“does anyone have recommendations for a contractor to soundproof my condo?”

soundproof
Photo by PoPville flickr user Beau Finley

“Dear PoPville,

Question for the community: does anyone have recommendations for a contractor to soundproof my condo? I saw previous posts in years past on the subject but not a lot of people responded to the posts with names of contractors and instead gave noise cancelling suggestions like earplugs, fans, and materials. I’m looking for contractor referrals specifically. Do you mind posting the question to the community? Thanks a ton!”

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21 Comment

  • Question…..are you trying to soundproof your windows and such from exterior noise? Or above/below you with ceilings/floors? Those are very different jobs.

  • what are you doing in your condo you don’t want people to hear?

  • don’t bother. it won’t work. i know you don’t want to hear that, but that’s the way it is.

  • Interested in this chain as well– we have terrible soundbleed issues from the units above and below in a townhouse condo conversion.

    • If it’s foot steps and such above you, that’s a tough thing to fix. A lot of it has to do with how a house is originally built/renovated (and these days it’s mostly on the cheap end).
      .
      Your best option is to either suck it up and say something to your neighbors if there’s something specific (like loud foot stomping) – or learn to live with it and hope you get quieter neighbors.
      .
      I live in a 2 apt rowhouse and have relatively new neighbors. Never heard my old ones and they were around a lot. My new ones are annoying as F and super loud. Luck of the draw. Hopefully they decide to have another kid and need a bigger place šŸ™‚

  • A. Sound proofing and Sound dampening are two totally different things and I suspect you seek the latter
    B. There are two types: 1. vibration 2. airborne
    C. If it is not down right (i.e. covering the whole condo) the noise will take the path of least resistance and you will have wasted a lot of money.

    Don’t just go to a contractor and ask them to bid you out, they will take you for a ride. Do a little research online so you can speak somewhat informed.

  • The contractor / developer should have furred or dropped the ceiling frame or isolated it somehow from the floor joists and installed fiberglass sound batting between the joists. I would at least invest in quality carpeting / rugs with good mats and ask your neighbors to do the same.

  • I had a friend soundproof his townhouse, and I think he put sand in between the party wall between his unit and his neighbor who had a crying baby. I think it worked but it was really laborious and expensive, not to mention, I’m not sure it’s legal or up to code. My contractor has said that in a multi-unit condo, even if you sound proof the walls, the noises can come in through your unit from the floors or the ceiling, so you will need to soundproof those as well, which may be impossible, especially if you have a concrete slab. In addition, the condo docs have limitations as to what you can alter beyond the drywall within your unit or the concrete slab.

  • I am about to finish my basement, and was researching this issue as well. I wanted to prevent much of the noise from basement downstairs (tv. conversations, music etc.) coming upstairs, and vice versa. I am not too concerned about footsteps noise, since the upstairs floor already has rugs and rug pads, and i am going to add another additional layer of soundproofing rug pads under the rugs to address that. That should go a long way – but use of resilient channel and green glue is what’s usually recommended to address vibration noise. You can put Roxul, or other type of insulation between the joists, then drywall – it can be some kind of spray insulation if the drywall is already there. You can also add soundproofing panels and have art printed on them – so it looks like regular art for the walls, if you are trying to block sound from coming in from neighbor, or from sound going out. There are a bunch of online companies that provide those products.

  • We used Max Insulation (http://www.maxinsulation.us/) for a similar problem in our house. This outfit is honest and efficient. We had almost no sound insulation between our main floor and the basement, which we were renting out. The tenant let us know (frequently) that she could hear our conversations, footfalls, and other noises easily.

    We called Max, who came out and explained that he could fill the space between the ceiling and floor with a foam, which can dull the some but not all of the noise. The big culprit was HVAC vents the opened to both the main floor and the basement. Sound could travel easily through the ducts. Max was very up-front about the possible outcomes.

    We decided to go ahead with the foam for about $3K, which made a difference, but did not eliminate the problem. The difference is enough that I would do it again, but others may disagree for that price point.

  • Check out Green Glue. A contractor can sandwich it between two boards of sheetrock. It helps, although it won’t totally eliminate low-frequency noises (think bass). I used it to dampen elevator noise. Relatively cheap.

  • We have insulated two adjacent rooms party wall. With only adding Ā½ā€ drywall on the existing wall in each room and 2 tubes of Green Glue (http://www.greengluecompany.com) per each 4×8 sheet . This has dampened the sounds form each room significantly; it does take 30 days to cure, but it is a great solution.

    We also had a unit that was below another; removed the existing ceiling, removed the R30 insulation and replaced it with 2 layers of RockWool (http://www.homedepot.com/p/Roxul-Safe-n-Sound-3-in-x-15-1-4-in-x-47-in-Soundproofing-Stone-Wool-Insulation-12-Roll-RXSS31525/202531875) in-between the joists, and then 2 layers of 1/2 inch drywall with 2 tubes of GreenGlue per 4×8 sheet. After a 30 day period it made a HUGE difference.

    Prior this I have done a lot of reading and research regarding the sound, and learned that it is quite difficult to address This solution made a big difference.

    I hope this helps to anyone looking to dampen the sounds.

  • Lots of “it won’t work,” but in specific circumstances. Here’s mine, advice appreciated.

    My neighbors on one side, horizontally (same floor) are hellaciously loud. They play music and video games, slam things into closets. etc., along our shared wall. I can “deal” with the slamming things in and out of closets, since that’s “short term” noise, but the stereo, TV, etc., are driving me crazy. I’ve been in their unit, with my TV still on in mine (left the TV on to soothe my dog when I went over for a meeting or visit), and couldn’t hear it at all. So, from that, I need to insulate from exceptionally loud noises along one 18′ wall. A dampening of the noise would probably work well enough.
    .
    Green glue? Sound-dampening boards behind the drywall? Please, anything that will give me some peace!

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