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Question DetailsAsked on 6/1/2014

How can I reduce the noise from next door neighbors in a condo? They are not noisy - the walls are "thin"

This is a garden- condo, first floor. I can even hear the old man next door sighing in his sleep. I have tried rearranging the furniture, but that leads to an awkward arrangement and doesn't completely resolve the problem. I also put an insulating foam insert into the electrical outlet on the adjoining wall. The units were built in 1977. Also, what kind of tradesman would know about how to do this?

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1 Answer


Normal first step would be insulating the wall, presuming it is not insulated now. Depending on frequency, closed cell foam or dense special sound-absorbing fiberglass batting might work best. Second step would normally be removing the drywall (commonly done while insulating too), replacing with sound-deadening drywall, and mount with sound isolators which minimize the sound from passing through the studs to the drywall.

Other solutions include heavy (theater-thickness or insulated) drapes over the wall, cork or other sound-absorbing panels on or in front of the wall, or building a full-width and height bookcase gapped from the wall, with sound-absorbent backing on it, in front of the wall. I did one job where the owner bought a pickup load of used books from a used bookstore that was going out of business - no picking and choosing, just so many lineal feet of books, to block out industrial outdoor noise in his legal office using cheap fake wood box store bookcases - worked quite well for the price and transportable to new home, albeit heavy for shipping.

Insulation contractors can sometimes have experience in this, and the sound absorbing insulation and drywall and isolators are standard items from Dow and US Gypsum and such and instructions and info on their websites for normal cases.

For advanced or very looud or unusually high or low frequencies you usually you need an acoustic insulation expert to select the best solution based on what specific noises you are trying to block - they generally list in yellow pages under Studio Building, as in TV and Radio and recording studios, but I really don't see that in your case.

Answered 5 years ago by LCD

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