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Owens Corning sound wall

7133 Views 25 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  sounder
I hadn't seen or heard of this product before today. I'm seriously considering having this wall system put in my upcoming dedicated home theater this fall and am wondering if anyone else has heard of it, or knows about it. The accoustic properties that Owens Corning is proclaiming are amazing. The web page listed below will have video links in it that describe the product.

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First I have heard of it... sounds pretty interesting though.
I don't see any absorption coefficients. Also, if you're doing the entire wall surfaces and it's absorptive, it's likely too much in some ways and not near enough in the bottom end.

That's what I thought as well. No good having tons of midband absorbtion and nothing in the bottom. You'd get really unbalanced really fast.
You guys bring up good points. I'm going to be talking to the rep/installer the middle of next week. I'll see if I can get some numbers.

Also, I'm thinking this kind of panel wouldn't work very well with bi-polar speakers. Wouldn't it defeat the purpose ?

FWIW - extremely high WAF.
If its to absorby you could add some hard panels on the surface to act as a difuser and kind of counter act these panels abit.
I just watched the main description video...very interesting. Seems like a good product. Even if it costs more than dry wall it would probably save you alot on labor costs.

I like that it won't mildew.
- You don't loose as much floor space because they are thinner than standard 2x4 + drywall construction.
- Easy and fast to install
- absorbs sound

- Expensive
- Need to use proprietary materials to complete the job (eg: electrical boxes)
- Has to be installed by a Owen's Corning contractor (I think?)
- Ugly seams
Ok guys & gals. The Owens Corning Rep/Installer was here tonight and here’s the scoop.

Both my wife and I agree that this product is by far, hands down, easily the absolute best possible wall system that anyone could ever put in their home theater or music room. No ifs, ands, or buts. Especially so if it’s in a basement. It’s as close to mold and mildew proof as you can get, and at the same time allows your cement walls to breath. It’s “no to low maintenance” and is highly resistant to staining from accidental spills of liquids, Crayon marks, etc. Acoustically, your room will be as dead as dead can possibly be. It’s like having wall to wall and floor to ceiling acoustic panels covering every square inch. NRC = 95%. Very very cool stuff to be sure.

The catch ? You need cubic $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ to have it installed. It runs about $22 per sq/ft of wall space. OUCH ! Even this rocket scientist was able to figure out that $30k to have one big room paneled (there’s still the floor and ceiling left) is something only high income people can afford. Bummer.

PS: The insulation/backing appears to be a slight derivative of 703. It's a little lighter in color, and slightly more dense. It's about 2 1/2" thick.
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Yup. I believe it's a 705 core that's been resin hardened. As you said, in addition to the cost, the room would be SOOOOOOO dead in the mids and highs that it'd not be a good place for listening - and you'd still have problems in the bass.

I guess the big issue with standard construction methods (ie: Studs, insulation, vapor barrier then drywall) is that they don't let the concrete breathe. Mold can start growing in behind the vapor barrier. Some newer methods say to skip the vapor barrier and then there are the more advanced wall systems such as the Owens Corning systems. But for the price you pay for the more expensive systems you could redo a room twice over using conventional methods.
Just a suggestion - as an alternative to the Owens Corning Sound Wall, you could use 4X8 sheets of 1/2" cement board on the interior walls and ceiling. This is a new product that came out in the last year, I think, in these dimensions, which are the same as a regular sheet of drywall. I've seen it at Home Depot for $36/sheet.

Because it's cement, it's a very very hard product, won't dent or scuff. Mind you it's a bugger to put up because you can't drive screws into it as easily as regular drywall or cut holes in it as easily. To drive a screw in, you have to tap the drill quite hard to get it started. You also have to use a diamond blade on the skillsaw to cut that stuff. Makes a ton of dust. I cut it in the garage to contain the dust. You can't cut it with a utility knife. And it's heavy - 75 pounds per sheet. Good workout for the arms! I used 38 sheets!

It's finished just like regular drywall. However, in terms of sound-deadening properties and durability, it can't be beat, except probably by the Corning product at a much higher price.

