I'm hoping someone might have a suggestion about the best way to soundproof my bedroom wall that is adjacent to my neighbor's living room. It is an apartment that I own in a coop building in NYC that was built in the 1950s.

I am pretty sensitive to noise when I'm trying to get to sleep and my new neighbor seems to keep late hours. I can hear his T.V. and chatter through my wall and it's pretty much driving me nuts. I understand that the noise won't be 100% gone. The walls are actually pretty decent in this building. My head is nearest to that wall when I'm in my bed.

I am having a contractor come in to do some renovations to my apartment so I thought this might be a good opportunity to have him do some soundproofing as well. I've read some mixed reviews on this, but in my research, Quietrock and Green Glue seem to come up quite frequently.

I was thinking that I would have the contractor put up 5/8" Quietrock over this existing wall with green glue between. The wall isn't terribly large so I don't mind spending $60 ea for about 4 or 5 sheets of Quietrock. I thought using both of these materials over the existing wall (which is painted - not sure if that makes a difference) might be a double whammy against the noise coming from his apartment.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this idea or is there something that might work better? I'm open to other solutions, but I don't want to spend crazy money on labor.

Anything suggestions on this?

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    Is this rented apartment or an owner occupy apartment? The answer to that will likely have a big impact on what you can and cannot do to modify the place.
    – Michael Karas
    Nov 2, 2013 at 14:01
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    Even if the modifications were 100% effective (impossible), if the flanking paths are not addressed, you will still get audible sound coming through. Do what you can to reduce transmission, but you may still need a white noise generator or some such to mask the remaining sound. It may be worth trying white noise alone to see if it helps and doesn't make you crazy in of itself.
    – bcworkz
    Nov 2, 2013 at 16:26
  • "Is this rented apartment or an owner occupy apartment? The answer to that will likely have a big impact on what you can and cannot do to modify the place" I own this apartment. It's a co-op. Thanks Michael
    – Kubert
    Nov 2, 2013 at 20:32
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    Sheet lead sandwiched between felt. Dense materials between vibration dampeners. There must be an absorption layer between the wallboard materials or you end up with a dual cone speaker with air spring coupling. Both will vibrate. Nov 2, 2013 at 21:18
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    @Kubert: Flanking paths are routes that sound waves take to sneak around your soundproof barriers. If you put QuietRock on the existing wall, sound can still flank around the sides or top and bottom of the wall. Normal TV volume or voices are typically not strong enough to flank to any bothersome/noticeable degree, so putting up QuietRock may be sufficient to block direct transmission. Now if you're talking about a loud home theater on the other side, flanking is going to be a serious issue. If you use QR, try the EasySnap. If drywall/GG, use 1/2" type-x. QR+GG is most likely overkill. Nov 3, 2013 at 8:23

3 Answers 3


You don't need both quiet rock and green glue, they should be seen as alternatives. Also you're going for higher frequency noise: footfall or low frequency noise would be a different answer.

I'd do this: identify and mark stud locations, have a contractor drill holes and dense pack insulation into the wall (see video), patch the holes, find your marks then green glue and screw 5/8" drywall and be done with it. No framing needed.

But your next problem is likely flanking: sound coming through the floor, heating ducts, over the top plate of the wall, out and back in a window, etc. You'll likely still hear that TV without some pretty detailed work to find all the paths.

  • Thanks so much. I'm not all that worried about the ceiling... they are concrete. I can hear people upstairs sometimes if they drop something, but otherwise, it's really ok. The only other thing would be the electrical outlets which I believe can be covered with some kind of substance.
    – Kubert
    Nov 3, 2013 at 21:38
  • So basically what you're saying is that it would be best to remove the sheet rock (I assume that's what it is), place this cellulose insulation inside and then cover it back up with drywall or maybe quietrock? I'm not sure where the green glue would be going in this situation. I was hoping to be able to just tack something on top of the wall so there will be minimum labor involved and cost, but i will see how much he will charge me for something like this. Thanks!
    – Kubert
    Nov 3, 2013 at 21:44
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    In a condo/apartment with shared walls, you may be limited on what you can do inside a common wall. E.g. I've built homes with a 1" air-gap between two walls for fire safety and noise reduction, and it's very important that you don't bridge that gap. Drywall will often be 5/8" type X for the fire rating, and any holes need to be filled with something equivalent.
    – BMitch
    Jan 5, 2014 at 13:51
  • The dense pack is a drill and blow operation with the existing drywall in place. As @BMitch notes, this may not apply or be allowed in your case.
    – Bryce
    Jan 6, 2014 at 8:40

I had occasion to set up a temporary sound booth in a condo bedroom for a non-profit with limited finances. I admired the sound dampening foam but had to reject it as it would have cost thousands of dollars. sound dampening foam closeup

Instead, we got great results by spending about $60 at a Goodwill store for a dozen heavy comforters and blankets and hanging them from the walls of the room and over a wood frame booth. The look was decidedly shabby, but it completely removed all but the loudest noises of the neighbors, a heat pump, and most boat traffic (a riverfront condo).

Especially if you like the look, obtain heavy curtains and hang those on the wall, floor to ceiling. I just found this technique is endorsed by a recording studio enthusiast. There is a company which makes heavy curtains specifically as an affordable sound isolation measure. enter image description here

  • Interesting idea. I was actually thinking that I would get the quiet rock or some other system and still have issues. In that case, I was considering purchasing these foam like sound proof panels and use them as a headboard. The noise does actually come through the wall. it's not like I'm hearing it from the outlets. So something like the curtain or this foam headboard idea could dampen the area next to my head in order to further reduce the noise. But I'm certainly no expert. Thanks!
    – Kubert
    Nov 3, 2013 at 21:48

if you go with the goodwill comforters, or pour the batting in, the poster meant that you locate the vertical studs in the wall. ayou or pay the insulation guy to make holes at the top of the wall between the studs. i am not sire of the size the persons that pumps in the insulating material would know exactly what size hole . it may be 6 inches. You do not pull the existing walls off. The insulator guy or gal, puts a hose in and fills the space with whatever you agree upon. it settles to th bottom and when it hits the top, put the piece you cut back in, or they mat sat wait 2 weeks and see how far it settled, it mat need a 2nd fill, You can then use the drapes over the comforters,old. moving blanket are cheap, maybe fins some cheap fire retardant material. Make sure you check any used blankets for bed bug infestations, or just put them in a device that will raise the TEmp above 165 i think. That will kill all including the eggs, if all area are penetrated. A car parked in the sun with the blankets spread out in the summer would work, you may ave to do one or two at a time. when that is all done, Ikea has these great sliding panels that attack to the ceiling and reach the floor They are used as room dividers or privacy area, or to cover a wall. The colors and fabrics are really nice looking, and best of all they are cheap~~~ so they will cover anythng up.

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    Thanks for your contribution. Can you clean up your writing a bit? It's a little distracting to read with the overlooked grammar and capitalization. There's some good info here.
    – Edwin
    Jan 2, 2014 at 8:29

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