I just bought a 1920s end of terrace house. The party wall is doors
joining so I thought it would be very quite. The house is currently
being gutted as im doing lots of renovating and doesnt really have
much carpet or furniture in it.
I have found in the few days that i have been there that it is really
noisy ( i can here the people in the other house pee, and also put
there cup down on the kitchen worktop). This doesnt really bother me
but my girlfriend will go mad.
Does anyone have any ideas if this is because there is nothing left in
the house or should there be that much noise?
As i said i am currently renovating the house so can do work if it
will get rid of the noise, but also dont want to loose too much space
adding plasterboard ect.
I would be grateful for any ideas.
Block all holes between the houses, often under floorboards, even very
small ones. Coating the party wall with papercrete has a damping
effect. Fitting battens and PB over the party wall and stuffing the
cavity with fibreglass also helps. Damping ceilings can help too, with
mineral wool or papercrete.
Party wall will be solid with no cavity.
Some sounds can travel through the structure and kitchens are usually
screwed to the wall, so cups on surfaces can transmit through the
You will also hear people going upstairs if the stairs are fixed to
the party wall.
But on the positive side, you can shut the doors to isolate that side
of the house and there are no neighbours on the other side. Be glad
you are an end !
Also, it will seem noisier when empty, and no furnishings so lots of
BUT, if you are renovating and plaster is off the wall etc, chance is
an air path that carries sound has been opened up. Check for gaps
where joists enter the party wall. If this is the case, you may smell
next doors cooking too. Pack around the joists with mortar and ensure
the are sealed tight.
There's lots of advice on party wall sound proofing on this newsgroup.
Search the archives using google groups.
Only real way is to build a separate wall (masonry or stud wall and
double plasterboard) isolated from the party wall, but that could mean
moving stairs etc. Any other approach is a compromise and hard to rate
for effectiveness until it is done.
I previously lived in a mid-terrace, now in an end. With parties both
sides, THAT was bad !!!
On Mon, 31 May 2010 14:34:23 -0700 (PDT) Jimmyjim wrote :
A look in the loft should show you what the party wall construction
is. On a loft conversion I designed 25 years back they started work
and found that the party wall was half-brick (4 1/2"). I had no way of
knowing this because the party wall stopped at bedroom ceiling level,
one common loft across the whole terrace! Wouldn't expect anything
like this on a 1920s house though - badly filled gaps, as suggested by
others already, is the most likely offender.
Tony Bryer, Greentram: 'Software to build on' Melbourne, Australia
www.superbeam.co.uk www.eurobeam.co.uk www.greentram.com
In article < firstname.lastname@example.org
I had a very similar thing (although it didn't bother me) in a doors-
together mid-terrace. The sound was carrying through under the
floorboards, as the void beneath was continuous between the houses.
You're probably hearing it 'cos you have no carpets during renovations.
Stuffing the voids under the party wall with loft insulation made a big
difference, as did putting down carpets with a thick underlay.
(='.'=) Bunny's thinking about giving Windows 7
TBH if you go for 'soft' furnishings - carpet not laminate floor, fabric
not leather sofas, curtains not blinds etc I reckon it will damp down most
of the noise. The reverse will of course exacerbate it.
Dave - The Medway Handyman
Noise travels directly through even the smallest air hole.
As mentioned holes around joists & beneath floors are a prime
However the same can apply to brickwork.
Brickwork may have open frogs/holes, that is to say they are not
filled with mortar which significantly reduces their ability to block
noise. Likewise perpendicular mortar joints may be little more than
pointing, again reducing the effective mass at the mortar joints to
If the wall is bare you may want to examine the brickwork carefully.
A double layer of 12.5mm plasterboard can help to at least blur normal
If the walls are bare, and solid brick, insulation now is a very good
Choose internal furnishings to absorb noise makes a big difference,
the neighbour may well have hard floor, no curtains, hard furnishings,
so making the acoustic effects more prominent to your ears.
Mineral wool for sound insulation is a lot denser than that for heat
but heat insulation is so much cheaper as its subsidised,
so i'm planning on using heat insualting mineral wool under the
floorboards but stuffing it in very tightly.
i think this is a good idea, but im not an expert.
I'd first block all underfloor holes to next door with plaster or
cement mortar, being sure to leave no gap.
Stuffing mineral wool in tight puts pressure on the ceiling, and over
a fair area it adds up to quite a lot of force. I wouldnt. As long as
there isnt a damp problem there I'd be more inclined to go with
papercrete, its denser, has a finer porous structure, and stiffens and
damps anything its in conctact with.
Any of the following would help: rigidity, mass, damping.
- Sand adds damping and some mass
- Plasterboard adds some mass
- Papercrete bonds to all around it, stiffening and damping. Mass
added is the end user's choice, it can be anything from very light to
- mineral wool damps thin PB, but doesnt add any mass or rigidity.
But if we put papercrete under the floorboards, above the downstairs
isnt it very flammable?
And wouldn't it absorb moisture from the damp kitchen steam below
and from occasional leaks
and stain the ceiling below?
not at all. The behaviour of papercrete in fire varies depending on
the mix. The worst mixes wont support a flame, but can very slowly
char over many hours if exposed to severe flame, the better mixes
won't. Since even the worst mixes take severe flame to get charring
its not a real world issue, unless its used for structural support.
theres plasterboard between steam and papercrete, so no
any material in there will absorb water if there are leaks. Not
normally a problem though.
I suspect it wuold if the OP forgot to drain it off before placement.
Even if it did, just paint over, not much of a challenge.
Yes agreed on that one, having lived in a terrace house for some years.
The OP or his lady rather will have to accept that sound does travel if
your connected to the gaff next door. A detached house solves this and
its been bliss since I moved into one some 15 years ago now and with
very pleasant neighbours who really couldn't be better:)...
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.