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Common Soundproofing Questions

Party wall, separating floor, flanking wall, Part E; What do these all mean? Find answers here and many other Soundproofing FAQs.

AIRBOURNE NOISE -T.V and radio, Loud voices, Speaker systems, Musical instruments

IMPACT NOISE – Heavy footsteps, Dropped objects, Moving furniture, doors slamming

A: The cost of your soundproofing investment will depend on the solution(s) applied and your individual requirements for your property.  Typically, we find that 80% of our domestic soundproofing projects range from £5,000 to £20,000. Quietco offer a bespoke solution and every job is different with some homeowners wanting everything done for them and other homeowners wanting just a single wall system.

A: Following our Four Step Soundproofing Method you can expect a sound insulation value of your separating party wall to be increased to between 56-64dB dnT,w +Ctr (the higher the figure the better)

Using the logarithmic pattern of decibels for most homeowners the reduction in noise is mathematically or theoretically over a 100% reduction in pressure level of sound from next door. See our UKAS accredited case study example.

Having soundproofed 1,000’s of homes using the same tried and tested systems and techniques we prefer to give you an estimated ‘human perceived’ noise reduction you can expect to achieve from your soundproofing investment. TPS70W offers a 70% human perceived reduction in noise. TPS80W offers an 80%+ human perceived reduction in noise. However; if your house is attached, then the reality is you will at some point hear your neighbours so for an attached property, 100% soundproofing does not really exist.

The estimated percentage noise reduction is human perceived based on the flanking areas of your room soundproofed or your room having no flanking noise. (What is flanking noise?)

A: The room that needs soundproofing treatment will need to be completely clear for 1 to 2 weeks depending what areas you choose to have treated. (When can I paint?)

Therefore, from start to finish, it could be 3-4 weeks before you are completely back to normal in the room that is being soundproofed.

Decorating can be carried out 7 to 10 days after plastering

A:We pride ourselves on our trusted, professional solutions as well as our clear communication and great customer service.

That said, however much we sheet up the working area and the rooms we are not working in, there will be some dust. Furniture and flooring will have to be cleared from the room to be soundproofed.

A: Quietco offer a removal service where we can bubble wrap your main pieces of furniture and store them for the duration of your project.  We can then bring them back after the installation or painting and decorating if you choose.

A: Yes, we give you a certificate of soundproofing installation for any future sale of your property and also a certificate of Guarantee.

A: Soundproofing is the reduction of sound energy as sound transmits through a barrier.  The word soundproofing refers to the construction of materials that prevent the passage of sound, making a room or building resistant to the passage of sound and not allowing sound to go through a wall, floor or ceiling for example.  Soundproofing often referred to more technically as sound insulating is different from sound absorption.

A: Flanking areas are those areas of your property where sound can transmit indirectly or by going around rather than directly through the main conflicting wall or floor.  Even if the main conflicting surface has been soundproofed to a high standard, sound can still transmit through the flanking areas.  Some flanking paths can be louder than the direct paths.  Examples of flanking areas for a party wall would be: the floor, ceiling, window wall, RSJ entering the party wall, stud walls, chimneys stacks, bay window ceilings.

A: Party wall means the wall between you and your neighbour, for a terrace house you will have two party walls, a semi-detached house you will have one party wall. A flat or apartment may have many party walls. The term party wall describes a separating wall that stands on the lands of 2 (or more) owners and forms part of a building (party wall act 1996). The term separating wall refers to both party wall between dwellings and walls between a flat and a common area such as a separating wall to a communal stairway.

A: We offer a completely discreet service, with un-marked vehicles.

A: Soundproofing is an extremely skilled job that requires an attention to detail like no other trade; all soundproof systems must be airtight! Knowledge of buildings and structure together with the understanding of how sound travels is imperative to the success of any project. The Quietco installation team take down on average two walls every month, due to a poor soundproofing attempt usually carried out by a local builder or carpenter.

A: Noise pollution is not just a nuisance it can affect your health and invade the privacy of your home.

