How to Reduce Noise in Apartments?


The sound of traffic, deafening stereos, people’s chattering, or barking dogs are just some of the everyday noises that you could hear from your apartment, especially if you live in a highly urbanized area.

Unfortunately, these are recurring noises that most people cannot get away from. We all know that requesting your neighbor or passersby to tune down can be very awkward. As such, it may be best to deal with this problem by acting on your own to maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbors.

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By making some important changes or additions to your apartment, problem noises can be diffused effectively. Here are a few simple fixes that you can do in your apartment to make it “soundproof” and more livable.

How to reduce noise through walls?

Remember that sounds are vibrations thus, they can go through solid objects like walls. In a typical apartment dwelling, walls are thin and are shared with the other unit. You can easily hear the noise from the other side. Observe the noise intrusion closely and you will find that you can easily identify which part of the room the noise is coming from.

Since sound travels better through thinner walls, naturally, the most effective way to reduce the noise coming in is by making the walls denser. But before working on making the walls thicker, check first if there are any holes or cracks on them.

If you find any, seal them with a filler or anything that can work with the type of material used for your walling. You might find a pre-mixed product in your nearest hardware store that can patch and repair cracks and holes on walls made of cement, timber, plasterboard, or bricks.

When this is done, you can consider doing the following for soundproofing.

  • Utilize things that you already have inside the house such as a huge bookcase or a display cabinet. You can place the bookcase against the wall through which you hear the most noise. Also, load it with books as they can also serve as additional noise barriers.
  • Use soundproofing wallpapers or stickers. They can update the look of your wall and at the same time reduce noise in the room.
  • Adding another wall layer by installing drywall. You don’t have to install drywall all over the house – just in noisy rooms.

How to Reduce Noise From Upstair Neighbour?

Impact and airborne noises such as footsteps, banging, and other movements upstairs can penetrate through the floor or ceiling. This is a common problem in multiple-family dwellings. By subduing, reflecting, scattering, and absorbing airborne and impact noises, noise from upstairs, sound vibrations from the ceiling can be greatly reduced and make your space a lot quieter.

The key to effective soundproofing is to know what type of ceiling you have. This will dictate which soundproofing method will work best for you.

1. Standard Drywall Ceiling

Although having a drywall ceiling can work as a sound barrier it may not be dense enough to successfully remove the transfer of noise into your room. You might want to replace your standard drywall with soundproof drywall. This is normally used in making ceilings and because it is made up of thicker materials, it can be very effective in soundproofing. However, if you do not want to replace your existing ceiling, just add a layer of drywall.

2. Suspended Ceiling

A suspended ceiling acts as a secondary ceiling. They hang a few inches away from your base ceiling. Because of the space between the base ceiling and the drop, the sound from upstairs should not directly go through the room. However, if the materials used in the suspended ceiling are thin and light a considerable amount of noise can still go through.

You might want to add soundproofing foam or acoustic foam at the back of your ceiling panels. You can easily secure the acoustic foam with an adhesive or finishing nails. The acoustic foam contains sound-absorbing materials that help increase air resistance, in turn, reducing the level of sound that penetrates through it.

How to reduce noise from outside?

Reducing Noise From traffic And Outside The Apartment, Noise from the street such as car horns and sirens can be dealt with by these few simple fixes:

1. Reinforcing Windows

Since replacing windows can be very costly, reducing the noise that seeps in through them can be as simple as cutting sheets of acoustic foam or window inserts to fit into window gaps. You can also use noise-blocking caulk or sealant to seal the gaps between the window and the surrounding frame.

2. Using Thick Curtains

Thick curtains can dampen the level of noise from outside. There are many thick and heavy curtains and even curtains that are called “sound deadening curtains” that you can buy anywhere. Sound deadening curtains are made up of mass-loaded vinyl that has soundproofing qualities, making them heavier than the usual curtains. If you want this alternative to be more effective in screening the noise from outside, you can even double or layer the curtains but remember that this will require special mounting hardware to support the weight of the curtains.

3. Using Thick Carpets or Rugs.

Thick fabrics are known to soak up sounds coming from outside. Using thick carpets or rugs especially by the doorway can help dampen the sound that infiltrates your apartment. Layered carpets and rugs can also do the trick.

4. Using Solid Doors.

Doors with a hollow core which are usually used in apartments and houses do not prevent noise from coming inside your dwelling. Replacing your door with solid wood that has a solid core can help deflect the noise from the street.

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