Has anyone soundproofed a party wall in a terraced house?

(36 Posts)
TheBeesKnee Fri 04-Sep-20 00:24:14

1920s mid-terrace house. My neighbours are not quiet people. I hear their TV in the day, I hear them cooking and talking in the kitchen. Sometimes I can hear them just talking in their bedroom.

Had I known it would be this bad I would probably not have bought this house but here we are.

Is there a sensible solution for this? DP and I always say we should get soundproofing when we hear the kids screaming or the music is particularly bad. Right now I'm in bed, trying to sleep, and I can hear them having sex envy

I have to do something. Has anyone successfully soundproofed a wall without losing too much space and spending a LOT of money?!

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Blankblankblank Fri 04-Sep-20 07:04:34

Not successfully. A lot of mess and money and it didn’t solve the problem.
We removed all the plaster, had polystyrene backed, insulating plasterboard put on, replastered. Actually lost a couple of inches in room size it was so thick! Made no difference.we were told later that sound travels through joist and not just through brickwork.
We moved.

AdriannaP Fri 04-Sep-20 07:07:33

It doesn’t work sorry. Sound doesn’t just travel through the wall. You will spend a lot of money and very likely still hear the same.
My BIL was in the same situation and spent lots but sound can travel through tiny gaps or other ways.

Infullbloom Fri 04-Sep-20 07:41:24

You have to soundproof entire rooms for it to be effective I think, floors, walls and ceilings!

bravotango Fri 04-Sep-20 08:48:22

In our bedroom the alcoves have been boarded so it's one flat wall IYSWIM and it's a lot quieter than the second bedroom which has it's alcoves intact, might that be a cheapish solution for your bedroom at least?

crimsonlake Fri 04-Sep-20 09:20:41

It feels terribly intrusive doesn't it and who wants to hear someone else have sex??
I've lived in terraces, detached and now a semi and with the former two I think it is the luck of the draw, if only we could try before we buy.
In one terrace I heard nothing really.
An Edwardian semi was really bad, when they walked in to their bedroom it was as if they were walking in to mine.
My current house is a 60's semi I think and lets just say if they had children I would be moving. As it is they have their grandchild and daughter over regularly and that is bad enough. You can easily hear them talking through the walls.
I admit I have been spoilt by living in a detached for many years and basically that is the only way to ensure peace and quiet in your own home.

Slippersandgin Fri 04-Sep-20 09:24:01

Our previous 3 houses have been semi detached / terraces and all 3 have had poor soundproofing.

This house is the worst - it’s a Victorian house.

Luckily we’re just renting to break the chain and will be moving into a detached in about 6-12 months - I cannot wait!

We tried soundproofing the party wall on the first property and it didn’t work - and was very expensive and messy.

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TheBeesKnee Fri 04-Sep-20 10:17:12

Oh bum sad it is very, very intrusive and I do worry about what they can hear as well.

I'm exhausted this morning from lack of sleep, disappointing to hear that it probably won't work. I've lived in flats prior to this and it was never anywhere near this bad.

We don't have carpet yet, do you think that will help a bit?

Sadly moving to a detached house is out of our budget.

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pinkbalconyrailing Fri 04-Sep-20 10:25:13

built in wardrobes can help a lot, but that is probably not feasible in all rooms.
I have heard about putting a layer of neoprene and then lining&painting.

pinkbalconyrailing Fri 04-Sep-20 10:26:30

a relative who is a musician with a loud instrument did this (neoprene) to the practice room.

AntiHop Fri 04-Sep-20 10:29:07

Earplugs at night? I can hear neighbours' tv very clearly. I put earplugs in if necessary. We can hear voices too.I've never heard them have sex but we have sex very quietly as I'd be mortified if they could hear!

TabbyStar Fri 04-Sep-20 10:30:08

Boarding the floor and carpets might help, sound definitely travels through the floor space - I used to be able to hear the neighbours in our bathroom, which was just floorboards and in the opposite side of the house but not my bedroom, which shared the party wall. My NDN is now working at home in the room next to my office (I always WFH) and I can hear him really clearly so I'm thinking about this too.

TheBeesKnee Fri 04-Sep-20 10:33:18

pinkbalconyrailing

There were actually some built-ins where when we moved it. The trouble is, there was barely any space to move around the bed, it was very tight on every side.

