Are Townhouse Walls Soundproof? (Tested!)

Townhouses are becoming increasingly popular as they are a great way to live in an area that is usually inexpensive. One of the biggest concerns when people move into a new townhouse is whether it is soundproof. This concern comes up because of the close proximity living in townhouses usually involves.

Are Townhouse Walls Soundproof? Townhouses are typically built with walls that are thinner than those found in single-family homes, and they’re often made of materials that can’t be made soundproof. This means that townhouse residents will hear more noise from their neighbors than those who live in single-family homes.

In this article, we’re going to be looking at one of the most common questions homeowners have when considering the option of townhomes. That is the soundproofing properties of townhouse walls.

Factors Affecting the Soundproofing of Townhouse Walls

Factors Affecting the Soundproofing of Townhouse Walls

When it comes to townhouses, one of the most common concerns is whether the walls are soundproof. In this article, we’ll explore the factors that can affect the soundproofing of townhouse walls and what you can do to improve it.

Wall Construction

The construction of townhouse walls plays a crucial role in determining their soundproofing ability. If the walls are thin or made of lightweight materials, they are more likely to allow sound to pass through them. On the other hand, walls made of thicker, more dense materials like concrete or brick are better at blocking sound.

Wall Insulation

Insulation is another critical factor that affects the soundproofing of townhouse walls. If the walls are not properly insulated, they will not be as effective at blocking sound. Insulation can help to absorb sound waves and prevent them from traveling through the walls.

Wall Openings

Wall openings such as doors, windows, and vents can also affect the soundproofing of townhouse walls. These openings can allow sound to pass through easily, especially if they are not properly sealed or insulated. Installing soundproof windows and doors, and sealing any gaps or cracks around them can help to improve the soundproofing of townhouse walls.

Room Layout

The layout of the rooms in a townhouse can also impact the soundproofing of its walls. For example, if a bedroom is located next to a living room, the sound from the living room can easily pass through the wall and disturb the occupants of the bedroom. To mitigate this issue, you can rearrange the layout of the rooms or add additional insulation to the walls.

Exterior Noise

Lastly, the amount of external noise that enters a townhouse can also impact the soundproofing of its walls. If the townhouse is located near a busy road or a noisy neighbor, it will be more difficult to achieve complete soundproofing. However, you can minimize the impact of external noise by adding thick curtains or sound-absorbing panels to the walls.

Why Townhouses are not soundproof? (7 Reasons)

Townhouses are generally made of wood or concrete and then covered with a layer of plasterboard. This creates a wall that is very porous and absorbent. This means that sound from one room can easily travel through the walls and into another room.

There are many reasons why townhouses are not soundproof. Some of the most common reasons include:

1. Construction Materials

Construction Materials

Townhouses are built using a variety of materials, which can affect the soundproofing. The best soundproofing will be achieved when you use heavy, dense materials such as brick or concrete. These materials are very resistant to sounds and vibrations. 

If a wall is made from these types of materials then it will be very difficult for external noise to penetrate into your home.

However, townhouses are often made using lightweight materials such as wood or aluminum because they are cheaper than brick or concrete and easier to work with. 

This can cause problems with soundproofing because these types of materials are not as dense, which means they do not absorb sound as well as other materials would.

2. Shared Walls

Town houses are designed with a shared wall between each unit, so that the whole building feels like a single unit. This is done by creating a common wall between units and using a door as an access point. 

The shared walls between units allow for easy access to each unit, but they also mean that you will hear every sound your neighbors make.

Shared walls are one of the most common causes of sound leakage in townhouses. This can be a problem if you have a neighbor who plays loud music, or if you share the wall with an open concept apartment that has lots of foot traffic and talking.

The walls between townhouses are often just a single layer of drywall instead of the two-layer construction used in houses. This means that sound can easily pass from one unit to another.

3. Thin Walls

Thin walls are one of the main reasons why townhouses are not soundproof. The walls in a townhouse are usually thinner than regular walls, which means they don’t provide as much noise insulation and can be more easily penetrated by sounds.

The walls are usually no more than three inches thick, which means that sound travels easily between units. 

4. HVAC Systems

HVAC Systems

One of the most common problems with townhouses is the shared HVAC system. Since there are multiple units in one building, each unit has its own furnace and air conditioner. These units are all connected to a central system that distributes heat, cool air and hot water to each unit.

This can cause some issues when it comes to soundproofing. The reason for this is that the air ducts are not insulated properly, so any sounds made by the HVAC system can be heard by neighbors.

