One of the most fundamental aspects of increasing comfort in the desired space is soundproofing. Therefore, there is a sheer variety of methods and materials out there that can help you achieve that (here are some examples). However, the primary focus of this guide will be the green glue soundproofing products.
Since green glue is a relatively new product that recently hit the market, many questions arose about its use. People often have divided opinions about it. Just as equally, they are simply not sure about its properties and how it actually works. Moreover, the installation process might come as confusing as well, mainly because it differs from the regular application methods.
The following sections in the guide will closely dissect each of these issues and explain them in greater detail. The information that you acquire by reading the guide will help you better understand and approach the product.
What Exactly Is Green Glue?
Green glue refers to a viscoelastic damping compound that contains a polymeric formula which converts sound waves into heat. This product does not act as a sound deadener, sound absorber or a sound diffuser. Instead, it acts as a sound damping system when applied between two layers of any soundproofing materials.
The compound itself is quite non-hazardous and eco-friendly. Its use is often present in the renovation of old and construction of new projects. It works well with building materials such as drywall, mass loaded vinyl, plywood, MDF, OSB, and cement board. The product does not require measuring or troweling due to its consistency. Moreover, green glue is extremely resistant to mold growth but does have a distinctive odor. However, this can be controlled and prevented.
How Does It Work?
By applying one (or more) layers of green glue, you reduce the sound transfer that comes through the sheets of drywall, plywood, etc. The green glue compound is applied exclusively in-between two sheets of firm material. The reason for that is because it needs to change the resonant frequencies of those materials. It covers every square inch between the material layers and merges them into an even firmer layer.
Keep in mind that sound is an energy wave that travels through the air by vibrating air molecules. This vibration is transferred through walls, floors, and ceilings as well. You might be wondering what does this have to do with heat?
These materials constantly pull and stretch the damping material when the energy passes through. When that happens, green glue converts that mechanical energy into heat. Its polymeric construction allows it to do so by dissipating the vibrations that occur in the process. The final result is one larger damped material which can effortlessly dissipate the sound energy.
Which Green Glue Products Should You Use? (Review)
There are 5 variants of Green Glue products currently on the market. A couple of brief reviews will be provided down below. The products are as follows:
Green Glue Damping Compound (Bucket)
This is a 5-gallon bucket that can cover almost the same amount as 24 Green Glue tubes. The Green Glue Compound bucket (link to Amazon) is suitable for larger surfaces that go over 300 square feet. Considering the cost, you can effectively maintain the cost-quantity ratio if you use it on larger projects.
The product really does seem like a good deal. However, many construction workers, who had a chance to use the product, say that there is a downside to it. They complained about having to constantly refill the applicator gun. That is, kind of, true because it slows down the construction process and tires you out quicker. The applicator requires maintenance too (you need to clean it regularly to avoid dripping) which might be a deal breaker for some people.
Green Glue Compound (Tube)
These are also known as ‘’The Green Glue Tubes’’. Two cases of the tubes (24 tubes) equal to one 5 gallon bucket. It is definitely a cheaper variant of the product which was mentioned above. There’s no need to buy an applicator gun (which is around $30) since the tubes themselves act like it. The product offers basically everything that the compound bucket does. The only difference is that smaller groups of workers often use it for smaller surfaces (under 300 square feet).
Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant
Cracks and gaps are a constant occurrence in aging walls. Green glue manufacturers have worked on developing a product that will minimize (if not completely eliminate) the visibility of cracks and gaps – Green Glue Sealant. An interesting thing about this product is that it does not have a distinctive odor. In addition, the sealant does not crack with age and has a decent level of drying resistance. Once applied, the sealant seals instantly and the drying takes up to 48 hours. The application is relatively simple and does not require much effort.
Green Glue Noiseproofing Joist Tape
Those of you who concern yourself with floor soundproofing can buy the Green Glue Joist Tapes. The main purpose of this separate product is to solve the issue of squeaky floors and loud footsteps. The way it works is by creating an airtight seal in order to dampen the overall foot traffic. This product is a fast and easy solution for people who have such problems. The good thing is that you don’t have to resort to using other products. This one will suffice.
