budget, floor space, and still reduce noise transmission)
- Its mass is heavier than regular drywall
- They have a higher base STC rating
- They are expensive
- Some are not recommended for ceilings, especially QuietRock 510, as it may sag eventually
If you want to install a sound dampening layer for your ceiling, you can try Pabco Gypsum Sound Curb. Here are some of its features
- Compatible with ceilings
- Fiberglass material
- UL-fire rated (1 hr)
- Reduces sound and impact noise
What is a Double-Layer Drywall?
Well, it’s basically just two layers of drywall… Not kidding. It’s pretty self-explanatory.
Of course, some, if not all, drywalls only consist of one layer. Doubling just means that you’re going to install another one on the forefront to improve the effectiveness of soundproofing even more.
People refer to regular drywall with different names like:
- Gypsum panel
- Gypsum board
- Buster board
- Custard board
But, it is mostly known by its trade name, Sheetrock.
Regular double drywall sheets are primarily composed of these materials:
- Plaster mixed with a variety of fiber
- Foaming agents
- Gypsum layers
The drywall sheets and panels have tapered edges as well, just like QuietRock.
You can use traditional double drywall panels on different building structures like ceilings, room divisions, and shelves. But most importantly, you can use them for soundproofing purposes too.
The 6 Different Types of Drywall Panels
Similar to QuietRock, drywalls are available in different types as well:
1. Whiteboard or Regular Drywall
This is the most common and cheapest double drywall of all types.
- Cost per 4’x8′ panel: $12-$18
2. Green Board
Green Board’s drywall layers have a green coating; it offers great resistance to moisture, but it’s not water-resistant. Green Board is recommended for putting a double layer on your bathroom, kitchen, and laundry room.
- Cost per 4’x8′ Green Board panel: $14-$18
3. Blue Board
The Blue Board type of double drywall is water and mold-resistant; it’s great for bathrooms, sound rooms, and other areas with high humidity as well.
- Cost per 4’x8′ panel: $12-$15
4. Paperless Gypsum Drywall
As the name suggests, gypsum drywall panels are not covered with paper material; they are covered with fiberglass. Gypsum layers are resistant to mold and moisture.
- Cost per 4’x8′ panel: $12-$60
5. Purple Drywall
Its double layer drywall sheets are moisture and mold-resistant; they are recommended to be installed in humid places.
- Cost per 4’x8′ panel: $15-$60
6. Type X Drywall
These double layer drywall panels are ideal for soundproofing as they are thicker than regular drywall panels. They are fire-resistant (1 hr) as they are made of non-combustible fiber material.
- Cost per 4’x8′ panel: $20-$60
So, Which One Stands Out the Most?
Type X drywall is the obvious choice when it comes to choosing soundproofing panels. This is the common choice of homeowners for its low price and availability too.
So, if you’re considering doubling its wall layer, then this is the recommended approach:
- A double of this with Green Glue material between layers can bring your STC rating up to 58, with 2-hour fire resistance.
- It’s essential to build it with a wood stud wall to reduce structure-borne noise even more.
- One of the most popular brands that sell a variety of drywall panels, CertainTeed, provides general instructions to refer to if you need help with installation.
Which Sizes are Most Common?
4’x8′ is the MOST COMMON SIZE among ALL drywall panels, but you can always get other available sizes from the nearest suppliers.
If you can’t find your preferred size, don’t worry because you DON’T NEED to spend a penny to request customized ones.
Their mass isn’t that heavy either compared to QuietRock’s. You can customize them to your liking!
Drywall panels come in various sizes, with 3/8 and 1/2 inches being the most common. But regardless of their size and thickness, their weight will always be around 50 to 70 lbs.
Where to Buy Drywall Products?
Lowes or Home Depot? It’s up to you.
Fortunately, you can purchase regular drywall panels in any kind of housing or wall construction store.
And about the price, the ones on the above are just an estimation. It still depends on the suppliers, so reach out to them if you want to know the exact price of your desired drywall.
