In this blog post, we will talk about “how to soundproof a terraced house”. This post also discusses the need to soundproof a terraced house and what materials and tools you need to do so. Furthermore, we will also give you a comprehensive guide to soundproof a terraced house.
How to Soundproof a Terraced House?
You can easily soundproof a terraced house by following these few essential steps;
- Determine the Noise Source
- Buy the Required Materials
- Get the Right Tools
- Build a Frame for Insulation Material
- Add Insulation Material
- Add Layers of Plasterboard
Steps to Soundproof a Terraced House
Noise is always an issue in a terraced house. Soundproofing a terraced house is a mere necessity if you want to live in peace. Divided by merely 11 inches wall, you can almost hear everything that happens in your neighbor’s house and the same goes for them.
Either it is a modern terraced house or an old Victorian-style one, neighbor’s noise is always an issue. Furthermore, these noise problems get amplified if you reside in a mid-terrace property.
However, there are effective ways to counteract these noises and soundproof your terraced house without investing big money. To do so, we need to first identify the sources of noise in a terraced house.
Determining the Source of Noise
In truth, 90% of the noises you hear in your terraced house comes from your neighbors home. Either it is structure-borne like banging sounds on the walls or airborne sounds like the sound of the TV.
To effectively soundproof your terraced house, you need to first determine the source and type of noise to take the appropriate measures. Neighbors are mostly the culprit but sometimes some other noises may also be the cause of the nuisance. These include;
- Noises due to building structure and design
- Squeaky sounds due to bad floorings or staircase
- Noises from a faulty pipework
- Disturbing sounds of a heating system
In a terraced house, there is nothing much you can do about these sounds as they require technical works. However, what you can do is take the steps necessary to absorb the majority of these sounds.
In this way, you can restrict these sounds from amplifying and causing a major nuisance. Even simple tricks like using a carpet, rug, furniture, and padding can help a great deal.
Getting the Right Materials
To soundproof a terraced house, you would probably need these materials;
- Struts/framing material – To build an insulation material frame
- Insulation Product – Mineral wool, fiberglass, or spray foam
- Green Glue Soundproofing Sealant – Noise-blocking adhesive
- Plasterboards – To hold the soundproofing material
- Screws – To tighten the plasterboard
Getting the Right Tools
You would also need some basic tools to get the soundproofing job done. Remember safety comes first and always to wear safety gadgets.
- A caulk gun to apply green glue sealant
- Rock knife
- Ruler and Masking Tape
- Face Mask, Glasses, and Gloves
Steps to Soundproof Terraced House Wall
To soundproof a terraced house wall, you need to follow this simple three steps guide;
Build A Frame for Insulation Material
- Use wooden poles/struts to build an insulation material frame
- Leave a little gap between the frame and wall
- Use duck/masking tape to protect the flooring
- Place the frame and align it with ceilings and marginal walls
- Glue or screw the lateral sides to fix the frame
Add Insulation Material
- Cut the insulation material or spray foam in the desired size
- Add insulation material to the frame
- You can use fiberglass, spray foam, or mineral wool
Add Layers of Plasterboard
- Cut the desired size plasterboard to cover the wall
- Add plasterboard layer to the wooden frame with screws
- Seal the gaps using green glue sealant
- Let the sealant dry for 24 hours
- Cut and install the second plasterboard layer
- Screw the two plasterboards
- Seal any remaining gaps with green glue sealant
Comprehensive Guide to Soundproof a Terraced House
We just discussed a simple way to soundproof a terraced house wall to protect your home from noisy neighbors. This may work for some but it isn’t a complete solution for others.
If your neighbors are too noisy, you need to do more than just insulate the walls. Let’s discuss in detail some other ways to soundproof your terraced house.
Soundproofing the Door
The exterior door doesn’t just allow you to enter your terraced house but it also lets a lot of noise in. The standard hollow core doors are ill-prepared to protect our terraced house from unwanted noise.
To reinforce these doors and make them soundproof, you need to do two things; Seal the gaps and add mass.
Seal the Holes & Gaps in the Door
There are three main gaps in a door, two on the sides and one at the bottom. These gaps let in a lot of noise and waste all the efforts and money you spent on soundproofing your home.
That’s why the very first thing you must do is seal the gaps in the door. Simple and cheap materials such as weatherstripping tape can be used to effectively seal the door gaps.
