Soundproofing advice

Richard Evans

New member
Oct 18, 2020
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London
I am looking for some advice. How can I stop noise being heard from my neighbour's tv who lives below me. Could I put a heavy mat down or do I have to take the carpet and floorboards up? I was thinking about getting a curtain rail and putting it around my bed and putting a soundproof curtain all the way around it, would this work? Any help would be appreciated
 

Caleb Dueck

Junior
Jan 11, 2011
518
7
18
Montana
Carpet and floor boards, yes. Acoustic curtain around your bed won't do hardly anything if the sound comes up through the floor, through mechanical coupling.
 
Oct 25, 2018
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Bideford, Devon. UK
Regrettably it is not possible, practicably, to absorb enough sound to make any real difference. If you cannot treat the source room then your only real option is an isolated floor of high mass and damping. I am thinking double 22mm tongued and grooved flooring with an interlayer of high density membrane on a felt or foam underlay with felt/rubber crumb underfelt and dense carpet on top.
Cheapest option - ear plugs and headphones...
 

paulsven

Freshman
May 12, 2014
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0
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Where air goes, sound goes. A four foot long 1/4" gap is the functional equivalent of a 3"x4" hole in the wall. See if there are any places you can seal up the room a bit. Door threshold, HVAC vent, ...
 

Jeff Babcock

Senior
Jan 11, 2011
995
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Ontario, Canada
jeffbabcock.org
Low frequencies are particularly difficult to stop, and require a lot of mass to do so. The suggestions already made regarding checking for poorly sealed places, or the more invasive process of replacing your floor will certainly help. If you do end up replacing the floor, you could use "mass loaded vinyl" as part of your underlayment, preferably isolated from direct coupling (floating floor). It is one of the more effective barriers and means of adding a lot of mass.

Having said all that, to make any major difference is likely going to require a large investment.
Is your main concern getting your room more quiet, or is it that the TV is a distraction (ie when sleeping etc)? If it is the latter, you might consider actually trying to MASK the sound via running a loud fan, or buying one of those devices that puts out some background noise. I have a couple of these units (IIRC around $50 on Amazon) and they are pretty effective at minimizing distractions from distant sound sources.
 

Tim McCulloch

Graduate Student
Jan 11, 2011
2,976
36
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Wichita KS USA
I had a downstairs neighbor that disrupted my "quiet enjoyment" of the property I leased, so I filed a complaint with my landlord and at 2am, called the police, who I allowed into my apartment - they observed that the noise was such that a reasonable person would not be able to sleep, and I signed the complaint. This did not lead to good neighborly relations. I had to repeat this a couple more times before they figured out that if they'd be reasonably quiet by midnight on weeknights and 1am on weekends, I'd stop complaining. Eventually they were evicted for not paying rent so finally took care of itself.

To answer Richard's question - you've gotten lots of good advice so far and the distillation of "it requires mass, sealants, and money" are spot on. You may need landlord permission for some of the work. Without an acoustician and an engineer to evaluate your space, any estimate of how much additional isolation you'd achieve is simply guessing. Actual reduction of noise in your apartment will require treatment at the source (good luck).