5 Soundproofing Myths

We get asked a lot of questions at soundstop. And it has helped us create a tope five list of soundproofing myths that we wanted to share.

Five Soundproofing Myths
1) Egg boxes on the wall.
Or the modern equivalent of acoustic foam on the wall. This will only improve the internal acoustics of the room.
What we mean by this is that the room will have less echo. The foam egg boxes rugs on the wall all act to break up the hard surfaces meaning the sound doesn’t easily echo back into a room. So, if you have lots of hard surfaces and are troubled by echo then think about adding soft furnishings wherever you can.

2) Soundproofing wallpaper will fix my problem.
The science of soundproofing is much simpler than most people think. But one of the key ingredients which cannot be got around, is the need to add weight or mass. This is governed by a thing called mass’s law. All soundproofing reverts back to this simple idea. The more weight between you and the problem the better the soundproofing.

3) Injecting foam into the cavity will do the trick.
The problem with this is twofold. First foam is very light weight so although you might cut down on the echo in any void you are not adding to the mass. Which we know is very important when soundproofing. Secondly you can’t see where all the foam is actually going and hence you won’t know if the whole wall is completely filled. Even tiny gaps in soundproofing can have a very material effect on the final result.

4) Sticking on a layer or two of acoustic plasterboard !
Now you would think that you are on the right track here. Plasterboard is heavy so if I stick it on the wall it will do the trick. Unfortunately, wrong! Plasterboard is heavy but so is the wall. So another absolutely key thing you need to know is that the plasterboard needs to be added to the wall but not directly to the wall. Your need to add it in a springy way. But more of that later.

5) Installing a built-in wardrobe or cupboards this will do the trick.
The wardrobe might work providing it was well fitted floor to ceiling leaving no gap at the top filled lots of clothes and the doors were nice and heavy and fitted well. This would reduce the sound. Book shelves with books sadly wont do the trick as the sound will leak all around them.

So what should you do instead?

Well first and foremost you can purchase ear plugs or noise cancelling headphones.
These are great things and don’t cost an awful lot to buy. Silence is now golden. The only real drawback is that you can’t hear anything else or if you want to chat or communicate in any way you will hear the dreaded noise again. Earplugs at night  are a real winner.

Try some white noise.
This is especially effective if you are trying to have a decent night’s sleep. Running a fan by the bed will drown out all other sounds and you get used to the sound of the fan quite quickly. There are other fancy white noise machines on the market but a fan seems to the trick for many people.

Finally you could try negotiating with the neighbours.This can often be a great way to get to know them. It’s a good idea from the outset not to open with the line” turn your bloody music down” This will just open up battle lines and its doubtful you can get back on good terms.
More tactful lines might be. I didn’t realise the walls were so thin. I hope I didn’t disturb you last night. A conversation will follow and you might come to an agreement without any finger pointing.

The Genie Clip System

We have recently been a lot of good things about the Genie Clip system. This is a new product in the UK. Designed in Canada it is a product that competes with resilient bars. From the look of them they feel like they should be very effective. Rather than relying on the springy nature of corrugated metal as used by resilient bars, the system relies on a rubber washer to keep metal components apart from each other. The manufacturers claim substantial improvements across the noise frequency spectrum particularly at lower, more tricky to deal with, frequencies. The system that works with a bespoke “furring Strip” is less mistake prone when doing a soundproofing job.
Image of Genie Clip

 

Here, at SoundStop, have recently begun selling Genie Clips for ceiling soundproofing and wall soundproofing applications, and the feedback we have had from customers is very good. Continue reading

Soundproofing a thin wall

A customer writes,

I have looked at your website and need further advice.My family and I have bought a 1928 semi-detached property in a “nice” area of Leicester, but the neighbours enjoy their music at different times of day and there is a substantial content of bass, which has driven my wife to her mother’s house, with our 2 very young children. This is an unacceptable situation for all concerned. The council’s noise pollution team have done all they can but 2 issues appear insoluble, from an enforcement perspective.  Continue reading

Sound proofing in the Highlands of Scotland

Hi,
we are really needing to sound proof our semi dethatched home. We live in Inverness in the highlands and wondered if you would be able to recommend a good company up here who could help? any info appreciated,
thanks mary

Hello Mary and thank you for your email,

I can only imagine you need to soundproof your house because of noisy neighbours, that is usually the problem we find.

We have no one we can recommend by way of a company specialising in soundproofing in your area. What we tell potential customers who do not feel like undertaking the job themselves is to use local craftsmen such as carpenters and plasterers who are used to handling the materials used in soundproofing. No disrespect to general builders but they do tend to think soundproofing is something they know all about and go and leave the important bits out. Continue reading

Cinder Ashblock

Hello

I have been reading your website with interest – we have a 1983 Bryant-built semi detached home, and although our neighbours are relatively quiet we hear lots of everyday noise (talking, laughter, radio, hoover etc) through the walls.  There are 4 rooms which attach to them, and it doesnt matter whcih room i stand in, I can hear then just as clearly – making me think that noise is maybe transmitting though the floorboards or maybe we have flanking transmission problems described on your website.  Continue reading

Soundproofing around a Fireplace

Hello,
I have just moved to a semi detached bungalow which is 80 years old, and the outer walls are two layers of brick with no cavity.  The living room is joined to the neighbour’s living room, although I do not know what that wall is likely to be made of in a house of this age.
I don’t have a TV, and spend a lot of time reading in the quiet.  However my neighbour does have her TV on when I get in from work and often it is on all evening.  Although she is not doing anything inconsiderate, I would prefer not to listen to the constant mumble of a TV which is at reasonable volume the other side of a wall. Continue reading

1980’s house with Bad Sound Proofing

Hi Soundstop

We have recently moved into a 1980s house and have noticed that the sound proofing from the living room up to the master bedroom is very poor. Even normal talking voices, curtain closing etc can be heard clearly, let alone the television!

Please can you tell me of possible solutions? I don’t think there is any insulation whatsoever between the two floors in this part of the house – it sounds very hollow. The bedroom floorboards are made of an MDF type material. The bedroom is approx 14 by 19 feet Continue reading

Soundproofing a floor

Dear Sir/Madam,

 

I have the top 2 floors in a property in West London. I have neighbours on the bottom floor. I have pretty good hi-fi and TV surround-sound equipment but I can’t really play it at the volumes I’d like to and get the best of it because I know the sound carries and it would potentially disturb the people downstairs. I did have some time ago a thick layer of rubber-like, black material put down beneath my living room carpet and underlay but this hasn’t made a lot of difference. Is this something you can help with? I also would like to look at options to sound-proof my loft, though it is my living room that is my main priority. Look forward to your feedback. Thanks &Regards, Continue reading