How to Install Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass Loaded Vinyl can be applied to walls, ceilings, floors and structures to create a sound barrier. Mass is a critical component in sound control and works by simply stopping sound from being able to vibrate the structure due to its heavy weight.

Please read through the installation guide before installing your MLV.  


Figure 1- How to Install MLV,

Measure your wall from top to bottom. Deduct 1/8” – ¼” from total height.

Unroll your MLV on the floor. With a utility knife, use a straight edge ruler to cut a square edge evenly through the MLV. {See Figure 1}

You do not need to cut through the material fully, once it is scored, it will come apart easily.

The MLV can also be cut with a heavy duty scissor.


Figure 1- How to Install MLV, For superior soundproofing results, use Acoustical Outlet Backer Putty Pad around all electrical outlets and other obstacles. {See Figure 2}


Figure 1- How to Install MLV, This step requires the work of two people.

The MLV is applied over the fiberglass installation and beneath the sheetrock.

With the help of another, hold the MLV in place, starting at the upper corner of the wall. Ensure the sheet is straight along the ceiling and is evenly spaced between the floor and ceiling {See Figure 3}

Fasteners: Any type of fastener will work (especially if the MLV will be covered with drywall) we suggest roofing nails or screws with washers, however you can also use a pneumatic cap stapler.

Figure 1- How to Install MLV,

Placement: Place fasteners every 8” along the top and bottom plate {See Figure 4} and down the length of the stud.


Figure 1- How to Install MLV,

Be careful not to cover electrical outlets boxes. It is best to expose the outlets boxes as you install each length of MLV.

Find the electrical box in your wall and gently press the MLV against the box. Using a razor blade carefully cut the opening along the edges of the box. Keep this hole tight as possible to the electrical box so that you maintain a good seal. {See Figure 5}

Any extra gaps can be filled with Acoustical Caulk.

Continue as above until your entire wall or ceiling is covered in MLV.


Figure 1- How to Install MLV,

Where MLV seams fall on a stud, butt pieces against one another on the stud and fasten into place. You can add a strip of PVC Tape on the seam. {See Figures 6 and 7}

We highly recommend that you end all MLV seams on a stud, as free hanging seams may come apart with time.

Figure 1- How to Install MLV,
Figure 1- How to Install MLV,

Where MLV seams falls between studs, overlap pieces by 2" and tape seams with PVC Tape or similar tape. {See Figure 8}

Figure 1- How to Install MLV,

Notch the ends to lay flat. {See Figure 9}

Once all strips of MLV have been applied, sheetrock can be installed above it and you can be ensured a sound-secure structure! For more information about MLV, contact us or call us at 845-388-1200. 

Customers Questions and Answers

1) Ronald S: Once i have the MLV on the studs, Can I use soundboard then drywall? Question should i use foam spacer strips on the studs to create a gap between the MLV and the drywall Thank you, Ron

Trademark Soundproofing Reply:

Yes you can cover the Mass Loaded Vinyl with any covering. No need to create that small gap between the MLV and drywall with foam strips.

2) Monica: Hi, If I apply MLV to walls and ceiling, can I just attach drywall using drywall screws to studs, or is there something else that is needed??

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: That is all that you need to do.

3) Maxine C: Can you fix mlv to plasterboard?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes.

4) Andrew L: Can I install the MLV over existing drywall and then put another layer of sheetrock on top?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes it can and is used that way.

5) Anthony M: Can mass load vinyl be place over existing wall

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes it can.

6) mike h: Can you place over existing sheetrock and leave as the inner wall covering? I have a closet I would like to convert to a practice room. I would like to place the vinyl over the wall, using staples or roofing nails.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes that can be done if you don't mind the color.

7) Greg: Does placing MLV over existing drywall then drywalling over the MLV reduce the effectiveness of the MLV? Do more layers of MLV create a more effective sound barrier? do the ceilings need MLV too if its a shared wall like in a condominium?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: It does not. Yes, however not as much as the first layer. If you have a shared airspace above the walls than the ceilings most be soundproofed as well.

8) Darren: I thinking of sound proofing my garage. Can I apply MLV to a brick wall?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes that can be done

9) Beau B: Can mlv be used on the floor? i know that insulation needs air in it and is not effective if squished. is mlv the same? im going to have my workbench on top of it.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes it can be used on the floor. Unlike insulation, MLV is solid and will not be affected if compressed.

10) Jason P: can u apply mlv with glue and if so what kind of glues should i use

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Hi Jason we don't recommend any, as some glues may react with the MLV. We have had customers who have used HH-56 vinyl cement successfully.

11) Josh: Hi, Can I hang MLV over existing sheetrock on the ceiling to block noise from upstairs neighbors? If so, is it best pulled taught or left slack? Thanks!

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: You can hang MLV on a ceiling. Taught or slack, either way the results will be the same.

12) John P: Can I use Staples to mount to studs. If so, What size?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes you can. Standard staple gun would work.