- These walls are easy to access on the market
- You can save up money as they are low-cost
- They can be applied to the ceiling much easier
- They are fast and easy to install
- Their mass isn’t that heavy
- They have a lower base STC rating
Which One is Better? QuietRock vs. Double Drywall
It’s time to see the soundproofing duel between QuietRock vs. Double Drywall.
Let’s summarize all their key points side-by-side to see which among the two soundproofing materials gains the upper hand.
Installation Time (WINNER: QuietRock)
Going through each layer of drywall panels, applying Green Glue, and acquiring more wall construction materials for better soundproofing takes a lot of time.
QuietRock, on the other hand, can do a one-time installation and does not require other materials like Green Glue.
Hence, you don’t need to take up too much time for installation because one layer is enough for soundproofing minimal noise.
Installing double drywall will take up more time. Many layers of the drywall are needed to reach the equivalent level of a single layer of QuietRock wall.
Wall Assemblies (WINNER: QuietRock)
Soundproof drywall panels require Green Glue and more construction materials for effective soundproofing.
Meanwhile, QuietRock is a STANDALONE material. Its mass is also heavier than drywall panels, making it more capable of blocking a sound.
This means that you won’t need more panels or building materials like Green Glue unless you desperately need total silence.
Installing drywalls will require more materials because one layer has an insufficient ability to reach optimal noise reduction.
Which is Better to Reduce Noise? [STC Value] (WINNER: QuietRock)
QuietRock drywall, which is better than regulars in holding higher STC value, is more appealing to the eyes of homeowners.
But you can try some hacks that we’ll talk about below to increase value without wasting material.
To put it simply, QuietRock has a higher base STC value than a regular soundproof drywall.
Floor Space (WINNER: QuietRock)
Your walls will depend on the available space you have in your room.
QuietRock takes up less space. Why is that?
One layer is effective enough to perform minimal sound blocking. It doesn’t need multiple layers unless you need more STC.
You can’t say the same thing for your regular drywall because it takes a lot of space.
REMEMBER: You will NEED multiple layers to reach the minimal level of sound blocking; doubling walls will be necessary!
Ceiling Cover: Which Works Better? (WINNER: Drywalls)
Due to limited sizes being offered in QuietRock, they’re restricted when it comes to ceiling applications. In contrast to drywalls, they are more size-flexible.
It has also been found that QuietRock only provides little sound blocking during lab testing.
On the other hand, most drywalls are effective!
Type X has a standard 5/8″ thickness, and it’s also fire-resistant, which makes them a perfect ceiling cover for sound transfer.
Resistance (WINNER: It’s a TIE)
This is honestly up to your preference.
- QuietRock: They are resistant to fire, mold, sheer, impact, and radio frequency penetration
- Standard Drywall: They are resistant to moisture, water, mold, and fire
Availability (WINNER: Drywalls)
Standard drywall, which is better than QuietRock when it comes to availability, is preferred by homeowners as they’re less hassle to find.
- QuietRock: Their products are quite difficult to get
- Standard Drywall: They are available everywhere.
Material Costs (WINNER: Drywalls)
QuietRock 510 with 1/2″ thickness and 4’x8′ dimension already costs $54-$100, whereas Type X, with just the same dimension, only costs $20-$60.
Not to mention that 510 is the cheapest one in QuietRock, while the latter is the most expensive drywall. So, in short…
If affordability is your TOP PRIORITY, you might want to go for normal drywalls over Quickrock.
On top of that, you might already have existing drywall, reducing your costs even further. Just be sure to always inspect any existing drywall before you do anything.
How Can I Save Resources?
Now, there’s a practical method you can do if you want to save resources:
If you don’t want to get rid of your old walls, you can just buy a QuietRock wall to install over your old ones.
They give a higher STC value, especially if your old walls are X Type. But if they’re not, you can still buy some materials to apply between the panels for better soundproofing.
