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Soundproof internal walls

Discussion in 'Renovation & Home Improvement' started by ATANG, 3rd Jul, 2016.

  1. ATANG

    ATANG Well-Known Member

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    We have a very old apartment, which the building itself is a heritage building. While the external walls are thick and solid, the internal walls are not very well sound proofed. We can easily hear neighbours noises, or another bedroom noises, or upstair footsteps. I have been doing researches on how to fix this and would like to hear some experienced people thoughts?

    Apparently there are two ways, one is to open out the existing walls and then replace or add the exisiting acoustic foams or some sort and then re plaster and paint the wall? Another way is to simply add another layer of plaster board to it? Has anyone done anything like this before? And if anyone has any recommendations to any traders that can help in inner Melbourne?
     
  2. bob shovel

    bob shovel Well-Known Member

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    I assume brick walls?
    You can get sound check gyprock for noise reduction. You can fix them to the existing walls where needed. Its just thicker heavier gyprock so same work required it's just heavier. Plus won't lose room space building out walls
     
  3. ATANG

    ATANG Well-Known Member

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    The internal walls are all timber/ plaster walls I think... definitely no brick. Is it expensive to rip out the existing walls and re plaster them and paint them?
     
  4. Joynz

    Joynz Well-Known Member

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    There are a range of ways to diminish sound, at varying levels of cost.

    If plasterboard walls and ceilings, then I suggest this:

    Walls.
    Remove plasterboard on one side, insulate with Bradfords Soundscreen ( 88mm or 73mm thick depending on your stud thickness. Soundscreen can be special ordered from Bunnings etc or sometimes plasterboard shops too.

    Soundscreen is more expensive, but it has been developed and tested specifically for this use; I have used it and it is excellent.

    You can also use 'resilient mounts' to attach plasterboard, and there is special glue that stops sound being transferred through adjoining surfaces.

    You can also install Soundchek plasterboard to add to sound reduction. Install it as per manufacturer's instructions to make sure it works properly.

    Fyrechek plasterboard is also good for dampening noise and cheaper than the sound stuff, for almost of the same effect - but from memory, I think you need to go thicker for the same effect, so heavier. Install plaster using the special sound absorbing green glue if you can.

    Ceiling
    If you have enough ceiling height and space between floors, you could pull down the ceiling, add Soundscreen and ( this next bit is essential) resilient plasterboard mounts and the green sound absorbent glue if you can.

    You need the resilient mounts and the bulk insulation ( batts) to deal with the different types of noise transmission.

    If you don't have enough ceiling height, then there are some ceiling treatments that absorb sound, that you could just add on to the existing ceiling too.

    You can also try adding absorbent materials to your place - thick curtains, carpets.
     
    Last edited: 3rd Jul, 2016
  5. ej89

    ej89 Well-Known Member

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    Or use earplugs while at home
     
  6. Stoffo

    Stoffo Well-Known Member

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    As per Joynz :)
    It's best to do it once, do it right.
    Adding a "sheet" of plaster over the top of existing means cutting down base boards, and packing out of door jambs and window frames (it never looks right) adding cost to plastering over anyway :confused:.
    So doing it right will still cost more, but not all that much more, for a much better result ;).
    Let us all know how it worked out :D
     
  7. Depreciator

    Depreciator Moderator Staff Member

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    So it's an old apartment and the walls between your apartment and your neighbours are just timber studs and plaster? That sounds odd.
     
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  8. the world is your oyster

    the world is your oyster Well-Known Member

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    I'm a plasterer I live in western suburbs let me know if you need a hand or some advice
     
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  9. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    We're looking at something similar at the moment. Not sure whether we will re-gyprock the whole house, but will probably take it off the outwards facing walls and add insulation in there. And in the ceiling later on. Mostly for weather insulation, but a good idea to consider sound as well.
     
  10. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    I would have just put a second layer of soundcheck plaster board over the top of the existing plaster. That way you get the sound proofing of the original gyprock plus the new thicker gyprock.
     
  11. Phase2

    Phase2 Well-Known Member

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    I'd talk to an acoustics engineer before spending any $.
    It's quite possible that the walls aren't the problem, it could be that the services ducting is echoing/ amplifying the sounds from you and your neighbours.
     
  12. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    But it gets a bit painful and fiddly with door frames etc... doesn't it?
    Especially if you can't do much of it yourself - like me : /
     
  13. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    I would have done fyrcheck because its cheaper and does the same job. And used the 16mm stuff and just glued it straight to the existing gyprock. That would give a heck of a lot of sound proofing. 26mm of gyprock total.

    Sound check is only 10mm or 13mm...

    I would imagine this is going on the walls between units. So there shouldnt be a door jam issue.

    Theres lots of stuffing aroud with ripping out old gyprock. Messy stuff. You would have to go through and get all the timbers flush again by scrapping off all the old glue and getting rid of the nails or screws that were holding the original gyprock on the wall. Absolute pain in the ass. Or you could just slap a bit of glue of the wall and chuck up your new sheet on top of the existing gyprock. And you would need less screws because you could put heaps of glue on because you have the whole surface area of the existing gyprock to work with. Which means less plastering due to screw holes.

    I would grab a vibration cutter and then make the required cuts in the mouldings and cornice to allow for the the extra thickness. Glue and nail all that stuff back on. No more gap. Tape the joins in your plaster. Base coat. Top coat. Sand. Primer. Paint. Done.
     
  14. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Oh boy, I'm not looking forward to the next job... ;)

    You make it sound pretty easy - but you've had plenty of experience, your house is probably bigger than the block of units!
     
  15. Tim86

    Tim86 Well-Known Member

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    Haha its not that hard. Biggest mistake most people make is sanding the top coat back too far. But easy fix. Just put more top coat on and sand again.
     
  16. Azazel

    Azazel Well-Known Member

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    Ours shouldn't be that messy - or if it is, not really our problem, because we're paying someone to get rid of it all.
    And I prefer 1 or 2 decent coats - 3 coats are for rookies ;)
     
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