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Old 11-03-2006, 11:00 PM   #1
Diskeater
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Default Help us 'soundproof' a room

My roommate and I have an interesting dilema on our hands.

We currently live in a fairly large two bedroom apartment, right below the other occupants. Obviously, since we live in such close proximity to them, noise can and is a factor. We can hear them everytime they get up, walk around, shower, have sex (ew, BTW), exercise...you get the idea. They can also hear our stereo and TV, and this is where we have a problem.

You'll have to accept my word on this, but we really aren't loud people. We do try to keep the volume to a minimum but it isn't rare for one or both of us to watch a movie at 11pm on a weeknight. They've banged on their floors from as early as 9:30pm to as late as 12:30am to signal that we are being too loud.

I have taken steps such as turning down the subwoofer for the DVD player as well as my computer but I am afraid that we are still being too loud. Since winter is coming up and keeping our apartment warm and soundproofing it seems to come hand-in-hand, I've decided to try and kill two birds with one stone.

Now, I know that we really can't 'soundproof' our living room. I really want to keep the noises isolated to just that room to keep both our neighbors and us happy.

Our living room is pretty damn big and it can easily be divided into two separate sections, which I'm going to do. I'm probably going to nail two sheets up to act as a divider. If anyone can come up with a better idea, please let me know.

My friend (a musician who knows a thing or two about sound) has also suggested nailing carpet to our ceiling. It sounds like this is a good idea but I want to check on this before I do it.

The room itself is pretty bare. We really don't have much in terms of furniture (TV and couch, really) or any posters on the walls. You can definitely hear an echo.

What other steps can I take to stop noise leakage?
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:14 AM   #2
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

Ask the landlord if they'll pay for it but a hanging acoustical tile might help a bit and there is probably material to put between it and the ceiling for additional dampening. You may have to put in a new lower light fixture by doing this also. You might mention that this ceiling would also lower heating costs a bit by making it harder for heat to rise to the other apartment if your landlord pays the heat.

Walls I suggest large cloth hangings or tapestries, there's some cool stuff out there even glow in the dark if your into that.

Big one but the landlord should spring for this since the noise is such and issue. Rugs and padding for the neighbors above you. If cost is a big matter and you really want quiet it might be worth it to pitch in for just the freedom and piece and quiet. I've been in places like that and it is worth it and the landlord might do it just to keep everyone happy and it should be a deductable expense anyways since it is a business expense. <img src=smilies/magbiggrin.gif>
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:19 AM   #3
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

If someone bangs on the floor at me I turn my shit full blast.
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Old 11-04-2006, 01:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

> My friend (a musician who knows a thing or two about sound)
> has also suggested nailing carpet to our ceiling.

I'm used to "soundproofing" (as much as is actually possible) garages for band practice and small rooms for recording purposes, and this is a pretty good idea. Carpet, blankets, that foamy padding stuff, and (my favorite) egg cartons can all be very useful. The more the better, and combinations work well (carpet, blankets, and egg cartons; foam and then blankets; etc).
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Old 11-04-2006, 05:30 AM   #5
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

That is some bullshit that they get to make noise and let you listen to them have sex but you can't watch a fucking movie. Tell them to shut the fuck up if they say anything.
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Old 11-04-2006, 04:33 PM   #6
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

> I'm used to "soundproofing" (as much as is actually
> possible) garages for band practice and small rooms for
> recording purposes, and this is a pretty good idea. Carpet,
> blankets, that foamy padding stuff, and (my favorite) egg
> cartons can all be very useful. The more the better, and
> combinations work well (carpet, blankets, and egg cartons;
> foam and then blankets; etc).

You aren't the first person to suggest egg cartons; I'll definitely look into that. My question is, do you literally mean the things that hold eggs or the foam padding stuff that people sometimes use with bedding?

Yes yes I know, potentially stupid question.

But foam egg cartons sounds like a great idea. It would probably be lighter than carpet so it would be easier to nail it to the ceiling.

Thanks for the suggestions everyone! Keep em coming!

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Old 11-04-2006, 04:35 PM   #7
Diskeater
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

> That is some bullshit that they get to make noise and let
> you listen to them have sex but you can't watch a fucking
> movie. Tell them to shut the fuck up if they say anything.

Here is a bonus question.

They did leave a note in our mailbox asking us to politely keep the noise down since they go to bed early. I really would like to respond to them in a nice way, but I can't think of a way to do it. I mean, we really are trying to be quiet and they just need to deal with the fact that they might be able to hear us at night. We can hear them every time they walk around.

But I can't think of a way to put this without sonding really bitchy.
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Old 11-05-2006, 06:39 AM   #8
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room


> But I can't think of a way to put this without sonding
> really bitchy.

Let them know that it is unfortunate that the walls are so thin, and that you and your roommates are doing the best you can to try to keep the noise down. If it would help, invite them over while you are making noise at "normal levels" so they can see that you're not going overboard with the noise. If they're expecting you to speak in hushed tones all the time, fuck them, they can move if they don't like the construction of the building.

Also, there are tons upon tons of places online to buy acoustic treatment

http://www.acousticalsolutions.com/a.../broadcast.asp

It's going to be pricey though, and you'll pretty much need to treat the entire ceiling if you're going to go that route.

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Old 11-05-2006, 08:13 AM   #9
GeminiMan
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

> My question is, do you literally
> mean the things that hold eggs or the foam padding stuff
> that people sometimes use with bedding?

I do indeed mean that as bluntly as it can be taken.

This foamy stuff:

is helpful in conjunction with just about anything else you put up.

And these types of egg cartons:

Or, you could always just be cheap and see if any local grocery stores or anything will give them away for free. But that method is far less delicious.
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Old 11-05-2006, 08:30 AM   #10
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Default Re: Help us 'soundproof' a room

That seems like a fairly inexpensive, yet effectice solution.
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