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Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternative: The 8 BEST & CHEAP Options

Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternative

Looking for affordable and effective alternatives to Mass Loaded Vinyl?

You’ve come to the right place!

After going through DOOOZENS of alternatives claiming to “cancel” unwanted noises or can soundproof rooms, we’ve come up with a list of TOP 8 BEST OPTIONS.

Read on to know which is the best for you!

Best Value
Acoustic Absorption Panels
Best Overall
Acoustic Soundproofing Tiles
Most Versatile
Green Glue
Table of Contents

The Best & Cheap Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternatives

#1 Acoustic Soundproofing Tiles

Best Overall

Best for: Walls, drywall, ceilings

Acoustic Soundproofing Tiles

If you’re looking for cheap BUT effective soundproofing, then the best mass-loaded vinyl alternative for you is acoustic soundproofing tiles.

Wall Tiles

Our favorite comes from Fstop labs. They come in packs of 12. Each tile measures 12” x 12” x 0.4”. What we like about them is they are made of 100% eco-friendly polyester fiber.

This material gives the tiles their 0.9 NRC rating — which is a more than satisfactory rating and can deliver close to quality mass-loaded vinyls.

As the material is made of polyester, it’s both lightweight and impact resistant.

Ceiling Tiles

For ceilings, we like Armstrong’s 2’x2’ ceiling tiles which are made of mineral fibers containing 56% recycled content.

They come in a box of 16 tiles measuring 2’ x 2’, giving you about 64 square feet of coverage.

They carry 6 surface options to match your style or the ambiance of the room.

It’s a popular mass-loaded vinyl alternative in work spaces, commercial buildings, in addition to homes.

What’s more, is that these tiles are not only soundproof, they are also fire, mold, and mildew resistant.

| PROS

  • Cheap alternative to loaded vinyl
  • Easy to install, plus, tiles are resizable
  • Fast installation

| CONS

  • Moderate noise cancellation but not the most effective soundproofing material in this list

#2 Acoustic Absorption Panels

Best Value

Best for: Walls, drywall

Acoustic Absorption Panels

An absorption panel may be the best mass-loaded vinyl alternative to aid noise reduction in between rooms.

Rhino is a producer of top-quality material panels. They also have the same size as tiles — 12” x 12” x 0.4” and each pack comes in 6s.

This MLV alternative does a better job than soundproofing tiles as they are made using a denser blend of polyester fiber (230kg/m3).

This is the reason why they also scored a higher NRC rating of 0.95 which is a higher rating than average mass-loaded vinyls.

As they are effective in canceling noise, they are not only suitable for homes. Some also use this commercially — theatres, workspaces, music studios, as well as in nurseries.

They are the go-to if you need to cancel not just noise — but sound reflections, reverbs, and sound waves as well.

| PROS

  • Easy installation (glue or 3M double-sided tape works!)
  • Superior material that’s effective at deadening sound waves, echos, and reverberations 

| CONS

  • Harder to cut or resize than tiles
  • Affordable but not cheap

#3 Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound

Most Versatile

Best for: Wall, drywall, ceilings, or basically anywhere a brush can reach

Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound

Tired of the typical MLV alternatives?

The noiseproofing compound from Green Glue is a unique and innovative MLV alternative.

It comes in 5-gallon buckets which are enough to cover areas up to 385 square feet.

Is Green Glue an effective sound deadening compound? 

ABSOLUTELY! This extremely viscous liquid can block up to 90% of sounds that reach it.

It does a great job at REDUCING airborne and impact noise and converting sound waves into heat energy.

Don’t worry, Green Glue dries within a few hours and leaves no smell traces!

| PROS

  • Can cover all areas, including traditional drywall even rough or jagged surfaces
  • Cheap alternative for residential or commercial use

| CONS

  • A hassle to apply, especially if you’re applying this material to a built room
  • Cannot DIY if you don’t have an idea how to paint walls

#4 Carpet and Curtains

Best for: Floor and ceilings

Carpet and Curtains

The best mass-loaded vinyl substitute doesn’t have to be anything new or pricey.