A: We understand that this is one of the key issues. We work to your budget to get the balance right between the amount of noise reduction and how much room space is lost. We specialist in domestic houses where not every soundproofing problem is the same. We offer a range of systems for ceillings, walls and floors all of which specify the space loss to help you find the best solution for your requirements.

A: With a commonly used plaster skim finish, it is around seven to ten days…when all of the plastered area has turned a pinky peach colour. Also when you run your fingertips over it, some white powder is extracted on to your fingertips.

A: Yes, all plaster requires a primer

A: Assuming you have concrete floors downstairs, uninsulated chipboard floors upstairs, lightweight plasterboard on all the walls and ceilings. The party wall is the main area that needs soundproofing insulation to both absorb and reflect the noise. However soundproofing this alone will not solve your noise problem. Applying soundproofing products to only the party walls in every room will not solve the problem and may do very little; only changing the acoustics of each room. Depending on how severe the noise problem is, we recommend treating one room properly, treating all the flanking areas with good quality sound proofing materials as well as the party wall. Removing the existing ‘dot and dab’ plasterboard is paramount, an absolute must. Quietco will not install anything directly over the top of ‘dot and dab’ plasterboard. With a new build property built from 1995 to date, it is normally not feasible to soundproof every room in the house because all the ceilings, walls and floors in each of the rooms need isolating from the structure.

A: If you are hearing impact noise such as footsteps and footfall, creaking floorboards, doors slamming, plug sockets and light switches, the soundproofing needs to be treated from above. We need to install a resilient layer between the neighbour’s floor joists and their floor boards. This means pulling up your neighbour’s flat floor and installing a floating floor isolated from the structure. Heavy duty underlay from specialist acoustic suppliers installed under the carpet will not solve the problem and more often that not makes creaking floor boards and similar noises worse. If you are experiencing loud music, TV, conversation, radio, alarm clocks and video games, then we can install a ceiling system such as TPS70C to your ceiling, offering a human perceived noise improvement of 70%. However if your walls are plaster-boarded, these will have to be treated as well in order to get the full integrity out of your ceiling investment.

A: TPS80W or TPS70W with a few flanking areas such as the window wall and ceiling also treated will solve your problem. We have hundreds of clients that do not hear their neighbours anymore that used to have this similar noise problem.

A: We offer soundproofing for houses that suffer with road noise, this normally involves work to the loft, the window walls and secondary glazing. Upgrading to triple glazing alone will not necessarily do anything especially if the window reveals are plasterboard.

A: This noise can be reduced by 80% with some of our systems. We have a range of floor systems designed to absorb and reflect this kind of noise. Although better to treat the noise at source by treating the ceilings below if possible.

A: Main focus noise entering your upstairs bedroom from neighbours TV that they have installed on their downstairs living room party wall.

Solution: TPSP Floating floor to bedroom (space loss 15mm) TPS70W to bedroom wall (space loss 95mm) TPS65W to any chimney stack in the bedroom (space loss 50mm) TPS30W installed to flanking window wall and the wall separating front and back bedrooms (space loss 30mm) TPS65W installed to downstairs wall beneath your bedroom (space loss 50mm).

A: Our TPS65W with a few flanking areas also treated could well solve this noise problem and you would only lose 2 inches off your party wall and chimney stack. However it may be better to future proof your party wall and go for a stronger system like TPS70W of TPS80W. If you live next door to a rented property it might be worth taking into consideration peoples living habits and realise the next tenant(s) could make different noises at different times of the day and night.

A: You always need to soundproof the floors, at least 1.2m back from the conflicting wall to stop the noise coming under any wall system investment. If you are not having any soundproofing installed downstairs then a floating floor is recommended. Soundproofing the ceiling is also required to stop the noise coming over the wall system.

A: Main focus noise entering living room / lounge from neighbours TV that they have installed on their living room wall.

Solution: Floor and ceiling insulated (no space loss) TPS80W to living room party wall alcoves (space loss 150mm) TPS65W to any chimney stack (space loss 50mm) TPS30W installed to flanking window wall or wall separating lounge dining room (space loss 30mm) Ceilings treated with 2 x layers of sound bloc 15 (space loss 35mm).

