What is Mass Loaded Vinyl?

Mass Loaded Vinyl, or MLV, is a heavy vinyl sheeting material designed to stop sound transmission.

The substantial weight and mass of Noise Grabber™ MLV is achieved by infusing vinyl with a proprietary blend of acoustical compounds, which gives it high density while allowing it to retain flexibility. MLV has been used for sound deadening purposes since the 1960s and is still considered to be one of the most effective sound blocking materials on the market.

Noise Grabber™ Mass Loaded Vinyl is a safe, non-toxic, odorless barrier designed to hang as a dense, flexible sheet in a variety of sound deadening applications.

How is Mass Loaded Vinyl Measured?

Noise Grabber™ MLV is measured by weight, designated in pounds (LB) per square foot.

The weight can be found simply by multiplying square footage by the MLV’s pounds per square foot. (Square footage is calculated by multiplying the width times the length)

For example, 1 LB Noise Grabber™ MLV equals 1 LB for every square foot of material; so a 4'x10' roll (4' x 10' x 1LB per square foot) would weigh 40 lbs.

The weight of Noise Grabber™ MLV correlates directly with its thickness. A lighter MLV, such as the 1/2 LB Noise Grabber™ MLV, is not as thick as a heavier material such as the 2 LB Noise Grabber™ MLV. Since the material is produced to the weight per square foot, there may be some slight variation in the thickness of the MLV. The general thicknesses are:

1/2 LB Noise Grabber™ 0.75 LB Noise Grabber™ 1 LB Noise Grabber™ 1.5 LB Noise Grabber™ 2 LB Noise Grabber™
1/16” 3/32” 1/8” 3/16” 1/4”

How Much Sound Does Each Weight Block?

The different weights of Noise Grabber MLV have varying different degrees of sound blocking capability. All Noise Grabber MLV products have been laboratory tested and have verified proven results backed by STC ratings.

The amount of sound blockage per weight is measured by the Sound Transmission Chart (STC) ratings, which you can read about in-depth on our STC Specifications page. STC ratings are compiled from testing at certified USA laboratories of how much airborne sound is blocked by a material.

How Does MLV Block Sound?

The heavier the material, the more sound is absorbed into the material and the higher the sound transmission loss.

Mass Loaded Vinyl stops the transmission of sound waves largely due to its weight and sound-absorbing construction. Sound waves cause a vibration when they contact a surface, which enlarges and expands as it transfers to the air outside of a room. Vibrations travel faster and easier through surfaces like floors and walls. A more dense and more flexible like Noise Grabber™ MLV helps reduce the transfer of sound.

Another advantage of Mass Loaded Vinyl is its composition. Noise Grabber™ MLV is made largely of PVC plastic sheeting so it does not have an odor that you generally associate with black rubber construction materials. It also has a smooth, consistent finish that allows you to finish a project in any number of ways, including leaving it open to the room.

Where is MLV Used?

Noise Grabber™ Mass Loaded Vinyl has a range of applications and is widely used across several areas of the soundproofing market, especially in  construction markets. Thanks to its thin, flexible makeup, Noise Grabber™ MLV is great for use in or on walls, ceilings, and floors. It reduces sound traveling through walls, between rooms, and is frequently used in the construction of sound or music studios.

Noise Grabber™ MLV is also used frequently in the automotive industry. Thanks in large part to its ability to stop any airborne sound, MLV is used in vehicles of all types to lessen engine and road noise and enhance audio quality. For more information on where Noise Grabber™ MLV can be used, check out our Applications page.

Installation of Noise Grabber™ MLV

Installation is easy and straightforward, though it may require multiple people due to the weight of the material. For installation tips, and a detailed walkthrough of typical installations, see our Installation Guide.

For other applications, such as automotive, Noise Grabber™ MLV can be installed using several different methods, including using double-sided vinyl tape, which is common in automotive audio markets, or with heavy-duty adhesive. Ask our experts about any tips for your particular project, or check out our line of Installation Accessories.

Results have shown that MLV is one of the best, easiest, and most reliable forms of blocking sound transmission. Noise Grabber Mass Loaded Vinyl can help solve any noise problem you may have. If you have any questions about Noise Grabber products, contact our sales team at (866) 447-8438 or at sales@soundproofingmlv.com.