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Question DetailsAsked on 4/27/2014

I need a contractor that specializes in soundproofing a townhouse wall in the Syracuse, NY area. I can't find one..

I live in a townhouse and can hear my neighbor closing cabinets all day long. Loud thumping. I would like to have the wall spay foamed and soundboard installed but I want someone who specializes in soundproofing. I am desperate to get this fixed and need ideas.

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Voted Best Answer

Several solutions for this -

1) first, buy thick silicone rubber stick-on cabinet/drawer bumpers and get neighbor to let you stick them on the closing surfaces of drawers and cabients - if you put on the inside surface of the drawer front or door not so visible as if you put on the frame - like these -

2) there are sound-absorbent blankets, mats, and tapestries/drapes (the weight used for theaters) intended for this, which you hang on or right in front of your wall to absorb the sound. Ditto with cork wall facing.

3) As other comment said, you can open up wall and put sound absorbent wallboard layers or, somewhat less effective, sound absorbing fiberglass mat (different than normal fiberglass) in the stud openings, then sound absorbent board or vinyl/rubbermat under the drywall, which can also be special sound-aborbent type in extreme cases, and can then have fireproofed fiberboard put over that if needed.

4) spray foam is NOT what you want - it fills the space completely, and is not as sound absorbent as most of the other alternatives, because it cures to a rigid material.

Google "sound absorbent materials for walls" for more ideas and info on the different technologies. I think just wall hangings or sound absorbent mat or board (which come quite decorative for music clubs and sound studio use) should solve your problem. Be careful how you apply it - if you glue it on, then come move time to remove it means redoing the drywall too.

If not, then you need an acoustic design company - usually listed under Recording Studio Design Companies in yellow page/google listings - but be aware you will be talking minimum $2000 probably for a single wall.

Of course, if a rental, then your should talk to landlord about the noise, and of course get permission for anything you are going to do that is more than hanging a drapery.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


2 options are a) Using an acoustic fiber board sandwiched between the existing wallboard and a exterior wallboard which will need to be cut, taped, sanded, and painted. b) drilling 3" holes every 16" and fill the wall cavities both floors with fiberglass or celulose insulation. The holes will then need to be plugged, sanded smooth, and repainted. Both options messy, dusty, and not cheap.

Answered 6 years ago by hosey


I would like to see a list of insulation contractors in my area. Also do I need a specific type of insulation. Also what about replacing my existing Sheetrock with QuietRock? Any idea what a project like this would cost for 2 walls approxoamely 30 feet long? Thank you.

Answered 6 years ago by Guest_9440772


I presume you have talked to the neighbor about this - or is that beyond reason given interpersonal dynamics ?

Boy, this takes me back to the days working with my brother when he was professionally designing and building sound stages and studios around the world for recording, network TV and radio, performance theaters, etc.

Unfortunately, to properly soundproof a wall, the best way is to start the sound prevention on the "positive" side - the side the sound is coming from, first with a high density reflective surface like dense thick or Durablock or SoundBreak sheetrock, then a sound absorbant like rubber or vinyl sheeting between that and studs, then continue on through the wall.

Obviously, in your case you have the cabinets next door slamming shut, in a rigid but hollow wood cabinet which is both rigidly fastened with metal fasteners to the wall studs, and also echoing the sound through into the drywall through a small airgap right behind thin flexible plywood or hardboard backed cabinets - about as un-soundproof as you could wish for. Isolating the cabinets with rubber backing would be the easiest solution, but other than getting them to put silicone rubber bumpers on their drawers and doors, not a lot you can do on that side.

The simplest and near cheapest solution in your case would be foaming in place or blown-in cellulose in the wall- which might or might not cut the sound to the level you want - certainly the "bang" might drop to a "thud", but certainly will not cut it more than maybe 50% range, I wouldn't think.

A higher level of protection would be to use a sound-absorbent layer design - commonly something like Durablanket or Roxul Safe n Sound insulation blanket or bats - which means pulling your drywall off the walls to put it in. You can also use higher effectiveness sound absorber blankets made from old jeans, or wool or cotton mats, but while they work well in a recording studio, in a normal house the consequences if they ever get wet is not worth the difference, in my mind, as they mold and stink like crazy if they get wet.

An even higher level would be a layered system - a thin reflective-faced insulation or acoustic foam mat as a sound absorber and dissipator right behind the neighbor's drywall, then a layer of a sound blocker like one-hard-side fiberboard (hard face to neighbor) to reflect the sound back to the source side, then another layer of insulation on your side for absorption and to prevent echoes in the wall cavity.

In many cases, the highest level using insulation can be achieved by using acoustic foam in two air-gapped layers ("points" toward the sound source - the pointed tip patterned foam used in sound isolation test chambers that looks similar to the gray foam used in many camera and instrument cases, but generally that is not allowed in residential use due to fire smoke hazard, and gets pricey in large areas.

Now, on your side of the wall - sound absorbing drywall is a slight step above normal but not a really significant difference by itself. Studios usually use a sound absorbing fiberboard or open-cell soft wood like cedar or balsa on the "negative" side - normal thin drywall is bad as it makes a sounding board that actually resonates and acts as a drum unless backed by a sound-absorbing contact layer. Regardless of what you use on your side, stopping direct transmission through the framing of the wall is critical - once you do even a moderately good job of sound isolation in the stud cavities, then the through-stud and plate transmission becomes the major source of noise transmission.

In each of these cases where you are opening the wall up to work, you then need to isolate your side from the wall framing - by sound-absorbing rubber or high-mass acoustic vinyl strips on the studs and plates, more effectively with full-coverage acoustic mass rubber or vinyl blanket, or by one of those plus using secondary studs that do not penetrate the wall, called staggered or offset studs.

