Sound Insulation for bedroom wall (brick party wall) due to noisy neighbours

Posted 1st Dec 2022
Wanting help from people that have gone through the same issue, and now have good sound insulation...

The wall I'd like to sound insulate, which I expect is just brick with standard plaster on top, is the attached wall to neighbours property.
Newish neighbours have by the sounds of it stripped back everything to wooden floors and painted walls, I can now hear them doing most things, walking around in heels on wooden floors, drying hair, talking, TV etc. Also they've fitted new doors, which bang and reverberate through the wall/floor when shutting, it's like they're in an echo chamber now! Unfortunately they're so arrogant and ignorant that we now don't talk.

I'd therefore like to insulate my upstairs bedroom wall (and possibly floor?), so I don't have to wake up at 6am each morning due to their early morning noise.

I've googled and there's plenty of things I could try, but I want a soution that works first time. I don't think it's going to be as easy as a thick wallpaper on my side of the wall
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  1. Avatar
    To do it right you need to accept that you will lose about a foot across the perimeter. The problem is that sound travels through party walls and you can't physically separate the wall, it also travels through the air - (you can't prevent sound 100% unless you are prepared to live in a vacuum!). What you can do is create a false wall that is physically separate from the party wall - even an air gap can reduce sounds, however you may find better sound insulation by filling the gap.
    It might be cheaper to move or invest in ear defenders or isolation headphones... Have you considered relocating your sleeping area within your house?…ies…urs (edited)
  2. Avatar
    not sure I completely agree with aLV as mileage varies with a number of options available.

    Certainly, if you create a false partition, insulate, decouple, sound board, mass loaded vinyl (tecsound for eg), and sound board again (using acoustic sealant at each soundboard layer) you will get the best and will lose most space (circa 174mm not 300mm).

    However, you can deconstruct that whilst taking a step down and still yield good results - such as muteclips/genie clips without fake partition but the rest yields within 10% but significantly lose less (70mm).

    Floors ceiling similar but you lose less space by the furring channel running parallel to the joists

    Having done the later recently this changed a room whereby the neighbours felt they were in the same room to the sound coming more loudly through the patio doors and whilst you can still hear now more like background noise such as people down the street.

    Look up ikoustic and genieclip guides that talk through the various options - all have disclaimers and all add costs (edited)
    "you cannae change the laws of physics"...
  3. Avatar
    I've googled and there's plenty of things I could try, but I want a soution that works first time.

    Not being entirely flippant here, but sometimes it's the only answer - move.
    Unless you move to a detached property, you can't guarantee anything
  4. Avatar
    Earplugs will work better than any soundproofing.
  5. Avatar
    We have sound proofing because our semi used to be doctor’s office. We can’t hear anything what neighbours are saying or doing.
    What did you use and do to fix the sound issue?
  6. Avatar
    "invest in ear defenders" - yeah I love walking around my house with those on at 6am
  7. Avatar
    We had the same with our neighbour, in the end we actually bought their house and merged the two. OK, it wasn't that straightforward, they were renting, the landlord was selling up, and we negotiated a high price just for the peace and quiet.

    None of that is relevant here though, what I did want to point out is what we found when we broke through. Merging the two living rooms we found that the only thing between the houses was two rows of six inch breeze block. Add a couple of sheets of plasterboard and a bit of air, and it's clear to see why adjoining neighbours can be incredibly noisy. Even the floors were essentially connected, as everything lined up horizontally and vertically. The only thing between the pairs of joists was maybe three inches of air gap, nowhere near enough to isolate a big lump of resonating wood. This is in an 80's house that was built as a semi-detached pair.

    You basically have to get on well with the neighbours, buy them out, or move.
  8. Avatar
    This might sound a bit crazy but Springbond underlay is good definitely for floor's but also for walls it is eco friendly