Sound Proofing?

3 Dec 2008
Reaction score
United Kingdom
Have moved into a new flat and am now experiencing the joys of a "New Build". The sound proofing is useless. Although it is meant to be "up to standards" - so the standards are rubbish - anyway - what are my options to solve this? I have one room that is bad as that is adjacent to the next flats lounge. It's a small flat and so dont really want to add boards to the wall. I was thinking - is there some kind of Foam/stuff that can be injectedinto the cavity between my wafer thin wall and their wafer thin wall?

Sponsored Links
When you say new build how new is it ? Sound problems on a new build would suggest to me poor workmanship in some way, actual current regs on sound are quite strict so your new build should be ok and would have been tested or the construction method used approved. ie wafer thin walls should not have been used ?
well when i aske dthe developer they said that it was "in compliance with regulations and was signed off"....

reallys annoys me
If it's as bad as you say, I would advise an independant survey; someone may have pulled a fast one!
Sponsored Links
Hi sorry to hear of your trouble, I know how irritating noises can be...

I've done a bit of sound proofing in my house and spent a bit of time researching it.

Your new build will have had to comply with Part E regulations - the pdf doc in online (google it). From what i remember the 'compliance' is more about building to a certain 'standard' and i think in only around 10-20% of cases the actually installation is tested. From memory I think the regs call for around 45 dB reduction from a party wall, and this should have been satisfied by the developer with the appropriate methods, although I wouldnt be surprised if things have been short cutted!

You have a few options.

1. Pursue the developer and try and get them to fix it. You would have to demonstrate that the regs were not complied with to get him to do anything here - ie some form of testing, or if the show that the wall hasnt got the right standard here.

2. Upgrade the soundproofing yourself.
The following may sound obvious but anyway its worth remembering that the best reduction in sound will come from the source - if your neighbours have little in the way of acoustic damping, ie little furniture, laminate floors etc, then the noise they generate doesnt get damped at source (think bathroom acoustics).

Upgrade wise there are a number of options - I assume that your adjoining walls are plasterboard studs - there should be the approriate sound insulation in there - you say that it is a cavity (just re read) which is probably where you can get the most help here. I am surprised that there is no insulation there!

1. Upgrade insulation with acoustic mineral wool, then fit 1 or 2 layers of acoustic plasterboard with staggard joins (this is heaver than normal stuff)

2. Upgrade with insulation and resilent bar system. - These bars effectively decouple your wall from the stud to help prevent the transfer of sound.

On the websites below I think they give you an idea of the amount of dB you can get for each solution. IRC standard 12mm plastboard stud only offers around 20-25 dB reduction, which is f all.

In anycase, to stop sound you need mass. Foam will not help. There are a number of firms that could advise better than me, as i effectly got my knowledge from google and others! But is sounds as if a mineral wool and plasterboard upgrade would probably help.

hope this helps,

As Andy writes mass is the only real solution for noise, and several tonnes
of concrete will do the trick.
As I understand it, the Government have not hung anyone a Tyburn recently for not building to standard and the local councils test the first building and if it fails do nothing, where they should have it pulled down and rebuilt until it is right.
Start by checking when it was built and what regulations were in force when it was designed and who designed it and who built it.
At that point you have some idea what should have been.
Talk to the people next door ask them how much noise they get from you.
Buy a noise meter from Maplin and record the noise levels to get some idea of the real noise level as against the percived level.
How many flats are in the block? Dont quote me on this but im pretty sure they test one flat and assume the system works so carry on, thats not to say that short cuts are not taken and believe me they are. Same with the whole block the building inspector treats it as one house so checks entrance and exits are upto scratch. I had an accident a few years back where i fell through a floor that wasnt done correctly and was lucky to know the nhbc inspector who inspected them and he told me each flat is not inspected just the block.

DIYnot Local

Staff member

If you need to find a tradesperson to get your job done, please try our local search below, or if you are doing it yourself you can find suppliers local to you.

Select the supplier or trade you require, enter your location to begin your search.

Are you a trade or supplier? You can create your listing free at DIYnot Local