Green Glue Clips
Similarly to Noiseproofing Joist Tapes, Clips offer a simple yet effective solution! You can use them to mechanically separate two opposing sides of a wall. That way, you ensure that only one side vibrates when the sound hits the wall (only one side gets hit).
So which product is the most optimal one? It really depends on what surface you intend to cover as well as on what your preferences are. The Bucket is good for larger surfaces but requires additional equipment. The tubes are intended for smaller surfaces but are easy to handle. Joist Tapes and Clips present you with a chance to easily solve your problems without investing much time and money.
Where to Buy Green Glue Products?
These products are available via the company’s official websites or through Amazon (see the offer). The websites offer a wide selection of distributors for America and Canada. There’s a list of international distributors as well. Purchasing directly from the website might be better if you own a company and buy big (such as a whole pallet). Each distributor might have their own different offers.
On the other hand, you might be able to find individual products on Amazon cheaper than on the website. Some distributors have their own Amazon accounts, so in the end, it’s the same thing.
How to Apply Green Glue Compound?
APPLICATION: The application of Green Glue products can be rather simple, provided that you’re familiar with the procedure. If not, this section will be extremely useful to you. The first thing for you to do is to hang the first layer of drywall. After you have finished with that, you can start applying the Green Glue. There are two ways to go about that. You can either apply it on the hanging layer or on the second one that you intend to hang. If you’re using the compound and the application gun, that process will be fairly simple. The gun equally spreads the compound across the layers.
If you’re using tubes, make sure that you have a caulking gun. Even though that’s not necessary, it is an advantage as it speeds up the whole process. The most optimal and recommended application is 2 tubes per 4’ x 8’ areas (if you’re using the tubes). The pattern that you make while spreading the glue does not matter that much. You can make any random pattern; just make sure that you cover everything.
Remember that Green Glue is not a decoupling product (it does not fill out the space between the layers). That means that you should tighten the screws of the layers in order to press them against each other. This rule applies to each added layer.
Another, perhaps, more convenient way would be if you applied the glue to a loose drywall sheet and then hung it. Whichever way you decide to use is up to you.
DRYING TIME: Once Green Glue dries up, there’s no turning back. It’s important for you to apply everything within 15 – 20 minutes and screw everything together. When you apply Green Glue at first, it remains in its liquid form for a couple of days. If you notice that there is no improvement, do not worry yourself. That is completely normal. It will take up to 7 – 8 days of drying until you start to hear some improvements in sound reduction. Generally, the glue requires about a month (roughly 30 days) to dry completely for the most optimal performance.
Tips for Using Green Glue Products
What better way to increase the performance of a product than paying attention to things which are so easily overlooked? Here are some tips and tricks as well as some things that you should definitely avoid doing.
- Do not use Green Glue with only one layer of drywall. It needs to be a constrained layer, so at least two layers of drywall should be used. You can use as many drywall layers as you want; there is no limit. In fact, the quality of soundproofing increases with each layer added.
- Never use conventional adhesive along with Green Glue. Low damping materials are not good for Green Glue’s consistency.
- The use of nails and screws is highly recommended along Green Glue.
- You can use Green Glue along with other wood products such as medium-density fiberboards, oriented strand boards, plywood, drywall, etc.
- Make sure that the layer of Green Glue is at least 0.5 mm thick. You can put more than that if you wish, but this level of thickness is enough. However, anything below that is not good.
Final Thoughts on Green Glue
By reading this guide, you have, hopefully, acquired more knowledge about several different aspects of the products in question. All in all, each of these products has its own ups and downs. That means that there are some of you who will want to use the bucket instead of the tubes and vice versa. The main idea behind this guide was to fill you in on all the details. What you end up deciding to purchase is up to you.
Have you ever used some of these products? If you have, then perhaps you can share your experience with the product in the comments below.