Soundproofing Existing Apt via Blown Insulation?
Old 27th April 2009
  #1
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Soundproofing Existing Apt via Blown Insulation?

I've been living in a six-unit duplex with my fiance for the last year or so. We love it here, but there is just ONE problem - the noise from our neighbor's downstairs. They don't shout or play loud music, but our floor is apparently so thin that we hear their muffled conversations (can't make out what they're saying, but we hear pitches) and sometimes even their snoring. We've been able to put up with it for awhile but it's really getting to be annoying. We often have to run fans or air conditioners more often to block out their noise.

Lately we've been looking into blown insulation as a method of soundproofing. We spoke to a contractor earlier that said they can blow fiberglass into our interior walls and floors without being terribly invasive.

What sort of effect can we expect from something like this? How much should we be looking to pay if our apartment is ~600-700 square feet? Additionally, is there a better material than fiberglass that we should be considering?
Old 27th April 2009
  #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zirconst View Post
I've been living in a six-unit duplex with my fiance for the last year or so. We love it here, but there is just ONE problem - the noise from our neighbor's downstairs. They don't shout or play loud music, but our floor is apparently so thin that we hear their muffled conversations (can't make out what they're saying, but we hear pitches) and sometimes even their snoring. We've been able to put up with it for awhile but it's really getting to be annoying. We often have to run fans or air conditioners more often to block out their noise.

Lately we've been looking into blown insulation as a method of soundproofing. We spoke to a contractor earlier that said they can blow fiberglass into our interior walls and floors without being terribly invasive.

What sort of effect can we expect from something like this? How much should we be looking to pay if our apartment is ~600-700 square feet? Additionally, is there a better material than fiberglass that we should be considering?
You could expect a small amount of reduction I suppose, but didn't you say that it was your *floor* that was the problem?

Frank
Old 27th April 2009
  #3
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Thread Starter
The contractor I've been speaking with explicitly said they blow the insulation into the floor as well.
Old 28th April 2009
  #4
Gear nut
 

i had the exact same problem here, but instead of just talking, it was parties too....

were now movoing.....

but i would guess, fill the floor with rockwool or sumthin, then over your floor boards add another set...?..no idea tbh..

also sound will come up through your walls not just the floor...
Old 28th April 2009
  #5
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Weasel9992's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zirconst View Post
The contractor I've been speaking with explicitly said they blow the insulation into the floor as well.
That's good, and it'll probably help a little, but I doubt very seriously that you'll get enough improvement to justify the cost. Like the previous poster indicated, there are many other things to consider, not the least of which are flanking paths.

Frank
Old 28th April 2009
  #6
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Thread Starter
But we intend to fill the walls too, at least the interior walls (the external ones are solid rock and are much more effective at insulating vs. noise.)

Several contractors I've spoken with have said they would estimate a reduction in volume by about 50%. Does this sound reasonable? The quote we got was around $800-1000.
Old 28th April 2009
  #7
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Insulation will help.
However, to really get better isolation, more mass is king. More mass (and/or damping, isolation, etc.) is likely a more effective route, although it will likely cost more than blown insulation.
Old 28th April 2009
  #8
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Weasel9992's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by zirconst View Post
But we intend to fill the walls too, at least the interior walls (the external ones are solid rock and are much more effective at insulating vs. noise.)

Several contractors I've spoken with have said they would estimate a reduction in volume by about 50%. Does this sound reasonable? The quote we got was around $800-1000.
That really depends on exactly what you're experiencing. If it's only a 10 or 12dB transfer in the vocal band from the adjacent space, then sure...I think 50% is reasonable. The problem is, I'm not there so I can't say...there's some level of risk associated with it because there's some subjectivity involved.

Frank
Old 29th April 2009
  #9
Gear maniac
 

What is the floor construction? Is it Wood over a plywood subfloor? Did they say how much space is between the floors?
Old 29th April 2009
  #10
Sample developer
 

Thread Starter
I don't know the precise volume of the noise that we're hearing, but we are having someone from the contractor come by to listen for themselves. Like I said, basically what we hear is muffled speech. Can't make out anything being said, but it's lower frequencies for sure. Our floor is hardwood with area rugs on top - no idea what the spacing is.

As for "more mass", yeah, that would be nice, but we have no ability to simply tear up the floors or go into our neighbor's apartment and add mass to THEIR ceiling. That's not possible. I'm all ears for suggestions of things we can do that aren't invasive! Blown insulation SEEMS to be the only solution, however, that doesn't involve tearing stuff down.

So far, based on what you all have said, this may or may not work. Has anyone actually done it themselves? Is it possible to blow a larger mass of material in the gaps for a higher cost? Is there any way to test what the results might be, or any sort of scale we can use to help determine whether we should go through with this?
Old 2nd May 2009
  #11
Gear interested
 

Looks like you're going to be the guinea pig... post your results!

P.S. If you don't find a significant reduction in noise from your neighbors, maybe your spending will be justified by lower heating and a/c costs?
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