Green Glue is a viscoelastic compound used to damp sound transfer. However, it is pricey and only works between rigid materials in interior locations. If you need Green Glue alternatives, there are other products out there that work.
Green Glue Alternative? Any material that will isolate, control, or damp sound frequencies in a constrained layer is an alternative to Green Glue. Materials that don’t need to be sandwiched between layers but block frequencies work too. Much depends on the frequency range to be controlled, their amplitude, and where control is needed.
Reducing noise transfer is big business today. Many products claim to damp or control sound frequencies. In this article, we’ll take a look at Green Glue, 7 alternatives that work, and then some that don’t.
- What is Green Glue?
- 7 Green Glue Alternatives That Work
- Alternatives To Green Glue That Do Not Work
What is Green Glue?Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound dampens vibration. It is a viscoelastic material, which means it stays pliable and elastic and doesn’t dry out or harden, qualities that make it a good isolator for soundproofing. Sound waves are vibrations that travel through the air. When they hit a solid, they speed up as they travel through it.
The Compound acts as an anti-vibrational layer, converting sound wave energy into heat. It is used for constrained layer damping, which means it needs to be compressed between two or more layers of solid building material to be an effective sound control material. Green Glue aids in decreasing noise transfer between rooms.Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant is a similar material to the Compound. It is recommended for filling gaps around walls or electrical openings up to 1/4-inch but will work on spaces less than 5/8-inch.
The Sealant provides an acoustic seal and prevents noise leakage. It works in conjunction with the Compound to create a sound barrier.
Advantages & Features
Green Glue Compound can be applied in new builds and renovations between layers of drywall, OSB, or plywood. It can be used in floor, wall, and ceiling construction to mitigate sound movement, improving the STC rating. It’s easy to apply in any pattern and cleans up with soap and water before it cures.
The Sealant is used to acoustically seal gaps around electrical and fixture boxes, around doors, and in joints where walls meet the ceiling, floor, and each other. The sealant is quick and easy to apply and can be taped, mudded, or painted within 48 hours of application after it cures. It stays pliable and doesn’t dry out or crack, and improves the STC too.
The products are low odor and V.O.C. substances and have been independently tested for fire and environmental safety. They both can also assist in LEED certification. The Compound and Sealant have also been independently tested for damping effectiveness, and are trusted by architects, builders, and DIYers.
Green Glue Compound comes in 29-ounce tubes or 5-gallon pails. It can be applied with a quart-size common caulking applicator or a bulk caulking gun or trowel for the pails. It uses two tubes per 4’x8’ sheet, and is applied in any pattern; it doesn’t have to be spread evenly. Spread on drywall, plywood, or OSB and sandwich it against another solid panel and screw the two layers together.
The Sealant comes in a 28-ounce tube and is applied with a standard caulking gun too. Cut a 1/4″ hole in the tip, and use it to fill joints and gaps around utility boxes, and between walls and ceiling or floor. The gaps should be less than 5/8” unless a backer piece is used.
Green Glue Performance
Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound reaches peak performance after 30 days. It takes that long for the water in the compound to evaporate. For optimum damping performance, the room should be between 65°F and 85°F since it is temperature-sensitive. The Sealant and Compound effective damp noise transfer between rooms
Green Glue Sealant and Compound are not for exterior use as they are affected by temperature fluctuations. Despite the name, the mixture isn’t adhesive glue and shouldn’t be used as such.
The Compound is for use between rigid building panels as a constrained layer, so it isn’t effective between soft or flexible materials. The Sealant provides an acoustic barrier in gaps and joints but isn’t a sealant for use to seal around pipes, plumbing, or in damp or wet areas.
Green Glue STC
Green Glue will improve the STC rating of an interior wall by up to 10 points, depending on the construction assembly of the wall. A 16” OC 2×4 wall with 1/2” drywall on both sides has an STC of 32.
The same wall framing with the cavities filled with R-13 fiberglass batts and enclosed on both sides with two layers of 5/8” gypsum with Green Glue between, will deliver an STC of 55. Add a resilient channel to one side, and the STC jumps to 62.
Studs at 24” centers have slightly higher STC values, as do steel studs.
7 Green Glue Alternatives That Work
Green Glue Compound and Sealant are not the only products that provide anti-vibrational noise proofing. Here are some other products that effectively stop sound transfer through constrained layer damping, or that fill gaps, and joints.
