Neighbor noise driving you crazy?
Imagine a loud stereo next door playing music you can't stand. You can knock on the door only so many times before you decide that a more permanent solution has to be found.
What's the science? The stereo noise is airborne sound. It enters your neighbor's drywall and vibrates the wall studs in the wall between you. That vibration races through the wall framing and start entering your room. The framing is very conductive, so vibration passes through easily. Your wall drywall is rigidly attached to this vibrating framing, so the vibration easily enters your wall, ceiling and floor.
This is known as flanking noise. Only about 30% of sound will come through the floor and ceiling, but you’re hearing it in stereo.
The video below sums it up nicely. Also, it's hilarious and worth a few minutes of your time!
Soundproofing against neighbor noise
While it would be great if your neighbor would soundproof their own space, don't count on it. Most likely, you'll need to take matters into your own hands, especially if you're a homeowner. If you're renting or in a condo, you can share these suggestions with the building owner.
Option 1 – Add drywall and Green Glue
- Add two layers of standard 5/8” drywall and Green Glue.
- Make the wall as heavy as possible with standard $8 drywall.
- Install a medium coverage of Green Glue between the layers.
This will reduce a great deal of the vibration, but certainly not all, since the vibration is racing through the wall framing behind the new drywall layer.
Option 2 – Add Sound Isolation Clips to the wall framing members
- Remove your existing wall drywall on the wall or walls you want to soundproof.
- Install standard R13 fiberglass (nothing thicker or expensive).
- Then install inexpensive decoupling clips and channel. This will reduce the physical contact points when you add your new drywall and quite effectively decouple your new drywall from that original wall framing.
- Double drywall with Green Glue (Option 1). This solution is the most effective and utilizes all 4 Elements of Soundproofing.