Ever lay awake at night listening to your neighbours? You are not alone! Research has found almost half of us feel that our home life is spoilt by noise. It has also been identified as a particular concern in new build homes. With this in mind we spoke to Paul Howard, an acoustic expert at British Gypsum about how you can reduce the chance of problems.

Whilst noise can seem less serious than some of the structural problems you can encounter, it is one of the most complained about issues. Noise can seriously reduce the enjoyment of a new home, causing headaches not only for the homeowner but also the developer!

How do you reduce noise problems?

  1. Design – The first option should be to design out noise problems wherever possible by using a good room layout. Try not to position noise generating spaces next to noise sensitive spaces
  2. Specification - If you cannot avoid an acoustic conflict then consider upgrading the building fabric. Upgrading your walls and floors can significantly enhance the acoustic environment within your home.

Before considering design or specification changes you need to identify potential problem areas. Some potential issues are highlighted in the layouts below;


Upgrades (pink);

  • Wall between Utility and Lounge – potential for appliance noise to break through into the lounge
  • Wall between WC and  the family area

Potential issue (yellow);

  • How is the study area going to be used will noise from lounge disturb? If yes then consider upgrade


Upgrades (pink);

  • Walls directly separating adjacent bedrooms
  • Bedrooms backing onto bathrooms (non en-suite)

Potential issue (yellow);

  • Shared en-suite potential for noise disturbance
  • Consider different layout

Where design changes are not practicable you can reduce the chance of noise issues by upgrading walls and floors.

Enhanced Internal Walls

  • A simple way of enhancing your walls is to upgrade to our Silent Wall solution which comprises 70mm metal stud, a double layer of 15mm Gyproc SoundBloc and Isover acoustic insulation
  • This improvement is worth considering in any situation where you have a noise sensitive room next to a noise generating room
  • With walls you always need to consider the location and performance of your doors as this can compromise any improvement
  • Flanking paths and electrical socket design also need to be considered
  • This wall provides a significant 15dB improvement over the regs requirement.

Enhanced Internal Floors



  • British Gypsum always recommend upgrading your internal floors (unless you live on your own)
  • Floors typically separate noise sensitive areas (bedrooms) from potentially noisy living spaces (kitchens, lounge)
  • There are numerous ways to enhance your floor specification
  • Our Silent Floor solution for timber floors simply adds a Gypframe RB1 Resilient Bar which y decouples the  heavy ceiling from the floor joists. The heavy ceiling is created with two layers of 15mm Gyproc SoundBloc and Isover acoustic insulation is added to the floor cavity.

This solution again  provides a significant 15dB improvement over the regs requirement

In conclusion….

  • When designing a new home or home improvement think about sound as part of your design.
  • New build solutions are much cheaper and less disruptive than having to retrofit a solution when you find you have a problem.

This blog is a guest blog prepared by British Gypsum, for further information please visit


Please Note: Every care was taken to ensure the information in this article was correct at the time of publication. Any written guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant Building Regulations or applicable technical standards. However, for the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your Risk Management Surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty technical manual.


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