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QuietPanel. An Ultra Thin Soundproofing System for Walls

Many of our domestic customers suffer from noisy neighbours but do not have enough space to properly soundproof their party walls for best results.  Often this is due to the closeness of a door or window.  Because of this we have developed an Ultra Thin Soundproofing System for party walls using our 27mm QuietPanel.  This unique soundproofing for walls consists of a layer of higher density acoustic plasterboard bonded to an effective soundproofing material using recycled materials that when screwed to a party wall, will reduce normal noise nuisance from neighbours.  Loud noise will require a much thicker soundproofing system.  The thinner QuietPanel soundproofing system for domestic walls has been introduced due to popular demand from customers that want to reduce noise through their party wall from neighbours but do not have enough room to install a thicker, more efficient soundproofing system but want to do fit something to reduce the noise they are currently experiencing.  Using the principle of any improvement is better than none we have introduced this unique new system.  The QuietPanel soundproofing system for walls is easy to fix using screws and rawlplugs.  The panel is simply placed in position, then using a masonry drill, screw through the soundproofing panel into the masonry wall, then insert the rawlplug and screw through the panel into the wall and screw down until the head of the screw has countersunk itself into the plasterboard so that it is level with the surface.  This system is not suitable for fixing to stud walls.  For stud walls we suggest using our 50mm thick Thin Wall System.  Once the QuietPanel thinner soundproofing system has been installed, the joints should be taped and finished along with the screw heads before decorating.  More information on this system of soundproofing party walls can be found by calling them on 01993 704981

SoundBlocker Membrane Soundproofing Mat

SoundBlocker Membrane has again been specified and supplied to upgrade the soundproofing of ceilings in flats with timber joisted ceilings in Birmingham.  This is because the SoundBlocker soundproofing membrane has superb sound blocking qualities and is particularly effective when sandwiched between two layers of plasterboard.  Because this soundproofing mat is not heavy, it is particularly the preferred choice for upgrading the soundproofing of any ceiling because it is not as heavy as our SBM5 or Tecsound sound barrier mats.  At only 2kg per square metre it can easily be glued to a plasterboard panel before it is screwed to the ceiling sandwiching the soundproofing mat between the first and second layer of plasterboard.  For best results the plasterboard used should be the high density acoustic plasterboard that is decoupled from the ceiling with our 15mm deep Resilient Bars or the more efficient GenieClip System.  For more information on SoundBlocker Membrane go to our web page via this link https://www.keepitquiet.co.uk/acoustic_membrane.html and for information on all of our soundproofing products go to our domestic soundproofing web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk

Soundproofing a Ceiling

Once again our Studio Ceiling soundproofing system has been used for a flat in London to help reduce noise from neighbours above.  Prior to installation, noise from above could clearly be heard because the flat was constructed prior to the current Building Regulations for the control of noise through floors and ceilings so the Studio Ceiling system as described on our domestic web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk was the preferred solution to address the noise from above issue.  The existing ceiling was simply plasterboard so it was easy to take down.  If it had been a lathe and plaster ceiling it is always better to leave it in place because it provides better sound insulation than plasterboard.  With lathe and plaster ceilings all that needs to be done is to install our Thin Ceiling Soundproofing System and more information on this can also be found on our web site.  Now back to the Studio Ceiling System.  To install this the existing plasterboard ceiling has to be removed then our Resilient Bar decoupling system can be screwed across the joists at 400mm centres across the room.  100mm of AMW100 Acoustic Mineral Wool is now cut to be a loose fit between the joists and inserted above the resilient bars that will hold it in place.  It is important the AMW is not fitted tightly because this stiffens the structure making it acoustically less efficient.  Once the AMW100 is in place 15mm Acoustic Plasterboard is screwed to the bars.  It is important that the screws do not come into contact with the joists so to avoid this, mark with pencil the position of the joists and bars on the walls then you can see the correct positioning of where the screws have to go which is between the joists, not on top of them.  Once the first layer has been fixed the second layer can be screwed up but this time with our 1mm SoundBlocker Membrane sound barrier mat sandwiched between the two.  Because it is next to impossible to glue this directly to the ceiling because it is too floppy, cut it to size and glue it to the second layer of plasterboard before screwing it up as one.  Both layers of Acoustic Plasterboard should be fitted with about a 1mm gap between the edge of the plasterboard and the wall.  This gap should be filled with our high density Acoustic Sealant prior to finishing and decorating.  More information including installation instructions can be found on our domestic web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk.

