Soundproofing Help Needed - I'm Going Mad!

CurbedEnthusiasmJune 16, 2012

I am about to go mad! I live in a one bedroom apartment in a 1960s high rise. What I didn't know when I bought the place was that my common wall was as thin as tissue paper. Next door is a person living in a studio, and I hear everything: coughing, sneezing, phone calls, music, computer booting-up, etc. It's driving me mad - it's like she's living in my apartment. So I desperately need to soundproof my current wall.

Right now, my common wall consists of 2 pieces of 1/2 inch gypsum board on either side of the studs. There is no insulation. The wall is 20' long and the only obstruction (other than a couple of outlets) is a 4' long convector (AC/heat unit).

Here were the 2 ideas I had. First would be to get someone to drill a hole in the wall and blast in some spray-foam insulation between the walls. Or, instead of foam insulation, I could apply another layer of 1/2 drywall on top of the existing wall (and around the convector) with a layer of Green Glue in between.

I considered taking down the wall and starting over with resilient sound clips, but the location of the convector is fixed, so while I can work around it, I can't move it forward if the wall needs to move forward.

Any thoughts or input you have would be most appreciated! Also, does anyone have an idea on what this is going to cost? Thanks so much!

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5/8" has better vibration absorbtion qualities.
Prior to installing, place some isolation tape at the ceiling, floor and at each stud.
If you have the room there is another product, sound board, which can be installed under the drywall.
The sound board is about the same price as the 5/8;
The isolation tape is an adhesive foam tape. Both products are available from a professional drywall supplier, other than the big boxes.

    Bookmark   June 17, 2012 at 8:46PM
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Please forget the tape on the studs. No value there, though it seems intuitively good. Soundboard is a poor attempt at decoupling and the lab data shows this.

Foam is the worst thing you can install in a wall or ceiling for soundproofing. That's not what a company that installs it will tell you, of course, but again, lab data doesn't lie.

The best solution would be to remove the existing drywall, install competent decoupling, install simple R13 fiberglass, then add back two sheets of 5/8" drywall with the damping compound.

Can you accommodate this?

    Bookmark   June 20, 2012 at 9:04AM
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I don't think that decoupling the wall is an option. Like I mentioned in my OP, there is a convector unit on the wall that is attached to the building with a fixed-length pipe, so the unit cannot be moved forward or side to side. Decoupling the wall would push the existing wall forward, which is not an option given that my convector cannot move.

I can install drywall around the convector, but not more behind it.

    Bookmark   June 23, 2012 at 10:25AM
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This insulation from Lowes gets good reviews.

Here is a link that might be useful: Roxul Safe'n'Sound Stone Wool Insulation

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 12:55PM
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