13) peter: Can you paint over MLV? If you install to existing ceiling can you pain t the MLV? If so what kind of paint?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Officially, no. However you could take a piece up to a Sherwin Williams store and see what they say – I’ve heard of customers using their ‘XIM’ primer, then painting it. Keep in mind that once painted if it’s moved the paint may flake off.

14) Josh: Do sound clips and hat channels add significant STCs if added to MLV?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Hi Josh. Yes they do. Decoupling introduces a new method that can add up to 15 STC points.

15) Malz: should i be using a 1 lb or 2 lb MLV for a home theatre room on the second floor of the house? I will be using a Quietrock drywall, would that be an overkill? Also should i be using the MLV for the ceiling too?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: The 1 point is easier to handle and install (especially on the ceiling!). Either way it won't be overkill as you are only using a single layer of drywall and there is not that much Mass there (if you switched to a double layer of drywall with Green Glue than the 1 pound Mass Loaded Vinyl is definitely enough).

16) Jose B: Hello, I'm soundproofing a corner in my garage. Should I remove the old sheetrock from the wall and from the ceiling before I install the MLV? Thank very much. Jose

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: The MLV will work well either way.

17) Robert: Can I use mlv on the outside of my house over my tyvek wrap in a cold weather city like Chicago? Will it?s effectiveness change as the temperature changes? Or is strictly for indoor use.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes. This material can be used outside without any impact on performance.

18) Graham : Can I apply mass loaded vinyl to a plastered brick wall? If yes, do I need to place plaster board on top of it and then paint?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: You can and it can be left exposed if you would like.

19) Kevin W: I am building out a control room and plan to use MLV for the first time. I generally install OSB first on the framing and then two layers of 5/8" drywall. Two questions: (1) can I substitute one layer of drywall for MLV and maintain same STC rating? (2) if so is it more effective up against the studs or can i sandwich between the OSB and 1 layer of drywall?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes. MLV will give you equal STC rating to another layer of drywall. Performance will be about the same either way you install it although some contractors like to install it "limp" onto the studs.

20) Jane: Using MLV on the floor in 2nd floor flat - I will have sound insulation slab fitted between the timber joists, my question is do I use MLV over the joists but under my floor boards or do I put the floor boards back down first and use MLV on top?! :)

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Either way would work. Under the joists would probably be easier for your finished flooring.

21) michael m: If I were to glue mass loaded vinyl to a composite wood board -- plywood, for example -- what adhesive should I use? thanks,

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: We don't recommend any glue as some of them can react badly with MLV, however customers have reported using HH-66

22) alex : Can I hang MLV over windows and doors to soundproof my bedroom? If so, how could i hang it up? Thanks

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: You can. You can staple or nail it. Alternatively you can install Grommets in the MLV and hang it that way.

23) Katie: Is it possible to affix MLV to concrete basement walls? If so, what do you recommend?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: It is possible. May be best to install wooden furring strips and then mechanically fasten the MLV to the wood strips.

24) Erin: I've read on some sites to apply the MLV loosely as applying it too taught will cause a drum-like echo effect? Is this true? Applying it loosely I think would cause gaps in the sound insulation it's supposed to provide so I'm wondering how best to apply it. Thanks!

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Hi Erin. It is not true. Lab tests on limp and taught installation show the same results.

25) mike: Can I use this under luxury tile.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: If you need to glue it down than it is not recommended as some glues may react with the MLV. Unless you cover the MLV with another underlayment first.

26) Lauren V: I need to sound proof a shared wall for a secondary dwelling. the exterior has 5/8" T1-11 that I am planning to attach the vinyl to. I would like to know if I can get the same results with two layers of 1/8" as with one layer of 1/4". Or, would it be better to attach one layer of 1/8" over both sides of the wall.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes the results will be the same.

27) Amy W: we are putting together 4x8 sound panels for large party room to install over garage doors. The plan was a frame of 2x4s, luan on the side facing the door, MLV on the luan, 4" wedge foam secured with chicken wire and black fabric to finish it off. Are we way off or what? Goal is to soundproof the doors as much as possible.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: That should work quite well. You can put MLV on both sides of the frame for better results. I am assuming that the foam is inside the frame. A lot will depend on how well you can seal the sides.

28) Matt H.: Our exposed joist basement ceiling transmits a lot of noise. We want to attach MLV to the subfloor between the joists and then attach a fascade subfloor to the MLV to retain the appearance of the open ceiling. Would this be an effective solution and how would you recommend attaching the MLV and fascade?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: It would help somewhat and the MLV can be attached with heavy duty staples. However sound can and will still transmit through the joists. Additionally you would want some kind of insulation/absorbtion.

29) Ali K.: I have a small day spa and was thinking about laying MLV on top of the commercial acoustic ceiling tiles because we seem to get a lot of noise transfer into other rooms through the ceiling. Would laying it on top of the ceilings above the room space work, or would it be better to attach it directly on to the ceiling tiles visible on the inside of the room?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Lying it on top would work and is a very good idea.

