This product is specifically designed to reduce airborne noise through party walls, whilst being easy to install, even for basic DIYers.
Almost identical to M20, although we think a smoother consistency product, this recycled rubber wall panel is designed to upgrade the sound insulation properties of party walls in the home and all types of domestic properties. It is extremely effective when applied to single skin brick walls, stud walls, or even breezeblock party walls (although care should be taken for the possibility of flanking transmission)
The SM20 Panel is simply glued with our high performance SM20 adhesive. Where the rubber needs cutting or shaping this can be done with a sharp knife or a jigsaw.
It is essential that there are no holes in the existing wall. The most common source of noise leakage is where the flooring and ceiling joists are fixed. The wall should be as airtight as is physically possible.
The plasterboards are then bonded to the SM20 panels using the spray adhesive provided. It is important to leave a small gap at the perimeter which should be filled with acoustic mastic.
The insulation is high effective where space is at a premium. Where the system as shown in the diagram above is employed the performance of the single skin brick wall is in excess of 48db Dnt, W +CTr which exceeds Part E party wall sound proofing requirement.
See the SM20 being installed:
Quick Installation Notes
As with any soundproofing installation you should make sure that that the surface to be soundproofed is in good order. With SM20 panels it is important to make sure that the wall is smooth and free from any wall furniture. You will be sticking a flat surface to another flat surface.
Also make sure to fill any gaps and cracks. Obvious holes can be treated with sand cement mortar and small cracks filled with acoustic mastic. If you are able check the joists wall junction and fill any obvious hole with acoustic sealant.
As mentioned the wall to be treated needs to be smooth and free of loose wall paper or flaking paint. You should think about using a PVA solution to bond the wall if it looks in poor condition.
Please see our in depth installation instructions for more information.
Other Areas to Consider when Soundproofing a Wall
If you are soundproofing a party wall be aware of the possibility of sound passing through wall below the level of the floor boards. To combat this you should consider using 100mm AMW60 filling the void under the floor immediately adjacent to the wall.
Another area where sound might be penetrating is through the party wall above the ceiling. If the ceiling is single skin plasterboard you can try and augment this by adding a further layer of 19mm plank and even think about using the noise blocker quilt in between the ceiling and that 19mm plank. While flanking transmission is an issue do not become too overly concerned with it if it puts you off doing the job in the first place. Ceiling improvement can be done post wall work if it proves to be a weak link.
If the party wall contains a fireplace that is not used then the ideal solution would be to brick up the opening and then treat the whole party wall with SM20 panels. Whilst this is ideal it is not often possible. From our experience we tend to find that it is the alcoves that are performing much worse than the chimney itself. This is due to the quality of original craftsmanship and the thickness of bricks used in the party wall originally.
Check the panels before installation removing any bits of loose paper that may still be stuck from the manufacturing process, and remove any dust to make sure panels are dry.
Now proceed as follows: The sound insulation is applied as soon as the wall is suitably prepared. Ensure the wall is dry and free of dust or grease and the surface to be treated is flat and sound. Adjust the spray of the adhesive by turning the nozzle.
Bond the SM20 panel to the pre-glued area of the wall and apply with a firm pressure over the entire panel to ensure it is properly bonded over its entire surface. You should apply the SM20 in rows and work upwards. Starting in a bottom corner. The application of the spray adhesive also applies to the plasterboard.
Make sure you do all necessary cuts to allow for corners and electrical fittings before using the adhesive as it goes off very quickly. Care must be taken to ensure there are no unnecessary gaps between the joints of the sound insulation. Any holes or spaces can be filled with acoustic sealant.
When each wall has been covered with the SM20 acoustic panels, no further treatment should continue until the adhesive has sufficiently cured. However if it is warm (over 21 degrees) the curing is fast and work can continue the same day. We recommend using two layers of 12.5 mm acoustic plasterboard with this solution although you can use 15mm or even 19mm plank.
Cut the acoustic plasterboard to the correct height between the ceiling and floor allowing a small gap at both bottom and top before applying the adhesive. When each board has been treated with the adhesive, place it into position onto the wall ensuring a small gap is left where the board meets the floor, walls and ceiling. Proceed with more boards across the entire wall and again, leave a small gap where the last board is cut in. There should now be a small gap all around the edges of the plasterboard where the boards meet the floor, ceiling and walls. It is easier to use thin packing pieces to achieve this, which can be removed when the adhesive has cured. This gap should then be filled with acoustic mastic.
Repeat the process for the second layer of plasterboard but this time overlapping the joints of the first layer. It may be necessary to support the plasterboard until the adhesive has sufficiently set. If you run out of adhesive at this point you can use any common spray tack adhesive or Unibond wallboard adhesive to add the final layer of plasterboard. It is imperative however that you use SM20 adhesive for the SM20 layer.
When the adhesive has cured, the soundproofed wall can be finished by plaster skimming or as desired. However, if plastering, be sure to maintain the small gap around the edges. This can be achieved with the edge of the trowel. When finished, the skirting board can be reapplied with adhesive or plasterboard screws. All screws used must be designed for plasterboard and must NOT bridge the insulation. Nails must never be used. Skirting boards should be fixed with a small gap beneath and in each corner to ensure the wall remains “floating”. All gaps can be filled with flexible acoustic sealant before decorating.
Fitting of shelves, cupboards and radiators, etc, should not commence until the adhesive has fully cured and at least a week after the plasterboard has been bonded. Be sure to use only the correct screws and plugs designed for use with plasterboard and be careful not to penetrate the insulation through to the structural wall.
Using the SM20 Adhesive
Before using the SM20 adhesive, read the directions on the back of the can then proceed as follows;
- Shake can well before using. For best results, the ambient temperature should be 70°F/21°C and properly conditioned.
- Ensure all surfaces to be bonded are free from dirt, oil, grease, dust, and any other material that may affect the bond.
- Adjust the nozzle by turning to the largest spray pattern which is usually the third symbol to the right looking at the top of the can and near the base of the nozzle.
- Hold the can 6 to 8 inches away from surface and apply in even coats making sure the adhesive 'webs' across the surface.
- Take care not to use too much adhesive or you may run out before the end of the job.
- Do not hold closer than 6 inches or 'wet' the surface.
- It is important a web pattern is obtained and at least 80% of the surface is covered.
- One surface should be sprayed vertically and the other horizontally. Do not concentrate in one spot or allow to puddle.
- Once both surfaces have been coated, bond the sound insulation directly to the wall with a firm, even pressure.
- Tack time can vary depending on climate conditions and may well be shorter or none at all if it is warm. In warm conditions, the adhesive may go off before bonding commences if too much time is taken before bonding the two surfaces together so don’t delay.
- It is important that good pressure is applied to ensure a firm bond is obtained.
- A roller may help.
- Although our adhesive is low odour, it is still advised that where the work is being conducted is well ventilated with a window open if possible.
- The adhesive should be stored at normal room temperatures of 15° - 21°C.
Using Fixings to help the bond
Occasionally, for various reasons, problems may be encountered bonding the product to the wall. When this occurs, mechanical fixings can be used in addition to the adhesive as follows:
If fixing to plasterboard faced timber stud, additional normal wire nails hammered well into the insulation so the heads are below the panel surface work well. In these cases use only sufficient nails to secure the insulation effectively.
When fixing to masonry walls nail guns can be used to shot fire nails through the insulation or alternatively, masonry nails combined with battens can be used but these must be removed when the adhesive has cured.
Visit our Fitting Instructions section for more detailed instructions relating to your specific application.
Check out our Soundproofing Guides for more information, advice and tips on all aspects of soundproofing.