The soundproofing of townhouse walls can be a challenge. If you have been living in your townhouse for a while, you may have realized that you hear everything going on in the next unit. This is quite annoying especially if you are trying to sleep or concentrate on something important. So, what is the best way to soundproof townhouse walls?
Soundproof Townhouse Walls: The best way to soundproof townhouse walls is by adding mass. This can be done by adding drywall or by using a resilient channel. This approach is effective because it increases the thickness of the wall, which makes it more difficult for sound waves to pass through it.
Townhouses are usually built with very thin walls. The spaces between each wall in your townhouse are much larger than those in apartment buildings or single family homes. This makes it easier for sound from one unit to travel through the walls and into another unit.
In this article, I will discuss how to soundproof townhouse walls so that you can finally get rid of those annoying sounds.
How to Soundproof Townhouse Walls
A great way to soundproof townhouse walls is by adding insulation between the studs in the wall. Insulation helps reduce the amount of sound that travels through the wall by absorbing some of its energy, which reduces vibrations and other noise-related problems.
However, following is the list of most of the methods to soundproof townhouse walls effectively.
1. Add mass
One way to improve your townhouse soundproofing is to add mass to the walls. Mass means thickness, so adding more mass will make it harder for sound waves to pass through your walls.
The best way to add mass to your walls is by using a product like Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV). MLV is an extra-thick layer of vinyl that has been impregnated with microscopic particles of lead shot or lead crystal silicates.
The result is a material that weighs about 3 times as much as regular vinyl sheathing. Not only does this make it more resistant to tearing, but it also helps stop sound from traveling through the wall cavity by absorbing vibrations.
2. Use Acoustic foam
Acoustic foam is a sound-absorbing material that provides effective noise reduction. It’s made of a soft, open-cellular material and is often used in places where you want to block sound from getting in or out.
Typically, acoustic foam panels are placed on the wall behind drywall or wood framing to close up any gaps between the studs or joists and the drywall/subflooring. This minimizes airborne noise caused by sounds traveling through these gaps.
Here are the steps to apply acoustic foam on townhouse walls:
- Remove the baseboard and putty from the wall where you want to install the acoustic foam.
- Measure and cut pieces of acoustic foam that measure 12 inches by 12 inches and 1 inch thick.
- Insert each piece of acoustic foam into the wall behind the baseboard, seal any holes with caulking.
3. Soundproof Paint
Soundproof paint is a very good and effective way to soundproof your walls. It’s easy to apply and it will last, making it a permanent solution.
It’s cost effective, too, which means you won’t have to spend as much money as you would with other methods like building new walls or installing wall panels.
Applying soundproofing paint on walls is easy as these three steps:
- Before applying soundproofing paint, make sure your surface is clean and dry. Dust and dirt will prevent the paint from adhering properly, creating bubbles and other problems that will make your room noisier.
- Apply two coats of soundproofing paint to the wall or ceiling using a brush or roller. If you use a roller, use a low nap roller so that it doesn’t leave lumps or bumps in the surface of the wall.
- Allow the soundproofing paint to dry for at least 24 hours, and then use an acoustical roller or brush to smooth out any bubbles or lumps that may have formed on the surface of the paint.
4. Use Acoustic panels
Acoustic panels are a good choice for soundproofing your townhouse walls. Acoustic panels can be used on the walls, ceiling, and floors of your home to reduce noise transfer through multiple layers of materials.
Acoustical panels are easy to install into any wall thickness up to 2 inches. They’re also inexpensive and easy to cut and shape into custom shapes so they fit perfectly against each other in all areas of your home.
Steps to install acoustic panels:
- First, make sure the wall is clean and dry.
- Use screws and anchors to hang the panels on the wall. This will give you an idea of how much space you’ll need for each panel.
- Once you’ve picked the right placement for each panel, use a level and a pencil to draw straight lines along the wall where each panel will go.
5. Apply soundproofing rubber
Soundproofing rubber sheets are made of a material that absorbs sound waves, making them an effective tool in reducing noise pollution. They can be cut into different sizes so they can be applied directly on the wall.
It’s used in many types of construction, including residential homes and commercial buildings. The rubber is often applied directly to the wall surface or sandwiched between two sheets of drywall.
The following steps will help you apply soundproofing rubber on walls:
- The first step is to clean the surface of the wall thoroughly with soap and water. This will remove any grease or dirt from the surface of the wall, making it easier for the soundproofing rubber to stick to the wall.
- Next, use a spatula to spread out a thin layer of adhesive on your chosen area of the wall where you want to use soundproofing rubber. If necessary, use an electric sander to sand down any irregularities in your chosen area.
