How good can you isolate an apartment that's right above a very noisy rocker's pub? Could we install a thicker floor, or would the noise go through the walls anyway?

What material would work best here? I am willing to replace the existing floor (which needs replacement anyway).

  • 1
    Move or go and join them. Even if you insulated the floor the noise would propagate through the walls and through the atmosphere... – Solar Mike May 11 '19 at 15:03
  • Hello, and welcome to Home Improvement. Blocking sound across a large existing floor is going to be tough, especially from the top. Could you install materials from the space below? – Daniel Griscom May 11 '19 at 15:13
  • @DanielGriscom: unhappily no. – Pierre B May 11 '19 at 15:57
  • @SolarMike: I'm not living there. Just shopping for a new home. It's a pity because the apartment in question would be a gem, if it were not for the noise. I assume the good price is due to this issue. – Pierre B May 11 '19 at 15:59

While it's possible to improve the situation by doing things to the floor and walls, it's never going to be great. From your comment it looks like you're looking at this apartment as a potential place to live, not as a place you live in already, so my advice is to go someplace else unless you find the current noise level acceptable, and just want advice to improve it.

  • Yes, I'm not living there. – Pierre B May 11 '19 at 17:54

You fix bad acoustics like that, the same way you fix bad access to public transit -- by not moving there. You're ahead of this game, and not the poor sop who missed the noise level because they saw it during the day, or missed the poor transit access because he let the realtor drive him around.

There's simply no way to do it using commonly available materials. Sound is measured in decibels, which is an exponential scale. Every increase of 10db represents 10 TIMES the sound energy. 20db = 100x, 30db = 1000x. That's why your stereo (which gets pretty loud) has a thin little 16ga cord (the smallest legal size), but the big Marshall amp racks at a concert venue have power cables the size of your thumb.

If they have 120db going down in that bar, to get to a sleepable 50db, you're talking about 10,000,000x, and you'd have to dampen 99.99999% of the energy. Not with big springs and vacuum chambers could you do this.

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