Guide On Soundproofing Townhouse Common Wall
If you live in a townhouse, and there is a noisy neighbor, it can be frustrating.
Many people would tell you to move, but in most cases, people living in townhouses own the houses, and most of them buy the house as their family homes, so they aren’t looking to move soon.
If you are in such a predicament, you have only one option—to improve the situation. In most cases, the noise coming into your house is coming through the shared/common wall, so this should be your target.
To help you out, here is a guide on soundproofing townhouse common wall:
Insulate the common wall
To insulate the common wall, you have first to remove the drywall. If you can hear your neighbors talking, the wall is most likely too thin, and on ripping it, you will notice it only having a gap then your neighbor’s wall.
After removing the wall, wrap putty pads around your electrical outlets. This will completely close off all the holes that would let in the noise through.
Once you have covered all the outlets, your next move should be to install some insulation. Avoid the popular fiberglass insulation as it doesn’t provide the best results.
Instead, use soundproofing insulation. While the insulation will be slightly more expensive than fiberglass insulation, it will provide better results as it has soundproofing elements.
Finally, install drywall to cover the insulation. When it comes to drywall, use 58 drywall or soundproofing drywall if your budget allows it.
These drywalls have two layers of gypsum and a soundproofing compound that deadens the sound trying to get through the drywall.
Use double layers of drywall and Roxul.
If you have a large room, you can install an additional layer of drywall to the existing one and add some thickness to the wall, hence block some of the noise from getting into your house.
If your walls run perpendicular to the joists, cut the drywall around the joists and fill the joists’ gaps with acoustic sealant.
When using the sealant, take caution you don’t spill any on the drywall’s exposed parts as they are hard to remove.
If the wall is under the joist, you most likely have Roxul on each side you can use to your advantage. Acoustically seal the wires or pipes going through the joist before you put up the insulation.
You also should seal the bottom ½” gap in the acoustic sealants.
Also, put a quick coat of tape and mud on the first layer joints and stagger the joints on the second layer.
It’s also wise you add acoustic sealant on each stud before you put up the drywall.
Build a second wall parallel to the first
Again if your rooms are large and you can get away with adding another wall, go ahead and do it. You only need to ensure the walls don’t touch each other. Also, remember to stagger the studs and insulate the wall.
To save some little room, use 2x3s instead of 2x4s. To make the wall even more soundproof, fill the gap between the walls with insulation foam.
Seal all the cracks on the wall
It’s not uncommon for even masonry walls in townhouses to have lots of cracks and small openings that can be bringing in plenty of noise.
Think about the tiny holes in your phone and the noise from the speakers they let out.
Hire a masonry to carefully inspect any cracks and openings your walls might be having and seal them.
Want to soundproof your townhouse temporarily?
As you have seen, the above soundproofing methods are meant to provide you with soundproofing for years, if not for the house’s lifespan. The methods also require a heavy investment.
What if you don’t have much money to do the work or you have decided to sell the house and move? You need to find a temporary, cheaper option, right?
Luckily, there are plenty of temporary soundproofing methods you can use. They include:
Go for wall hangings.
Hanging things on the wall is an age-old method of dealing with noise and heat. You need to hang things on the wall, and they will serve as an extra layer and deaden some decibels.
When choosing the hangings, remember that the heavier the material, the better its soundproofing.
Invest in audio blankets
Audio blankets are made from flexible materials that you can easily hang on your walls. The blankets use quilted fiberglass that absorbs the noise leaving your room quiet.
While the blankets work excellently, they aren’t cheap and attractive after installation. If hanging them in your townhouse, you have to hang another attractive graphic on them to improve the appeal.