We are open Monday to Friday
Product Hotline - 01993 704 981
Local call rate - 0845 363 7131

Noise through a party wall

Many people think that just applying a sheet of extra plasterboard to a party wall is all that is required to give a vast improvement to lowering the noise from their neighbours.  In reality there would be no noticeable improvement.  Noise from neighbours can take several forms and some which can only be addressed through action by the local authority because the noise they are making is loud and anti-social that cannot be silenced by adding soundproofing to the party wall.  Such anti-social noise would be music being played loudly so that it can be heard outside as well as your side of the party wall.  Or loud and raised voices, shouting and screaming, none of which can be controlled with the addition of sound insulation.  And finally, slamming doors.  With the exception of slamming doors, all of these noise problems can only be solved via action by the local authority.  Quiet closers can be fitted to doors so they close without slamming.

Also, noise at night, even if it is not loud will most likely always be heard when in bed at night and awake.  This is because the normal daytime background noises in your own home that mask other noises are usually switched off at night and it is in this quieter environment that you are more easily able to hear other noises not normally noticed.  Again, it is unlikely that noise at night can be totally silenced but the upside is, if the noise is the same every night, usually you will get used to it and enjoy a good night’s sleep.

Back to noise through a party wall and how to address it.  In the daytime if it is normal noise such as normal levels of speech (talking) or music, television and radio being played at reasonable volumes, good results can usually be obtained by adding soundproofing to the wall which will reduce noise from coming directly through the wall.  However, walls with a chimney breast cannot be soundproofed as efficiently as walls without a chimney breast.

More short articles will be written about how to soundproof a home so keep a look out for them.  In the meantime, if you require any further information about how to soundproof your party wall go to soundproof a party wall.

This article is just an introduction to the types of noise experienced through party walls.  More about noise through walls will be published in the near future and also how to soundproof them in more detail.  There will be more articles on noise through party walls and how to address it to follow this one so look out for them.

Flanking noise through post war party walls

Previously I wrote about flanking noise around the party walls of pre-war houses so now I will talk about post-war houses.  These are normally built with a cavity in the external structural walls and it is this cavity that can allow the easy passage of noise around the party wall into adjoining homes.  We have already discussed how to address flanking noise through floors and ceiling

The problem with cavity walls is it is not only the cavity allowing the free passage of noise around the party wall but the internal masonry skin is often of low density blocks.  In the early days these would be known as “breeze” blocks but in more recent years they have been replaced with even lower density blocks called “Thermalite” blocks.  The Thermalite blocks are more efficient at allowing noise to be transmitted through them into adjoining rooms and are a particular problem with flats when flanking noise travels up and down through these blocks into flats above and below but the soundproofing of flats is an issue I will discuss in a later article.  The best way to soundproof these walls to reduce flanking noise transmission is to install a 50mm M20AD solution but can be expensive so should only be installed in extreme cases where the flanking noise is more of a nuisance.  If you still want to look at the M20AD solution to reduce flanking noise through a wall go to our web page via the following link M20AD To soundproof a wall.

And back to the cavities within the walls and the best way to treat these is to have blown mineral wool installed that will have the advantage of giving additional thermal insulation.  Other types of thermal insulation such as injected foam or polystyrene will not be as efficient at absorbing the noise and could actually compound the problem making the noise being heard even clearer.

More information on how to soundproof a party wall can be found on our web page via this link soundproof a party wall.

This article explains how flanking noise uses the cavities and lightweight masonry of walls to gain access.  More about how to soundproof a party wall will be published in the near future.  If you want to see how we can help soundproof a room or garage, go to our web site via this link.  Soundproof a garage.

For more information on soundproofing products for walls go to our web site or call us on 01993704981.

How to Soundproof a Party Wall

Until now we have been discussing the type of noise that can be heard through party walls such as airborne and flanking noise and we have detailed how to address flanking noise.  Now we will talk about how to soundproof a party wall.  To obtain the best results when soundproofing any wall loss of space will be required and the more space that can be lost the better the soundproofing results will be.  Also, if the wall to be treated has a chimney breast the results are not going to be as good as a wall without a chimney breast.  This is because a chimney breast is directly linked to the other side of the wall and so will allow flanking noise ease of passage and flanking noise is noise that skirts round any effectively installed acoustic treatment.  It is possible to totally enclose the chimney breast behind an independent soundproofed wall then that would give good noise reducing results but rarely is this possible because too much space would be lost.

