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Acoustiblok Suggested Installation Methods

Commercial Master Roll on RD350 Roll Dispenser

This installation overview provides guidance for handling and installing Acoustiblok. Acoustiblok material is heavy (4-1/2 pounds (2 kg) per linear foot), and must be installed correctly for effective noise reduction in the finished structure. All tools and materials required for Acoustiblok installation (except common hand tools) are available as one order from Acoustiblok Inc., see our Installation Accessories List [PDF].

Acoustiblok Master Roll

Handling & Preparation

Acoustiblok is very heavy and must be delivered to the site and handled accordingly. 30, 60, and 350 foot rolls weigh 150, 300, and 1600 pounds (68, 136, 725 kg). It is safe to expose Acoustiblok to all weather conditions, however, it must be clean and dry when installed. On site, Acoustiblok is usually moved by hand truck (small jobs), forklift (large jobs), or crane/elevator (high rise). At install time, distribute rolls of Acoustiblok to location(s) convenient to where the installers will be working. [Fig 1] and [Fig 2] show normal handling for 30 and 60 ft (9 and 18 meter) rolls at a residential site.

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 1
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 2
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 3

To prepare Acoustiblok for installation, place the roll onto an Acoustiblok RD350 roll dispenser. An "A-Frame" stand can be improvised from scrap lumber and pipe [Fig 3], but the RD350 dispenser is the safest and most reliable way to roll out Acoustiblok. Unroll the first few feet of the roll [Fig 4] and square the end of the material with a framing square and cut off the excess with a razor knife. [Fig 5] Use the square when cutting Acoustiblok to length for installation runs. [Fig 6] This gives you an even starting point for the next run, and allows for tighter joints and a more level installation. Roll back the cut piece in the opposite way it came off the roll to minimize curling of the material as you install it [Fig 7].

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 4
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 5
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 6
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 7

Acoustiblok Installation Overview

Before you begin, carefully note any electrical services, plumbing fixtures, or etc. that will be covered by the Acoustiblok. If possible, mark their locations on the floor in chalk so that none will be missed, and cut out openings (or mark them accurately on the Acoustiblok) immediately after each section of Acoustiblok is secured in place.

An Acoustiblok barrier should be an airtight assembly; if air can pass through so can sound, so sealing is a critical step for a proper installation. Using Acoustigrip™ tape and Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant™, seal all perimeter edges, joints, cut out boxes, access points and the exposed edges at window and door openings. Use Acoustiputty™ pads to seal the backs of any boxes and any thru wall penetrations.

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 8
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 9
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 10

Always install the Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material with the logo and U.L. printing visible. This allows for quick inspection and sign off from building inspectors and assurance to your clients that they have received an actual Acoustiblok sound reduction treatment, not an inferior non U.L. rated and acoustically untested product substitution.

When possible, Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material should be installed on the noise side of the assembly. This will decrease the amount of acoustical energy that may be converted into mechanical noise.

Acoustiblok is a unique material and very few adhesives or tapes will stay bonded to it: AC foil tape, duct tape, most silicon and other adhesives tend to lose their bond to Acoustiblok material in 4 to 10 days, unfortunately sometimes after the drywall is up jeopardizing the results of your installation. The Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant, Acoustigrip tape, and Acoustiputty sealant pads that have been formulated and tested to work fully with Acoustiblok. Our independent acoustical test results have been performed using Acoustiblok sealant products -use of other products may affect the sound reduction properties of your Acoustiblok treatment. Please refer to individual product & assembly installation sheets for detailed instructions.

Do one final inspection of the entire job and verify that each stage of the installation is complete, including cut-out and sealing of all electrical boxes, HVAC vents, etc. Your installation is now ready for drywall. To prevent dimples in the drywall, keep material and fasteners as flush as possible and use 5/8" or thicker drywall, and avoid using fasteners at locations where the Acoustiblok layers overlap.

Wall Installation Notes

You may choose to either butt or overlap the horizontal seams. If you overlap, be aware that there will be a 1/8" rise in the fastening surface for the drywall. Do not place any fasteners within the overlap area. Overlap at least 1" to assure adequate sealing and apply Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant within the overlap area. Either method requires that you to seal the seams with Acoustigrip tape and Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant.

Installing Acoustiblok on the interior side of an exterior wall requires attention to the vapor flow performance of the wall assembly. To provide adequate vapor flow the material seams should be overlapped. Use the Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant and spot apply it to the center of each wall cavity. Do not tape the seam or apply acoustical sealant along the bottom of the assembly. Do not put any fasteners within the overlapped area.