If you don’t want to make DRASTIC CHANGES or rack up the COST for noise cancellation materials, your best choice is to buy carpets and soundproof curtains.

Some people do NOT have the time to do tile or panel installation or want to ruin the design of their room — OR BOTH.

If you fall in this category, you can opt to add carpets and curtains which are creative mass-loaded vinyl alternatives.

For thick acoustic curtains, you can check out our buying guide on thermal insulated curtains for some options.

Even if you do not have windows, these soundproof curtains add a nice touch to any room while blocking outside noise. You can place them over doorways as well to block noise AND light.

A carpet is also a decorative and effective sound blocker.

Carpets can dampen impact noise from footsteps, so it’s something to consider if you’re trying to soundproof your floors or ceilings.

We love the options from KKONION, specifically the Ultra Soft Long Plush Shaggy Area Rug. It’s stylish and blends well with any room design. 

REMEMBER: the thicker the material and tighter the weaving, the better it is at absorbing noise.

These options are effective mass-loaded vinyl alternatives for homes — they are decorative and noise-canceling — a win-win!

| PROS

  • Integrates well with home or room aesthetics
  • Cheap and double purpose alternative
  • No extra work needed for installation

| CONS

  • Limited coverage
  • Minimal to moderate noise cancellation only
  • Not for commercial use

#5 Heat Insulation Mat

Best for: Cars

Heat Insulation Mat

Looking for a sound blocker for your vehicle?

The best mass-loaded vinyl alternative to use in cars would be Heat Insulation Mats. A popular option is from Shinehome, the 236mil 16.68 square feet Car Sound Deadener.

This is an effective soundproofing material if you want to drive while playing your music at high volumes all night long or want to improve the sound when using car speakers.

You can purchase this product in rolls.

One roll measures about 61” x 40”, which is more than enough to cover a car.

In contrast to most panels and tiles, the insulation mat is made from butyl and fiberglass sound deadening material.

Characteristics of heat insulation mats:

  • Lightweight
  • Heat resistant
  • Thin (place this around door frames, under your mats, even in the engine area)
  • NRC rating of 0.85!

| PROS

  • Thin and lightweight
  • Easy to cut and install
  • Cheap 

| CONS

  • It may have a rubber smell
  • Not the best looking alternative
  • Strong adhesive, thus hard to remove or replace

# 6 Sound Clips

Best for: Wall/Drywall or ceiling assemblies

Sound Clips

An effective medium to act as a sound barrier are sound clips.

Perhaps the best mass-loaded vinyl alternative when facing DECOUPLING issues is sound isolation clips.

The main component of sound clips is rubber — which is an insulator itself. It works by insulating the wall studs (the main culprit of noise transmission).

| PROS

  • Lightweight and effective
  • Doesn’t ruin room aesthetics

| CONS

  • Tedious to install

#7 Acoustic Foam Panels

Best for: Walls, drywall, ceilings

Acoustic Foam Panels

Acoustic foam panels are usually the best mass-loaded vinyl alternative for music studios as they do a great job of canceling sounds and noise.

JBER and Foamily are two trusted brands that produce quality acoustic panels. Both brands carry a number of styles and color options to choose from.

They normally come in sets of 12, with each foam piece measuring 12” x 12” x 12”.

Foam converts sound energy to heat energy to cancel or reduce the intensity of the sound.

For minimum to moderate cancellation, foam panels would suffice, especially if your existing drywall is thin.

However, for MAXIMUM soundproofing, it’s best to couple these with tiles, noiseproofing compound, or some floor underlayments.

| PROS

  • Cheap and easy to install

| CONS

  • Noticeable soundproofing element (does not easily blend in the room)

#8 Floor Underlayment

Best for: Floors

Floor Underlayments

Last on our list is using floor underlayment under your carpets.

