5/8″ Vs 1/2″ Drywall For Soundproofing: Which One Is The Best?

As a homeowner, you have no choice but to use drywall to keep the house quiet and the environment friendly according to the weather. However, in this noisy neighbor scenario, the sound coming from their house is muffled since he is using drywall. In these situations, he should know the differences between 5/8″ vs 1/2″ drywall for soundproofing and need to know the best drywall for soundproofing.

The thickness of the drywall that someone is using will surely affect the level of soundproofing that he wants to achieve. There are various options for drywall on the market, so it might be difficult to find out which one is best for use. So, in this article, we’ll compare and contrast 5/8′′ drywall sheetrock vs. 1/2′′ drywall sheetrock to see which one is ideal for soundproofing a room.

So, the walls will have a much better finish as you use 5/8-inch drywall. Another reason for the 5/8-inch being preferred for soundproofing is its thickness. As a result, 5/8′′ sheetrock outlasts 1/2′′ sheetrock.

Why 5/8″ Sheetrock Better Than 1/2″ Sheetrock?

Sound waves travel through the air at 343 m/s (1,230 km/h; 767 mph) and transmit energy from a source such as a stereo speaker to the surrounding region.

Unlike light waves with shorter wavelengths, long-wave noises are difficult to prevent. Because sound may bend and flow through high apertures while reaching someone’s ears, for example, metals are superconductive to sound, and sound waves move at a speed of 21,460 km/h through them (13,330 mph).

When it comes to processing construction or renovating, a homeowner should consider placing 5/8′′ drywall on all of his home’s walls and ceiling.
Most homes built in the last 25 years contain 1/2-inch sheetrock on the walls and 5/8-inch sheetrock on the ceilings. As a result, some people save money by using 1/2′′ drywall on their walls instead of 5/8′′ drywall. Moreover, 5/8 drywall is more commercial and is fire-resistant. So, most of the people chose 5/8″ rather than use 1/2″.

The Distinction Between 5/8″ Vs 1/2″ Drywall

Using Ceiling

Sound waves are mostly air molecules that vibrate, causing the eardrum to vibrate when they reach someone’s ears. This vibration is perceived as sound, and the bigger the vibration, the louder the sound will be perceived.

The majority of builders use it for the ceiling. Another advantage of using 5/8′′ sheetrock on the ceiling is that it reduces the likelihood of the sheetrock bowing between the ceiling joists. Especially if they are spaced on 24′′ centers. Of course, someone will get better soundproofing if they use a thicker soundproof sheetrock substance.

So, before buying a user should know about 5/8 or 1/2 inch drywall on the ceiling.

Using Wall

Most modern buildings have ceilings with 5/8′′ drywall and walls with 1/2′′ drywall. Everywhere in the home, 5/8-inch drywall should be preferred. The reason is that 5/8-inch sheetrock contains traditional lumber with a smooth surface. So a user should know when is 5/8 drywall required.

When all of the wall irregularities have been removed, the walls will have had a significant amount of time to achieve a better finish. Another reason it is superior for soundproofing is the thickness of the 5/8′′. Additional bulk equals more consistency, and more mass equals the best soundproofing cause of this drywall. However, 5/8′′ drywall is more durable than 1/2′′ sheetrock.


Maybe someone decides to run the 5/8′′ throughout the house, then the main difference between these two is thickness and cost. For example, a user should be concerned about the cost of 5/8 drywall or 1/2 drywall.

The price difference is, of course, insignificant, considering the difference in quality and durability. Of course, the price of 5/8 drywall and 12 drywalls will be different.

For a 2200 square foot house, upgrading from 1/2′′ to 5/8′′ wallboard costs about $300 more. Instead of just the ceilings, a homeowner should inquire about the cost of upgrading from 1/2′′ to 5/8′′ sheetrock throughout the home. The price difference is minor compared to the variation over the all-feature wall.


Suppose you are concerned about which drywall will be heavy to control. Then obviously, 5/8″ drywall sheets are substantially bulkier than 1/2″ drywall sheets, but USG Ultralight fire code The Tapered Edge Gypsum Board provides a lightweight 5/8″ sheetrock option.

The USG Ultralight weighs 30% less (27 pounds) than the 5/8-inch equivalent without sacrificing performance or beauty. This drywall can be used anywhere type X boards aren’t required to minimize noise or provide fire resistance. As a person desires a more soundproof chamber, he can use regular 5/8′′ drywall. But an ultralight can also be used where noise reduction is not really a concern.

