The noise pollution experienced by residents living in apartment buildings can be overwhelming, to say the least.
Luckily, there are many ways to soundproof an apartment, no matter the reason for the noise problems. Some of these solutions include,
- Sound absorbing material
- White noise machines
- Door and window inserts
- soundproofing your ceiling
- Soundproof curtains
- Soundproof carpets
If you are fed up with noisy neighbors, outside noise disruptions from living on a busy street, loud footsteps, or any other noises that interrupt your daily life, this article is for you.
Let's look at some of the best ways to soundproof an apartment depending on your situation.
Why Soundproof an Apartment?
There are many reasons people look for ways to soundproof their apartments, and most of them are willing to do whatever it takes. Some of the main reasons to soundproof your space in an apartment complex include:
Privacy is the number one reason to soundproof any room. It is essential for people to speak freely and do whatever they want without others knowing their business.
It can be difficult getting any sleep in an apartment building due to noisy neighbors or outside traffic. Soundproofing your home is a great way to get the Z's you need.
Soundproofing an apartment can help reduce the echo that often bounces off the walls in most rooms. This is especially desired for someone in a band or recording videos.
Peace in Their Own Home
No one wants to hear their neighbors argue through their front door or their kids fighting over who gets to play the Xbox. People choose to soundproof their apartments simply to enjoy their homes in a quiet space.
How Do You Sound Proof an Apartment?
Soundproofing an apartment serves two primary purposes, keeping unwanted noise out and inside noises from escaping. While there are not many apartments that would be okay with heavy construction or large projects, there are multiple ways to reduce noise transfer and finally begin to enjoy apartment living.
Soundproof Your Windows and Doors
Windows and doors are two of the biggest culprits when it comes to noise coming into a room. This can be from heavy door slamming, a hollow door not absorbing sound, an existing window being too thin, or any other problematic issues pertaining to the only entrances and exits to the outside world.
Unless you are lucky enough to find an apartment with soundproof doors and windows, this is the best place to start when attempting to keep your apartment quieter.
Most apartment doors have wide gaps at the bottoms, and windows have thin glass and may not be properly sealed. Fixing both of these issues will solve your noise problem, at least to a certain extent.
How to Soundproof Windows and Doors in an Apartment
To prevent sound from coming in through the front door, or any other door for that matter, you can purchase a door sweep or an automatic door bottom that you can place in front of door gaps (or attach to the bottom of the door), to close the dead space between the door and the noise levels from the rest of the apartment building.
If the issue is coming from the window, there are a few options to correct that. You can use a silicone compression tubing product to seal gaps around the window's edge.
You can purchase window inserts, install soundproof curtains, or you can request your landlord puts in double pane windows, making it easier to keep external noise out.
Purchase Soundproof Panels
If your goal is to keep a noisy neighbor from listening in on your conversations or avoid a noise complaint while listening to music or working out, you can purchase different types of products to absorb sound from inside your apartment; one of the best is soundproof panels.
Soundproof panels are one of the best options when it comes to sound absorption and trapping sound waves. Acoustic wall panels are not actually soundproofing panels. However, they will reduce noise transmission and limit noise complaints.
How to Use Soundproof Panels in an Apartment
You can purchase different types of soundproof panels that are easy to install and come in a bunch of different colors and patterns, making them easy to add to any space.
You can even use these tiles as a ceiling soundproofing system by placing them over an existing ceiling to prevent noise from annoying the upstairs neighbors.
Putting these panels on an existing wall will help aid in your soundproofing efforts, especially if they are thin walls.
Install Carpeting and Acoustical Underlayment
A lot of excessive noise can come from hardwood floors or creaky boards. A big step to a fully soundproof apartment is by installing carpet to muffle noise coming from steps, loud conversations, and items hitting the floor.
How to Add Carpeting to Soundproof Your Apartment
If your goal is to reduce the noise from the downstairs neighbors, you should consider purchasing a thick area rug or a carpet and padding or soundproof underlayment. These are always a great way to stop noise often created by walking on hard surfaces.
White Noise Machines for Unwanted Noise
A white noise machine is going to be extremely helpful at eliminating disruptive noise sources, such as obnoxious neighbors, street noise, etc. These particular products are often used at night to help light sleepers get their healthy eight hours without any interruptions.
How to Use Noise Machines to Soundproof Your Apartment
A great way to properly soundproof a bedroom utilizing white noise, Is by pairing the product up with other soundproof products such as soundproofing curtains, purchasing window inserts, and even using sound absorption material to your walls like blankets or heavy fabrics, or even acoustic panels.
You don't even need a white noise machine to get the same effect from other items around the house. You can create white noise with a ceiling or box fan, the static from a radio or television, or the sound of an air conditioner running.
Fill Your Apartment With Furniture To Absorb Sound Waves
Filling your apartment with furniture is one of the easiest ways to reduce echoing in your home and keep sound from bouncing off the walls.
When there is furniture taking up a lot of open space and bookshelves covering large portions of the walls, most of the sound inside the apartment will be absorbed in these items.
How to Use Furniture to Soundproof Your Apartment
Make sure your furniture is spaced out around the room evenly, providing plenty of barriers between the noise in the apartment and your walls. You can also build bookshelves (or purchase them), placing them over as much of the wall space as possible to block these sound waves.
Weather Proof your Apartment
Weatherproofing your apartment is going to serve two different but equally important purposes. One, it will keep the apartment cozy and warm during the cold winter months, and two, it's going to add a layer of material over windows, cracks, crevices, and doorways to keep sounds from leaking out.
How Weatherproofing Soundproofs Your Apartment
Weatherproofing your home mostly consists of sealing up windows with plastic and double-sided tape to eliminate the risk of drafts coming in and bringing cold air with it. You can also use the door sweepers we discussed earlier to keep drafts at bay and noise from seeping in.
Soundproof Apartment FAQs
If you are trying to soundproof an apartment but still have some questions on the best ways to eliminate noise efficiently. Here are a few frequently asked questions regarding properly soundproofing your space.
What are Common Sound Absorbing Materials used to Soundproof Apartments?
People often use materials that will absorb sound waves and muffle noise, to achieve soundproofing benefits. These materials include acoustic panels, acoustical caulk, pipe insulation foam, or just about anything that will create a sound barrier between existing walls.
What Are Inexpensive Items You Can Purchase to Impact noise transmission?
The most affordable way to reduce noise transfer inside an apartment complex would be through white noise machines, products to block air gaps in door and window cracks, purchasing a carpet, and placing heavy curtains or blankets in front of windows.
Can You Absorb Sound with Egg Cartons?
Contrary to popular belief, egg cartons are not the best option when trying to soundproof a room. These products might absorb some of the noises from entering and exiting your space, but not enough to make them worth putting up and making your apartment look awful.
What Are Other Ways to Eliminate Sound?
If you can't soundproof your apartment for one reason or another, there are still options out there to keep obnoxious neighbors from running your day.
You can eliminate sounds by utilizing earplugs, purchasing a good pair of noise-canceling headphones, talking with the loud neighbors, or contacting the landlord.
Are Acoustical solutions Worth The Money?
If your goal is to eliminate the possibility of sounds inside the apartment from echoing off of the walls, then yes, acoustical materials can be a great option. However, these items are not nearly as good at soundproofing a space as it is absorbing an echo.
If your main goal is eliminating sounds from entering the apartment, then you should consider some of the other options listed in this article.
Summing Things Up
It can be very hard getting used to living in an apartment, especially when your neighbors are loud or the apartment is lacking in soundproof qualities. Luckily for you, any one of the options listed above is a quick and easy way for you to restore peace and quiet in your home.