Author Topic: Poor Construction, Thin Walls  (Read 4998 times)

Jeff

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Poor Construction, Thin Walls
« on: August 24, 2003, 07:27:38 AM »
I'm living in the Apartment From Hell, and I wonder if there's any hope.  Most "normal" people would move, but the apartment has a SPECTACULAR view, so I've been hanging on almost irrationally.  But I'm at the end of my rope.  

Since I'm in an apartment, I can't make structural modifications. I'm also on a pretty tight budget, so am looking for affordable solutions.  Plus, I'm not handy around the house, and even if I "could" make structural modifications, they'd have to be done by a contractor, which would probably be costly.  So I'm looking for simple, pragmatic solutions that will be far from perfect, but will be better than nothing.

Here's the deal:

The walls of my apartment are painfully thin, and without insulation.

I share a looong wall with a neighbor.  All his noise-generating activities border my apartment (kitchen, dining room,  bathroom, etc.)  

Not just one, but two sides of his kitchen border my living room.  There's no place for the kitchen noise to go except directly into my apartment.  The kitchen noises include impact sounds (cabinets slammed directly against my wall), clanging of dishes, and glasses dragged across the ceramic counter (which reverberates like you wouldn't believe).

The cabinets in his apartment are poorly constructed, and must be slammed to be closed.  He's constantly slamming his cabinets, so this creates constant "startle" sounds.  Strangely, the loudest cabinets are in his bedroom, which is the only room in his apartment that does NOT abut my wall.

His shreiking phone sounds like it's ringing inside my own living room

His deep voice carries into my apartment even when he's in his distant bedroom.

The sound of rushing water when he takes a bath/shower is DEAFENING.  It can be heard in all rooms of my apartment.

Right now, I'm using ear plugs for sleeping and ear muffs for daytime use.  But daytime is a problem since his kitchen noises and cabinet-slamming occur at random.  The constant putting on and taking off of earmuffs throughout the day is very inconvenient.  I've tried drowning out his noise with my stereo, but to be even halfway effective, I'd  need about 15 speakers mounted around the living room, which would be costly and impractical.

Is there any hope?  Or should I just throw in the towel, and move?

Boborther

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Re: Poor Construction, Thin Walls
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2003, 09:20:25 PM »
Jeff,

There is hope, but it is not dirt cheap. The real problem is the impact noise and that needs to be combated through floating the wall on your side of the apartment. This would require a contractor or a good drywall installer. If you are on a serious budget, you could use resilient channels (RC-1) for floating your wall, but the sound clips and metal furring strips would be much better. Take a look at the link below and read about this procedure. These links cover both methods of floating.
There is another method that you could use that would be less intrusive than the floated wall, but would only be marginally  for the impact noise, and that would be to staple a layer of a material called Mass Loaded vinyl (MLV) for short to your common wall. This is a 1/8" vinyl material that is designed to emulate lead sheeting. It is heavy, but that's why it works. You would staple this material directly to your party wall, then caulk the seams and around the perimeter, and then finally I would recommend that you layer over the MLV with a layer of 5/8" fire code drywall, tape, mud, and paint, and you'd be finished. Now if the final layer of drywall is not doable, then you could always fill in the staple dimples with spackle and then texture and paint the vinyl itself. If you decide to paint the vinyl, you might consider gluing it up and that way you'll have a nice smooth surface in which to paint. You'll want to use a vinyl or latex paint and texturing.
Read up on the floated walls and ceilings in the links below. Thanks Jeff, sure hope this helps.

http://www.soundproofing.org/infopages/channel.htm

http://www.soundproofing.org/sales/supersoundclip/supersoundclip.htm

Thanks for the post Jeff.


Bob Orther
Super Soundproofing Sales/Technical Associate.
Ph: (760) 752-3030    FAX: (760) 752-3040
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