When drywall is installed make sure that its edges do not touch any adjacent surfaces. Leave 1/8"-3/8" gap around the entire perimeter of the wall and fill gap with Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant. This decouples the surfaces reducing the mechanical transmission of the sound. Tape & finish the drywall as normal.

If using resilient channel, attach the channels to the stud or joist 24" o.c. on top of the Acoustiblok. Use screws long enough to penetrate the drywall and channel only. Do not penetrate the Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material.

If in-wall speakers are used you must create an exaggerated bend of the Acoustiblok into the wall or joist cavity, providing sufficient clearance behind the speaker as to not touch either the speaker or the opposite surface. You may want to section the Acoustiblok so that the speakers´ cavity is treated separately. Use Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant and Acoustigrip tape to seal any seams.

Using higher density insulation may further enhance the sound reduction properties of an Acoustiblok treated wall assembly. We recommend using QuietFiber to increase the sound reduction properties of the assembly.

Wood Stud Wall Installation

Nails, staples, or screws may be used to secure the Acoustiblok to wooden studs. Either fastener requires a plastic or tin cap roofing washer to ensure that the material will not pull away from the fastener or tear the material. If you are using air tools to drive your nails or staples adjust the air pressure low enough so you don't shoot through the washer or material. (Ask your sales rep about the Bostitch cap & stapling system.)

Acoustiblok should be installed horizontally across the studs in wood stud walls, for easiest handling and best mechanical connections. We recommend starting at the bottom, covering the wall from side to side then working upward. Right handed installers will typically work from left to right when possible. In some situations experienced installers may choose to work from the top down.

Take a measurement from the starting corner to your first obstacle; window door or adjacent wall. If a single piece would be unmanageable; due to the weight (1lb SqFt), cut the material into manageable sizes. All seams must be located in the center of the stud or joist for proper sealing. Snap a chalk line across the studs for visual reference helping to maintain a level run.

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 14
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 15
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 16

Start the installation in a corner, securing it with 5 fasteners. Install 4-5 fasteners per section starting with the top first and work down, keep fasteners and material flat against the stud. Unroll the material across a few studs and place the roll in one of the following stud cavities, for ease of handling by reducing the weight of the material you are handling during the installation. Use the studs for leverage to help pull the material into position. Do not pull the Acoustiblok too tight; leave a small amount of slack or looseness between the studs. Maintain a small gap (1/8"-3/8") between all adjoining surfaces (floor, ceiling, walls). These gaps will be sealed later with Acoustigrip™ tape and Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant.

At the start of the run, use as many fasteners as necessary to secure the first edge and hold the material in place. In most applications, one fastener every 18" along every stud (4 fasteners per stud for every sheet of Acoustiblok) should be sufficient to secure the Acoustiblok. No matter what fastener is used, it is necessary to use tin caps or staple caps to prevent the Acoustiblok from tearing loose under its own weight. It is also important to keep all fasteners as flush to the surface of the Acoustiblok as possible, to prevent bumps from showing in the drywall installed over the Acoustiblok. Nails and screws must be countersunk into the tin caps.

To be effective, an Acoustiblok installation must be as airtight as possible. Use Acoustigrip tape and Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant to seal all perimeter edges, joints, electrical boxes, access points and the exposed edges at window and door openings. Use Acoustiputty™ pads to seal the backs of any boxes and other large gap wall penetrations.

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 17
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 18

Steel Stud Wall Installation

Installing Acoustiblok on steel studs is the same process as installation on wood studs, with a few variations. You must of course use self-tapping sheet metal screws, with tin caps, fender washers, or similar to prevent the Acoustiblok material from tearing loose under its own weight. Metal caps and self tapping wafer head screws (Acoustiblok Item # WHS) are available from Acoustiblok Inc.

Some installers use 2x4 lumber cut to fit snugly between metal studs, to brace the studs at the end of each run while pulling the Acoustiblok against them. Remove the spacers at the end of every run, before the last row of fasteners go in.

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 19
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 20
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 21

Floor Installation

The Acoustipad™, Acoustiwool™ WF0.125, and Acoustiwool™ TF0.11 are optional underlayments that enhance the sound reduction properties of the Acoustiblok. If your projects installation does not utilize these products omit the related steps from the following instructions.