Soundproofing for Walls

Our M20AD soundproofing for walls has again been specified and supplied for an MOD contract.  M20AD is a 20mm thick, high density recycled rubber designed to block and absorb noise.  When applied to any wall with two thicknesses of 15mm Acoustic Plasterboard fixed on top, a good level of noise reduction is achieved with the soundproofing taking up just 50mm of space.  It is because of this the MOD use this product to reduce speech from being heard in adjacent rooms and is ideal for application onto lightweight partitioning that is often used to separate offices.  The M20AD solution can be used to help ensure privacy within any room and is quick and easy to install.  This product is also used to upgrade party walls and will help reduce normal levels of noise that would not normally be expected to be heard.  So this is the ideal acoustic solution for soundproofing a party wall in a domestic situation.  For more information on our M20AD soundproofing for walls, go to our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk.

or call our sales team on 01993704981

Lathe and plaster ceilings, to remove or repair?

When lathe and plaster ceilings start to become unstable, they will shed pieces of plaster and the worrying thing is they could land on someone’s head causing injury so when this begins to happen, what is the answer?  No it is not to wear a hard hat or replace the ceiling with plasterboard.  Agreed plasterboard is a stable product and once up can be forgotten unless there is a flood above but plasterboard, even high density acoustic plasterboard, is not as acoustically efficient as lathe and plaster.  So if you wish to reduce noise nuisance from above or if you want to avoid the dust and mess that removal of lathe and plaster ceilings entail, read on.  Lathe and plaster ceilings and stud walls are usually constructed with thin timber lathes nailed to the underside of ceiling joists or frame of stud walls then rendered with a dense plaster that is skim coated and decorated to suit.  This system creates a dense layer that is far more efficient at blocking noise than plasterboard even if a double thickness is installed and decoupled with resilient bars.  What do we do instead I hear you ask?  Well if the ceiling has started to shed plaster the first thing to do is effect a repair.  If the ceiling is still sound then in both cases carry out the following which is simple, cheap and not nearly as messy.  Screw a layer of 15mm Acoustic Plasterboard over the top of the existing ceiling/wall ensuring the screws fix into the joists or stud frame.  Alternatively, if preferred, use a fireline board instead.  Fireline boards are usually very dense as well and have the added advantage of being more fire resistant that plasterboard so if budget allows, use fireline board then skim and finish.  If extra soundproofing is required, sandwich our SoundBlocker Membrane between the existing ceiling and the new board or if it is a wall, use our SBM5 soundproofing mat instead.  For more information on soundproofing a ceiling or a wall.

Solutions to soundproof a party wall

Our last article was on soundproofing a party wall and how to address flanking noise around a party wall so now we will go onto the actual soundproofing of a party wall, what can be done and its effectiveness assuming flanking noise is no longer an issue.  First of all, if a party wall contains a chimney breast, because this is fixed directly to the party wall and therefore, most likely directly to the other side, best soundproofing results are not going to be achieved but may still be worthwhile doing what you can to reduce the noise being heard from the other side.  If it is possible to block up the fireplace and totally encapsulate the chimney breast then that will give better results but in our experience, this usually takes up more space than can be spared.  The following will describe what can be done to improve the soundproofing of a party wall and if possible, the same systems can be used to completely surround the chimney breast too.

