View our Product FAQ for answers to common questions about TotalMass MLV.
Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is one of the original sound isolation products. For some time, it was considered the best solution for a number of sound issues. With advances in technology, higher-rated products have been introduced, providing more cost effective alternatives in walls, ceilings, and floors. TotalMass MLV is typically most useful in areas where a wall or ceiling cannot be constructed. Applications would include covers for doors, windows, and other openings, as well as around pipes, duct, in curtains, automobiles, and hanging from exterior fences.
1 LB VS. 2 LB
The standalone STC rating of 1 LB is STC 26 and 2 LB is STC 31. This 5 STC point difference is a doubling effect to the human ear. This significant difference in performance is only fully realized when the material is installed as a standalone product and not in a wall or ceiling assembly. In a wall or ceiling you should expect only a 2-3 STC point difference between 1 LB and 2 LB MLV.
Installing TotalMass MLV in a standard duty wall will decrease sound transmission. These gains are the result of resolving resonance issues in common building materials and not the mass of the material as it weighs less per square foot than a layer of drywall. The most significant gains from the MLV are in the mid to high frequency ranges. Offices, bedrooms, and any area with sound issues relating to voices and television noise will benefit from TotalMass MLV. A standard duty wall, (2x4 framing, single layer drywall on each side, and insulated stud cavities) will achieve an approximate STC 45 with 1 LB TotalMass and an approximate STC 48 with 2 LB TotalMass.
Basic ceiling and floor assemblies already consist of a variety of materials with different resonating properties. Because of this, the benefit of TotalMass in a ceiling or floor is minimal. The use of MLV in a non-resilient ceiling/floor assembly (an assembly with no resilient clips or channel installed) can provide a slight improvement in airborne noise isolation only. If the sub-floor is concrete or lightweight concrete, MLV will have no value in the assembly. TotalMass MLV will not help to improve impact footfall performance in either wood or concrete assemblies. For significant gains in ceilings, we recommend the GenieClip and for floors, QuietGround rubber underlayment.
ACOUSTIC GRID BLANKET
A frequent complaint in commercial office space is sound transfer from over the top of common walls, or the floor above, coming through the acoustic grid ceiling. Without converting the acoustic grid ceiling to a framed assembly with drywall, the best option is to add a layer of MLV atop the acoustic grid panels. Click the installation tab to view more on installing MLV on acoustic grids.
Using MLV as a curtain over doors and windows is a great use for the material. It provides a decent amount of mass without permanently blocking the opening. Click the installation tab to view more on installing MLV over doors and windows.