DIY Doctor

Best Sound Blocking Material and Product That can be Affixed to Back of Fitted Units

Postby SoundandFury » Thu Mar 28, 2019 5:14 pm

Hi there

I find myself joining this forum as I have sound issues with neighbours (I live in a semi-detached house) and I am currently looking at ways to address this as best I can if at all possible. Sadly the property needed a lot of work carried out to it prior to my moving in so I am only aware that there is a problem after most of the work has been done, including re-plastering and decoration etc. This in itself is less of an issue as it is such a problem for me that I am okay with biting the bullet at some point. The main issue is I have gone to the expense of having a joinery company design and fit shelving and cupboards either side of the chimney breast in my living room and as such I am either faced with the considerable expense of having them ripped out with the potential damage to both the units and the walls to allow a proper soundproofing wall installed, then have the units reinstalled, minus some of their depth. I have also had expensive flooring fitted to the edge of the fitted units. What adds to my discomfort is the fact that with such a thing as noise, such upheaval may not necessarily resolve the situation. The reason I turn to this forum is I was wondering if there was some kind of adhoc fix that initially forgoes having to have the units removed. By that I mean do any members know of sound insulating material that could be fitted to the back of each shelf of the unit that could possibly minimise the noise to an extent. What would the best product be for this? I have tested the various materials in the room using a cheap stethoscope and it appears that the units easily conduct the noise of my neighbour's television, although thankfully the chimney breast itself acts as quite an effective barrier. The cupboards at the bottom of the units also are more effective at dampening the noise. Because of this, another option may be to somehow maintain the frame of the units and somehow soundproof the wall without completely tearing them out, in conjunction with the joinery company.

As well as noise travelling through the chimney breast recesses, it also appears to travel along the external window wall. Would some kind of injectable insulation help with this?

With regards the noise, it is mainly the noise of their television. I don't believe that it is just the case of my neighbours playing it too loud. I can also hear the gentleman clear his throat very clearly, and the noise of them opening and closing their bedroom curtains and various drawers travels very loudly to both my own bedroom and living room. Conversations are also heard as muffled and there are constant noises from doors closing etc. Although I'll probably need to address all four rooms that share a wall and issues with shared joists etc., as I've said, it is the living room which is most problematic.

As an aside, I have invested in earplugs and noise cancelling headphones, as well as trying white noise and playing my own music all the time, but it is really not ideal to be faced with constantly hearing your neighbours television when you enter your living room, and if I'm not wearing headphones (which can be uncomfortable to wear), having to turn up my television louder than I would like so as to drown out the sound of theirs (which is limited as you can still hear theirs when there is a drop in volume in what I am watching). Rather than relaxing in my own space it feels both communal and persistently combative, which is wearying.

Many thanks for any input and for reading to the end of my own little outburst.
SoundandFury
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Simply Build It

Postby collectors » Sat Mar 30, 2019 5:45 pm

There is only one way to stop sound travelling through walls, is to have an air gap. Anything joined/screw to a neighbours wall will transmit the sound. Yes, some insulation will help a little, but won’t solve it.
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