- Use a trowel or putty knife to spread out this layer of adhesive evenly across your chosen area of wall until it is completely covered with a thin layer of adhesive.
- Now use your soundproofing rubber and position it over your chosen area of wall so that all four sides are covered by a thin layer of adhesive.
6. Soundproofing mat
Soundproofing mat is a flexible material that can be used to soundproof a townhouse wall. It comes in several thicknesses and can be cut to fit the wall.
Soundproofing mat is often used for basement walls or other locations where one side of the wall has existing construction and you want to add mass to the other side.
7. Acoustical sealants and caulks
Acoustical sealants and caulks are also effective at reducing sound transmission. When applied correctly, they can reduce sound transmission through joints and seams in walls.
Sealants and caulks are usually applied to the interior of the wall. However, some can be used on the exterior of a wall as well as other areas.
The most common acoustical sealant is caulk because it’s inexpensive and available commercially in various colors to match any décor. However, it has a tendency to shrink once dried so extra care must be taken when applying it around windows or doors that don’t align flush with each other during installation.
A thicker version may be needed if these joints are not sealed properly due to poor alignment during construction. The gap between them will allow more noise transfer into your townhouse.
8. Decouple the walls
This is one of the most effective ways to reduce noise from outside entering your home through your walls.
The idea behind decoupling is that when there is movement between two objects that are not connected mechanically, energy is lost as heat due to friction between the two objects.
If you can decouple the wall from its frame and other components, then it will be much harder for sounds or vibrations to pass through the wall into your living space.
9. Add Resilient channel
Resilient channel is a thin piece of metal that you can install between the walls to help deaden sound. The sheet metal acts as an absorber, pulling in vibrational noise and dissipating it over time.
The installation process is relatively simple. You’ll need a drill, measuring tape and hammer for this job. You’ll also want to make sure you have enough space behind your wall before drilling holes for resilient channels.
10. Double drywall construction
Double drywall construction is one of the best ways to soundproof your townhouse walls, as it allows you to make use of two layers of drywall on either side of the studs.
This method is recommended for situations where noise from neighbors or next-door tenants can’t be addressed effectively by either a single layer or triple layer.
Double drywall construction will also ensure that sound deadening materials are applied in a manner similar to other methods: first on one side, then on the other. However, there’s no need for any special adhesives when installing this kind of wall because it’s already been installed twice with screws.
Soundproofing other areas (Block all noises)
If you want to minimize most of the noise and want to go next-level to soundproof your townhouse, then soundproofing the walls only would not be sufficient.
You should also soundproof other areas too.
Soundproof HVAC vents
Air vents and ducts run through each home, and these ducts can act as an extension of your neighbor’s unit into yours. If your neighbors are having a party, chances are you’ll be able to hear their music or television over the sound of their air conditioning or heating system running in your own living room.
The sound maze is a material that absorbs sound and prevents it from escaping out of the vents. It is also extremely easy to install and anyone can do it without the need of any professional.
Follow these steps:
- Measure the size of your HVAC vent and cut a piece of Sound Maze to fit snugly over it. You may need to cut multiple pieces if you have multiple vents or they are different sizes.
- Secure the pieces by using any type of adhesive or double sided tape around the edge of each piece. Make sure the adhesive or tape does not block any airflow through your HVAC vents as this could cause damage to your system.
- Test your results by turning on your HVAC system and playing music at various decibel levels from different locations in your room before installing Sound Maze.
Soundproof the floor
Soundproofing the floor of your townhouse is relatively easy and inexpensive. There are many different kinds of flooring options available, including tile, carpet and hardwood. If you’re looking for soundproof flooring, here are some things to look for:
- Thickness: A thicker piece of wood will provide more sound absorption than a thinner piece of wood. The same goes for carpeting; thicker carpets will absorb more sound than thinner ones.
- Material: Different types of materials absorb different types of noise. For example, dense woods like oak or maple absorb higher frequencies better than softwoods like cedar or pine. A thick rug will absorb high frequencies but not lower ones as well as a thin rug would.
- Size: The larger the area covered by your flooring material, the greater it will absorb the sound.
Soundproofing windows can be as simple as adding some weather stripping around the edges, or it could involve replacing the window entirely. The goal is to improve your home’s acoustic performance so that sounds inside the house don’t leak out into the world around it. Here are some tips on how to soundproof townhouse windows:
- Weather-strip all your windows
- Hang soundproof curtains or blankets
- Install double-pane glass
- Add an extra layer of glass
- Replace single-pane old windows with double-pane equivalents
You may find that the doors of your townhouse aren’t as soundproof as they could be. This can make it difficult when trying to sleep at night or just relax during the day.
One of the easiest ways to reduce sound transfer between rooms is to install soundproofing on your door.
