From the Forum – Soundproofing advice needed

by Prince Of Petworth January 7, 2014 at 2:15 pm 9 Comments

Photo by PoPville flickr user jennverr

Soundproofing advice needed:

“I live in a rather new place in Shaw, and my walls are paper thin. My neighbor and I can hear each others’ every move, not to mention trying to play music or watch my big-screen TV. Does anyone have any experience with get any level of soundproofing done? I’ve done some web searches and there seem to be endless # of options.”

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  • styglan1dc

    I rent out rooms in my house and two of the rooms share a common wall that is nothing more than studs and drywall. For a few years people complained so I finally did something last summer.
    We got Green Glue (look for it online) which is basically some green soundproofing paste that comes out of a caulk gun tube. It cost some cash to buy the stuff and the special gun (larger than a normal caulk gun) but was still relatively cheap. Then we went to Home Depot and got some regular drywall and basically double-hung the drywall (put it over the existing drywall) with the green glue between the sheets.
    Overall it was a very easy process and the biggest pain in the ass was the drywall mud,sanding, etc. That sucks no matter what you are doing. But as for the soundproofing, the internet had a ton of how-to videos and the green glue was extremely easy to use.
    Since doing it I haven’t heard any complaints from the roomies. The rooms have changed hands a few times but that can’t explain it all. Double hanging drywall with some green glue between it was fast and made a difference for us.
    Just my two cents.

  • Anonymous

    I did Green Glue and it didn’t really do anything. And I followed the company’s instructions to a T.

  • Anonymous

    Hi five for cheap shitty construction!

    • That MAn A


      umm depending on how you have the space decorated some sound dampening panels may work covering the entire wall
      will also improve your system if you have one (ie. bookshelf or tower speakers…)
      if your space is modern this could be a real nice touch as far as design goes. will also be a different look as you dont find that too many people cover an entire wall in there homes

  • Anonymous

    I’d be really interested since we have basement tenants. We can hear if they have their TV on or if they’re having a conversation at a normal volume. I would imagine they can hear us too, though they have not complained. I think the noise not only travels up the stairwell (which is walled in and has two doors), but also through the vents. Not sure what we can do aside from closing the vents or getting a thicker door.

  • ARK

    There is no true solution that costs less than $30k-50k. I went through this at a previous residence and we brought in an acoustic engineer as well as a host of other contractors. We could hear everything through the walls and footfalls on the floor above were very loud (it was hardwood). Rugs helped with the footfall noise, a little bit, but nothing helped with the noise through the walls. The solutions that they brought to us involved pulling up the floors and replacing all the drywall. Also, we had to switch out all the lighting so that there was no recessed lighting (those holes let a lot of sound through apparently).

    Needless to say, these changes did not occur.

    The sad thing is that you and your neighbors can cooperate to make things better, but it only takes one bad seed to ruin it. In our place, one person was exceptionally rude and would play music too loud, slam doors, and scream on the phone all the time. Everyone in the building except for that person moved out. I don’t know what the status is now.

    Thankfully, we did not own. Apparently, a lot of these rowhouse renovations have major sound problems and the unwitting purchasers are stuck living there.

  • Anonymous

    I really feel for people in this predicament. It can really affect your whole quality of life. Buyer beware of noise issues when considering properties!

  • Anonymous

    hanging up some mass loaded vinyl might help

  • cookie

    I’m afraid you won’t really be able to attenuate the sound a whole lot. I lived in a old bldg in DC and shared a wall with a professional musician who was very rude. We could hear everything. She eventually had some people install some sound absorbing panels, and dry walled over them. Didn’t do a whole lot. Noise is like water and it goes wherever it can. The only good way to lessen sound is during the building process but it costs more, which is why good sound attenuation is rarely done.

    Another neighbor, same bldg, had his ceiling removed and and had it “soundproofed” so he wouldn’t hear the guy above him. He was told it wouldn’t do much, and it didn’t, but he was desperate. The best to tackle the person above is for the person above to rip out their floor and place a barrier down. That’s a tough one.


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