We will commence with describing the most efficient method of soundproofing a wall and we will assume it is a normal wall with no impediments although the same treatments can be applied to walls with a fireplace but for best results, the fireplace should be bricked up with high density blocks first.  The best treatment that will soundproof a wall is the independent stud wall and this will take up just under 6 inches (150mm) of room and is installed at least 25mm away from the wall to be soundproofed.  An acoustic infill of mineral wool is installed then the frame is clad with 30mm (2 x 15mm) of high density Acoustic Plasterboard.  For an enhanced result, SoundBlocker Quilt can be used instead of mineral wool and more information on this can be viewed on our web site.

If the amount of space required for the independent stud system cannot be spared then the next best thing is to fix the stud directly to the wall which will save at least 25mm.  But fixing anything less than 2 inches (50mm) deep stud will not be worthwhile.  The rest of the acoustic treatment remains as detailed above with the exception of fixing the plasterboard.  When stud is directly fixed to walls it is essential the acoustic plasterboard is decoupled to reduce flanking noise and this is done by screwing Resilient Bars across the stud frame then screwing the plasterboard to the bars.  As the name suggests, the Resilient Bars then act as a flexible decoupler that isolates the plasterboard from the frame and wall making the sound insulation of the wall more efficient but not as efficient as an independent stud system.

If even the direct fixed stud system is losing too much space the next system that can be used is the M20AD system referred to in an earlier article and the M20AD system will take up no more than 2 inches (50mm) of space.  This system breaks away from mechanical fixings and comprises three layers that are glued.  The first layer is just over ¾ inch (20mm) thick and this is the M20AD sound insulation that is a high density recycled rubber sound insulation that is bonded to the wall using our aerosol contact adhesive.  Once the M20AD has been securely fixed, two layers of 15mm high density acoustic plasterboard is then glued on top using the same adhesive.  More information on the M20AD system along with comprehensive installation instructions can also be viewed on our web site.

A more recent solution and the thinnest that can be installed so by definition, the least efficient soundproofing system is QuietPanel at 27.5mm thick.  The QuietPanel system was introduced due to popular demand because in many cases a noise reducing system for party walls is required but space is limited due to the close proximity of windows or doors so the QuietPanel system was introduced for those instances for those with limited space and know this is the least efficient system to soundproof a wall but realise that something is better than nothing.  QuietPanels are supplied as a one part application and are simply screwed to any masonry wall using screws and plugs.

Now you have been given an insight into what is involved when considering upgrading the soundproofing of a party wall and I hope this article and the previous three have proved useful.

Flanking noise through post war party walls

Previously I wrote about flanking noise around the party walls of pre-war houses so now I will talk about post-war houses.  These are normally built with a cavity in the external structural walls and it is this cavity that can allow the easy passage of noise around the party wall into adjoining homes.  We have already discussed how to address flanking noise through floors and ceiling

The problem with cavity walls is it is not only the cavity allowing the free passage of noise around the party wall but the internal masonry skin is often of low density blocks.  In the early days these would be known as “breeze” blocks but in more recent years they have been replaced with even lower density blocks called “Thermalite” blocks.  The Thermalite blocks are more efficient at allowing noise to be transmitted through them into adjoining rooms and are a particular problem with flats when flanking noise travels up and down through these blocks into flats above and below but the soundproofing of flats is an issue I will discuss in a later article.  The best way to soundproof these walls to reduce flanking noise transmission is to install a 50mm M20AD solution but can be expensive so should only be installed in extreme cases where the flanking noise is more of a nuisance.  If you still want to look at the M20AD solution to reduce flanking noise through a wall go to our web page via the following link M20AD To soundproof a wall.

And back to the cavities within the walls and the best way to treat these is to have blown mineral wool installed that will have the advantage of giving additional thermal insulation.  Other types of thermal insulation such as injected foam or polystyrene will not be as efficient at absorbing the noise and could actually compound the problem making the noise being heard even clearer.

More information on how to soundproof a party wall can be found on our web page via this link soundproof a party wall.

This article explains how flanking noise uses the cavities and lightweight masonry of walls to gain access.  More about how to soundproof a party wall will be published in the near future.  If you want to see how we can help soundproof a home or garage, go to our web site via this link.  Soundproof a home.