First ensure the plastered surface of the party wall is sound and that the plaster has not ‘blown’.  This is when the plaster coating has started to part company with the wall and can be tested by tapping the plaster.  If it sounds solid then it is likely to be OK but if it sounds hollow it has blown and will require taking off and replastering before any soundproofing measures take place.  Now, assuming the wall is sound, wall paper has been removed and there is no flaking paint, soundproofing can commence after the skirting boards have been removed and electrical fittings disconnected by a qualified electrician.  The best soundproofing results mean more space will be lost but as compensation, the best is also the cheapest and that is our Studio Wall Soundproofing System that uses timber studs.  For best results, 75 x 50mm studs should be used and fitted 25mm away from the existing wall.  For more information on this, go to our Studio Wall System Installation Instructions that can be found on our web site.  The web address will be at the bottom of this article.

If enough space for an independent soundproofed wall cannot be spared then the studs can be fixed directly to the wall and that will save 25mm.  If this is still too much to lose, then reduce the size of the stud down to 50mm but no less and as a last resort, omit the Resilient Bars but these should only be left out if absolutely necessary.  When space is even more limited, our Thin Wall Soundproofing System can be used and will take up 45 or 50mm of space depending which thickness of Acoustic Plasterboard is used.  Before this system can be installed though, it is essential to ensure the wall is sound because all of the soundproofing layers are glued.  So if there is any doubt about the stability of painted walls, they should be treated with a dilute solution of PVA adhesive in water.  More information on how to install our Thin Wall System can also be found on our web site through the link at the bottom of this article.

Finally, if even 45mm of space cannot be spared, the last option is our Ultra Thin Wall Soundproofing System that uses our QuietPanels will take up only 27.5mm but it must be understood that this system will not stop anywhere near the same amount of noise that the Studio Wall System will.  But it should reduce normal levels of noise that should not be heard but loud noise or low frequency noise such as bass drums will always be heard although their intensity may be reduced.  The Ultra Thin Wall Soundproofing System is useful when there is the close proximity of a window or door so that thicker, more efficient soundproofing solutions cannot be installed.  For more information on the systems mentioned above and Ultra Thin Wall Soundproofing System installation instructions, go to our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk

Soundproofing a party wall and flanking noise

Noise from neighbours through any party wall, particularly at night is a particular problem that affects many people.  Noise at night is always difficult to address because your normal background noises are usually switched off and when you are trying to get to sleep, noise from elsewhere can make it difficult.  Noise that is intermittent is the worst kind because it is not so easy to get used to whereas, noise that is more constant such as outside traffic is more easy to get used to and over a short period of time, is no longer noticeable in many cases.

What can be done about it?  Well this article is to deal with noisy neighbours so will involve the noise heard from the other side of a party wall and how to soundproof a party wall by stopping flanking noise.  We will deal with outside noise in another article.

Now for the neighbour noise.  Obviously the first thing that should be done is talk to them to explain the noise problem that is being heard.  The best way to do this is to invite them round for a cup of tea or something stronger then bring up the subject.  If you can replicate the sounds that are being heard from your side of the wall for your neighbour to hear, they would then have a greater understanding of the noise problem and hopefully, be more amenable to doing something about it so that your peace and tranquillity are restored.  The last thing that should be done is to go hammering on their door because the noise is so upsetting.  That would only antagonise them and make them less likely to co-operate.  Co-operation is always more successful than confrontation.  If all else fails then soundproofing is your last resort.  If the property is pre-war with solid structural walls then any soundproofing measures will be more effective but if the walls are cavity walls with lightweight internal blocks then flanking noise is likely to be a problem.  This is when noise flanks around the noise barrier and in the case of cavity walls, through the lightweight blocks and the cavity from one side of the wall to the other.  If the cavity has been filled with foam type cavity wall insulation the problem will still be evident but if the cavity has been filled with blown mineral wool, this will act as a sound absorber and the flanking noise will be less noticeable.  Flanking noise can also penetrate through the floors and ceilings if they are timber joist supported so before any work is started to soundproof the party wall, steps must be taken to reduce the flanking noise coming through the floor and ceiling.