Best Places For Using USG Ultralight Drywall 

The Ultralight drywall is mainly designed for non-rated and 30-minute fire barriers, such as those used in the tenancy of process improvements, where roughly 80% of the walls don’t need to be rated for an hour.

Contractors who prefer 5/8′′ wallboard over 1/2′′ wallboard for increased durability. Especially in high-end custom homes. For commercial construction on steel studs, ultralight boards should be used instead of regular boards.

As the barriers between the offices and the meeting rooms are not fire-rated, ultralight drywall is a great option for office remodeling.

Maybe you’re a professional or constructing your own home. Keep in mind that each worker can construct three to five wallboards each day with lightweight drywall sheets, compared to the regular 5/8-inch wallboard.
That may sound insignificant, but when a large staff is engaged in a project, that figure may quickly mount up and save a lot of time and effort.

What Kind Of Drywall Should Be Used For Soundproofing?

Gypsum board, sheetrock, buster board, and plasterboard are all types of drywalls. It is made primarily of calcium sulfate dihydrate squeezed over two thick pieces of paper and may contain additions. Plaster can be mixed with a wide range of fibers, polymers, foaming agents, and chemicals.

Regular type X drywall and soundproof drywall like QuietRock drywall are the two most reasonably available drywalls used in soundproofing. Soundproof drywall often has an innermost surface of gypsum, viscoelastic, or ceramics to increase its STC.

The following drywalls are the most popular for soundproofing:

  • QuietRock
  • SilentFX by CertainTeed
  • SoundBreak by National Gypsum is

QuietRock materials have a greater STC rating than X-type drywall. However, they must be evaluated with improvements made, whisper clips, and hat channels, just like X-type drywall. QuietRock is made up of three layers of viscoelastic polymers that effectively attenuate acoustic signals.

What Is STC?

The Sound Transmission Class, or STC, is a measurement of how well sound waves flow across solid surfaces like walls and ceilings. Most indoor walls have an STC standard of 40. But higher-level STC partitions start at around 60 STC. The frequency is at the typical decibel level of 125–4000Hz of vocalizations, and most interior walls have an STC standard of 40.

Type of sound


Speech that is understandable


Loud speech, that can be understood


Loud noise heard but not understandable


The loud sound heard as a murmur


Loud speech is not audible but can be heard


Loud noises were heard more forcefully


Most noise that will not reach the neighbors


In terms of the STC rating for 1/2 drywall vs. 5/8 drywall,33 for 1/2 inch, and 30 to 34 for 5/8 inch

How Does Drywall Reduce Sound Transfer?

There are a few different ways drywall reduces the process of sound transformation. 


To enhance the STC, someone can use a range of objects between drywalls to absorb noise. Sound-absorbing substances like fiberglass, rubber, viscoelastic foam, and mass-loaded vinyl can be put between the drywall and the ceiling to reduce sound vibrations (MLV).


Difficulties in drywall can be transformed into the inactive panels required to suppress the vibrations of sound waves. Typically, this entails using a dampening solution, such as Green Glue, between two layers of drywall to create a rubber barrier that stops resonance transmission. By adding fiberglass padding to the hollow steel stud barriers, you can increase your STC by nearly ten points.


Sound vibrations are deceptive in that they move fast from one surface to another. The method of decoupling involves disconnecting the drywall connections from the studs and therefore interrupting the direct sound route. By generating a break in the establishment of a strong, staggered stud wall, sound vibration transmission is separated.


Whenever it comes to minimizing the vibration delivered by sound waves, mass is vital. Sound must cause a wall to vibrate slightly in order to pass through it. And the thicker the wall, the less vibration it will carry. Drywall, especially a double layer of 5/8-inch drywall, is one of the cheapest ways to add weight.

Some other ways 

Sound frequency waves can be transmitted from one area to another via vents, heating pipes, light fixtures, and switchboards. Putty pads can also aid in minimizing noise transmission. However, between the drywall and the surrounding ceilings and walls, there should be a space. To reduce sound transfer, seal these locations with acoustic caulking. Moreover, sound can be reduced by 12–15 STC points using robust clips and conduits.

Wrap Up

When is 5/8 drywall required, and when is the 1/2 one? It will depend on the size of the wall and ceiling. But still, if someone wants to know the best drywall for soundproofing 5/8″ vs 1/2″ he should focus on 5/8-inch drywall.

Patricia Mattice
Patricia Mattice

I'm Patricia Mattice, and I'm currently employed as a soundproofing engineer. I'm still acquiring knowledge about sound and soundproofing procedures. Furthermore, I am very good at noise management and like sharing soundproofing ideas and methods for any situation. Through our writing, we want to promote the best approach to making things soundproof.

Articles: 20

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *