Author Topic: Attacked from All Sides  (Read 2584 times)


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Attacked from All Sides
« on: March 09, 2014, 08:46:33 PM »

I have a condo with terrible insulation. I have have impact noise and airborne noise from apartment above; television noise from apartment next to me, music coming from apartment across a light well, base sounds and cooking odors coming from apartment below me and some distant neighbors who like to have parties in their yard and blast the Calypso music. I know I need to remove recessed lighting and seal up all pipe penetration and receptacles. My first question is:

1) I believe that flanking sound to be a big issue as I have listened through a stethoscope to my upstairs neighbors conversations through my walls. The steel studs go all the way up to the joists, so I believe sound from upstairs travels through the studs and directly to my floor. IF I put my stethoscope to my floor, I can hear the television set of the apartment above me. Will treating the ceiling be enough or would I have to treat all the walls of my apartment to get a significant reduction?

2)There is a wall that serves as a pipe chase between apartments. I believe sound and smells come though this chase as there is probably no horizontal separation between apartment. Would a significant amount of sound be coming thought this wall? Would you recommend sealing opening between floors with Closed-cell Spray Foam or Batt Insulation from above and below? I am a little concerned about condensation building up in my wall if I seal it. I think the odors from the apartment below me are traveling up through this chase but they may also be coming up through the seams between subfloor and my hardwood floor. I don't want to rip out my floor so I will try to seal up all penetrations and hope that solves the odor issue.

3) As an alternative to isolation clips/resilient channels, I thought of the idea of adhering a rubber membrane to the existing gypsum ceiling with contact cement and then adhering a layer of gypsum bd with contact cement to the rubber and then screwing another layer of gypsum with green glue to that. Would that provide decoupling?

4) I don't want to spend the significant cost to fully soundproofing entire apartment, so I have decided that I would like to decouple the bedroom ceiling and decouple the shared wall with my neighbor. I would like to decouple approximately 120 sq ft of ceiling and another 120 sqft of wall that I share with my neighbor. I don't have the time to do this myself. I contacted a company in Brooklyn, NY, where I live, that specializes in soundproofing and got an astronomical figure without a site visit of $9,000 for 100sqft of ceiling and $7,000 for 100sqft of wall. I am an architect myself so I can specify and provide contractor with specific methods and details with the help of this site. What do you think the sqft cost would be for this work in NY if I found a good, reasonable contractor that perhaps has never done this work and provide him the details and possibly the materials myself?

5)I plan to carpet the bedroom and lay mlv w/foam as well as provide acrylic w/ magnetic strip solution to windows. My bedroom will be a sanctuary of noise and other parts of the apartment will contain a compromised solution.

I really appreciate your answering my questions as these questions have been plaguing me and consuming a lot of thought, so if you could give me some specific answers I would be very pleased.


Randy S

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Re: Attacked from All Sides
« Reply #1 on: March 10, 2014, 06:52:01 PM »
Ok this is a big one with tons of variables...
1) you are working on a 6 sided cube and therefore you will have a value of flanking noise without a doubt. If you do not soundproof all 6 sides then the STC value of any single partition will be reduced and the flank would be assessed after each stage. There is no way any professional could put a number on the flank or the STC loss of the soundproofed partition.
2. I dont think you would have a moisture problem due to the fact that if you airtight seal your side the neighbors side would still be porous.
3. That is not a viable solution..nothing beats true decoupling and with the system you discuss you would still need mechanical fasteners and therefore not a decoupled system.
4. I have used this strategy when teaching contractors that are new to soundproofing. I do have a contractor that I work with in Brooklyn, you can email me or call me for this referral.
5. This is the best idea!!! invest your money in the master bedroom so you have a sanctuary and it is soundproofed correctly the first time.

Since your an architect why do you give me a call direct and we can go over the particulars for your project.
Randy Sieg

Super Soundproofing Co
Ph. 760-752-3030