There are several different ways that you can go about this project and many different types of materials that can be used. Here are some tips on how to soundproof door of townhouse:
- Install a thicker door or install double doors
- Add additional weatherstripping or foam around the jambs
- Add an acoustic seal between the door frame and jamb
- Install soundproofing material on all sides of the door frame
Benefits of Soundproofing Townhouse Walls
Following the various benefits of soundproofing townhouse walls, including improved quality of life, increased privacy, better sleep and relaxation, and enhanced property value and marketability.
Improved Quality of Life for Townhouse Residents
Living in a townhouse can come with its share of noise challenges, such as noise from neighboring units, common areas, or outdoor traffic. Soundproofing townhouse walls can significantly improve the quality of life for residents by reducing unwanted noise and creating a more peaceful and quiet living environment.
With properly soundproofed walls, residents can enjoy a more serene atmosphere, free from disturbances, which can lead to better mental health, increased productivity, and overall well-being.
Increased Privacy and Reduced Disturbances from Neighbors
One of the advantages of townhouse living is the proximity to neighbors, but this can also mean less privacy and increased noise transfer between units. Soundproofing townhouse walls can provide a barrier against noise infiltration, minimizing disruptions from neighboring units.
Residents can enjoy a greater sense of privacy and tranquility, with reduced chances of being disturbed by loud conversations, footsteps, or other noises coming from adjoining townhouse units. This can lead to improved relationships with neighbors and a more harmonious living environment.
Better Sleep and Relaxation in a Quieter Environment
Noise pollution can significantly affect the quality of sleep, leading to sleep disturbances, and subsequent health issues. Soundproofing townhouse walls can create a quieter environment, promoting better sleep and relaxation.
Reduced noise from outside or neighboring units can help residents get a good night’s sleep, improving their overall health and well-being. It can also create a more conducive environment for relaxation and unwinding after a long day, allowing residents to enjoy their home without the constant disturbance of unwanted noise.
Enhanced Property Value and Marketability
Investing in soundproofing for townhouse walls can also have financial benefits. Soundproofing measures can enhance the value of the townhouse property, making it more appealing to potential buyers or renters.
A soundproofed townhouse can be a unique selling point, attracting buyers or renters who value peace and quiet in their living environment. It can also improve the marketability of the townhouse, setting it apart from other units in the same complex or neighborhood.
Are Townhouse walls Soundproof?
The short answer is no, townhouse walls are not soundproof. They are so thin that you can hear your neighbors talking and walking around in their home. Soundproofing methods and techniques can help to block out some noise but they don’t eliminate it entirely.
Why are Townhouse walls not soundproof?
Townhouses usually have single layer interior walls made of drywall or gypsum board and plywood subfloor. This construction is not designed to block noise and is often used as a temporary solution while building a house that will be built with more permanent materials.
Following areas are largely responsible for most of the sound letting into your townhouse.
Shared HVAC system
The HVAC system is the biggest culprit when it comes to soundproofing problems. Because you share walls with your neighbors, you hear every squeak, bang, and whine they make. And if they have an old unit, chances are it’s not very efficient.
Another reason a townhouse is not soundproof is that most doors are made out of thin wood or metal. This makes it easy for sounds to travel through them. One way to improve this is by adding soundproofing materials to the door.
Townhouse walls aren’t soundproof because they do not have any mass behind them.The walls are usually made of common materials like wood and drywall. These materials aren’t particularly effective at blocking sound.
The only way to block sounds is to soundproof it by the methods discussed earlier in the post.
A great way to soundproof a townhouse wall is with soundproofing panels. They are made from various materials, including foam or fiberglass, which absorb sound waves rather than reflecting them back. They are easy to install and can be directly applied to the wall.
There are many ways to soundproof townhouse walls. One of the most important things to remember is that you can’t always rely on just one method.
You may have to use a combination of methods together in order for it to work properly. This will require some experimentation and testing so don’t get discouraged if one method doesn’t work as well as expected.
Frequently Asked Questions (Soundproof Townhouse walls)
Do townhouses have soundproof walls?
The walls between townhouses are not soundproof. If you live in a multi-unit building, you will hear your neighbors when they walk on their floors, use their appliances and even talk on their phones.
How do you know if a townhouse is soundproof?
If you want to know if a townhouse is soundproof, the best way to find out is to ask the neighbors. If they say they don’t hear much noise from their neighbors, then it’s likely that the townhouse has been soundproofed.
Can you soundproof a shared wall?
Yes, it is possible to soundproof a shared wall. The most common way to do this is to use acoustic panels made of wood or other materials and attached to the walls with special screws that help prevent vibration from getting through the wall.