1. QuietGlue ProQuietGlue Pro is a viscoelastic compound used to damp sound vibrations. It is available in 28-ounce tubes or 1 and 5-gallon pails. The water-based material is low odor and VOC and is solvent-free.
The Pro mixture can be used in walls, floors, and ceilings. It will dissipate up to 90% of the noise transfer from home theater or entertainment systems.
The product is easy to apply to drywall, OSB, or plywood. Run a 1/4″ to 3/8” thick bead in any pattern on a rigid sheet and fasten it to pieces already secured. When sandwiched between rigid building panels, it is an effective anti-vibration barrier, improving the STC by up to 10 points.It is recommended that 2 tubes be used for each 4’x8’ sheet. The compound should cure in 24 to 48 hours.
Quiet Glue can be used in residential and commercial new construction or renovations to control sound frequency vibration transfer. It is a quick way to soundproof an existing wall; just apply to a new sheet and fasten to an existing one.
The compound is for interior use only and should be stored between 40°F and 100°F.
2. Auralex Acoustics STOPGAP Acoustical SealantAuralex Acoustics STOPGAP is a viscoelastic sealant used to prevent noise transfer around wall and utility box perimeters. The water-based material stays elastic 5X longer than similar products when cured. It is easy to use, has no run-off residue, but has a slight odor until cured.
It has a tough white surface film when it dries, and is paintable. The sealant is available in 28-ounce tubes and requires a 1-quart caulking gun for application.
The Sealant helps achieve an STC of 53 when applied around a wall’s perimeter following ASTM C-919 directions. The manufacturer recommends two 3/8” beads be applied around the wall perimeter for the best results.
One tube will provide between 32 and 40-feet of 3/8” bead. The product is flame-retardant and meets ASTM E-84 requirements. STOPGAP can be used for wall, floor, and ceiling applications in commercial or residential renovations and new builds.
3. Mass Loaded VinylMass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a dense, heavy yet flexible black, gray, or transparent vinyl soundproofing material. It has calcium carbonate or barium sulfate mixed into it to increase the mass. The vinyl is available in 1/2lb (1/16”), 1lb (1/8”), and 2lb (1/4”) per square foot weights, in lengths to 100-feet, and between 24” and 54” wide.
It has an independent STC rating of 20, 26, and 33 depending on weight and thickness. MLV is used to block mid to high range frequencies. It has little or no odor and is used in residential, medical, and commercial facilities, both renovations and new builds. It is also paint friendly.
The vinyl’s STC properties combine with wall, floor, and ceiling construction methods for added soundproofing. It can be hung between studs and drywall or sandwiched between two gypsum layers to improve the soundproofing of walls and ceilings.
Additionally, it may be used between floor layers for the same effect. MLV improves sound isolation when wrapped around ducts and plumbing, and can even be used to curtain windows. The heavy-weight vinyl is effective at stopping sound frequency vibrations from penetrating.
Soundsulate Mass Loaded Vinyl with Fiberglass DecouplerSoundsulate MLV combines 1-pound MLV with a layer of 1” or 2” fiberglass insulation and reflective foil. It provides flexible acoustic and thermal insulation to absorb and block sound.
It works well around HVAC, ductwork, and plumbing pipes to stop noise transfer, plus works well in drop-ceilings or between joists.
4. Tremco Acoustical Curtainwall SealantTremco Acoustical Sealant is a single-component, non-skinning, dark gray synthetic rubber material that doesn’t harden. Due to the flexible rubber-like characteristics, it is good for sound damping.
The sealant is available in 10 and 28.7-ounce tubes and 5-gallon pails. The 28.7-ounce container requires a quart-sized caulking gun for application. One cartridge will do about 27 linear feet in a 1/4″ bead.
The product provides an acoustic seal for wall perimeters and lap joints. When used to seal all wall, ceiling, or floor gaps, the rubber improves the STC rating of the wall assembly.
It can take if from an STC of 19 to 54, depending on bead placement and the number of beads applied. LEED certification can be achieved using Tremco Sealant.
The sticky paste doesn’t dry or cure, so it should be covered, so it doesn’t attract debris or smear. It can also be used to seal vapor barriers and around polystyrene panels. If you get it on something, it wipes off with mineral spirits. Contact areas should be dry and clean of contaminants, and good ventilation is recommended.
5. LIQUID NAILS AS-825 Acoustical Sound SealantLiquid Nails acoustical sealant is a durable elastic latex material. It meets ASTM E 90 standards for acoustic properties and is non-flammable as per ASTM E 84. Liquid Nails is a low odor, VOC compliant, and water-soluble. A 28-ounce cylinder will cover approximately 86 linear feet with 1/4″ bead. A quart caulking gun is required for the canister, though.
