Author Topic: Excessive Noise from adjacent units  (Read 4749 times)


  • Guest
Excessive Noise from adjacent units
« on: April 13, 2006, 07:04:11 PM »

I moved in a new townhouse last February. Everything is fine , except for the excessive noise from the adjacent units. The noise of people walking up and down the stairs is quite loud.  People called this structural born noise.  What could I do to reduce this kind of noise ( I don't think I can completely get rid of this) to an acceptable level ?

I live in Toronto, Ontario , Canada. I checked around, but I haven't  found any contractor, specialized in
the townhouse soundproofing.

Thanks ???


  • Guest
Re: Excessive Noise from adjacent units
« Reply #1 on: April 15, 2006, 09:49:50 PM »
Tear off the drywall, fill the cavities with fiberglass insulation, convert your walls into staggered stud walls, or use resilient channels.  Use 2 layers of 5/8" drywall, seal up all gaps, edges and penetrations with silicone caulk.

Don't want to go to all that trouble and demolition?  Simply add another layer of drywall on top of the existing.  It will give you a little bit better soundproofing.


  • Guest
Re: Excessive Noise from adjacent units
« Reply #2 on: April 16, 2006, 09:14:55 PM »
Hi John,

Thanks for the advice.
I prefer to tear down the wall and rebuild it.

I have to admit I know very little about the common wall structure. Mine is called double wall. I thought the inside was already filled with fiberglass insulation.

How easy is  it  to convert into staggered stud wall ?
Where can I find some fundamental information about the double wall, staggered stud wall or resilient channels ?   Any drywall contractor can do the job?

Thanks again.



  • Guest
Re: Excessive Noise from adjacent units
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2006, 03:21:15 AM »
Wow.  If you already have a double wall, you shouldn't be getting very much noise coming through it.  My guess is that the wall was not sealed up properly when constructed.  

Don't convert down to an 'inferior' wall; you already have the best for airborne noise reduction.  If you're pretty sure you have insulation in the wall, simply remove the baseboards, seal up the gap where the bottom plate meets the subfloor, if possible, and then put on another layer of 5/8" drywall.  After mud, tape, sanding, reinstall the baseboard, paint and you're done.  

Or, if you prefer, tear off the drywall (you probably only have 1 layer), remove the insulation and then you can see if any nasty surprises await you.  There might be lots of gaps and penetrations (like unsealed electrical boxes, pipes, etc.) that need sealing or god knows what else.  Definitely easier to fix the problem when you can see it.  

This would mean you'd have to reinstall the insulation and 2 layers of drywall and it would cost you another 9 bucks per 4 X 8 sheet (maybe a bit more in Canada), but at least you could be sure you did all you could do.  It's up to you...

Get some of the caulk available on this site:

At $10 for a 29 oz. tube, it's still cheaper than good quality silicone caulks you can buy at Home Depot/Lowes and will work far better for this application.

That should help with the noise coming through the wall.  If the noise is still loud, you might have to look into mounting the ceiling resiliently and putting some kind of underlayment on the floors.  That would start to get expensive.  Peace and quiet definitely comes at a price.

As for the structure-borne noise, that is more complicated.  The stairs are probably bolted to the frame of the townhouse and once the vibration gets into the structure, it's hard to stop.  The easiest thing would be to convince the builder to come back and mount the stairs with some kind of vibration isolation, so the 'clomp, clomp, clomp' doesn't get transmitted to your ears.  I couldn't tell you what the best solution would be - maybe you could hire some kind of consultant to come, look over the project and see what he/she could recommend.  

You might actually want to do that first and have him/her check out the airborne noise too.  You want to make sure that the noise is, in fact coming through the wall before you go spending money and tearing stuff apart.  Try 'Acoustical Consultants' in the yellow pages.  

If you do decide to beef up the walls, you can do the sealing/insulation yourself and any drywall contractor can install the new sheets.