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Sound deadening and sound proofing questions

Posted by Janean on January 25th, 2003 06:51 PM

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Help! How can you dampen sound reverberation and 'soundproof' outer noise when the walls are already up and painted, the floors are hardwood, and the furniture is wood??

Post-renovation, we have two baaad sound problems:
1) Terrible reverberation, all sounds are incredibly bright.
2) Sound travels easily from room to room.

Covering the walls with another layer of drywall or with any soundboard is not an option. Carpeting is not an option. No thick rugs are going in these rooms.

Some suggest letting a company drill little holes in the uninsulated interior walls and spray in a cellulose insulation, either a fiber or an expanding liquid, then cover the holes with our molding. But nobody can tell me if that actually works. Meanwhile, "Soundproofing experts" trying to sell their sheets of material say the cellulose sags down over time, and is too porous anyway to work. What's the truth? Would that help with either blocking sound or the reverb?

Here's our situation...

Our first child is due in May, and we decided to (you guessed it) remodel our 1907 house. We tore out the lathe & plaster ceiling and walls of our bedrooms, removing the shredded newspaper mess masquerading as insulation. We replacing it with a layer of 1/2 drywall screwed directly to the wood studs (pretty standard). No interior insulation added. We covered over the old wood (fir) floor with a beautiful new oak floor, with an excellent hard finish on it. The only thing left on the original plan is moldings and doors.

It shows up the worst in our future nursery, an 8x10 room which shares walls with the stairs, the front entryway, and the bathroom. The sound comes through the walls, then bounces around, speeds down the hallway and disperses through the main bedroom.

Looking around at websites, I've found a few ideas. Has anybody tried these? How effective would they be?

- Acoustic foam on the underneath surfaces of our hard furniture (the crib, the chest of drawers, the seat of the rocker, perhaps the bookcase)
- Attach a board of Homosote to the back of the tall bookcase and attach that to the wall where sound comes in
- Thick cushions on the wood rocker
- Heavy drapes on the one window
- Put a crib quilt up as a wallhanging

Thanks for any help you can give....

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