Sand in the wall - AVS Forum
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:05 PM - Thread Starter
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So I was having a conversation with an 'old timer' last night and he was talking about when he had to rewire his father's house, or at least some of it. They had the plaster walls cloth wiring etc. As he was opening the walls he was complaining about all the sand that was in the walls. I guess it used to be used as an insulator? Anyhow, I was mentioning my soon to be home theater build and he said that he thought that sand in the walls was a good way to block noise transmitting to other rooms. He said he found about 2ft of sand in the walls of the house and it was doing a good job of blocking audio from transmitting through the walls. Has anyone ever heard of this or tried putting anything like this into practice?
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Old 02-08-2013, 01:11 PM
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I have absolutely no idea but I can't wait to see the pics of the first build thread attempting to fill all the walls with sand.
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Old 02-08-2013, 02:34 PM
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Never heard of such practice.

Did he say that it was specifically for insulation?

If it was a basement wall I could see how it could be chinking falling out of a field stone foundation over the years. Without a vapor barrier, I have see a couple of feet of that accumulate between between the foundation and the wall.
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Old 02-08-2013, 04:08 PM
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I have never heard of this either, but a quick google tells me that it's come up in more than a couple forums of this sort over the last few years. The discussions I browsed through seem to come down to "Well, I guess you could do that, but I'm not sure it's worth the effort. Make sure it's dry and tell us how it goes!"

Here's a more technical look at it. Not sure if it's more accurate. http://forum.studiotips.com/viewtopic.php?t=397 The change in the wall from a double leaf to single seems to be seriously significant. Not sure if the increase in mass would make the single leaf more effective or not.
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Old 02-09-2013, 06:46 AM
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There are properties with *dry* sand which make it an interesting option in sound isolation applications. I would not consider it a good insulator, nor would I consider it safe, effective, or cost efficient in for acoustic applications in walls ... actually a bad idea.

I doubt very much it was sand in the walls of the "old timers" fathers walls. It was more likely vermiculite. If you find vermiculite in a home today ... do not disturb it or touch it. You'll have to have it removed by a licensed remediation company. While vermiculite dust can cause significant lung issues, the biggest problem is virtually all of the vermiculite used for insulation was contaminated with asbestos. You must really get rid of this stuff.

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Old 02-09-2013, 08:06 AM
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I read once that someone filled the stud bays between layers of drywall with sand... the drywall then bowed and ripped apart, spilling the sand everywhere.
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Old 02-09-2013, 12:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by johnbomb View Post

I read once that someone filled the stud bays between layers of drywall with sand... the drywall then bowed and ripped apart, spilling the sand everywhere.

That sounds about right to me. Sand in the walls sounds like a lot of work for a lot of risk. I'm also not sure what insect/mold/vermin problems might go with this idea too. While it's interesting to think about using sand as an insulator, there are probably very good reasons this is not commonly done.

~~~
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