The sealant bonds to most building materials, but isn’t recommended for non-porous surfaces, around PVC pipes, plastics, or wet areas. Liquid Nails stays flexible, helping it to stop sound wave vibration and improving wall assembly STC ratings.
Apply the caulking to seams, gaps, wall perimeters, and around cut-outs and utility boxes to prevent air and sound movement. Surfaces should be free of dust and dry for full adhesion.
6. OSI SC175 Draft and Acoustical Sound SealantOSI Acoustic Sealant is a paintable, latex-based non-flammable material that seals gaps, cut-outs, and joints. Though VOC compliant, it should be used in a ventilated area. It is easy to use, is tack free in 30-minutes, and cures in 2 to 7 days.
The white sealant stays flexible and prevents sound and air movement. A 1/4″ bead will cover 86 linear feet, and a 3/8” about 38 feet. It cleans-up with water and soap.
The Sound Sealant sticks to most building materials and decreases sound transfer and drafts. It works well in commercial and residential locations for new builds and renovations.
Depending on wall construction and application, the sealant can improve STC values by 9 to 40 points. It is also effective for sealing base and top plates. Once cured, OSI Acoustic Sealant is not affected by freeze-thaw so it can be used in protected exterior locations.
OSI SC175 shouldn’t be used in wet or underwater applications. Nor is it recommended for use on metals that corrode or between non-porous surfaces. The sealant also doesn’t adhere well to cement board, polypropylene, polyethylene, or other nylon materials.
7. QuietRock EZ-SNAP
QuietRock EZ-Snap is an acoustic damping drywall panel. The 5/8” sheet has an anti-vibrational core the stops sound wave penetration. It is available in 4-foot widths, and 8, 9, or 10-foot lengths. There is no mess, no curing time, and it installs and cuts like regular gypsum board.
A 4’x8’ sheet weighs 83.2–pounds and can be used on walls and ceilings. EZ-Snap can be fastened to studs or joists, or directly to existing drywall. It also finishes the same as standard gypsum panels, so no special tools are required.
EZ-Snap outperforms standard drywall in similar construction practices and provides better STC values. STC results range from 49 to 60, depending on the wall assembly. When coupled with acoustic sealants, the values can be even higher.
One 5/8” sheet provides similar sound control to two 5/8” sheets with Green Glue sandwiched between, at a similar price point. However, Labor and time are the big savings in comparison, plus it provides faster attenuation results. It doesn’t take a month to cure, nor does it ooze at the edges.
Alternatives To Green Glue That Do Not Work
Other products have been recommended as alternatives to Green Glue. Unfortunately, some that have been recommended don’t work.
DYNAFLEX 230 is one that has been recommended as it fills cracks and gaps up to an inch wide, is crack-proof, flexible, and adheres to most building materials. Unfortunately, it cures harder than acoustic sealants and is less flexible. Additionally, the harder formulation actually enhances sound vibration transfer.
Sealant silicons are good water and draft stoppers as they don’t shrink or crack. They also maintain some pliability and flexibility. An acoustic sealant is more durable, flexible, and won’t shrink or crack over the years, so it’s a better solution. Regular silicone caulking won’t stay flexible like rubbery acoustic caulk, and it will dry out and crack, allowing sound through.
SMT Red Glue is a Poly dilute paste-like compound. It is used to glue components to PCB boards before soldering. The paste is temperature sensitive and hardens as it is heated. Other heat tolerant sealants or silicones also cure hard as they dry out, making them ideal agents for sound wave transfer.
Polyurethane is a plastic-like polymer that can be soft, hard, sticky, rubbery, flexible, or protective like varnish. Products that are soft polyurethane foam are not used in wall construction. They may be used strategically inside a room to absorb sound energy, but will not stop sound penetration in or out of a room.
Spray foams used to fill wall cavities harden and actually increase the sound transfer through the wall. Varnish like polyurethane will cure to a hard, durable finish on wood. None of the polyurethane formulations are alternatives to Green Glue.
There are alternatives to Green Glue that work. The products shared will perform with similar STC results to both the compound and the sealant. Look for materials that will isolate or damp sound waves, and remain elastic.
The concept is to catch the frequency waves and convert the energy to heat, thereby control sound movement. Hopefully, you found this article helpful. If you know someone who may also like it, please share it. Your comments and suggestions are always appreciated.