Starting with the floor, if the floorboards are parallel with the wall then they will be easier to take up and only about four feet or 1.25 metres need to be removed to gain access to the joists.  Once the floorboards have been removed, check for gaps where the joists are fitted into the party wall because gaps will allow any noise to penetrate from one side to the other more easily.  If any gaps are found and they are simply small gaps then seal them with our flexible Acoustic Sealer but if the gaps are larger then they will have to be sealed with a sand/cement mixture.  Once the joists are suitably sealed in the party wall, install as a loose fit, 100mm of AMW100 Acoustic Mineral Wool between the joists.  AMW100 is supplied in slabs 1200 x 600 so they should be cut with a sharp knife so that you have a piece that is 1200mm long by just under the width of the joists then insert it so that one end is butted right up to the party wall.  Offcuts can be used in the same way so there is no wastage.  When complete replace the floor boards and screw them down.  However, if the floorboards are perpendicular to the party wall then the joists will be parallel and so not so easy to remove a small section of the floorboards.  So to compensate for this leave the floorboards alone and overlay with a double thickness of 2mm SBM5 Soundproofing Mat followed with a layer of polythene to contain any potential smells from this recycled sound insulation.  Although smells are not usually a problem, because the sound insulation is produced from recycled materials some times a smell is evident and although not noxious, will not be desirable so the polythene will seal it in.

Now for the ceiling.  If the ceiling is a top floor bedroom ceiling then it should be possible to check in the loft to see if the joists are correctly sealed into the party wall and if not, can be sealed as described earlier.  If the joists are in the other direct and parallel to the wall then sound leakage will not be so much of a problem and it will be just the flanking noise to deal with and that can be addressed from below.  From below all you have to do is screw up a 15mm layer of high density Acoustic Plasterboard with our 1mm SoundBlocker Membrane sandwiched between the new and old layers of plasterboard to break up the mass of the ceiling thus enhancing the noise blocking properties of the ceiling.

OK so now flanking noise through the floor and ceiling have been addressed you may wish to do something about flanking noise through the external structural wall if that is an issue and for this I suggest you fit our Thin Wall Soundproofing System.  This system is only 45mm thick or 50mm if 15mm Acoustic Plasterboard is used and should be applied over the entire wall surface.  More information on our Thin Wall Soundproofing System can be viewed on our web site via the following link https://www.keepitquiet.co.uk/thin-wall-soundproofing-system.html

Flanking noise round a party wall has now been covered in this Blog.  Keep your eye out for the next article that will be published shortly on the soundproofing methods that can be used to soundproof a party wall.  For more information on how to soundproof a party wall, or for any other of our soundproofing materials and products, go to the domestic side of our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk

Motor vehicle soundproofing

Although most cars today are produced with more efficient soundproofing sometimes, for the more discerning car owner or owners of commercial vehicles, more soundproofing is required and this is where we can help.  Among our wide range of soundproofing materials is our 13mm thick SAPT220 sound barrier mat and this mat is used to reduce noise penetration through the vehicle bulkhead, transmission hump and floor of the vehicle throughout.  The SAPT220 sound barrier mat comprises a flexible, heavy soundproofing mat bonded to a layer of sound absorbing foam and the product is installed with the foam side against the substrate for maximum sound loss performance.  Noise from the engine bay will also be reduced if the product is applied over all of the bulkhead and to do this it would normally be installed from inside the car and up under the dashboard as far as possible.  If space allows, another layer can be installed on the top part of the bulkhead but from inside the engine bay.  Further noise from the engine bay can be reduced if an effective, sound absorbing under bonnet pad is fitted.  Most modern vehicles already have one of these but if it is missing or becomes damaged, it can be replaced with either our 12mm or 25mm fire resistant, self-adhesive, black sound absorbing foam.  Once fitted this will help absorb the engine noise and reduce the noise from amplifying when it bounces off all the hard surfaces within the engine bay.  As well as supplying soundproofing for cars and vans, we can also supply sound absorbing foam for the inside of panel vans and motor caravans so for more information and prices for these soundproofing and sound absorbing products, go to our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk.


