Noise between houses

I live in a 60s dorma bungalow semidetached now I’m very lucky in a way as our neighbour is an old lady and death as a post bless her but shes in her late 90s and deteriorating health wise, we know the walls are thin as we can hear her TV as if it was in our room so I’m thinking this years project is going to be some sort off isolation damping to the living room/joining property walls to stop noise leaking through as much as possible
Has any one done this???

You can probably turn it all the way up to eleven in that case.



You won’t stop bass going through, but otherwise you can attenuate higher frequencies by adding a sandwich of plasterboard on the outside attached to timber frame with rockwool slabs between. Google “rockwool acoustic insulation”, there are likely similar products available.

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It’s more when she’s gone and New neighbours move in that I’m thinking off doing the noise isolation deadening last thing I want is complaining from them or upsetting them
But yes it’s normally around 9 or 10 clock whilst listening to it

I’ve done it, it’s difficult to get right and needs care and attention to detail, pretty much as Robert describes above but you need a gap so frame is not attached to wall, you also need to go right up through the ceiling and yes, bass will still travel through the structure. Use about 3 layers of acoustic plasterboard and semisolid rock wool

Or buy a decent pair of headphones and a headphone amp!


soundproofing is basically a combination of 2 approaches:

  • absorbing
  • deadening

The latter generally requires solid mass. 40Kg lead mats or often used under the floors or behind a fake wall in soundproof rooms. Absorbing sound on the other hand requires lots of changes in material density, such as foam. Generally deadening is more effective but the best sound proof installations use a combination of the two. Other things like no exactly parallel walls are going to be hard to apply after the fact.

If you want the pros to have a go, Both Yamaha, and Kawaii have a range of sound proofing options (none are DIY install though) which start with floor and wall panelling and end up with full room within a room scenarios. Of course the more you add the smaller your room gets. But I imagine having a the dividing wall professionally treated is doable if you are okay with giving up a few inches of floor space on that side.

A decade ago, I managed a quite effective solution for a cinema room in a block of flats. I ordered soundproof curtains made up to cover one wall ($2k) and then covered the floor with foam and cork mats topped off with soundproof office tiles. ($700). It wasn’t dead but I could get away with THX and not drive neighbours nuts. True soundproof curtains are heavy as hell though. I think those curtains were about 150Kg so you need to install a very sturdy rail near the ceiling. The soundproof carpet tiles are similarly about 5Kg/ 50cm2 tile.

A bonus of all this was, between the curtains and the 1.5cm thick foam and cork under tile, not a single cable was visible. I left 2cm between the wall and under tile all the way around. Laid the cables in that and put the final carpet tiles over the top. A downside was it created a sonically dead room that was great for movies and awful for music. Plus not very homey.


It is very very difficult imho, you could try a room within a room approach, is it possible to move to another room away from the party wall?

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Thanks for the info I don’t mind loosing a few inches off space in the room it’s only one wall to be treated ill look into it more but thanks for the reply

Unfortunately not I’m afraid to move it to another room that is. I’m not trying to stop all sound just mute it down some, so it’s not as bad I know I’ve got no chance off totally eradicating all the noise going through the wall I just want to sort off deaden it a bit so I don’t have to lower the volume all the time

I have a similar problem with neighbours. General talking is OK, but when the kids start jumping about and slamming doors at 2000-2200 you really know they are there (things shake). During the day they are really quiet, but its doors and jumbing about on a hard floor (no carpets) that transmit.

The previous owner gave piano lessons and those could be heard through all 3 floors of our house.

I try to keep our noise (music/tv) down and have even been in a neighbours house (terrace) to see how loud our system could go.

I have thought about the sound deadening/proofing route, but feel that whilst I could do my bit and lose 3-6 inches on the wall, I don’t think it will make any difference due to the living room on the first floor and it being a wood and aluminium joist system.

I’m investigating taking the music system out of the LR and placing in a small bedroom on the ground floor and also possibly going the headphone route.

Yep totally understand its hard what to do isn’t it

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A friend once had a similar problem and it was only when he’d added insulation to the walls, he discovered sound was coming from under the floor too. He had to effectively build a wall under the floor to seal the gaps between him and his neighbour. You may also have to do something similar in the roof space. You’ll need to check everything.

PS. I do hope the lady next door isn’t actually already dead… (Death as a post…)

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Imho the trend in knocking down as many internal walls as poss in smallish houses to make large “family rooms” coupled with hard flooring exacerbates the problem, especially in a 30s semi, where the party wall is usually solid as opposed to cavity, any soundproofing as said before would ideally have to include the whole party wall from the attic down.

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