‘When we complete installation, residents in one flat shouldn’t hear foot traffic, conversations, appliances or household mechanicals from the other flat.’

No matter how much town dwellers like living amid all the busyness of town life, no one wants to hear everything going on in a neighbor’s domicile—or to think that they can hear you.

That’s exactly why Ernst Brothers has chosen a premier sound-barrier system to install between the first- and second-floor luxury flats at 127 East State Street in Doylestown, the former Moose Hall.

“Unique to high-end multi-family housing are state-of-the-art systems to minimize the everyday sounds of life from moving through exterior floors and walls to other residences,” says John Chirico, project manager for the two 4000sf residences. “In this way, contractors can preserve the privacy of all who live in a complex, whether it’s two flats or 200.”

Sound, as we know from middle school science class, travels in waves from place to place. Disrupt this wave movement and you isolate the sound. That’s where the layers in the sound-barrier system come into play.

Beneath the flooring in the upper flat—be it carpet and padding, hardwood or tile—will be a layer of ¾-inch AdvanTech®, a composite-wood subflooring that provides superior moisture resistance and a quieter, stiffer floor. The rigid layer means fewer squeaks and creaks from the finished flooring itself and less noise to travel to the flat below.

Above that will be poured-in-place 1 ½-inch Gyp-Crete® underlayment. A mixture of gypsum plaster, Portland cement and sand, Gyp-Crete is used to improve fire ratings, level floors as well as reduce the transmission of sound.

Below all of that is the real high-tech layer: “Three hundred spring isolators distributed across the 4,000sf area between the flats serve as little shock absorbers,” says John. “They ‘isolate’ movement and reduce sound transmission.”


The sound-control construction budget alone for a space of this size can easily run as high as $100,000. Ernst opted to hire an expert—yes, there are sound-control consultants—to make sure that every penny spent yields the results that residents on both sides of the barrier will appreciate.

Because silence is golden, and good fences—or in this case, good sound barriers—make good neighbors.

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