Author Topic: Thumps, thuds, and knocking from above...  (Read 4958 times)

Shotster

  • Guest
Thumps, thuds, and knocking from above...
« on: August 05, 2008, 10:21:02 PM »
I live on the lower floor of a two-story apartment building. Fortunately, I have all four walls to myself; but unfortunately, I get a lot of disruptive noise through the floor of the tenant above me (my ceiling). The sound is in the form of frequent and completely unpredictable thumps, thuds, and knocking. Every time a glass is set down on the counter, it's like someone hammering on my ceiling. If a book falls or is tossed on the floor, it's a thud noise. I can even hear their heavy footed steps across the carpeted floor. I can hear kitchen cabinets closing.  Believe it or not, I even get a continuous low-frequency rumbling noise as they type on their laptop computer (which sits on the counter that's anchored to the floor). It's almost like living inside a drum, and it's very unnerving/stressful.  I'm convinced there's absolutely no soundproofing or acoustical insulation in this building whatsoever. It's like constantly being startled throughout the day, and it's not conducive to work productivity or a good night's rest. It's extremely difficult to get into a focused state of mind.  Since we both work from home, I'm around this constantly.

Given the nature of the noise, what are my best options for trying to create a more quiet and productive environment? I've tried earplugs, but  they are too impractical and uncomfortable to wear 24 hours a day. I've been sleeping outside in a hammock when weather permits. I've got to find a good workable solution or I'll lose what little remains of my sanity.
 
 Would a white noise machine help in this situation? How is such a machine any different from playing ambient music over stereo speakers or headphones? What about noise canceling earmuffs? Are they really any better than simple (and inexpensive) foam earplugs in terms of how much noise they would block?
 
 Any help or insight would be greatly appreciated.
 
 Thanks much,
 
 -Steve

Mark Daveis

  • Guest
Re: Thumps, thuds, and knocking from above...
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2008, 09:43:42 PM »
A noise machine or cancelling head phones wont work well for the thuds and loud bass sounds and loud sounds in general but both would have some good effect if you soundproof properly first.

Put enough mass such as plasterboard/mlv/osb and so on  in your existing roof then do a floating roof under it with at least 2 or more inches of air space to reduce the bass and loud sounds.
Problems would be how much noise is being conducted through your walls which you would need to check as well. :)

Randy S

  • Senior Soundproofing Technical Specialist
  • Global Moderator
  • *****
  • Posts: 815
    • Super Soundproofing Co
Re: Thumps, thuds, and knocking from above...
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2008, 10:12:48 PM »
Steve,
Based on all the information you provided, I dont think a white noise machine will work for this problem nor do I feel that headsets or earplugs will provide much of a reduction.
What needs to be done is your ceiling needs to be decoupled from the structure and sound barriers,clips and channel need to be put up, then I would recommend double drywall with Green Glue.
Here are the links.
http://www.soundproofing.org/sales/SSP.htm
http://www.soundproofing.org/infopages/flooring.htm
http://www.soundproofing.org/ggpages.htm

Quite the soundproofing project for a renter, which might not be an option. You might be able to get the owner to pay or split the cost with you. Worth a try.


Randy Sieg

Super Soundproofing Co
www.soundproofing.org
888-942-7723
Ph. 760-752-3030
Fax.760-752-3040

Shotster

  • Guest
Re: Thumps, thuds, and knocking from above...
« Reply #3 on: August 07, 2008, 04:24:40 AM »
Quite the soundproofing project for a renter, which might not be an option. You might be able to get the owner to pay or split the cost with you. Worth a try.

Thanks very much for the reply.  You are right; it's really not an option. I sort of suspected there was no quick and simple remedy, but I thought I'd ask anyway. If I do wind up staying here for the duration of my 12 month lease, I'll likely be spending quite a bit of time outside. Either way, I will forward your suggestions onto the manager and/or owner of the property. I think this site is a great resource. Since I might be doing some modeling and visualization work for local architects, you can bet this living experience will cause me to influence them to pay more attention to soundproofing. Anyone who designs a building like this should be required to live in a bottom floor unit for at least a month. It's unfortunate that developers are so concerned about cutting costs that so little thought is given to the peace of mind of those who will actually be living in the structures. Anyway, thanks again. I appreciate it.

-Steve

joel

  • Guest
Re: Thumps, thuds, and knocking from above...
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2008, 03:36:22 PM »
I agree with your Steve - they should be required to live below a situation like that.  One of the reasons these soundproofing problems exist in apartment buildings is due to the fact that suoundproofing is not even in the core building codes.  First priority is structural.  Second is fire.  Soundproofing is in the appendixes (after patio covers).  And then decor.  Go figure.

 

anything