Let’s face it. Unwanted sounds can be quite annoying, and we’d want to keep our privacy as much as possible, too!
Good news for you, though, we have an EFFICIENT way for you to acoustically treat your place with a staggered stud wall.
Wondering where to start? Don’t worry! Just follow this guide, and you’ll be ALL SET to build a staggered wall.
The end result will be a sound proof nirvana, we assure you.
How to Build a Staggered Stud Wall
- Table saw
- 2X4 boards
- Nailing gun
- Acoustic caulk
Step 1: Remove the Drywall
To begin rebuilding your wall into a staggered stud wall, you’ll need to remove the first layer of double drywall or QuietRock panel to expose the previously applied studs in the wall frame.
Step 2: Trim Your Board
Take one of your 2×4 boards and cut them into a 2×1 size. We’ll be using these as furring strips to extend the current frame plates that run around the perimeter of the wall.
Make sure to measure the length of the strips accordingly to fit the perimeter’s length and width!
Step 3: Boost the Sound Isolation
Add acoustical sealant to the 2×1 furring strips to ensure better sound isolation.
NOTE: You’d want to make a good seal between the original wall and the newly added strips, so just take your time with adding the sealant!
Step 4: Position the Furring Strips
Start with the bottom plate and PROPERLY position the furring strips in place.
Firmly press the strip down against the plate.
After applying the strip to the bottom plate, repeat the same steps to the top, left, and right plates.
Step 5: Double-Check for Misalignments!
Now that you have your furring strips in place, inspect for any misalignments!
Step 6: LOCK IT DOWN
With everything all set, it’s time to LOCK IT DOWN! Secure the furring strips with nails against the plates, hammering one down every 8-16 inches.
Don’t forget to follow local building codes for this!
Step 7: Remove the Insulation Pads
Congrats! You’ve successfully installed the furring plates to extend the wall perimeters.
Now the next step is to remove the existing insulation pads carefully.
If you remove them PROPERLY AND CAREFULLY, you can reuse them again after the new set of studs are installed!
Step 8: Apply Your New Wall Studs
Okay, so now you’ve removed the insulation material. Proceed to apply the new 2×4 wall studs in-between the currently attached wall studs.
Apply the new wall studs 16” apart and offset from each other. (So that’s 8” apart if you’ll also consider the studs that are currently standing.)
Step 9: Lock It Down – Part II
We’re almost there! Now that you’ve lined up the new 2×4 studs, let’s toe-nail them to place!
PRO TIP: A nailing gun will be the biggest help for this project.
Refer to the image above on how to place and secure staggered effect with the studs.
Step 10: Insert Your Insulation Material
Now place your insulation material into the wall cavity, and let it run through the spaces between the staggered studs.
Having this creates a space where sound can be locked out for IDEAL noise isolation!
Step 11: Drywall Placement
And now we’re done!
Place back the drywall you removed to seal it back in place.
REPEAT the steps to the walls in your room that you want to apply this to!
What is a Staggered Stud Wall?
We all know that walls are the first barrier against sound from entering or exiting the place that we’re in.
But if you’ve been WONDERING what a staggered stud wall is, let’s start with the basics of a wall first!
A typical wall has wooden framing throughout it for support and stability, with 2×4 studs lined up over top and bottom 4” plates, standing 16” apart from each other.
For a staggered stud wall, however, there’s (literally) a little twist to it. The bottom plates are a bit wider, measuring at around 6” on average.
The 2×4 studs are then placed alternated on each side of the plate and about 8” apart, making a staggered gap that looks like a space for a zig-zag maze.
Having this kind of spacing creates an air cavity, otherwise known as DECOUPLING. This makes sure the sound waves don’t travel through, making it an efficient way of isolating sound.
Here’s a thing to keep in mind: Having a staggered wall construction helps cut down the number of points of contact, so there will be less sound vibration to travel through the wall!
How Do You Insulate a Staggered Stud Wall?
The process of insulating a staggered stud wall is quite simple and easy; you’d be surprised!
Just make sure to fill the empty air cavity with loose insulation material across the staggered zig-zag space, and then you’re all set!
As an added bonus, when installing the drywall, make sure to apply some acoustic caulk to the edges, ensuring a TOP NOTCH soundproof staggered stud wall!
What is a Double Stud Wall?
A common discussion among soundproofing enthusiasts is the age-old question…
What is better between a double stud wall and a staggered stud wall?
To give you more insight, we’ll give you an idea of what a double stud wall is!
It’s pretty self-explanatory! This kind of wall construction is basically just two stud-framed walls set up next to each other, making a WIDE air cavity for adding insulation.
With the idea that having a bigger air cavity makes for better sound isolation, it still does have its drawbacks.
A big deal-breaker is that a double stud wall requires a bigger space, making it inefficient for smaller spaces.
TL;DR: The double stud wall is just TOO BIG and is not for all kinds of rooms.
Are Double Studded Walls Better?
While having a bigger air cavity with double studded walls can make for better sound isolation, it isn’t always applicable because of the looming drawback it has.
Soundproof enthusiasts often recommend having both kinds of wall constructions for better sound isolation in your room!
Apply the double studded walls to where it is necessary, and have staggered stud walls to maximize the space you have!
It’s all in the proper application, anyway!
Now that we ran through the entire process of building a staggered stud wall by yourself, you’d be surprised at the END RESULT!
Just make sure to apply the staggered studs evenly and properly apply the right kind of insulation material. This is key for proper wall soundproofing in general.
Adding some ACOUSTIC CAULK to the dry walls after setting up your staggered stud walls makes your noise-proofing BETTER!
It’s definitely worth the effort, we promise.
Taking the time for this project can definitely give you the PEACE and QUIET you deserve.
July 8, 2021 – removed affiliate links, updated external links
July 1, 2021 – added changelog, updated title and featured image, fixed article format, updated internal linking, optimized content