Soundproof Condo Ceiling – Not Easy After Construction
QUESTION #2: Tim, I live in a condo and wonder what might be done to lessen the noise I hear coming from some of my neighbors. Are there any easy fixes that I might be able to tackle? Linda S., Chicago, IL
Soundproofing spaces is a science. Do a small amount of research online to discover how radio broadcasting booths are soundproof. Most are immune from the noise that’s trying to get inside the room and then into the live microphones!
How Does Sound Travel?
Sound travels through the air. The easiest thing to do is to try to seal any air leaks between your condo and the ones around you. Imagine if your condo started to fill with water, where would it leak out? These are places the air is leaking into your condo.
Soundproofing rooms begins with stopping all air movement between rooms. Remove the cover plates from electrical outlets and caulk the gap between the drywall and the side of the electrical box. I’d then install a foam gasket behind the outlet cover to try to stop other air leakage.
Can Sound Leak Into a Condo Under Baseboards?
Yes, the sound could be leaking under the baseboards of your condo unit. If you have toe stripping, you may want to remove it and caulk any gaps between the floor and the baseboard trim. Recessed ceiling lights are the toughest thing to seal because some need air space to ensure the fixture doesn’t overheat.
What Can Stop Sound Coming Through the Condo Entry Door?
Weatherstripping the entry door will stop sound from passing into the condo. Hallway noise infiltration can be minimized or eliminated by installing weatherstripping around the door. Seal your door as if you were battling bitter cold air out in the hallway.
What Soundproofing Should Happen During Construction?
Here are some great ways to soundproof a condo during construction:
- walls between condo units should be solid masonry
- floors between vertical condo units should be poured concrete
- all air passageways between condo units should be plugged
There are many things that can be done during construction to make condos soundproof. Trying to retrofit a condo can be prohibitively expensive. As a last resort, consider a subtle white-noise generator in your unit to combat unwanted noise. I’ve heard they work well.
Can Cork Soundproof a Condo Ceiling?
Cork is an amazing natural soundproofing material. It can work wonders. You can get cork tiles that glue onto a ceiling.
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