5. Lack of Insulation

One of the main reasons that townhouses are not soundproof is the lack of insulation. They have only a few inches of drywall between the inside and outside, and they do not have any insulation in their walls at all. Without proper insulation, sound will be able to travel into the walls of your home and vice versa.

6. Empty Space between Floors

Empty Space between Floors

The empty space between floors is a major reason why townhouses are not soundproof. When you hear someone walking on the floor above you, that sound travels through that empty space and into the room below.

The size of the gap between floors will vary depending on the design of your townhouse. However, it is always a good idea to make sure there are no cracks or holes in between the two floors. Cracks or holes can allow sound to travel from one room to another easily and quickly.

7. Sound through the Ceiling

 Sound through the Ceiling

The most common issue with soundproofing a townhouse is that the walls are not thick enough. The walls in a townhouse are usually made of drywall, and they can be very thin.

If you live in an apartment building and the neighbor upstairs plays loud music, you might be able to hear it through your ceiling. This is because there is nothing between the ceiling of your apartment and their floor.

How to Soundproof a Townhouse (Easy and Inexpensive Methods)

The easiest way to soundproof a townhouse is by installing a solid-core door between the rooms and closing it before you begin playing music. If there are no doors between the rooms, consider adding another layer of insulation between the walls to help block noise.

Soundproofing is not just about blocking out noise from the outside, it’s also about keeping sounds from traveling within your home. When you’re trying to soundproof a townhouse, whether you’re renting or owning, these are the best ways to do it:

1. Soundproof the Walls

Walls are one of the main reasons why townhouses are so noisy. The problem with townhouses is that the walls are made of a thin layer of foam sandwiched between two thin sheets of plywood. This makes it easy for sound to travel between rooms. 

Following are some options to soundproof the walls of your townhome:

Add Mass to the Walls

One of the best ways to soundproof townhouse walls is by adding mass to the walls. Mass loaded vinyl has been proven to be an effective soundproofing material for years, and it’s fairly easy to install.

The idea behind mass loaded vinyl is that you add a heavy layer of insulation onto your wall, which reduces the amount of vibration and noise that travels through it. This means that any sounds made in your living room won’t travel down into your neighbor’s living room and vice versa.

Hang Drapes or Thick Curtains

Hang Drapes or Thick Curtains

If you’re looking for a cheap and easy way to soundproof your townhouse walls, then hang drapes or thick curtains.

What’s the science behind this method? Well, curtains have a tendency to absorb sound rather than reflect it. They also offer some insulation from outside noise. Plus, they help block out light if you’re trying to sleep during the day or stay up at night.

Hang Acoustic Panels

Hang Acoustic Panels

You can make your townhouse walls soundproof by hanging acoustic panels.

Acoustic panels are thin sheets of material that are usually made of foam, fabric, or plastic. They act as a barrier between your walls and the sound waves coming from outside.

You can hang acoustic panels on any wall in your home that faces an external source of noise, such as a busy street or train tracks. You may need to buy more than one pack of acoustic panels to cover all the walls in your townhouse.

The best place to put the panels is at least 12 inches away from the window and any other structure that could cause interference with their ability to absorb sound waves efficiently.

2. Soundproof the Door

The door is one of the first things you should soundproof when you live in a townhouse. The reason for this is that it’s one of the areas between units where sound travels most easily. You can soundproof the door of your townhouse by following methods:

Weatherstrip the Door

Weatherstrip the Door

If you’re trying to soundproof a townhouse door, the first thing you should do is weatherstrip it. This means that you’ll need to use some sort of foam or rubber strip across the bottom of your door. You can usually find this at any hardware store.

By adding a strip of weatherstripping to your door, you can create a tight seal that will prevent the air from escaping around the frame. This will help keep noise out and prevent it from getting into your living space.

You want to be sure that the weatherstrip is attached firmly enough so that it won’t fall off when someone pushes against it. Most people use a combination of glue and screws to secure their weatherstripping, but you can use whatever works best for your particular situation.

Install Door Sweep

Another effective way to soundproof a townhouse door is to install a door sweep. A door sweep is a piece of metal or rubber that fits over the bottom of your door and creates an airtight seal when it’s closed. 

This keeps outside noise from getting in, and it also helps trap heat inside the house. If you live in a townhouse, this can be especially important because it will help keep the energy bills down by making sure all of the heat stays in your home.

Use Acoustic Caulk to Seal the Gaps

Use Acoustic Caulk to Seal the Gaps

Acoustic caulk is a special kind of caulking that’s made with materials that absorb sound waves. It’s sold in tubes and can be applied to any surface, including walls, floors, and doors.

It is one of the most effective ways to seal the gaps between your door and its frame. The caulk will fill in any gaps between the door and frame, making it harder for sound waves to pass through those gaps. This will help prevent sound from escaping through those spaces.

