Advice on effective sound removal

Need some advice on effective sound removal. I recently bought a two story SFR that was converted to a duplex (2 garages on 1st floor). I plan to live on the first floor (220 sq ft of living space) and rent the top floor out to save money; however the major concern I have is from noise from the upstairs unit that is currently un-livable for me (the pipes from bathroom, them walking up the stairs which underneath is part of the closet for the bedroom downstairs, and from them walking around in general). I have researched several ideas that I am looking for the right contractor to do, but it would greatly help me if anyone could give me advice on what would be most effective: Cost is an issue, but a price difference of $1k total should be okay as long as the method is that much more effective.

  1. Breaking ceiling drywall and adding cork or insulation and redrywall.

  2. Using green glue and adding second 5/8th drywall to ceiling.

  3. Wrapping the pipes with carpet pads.

  4. Replacing the pipes with cast iron pipes.

  5. Since there are higher than average ceilings on the first floor (except the stairs), adding insulation and then a second drywall in the existing first floor.

Or maybe someone has another idea that I am not aware of? What can I except from these different sound reduction techniques? If there was a sliding scale of effectiveness and cost that would be very helpful. For example something like you should do #3 and #5, 5 would reduce the noise from walking about 50%. The % noise reduction is probably subject to many things, but I’m just trying to get some idea which method would be most effective and a general idea of cost. Thanks so much in advance for any help.

Without knowing your expectations, it would be difficult to prescribe certain antidotes…reducing sound 50% for me may be fine…but for you it could still be bothersome.

With that said, I would address the 2nd floors finished floors first…are they wood, tile, vinyl, carpet etc? Is the substrate fastened securely? What about the floor spans and deflections of same? Insulation…most do not have that great sound reducing properties…at least not the inexpensive ones.

I would suggest you contact a contractor who specializes in this type of work other wise you could wasting $$$$$ on something that may not satisfy you.



Sound is transmitted through framing, so adding thermal insulation doesn’t do much good. You can buy resilient channel that is fastened to the ceiling, and then is drywalled. It forms an acoustic barrier and will help quite a bit. Basically you need to create a barrier that will prevent sound vibrations from being transmitted into your home. Jeff’s advice is good. Consult a specialist.

Try this link…

Have used it in the past and it works really good at deadening the sound.