Author Topic: Soundproofing a 3 story student rental apartment building - HELP!!!  (Read 3432 times)

fburg4

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We're in the process of renovating a student rental apt building and want to include soundproofing because Students = lots of sound.   There's a ton of soundproofing techniques, tests, etc, but I'd like to know what people think since this is going to be a huge project, and I'd like to get it right the first time without going bankrupt doing it :)

For the walls, we're rebuilding the common walls with 6 inch staggered studs.  Where do you get the best stc for the dollar?

- 1 layer of 1/2" drywall on each side
- 2 layers of 1/2" drywall on both sides
- 2 layers of 1/2" drywall with green glue on one side, 2 layers of 1/2" drywall on the other side
- 2 layers of 1/2" drywall with green glue on both sides
- all of these configurations have r13 insulation.
- some other type of configuration that would get better stc for less money?

The floors have always been a big problem.  We have carpet, 3/4" plywood subfloor, 2x10 floor joists, no insulation and 1 layer of drywall on the ceiling.   A lot of our renovations included ripping out the carpets to get down to the subfloor and we don't have time to start tearing down ceilings, so we have to soundproof from above (at the floor) which means we can't install clips or add insulation.  I can't really figure out what's the best method from all of the soundproofing information that I've read.  We can probably only increase the floor height by 1/2".  So far, my thoughts are:

-Carpet, pad, 3/8" plywood, green glue, 3/4" plywood, 2x10 floorjoists, 1 layer of drywall
-Carpet, pad, some type of floor underlayment/mat, 3/4" plywood, 2x10 floorjoists, 1 layer drywall
-some other option that works better for the cost because I'm not sure if I'm getting enough stc and iic benefit for the cost and labor
- has anyone used a rubber pad instead of rebond, because students = spilling drinks and the rebond will soak it up.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Randy S

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Re: Soundproofing a 3 story student rental apartment building - HELP!!!
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2010, 04:20:32 PM »
Ok, for this kind of post it would be best if you give me a call on the phone and we can discuss the principles in sound control this way you can make the same educated decisions I would make for this major renovation. Keep in mind material plays a major role however correct installation is what delivers results!!   

Randy S
760-752-3030 ext 104
Randy Sieg

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

Sound-Answers.com

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Re: Soundproofing a 3 story student rental apartment building - HELP!!!
« Reply #2 on: June 18, 2010, 07:07:05 AM »
Greetings from Sound-Answers.com

It sounds like your project is large enough to merit hiring a local acoustical consultant.  You can find one in your area using the directory of the National Council of Acoustical Consultants (www.ncac.com).  Or, contact us and we can recommend one.

For the common walls we recommend an STC 55-60.  This will place your project a good step above most other similar rental projects (perhaps a selling point) without overdoing it cost wise.  However, you did not tell us if your wall studs will be wood or metal.  We recommend using metal studs because they typically yield higher STC values.  To achieve the recommended STC, consider using two layers of 5/8” drywall on each side of the staggered studs with 5.5” thick glass fiber insulation. If the studs are wood, you will achieve an STC towards the lower part of the recommended range.  If they are metal, you will achieve an STC towards the upper part of the range.  Be sure to caulk all intersections with nonhardening caulk.  Also be sure to avoid or offset back-to-back outlets/switches by 36” or more.  Of course, air ducts can create flanking paths if they pass through common walls.

For the floor/ceiling, forget about any type of IIC underlayment typically used under hard finish floors.  These only damp impact noise, and your carpet/pad is already doing that for you (better than the underlayment ever could).  With carpet, you will not have a problem with impact noise.  Consider blowing in insulation between the floor joists through holes in the subfloor.  But, be sure to caulk the plugs back in when done.  Also consider adding another layer of 5/8” thick drywall to the existing drywall ceilings to add mass from below.  Beyond that, it might not be worth adding another thin sheet of plywood on top of the existing subfloor (it would not hurt though).  We would probably only recommend that if the existing subfloor has a lot of gaps/cracks that result in sound leaks.  If so, be sure to seal these before putting the additional plywood or carpet down.   

A lot of the terms used above are discussed in our resource center.

We wish you the best of luck!

Experts at Sound-Answers.com

Randy S

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Re: Soundproofing a 3 story student rental apartment building - HELP!!!
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 03:26:43 PM »
I can agree with most of this posting and is valuable information, but I can not see how blown in insulation will deliver a viable reduction....
"For the floor/ceiling, forget about any type of IIC underlayment typically used under hard finish floors.  These only damp impact noise, and your carpet/pad is already doing that for you (better than the underlayment ever could).  With carpet, you will not have a problem with impact noise.  Consider blowing in insulation between the floor joists through holes in the subfloor."

The connections still exist and if your not removing the ceiling below to address sound transmission then why would you not put an underlayment beneath the carpet and padding to improve ambient from above and improve impact more so than carpet padding alone?
Not only that but Sound proofing from the source ALWAYS delivers a better reduction then from the receiving end.
Randy Sieg

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

 

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