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Soundproofing

#1
No, I'm not planning to put my daughter in the basement.

I am however looking into the possibility of soundproofing my bedroom in a 60's brick built semi. I'm not buying a drum kit and starting my own band I just fancy being able to sleep when my neighbours aren't.

Mission: Soundproof bedroom in order to not hear annoying neighbour. Fairly happy with the sound/lack of coming from outside as double-glazing is okay but not the adjoining wall.

Any ideas welcome and any rough prices/quote sites appreciated too.
 
#3
Expensive to do well. Sheffins a good place to start. What kind of noises is it keeping you awake? Generally there's two types (impact noise - footfalls, bangs, creaks etc - and 'airbourne' noise, usually music and speech).

Impact noise if a problem very expensive to correct as you'd ideally have to decouple everything (floor, walls and ceiling). Airbourne potentially cheaper.

You're talking a few K to do well. Might want to think about a good pair of earplugs instead!
 
#4
It is difficult to well. I did an audio control room for a TV studio once and even the floor joists were isolated from the slab floor with proprietary rubber dampners.

The walls had a double row of staggered studs with about 100mm of insulation between them and each side was clad in a double thickness of acoustic rated plasterboard. The ceiling was suspended with sound batts over the top.

Double doors offset from each other and double glazed. It was very peaceful inside when it was finished. Cost a poultice of course.

The design guide I used was the Gyprock ‘Red Book’ Here tis:

Gyprock : Design Guides - The Red Book-Fire and Acoustic Design Guide

Everything is possible provided that you can throw enough money at it.

Mick
 
#9
Build a second smaller room inside your bedroom and suspend it from the ceiling of the original room.

The gap between the new ceiling/walls/floor and the original should be as large as possible and filled with acoustic foam.

No windows and the door also filled with foam.

Perfect silence.

A good DIY project to while away those winter days :)
 
#10
Adding mass to a wall is the only thing you can do.

You can either do the wood-frames-and-rockwool thing, (use Rockwool 40) or use something like Acousti-stop sheeting, which is lead-substitute stuff on a roll which you can stick on the wall and does a good job of it.

I'm helping a mate with his small recording studio at the moment and we've very successfully applied the sheeting to his floors and his walls.

"Studiospares" Acoustistop 1.2Mx3M Sound Blocking Sheet at Studiospares
 
#11
Build a second smaller room inside your bedroom and suspend it from the ceiling of the original room.

The gap between the new ceiling/walls/floor and the original should be as large as possible and filled with acoustic foam.

No windows and the door also filled with foam.

Perfect silence.

A good DIY project to while away those winter days :)

do you get a free straight jacket with that.
 

Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#12
I live in a ground floor flat in a Victorian terrace. I used to be able to hear absolutely everything that went on upstairs and it was driving me mental, likewise the neighbours would bang on the ceiling when things were getting a little rowdy at mine.

In exchange for the neighbours sorting out their squeeky floorboards, I had a suspended ceiling bolted to my existing ceiling and had it packed with rockwall. It cost about 8 grand including re-decorating afterwards but is well worth it.

I had the flat valued last week and the soundproofing has also added significant wedge to the flat, to the tune of around 50 grand which is nice.
 
#13
Build a second smaller room inside your bedroom and suspend it from the ceiling of the original room.

The gap between the new ceiling/walls/floor and the original should be as large as possible and filled with acoustic foam.

No windows and the door also filled with foam.

Perfect silence.

A good DIY project to while away those winter days :)
Acoustic foam is not for soundproofing. It is for acoustic control. Which is entirely different.

To soundproof, you need to add mass. Why, in the name of adding mass, would you want to use something which is made half of air?

As Ravers said, his was done with rockwool. Which is fine. You will it into wooden frames, and then attach the wooden frames to the ceiling with special blocks that isolate the frame from the structure above. If possible you also use these blocks to isolate the frame from the surrounding walls too. Though that can get quite expensive, since the blocks are typically about £5 each.
 
#14
Don't forget the window? Is it still single glazed, or now has UPVC? Normal glass will be two panes of 4mm float glass, if you change this to one 4mm pane and a 6.4 pane this will give a sound reduction of about 5dB Rw, if you want more reduction see if you can get hold of 8.8mm Optiphon/Stadip for one of the panes, this should give about 8-10 dB Rw. Further reductions can be made by fitting secondary glazing 100mm back from the window.
The most important this with the glass is that the two panes are of different thicknesses, this breaks the sound wave up.
If its a more modern window with the little trickle vent flaps on the top or sash, take the internal cover off and fill with mastic, the vents do very little apart from loose heat and let sound in.
 
