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Need help finding right type of soundproofing material

Need help finding right type of soundproofing material

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  #1  
Old 10-02-10, 06:52 PM
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Need help finding right type of soundproofing material

Hello,

I'm not entirely sure which forum to post this in, but hopefully someone can help me.

I need some help figuring out what material I need to find to add some soundproofing to my apartment. I live in a basement apartment in an old house, and the apartment upstairs is now full of college kids that play loud, vibrating music & run up & down their stairs. Their stairway is directly above mine, and it seems to serve as a tunnel for noise from their apartment straight down through the stairs into mine. I'm sure the stairs are very thin. The stairway also seems to actually be amplifying the noise down here to where I feel like I'm next to the speaker at a live concert & can't hear my own things through it in my own apartment, but they can't figure out why I have a problem.

The landlords have said "it is not easily possible to add insulation because of the structure of the house", so they definitely don't want to get into it. I have read that soundproofing material you can put over the outside of your walls is less effective but available, and can even be paint-able.

The options for soundproofing materials seem to be more varied than I can follow, and I want to make sure that if I do this I will do it right. I need to find out what kind of material to look for that I could attach to the ceiling & walls of the stairway so as to avoid the construction that the landlords do not want to do. If I could find something affordable & paint-able I think everyone would be happy. Or maybe they'd all be happy, and I'd just be less bothered, depending on how much sound muffling I can get. But I'll take as much as I can get.

Thanks!

~ catgirlpink
 
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  #2  
Old 10-03-10, 07:59 AM
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Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Lake Wales, FL
Posts: 463
Noise

The only really good sound insulation is solid concrete! And a lot of it.

The normal way to insulate a room, like the one you describe is by adding insulation to the floor surface.

However, it is not your floor.

You are left with trying to soak up some of the sound to attenuate it.

If you can, adding a door at the top of the stairs will bounce a lot of the noise back, adding a thin plywood or hardboard skin about one inch from the door surface will hold back most noise.

Repeating the process on the door into your apartment will also help.

Likewise, adding two thin sheets of plywood below the stairs will block a lot of the noise, they should be supported by the walls and not touch any part of the stairs. One sheet 1/8th and the other 1/4 to hold back different wave lengths.

In an ideal world you could pull down the ceiling and fit fiberglass between the joists, then fit two layers of board below the joists - the landlord would almost certainly be upset.

Hanging curtains or other fabrics round the walls and up the stairs will help to absorb some of the noise.

You do not want to spend a lot of money on things that do not work. There are many products on the market, most do not work. Different wave lengths of noise require different solutions.
 
  #3  
Old 10-05-10, 11:52 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Michigan
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The answer here is that any competent solution will require construction. This is an apartment, so your options are limited.
 
  #4  
Old 10-05-10, 09:39 PM
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Yes, I know my options are limited, that's why I'm here. I need to know what materials are within my limits.

A soundproofing website listed a ton of different materials, and I don't understand what they are. I need to know which thing I should be looking at that I could put up over the walls/ceiling of my stairway [that is stacked right under theirs] and at least get something out of.

Thanks.
 
  #5  
Old 10-05-10, 09:43 PM
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Thanks for the suggestions Perry525, I will likely have to look into a combination of those as best I can.
 
  #6  
Old 10-06-10, 06:26 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Michigan
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This is my profession for the past 11 years. You can spend a great deal of money on hanging treatments that will simply reduce the echo within your space, much as a carpet would. These treatments do nothing to actually block the sound from entering your room.

Solutions involve adding drywall, doors, etc. Construction elements that the building owner may or may not approve of.

My point was not to hold false hopes. There isn't a hanging product that will help you, with the poissible exception of the stairwell. A mass-loaded curtain will do a small amount, but because it can't be sealed to the walls, floor and ceiling, the sound will leak over, under and around the vinyl.
 
  #7  
Old 10-07-10, 07:41 PM
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Location: USA
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I looked into this for similar reasons when I was in my apt. I found that any type of material that I could buy and hang or whatever was expensive and unlikely to be a solution. The most effective way to reduce sound transmission is decoupling. Like Ted said, this will involve construction.
 
  #8  
Old 10-08-10, 06:22 AM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Michigan
Posts: 58
Yea, sorry to say it, but construction is the only real way to get a difference. You'll find silly things like "soundproof paint" but there's zero sound isolation associated with these silly products.
 
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