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Author Topic: apt. doors need proofing  (Read 5613 times)

sadsack

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apt. doors need proofing
« on: February 09, 2014, 06:01:32 PM »

Moved into an efficiency apartment (one room) in a house which was subdivided into apartments. The bed/living room has an unused, regular old door to the hallway - it's not the door to the efficiency (should have been walled up, IMO). Light bleeds around the door, and sound is easily heard. The door is flush with the wall, with about 5 inches of threshold space in the hallway.
The real access door (on the same wall) is in the kitchen area. One large panel (possibly hollow, as it's lightweight). Light also bleeds around it.

I've googled for soundproofing ideas - one was to hang a heavy sound dampening curtain that hotels sometimes use, which might be feasible in the bedroom. Since that door is unused, I was thinking of removing the doorknobs, and on the hallway side putting a combo of acoustic insulation and drywall (or homasote board?). Looked into Quietrock drywall, but many online say it's better to double up regular drywall with greenglue. Whichever, I was thinking I'd attach/glue the insulation to the drywall, stand it up against the door, then put some nails part-way into the door casing to keep the whole thing standing against the door.

I havent asked yet, but I suspect the landlord wouldnt want the kitchen door (hallway side) covered with any soundproofing material. Aside from weatherstripping and a doorsweep, maybe something on the apt. side of the door? I'm not sure if it would only dampen sound from me, rather than the hallway sounds hitting the door. And would any weatherstripping work, or is there a specific kind?

I emailed the landlord my suggestion about the bedroom door, and weatherstripping, but havent heard back. I'm hoping to get advice specific to my situation. I can take some pics if it would help. Rents are high here even for places like this, and I cant afford to spend $100s on solutions if the landlord sticks me with the burden. Thanks in advance for any help (except for the "get earplugs" suggestion).

Randy S

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #1 on: February 10, 2014, 11:12:47 PM »

are the doors solid core or hollow core...you need to find this out. This is key to achieving a better reduction.
If they are hollow they need to be replaced with solid core doors..
As far as the weather striping you need to use a closed cell foam product not open cell or brush type.
let me know what the doors are and we can go to the next step.
Randy Sieg

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sadsack

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #2 on: February 11, 2014, 05:04:36 PM »

I'm not sure about the doors. The bedroom door is fairly old, but has panels. The useable kitchen door is one panel, and might be solid. I didnt get an idea from knocking on them, but I'll try to find out (I'm still moving, not living there yet).
Replacing doors is probably not an option, as well as any hallway-side soundproofing. I emailed the landlord, and he agreed to weatherstrip and a doorsweep, but he's apparently waiting until I'm living there for some time before doing anything. He said he was a very light sleeper, and had no trouble napping in that room (when the apt. was empty). That's not the same as sleeping there overnight. And he put the refrigerator next to the opening between the room and kitchen, with few options to move it.

Randy S

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #3 on: February 11, 2014, 05:09:37 PM »

well I can tell you that once the door has been sealed with the door sweep and weather stripping the only way to achieve more reduction is to double the weight of the door. so it might be cheaper replacing the door...we will have to look at cost vs. reduction once you complete the first steps.
Randy Sieg

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

sadsack

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2014, 02:09:33 PM »

the landlord doenst seem to want any "improvements" (changes), so I wont be getting new doors. Also, I'm not in the position to spend alot of money (this place is already too expensive for what I'm getting).
 
So putting some type of foam board, or a layer of batting and then a board, against the unused door  frame (on my side) wouldnt help at all?
I dont want to make the useable door much heavier than it is, so I dont want to add fiber board, etc. I noticed the door is crooked - flush at the top, but tapers in from the door jamb to 3/8" at the bottom, so there's a visible gap into the hallway. Seems like I should put the weatherstripping on the edge of the door instead.

Randy S

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2014, 05:37:37 PM »

Not saying you wont get any reduction, just saying that the cost vs. reduction might not be enough...doing something is better than nothing, give it a shot just make sure you seal the door and the heavier the panel the more reduction you will see.
Randy Sieg

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

jhbrandt

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2014, 04:58:29 AM »

Plus 1 to everything that Randy has told you...

"I noticed the door is crooked - flush at the top, but tapers in from the door jamb to 3/8" at the bottom, so there's a visible gap into the hallway. Seems like I should put the weatherstripping on the edge of the door instead."

Yes, you may find that sealing this gap will improve your situation adequately. ;) - Don't forget the BOTTOM of the door to the floor gap.

Cheers,
John

sadsack

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #7 on: February 24, 2014, 01:27:47 AM »

I put some foam pipe insulation at the bottom of both doors. You can still see some light under the kitchen door. The landlord said he's going to add some better weatherstripping to the door jamb.
I mentioned to him my idea of soundproof materials wedged in by drywall against the bedroom door. He wants to put plywood around the entire casing (rather than within it) on the hallway side, and I could fill the space with whatever material. I've read denim batting is good material. Any suggestions?
I'm also wondering if plywood would be counterproductive by conducting more sound?

jhbrandt

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #8 on: February 24, 2014, 03:00:05 AM »

Foam pipe insulation can work since it is closed-cell foam. It must be compressed into the crack to seal the air out.

Most sound is transmitted through the easily movable particles of air (low inertia - low mass). Sound transmitted through solid materials require much more energy, such as an impact blow to get them going. ;)

So, plywood, MDF, or drywall (basically anything heavy or massive) will provide good sound-blocking. As long as it is sealed.

- Remember; as long as air can get through, sound can get through.

Absorbent material like cotton insulation batts, fiberglass, rock wool, even spun wood fibers & coconut 'fur' will absorb sound. - To what degree? It depends. BUT these products do not 'block' sound. They will absorb sound through a process called hysteresis. - Mechanically converting the energy of the vibrating molecules of air into heat.

A solid barrier, like plywood, will block sound according to its mass. An electronic analogy would be 'like a low-pass filter'. The mass of the plywood works well down to a certain frequency. If you need a lower cross-over, add another filter (sheet of plywood).

So: Add mass (plywood) and Seal It up air-tight. (like a submarine door)

Cheers,
John

sadsack

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #9 on: February 26, 2014, 03:34:33 PM »

thanks, John. I dont think I can make a submarine airlock. I'm still worried about sound between the plywood and door, hence some insulation. I've read foamboard and fiberglass are not great barriers, so I was looking at two products locally available at Home Depot - denim batting (1.8" thick - the water tank blanket might be a better fit, although I'd have to cut some off the side to fit the height). And Roxul rock wool (3" thick). I cant tell which would be better. The bedroom door hallway side is 77"x29".

jhbrandt

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #10 on: February 26, 2014, 04:02:07 PM »

Of course, you can't make a submarine air-lock.. but it's just a metaphor.

If all you are doing is stuffing the crack with insulation, it will only help a little. But if you are able to seal it with closed-cell foam weather stripping or even CAULK (flexible stuff like Big Stretch) - Now THAT will really help keep the noise out.

Cheers,
John

sadsack

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Re: apt. doors need proofing
« Reply #11 on: February 27, 2014, 03:46:17 PM »

I knew you were hyperbolizing with the submarine door suggestion; I was joking.
The space between the door and hallway plywood will be 5". That's a bigger space than "a crack" and I would think filling it would be a good idea, rather than simply weatherstripping; there's no way I'll come close to a vacuum between the door and plywood (and I doubt he'll let me add permanent caulking).