I now wonder whether they were actually put in for noise rather than storage.

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WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Fri 04-Sep-20 13:51:48

In make shift sound studios they stick egg boxes on the walls to reduce the sound in the room and minimise any echo.

It's a bugger to wallpaper after that's been done though. grin

pinkbalconyrailing Fri 04-Sep-20 14:25:51

the egg boxes are not to soundproof but to take out any echo of a room.
but yes, a musician proof room usually has some type of foam insulation and in addition sound dampening materials. sisal or rough linon are very common. (or wood chip wall paper)

pinkbalconyrailing Fri 04-Sep-20 14:33:05

carpet on the wall could work <stokes chin>

TheBeesKnee Fri 04-Sep-20 14:35:18

pinkbalconyrailing

This might be why my Eastern European relatives have rugs on their walls shock

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crimsonlake Fri 04-Sep-20 14:41:07

I agree with wardrobes in alcoves in bedrooms, similar to in living rooms you could have bookcases...perhaps the books would absorb the sound?
I know it is a pitta.
Doors in the middle semi's are probably the best, but then you will still get the issues in the bedrooms.

WhoWouldHaveThoughtThat Fri 04-Sep-20 14:45:17

@pinkbalconyrailing

Oh no, I've bought all the eggs now!
Well it looks like omelettes for the foreseeable future, and I daresay egg sandwiches, I'll be bound. 😷

Time40 Fri 04-Sep-20 14:49:45

I haven't put it in, but I took some cladding out of a Victorian terraced house, and the difference it made was astonishing.

The entire kitchen had been lined with plywood or plasterboard or something like that (sorry - can't remember exactly) and this was tacked onto wooden battens, leaving approx. a 3-inch gap between the real wall and the new wall. Over this new wall there was very thick textured wallpaper. Before I had all this stripped out I couldn't hear a single thing from next door's kitchen, ever. Now it's gone I can hear their television and radio loud and clear.

Next door in the sitting-room, there was ugly wood panelling in the alcoves, and I had this taken out. The effect has been the same - before I couldn't hear a thing, and now I can hear their television (they have one in each room).

So based on my experience, I'd say you would have a good chance of blocking out the sound if you put up false wall with a nice big gap in between the real wall and the false wall.

(I took the old cladding out of the kitchen because it got partly destroyed when I had a new boiler installed, so I had to do something. If I'd known how much difference it made to the sound insulation I'd have had the false wall put back on the party wall.)

TheBeesKnee Fri 04-Sep-20 15:19:38

Here's a diagram of what the room was like when we moved in (top) and the set up now (bottom). There's a tiny walk in closet in the bottom left which I didn't draw on.

Red is wardrobe. Green is bed. Yellow is door and window.

It was such a tight squeeze, is was ridiculous. You couldn't really access the wardrobes properly because the was so little room between the bed and the sliding doors. Now we have less storage space, BUT, we can actually walk into the room and around the bed instead of opening the door and walking right into the bed.

It's less of an issue downstairs because it's family life etc etc. We will be putting up bookshelves which I hope will help as I have MANY MANY books! It's the bedroom that bothers me.

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TheBeesKnee Fri 04-Sep-20 15:22:46

Time40

Maybe I could sacrifice a bit of space for a false wall in the bedroom then. The room is pitifully small as it is. Gah!!

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user1471538283 Fri 04-Sep-20 15:37:30

We paid for very expensive soundproofing in our last house (a terrace) all along the stairs and in the open plan family room and it did make a difference for voices and the TV. It didn't make any difference for doors banging. Sound will get in whatever it can and for soundproofing to be the most effective it needs to be on the side making the noise. I really don't understand why people have to be so noisy.

Slippersandgin Fri 04-Sep-20 17:31:42

I’m currently wearing cosy knitted ear muffs because the stomping next door bothers me blush

BeijingBikini Fri 04-Sep-20 18:31:54

I've lived in a bunch of different places and I have to say the quietest has always been purpose-built blocks of flats. Never hear the neighbours because the entire building is concrete. Victorian detached was the worst for noise inside the house - even though the house was big, the sound travelled so badly, you couldn't sleep if people were in the kitchen as the noise would travel across the corridor and up the hall.

All I can suggest is more soft furnishings to absorb the noise from the neighbours, and earplugs.

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