This mass-loaded vinyl alternative acts as a cushion beneath the floor, effectively reducing air-borne noise and impact noise.

From its name — it’s a floor underlayment — meaning this product should be placed BETWEEN the floor and subfloor. Basically, you use it as carpet padding.

Compared to mineral wool batts, a floor underlayment is much BETTER as it’s thinner.

If you plan to have wood floors in your home or building, it’s best to have a floor underlayment to minimize transmission of structure-borne sound to the other room or the room below.

Plus, a floor underlayment acts as a good moisture barrier!

NOTE: Check if the material helps in blocking noise as not all underlayments have soundproofing qualities.

| PROS

  • Effective in canceling noise transmission (especially structure-borne noise like footsteps)
  • Thin and easy to resize
  • Cheap

| CONS

  • Should be coupled with some wall or ceiling soundproofing materials
  • Not the easiest to install as you need to place it in between surfaces

Installing Mass Loaded Vinyl Sound Barriers in Your Home

There are a number of replacements for mass-loaded vinyl you can choose from to cancel and contain noise.

1. Acoustic Vinyl Barriers on Your Walls

Soundproofing your walls is the easiest compared to ceiling or floors.

Installation is relatively easy depending on your chosen method. For one, installing wall sound blockers is an easy DIY process, which is why it’s the most common soundproofed area.

For tiles and panels, these are normally mounted using adhesives or glue.

And, one more tip: Apply paint as a noiseproofing compound to add an extra layer of noise cancellation.

Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternatives:

  • Acoustic soundproofing tiles and panels
  • Noiseproofing compound
  • Soundproof curtains

2. Soundproof Vinyl Flooring

Soundproofing floors is a crucial process to ensure effective noise blockage.

For those with hardwood floors in their home or who tend to play loud and heavy music, floor soundproofing is one solution YOU NEED.

You can opt to place carpets as an initial soundproofing device.

For music studios or bars, consider adding underlayments to make sure you won’t disturb your downstairs neighbor.

Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternatives:

  • Noiseproofing compound
  • Carpet 
  • Floor underlayment

3. Noise Barriers on Your Ceiling

To fully control the transmission of noise or sound to the room, check if your ceiling is also soundproof.

For commercial spaces, it’s good to have rooms that can contain noise, especially since it will be a shared space.

Most ceiling tiles that act as noise barriers are also mold and fire-resistant — which makes them the best option for any ceiling work.

Mass Loaded Vinyl Alternatives:

  • Acoustic soundproofing ceiling tiles
  • Noiseproofing compound
  • Acoustic foam panels

4. Mass Loaded Vinyl for Cars

As for cars, the best mass-loaded vinyl alternative is a heat insulation mat.

This product can be placed anywhere inside the car, even near the engine as they have high heat resistance.

Frequently Asked Questions About Mass Loaded Vinyl

Does Mass Loaded Vinyl Work?

YES, tests have been made to prove that mass-loaded vinyl is effective in canceling and blocking noise.

Two factors help determine a material’s efficacy in noise reduction: Impact Isolation Class (IIC) and Sound Transmission Class (STC).

The former rates the ability to block impact noise through the material, while the Sound Transmission Class measures the material’s ability to minimize airborne noise.

We also have an article about STC and how to calculate for it if you’re interested to learn more.

Proper and adequate installation of MLV is the key to achieve ultimate soundproofing.

What Is Mass Loaded Vinyl Made From?

Materials that make up MLV are calcium silicate, calcium carbonate, barium sulfate, and polyvinyl chloride, also known as PVC.

Sometimes, factories add in aluminum, mineral wool, and fiberglass to fortify the material.

This combination makes MLV both elastic and viscous — top characteristics that enable this dense material to absorb sound and block impact noise.

Conclusion

We hope you found the BEST mass-loaded vinyl alternative to help you soundproof your home, office, or car!

Whether you like to play loud music, are a heavy snorer, a musician, recording studios owner —  whatever your reason or occupation is, there is an MLV that’s suitable for your needs.

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.