This simple trick not only provides sound insulation but also provides thermal insulation. For the bottom, you can use door sweeps. These are excellent sound blockers and simple to use and install.
Add Mass to the Door
Now you have done all the preliminary things needed to soundproof your door the right way. The next step is to add mass and thickness to the door. There are many cool and effective ways to do so and you can choose the one that suits you and your budget the best;
Use Soundproof Panels
Soundproof panels work much better than standard foam panels. They can be hung on the door with strips, screwed to the door, or glued with a spray adhesive.
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Fix a sheet of MLV to the door with the help of screws. MLV sheet is good against preventing sounds but is not aesthetically-pleasing. You would need to cover it up with a fabric.
Install A Wooden Panel
You can also try installing a thick plywood panel to the door. This improves the thickness and makes the door soundproof.
Moving Curtains or Blankets
You can also try hanging curtains on the door or use moving blankets. With multiple layers of fabric, they are highly effective in blocking airborne sounds.
Soundproofing the Floors
There are a lot of ways you can soundproof the floor and the need to insulate depends on the intensity of the sound. Sometimes, simple tricks like placing wool rugs or carpets do the trick. Other times, you would need something more proper like floor underlays.
You can also use a layer of green glue sealant compound between the flooring and underlay to enhance its soundproofing characteristics. Using the decoupling technique, these solutions help minimize the noise.
Soundproofing the Windows
Terraced house windows are poor in insulating sounds. Built with relatively thin glass panels, they are inadequate to soundproof a home.
What you can do is seal the cracks and holes in the window and surrounding frame. You can try the same tricks that you used for sealing the cracks on doors. Weatherstripping tape is equally effective for sealing the gaps on windows as well.
Additionally, you can add another layer of sound insulation in the form of sound-blocking curtains. These curtains are highly effective, simple, and aesthetically-pleasing.
Buy A White Noise Machine
You can also try buying a Sound Dohm. It is a simple machine that produces white noise. Do you know there are two kinds of noises; Good noises and bad noises.
The goal of a white noise machine is to override the annoying sounds with a more relaxing and soothing one. These are highly common and used in nurseries and baby’s rooms.
Some people find it easy to relax with a white noise machine and it’s a cool little trick you can try to soundproof a terraced house.
Important Things To Remember
It is important to remember that you can’t just eliminate all the noises and the goal is to dampen these sounds. Every little element aids in the process and helps control the indoor ambiance.
For instance, carpets and rugs are incredibly effective in absorbing sounds. While they don’t provide any sort of insulation but they do offer good sound absorption.
Similarly, sealing the holes, cracks, and crevices around the home hold pivotal importance. About 50% of noise can come through 1% of uncovered space. That’s why it is important to cover every 1% to soundproof your terraced house.
Additionally, it is important to focus on little sounds and control them. For instance, leaving your refrigerator on the hardwood floor is a bad decision.
What you can do is add a mat in between to decouple the two. In this way, the vibrations from the fridge won’t be amplified by the hardwood flooring.
In this blog post, we talked about how to soundproof a terraced house. This post also discussed the need to soundproof a terraced house and what materials and tools we need to do so. Furthermore, we also gave you a comprehensive guide to soundproof a terraced house.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof a Terraced House?
Can I soundproof my terraced house?
Yes, you can soundproof your terraced house. Soundproofing is the best way to control noise pollution and reduce disturbance in your terraced house. You can add layers of walls or soundproof plasterboards to soundproof your terraced house.
How much does it cost to soundproof a house in the UK?
The average price for soundproofing a room in the UK is around £689. This is the price for a standard 16-meter square room. The acoustic board and necessary mastic are included in this price.
Why are terraced houses bad?
Terraced houses are bad as they are basically out in the open. Outdoors noises create a lot of disturbance in terraced houses. Many people find it hard to settle in terraced houses due to these disturbances while others find a way to do so.
How thick are the walls between terraced houses?
Normally, the shared walls in a terraced house are around 225 mm thick or merely 9 inches. Add plasterwork on both sides and these walls get sound 11 inches or 275 mm.
How do I make my terraced house private?
- Create a personal outdoor paradise
- Make the best use of mirrors
- Use bamboos and grass
- Add decorative touches
- Add lollipop trees