Factors to Consider When Choosing QuietRock vs. Double Drywall
Before you decide what to buy, remember to consider these things first for better judgment:
- Installation time
- Wall assembly
- STC value
- Floor space
- Ceiling cover effectiveness
And of course, here are some important information you need to learn too before diving:
- Sound Transmission Class (STC): It is a rating that measures how well building structures can reduce sound transmission and sound vibrations from traveling across surfaces. The higher the number, the better (40 STC is average). Important note: STC is based on the entire wall construction rather than individual panels.
- Absorption: It is the process of absorbing a sound inside a room. It prevents sounds from creating echoes.
- Dampening: Installing a sound dampening compound such as Green Glue between multiple drywall layers helps prevent sound vibration from traveling further. This can increase STC by 10 points.
- Decoupling: It’s a process of breaking pathways of vibration by building panels with steel or wood wall studs.
- Mass: The heavier the wall, the less sound vibration can go through.
- UL Fire Rating: It’s a fire rating that measures how long walls can withstand fire in a particular amount of time.
- Ceiling cover effectiveness: 5/8″ is the standard size for ceilings. Using 1/2″ or 3/8″ will get your panels to sag downwards over time.
Other Construction Methods to Try to Improve Soundproofing
QuietRock vs. Green Glue
Are you wondering why we keep mentioning Green Glue over and over again?
Well, that just shows how much Green Glue is an effective alternative to those who don’t want to get QuietRock.
To improve sound dampening, you can try manually adding Green Glue between two layers of drywall panels.
Green Glue provides some advantages:
- It is MULTIPURPOSE; you can use it on any kind of building structures
- It can make up for the mass the wall is lacking
However, applying Green Glue is NO EASY TASK, especially if you don’t have any experience with construction.
You have to follow the instructions carefully, or you might end up needing to hire a professional worker to clean up your Green Glue mess.
Its main purpose is to control the noise that’s being conducted through electrical outlet boxes. It is UL fire-rated and can hold up a fire for up to 2 hours. STC value can reach up to 49.
- Remove the lid of the socket box first.
- Insert the pad after.
- Put back the lid once you’re done.
This is just an overview. You can refer to the video below for a full guide. There are many ways to install it, but this way is cleaner than others.
Another method to improve sound dampening is by using resilient channels. Resilient hat channels are metal strips that improve acoustic performance when installed to support framing.
Resilient channels are great at soundproofing drywall and ceilings. It can reduce unnecessary noise, dissipate sound, and increase STC by 12-15 points.
It is very effective, but unfortunately, it has some concerning disadvantages:
- It can cause short circuits
- Requires professional installation
This is only recommended for people who are experienced with construction.
Another one you can do is get a floor underlayment. It adds an extra layer on top of your floor to absorb sound from areas below you. It is very convenient when you live in an apartment.
Well, that’s all of what you can see in the QuietRock vs. Double Drywall comparison.
So, which material is right for your project?
In our opinion, QuietRock is the obvious choice for reducing sounds and blocking out additional noise. However, regular drywall can still be useful if you are looking for a slightly cheaper alternative.
It all comes down to your purpose and needs!
Use QuietRock IF…
- You don’t mind buying a separate gypsum board material for your ceiling.
- You DESPERATELY NEED a quiet environment.
- If you have invested a large amount of money into buying gypsum panels.
Use Double Drywall IF…
- You don’t mind hearing minimal noise from other houses or apartment buildings.
- You don’t mind buying more materials for the durability of your drywall.
- You don’t mind your walls taking up a big space in your room.
We hope that throughout this lengthy QuietRock vs. Double Drywall article, we managed to help you answer the main question of this review.
We believe you’ll be able to pick out the best one for your needs so that you can FINALLY focus on your work and get a good night’s sleep!
July 8, 2021 – removed product links, updated article links, added 1 YouTube video
July 1, 2021 – fixed article format, updated article links, optimized content