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Need Soundproofing Advice - Depression Era Row House

Need Soundproofing Advice - Depression Era Row House

Old 05-31-14, 02:20 PM
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Need Soundproofing Advice - Depression Era Row House


My row house (or town house if you prefer) was built in 1938 and has a party wall on each side. The party wall is constructed of a single layer of cinder block with about an inch of plaster on each side. We can hear everything from our neighbors on each side - TV's, music, phones, normal conversations, etc.

Unfortunately we don't have a lot of space to give up to build a "fake" wall along each side, so we're trying to achieve the highest noise reduction while retaining as much space as possible. This is what I'm thinking of doing:

1) Removing the plaster along the walls to expose the single layer of cinder block
2) Using Tapcon screws to attach separation clips to the block
3) Run 25 gauge 7/8 hat channel into the clips
4) Run R-8 cotton insulation between the channels
5) Place vibration isolation pads along the floor (prevent vibrations and hold the weight of the materials)
6) Attach 1/4 closed-cell foam backing to 1/2 Cement Board (DUROCK Next Gen 8 ft. x 4 ft. x 1/2 in. Cement Board - 2.53lbs psf.)
7) Attach the cement board to the hat channel
8) Run acoustical caulk around the perimeter
9) Run Green Glue over 5/8 Fire Rated Sheetrock (Gold Bond 8 ft. x 4 ft. x 5/8 in. Fire Shield Gypsum Board - 2.20lbs psf.)
10) Attach sheet rock over cement board
11) Run acoustical caulk around the perimeter

Does this sound appropriate?

Thank you in advance!
Old 05-31-14, 04:09 PM
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I don't really see the need for Durock. If anything use two layers of drywall.
Old 06-01-14, 05:01 PM
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If you use two layers of gypsum as Tolyn suggests, run the first vertically and th second horizontally and then as much as possible make sure that none of the butt joints on the second layer match up with the joints in the first layer. Yu might have a little more waste and an extra joint.

Can you get drywall panels into the room?
Other than ~ 1/2" and a whole lot of mess and hard work what do you gain by taking off e plaster?
Old 06-02-14, 07:35 AM
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Thanks for the responses!

The plan is to definitely run one row vertically and the next horizontally. I've already mapped it out so that the seems do not overlap.

The reason I was planning on using the cement board for the first layer is because it has more mass (more weight per square foot). It's also a tad thinner than the sheet rock, though certainly not enough to sweat it. My understanding is that the more weight the wall has, the better it is at soundproofing.

Is the cement board not going to help in this way?

The plaster on the walls is currently 1" thick, so 2" in total when looking at both sides of the interior house walls (left side and right side). Sure, it's easy to say that 2" isn't that big of a deal, but when we're dealing with such a narrow house to begin with we want to maintain as much floor space as possible. I could screw through the plaster, but another benefit to removing the plaster is making sure I know what I'm screwing into. I know there's cinder block, but making sure I get a good, secure attachment is important.

So yes, it will be messy and a lot of work, but I'm prepared (as for my step-father who's offered to lend a hand...)

I guess I'm just nervous that I'm going to do all of this and not see a reasonable decrease in noise. As I mentioned, the current wall doesn't do much in terms of blocking the noise, so I see the current wall as more of a diffuser rather than a blocker. I'm just hoping that this work will drastically reduce the noise so we can have quiet in our home, if not stop it all together.

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