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Old 09-09-2007, 07:54 AM   #1
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Soundproofing help needed!

Hi. I live with roommates and my bedroom is separated from my roommate's with a "pocket door" (a heavy wood door that slides into the wall rather than swinging open).

We have a problem with sound/privacy and if I can't solve it I'll need to move out. As is, I can hear everything he does, including slight sighs.

One major problem is the open gap between the door and the floor. I need to stuff that with some sort of material. Any suggestions?

I also feel like I should look into simply tacking some sort of insulation / soundproofing foam over the door itself. I don't even know where to begin with this type of thing.

I am planning on putting a heavy armoire in front of the door, so that should help some, but I need to take more measures.

I'd love advice.


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Old 09-09-2007, 08:29 AM   #2
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Hi Janis
Welcome to the forums

The better solutions will be harder to find
But the best would be a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl, or MLV

Ideally placed under the sheetrock, it's still more effective than most other products (of similar thickness) when placed over it

Basically, if not that product, you need something similar, a sound barrier
(not a sound absorber)

I know Acoustics First will sell to consumers (non-contractors)
And it says they sell this stuff by the 'linear foot' which means you don't have to buy a roll of it 20 feet long
Might be worth a call to see how much it'd be


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Old 09-09-2007, 08:46 AM   #3
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Know that when your pocket door is closed you have a void (cavity) in the wall that is filled by the door when the door is open. This is working like a drum and a big factor in the noise issue.

I assume this is a rental you are in?

Low impact band aids might be: 1a. Take pocket door slab down / stuff wall cavity with Insulation/ re hang door. 1b. open door and close in opening.

2. Hang furniture pads, cover with material or tapestry (hang a big rug) corner to corner on the offending common wall.

3. ear muffs, head set, or ear plugs

Last edited by Big Bob; 09-09-2007 at 08:50 AM.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:30 AM   #4
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Yes, this is a rental. And I might have to awkwardly break the lease if I can't figure this situation out. I'm kicking myself for not checking into this reality before moving in.

The vinyl stuff sounds interesting but expensive. I do wonder if a heavy tapestry or even some sort of carpet on the wall could help.
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Old 09-09-2007, 10:40 AM   #5
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For a rental I would go with fabric and batting. You can buy new batting (thin comforter stuffing) at a fabric store or just pick up old comforters at garage sales. Hang them over the entire wall then cover with fabric or sheets (cheaper) of your choice. Don't forget to throw down a carpet on your floor and try to get your roommate to do the same.

A side note, if you are going to try to break your lease you will want your noise complaints well documented or you can be liable for your share of the rent after you move out.

Good luck.
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Old 09-09-2007, 11:01 AM   #6
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The landlord is very laid back and cool so I think he might work with me if indeed I have to break the lease.

The problem is that, due to financial strains, my roommates and I are using a 2-BR apartment as a 3-BR apartment (meaning we use the living room as a bedroom). The pocket door in question is between the bedroom and the living room.

I will try some of the cheaper methods you all recommended. Thanks.
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:29 PM   #7
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In conjunction with the fabric on the walls, which you could make look rather nice in three sections (one on each side of the door and one over) folding it over and back every 6 inches. First I'd recommend getting a piece of carpet to fit as snugly as possible (and still open the door) under the door. This is likely the main culpret in the noise propogation. Lets face it no matter how well you noise dampen a room, if you have any hole to the outside it all moot.

Sweet Dreams
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Old 09-10-2007, 01:40 PM   #8
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Well as far as filling in the gap between the floor and the door, I was actually thinking of using some sort of ... insulation material? I found some foam material that can be squeezed in there (it's intended to provide insulation around A.C. units), but it's not dense enough. Does anyone have any products to suggest that might be tighter/harder that I could squeeze underneath?

Also, I don't know how realistic this is, but I have a layer of black plastic stuff that's supposed to go on the bottom of garage doors. I was thinking of tacking that on top of whatever insulation I use.

These are last-ditch efforts of someone who knows nothing about this, so please suggest something better if you can!


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