Re: How to soundproof ... floors/ceilings
From: Tim Mensch (
Date: Tue, 29 Jan 2008 09:22:12 -0800 (PST)
"Michael Black" <mblack [at]> said:
At Yulupa Cohousing we used 2 separate 2x4 walls separated with 1" min. of
air space.   . . . . . .  This system is supposed to offer
better sound control than masonry  . . . .
Michael Barrett wrote:
Interesting since this is contrary to my experience living with both kinds. While I have been unable to find any published numbers to support (or deny) my experience but there is some data at
Actually that PDF has a great example comparing staggered stud construction and double stud construction (the latter being the one Michael Black described above), and it said that double stud adds another 3-5dB of isolation on top of the staggered stud design, both of which being better than masonry, assuming I'm reading the numbers correctly:

8" cinder block:  STC of 43 (higher is better)
Double Stud/standard gypsum: STC of 51-58, depending on spacing and stud type
Double Stud/Double gypsum: STC of 66-80, depending on gypsum type

It doesn't say what happens if you start with cinder block and add layers of gypsum on top, though. Also, your perceptual difference may have been due to particular sound frequencies being blocked better by one kind of wall construction or another, since the STC number above is a curve-fitted average across all audible frequencies. Or it may have been that the neighbors had great tapestries that deadened the sounds from within their units... :)


Tim Mensch

Currently at Wild Sage (Boulder, CO):

Founding member of Tumblerock, a Boulder, CO area community in its forming 

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