Do we need to soundproof the chimney breast and the alcoves?
We are asked the most at Noisestop Systems: do we have to soundproof the chimney breast and the alcove areas? The quickest and simplest answer is normally no, you don’t have to soundproof the chimney breast and the alcoves. In most cases, you will only need to soundproof the alcoves on either side of the chimney breast.
You don’t normally have to soundproof the chimney breast because they have more bricks and a greater mass that forms the chimney breast. The alcoves at the side of the chimney are usually the weak spot for transferring sound between properties.
Another reason for sound passing through the alcove areas is to do with the position of people; TV’s, radios and any other devices that are normally amplified. The alcove is a convenient place to have this type of equipment slotted into the alcove out of the way of the rest of the room. The problem is that the sound source is very near the party wall and placed near the weakest point of the wall, the alcove.
Solutions for soundproofing alcoves on a party wall
what are the best solutions for soundproofing the alcoves on your party wall? There are a variety of wall soundproofing solutions that you can install into an alcove. Which one you chose should be determined by the following factors.
- How much sound are you trying to stop?
- How much space can you lose inside the alcove?
The more noise you are trying to stop means the more soundproofing you require. For the best levels of soundproofing, you should use a combination of products. This will ensure you will block higher levels of sound through the alcove. Below are some of our recommended party wall soundproofing kits that you can install inside your alcoves.
If you are tight on space and can not afford to lose very much room inside the alcove, we have a range of thin soundproof panels. You might want to use the alcove as a bookcase or as storage; you will want to retain as much room as possible. By applying the direct to wall soundproofing solutions inside the alcoves, you will reduce mid-level domestic noises through the wall, such as TV noise, but still, use the alcove area.
Soundproofing the chimney breast
We stated earlier in the article that normally, the chimney breast does not require soundproofing. In certain situations, you may need to soundproof the chimney breast. The next-door neighbour may have altered the chimney breast on the other side or completely removed it, which could mean more sound is coming through that area than normal. If that is the case and you need to add soundproofing to the chimney breast, you can use any offered solution.
We would recommend that the best option for soundproofing the breast of the chimney would be to use one of the direct to wall soundproofing options.
Depending on the type of fire you have inside the chimney, you might not be able to fit the soundproofing inside the fireplace. If you have a sealed fire, such as a log burner, you should fit one of the wall panels to the back of the wall. Once the panel is installed, you must board it over with a suitable fire protection board. You should seek advice from a qualified fireplace installer on the right type of panel to use.