DIY Doctor

Soundproofing Advice for Stairs in Badly Converted Flat

Postby marklondon » Tue Jul 19, 2016 7:31 am

Hi,

I'm in the process of trying to add soundproofing to a top floor flat which was badly converted from a terraced house. I've decided the single worst culprit is actually the partition wall between the stairs (in my flat, down to the front door) and the ground floor flat. I opened up a hole to explore and what I found is shown in this diagram:

Cut-away view.jpg


It looks like when they made the partition between the two flats, they put up plasterboard directly against the side of the steps in the ground floor flat (actually touching the treads), left a gap, then cut two layers of plasterboard to fit the shape of the stairs and actually put my side of the wall directly on top of the steps themselves! Here is a frontal view to make things clearer:

Front view.jpg


Inside the 60mm gap, there are studs (which themselves touch/rest on the treads), and a bit of insulation).

The problem I'm having is not just my own impact noise into the ground floor flat, but also that I get a huge amount of airborne noise from their flat through this wall. Originally, I had been thinking of installing something like this -- DFM in the cavity and soundproofing wall board. But now I am worried this won't be sufficient, because if the treads directly touch their plasterboard and mine, won't this mean airborne noise is transmitted directly through the treads anyway?

If this is the case, is there anything I can do about it? I am thinking I may have to put down a layer of floor soundproofing over the exposed part of the treads and risers, but I wonder whether it might make sense to do this on the part inside the cavity, too?

Does anyone have any suggestions for this kind of situation? I'd like to work out something I can do with minimal disturbance to my neighbours.

Thanks for your help!!

Mark
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Postby Abec2000 » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:15 pm

How did you sort this out in the end, I have the same problem. Bloody bodge jobs!
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Postby marklondon » Mon Oct 01, 2018 12:48 pm

Abec2000 wrote:How did you sort this out in the end, I have the same problem. Bloody bodge jobs!


I rebuilt my whole side of the wall with DFM and acoustic plasterboard, and also got my neighbours permission to have DFM and acoustic plasterboard installed under the treads themselves. This did reduce noise a bit, but to be honest, the problem didn't really go away. I think a better solution would really be to rebuild their side of the wall too, decoupling it entirely from the treads, but that is a lot to ask your neighbours.
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Postby Abec2000 » Mon Oct 01, 2018 5:16 pm

I really need to rip the whole house apart to get this fixed. Every wall and floor lacks insulation.

My next house will be a new build I think!
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Postby collectors » Thu Oct 04, 2018 11:16 am

The best form of sound insulation is to have an air gap with no solid materials touching each other to stop the transfer of sound. So you need a void with thick insulation & double 12.5mm sound plasterboard. It works well, but cant always be done after things are built.
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