Soundproofing Between Offices

4 Replies

I 'office hack' (if there is such a thing). I lease an office suite, use one of the offices for my business, and sub-lease the other three. My current tenants are all personal coaches/counselors; solo practitioners with businesses unrelated to one another. They all pay the rent on time and take a turn vacuuming the common areas, so I am happy with them.  I hope they all renew their leases when it is time. 

The walls between the offices within the suite only go to the top of the suspended ceiling. Above that is about 30 inches of space for pipes, wires, ducting, etc. When the counselor in the office next to mine is with a client I can hear them talking. I usually can't make out what is said, but it's a problem. The tenant has told me when I am on the phone or with a client it can be disruptive when she is with a client.

I am sure the sound is going through the suspended ceiling space. How can I (cheaply) soundproof between offices? I am handy, but it isn't practical to extend the walls to the hard ceiling (my first thought). There's just too much 'stuff' up there in the way. A local contractor wants $3,500 to just do my office. I'd prefer something that costs less and makes things better for everyone.

Ideas?

wonder if any of these would work

https://acousticalsolutions.com/product-category/sound-barriers/absorber-barrier-combination/

@Paul Allen

While you won't be able to achieve full "soundproofing" without building a room within a room and completely decoupling the separate offices from each other, sound dampening the walls would likely help a lot. If existing sheetrock can be replaced (or supplemented with) a product like Quiet Rock (sound dampened sheet rock) or Green Glue (sound dampening material that goes between sheet rock / drywall layers) I think you would get a significant reduction in conversations being heard in adjacent rooms. The ceiling likely does transfer a good amount of sound too and it might be a little more difficult to address if it is the typical square cross-section ceiling tiles. The amount of weight the drop ceiling can support in it's current state might be a limitation. I'm not sure how feasible it would be to extend the walls up higher vs finding a way to deaden the actual drop ceiling surface.

You could start with the walls and go from there. In any case, it's probably going to be quite an expense. I've looked into it for live music and recording purposes.

If you do figure out workable situation, let me know. Our offices could use a little more isolation too.

what about the more heavy duty white noise machines?

https://speechprivacysystems.com/product/sonet-individual-white-noise-system/

6" insulation blanket above the ceiling grid between the offices.  This is common practice in office TI's. Check with the Landlord for the exact product they would prefer to use. 

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