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Sound isolation for a practice room

john_dikeman

New Member
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28
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Amsterdam
Hello all,

Sorry this is a long, rambling post.

I'm someone that moves around a lot so this has been a recurring issue for me.
I'm about to move to Oostende from Antwerp. In Antwerp I put a lot of time and money into building a well isolated shed and then sticking a used Esmono practice cabin inside. In the end, I had a great practice room where I could practice at 6 am without bothering anyone. (not that I did... I was in there before 8 a couple times though).

So, we sold the apartment in Antwerp to a musician who also bought the Esmono unit in the shed. My plan was to simply use that money to buy another used sound booth from Esmono however the new house is built in 1919 and I don't know if the floor, the third floor, can handle the weight which is approx 1,300 kg. That's on old wood joists which are 6.5 cm X 16 cm and they are spaced 35 cm apart. For a span of 4.3 meters. It has proven more difficult than expected to find a structural engineer to come have a look...

Some photos of the room.

1049644551.JPG 1049644543.JPG

Aside from wondering if the floor can handle the weight, I'm also starting to wonder if it's really necessary. The sound booth doesn't isolate through the floor unless I buy flooring which is extra, and I'll need to do some work to isolate the floor of the house as well anyway. The walls to the left and right are brick and supposedly very solid so I don't need to isolate those, or not so much. One wall faces to the street, so I only have to isolate it if neighbours complain. So the main isolation I need, is just the floor, the wall entering to the house, and the part of the ceiling with a loft bed above it.

So, I'm thinking to isolate the floor between the joists with rockwool or similar, then replace the wood planks with big sheets of particle board or something similar, dense, heavy flooring. Then cover that with thick rubber. Above that I can build a room within a room but possibly skip the wall facing the street? The walls would be sheetrock over a wood frame with rockwool inside then two layers of sheetrock separated by green glue. Would need to install a fire door.

For the outside wall I think the main obvious issue is the window but maybe I can just make a sort of removeable panel i can take on and off. Or some kind of door.

OK, I'm not exactly sure what the question is so much as... what do you think? Any suggestions, things I didn't think about?
 

john_dikeman

New Member
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28
Locality
Amsterdam
Not exactly new! Vintage, actually. I wonder if the acoustics of the house will be better for ballads?

But are you (your family?) sole occupants?
My girlfriend and i. Though the lift bed i mentioned is a guest bedroom we may rent it sometimes.
My girlfriend is very sensitive to noise, btw.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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I wouldn't know about houses in Holland but in the UK a house built then is likely to be a lot stronger and safer than anything built since WW2.
 
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john_dikeman

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28
Locality
Amsterdam
Here's a photo of the floor of the room next door which shows how the joists are placed. Except this one had 2 extra supporting beams installed. ignore them.... IMG_1133.JPG
 

john_dikeman

New Member
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28
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Amsterdam
Ha, if I start with the stories of what we've been through for the sake of dealing with noise.....

But yes, I did buy her some Bose Quiet Comfort headphones.
 

eb424

Senior Member
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2,431
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london
Joists are very small 9" xs 4" here..I would say if you put stronger wood on top it would still only be as strong as the joists . Think new ones can be added for the area you require.
 

David Roach

Senior Member
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736
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London
I was advised by one of the companies who make those sound insulation booths NOT to try and put it on a floor with joists at all, even on the ground floor. They recommend a solid concrete floor to take the weight, so I think you will be taking a huge risk putting a booth on that floor. You will probably be better off using a really heavy noise deadening underlay and maybe laying a nice engineered oak floor on top of the boards that are already there; then, treat the walls with sound panels like the ones the Better Sax guy promotes, and finally, get on well with the neighbours!
 

john_dikeman

New Member
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28
Locality
Amsterdam
I was advised by one of the companies who make those sound insulation booths NOT to try and put it on a floor with joists at all, even on the ground floor. They recommend a solid concrete floor to take the weight, so I think you will be taking a huge risk putting a booth on that floor. You will probably be better off using a really heavy noise deadening underlay and maybe laying a nice engineered oak floor on top of the boards that are already there; then, treat the walls with sound panels like the ones the Better Sax guy promotes, and finally, get on well with the neighbours!
Well, that's sobering.
I think I've finally accepted that myself anyway. So I'm now starting to really think about building this room in a room. I'm still wondering, do I really need to build all four walls or can I get away with skipping the exterior wall? Will the sound just resonate through that exterior wall into the rest of the house? Maybe eh?

I've got a budget of around €5000. Should be doable no?
 

David Roach

Senior Member
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London
Well, that's sobering.
I think I've finally accepted that myself anyway. So I'm now starting to really think about building this room in a room. I'm still wondering, do I really need to build all four walls or can I get away with skipping the exterior wall? Will the sound just resonate through that exterior wall into the rest of the house? Maybe eh?

I've got a budget of around €5000. Should be doable no?
I can't help from that perspective, apart from to say that I was once advised by an acoustics expert that floating a room-within-a-room is very expensive and not necessarily effective, especially concerning bass frequencies.
I do understand however, if you want to practice a lot, especially late at night, that a booth is essential. I hope you find a solution!
 

john_dikeman

New Member
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28
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Amsterdam
I can't help from that perspective, apart from to say that I was once advised by an acoustics expert that floating a room-within-a-room is very expensive and not necessarily effective, especially concerning bass frequencies.
I do understand however, if you want to practice a lot, especially late at night, that a booth is essential. I hope you find a solution!
Well, the booth didn't have a floor to begin with, so that problem would remain even with the booth. The booth has the option of buying a "floor" which is particle board of 18MM and you put it inside the unit as a floating floor.

Right now the existing floor in the house has no insulation so I'm planning to fill the gaps between joists with rockwool or something similar. Then use thick particle board for the floor covered with a rubber mat of 20 mm and build the room on top of that. Inside the room I'll probably add a layer or two of more insulation and maybe a basic parquet wood floor as I've got a bunch left over.

I know bass is hard to stop, but this is mostly for me to practice saxophone (though I do play the bass sax...). And directly under me is the bedroom, normally I'm not going to be playing while my girlfriend is sleeping.
 

mizmar

Senior Member
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1,695
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Trondheim, Norway
Isn't they key-word in your original post "shed"? Do you not have any outside/garden/yard space?
Wooden houses are just terribly good at transmitting noise.
 

john_dikeman

New Member
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28
Locality
Amsterdam
Isn't they key-word in your original post "shed"? Do you not have any outside/garden/yard space?
Wooden houses are just terribly good at transmitting noise.
Nope no garden. Hence this post (I'm a master shed builder... ;) ). The floors are wood but the main walls are brick, by the way.
 
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thomsax

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My girlfriend (later wife) used to go to a "filmstudio" (often a French film noir that they also talked about after the had watched the film). She used to be away from home 3-5 hours. Good for me, I could play and learn more Chuck Berry, Larry Williams, John Lee Hooker .... songs.;)
 

john_dikeman

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Amsterdam
By the way, I'm not expecting complete sound isolation, just enough not to annoy my neighbours or girlfriend... Also the house has three floors. A reasonable compromise of her working downstairs in the kitchen while I practice should, in theory, not be a problem.
 

Targa

Among the pigeons
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By the way, I'm not expecting complete sound isolation, just enough not to annoy my neighbours or girlfriend... Also the house has three floors. A reasonable compromise of her working downstairs in the kitchen while I practice should, in theory, not be a problem.
Not until she reads that post and tells you to make your own dinner!
 
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