Author Topic: Ideas on soundproofing old exterior walls.  (Read 4143 times)

Henry C.

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Ideas on soundproofing old exterior walls.
« on: January 01, 2014, 11:10:40 PM »
Hi folks,

We live in an old single family home with uninsulated lathe and horsehair plaster exterior walls. Unfortunately, we have a very disruptive neighbor that lacks any semblance of courtesy. They fight regularly, blare their music and have lots of loud cars coming and going. It has seriously affected our quality of life. We've tried everything from talking to them nicely to calling the police. Alas, we have nearly resigned to selling our home. But, we wouldn't feeling comfortable knowing the new owners would be contending with the same terrible inconvenience.

Since the noise is exclusive to the west side of the house I'm going to start with the kids' play room upstairs, and assess the results once it's complete before moving on to rest of the house. Also, I know that lathe and plaster offer pretty good sound reduction, but after weighing the pros and cons and what I want to do I think it's best to remove it all.

Here's what I want to do:

-Remove lathe and plaster
-Install 2 new outlets and new wiring since there's only 1 in the room on knob and tube wiring (would activate electricity later on)
-Install cotton batt insulation between studs
-Found a product called "Acoustiblok" soundproofing material. It's 1/8 thick and seems fairly easy to install. Goes over studs as an underlayment for drywall

-Install 5/8 drywall

Then, I found some soundproof "storm-like" windows that install over the existing windows from the inside.

Anyway, I'm hoping this works. And if so, will do the rest of the rooms that face our annoying neighbor's house.

Hope to hear some people's thoughts!

Best, Henry C.

Randy S

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Re: Ideas on soundproofing old exterior walls.
« Reply #1 on: January 02, 2014, 11:38:26 PM »
yes you are on the right track, here is our mass loaded vinyl which is basically the same as acoustiblok with out the expensive pricing.

I would recommend using resilient channel or clips and channel to hang the drywall on to improve the system dramatically.

As for the window you want to gain the greatest air gap as possible just like you would see on a commercial airplane.

Henry C.

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Re: Ideas on soundproofing old exterior walls.
« Reply #2 on: January 02, 2014, 11:49:35 PM »
Hi Randy,

Yes, after a little more research I found MLV for nearly half the price of Acoustiblok.

Also, would I see any more benefit with using 1/4 MLV with 1/2 drywall,  as opposed to the 1/8 MLV with 5/8 drywall?

And can I use a resilient channel or clips considering the windows in the room?

I've also looked at the "Quietline" window from Milgard. Wondering if this would yield better results over the soundproof interior windows?

Thanks for the response, by the way!


Randy S

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Re: Ideas on soundproofing old exterior walls.
« Reply #3 on: January 03, 2014, 12:13:32 AM »
decoupling with the channel is actually the number one principle in soundproofing and that is followed by mass law...
So basically the heavier the wall the better the reduction...either way will work as long as it weighs enough.Normally I shoot for 8lbs per sqft. in an assembly and go up from there.

Feel free to give me a call direct and we can chew up some ideas ..
Randy S.
760-752-3030 ext 104

Henry C.

  • Guest
Re: Ideas on soundproofing old exterior walls.
« Reply #4 on: January 03, 2014, 01:17:53 AM »
I will certainly give you a call after I've torn the walls down!

And yes, those magnetic windows are a great idea. I like those over the ones '' offers because they offer the advantage one whole piece of glass and can easily be removed for cleaning, etc.

Thanks for everything!