#15
Acoustic foam is not for soundproofing. It is for acoustic control. Which is entirely different.
You are of course correct. I should have put "sound absorbing material".

But as the whole idea was more a sort of OTT suggestion done for a bit of a giggle I didn't think anyone but a complete and total anorak would mind too much :geek:
 
#16
Soundproofing, as mentioned above can become expensive.

It's much cheaper to have a friend plunge a small posidrive screwdriver into both of your eardrums.

Or move house.
 
#17
The party wall (the one separating you from your neighbour) should be of cavity construction without anything linking the two sides. In practice, you'd probably find it stuffed to the gills with debris - wood, bricks, mortar, etc. It's likely to be this crap that's transferring the noise. Getting the crap out would be prohibitive, so let's look at cheaper options.

First, find out whether the noise is coming through the wall, the ceiling or the floor - easiest to do this by touch, feeling the magnitude of the vibrations.

Ceiling - Isolate your ceiling from the party wall - small vibrations transfer into the large area of your ceiling, making it act like a drum. Start cheap by cutting 10mm of plasterboard from the edge of the ceiling. Fill the gap with an intumescent mastic. It needs to be intumescent as you will have just fucked up the fireproofing that your plasterboard ceiling provides. This may be all that you need to bring the sound level to a satisfactory level. If not, the next stage is to ditch your ceiling and fit acoustic bars to the joists before hanging new plasterboard from them, with 100mm thick Rockwool insulation (dense acoustic matting would be better, but that'll be very costly) on top of the plasterboard. The acoustic bars are just Z-profiled galvanised steel straps, so they're not all that expensive. Do the intumescent seal around the full perimeter of the ceiling.

Wall - not a great deal you can usefully do here. You could put up an insulated plasterboard wall fixed to acoustic bars, but you'll be losing floor area and the sound reduction is unlikely to be particularly good - it may even get worse. Including an acoustic mat in place of Rockwool insulation may improve things a bit, but it's a costly option for little return.

Floor - Likely to be less of a problem than the ceiling due to its heavier mass, but remove the skirtings, check that there's a 5mm space between the floorboards and the party wall, then replace the skirtings, ensuring that there's a 3mm horizontal gap between the skirtings and the floor. You can put a soft foam draughtseal (the stuff that comes on a roll) into the gap to stop dust blowing out. Fit a thick carpet.
 
#19
The party wall (the one separating you from your neighbour) should be of cavity construction without anything linking the two sides. In practice, you'd probably find it stuffed to the gills with debris - wood, bricks, mortar, etc. It's likely to be this crap that's transferring the noise. Getting the crap out would be prohibitive, so let's look at cheaper options.

First, find out whether the noise is coming through the wall, the ceiling or the floor - easiest to do this by touch, feeling the magnitude of the vibrations.

Ceiling - Isolate your ceiling from the party wall - small vibrations transfer into the large area of your ceiling, making it act like a drum. Start cheap by cutting 10mm of plasterboard from the edge of the ceiling. Fill the gap with an intumescent mastic. It needs to be intumescent as you will have just fucked up the fireproofing that your plasterboard ceiling provides. This may be all that you need to bring the sound level to a satisfactory level. If not, the next stage is to ditch your ceiling and fit acoustic bars to the joists before hanging new plasterboard from them, with 100mm thick Rockwool insulation (dense acoustic matting would be better, but that'll be very costly) on top of the plasterboard. The acoustic bars are just Z-profiled galvanised steel straps, so they're not all that expensive. Do the intumescent seal around the full perimeter of the ceiling.

Wall - not a great deal you can usefully do here. You could put up an insulated plasterboard wall fixed to acoustic bars, but you'll be losing floor area and the sound reduction is unlikely to be particularly good - it may even get worse. Including an acoustic mat in place of Rockwool insulation may improve things a bit, but it's a costly option for little return.

Floor - Likely to be less of a problem than the ceiling due to its heavier mass, but remove the skirtings, check that there's a 5mm space between the floorboards and the party wall, then replace the skirtings, ensuring that there's a 3mm horizontal gap between the skirtings and the floor. You can put a soft foam draughtseal (the stuff that comes on a roll) into the gap to stop dust blowing out. Fit a thick carpet.
If you're going to that extent you may as well go all out and make a floating floor & wall.

But I agree with the above... Kill it at source.
 

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