Wood Joist Installations

Acoustiblok is most effective when it can be applied over the top of the joists before the subfloor is installed. To increase the sound isolation of the floor assembly, a second layer of Acoustiblok may be applied below the truss members (see below under Wood Joist Ceilings).

Use FCA29 Fast Cure Mastic and run an approximate 4' 6" bead along each joist. Lay the material over the joists with a minimal number of staples, or tape. It need not be tight, do not worry that it will sag slightly. Do not overlap the Acoustiblok. Wipe clean and seal the seams with Acoustigrip tape and check to ensure there are no gaps or holes left in the installation area. The Acoustiblok barrier should be air tight.

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 21
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 22

Use FCA29 Fast Cure Mastic to glue the subfloor to Acoustiblok. If you use nails, use the absolute minimum number of nails required to secure the subfloor to the joist as nails will short circuit your noise abatement installation and transmit sound directly from the subfloor into the joists.

If the installation allows, decouple the floor assembly from adjacent drywall 1/8"-3/8" and fill this gap with Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant. This eliminates an important path for noise transmission: Direct contact between walls and subfloor causes sound from the floor to travel into the wall structure and down into the other rooms. This is called a "flanking path".

In between each joist, a 1/8" clear hole should be drilled in the Acoustiblok as water warning should the floor be flooded at some future date.

NOTE: Eliminating water

If a subfloor assembly with Acoustiblok is exposed to rain or other water sources, the Acoustiblok will hold the water in between the joists. This will not hurt the mold retardant Acoustiblok, but could cause mold or warping to the decking if not thoroughly dried. If it has rained or there is water/moisture held under the decking we suggest the following:

From the bottom, make a cut approximately 4" long, centered between each joist at the lowest point in the Acoustiblok membrane, and insert any type of spacer in the gap to allow drainage and airflow to thoroughly dry out. After thoroughly dry, and rainwater is no longer a threat, remove the spacers from the cut joints, wipe clean, and put a minimum 8" piece of Acoustigrip tape over the cut.

Subfloor Installation

For all floor installations where resilient underlayments are used, it is important to maintain isolation of the underlayments and floor finish with all adjacent surfaces. Always leave a 1/8"- 3/8" perimeter gap between the Acoustiwool, Acoustiblok, substrates and flooring from all adjacent wall surfaces. Fill these gaps with Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant.

Verify that the underlayments and substrates provide the structural requirements of the finished floor.

Confirm the compatibility of any adhesives, thinset or other products used with the Acoustiblok products. Many adhesives initially bond well to Acoustiblok material, but release within a few days due to interaction of elasticisers with the adhesive medium. Acoustigrip™ tape, Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant™, Acoustiputty™ pads, and FCA29 Mastic adhesive are formulated to bond permanently with Acoustiblok.

If the installation requires Acoustiblok to be installed on top of the subfloor there are different options depending upon the final finish of the floor.

Carpet Floor Finish

Unroll Acoustipad perpendicular to the planned direction of the Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material. Tape all seams using Acoustigrip tape. If needed run a bead of adhesive along the edges to prevent the Acoustipad from curling up.

Install the Acoustiblok and tape all seams using Acoustigrip tape in one of the following configurations:

1) Install the tack strip using fasteners long enough to compensate for the additional 1/2" height of the Acoustiblok and Acoustipad underlayments.

2) Install the Acoustipad approximately 1-1/2" - 2" away from the perimeter edge allowing the Acoustiblok to drape over its side, then install the tack strip on top of the Acoustiblok only.

3) Install 1" x 2" furring strips 1/8" - 3/8" away from perimeter surfaces and nail the tack strip on top of it. Use Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant to fill in the perimeter gap. The height of all your materials Acoustipad, Acoustiblok, and the carpet padding should be close to even with the top edge of the furring strip.

Install carpet & padding per manufacturers instructions.

Wood Floor Finish

Place the Acoustiwool WF0.125 perpendicular to the planned direction of the Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material. Allow the Acoustiwool WF0.125 to float on the subfloor - do not use any adhesive. Do not overlap the material. Tape all seams.

Next roll the Acoustiblok over the Acoustiwool-WF0.125 taping the seams and caulking around the perimeter. You may spot glue the Acoustiblok onto the Acoustiwool-WF0.125. If the Acoustiblok is not lying flat, allow it to sit overnight at ambient room temperature.