Acoustic Doorseal Kits for Soundproofing a Door

Becoming more and more popular are our Acoustic Doorseal Kits designed to upgrade the soundproofing properties of lightweight domestic doors often found in the home.  Bespoke Acoustic Doorsets are often too expensive for domestic use so the Acoustic Doorseal Kits are more affordable and can easily be fitted by and DIY orientated person.  The kits comprise the normal triangular shaped “batwing” seals that when fitted to the doorframe, will seal the sides and top of a door and also a two part threshold seal for sealing the gap at the bottom of the door and it is this gap that usually lets the most noise through.  In addition, the kit contains a sheet of SBM5 soundproofing mat and this can be glued or stapled to the door then covered with a sheet of ply or MDF to finish it off.  The Acoustic Doorset Kits are very easy to fit and come complete with installation instructions, adhesive screws.  The kits can be supplied to fit both single and double doors and once fitted, will improve the soundproofing properties of a typical lightweight domestic door from about 15dB to around 30dB.  Alternatively, a heavy fire door could be used which is loads cheaper than a bespoke Acoustic Doorset and if fitted with one of our Acoustic Doorseal Kits will also give enhanced soundproofing performance.  If a higher performing acoustic door is required then we can supply either a 35dB or 44dB rated doorset complete with frame and hinges.  However, because these are made to order you have to allow around five weeks for delivery after receipt of any order and payment.  For more information on our Acoustic Doors and Doorseal Kits or any other soundproofing products for the home, go to our domestic web site at www.keepitquiet.co.uk

Soundproofing a Pump

Noisy domestic pumps is often a problem that is disturbing from small domestic pumps to much larger industrial pumps but the soundproofing solution to reduce the noise from affecting others is basically the same regardless of size.  Noise from small domestic pumps is one of the biggest problems often encountered, because these are usually found in the home moving domestic water either to taps or showers.  These pumps are usually high speed can generate a lot of noise that is easily transmitted around the home by both airborne noise and structure borne noise.  Airborne noise is the type of noise that you can easily hear when you are closer to where the pump is sited whereas structure borne sound is when you can still hear the pump regardless of where you are in the building.  As the term suggests, structure borne sound is when the sound is transmitted through the structure of the building so the building is acting as a conduit.  The same principle of sound travel applies to larger industrial pumps as well.  Now for the solution to reduce the noise from pumps by applying the correct soundproofing materials.  It is important that the correct materials are used to obtain maximum soundproofing performance.

It is best to plan the best position to site any pump before installation which is particularly important with domestic pumps so it can more easily be soundproofed.  A pump that is fitted beneath a bath, in an airing cupboard or similar enclosed space cannot effectively be treated for noise.  Siting in a loft or a large cupboard with lots of space around the pump will be much better and will more easily allow acoustic treatment which will entail the following.

For best results a concrete slab should be used which will contain much of the vibration energy emitted from the pump.  The slab can be a paving slab or a simple patio slab depending on the size of the pump.  For large industrial pumps, a cast concrete slab will be required.  The slab should be isolated from the ground or floor where it is based with an anti-vibration pad.  These are 10mm thick pads produced from recycled rubber and help reduce structure borne sound from travelling through the building.  On top of the slab should be glued another anti-vibration pad with a 12mm ply board glued on top.  The pump can then be mounted on the ply and fixed.  Flexible hose connections should be used to connect the lump to the plumbing which will further reduce flanking noise.  Now all that remains is to enclose the pump within an acoustic enclosure that will help contain the airborne noise.  A minimum of 18mm MDF or ply should be used and constructed as large as possible.  The larger it is the more efficient the soundproofing will be and less likelihood of the pump overheating.  The inside of the enclosure can then be lined with our 32mm SA25FF/B/6 soundproofing foam and that’s it, job done!  Except if ventilation is required, this can be through passive vents, one on each side allowing a throughput of air.  The vents must be created so that there is no direct line of sight into the enclosure and the inside of the vents should also be lined with the soundproofing foam mentioned earlier.   For more information on how to soundproof a pump go to our web page on www.keepitquiet.co.uk.


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