30) Jay S: I am thinking of installing MLV under tile with and electrical heating element. How stable is the vinyl if near a heat source like those commonly used under tile? Does this product have an odor when it gets hot (say 100 degrees)?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: It should be fine as long as it’s below 180 degrees

31) Jo: We have applied the soundproofing vinyl to the ceiling frame, in layers so the does overlap one another. The tape isn't grabbing properly so no ends have been sealed. Will this weaken the effectiveness? If so, are there alternative products we should try? Thanks.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: You can use a vinyl cement like the HH-66

32) Alex S: Above my acoustical ceiling tiles in the basement between the joists I put Insulation because we could hear noise from below. I can still hear some music, Should I staple the MLV to the joists, sealing in the insulation from below or would it be the same if I put them right on top of the ceiling tiles?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Either way will work. Main thing is to get complete coverage without any gaps.

33) Ian: Assuming I want to use resilient clips and hat channels (after going through the steps listed above): Is the best approach to attach the clips to studs directly on top of MLV? In other words, decouple the wall as you normally would, but with a layer of MLV in between? Is this the best order of operations, or is there more effective/efficient approach?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: That is a good approach. MLV directly to studs followed by clips and channels. Alternatively you can attach the MLV to the channels however that is slightly more difficult.

34) Nicole M: Can I install MLV on the floor under my carpet? I understand that nothing can be glued to to MLV, so I am wondering if carpet staples would be enough to hold both the carpet and the MLV. Also, I live in a very noisy condo. Would I be better off using 1 lb or 2 lbs MLV?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Carpet staples should be enough. 2 lb is always better as it is heavier however you do not receive twice the sound blocking. About 25% better.

35) Eric L: Can I install MLV over joists in the attic space above a bedroom (and over the top of insulation)? Would the attic heat be a problem? Does the MLV act like a vapor barrier (which you wouldn't want in the attic)? I was hoping to seal a room without having to remove the ceiling drywall if possible.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: You can do that, provided the MLV is laying on the joists and cover the entire room

36) Claudio G: Hi there. Thanks for these useful answers. I am planning to install to layers of MLV on top of my hardwood floor, above which I would then place a layer of underlay and carpet. How can ensure that everything stays in place if the MLV can’t be glued to the floor? Thanks.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: You can use a few staples or nails to keep it in place.

37) Samantha Bra: Can I apply MLV directly to existing painted wall and then cover in wallpaper?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: MLV can be applied to the wall. As far as Hanging wallpaper on it you would have to test it first to ensure that the adhesive does not react in a bad way with the MLV. If you do try it, please let us know your experience.

38) Bill Z: I am building a band practice space in a 20’ft x 14’ft shed. There is vinyl siding, 1/2” OSB, I am using sound insulation between the studs, then was planning on using 1# MLV, isolation clips on the studs, and 5/8” board. Do you think this is enough to keep the sound down enough to prevent my neighbors from hearing me?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: It's good. For band practice I would recommend that you use 2 layers of half inch with the Green Glue Damping Compound in between on the isolation clips. Just make sure all the walls and ceiling are covered in the same way.

39) Tom N: Is MLV effective if its hung directly on an existing wall? I don't plan to put anything else on top of the MLV.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes it is, as it is a sound "barrier" and blocks sound on its own.

40) Gloria S: I plan on installing MLV on existing drywall then covering the MLV with decorative wood paneling covering the entire wall. Will this be effective? Can the paneling be nailed into the MLV?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: Yes and Yes.

41) Mike: We have 2 toddlers on a second story that are driving the first floor tenants crazy. We'd like the most effective route to sound proof the first floor. Here's what we are considering after removing ceilings on the first floor from this 90 yo house: 1. r-19 insulation in rafters 2. Sound Clips through out 3. MLV -- 1 lb 4. 5/8" Dry wall 5. Green Glue 6. 5/8" Dry Wall … What are we missing? Anything else more effective than this?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply:

That is a great ceiling. Put the MLV to the joists and then the resilient sound clips and channels. Keep in mind that any recessed lighting will punch a hole in the soundproofing. Use LED surface mounted lights. Additionally put some MLV over any AC ducts.

42) Anthony: As a soundproofing process for my ceiling, could I remove my ceiling drywall, place the MLV above the ceiling drywall, replace the ceiling drywall, put another layer of MLV over the replaced ceiling, and then adding more ceiling dry wall over the second MLV layer?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: That would work. If your adding that many layers you do not have to go through the effort of removing the first layer just start from there. Unless you are adding insulation and need to get to the bays.

43) Randy T: I purchased 3 rolls of mlv from you and I am soundproofing an interior wall that has an hvac duct that runs to the level above. My question is can I install mlv to the studs on both sides of the wall or could it possibly cause mold or mildew issues? I would like to cut down noise in both rooms from the duct.

Trademark Soundproofing Reply: On interior walls there should not be any moisture issues.

44) mark m: do you have a mass loaded vinyl with an adhesive backing?

Trademark Soundproofing Reply:

Yes we do. See here