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Soundproofing a wall

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Sep 16, 2012, 02:57 PM
Soundproofing a wall
I live in an NYC apt and I can hear the muffled noise of my neighbors tv and also him playing his piano. I have looked into soundproofing techniques, but I can't hang drywall. If I purchase a soundproofing drywall such as Quietrock and put it against the wall with furniture (i.e. book case, entertainment center) holding it against the wall, will it work as well? Any other soundproofing suggestions are welcome! thanks
Sep 16, 2012, 03:28 PM
To soundproof, you need two things: Separation space and density. Just putting another layer of drywall up against your existing wall will add some density and help deaden the sound, but you will still have a continuous surface that will transmit sound.

I am assuming that your problem with adding drywall is that as an apartment you cannot make permanent changes. If so, then you can make a temporary wall out of foam with a solid face surface. Foam comes in sheets from 1/2" thick to several inches with up to 1-1/2" being available at most home stores. The best match-up for soundproofing would be a layer of foam with a surface layer of drywall. It could all be glued and screwed together so that it could be removed again if you move out. Not sure how much wall space you are talking about so this could become a fairly large size job.

Sep 16, 2012, 05:48 PM
Jaybee, sorry for the dumb question, but what kind of foam? Would it be the rigid foam that's used on an exterior to insulate?

I ask because I have a similar problem with excessive noise from the street and have been wondering what I can do about it.


Kelcon, I've read that heavy quilts hung on walls as decorations can help deaden sound, but I've not tried it and I'm not sure how much it would help unless the entire wall was covered.

Could the landlord of the apartment building be of assistance? Perhaps your neighbor could practice his piano between certain hours, such as when you're at work.

You have my sympathy; I once lived in an apartment complex with noisy neighbors who had absolutely no concern about how much racket they made. Good luck with your efforts.
Sep 16, 2012, 06:55 PM
Yes, a basic rigid foam. Probably the less dense large cell typical white foam would work best.

Sep 16, 2012, 10:46 PM
Thanks a lot, Jaybee.
Sep 20, 2012, 04:15 PM
Any idea where I could buy that type of foam? I've look at Lowe's and Home Depot's websites but they just seem to have the hard sheets of foam.

Sep 20, 2012, 07:43 PM
Lowe's and HD do carry it - usually their style comes with one foil backed side.

If not there then do a quick Google search or yellow pages walk looking for insulation companies or suppliers.

Sep 27, 2012, 12:08 PM
You have been so helpful! I'm purchasing the Quietrock drywall this weekend and I'm thinking of using this foam:

I was going to glue the foam on the back of the Quietrock drywall so it will be between the old drywall and the new drywall.

Do you think this will work?

I really appreciate all your help!
Sep 27, 2012, 07:43 PM
I think you need a more rigid foam. The stuff you linked to will not do a good job of bonding to the drywall and the wall surface - just too much give. I can't see it staying on the wall with just glue as there is too much give and movement. If you installed screws through the drywall and foam it would hole it up but would negate the isolation properties of the foam.

Go for something like this:|1&facetInfo=

OR use regular 1/2" or 3/4" blueboard.

Oct 15, 2012, 10:20 AM
Have you already purchased the materials and installed the wall.?
Oct 21, 2012, 08:49 PM
No I haven't. The drywall was too big to fit in my elevator. I'm thinking of buying Quiet Barrier to put on my wall. Any other suggestions?
Jul 11, 2013, 04:21 AM
night worker
I live in an apartment and the hallway echos very badly, but also I have a hollow metal door and so all the noises in the hallway echo into my apartment. the neighbors accros are young and loud and these noises also echo into my apartment. Is there anything that I can do to my door to soundproof it? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Jul 11, 2013, 12:07 PM
you can't do anything substantial to an apartment. insurance companies get out the chain saw if all maintenance is not done by the building owner.

your best move is to put thick fuzzy art on the walls. you know, yarn art from packages made with wool, or thick decorative import rugs? since you can't open and insulate the walls or replace the door, and you can't take down walls and angle them so you don't have reinforcing reflecting surfaces, you need to use surface techniques.

be sure you soak in a borax water and air dry first, which reduces fire hazard. same treatment they use in blown cellulose insulation.

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?