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My My room is right next to the staircase and basically I have two neighbours that does a lot a noise, the ones right next to me and under me, the noise doesn't go through the floor but by the staircase/hallway and then straight through the walls see diagram :

my flat

I saw a few things like using rockwool etc but they all require construction and I rent this flat so I can't do any hard work on it. Is there anything I can do to soundproof these walls that doesn't costs a ton and that can be placed and then removed when I leave ?

I don't mind if it's ugly I'd rather sleep in an ugly room than stay awake all night in a pretty one

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Update: with all the concerns you can also use what is called Mass Loaded Vinyl which is normally used in a non abrasive method which is good for places such as rentals, flats, homes etc.

Mass Loaded Vinyl is used to reduce airborne sound transmission through walls, floors and ceilings. They are typically comprised of a limp-mass material sound barrier made of high-temperature fused vinyl and no lead fillers. With a typical weight of 1 lb. per square foot, these barriers are as heavy as lead, but only 1/8" thick. This improves the sound transmission loss (STC) of a construction assembly without losing valuable space. It may be used in new and retrofit soundproofing construction. The standard offering is a non-reinforced barrier for use in typical construction. Other configurations include lag and wrap materials for pipes and ducting, a transparent version to allow line of site or light, a surface mount option and a reinforced version that may be suspended. These materials are often combined with other materials in soundproofing applications to help provide a complete sound blocking solution.

You can check it out here. I am in no way affiliated with acoustical solutions.

https://acousticalsolutions.com/product-category/sound-barriers/mass-loaded-vinyl/

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You can use soundproofing foam, this is how we soundproof recording studios or if you want something cheaper, you can use egg crate flats. Each will require at least some glue.

foam

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egg crate flats

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    I agree with the foam but not the flats, My son in law stapled this type of foam up so his band could practice at night without complaints. 4 staples in each section held the foam in place and was easy to remove when they moved. There were the small staple holes that a quick coat of paint covered all the holes because they were so small. He was able to reuse the foam when he purchased a home and since the staples worked so well he stapled them up again instead of glue. – Ed Beal Dec 9 '16 at 14:16
  • thanks norcal johnny, side question, these are used to prevent the sound from going out of the room for example if we play an instrument inside, would this work better if the spikes are facing towards the room or the wall ? Since the noise comes from outside – drov Dec 9 '16 at 14:24
  • @EdBeal good point about the staples, quite early here for my brain to be fully functional :) The egg flats is one of a cheap way that we used as sound proofing our recording studio when we were younger in the mid 80s, low on cash and I dont think the foam existed then..? – norcal johnny Dec 9 '16 at 14:30
  • @drov I can not say if it makes a difference but the way they are shaped in the examples photos, I believe you can only face it towards you . They do have flat foam but at that point, this way that way makes no difference at all. So I would think. – norcal johnny Dec 9 '16 at 14:32
  • Major fire hazard - google "station nightclub fire" for an example. -1 – Ecnerwal Dec 9 '16 at 15:24
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Purchase or make bookcases. Cover the problem walls with them. Fill them with books (free ones work just as well as expensive ones, and are not terribly hard to find. Old phone books, readers digest condensed books, outdated encyclopedias, etc.) - if you like, space them out a little bit from the walls, and fill in between the bookcases and the walls with rockwool.`Put a trim board over the gap at each end to keep it tidy.

  • This is probably only likely to work if the bookcase 1) covers nearly the entire wall, and 2) is fastened or held tightly to the wall. Otherwise sound will reverberate around the solid structure at nearly the original volume. It's not a bad approach, but those caveats are critical. – isherwood Dec 9 '16 at 15:40
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Since the goal is to block sound, absorbing it (like in a music studio) is not a requirement.

Block air gaps between your room and the source of the sound. Stuff to check for between your room and the sound source would be like gaps under doors, outlets, etc. You can tape air gaps or fill gaps with a towel or something.

If your house uses forced air for heating and/or cooling, you will need to make sure sound is not leaking from those vents too.

Then use large amounts of mass spaced with air gaps between the layers to block the sound, for example you can loosely stack multiple layers of cementboard or heavy gypsum board against the existing wall. You will need to make sure the entire wall is covered though.

Making a sandbag wall will also work very well for this.

This is likely the most fire resistant, cheapest, and ugliest solution too.

Another super ugly but effective solution is just stack rock wool from floor to ceiling until the entire wall is covered. Though this will not be cheap.

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