I'm currently renting an apartment in a very old building and have a lot of trouble sleeping because of the noise. My apartment is underneath the main entry way; and people come in and out of the building at all hours of the night. I also have neighbours directly above me and hear a lot of noise from them as well.
I've spent some time collecting data with a cheap analogue sound meter.
- General noise from above - 60dB
- Loudest bangs from above - 70dB
- Foot traffic from hallway - 75dB
- Loudest door slam from hallway - 80dB
I don't have any problems with subwoofers or loud music being played. I do know that low frequencies are harder to block out, but I believe most of the banging noises I hear would be low frequency.
I've been doing research on sound-proofing options available to me. Aside from the noise, the place is perfect and I'll be in this general area for at least another 4-5 years (so I'm willing to invest some time and effort). My landlord does not care what I do, so long as I can 'undo' it when I leave.
I'm considering constructing a large 9-foot x 11 foot 'room-within-a-room' to become my bedroom; but I'm questioning what level of sound-reduction I can expect?
My budget is around ~1000USD / ~800EUR (for the construction; I'll worry about disposal later).
- Ground floor (carpet over concrete)
- Three neighbours - above, left and right (I never hear anyone except the neighbours above)
I'm open to suggestion here - but this is what I had in mind. I'll frame the room with 2x4s - using staggered stud construction (including the ceiling). I was debating skipping the floor; but I'm not sure about that. Then 5/8ths" drywall for the outside walls/inside walls and filled with insulation. I'll include a door (a heavy external/outside door).
If that's not quiet enough - I figured I could apply an adhesive like
Green Glue and another layer of drywall on the inside of the room.
I also have a lot of acoustic foam. I don't think it will be very effective with this frequency range - but I intended to throw it on the roof of my 'box'.
I was hoping to avoid taping/sanding the drywall; so my plan was to fill the joints/corners with acoustic caulk. I'm also worried about ventilation (since I intend to sleep in here).
This is a scale model of my apartment (where the green room is the to be the sound-proof room)
I've been reading about soundproofing and things like STC level (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_transmission_class). But I've also read the STC level does not indicate low-frequency performance well. My room might achieve STC level 60; but I might might only get a 20dB reduction in low frequency banging. I don't want to do all this work and spend all this money if I'm still going to have loud noises I can hear. This chart illustrates what I'm talking about
I'm not sure if I understand how dbs work; so maybe my math here is wrong...but...I feel like I need a to get the loud 80db door slam down to 30-40db level for this to be worth doing for me. Depending on the frequency of the sound; I think the chart would be able to tell me what I can expect - but I don't know what it would be.
With a $1000 budget - how effectively can I 'block' 80dBs of relatively low-frequency sounds? (IE would I perceive it to be 70db or 50db or 20db?)
And, given my situation what is the best way to do it?