Noise through a party wall

Many people think that just applying a sheet of extra plasterboard to a party wall is all that is required to give a vast improvement to lowering the noise from their neighbours.  In reality there would be no noticeable improvement.  Noise from neighbours can take several forms and some which can only be addressed through action by the local authority because the noise they are making is loud and anti-social that cannot be silenced by adding soundproofing to the party wall.  Such anti-social noise would be music being played loudly so that it can be heard outside as well as your side of the party wall.  Or loud and raised voices, shouting and screaming, none of which can be controlled with the addition of sound insulation.  And finally, slamming doors.  With the exception of slamming doors, all of these noise problems can only be solved via action by the local authority.  Quiet closers can be fitted to doors so they close without slamming.Also, noise at night, even if it is not loud will most likely always be heard when in bed at night and awake.  This is because the normal daytime background noises in your own home that mask other noises are usually switched off at night and it is in this quieter environment that you are more easily able to hear other noises not normally noticed.  Again, it is unlikely that noise at night can be totally silenced but the upside is, if the noise is the same every night, usually you will get used to it and enjoy a good night’s sleep.Back to noise through a party wall and how to address it.  In the daytime if it is normal noise such as normal levels of speech (talking) or music, television and radio being played at reasonable volumes, good results can usually be obtained by adding soundproofing to the wall which will reduce noise from coming directly through the wall.  However, walls with a chimney breast cannot be soundproofed as efficiently as walls without a chimney breast.More short articles will be written about how to soundproof a home so keep a look out for them.  In the meantime, if you require any further information about how to soundproof your party wall go to soundproof a party wall .This article is just an introduction to the types of noise experienced through party walls.  More about noise through walls will be published in the near future and also how to soundproof them in more detail.  There will be more articles on noise through party walls and how to address it to follow this one so look out for them.

Wall Soundproofing

Many of our customers want to reduce noise through a party wall but do not want to lose much space or have limited space.  We all know the more space that can be spared the greater the soundproofing effect will be but for some, the noise they can hear through a wall is so annoying that although they an only fit a limited amount of soundproofing, any reduction is better than none.  We can help in these situations because we stock M20AD, a high density, recycled rubber mat that is both sound absorbing as well as a sound barrier and is only 20mm thick.  Because it has to be fitted with a double thickness of high density acoustic plasterboard on top, the thickness is increased by 2 x 12.5mm (25mm) or 2 x 15mm (30mm) for a greater improvement.  Therefore, the total thickness using this system would be 45mm of 50mm using the thicker plasterboard.  The 20mm thick panel is otherwise known as our Thin Wall Soundproofing System which has been successfully soundproofing party walls since its introduction into the UK in 1987 and is the best product for reducing normal levels of noise nuisance.  As the thickness is limited, reduction of loud noise or bass noise will never be as good but some reduction in these noise levels can still be enjoyed.

Installation is easy and all of the products are glued using our low odour, Sta-Put aerosol contact adhesive and cutting carried out using a sharp Stanley type knife.

For some people even 45mm is too thick so for these cases we offer a 27.5mm thick acoustic  insulation for party walls that is a one part application called QuietPanel or Ultra Thin Wall Soundproofing System and is ideal for party walls that have the close proximity of a window or door frame limiting the thickness of soundproofing that can be applied.  QuietPanel comprises a layer of high density acoustic plasterboard bonded to recycled soundproofing and this panel is simply screwed to the wall.  The panels are offered up to a wall then using a masonry drill, drilled through the panel into the wall to the required depth then secured with screws and rawlplugs that are fitted through the panel into the wall and tightened.  Again trimming can be done with a sharp knife or fine toothed saw.  Once installed, the joints are taped and the wall can be plaster skimmed to finish before decorating.

Both systems are stock items and can be delivered very quickly.  For more information on soundproofing a wall or party wall, go to our web site www.keepitquiet.co.uk or call us on 01993704981

Acoustic Plasterboard

When upgrading the soundproofing of a wall or soundproofing a ceiling, you will almost certainly require plasterboard and the best plasterboard to use is high density Acoustic Plasterboard.  This is because it has a higher mass then normal plasterboard and double thickness of this is required on ceilings and stud partitions alike.  A double thickness is also required in our Thin Wall Soundproofing system that replaces the thicker stud partitions.  For more information on these products, go to www.keepitquiet.co.uk