3. Put the Carpet on the Floor

Put the Carpet on the Floor

If you’re soundproofing a townhouse, one of the easiest and most affordable ways to do it is by putting carpet on your floor. 

If you’re renting, this is a great option because you can just walk out when you’re done with the project as there is no need to get permission from your landlord or pay for any renovations. 

If you own your home, though, this method might not be as attractive because it’s a bit more permanent than some other options. But if you don’t mind having carpet in the house after it’s finished, this could be a good solution for you.

The biggest challenge with this method is making sure that the carpet is thick enough to dampen noise. It should be at least 10mm thick for best results. 

If possible, try to find something that’s double-stitched or even triple-stitched at all corners. These tend to be more durable and resistant to damage from heavy use over time.

Supercharge Floor Soundproofing with Carpet Padding

Supercharge Floor Soundproofing with Carpet Padding

Lay down the carpet padding underneath the rug. This will help protect your floor from high-impact noises like footsteps and even furniture movements. Carpet padding made of fiberglass is great for this purpose, because it’s dense and absorbs sound waves.

It will also increase the thickness of the carpet, which will make it more absorbent and less prone to sound transmission. In addition, it will also make your floor warmer, which can help with heating costs and may even save on energy bills.

4. Hang Soundproof Curtains on Windows

4. Hang Soundproof Curtains on Windows

If you’re looking for a quick and easy way to keep noise from traveling through your townhouse, try hanging soundproof curtains on your windows. 

These curtains are designed to block out the sound of outside noise and make your home quieter. The best part is that they’re easy to install, so you don’t have to spend hours putting them up.

Use Window Inserts along

Window inserts are designed to be placed between the glass panes of your windows. The inserts reduce air leakage between the panes, which cuts down on the amount of noise that gets through the windows. 

They also help keep your home warmer in winter and cooler in summer by reducing energy loss through the glass.

Conclusion

No, townhouses are not soundproof. Townhouses are designed to be close together and have shared walls, so that they can be built closer to one another without being too noisy for the neighbors. They also have windows on all sides, which means that the sound can easily travel through them.

Let’s get to the bottom of this question, once and for all: townhouse walls are not soundproof, but that doesn’t mean you have to deal with noisy neighbors. 

Soundproofing is actually very easy to do, and it doesn’t require an expensive contractor, you can do most of it yourself. There are a lot of factors that go into the overall decibel level in a noise sensitive area, and there is always a solution for every case.

Frequently Asked Questions (Are Townhouse Walls Soundproof) 

What are the disadvantages of living in a townhouse?

The biggest disadvantage is that you will have to share common areas with your neighbors. This means that if you have noisy neighbors, or if they do things like blast music or throw parties late at night and keep you up, you’ll have to deal with it.

Townhouses are usually smaller than apartments or houses, so they may not offer enough space for large families or those who need extra storage space.

Moreover, townhouses are often located in urban settings and close to amenities like shops and restaurants, they can sometimes be noisy places to live due to traffic noise and crowds of people passing by outside on sidewalks or streets.

How do I make my walls more soundproof in a townhouse?

First thing you can do is add insulation to the walls. This will help stop some of the noise from reaching your neighbors. Another option is to add a layer of drywall over the existing drywall. This provides more soundproofing without adding too much weight or bulk to the wall.

How much does it cost to soundproof a townhouse?

Soundproofing a townhouse can cost anywhere from $100 to $4,000 to soundproof a townhouse. The reason the price range is so wide is because there are a lot of factors that go into soundproofing: the size of your townhome and the type of floors, walls and ceiling you have.

The cost of soundproofing a townhouse is going to vary depending on a few factors. The first factor is the size of your townhouse, and the second is what kind of materials you want to use to soundproof it. 

Soundproofing materials can range from simple acoustic curtains to more expensive specialized products that have been designed specifically for this purpose.

The third factor will be labor costs, which will vary based on the complexity of your home and how many rooms need to be soundproofed. 

What walls are most soundproof?

The walls that are the most soundproof are those made from concrete, steel, or wood. These materials are thick and dense, which means they’re hard for sound waves to pass through. That’s why you might have a hard time hearing your neighbor’s music blasting through their walls.

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Brendan Ratliff
Brendan Ratliff

As a soundproofing and acoustical professional, I have helped new homeowners, builders and remodelers with their projects. I also help contractors/designers learn how to properly install soundproofing in their clients homes.
I enjoy helping people understand the process of soundproofing and acoustical construction. SoundproofProfessional.com is a one-stop solution for all of your soundproofing related questions.