Super Soundproofing Community Forum

Soundproofing Forum Topics => Soundproofing your Condo, Townhouse or Bed & Breakfast => Topic started by: midnight on May 11, 2008, 05:38:08 PM

Title: Townhome soundproof, footstep vibrations
Post by: midnight on May 11, 2008, 05:38:08 PM
Hi.  We live in a townhome and share two floors of a wall with our neighbors.  We cannot hear voices, tv, etc.  However, we hear footsteps along with vibrations constantly.  I think that their townhome has a two story living room, while ours is a 1 story living room and then our master bedroom on the 2nd floor.  I'm in tears and ready to sell!  We just bought this place in August.  Any ideas would be great!
Title: Re: Townhome soundproof, footstep vibrations
Post by: joel on May 23, 2008, 03:07:38 PM
The structure-borne noise problem you describe is really hard to solve from the ceiling below - that's the 'receiver' side of the assembly.  Here is a link to an article which discusses the problem:
You will note that it mainly addresses the solution to the floor above.  The reason for this is that once impact event vibrations get into the structure they are transmitted through solid structures (walls, ceilings, studs, joists, pipes, etc.) and are then released as air-borne sound somewhere else.
Title: Re: Townhome soundproof, footstep vibrations
Post by: Sandra on July 04, 2008, 06:36:04 AM
Hello Joel,  I read the entire file you suggested regarding the transmission of footstep sound. I'm in Sydney, Australia and live in an attached house, my attached neighbor has an upper storey (not mine) and they have removed the carpets/underlay from upstairs and installed timber floors. Nothing I suggest will change their lifestyle, if I add a second underneath ceiling inside my house, will this reduce the footstep/impact vibrations? Or, if I was to add an upper storey to my house (do not need more space, just quiet), could I solve the problem that way? These houses are double brick (built 1929) plaster ceilings nailed to timber, tiled roof. Many thanks, Sandra
Title: Re: Townhome soundproof, footstep vibrations
Post by: joel on July 09, 2008, 05:38:01 PM
Even though the structure-borne noise you're experiencing is caused by impact events on your neighbors floors, you are probably also getting what's called "flanking sound" transmitted through the common walls.  Using a damping material - Green Glue - on a second layer of dry wall to existing walls will help.  See this link for a discussion of how well Green Glue damped dry wall works:

Adding an additional story will only give you another space above or below you as a buffer.  If the impact noise from next door is coming through a common floor the problem should be treated there.  We have had people who had noise vibration problems being transmitted through their concrete floors solve it to a great degree by using MLV w/closed cell foam as a carpet underlay, carpet pad (rebond), and carpet.