For offset studs, you use studs that stop 1" or more short of the other face, an insulation layer in the gap to prevent free sound transmission through airgaps, then the new studs are put in to fasten your drywall to, protruding beyond the face of your existing studs with widened plates. Usually in professional studios this is done with 2x8 or 2x10 plates and the next smaller size 2x studs - so 2x8 plates and 2x6 studs and so forth to proivide more room for the insulation. These offset studs prevent straight-through sound transmission from face to face of the wall through the studs - especially for low-frequency sounds like you are hearing - see this picture -

Then, you can put high-density 5/8 or 3/4 inch thick drywall on your side, or for a higher level of sound control (especially low frequency) "green glue" between two sheets of 5/8 drywall. You can also overlay that with drapes, cork board, acoustic blankets or tiles, etc as needed.

The ultimate is 2 to 4 separate walls and ceilings, called "room within a room", isolated with air-filled sawcuts in the slab, and totally isolated walls and ceiling, and separate floors mounted on sound absorbing rubber pads or in extreme cases for the fanciest recording studios, even floating on soft acoustic foam mats or on compressed air like giant air hockey pucks.

Here are a couple of articles that might help you with your choice -

Unfortunately, it is real hard to second guess how much you need this noise reduced to be acceptable to you - because you don't want to throw a lot of bucks at it needlessly. My first choice would be bumpers on the neighbor's cabinets (can your landlord help with getting that done ?) and try an economy solution like foam-in-place insulation in the walls or only heavy drapes or filled bookcases. Foaming contractors may require access to neighbor's side too so they can seal off outlets and such, otherwise foam will fill and come out of their outlets and such - but if not in the cards, they can seal from your side but means opening up holes a foot square or so every so often in the walls to do it, instead of the usual one or two 3 inch or so holes per stud bay for the foaming.

If foaming then did not do the job well enough, you could look at adding heavy drapes over the wall, or solid bookcases filled with books (a very good sound barrier), or an acoustic blanket or decorative acoustic tile. The bookcases really work well - I had one client with severe grandfathered air-borne industrial noise from next door so we built 2x10 bookcases on 1/2" rubber conveyor belting, isolated from the walls with rubber pads at each connection point, and loaded to the hilt with books. The local used bookseller thought we were nuts when we said we wanted to buy about 500 books - but did not care what subject they were as long as they totalled 15 lineal feet of several certain heights, to fill the shelves.

I honestly do not think that replacing your drywall should be necessary, but if you do go that route, I would put in the high mass vinyl/rubber absorber strips on the studs with or without the offset studs, then 5/8" drywall - or use acoustic decoupling clips as shown in one of the above articles. Unfortunately, the main frequencies you are trying to eliminate are the tougher ones to get out of stud and drywall walls, as plain rubber strips and decoupler clips and such remove the high frequencies well but the lower ones not so well - air gaps are what take them out the best.

If you decide on drywall action or tearout, you do not have to go whole hog at one time - if you leave the drywall unpainted for a while till you see if the noise has reduced enough, you could then if necessary green gleu a secondary sheet over it and then prime and paint that - saving say $5/SF or so till you see if you need it or not. Ditto with drapes - heavy weight theater sound absorption fabric typically runs about $3-5/SF plus hanging rods, but you could wait till you see if other steps work first. On drapes - there are companies that sell used but good shape theater draperies at about half cost.

As for cost - realize these are VERY rough costs and probably plus or minus 50%, and you would need actual bids for comparisons. From simple wall foaming up through the complete offset studs and high mass vinyl/rubber blanket and dual-layer green glued drywall, the range of pricing would probably be around $5-10/SF (foaming plus repair holes and repaint wall, or drapes only), to around $10-15/SF (foaming plus add rubber or green glue isolated second drywall layer and repaint), to more like $20-30/SF for offset studs, multi-layer wall insulation, and isolated and double-layered green glued drywall.

You toughest decision is going to be whether to go for the simple solution that might work, or go the whole hog up front, or spend probably $300-400 up front to have an acoustic insulation specialist design a fix for you. Certainly, if you intend to go the whole hog, you should have an acoustic engineer consult on the wall design.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD


If you are planning to remove the drywall and expose the wall cavities, use Roxul brand mineral wool batts to fit between a 16" oc cavity. Excellent product designed to deaden sound as well as provide insulation, is fireproof, and made of mineral wool that does not absorb moisture. Product available at most big box & lumber yards.

Answered 6 years ago by hosey


Hello, this is Kyle K from the Member Care Department.

I searched Angie's List in Baldwinsville for reviews and ratings on insulation providers and came up with the results below. You can also find these results by signing in at and searching for "Insulation" in the "Search the List" tab - you'll also be able to read submitted reviews and find more on these and other companies.

These results display the 3 that have the most recent "A's" on Angie's List:

Phoenix, NY 13135
(315) 695-6035

Energy Doctors
643 Idlewood Ct
Baldwinsville, NY 13027
(315) 638-4173

G & J Home Remodeling Co Inc
710 Kirkpatrick St
Syracuse, NY 13208
(315) 422-2978

If you would like to see some Angie's List search results for your area in this forum, please let me know by responding in line with this Q&A by submitting a new answer. You can also get help using Angie's List with a neighborhood specialist at 1-888-888-5478 or

Thanks for writing! - Kyle K

Answered 6 years ago by Member Services


I disagree with spray foam not being a good wall soundproofer as the #1 answer here states. There are solid foams (closed cell) and opencell. Our reviews show we know the difference in types of foam. Insulation Solutions

Answered 2 years ago by DoctorEnergySmart

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