Asked on Jul 17, 2015

How to improve soundproofing in old house built in 1940

Hung Bui
by Hung Bui
Hi all,
This is probably a long shot, however, I was just wondering if there is a way to reduce the noise from the bathroom to my baby room in my house built a long time ago. It seems to me that we could hear the water tap running or toilet flushing much louder than inside the bathroom even though the 2 rooms are separated by the stairs hallway.
I was thinking of spending the money to substitute both bathroom and bedroom door for a soundproof one..however would that be the only solution? Any other thought or suggestion please?
  11 answers
  • Fab and Pretty Fab and Pretty on Jul 17, 2015
    Well, starting with the door is a good thought. Is the hall floor, or hall and baby's room floor covering a hard surface, that would create quite a bit of noise travel area rugs might help. Short of taking gyp board down to re insulate in walls, how about the attic, a good amount of noise could be travelling through there and more insulation would help.
    • Hung Bui Hung Bui on Jul 17, 2015
      @Fab and Pretty thanks Donna. Yes, the bathroom is covering with a hard surface and baby's room got carpet flooring. Good point regarding the loft insulation, its only insulated with 50mm depth at the moment.. we got to increase that to 270mm in order to achieve the recommendation.
  • Sue Sue on Jul 17, 2015
    My next door neighbors had the same problem only the shower and stool were heard in the great room where everybody congregated. The solution was a second layer of sheetrock to cover the first. The difference was amazing!
  • The Redesign Habit The Redesign Habit on Jul 17, 2015
    I agree that you could definitely put up another basically inside the first wall. You will have a layer of dead space in between and that will definitely help dampen the sound. Your big home improvement centers also sell soundproofing panels and kits, which work great but are rather costly. If you are planning on staying in your home it might be worth the investment to you.
    • Hung Bui Hung Bui on Jul 17, 2015
      @The Redesign Habit Agree with Sue and 'The Redesign Habit', that definitely an ultimate solution to sort the problem properly but is rather costly. We're not planning to stay at this property for long (couple more years I guess) so was looking for an affordable solution wont cost a fortune. Many thanks.
  • Duv310660 Duv310660 on Jul 17, 2015
    I can't remember how the typical house in the 40s in the UK was built... BUT if you've got hard plaster walls, that will be responsible for a lot of what you are hearing. Soft furnishings, thick drapes, tenting or draping fabric in your rooms/doorways will help. I live in a large lathe-and-plaster farmhouse; we simply do NOT call out to each other or shout to get the attention of someone - ever! It is not possible to discern where a raised voice is coming from in these acoustics. You either walk around and find the person you wish to address, or write it down for later. Fortunately, that was how I was raised, so it was easy to get used to!
  • Barbara C Barbara C on Jul 18, 2015
    Would it be possible to insulate the water pipes?
  • GrandmaP GrandmaP on Jul 19, 2015
    I have had the same issue. The fix was drilling a small hole in the wall and blowing in insulation. Our hardware store will loan out equipment or rent it, which makes it affordable. Just fill the hole in and voile!
    • Hung Bui Hung Bui on Jul 20, 2015
      @GrandmaP Thanks. Do you have a photo of what you have done please `GrandmaP` ?
  • Carol Perkins Carol Perkins on Jul 21, 2015
    Fabric absorbs sound. I hang my towels on hooks anyway. With not much storage , I hang them all up on the bathroom wall. Also put curtains in the bedroom.[big ones]. Cork is absorbent and can be framed like a picture and covered with fabric. [spray glue]
  • Edwina Boo Patenotte Lee Edwina Boo Patenotte Lee on Jul 24, 2015
    just another idea~~~make a Master bedroom by installing small door in that one bedroom??? Up's the value of home too....
  • Tim D. (The Retro Den) Tim D. (The Retro Den) on Jul 27, 2015
    I own a duplex and there was zero sound proofing between the tow side. I pumped omn 6 cases of expanding foam. It did absolutely nothing.. Was told I needed to build a fire barrier, essentially another wall... in addition to the existing wall with new studs and sound proofing.
  • on Jul 27, 2015
    There are a few things you can do to soundproof your walls. This post explains how:
  • Jon.murphy Jon.murphy on Jul 29, 2015
    Simple probably> Punch 1/4 ' holeat the top of space between the studs and put in some foamming poly ... Use the maxium expansion about $3-- at home depot.Some tims therer is a single blocking piece of wood across , near the bottom, so then u will have to make 2 holes... No noise will get thru this stuffe ,sentially its 4": of soundboard.. Caution : DO NOT USE MUCH at one time and WAIT 24 hrs min.. or the expansion will rip your walls outward.. 4lbs per sq in >= about 300 lbs puching out....on 12 " Just puy some in all the spaces and wait a day or more to add more .. I have done this a lot to my houses and NO sound ,no TV no screams from rotten little ones..=O will come thru.. guarenteed by Jon..... Warning:.> test it first on a small scale, and wear GLOVES it sticks to everything forever.. Dont listen to anyone elce about this..
    • Tim D. (The Retro Den) Tim D. (The Retro Den) on Aug 28, 2015
      @Jon.murphy Jon.. I shot 6 count'em 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 cases of expanding foam into this wall... You can almost make out all the drill holes. Total waste of money. When redo the kitchen on the rental side I will install A layer of plywood and dry wall. The fact that the kitcj cabinets share a common wall is an issue as well. May consider a new set of stud and put up a new wall as well...
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