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Soundproofing - what genuinely works?

(10 Posts)
mazzamoo123 Fri 27-Oct-17 15:09:52

We've recently moved into a 1930's semi and are very happy in every way except that we can hear our neighbour's television through the alcove in the living room which is driving us (my husband) mad. You can literally hear every word to the extent we might as well not have our own television on. Worst of all, the noise travels upstairs into our bedroom and our neighbour seems to be a late night tv watcher which doesn't make for a relaxing evening.

A builder offered today to put up a sheet of polystyrene attached to some plasterboard in both the alcoves in the living room and in our bedroom too. We will then have a bookshelf fitted into the alcoves downstairs on top of this to add as an extra layer. But will any of this help? Will the polystyrene make a difference or can anyone recommend something else that could be easily stuck to the wall before we have our bookcase fitted on top?

We are a bit desperate as it's ruining all the positive aspects of our move. Equally though, we don't want to spend a fortune. We had a sound proofing company in to give us a quote and it was over £1000 with only a 50% reduction in noise! I'd rather pay less and have a 30-40% reduction! (Although 100% would obviously be ideal smile)

Thanks in advance for any advice!!

MillStone Fri 27-Oct-17 15:21:14

I've been researching this as part of my current 30s renovation project.

A balance between sound reduction and cost that I've more or less decided on is to stud the walls and fill the air gap with a dense sound insulation such as this:

Then board over it with acoustic plasterboard such as Gyproc Soundbloc or Knauf Soundshield

I'll be doing it myself on 4 adjoining walls and i'm guessing it'll cost no more than £500 ... or thereabouts.

If anyone has any better suggestions, I'm all ears smile

mazzamoo123 Fri 27-Oct-17 20:39:50

Thanks so much @MillStone - this is really helpful. We'll do the same and hope for the best!

When are you doing yours?? Would be good to know how it goes!

kernowgal Sat 28-Oct-17 09:02:43

I seem to recall that soundproofing only really works when it's done on the side the noise is coming from.

Do you have a fireplace in your living room? Check brickwork in the chimney etc for holes, as this is often a major source of noise transferrence. I hear a fair bit from my neighbours and often it's coming from the chimney (though also often because they're so bloody noisy).

In my alcoves I put up studwork and then infilled with acoustic foam board, then covered with acoustic plasterboard. It has definitely helped to reduce it, but the main issue is bass noise and impact noise, both of which are virtually impossible to eradicate. The worst in my house is from the stairs (we have adjoining hallways) and I would now think twice about buying a place with the stairs adjoining!

To be honest it's one of the reasons I've never properly settled in my house, and will probably prompt me to move in a year or two.

kernowgal Sat 28-Oct-17 09:03:50

The key thing with the studwork is that it MUSN'T touch the party wall, otherwise the noise will just travel through the studwork too. You need to have an air gap between the party wall and the studwork, if that makes sense.

TheEmpressWears Sat 28-Oct-17 09:06:06

How are the bedrooms?
Can yiu hear nxt door urinating!!??

I must get soundproofing done in mine and my daugthers' bedrooms.

Muffinbutton Sat 28-Oct-17 22:06:34

We've just sound proofed our 1930s semi. We could hear everything next door.

We now have studwork (not touching the wall) filled with rockwall, then soundproof foam which is sandwiched between layers of acoustic plaster board.

It definitely makes a difference , but I'd say 80%. It cost a fair bit but I'm happy with the result. Just don't fix anything to the wall or the benefits will be lost.

TheEmpressWears Sat 28-Oct-17 22:22:23

How much space did you lose?
I was told id lose 8cm !!

mazzamoo123 Sat 28-Oct-17 22:37:53

Thanks @Muffinbutton and @kernowgal. So i know this is a thick question but I really have no idea about this stuff... can I not stick a layer of rock wool directly to the wall and then put a layer of acoustic plasterboard on top of that? If not, what do I have to do? (An idiot's guide please). I thought the wool acted as the buffer between the wall and the plasterboard so no need for a gap as well.

mazzamoo123 Sat 28-Oct-17 22:39:05

Exactly my worry too @TheEmpressWears

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