Soundproofing your Condo from the City

April 2019

Sounds of the city are everywhere.  Streetcars, buses, trucks and cars can be heard when they squeal to a stop.  Emergency vehicle sirens can be heard day and night.  Construction noise is constant throughout the day in many parts of the city.  There are dogs barking and people talking.

Within a condo building loud music, home renovations, children running on higher floors and hard heels on solid floors add to this cacophony of sound.  Noise travels through walls, floors and ceilings shared with others in a building.

Sound can be a constant companion from which there is no respite.  While condo buildings have  built-in soundproofing systems, many had not been adequately considered when the building was constructed.

Home is not always the refuge or sanctuary we want it to be.

There are soundproofing techniques that can be utilized to make home the refuge we want it to be.

Some of the most effective techniques include breaking the connection between ceiling and floor above, and adding drywall to walls.  These techniques create a gap between suites so that noise cannot be transmitted.  At a cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, these solutions are uncommon.

A less expensive approach is to add multiple layers of drywall and damping compound, which absorbs sound, directly onto a wall.  The cost is about half but at only 25 percent of the effectiveness.

A much lower cost partial solution is to add decorative acoustical panels to walls or noise-absorbing tiles to ceilings.

Furniture selection can help.  Soft and plush furniture, carpets and rugs all will absorb some sound and reduce any sound echo from noise bouncing around in a room.

Sound can be a constant companion in the city.  It does not have to intrude on your home.