I used the cement board in my HT and am very happy with the results. I put the green Safe-n'-sound bats between the studs and joists before putting up the cement board for extra sound-proofing. I'm very satisfied with the results. Good isolation from the rest of the house.

One thing I noticed with the cement board is it has tiny bubbles on the surface that are revealled when it's primed. But that can be fixed when it's mudded, or in my case, I'll be applying some acoustic panels to reduce the liveliness caused by the hard surface so the small voids won't be noticeable anyway. Just an aesthetic issue.

To save a few $$ you could use regular drywall for the exterior walls, but of course then you run the risk of mould and mildew. I went the whole hog and applied the cement board on every wall and ceiling. When it's finished, you can't tell by looking at it that it's not drywall.

Now, one other word of caution: I'm not sure how a contractor or tradesman would react to a request to use cement board everywhere. I did mine myself. A contractor would probably charge an arm and a leg to work with this stuff for the reasons mentioned above.
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Actually, I have given some thought to using cement board. I wouldn't need it on every wall so I just might go that route and finish the rest of it with sheetrock. In place of the cement board, I've also given some thought to painting the back side and edges of the sheetrock with a rubberized floor paint or polyurethane before putting it up.
I'd advise against doing any kind of waterproofing or sealing drywall/sheetrock, particularly the edges. You won't get a good joint between 2 pieces and it would be difficult to apply to the crumbly edges anyway. I doubt it would look good when it's sanded.

If you're that worried about potential mould and mildew and don't want to use regular drywall or cement board and want to save money, use the green type of water-resistant drywall that's meant for bathroom walls. It handles exactly like drywall but it has that extra coating to resist moisture damage (not submersible, mind you!). It goes without saying you must also have a vapour barrier, whoops I said it.

Another important mould prevention trick if you're using wood studs in the basement is to put a moisture barrier between the concrete floor and walls and the wood. They should not touch because the concrete is porous. You can easily get mould and mildew forming on the wood studs from condensation before it starts to affect the drywall. Think about that.

I had an end roll of roof felt (tar paper) left over from another job that I cut into strips the width of a 2 X 4. I laid this down underneath the studs before screwing down the baseplate and all points where it contacts the concrete basement wall. This should prevent water wicking up into the wood studs. If I was using drywall I would then keep the bottom edge at least a 1/4 inch off the concrete (level at the top of course) to avoid contact with the cold floor. This gap will eventually be hidden by the sub-floor.
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Thanks for the tips. I like the tar paper idea. Good thinking.
As elawton wrote...I wouldn't put waterproofing on the drywall. Not because it would be hard to do or expensive, but because it would pose a fire hazard and is probably against code. If the room were on fire the polyurethane or rubber compound could burn quite quickly and produce a lot of toxic smoke. I would hazard a guess that it would probably be against code.

Cement board would give you a lot of fire resistance and soundproofing potential. It is extremely heavy and expensive though and harder to finish. Typically it's only used for shower/bath areas.

Bottom line. Standard "to code" construction if done properly will last a long time if the foundation does not leak. 50 or more years would be a good estimate. The Owens Corning system would probably last well over a 100 years. Similar would for the cement board if treated wood or steel and rockwool was used. You will never recoup the costs involved in the more expensive construction methods when you sell your house though.
Be aware that cement dust is v bad for your health. Wear a mask, keep the dust contained etc.

The Owens Corning system is just a high-density Glasswool batt with a pretty finish and a neat installation system. The panels are sound absorbers, not sound barriers.
Maybe is to late and you already did your room ...:yes:

But, what about using cement panels on the side walls and green drywall on the ceiling??? ... according to the posts those are better than regular drywall :huh:
I know this thread is from earlier this year. But, I'm considering getting this product installed in my basement, and moving my "theater" to that part of the house. So, I see the comments about how it may be "too absorptive" in the upper ranges, while causing problems with bass. can someone comment on what you mean about the problems with bass? What assumptions are you making about how this product will affect sound?
Thanks for the clarification.
The issue is that those panels will deal primarily with midrange and up and do nothing in the bass. In addition to leading to an unbalanced decay time, the mids and highs will be too dead.

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