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Discussion Starter #1
I'll be covering my wheel wells with it, but a friend gave me a box still 2/3 full, and a roller, so I decided to put on walls.

Question - How smooth is smooth enough? Is some visibility of the rectangle cells good enough, so long as it's not a bumpy texture? Or do I need to kill my arms trying to get it down to a flat, even, surface?
 

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In my opinion, my Noico didn't benefit at all from the arm-numbing process of smoothing out the little diamond-shaped bumps like they recommended in the manual. I even went out and bought 2 different rollers to try to do it better (there's a kind that has a raised centre and so it can apply more force). Now that I look back on it, I can't see how it can make any difference.

If your Kilmat is the same construction as Noico, it's an aluminum foil over a butyl type of tape. Even if you use moderately firm (even barely firm) finger pressure, that stuff is never coming off. I've stuck some to the ceiling, so it's under the constant force of gravity and it's staying up there.

I think the sound deadening benefit comes from the weight of the material evenly adhered to the vibrating surface, not as much about how strongly. And believe me, even lightly applied it's strong.

Don't believe me? Just try removing a piece that you didn't roll. :cool:
 

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Remember to wear thick gloves; that foil will cut you up something fierce.

I laid pieces out on scrap wood. Using a dry-erase marker, I then drew up the size of the piece I wanted to cut out and used a utility knife to cut it freehand. If you use snips like some people do/suggest, you'll kill your hands and the butyl tape will gum up the snips; plus it takes a lot longer. With a utility knife, it's zip-zip-zip-zip and you're done.

If you plan to do lots of highway driving and you get ambitious, you can remove the shelves and headliner and stick some on the front sloped sheet metal above your head in the cab. That part of the van is quite tinny. But there's a zillion bolts involved.
 
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My Noico manual says the same. I wish someone has formally tested the rolling vs. not rolling. Maybe someone did. I did a rough test and I was happy with the unrolled version; I don't remember being able to tell the difference.

As for rolling it until it's smooth(!) Yikes, that will be by far the hardest part of the job. Like I said, I bought 2 different rollers and rolled very hard. And still, I could see the diamond-shaped patterns. I don't know what kind of strength it would have taken to make my Noico smooth; I just know I'm not strong enough.
 

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I assume they just want 100% adhesion.

For the OP just put it on, roll it and as long as it sticks all over call it done.
 

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It was definitely easier doing the floor than the walls and the ceiling! I had a brayer left over from my lino-printing days, and that, combined with a narrower one that hubby had helped with the rolling. It's important, though, to cut and then roll down any bubbles that occur, to ensure that there's no air between the Kilmat and the van.
 

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Of course, we all know sound deadening isn’t necessary if we’re going to insulate over it, don’t we?😉
 

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Afaik, Phil is correct on it being for best adhesion results. The bumpy texture is an aid to that end. I've known guys who installed it in everything they own and they don't bother rolling, but they bump and smooth it by hand. Granted, they're rather large fellows with a lot of experience. It's the air bubbles that are the enemy of adhesives.
Trapped air will change in density in varying temperature and work against the material trying to break free. If the full surface area is attached, you should be fine for the life of the vehicle. Instructions generally go overboard because if it can be ruled as user error then it isn't a product defect.

TL;DR it shouldn't need to be smoothed flat if applied flat. Avoid creases and bubbles.
 

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Of course, we all know sound deadening isn’t necessary if we’re going to insulate over it, don’t we?😉
I would augment to say that if it was the right kind of insulation and it was applied in the correct manner, then that's true.

1-inch polyiso could work if it were glued down evenly--much like the comments made here about 100% adhesion and no bubbles for the Noico/Kilmat. So, a Spray 90 or contact cement, or a Great Stuff Windows and Doors (not Gaps and Cracks!) spread evenly between the walls and the polyiso would be fine.

I have tested this myself and there are areas of my van where I skipped the Noico and used this very technique and it worked. Pretty comparable to the Noico in fact.

But if the polyiso were stuck on with a few spots of adhesive or if the insulation were a different material (some people use wool, fibreglass, recycled jeans), I can't see it working so well.

[Related, I see claims of thinsulate being a sound deadening marvel. Personally, I'm skeptical because it's so light but I went ahead and bought a few feet to insulate the cab because I'm picky about noise. If it helps, I'm ahead of the game.]

The OP was gifted some Kilmat and so she should go for it.
 
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I'd be really interested(maybe) in some soundproofing experiment data, if you science guys want to play with it or have a reference already. I know it's repeated a lot that the kilmat is cost effective to ~25-30% coverage and that it's also not necessary if insulated on top, but that's the sweet spot with diminishing returns after that point rather than a sharp dropoff to zero additional gain, right?

When is the absolute final limit reached? Can sound dampening reach sound studio soundproofing levels (if no windows and divided from cab)? If we ever get the super high roofs, can I have a disco ball party in a crowded area with no one aware until I open a doors? Can I possibly nap through the emergency system (air raid alarm) tests?
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Thanks, all.

I'm definitely cutting with the mat knife, goes like through butter. Carefully peeling backing as I smooth the mat down, avoiding trapped air. Some times the roller goes right to flat, and sometimes the rectangular cells stay a bit puffed, even seemingly rolling at same speed, pressure, angle.- I'm sure someone with "that" kind of brain would know what variation is causing that. I'm just gonna do as well as I can....!
 
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