Asked on Mar 6, 2013

soundproofing or insulation needed in interior of house

Hope BeeWoodbridge Environmental


I've noticed I can hear conversations going on downstairs thru the upstairs FLOOR. I can also hear the downstairs bathroom fan through the walls when I'm upstairs. This is my second 2-story home and I never had this issue in the first home. House is only 7 years old, but the builder went bankrupt and probably did a lot of shortcuts. Has anyone ever dealt with anything like this?
2 answers
  • Lots of reasons why you hear noise VS last home. Although you did not say how old the first one was, many had plaster walls and not drywall which slows down the sound transmission. IN your case there are only a few things you can do on the cheep to quite the noise now. That is to install sound deadening materials in the offending room below. This can range from carpets, drapes, just any thing that is soft that will absorb some of the noise before it moves through the walls and ceilings. Another thing is to do the same on the floor above where your at. Carpet is the first thing. Another reason why noise travels from below or from up to down is the placement of the air ducts. These cavities of sorts, particularly those of the return types allow noise to travel unimpeded. Installing a insulation blanket inside the grill housing box will held deaden some of that noise. Air chases such of that for pipes, ducts, chimneys etc allow noise to travel freely as well. Not knowing your homes layout makes most of these reasons purely a guess. On the more expensive side of stopping noise, you can blow insulation in between the floor levels. Fiberglass or cellulose insulation will do the trick. Just remember however if any future electrical work is needed between floors or if there are recessed light fixtures in the ceiling below, you cannot simply pack insulation in those areas without the fear of having a fire. Same goes with bath fans, many cannot be simply buried into the insulation. Still another method of stopping sound is the use of sound deadening dry wall. This material is designed to help stop noise movement through it. It is expensive. Add special hanging materials for ultimate sound proofing, and you will break the bank. Start with carpets, and soft decorations in the offending room below. I think you will be satisfied with the results before you spend lots of cash to do it the other ways.

  • Hope Bee
    on Mar 18, 2013

    Thanks! I appreciate your suggestions. Both homes were built in the 2000's. Makes me wonder just what normally insulates the inner walls and floor--something's definitely missing. Carpet's already installed, but it's the cheap stuff, and that could be a factor too. Thanks again.

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