For glued down, engineered or solid, wood follow the manufacturer´s installation instructions. Verify compatibility of recommended adhesive with the Acoustiblok material. You may also further decouple the floor assembly by adding free floating plywood or other suitable substrate on top of the Acoustiblok as the subfloor. Do not use any adhesives in this step; allow the substrate to float freely on top of the Acoustiblok and Acoustiwool-WF0.125 combination.

For mechanically fastened engineered or solid wood flooring you may install it directly on top of the Acoustiblok following manufacturers' instructions. The recommended installation is to have a floating plywood substrate as above. This decouples the floor assembly from the building frame, and prevents fasteners from mechanically transmitting noise between the joist/subfloor assembly and the floating floor assembly (acoustical short circuit).

In all installations, leave a 1/8"-3/8" perimeter gap between the Acoustiwool-WF0.125, Acoustiblok, substrate and flooring from all adjacent wall surfaces. Fill perimeter gap with Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant.

Tile Floor Finish

Subfloor construction must comply with ANSI, TCNA and other industry standards.

Place the Acoustiwool-TF0.11 perpendicular to the planned direction of the Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material. Use thin set to adhere the Acoustiwool-TF0.11. Roll flat with a 75lb roller. Do not overlap the material. Tape all seams using Acoustigrip tape.

For better acoustical isolation you may choose to install the Acoustiwool-TF0.11 and the Acoustiblok without adhesives and install free floating plywood or other suitable surface underlayment on top of the Acoustiblok as the floor substrate. If natural stone tiles are to be installed, a suitable substrate must be installed on top of the Acoustiblok and Acoustiwool- TF0.11. If only the Acoustiblok is installed you may install the tiling directly adding Laticrete 333 Thinset Admix or other acrylic bonding agent to your thinset.

As always, leave a 1/8"-3/8" perimeter gap between the Acoustiwool-TF0.11, Acoustiblok, and tile flooring from all adjacent surfaces. Fill this gap with Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant.

Ceiling Installation Overview

Due to the weight of the Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material, it is recommended that a 2 - 3 person crew be used for safety and installation efficiency.

If your project uses recessed can lighting it is important that you specify sealed back can lights for the project. Sealed back fixtures provide a significantly better sound reduction than standard fixtures. Do not use Acoustiblok to surround or enclose any light fixtures due to possible high temperatures, and air flow requirements.

Any penetrations for ductwork, lighting, etc must be sealed around the edges with Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant and Acoustigrip tape.

Using a higher density insulation may further enhance the sound reduction properties of an Acoustiblok treated ceiling assembly. We recommend using a mineral wool product such as Thermafiber or IIG (Industrial Insulation Group) to increase the sound reduction of the assembly.

Acoustiblok Install
Fig 23
Acoustiblok Install
Fig 24

Wood Joist Ceilings

When installing Acoustiblok overhead, it is necessary to support the material in place for fastening. Acoustiblok recommends on-site fabrication of a simple roller support system. Empty Acoustiblok roll cores, PVC pipe, or conduit may be used. Pass a sufficiently strong rope or wire through each roller, and make a loop at either end to hang the roller assembly between nails driven into the joists. Pull the Acoustiblok material through your roller supports, and work backward along the material applying fasteners. Move the rollers back as required to support the free end of the Acoustiblok material. View the video below for a demonstration of this technique and others.

Allow enough slack in the Acoustiblok so it hangs below the joist 12" or a distance that will allow you to comfortably lift and hold the material to the joist to fasten it. Space fasteners every 8"-10". Seal all seams with Acoustigrip tape.

Alternately, a T-bar, drywall jack, or other suitable method may be used to support Acoustiblok material during overhead installation.

Once Acoustiblok is in place, install ceiling as designed. A hanging track & channel framing ceiling system is recommended as it provides the greatest mechanical isolation from the floor assembly. You may also install hat channel perpendicular to the joists over the Acoustiblok for additional ceiling isolation.

If using resilient channel, attach the channels to the stud or joist 24" o.c. on top of the Acoustiblok. Use screws long enough to penetrate the drywall and channel only. Do not penetrate the Acoustiblok Sound Isolation Material.

Maintain a 1/8"-3/8" gap around the perimeter to isolate the ceiling from the adjacent walls. This prevents an acoustical flanking path from transmitting sound around your Acoustiblok installation. Fill this gap with Acoustiblok Acoustical Sound Sealant.

Concrete Ceilings

Acoustiblok must have a framing member for attachment, requiring at minimum a furring channel for attachment. Finish installation and details as outlined above in wood joist installations.


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