Sound Proofing for Apartments 101

If you live in a multi-family project, such as an apartment building, it can be noisier than a single-family dwelling in the suburbs. It doesn’t matter if the noise comes through old windows, thin walls or a nearby construction, a noisy apartment can be quite uncomfortable to live in. Although you may fail to completely reduce street noise along with other un-wanted sounds in your apartment, you can reduce the decibel level of the sound entering your apartment.

To resolve the issue, homeowners must first detect the most dominant source. Is there a construction site across your street or do you have noisy neighbors? Emphasize on the worst sound offenders and you will know which areas to fix.

Cover Walls : Glass and wood have a strange ability to amplify noise in a room. Sound-absorbing materials, such as cotton and foam, can be added to the surfaces of your walls. But they do not look good aesthetically. Other materials can be decorative fabric or pieces of art that can be used on thin surfaces. Apartments can be made soundproof by covering the walls as much as you can. You can use frames and pictures to adorn the walls of your living area or bedroom. You can also affix tapestries or wall tiles for a contemporary look.

Add Ceiling Baffles and Rugs : Rugs and carpets can be great for blocking unwanted sounds from your neighbors. This is technique is very underrated by most interior designers says Albert from  Not just that, your downstairs neighbor will also appreciate the muffled noises of your hyperactive children or a bouncing pet. High-pile designs are great for minimizing noise to a great level. Ceiling baffles are great substitutes if you are not a rug person. They are available in different shapes and sizes.

Add Bookshelves : A creative and inexpensive way to make your apartment soundproof is to add a large bookshelf in your living area. Heavy-duty book cases with dense books offer brilliant sound insulation. Moreover, you will also leave a good impression on your guests who would love to see your book collection. Bookshelves are also beneficial for adding more storage to a small apartment. But be careful while decorating it as clear surfaces and too many voids will oppose your noise-blocking efforts.

Insulate Your Walls : You can also renovate and insulate your apartment for soundproofing it. Pack insulation between joists or studs. You can also double up on the drywall. It is not surprising to know why musicians loved a few  old New York City constructions that had extra thick and highly insulated walls. The more insulation and drywall your apartment has, the less noisy it becomes. You can also consider blown in insulation, which comprises of loose fibers that are blown into walls via special equipment.

Although there are many DIY kits that help homeowners seal their windows, sometimes eliminating the window works best for blocking outside noise. If you are not afraid to lose the view, shuttering off a window by using a combination of mineral wool/fiberglass and plywood is the safest bet.

Moreover, standard hollow interior doors do little to soundproof an apartment. Replace them with doors that serve as efficient noise blockers. If you don’t intend to replace your doors, increase the mass of the door apart from using a good seal all around the door to yield better results. Make sure there are no gaps or leaks around the seal. Caulking around the outside of your windows also prevents noises from entering your house. But make sure you check your lease or get approval from your landlord before doing any repairs.

Fill up Your Apartment 

Don’t just focus on the walls. An empty room or apartment is noisier than a filled up space. When you know where the most noise is coming from, you can take care of it by placing the furniture strategically in your apartment. Homeowners and interior designers recommend large items, such as bookshelves, armoires and large dressers against walls or hanging sound-absorbing materials, such as macramé, that serve the purpose.

Dropped Ceiling : 

A dropped ceiling refers to a secondary ceiling hung below the main ceiling. It is also popularly known as a false or suspended ceiling. However, this method is time-consuming and expensive ways to soundproof an apartment. However, a few homeowners install a dropped ceiling on their own for as low as $300 to $400, depending on the size of the room.

Final Thoughts 

There are other unconventional methods to soundproof your apartment. There are some specialized white noise machines that mask outside sounds. Adding heavy wool yardage under the tables also helps to counteract bad acoustics.

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