A: Dot and dab is a technique that involves fixing plasterboard directly to the area that needs plastering or making good, using dollops of plasterboard adhesive. The plasterboards are cut to size and positioned and when ready, stuck to the wall using strategically placed dollops of dry wall adhesive to the surface to be treated. The boards are then taped level creating a smooth surface ready for plastering. This method is now frequently used in new build properties and as it is very easy to carryout, most builders use this technique on most renovations or extension projects that involves plastering. The ability to directly attached plasterboard to masonry using dots and dry wall of adhesive gives a considerable speed advantage over the wet plastering technique.

A: Chimney stacks form part of the structure and unless you remove the whole chimney stack from the fireplace and the above floors and the stack on top of the roof, you will need specialist support steels and lintels. A structural engineer will need to give you advice on the load bearing and structural supports required. You will need an application submitted to local building control because you are intending to make structural alterations. Local Building Control will want to view the application before the work has started, they will also want to visit the property during the work. When the chimney stack is on the party wall separating you and your neighbour, or you are in a flat or apartment you will have to notify the neighbours as part of the Party Wall Act 1996. You must explain to the neighbours at least two months prior to any work starting exactly what you intend to do. When the chimney stack is running through a flat or apartment you may need notices and agreement from all the flats above and all the flats below as well as the neighbour the other side of the party wall.

A: An acoustic door is a dense door and frame designed to reduce noise entering or leaving a room. Often the term acoustic door is describing all components including the door frame, with acoustic seals and a dense door leaf as a combined system, all engineered to insulate the sound described together as the acoustic door.

A: This door system is two sets of acoustic doors and frames butted up to each other with the correct air gap between the two doors leaf’s, which can offer superior noise reduction compared to the single leaf acoustic door. Double door systems are used on music studios, practice rooms and home cinemas.

A: Separating floor refers to flat living and includes the combined construction of ceiling and floor which separates the two flats, where one occupant on the ground floor will have a ceiling separating the neighbour above and the occupant in the flat above will have a floor separating the neighbour below. It can get even more complicated because in many cases one flat owner will own the space in void between the ceiling and the floor.

A: Frequency or pitch is measured in Hertz (hz). Sounds with frequency as low as 20hz can be felt by humans rather than herd, a teenager with good hearing can hear 17,400hz, as we get older we find it more difficult to hear the higher frequencies with a normal middle aged adult hearing 12,000 to 14,000hz. Voice speech of a typical adult male will have a fundamental frequency of 85 to 185hz and a typical adult female or 165 to 255hz. The human ear has its maximum sensitivity at frequencies of 2000hz to 5000hz. Most sounds we hear from neighbours occur within 125hz to 5000hz. Testing requirements in the UK for separating walls to meet the Part E of the building regulations test in the frequency range 100hz to 3150hz.

A: The government has attempted to tackle the noise pollution in new homes and refurbishment projects in the UK by introducing the Approved Document Part E Building Regulations. Airborne sound insulation is measured for separating walls and floors and is the level of sound barriered from transmitting through to the party wall, floor or ceiling. This came into force on 1st July 2003 for refurbishment projects which introduced minimum decibel figure of 43dB Dnt,w +Ctr for airborne sound transmission where the higher the measured figure the better the sound insulation. 64dB Lnt,w was introduced for impact noise transmission to separating floors with the lower the figure the better. On 1st July 2004 they enforced a minimum airborne sound transmission performance of 45dB Dnt,w +Ctr for separating floors, ceiling and walls and maximum impact sound transmission of 62dB Lnt,w. See link below to the government website with full document. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/resistance-to-sound-approved-document-e

Soundproofing FAQ

How to soundproof a New Build with a stairs wall?

Why it's NEVER just the party wall?

What are the Biggest Soundproofing Mistakes

What fire design is best for my soundproofing project?

Do wardrobes help reduce noise from nextdoor?

Can I hang pictures, TV, mirrors on my new soundproof wall

Why do I hear my neighbours TV?

Does soundproofing really work?

How long before I can paint the new plastered walls?