Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Noise Walls

I haven't lived in a flat since 1982, two actually for very brief times. Apparently we live in an apartment and not a flat. Apparently there is a difference. In one flat I lived in, (Glenhuntly) I remember hearing the bloke neighbour using the toilet late at night. In the other, I remember the noise of the high heels on a timber floor as the lady of the house prepared to leave to go to work (Elwood).

But in East Malvern, Glen Iris, Burwood and Balaclava, the noise from neighbours was minimal. I expect we caused more with our renovations and dogs.

Here, I could complain about tram noise, car noise, illegally loud motor bikes but as you can see in the photo, there is no reason for complaining about noise from neighbours. It just doesn't happen with 300mm (12 inch) thick walls. Pity the internal walls aren't the same. At times you might feel you are on a film set.


  1. That is why we hesitated to go into an apartment/flat when we retired like a lot of our peers. We were unsure about neighbour noise and lack of space for all our junk and visiting offspring. Hopefully those walls do the trick. My daughter rented a flat near the lake but then she and husband bought one in Latrobe St. Funny thing they haven't lived there as they both got work in England. Nine years later when they returned they bought another one in Sydney , where they live now.

  2. I often think it would be great to live in an apartment, no gardening, my garden takes up so much time, but not yet..maybe later and hopefully with as thick walls as these Andrew.

  3. Well, you could also complain about the noise from the calls of errant Southern Boobooks passing by en route to their mouse and insect hunting grounds!!!

    And you don't have to live in a flat/apartment for noisy high heels - in a previous life I lived in a trendy inner city cottage and heard the same thing from next door!

  4. Diane, not sure about the lake one, but I don't think many of the apartment blocks in Latrobe Street are very good. You really need a three bedroom place for couple, I feel. Two at least if you sleep in the same room. I could write a very long comment, but if you are at all interested in a high rise apartment, feel free to ask. ripppon @ yahoo.com

    PDP, my partner sometimes says, I wish we still had a garden. Well he may, as I was the one who did all the gardening.

  5. Red, nature focus this week is Monarch butterflies. There are a lot of them around. Trendy often means noisy in oh so many ways.

  6. We get the galloping kids on wooden floorboards in the house next door...and the house 2 doors away...and the school opposite.

  7. As you know I live in a flat now, the walls are reasonably thick, being made of cinder blocks, but I still hearthe zombie upstairs using the toilet,(his bladder must be enormous!) and I hear showers running and toilets flushing from the neighbour behind and the one over to the right in spite of the dividing stairwell.I hear doors opening and closing and now that I'm near a road, there's a lot of traffic noise when people are coming home from work. I miss the silence of the old place, but that's the only thing I miss about it.

  8. Anonymous11:00 pm

    I live in a flat but the only time I hear my neighbours is when they open their front doors. Occasionally I'll hear someone going up or down the stairs. I think the local stray cats make more noise! V.

  9. So, are you saying that the difference between flat and apartment is the noise level?
    Which one is noisier?


  10. You make me grateful for my little house with space on all sides. I never ever hear a neighbor when they are inside and only occasionally hear them outside. For this, I am extremely grateful. I lived in apartments most of my life, some good and some not with regard to hearing showers and things.

  11. I live in a block of six ground floor units and its that quiet you can hear a pin drop most of the time even though the Calder Freeway is a stones throw away, i'm lucky i've no trouble with noisy neighbours at all :-).

  12. My building is very quiet. Occasionally I hear a door close but very little else.

    There are three units on each floor but the design of the building means there are no common walls between the units.

    I don't hear sounds from the above or below units but I do get some traffic noise from the street below when my windows are open but that noise is not distracting to me.

  13. Anonymous10:02 am

    Yes there is a lot to be said for twelve inch concrete dividing walls, and being on top floor.

    Only noise I hear is when neighbours are using outdoor pool during summer with the smell of bbq's wafting up from below. Noice. Then there is also the joy of watching those near naked male bodies swimming and sunbaking.

    Ah life is wonderful.

  14. Jayne, floorboards can really be bad for noise.

    River, they are the sounds of life, of people living and breathing. How is that for putting a good spin on it?

    V, I should think no shoes indoors would help too.

    Immmigayrant, there is not really a technical definition. Cheaper tends to be called a flat, more expensive and apartment. So, probably an apartment would be more quiet.

    Rubye, I don't think it is too hard to make places reasonably sound proof. It just needs to be well designed and thought go into the construction.

    Windsmoke, and the average age of resident's is?

    Victor, that is a good design to not have common walls. Sounds like a quality block...when it was built :-P

    Sounds perfect Anon.