Controlling noise in adjoined spaces, typical in shared commercial/retail spaces

Another post by a visitor that will be sure to help anyone in shared commercial spaces with noise coming in from adjoined spaces which is a typical situation found in commercial and retail spaces

We are a massage therapy business and need to block the noise coming through the walls and across the drop ceiling from the business next door, which has loud screaming children and music.
Which would be the most effective way to block the noise, on their side of the wall or on our walls? Both sides of ceilings?
We need absoulte quiet for our business.
Any suggestions would be most appreciated!?
Thank you,?

Thanks for your question Kelley, this is a complex noise problem and due to the nature of your business and the business in the shared space, a very important one.
The solutions provided here can be applied to any shared commercial retail or office space from store to store, office to office, or room to room.
The factors for controlling noise we will address are the ceiling ( drop ceiling noise, other ceiling materials ) and wall noise
First, I have to assume that most of the noise comes
Drop ceilings are notorious for allowing noise to travel. They have open space that carries vibrations easily across the open areas above them. Not to mention the grid that connects to all the walls and suspension ties that connect the ceiling to the most often steel rafter ceiling. All these materials allow for a conduit for noise to travel along… both the open space and the construction materials.
Solutions for Ceiling: There are quite a few products that can assist with this. For starters, replace standard drop ceiling tiles with acoustic fiberglass ceiling tiles or melamine acoustic tiles. Ceiling tiles will stop noise transmission through them as well as improve acoustics in the space with their absorbent properties. These also are known to improve the aesthetic look of the space.
Secondly, there are special ceiling tile barriers that can be laid atop the ceiling tiles and grid. These are fiberglass with barrier composite that will block the extra noise traveling through the ceilings. Used in the same manner can be a mass-loaded vinyl barrier that is a heavy “sheet” that is a noise barrier.
Lastly, products like ceiling clouds, or acoustic banners can add a professional look to the space while helping absorb noise. Absorbing the noise before it hits the ceiling will essentially lessen the noise transmitting through the ceiling.
Solutions for Walls:
For walls there are two treatment techniques – each can be used alone or in unison. The first is an option if remodeling or new construction is in progress. The controlling noise barrier can be installed on studs, beneath the sheetrock and is incredibly effective in stopping noise in its tracks from traveling through walls. This can also be affixed to existing sheetrock and another layer of sheet rock installed over it sandwiching the material.
The second option is wall panels. When affixed to walls on the noise source side they will absorb the loud noises softening the noise that hits the walls, therefore, lessening the noise traveling through the walls. The panels will also soften and lower the noise level in the room the noise originates from.
Now that the materials are explained I’ll address your question as to what is the most effective way, your side, their side, both sides, etc.
The best way is to implement it on both sides. Controlling noise barrier between walls is obviously on a shared wall and only needed in one of the rooms, however, using the vinyl sound barrier in a double studded scenario with space between the walls dramatically increases STC ratings ( significantly stops noise transmission ). As for the ceiling treatments, if it is done on the noise source side you’ll have better results because it is containing the noise. But implementation on both sides will only improve results. For example, using better acoustic tiles on the noise source side and using ceiling tile barriers laid atop the “quiet” side would be ideal. Laying ceiling tile barriers on both sides of the ceiling would only decrease noise further.
So for the ultimate results, both sides can benefit from the treatments above. In general, the side originating the noise will benefit more from the absorption materials as they will reduce the noise waves hitting the walls and materials that travel into the quiet space.
All the materials used can be found on our corporate site. But we have a site dedicated to our commercial division site, which has a dedicated selection of products used for commercial and retail spaces.
I hope this helps you decide how to treat this noise problem in your space.