You might think that soundproofing your apartment is expensive, or just impossible for you to do yourself. But you’re mistaken.
There are ways to soundproof your home, even if it is a place you’re renting.
Why should you soundproof your apartment? It’s easy to forget about the people living within close proximity to you, but noise made in your living space travels really easily.
Even if you’re not playing loud music or thumping against the floor, you could be making noise that upsets them.
On the other hand, if you live in close proximity to noisy neighbors this can be stressful and impact your quality of life. To deal with it, you’ll need to soundproof your apartment, but it doesn’t have to be complicated.
Here are the top strategies to follow if you’re interested in apartment soundproofing, first looking at temporary solutions followed by more permanent ones.
What To Do If You Want Removable Soundproofing
Whether or not you own your apartment, you want to be sure that whatever strategies you use to soundproof your home can be removed at a later stage if required.
This can sound appealing because it prevents a hassle later down the line if you decide to do something different with your living space.
The benefit of removable soundproofing strategies is that it’s really easy and budget-friendly to create greater apartment soundproofing with them, without the long-term commitment.
Here are some of the best ways to achieve easy soundproofing.
No, we’re not talking about your windows (although hanging one or even two curtains on your windows can reduce sound) but your walls!
If you hang thick fabrics on your apartment walls, this will help to create a barrier between noise and the people living in the next apartment.
Choose curtains that are made with heavy fabrics as this will create greater insulation. You can also focus on curtains in patterns and colors that work with your apartment’s décor scheme.
Absorb Sound Between Rooms With Padding
Sometimes curtains aren’t enough to provide sufficient insulation.
When sound travels, it will bounce off surfaces. Putting soft materials around the room can help to absorb that sound effectively.
What you should do is use fabrics such as foam or cotton to cover furniture, room dividers and even your ceilings. This creates a padding effect that will reduce sound in your living space, which is great if you can’t reduce the sound outside that gets in.
Rearrange Your Furniture
The more things you have between you and your walls, the more you can eliminate sound.
By putting things in clever places, such as hanging paintings on the wall or placing your TV against a wall you share with a neighbor, you can absorb and prevent more sound.
Throw Rugs Onto The Floor
Rugs and carpets aren’t just about absorbing the sound you make when walking across your apartment that could annoy your neighbors.
They’re also a good way to decrease the sound that enters your apartment. Make sure you choose the right kinds of rugs, though, as they’re not all going to absorb sound efficiently. Choose high-pile rugs that are heavy and thick. Again, it’s about creating a padding effect on your floors.
More Permanent Ways To Reduce Noise
Sometimes the quick fixes you attempt to reduce noise in your apartment are just temporary.
They’re not always a viable long-term solution to soundproof your apartment.
However, that doesn’t mean you have to be stuck with noise.
Here are some permanent strategies to block out noise, provided your landlord doesn’t mind about them!
Seal Your Door
Your door is one of the biggest culprits for bringing noise into your home, such as from the landings and corridors outside.
The important thing to remember is that if air can fit through the gap in a door or window, then sound is entering in that way too! That’s why you need to replace a hollow front door with a more solid one.
If you can’t do that, such as because you’re renting your apartment from a landlord, you’ll have to get an acoustic seal kit.
This kit helps to get rid of any gaps around the door’s edges to prevent noise from making its way inside. However, there is an easier solution.
If you happen to have some pipe insulation foam and weathered strips handy, they can come to the rescue.
Get some pipe insulation foam and tape this to the base of your door. To seal the gaps in the rest of the door, weatherproof strips work well.
Treat Your Windows
Just like with your door, air and sound can travel through gaps in your windows. To make sure this isn’t the case, put caulk or tape around windows to seal up gaps and cracks effectively.
While you might think that renting an apartment means that you can’t seal your windows, that’s not the case – chat to your landlord about using silicone-based caulk around your windows because it’s easier to remove when you move out of your apartment, as House Method advises.
Another way to make your windows block sound, such as the noises coming from the street, is to use window inserts. These are basically acrylic windows that fit inside your windows.
They’re secured with magnetic strips or snap fittings. They also insulate your windows, helping to keep your apartment cozier during the winter months.
It’s a popular fact that, generally, window inserts can block out between 50 and 75 percent of noise coming from outside!
Use Spongy Materials On Furniture And Walls
Felt is a fabric that’s spongy and therefore can absorb and reduce sound.
An easy way to use it in your apartment is to add some felt to the back of solid furniture pieces, such as sofas, chairs, and even shelves. You can even apply it to some walls you share with your neighbors.
Another good material that absorbs sound is cork.
This is fantastic if you want to make thin walls in your apartment a bit more soundproof. A corkboard against the wall is an idea you can try, and it’s also practical. You could even put cork walls behind bookshelves to create a buffer between them and the walls.
Use Soundproof Paint
Soundproof paint is an exciting technology that works to decrease the amount of sound that enters your apartment before it can reach you.
How it works is that you paint it onto surfaces through which the most sound enters, such as ceilings or certain walls.
While the idea of paint being soundproof sounds ludicrous, soundproof paint is thicker than regular paint and can reduce noise because it’s made of latex.
Although it’s not going to do much if you live in close proximity to really noisy neighbors, it can reduce moderate sounds, like people talking outside.
The extra benefit of soundproof paint is that its thickness helps to make it insulate your apartment better, which is great in the colder months.
While it’s not a 100-percent solution you’re looking for to tackle noise issues, soundproof paint can definitely be a part of your plan to reduce noise.
However, it might not be a viable option if you’re renting out your apartment, so previously-mentioned soundproofing strategies will work better.
When apartment hunting, how can you choose an apartment that’ll be less noisy?
Choose an apartment far from the street and make sure your apartment in the building isn’t too close to laundry rooms or elevators which create lots of noise.
You’d also do well to avoid living in the penthouse apartment as higher floors are where noise-producing air compressors are stored.
What’s the difference between soundproofing and sound absorbing?
Soundproofing is about blocking out sound, whereas sound absorption requires the use of materials on walls or furniture to absorb sound inside the room.
Soundproofing materials are often heavy, whereas sound absorption materials are softer to prevent sound from bouncing around the room.
Living in an apartment that experiences a lot of noise can be highly stressful. But you don’t have to live with it or buy a set of really good earplugs.
There are many different strategies, both temporary and permanent, that can help you live a quieter, calmer life.
Bear in mind that often one apartment soundproofing solution won’t be enough on its own to solve your noise problem, so go ahead and try a few to make the most impact and help you get a good night’s sleep.Last updated on: