acoustic damping solutions

I'm thinking of buying a ground floor flat with acoustic problems (by which I mean, them upstairs play music which you can hear from downstairs and I don't like their taste in Elvis...)
I know it is possible to fit acoustic insulation, e.g., a couple of layers of special damping fabric designed to take some frequencies out.
Does this work? I'm interested in both directions of noise transmission - I might not like his Elvis, but then again, they might not like our live saxophone, guitar and singing either.
I guess the real question is:
(a) if you buy a flat, can you acoustically insulate it completely from hi-fi noise from above?
(b) can you stop the people above having problems from the noise you make below?
(c) are these the same question? or are there different considerations?
The flat in question has a high ceiling, so we're happy (within reason) to spend time and money to fix the problem if it can be fixed.
Any suggestions welcome...
Rachel
PS Are there any other newsgroups/forums where it would be worth me asking this question?
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Rachel wrote:

The short answer is that you can get pretty good results, the extent of which will be directly proportional to the depth of your pockets.
This question has come up on numerous occasions, and it would be well worth your while to google this group for "sound insulation". The consensus seems to be that the only effective solution is large mass insulation, such as a layer of sand between your ceiling and the floor above.
--
Grunff

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And the amount of space available to you for headroom ater.
Don't buy a flat. If you have already done so make it the top one.
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Posted via Mailgate.ORG Server - http://www.Mailgate.ORG

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On Tue, 17 Feb 2004 01:06:54 +0000, Grunff wrote:

Yes indeed. Done that now, and it's thrown up some very useful links, thanks - rather more useful than the "acoustic insulation" and "sound problems" I was previously googling on...
The

Is there anyone who's reading this newsgroup that can give me some personal experience of how much better the insulation can make the problem of noise?
The reason I ask, is that I've previously had experience of living in a flat with noisy students above me, which gave me a hell of sleepless nights for a year (beofore they moved out). So I'm quite sensitive about this issue, but apart from that, this new place is the flat of our dreams, and worth any amount of effort that it would take to fix the noise problem. (if it can be fixed)
but what I don't want to find, is that we move in, spend a year doing the place up, and then have to move because I can still hear Elvis!
thanks for any help Rachel
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Rachel,
I used these guys http://www.domesticsoundproofing.co.uk/ when I needed the floor of my flat insulated against noise - I lived above a bookies shop, and I was fed up listening to the 2.30 from Cheltenham ! anyway, they gave me advice, sold me the gear, and I diy'ed it. I don't know the difference in decibels, but it reduced an annoying noise to just a background noise, which was good enough for me. You might want to have a chat with them first, to see what they recommend.
cheers,
Willie
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I live in a middle flat - i.e neighbours above and below and from downstairs the noise is also transmitted through the walls. I'm not sure how you'd insulate for that. If your neighbours aren't noisy as usch but the flat doesn't have good insuakltion then you'll have good improvements. If they're half-deaf and have tv & stereo on very very loud then chances are you're still going to hear it.
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The one good thing about our jerry built (well, jerry finished is more like it) 1960s flat is that the sound insulation is very good. It just has thick brick walls between all the flats and concrete ceilings and floors. The only way we get to hear the neighbours is if both sets of patio windows are open.
So it is possible to get soundproof flats.
--
Chris Green

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snipped-for-privacy@isbd.co.uk wrote:

And indeed its part of modern building regs. Certainly a cast in place concrete false ceiling and, if necessary, blockwork walls lineing the inside of teh flat would effexct marvels...to teh bank balance as well...
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Extreme like but if glue cardboard egg cartons to your ceiling then put up a false wooden batten ceiling one which you can put new plasterboard over this will sound proof it.?
It's what they used to do in Mixing studio in the sixties.
Grouch
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Grouch wrote:

That kills reverb, but not the actual sound transmssion of lower notes.
Mass is what is needed. Not worth it. Buy somewhere else.

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That sort of treatment is to improve the acoustics, and will have little effect on noise transmission.

Anything can be done, but you'd be looking at serious money. Assuming you haven't got access and the co-operation of the flat above, it would mean building a completely new false ceiling, so you'd loose at least a foot of height. And it will have to be a very robust construction as the idea is to add mass.

What stops sound in one direction will work in the other.

I'd get the services of a specialist in this field with cast iron warranties about the sort of reduction you need.
--
*I'm already visualizing the duct tape over your mouth

Dave Plowman snipped-for-privacy@argonet.co.uk London SW 12
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No it doesn't. To stop sound transmission (as opposed to reflection) you need weight. You'd probably need a suspended ceiling (of double platerboard) not coupled to the existing ceiling (i.e. suspended from beams running form wall to wall. It can be done fairly easily.
there has been some earlier discussion on this.
Robert
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