4 Tips to Help Soundproof Your Apartment Without Drilling
by Ice Artificio
Jun 14, 2017
It’s 10pm. You’re tired from work and just want to rest. You take a shower, brush your teeth, don your favorite pajamas and head to your bed. You’re about to close your eyes. It gets quiet. Then all of a sudden you hear the neighbor to your right laughing at her late-night comedy show on max volume. The neighbor to your right has a baby that badly needs milk. You can hear the neighbor above you partying, stomping to the beat. You’re restless. You need a solution or you will never enjoy a peaceful sleep. You know you need soundproofing but you don’t want to drill holes. Your landlord’s not going to like the sound of that.
You have to accept that if you live in an apartment, it would be difficult to modify the structure that has already been built. So, the best way is to try to lower the outside noise to a point that will allow sleep or relaxation.
Here are some useful tips help lessen the noise outside and from the inside of your apartment - so you can also turn up the volume a little bit without waking the neighbors.
Adding strategic decorations in your place would help lessen the outside noise. How come, you ask? The sound will bounce off multiple objects, slightly softening the sound. This way, before the outside noise reaches you, it will bounce off of your furniture first. Keep in mind that sound travels better on hard surfaces and is absorbed by soft ones like cotton, felt, or wool. So if you are suffering from a noisy neighbor or chatter, prepare to visit your nearest Ikea-equivalent store(at least until we get a local branch of Ikea here). If your floors are bare, rugs can help dampen the noise.
If your apartment floor is sensitive to children’s footsteps, drunk people footsteps, or irritating, inaudible sounds of people moving in your common hallway, sealing your doors can help. Add a door sweep with rubber seals: it can block chatter coming from your hallway while also keeping bugs and dust away. For individual rooms inside your unit, a draft blocker can add additional sound proofing to your room.
When your noise pollution comes from outside your apartment, it’s time to seal your windows. Look into adding inserts to install on your windowpanes to close any gaps and block the sounds from outside. Black out curtains are a more affordable and useful alternative; not only do they muffle outside noise, they keep your room dark - a nifty feature for night workers who sleep in the day or if you simply want to sleep in on weekends.
Install Acoustic Foam or Panels
If you have some cash to spare, invest in quality acoustic panels or foam. If you’ve visited a recording studio before, they’re the jagged pieces of foam glued around the place that kills echo and keeps noise from coming inside or going out. Consult a professional on where you can hang these sound proofing items for optimal performance. An affordable alternative is hanging thick, shaggy rugs on thin walls to lower the noise from the other side.
Noise will always be a part of communal living in the city, whether it is from neighbors or the passing traffic, or even from nearby commercial establishments. But there are ways to make lessen the sounds to a bearable extent. Here are more tips from Ikea on how to further soundproof your apartment to help you relax better in your home.
What other life hacks do you use to soundproof your apartment? We’d love to hear it in the comments below!
I love this article because I'm in the midst of this problem right now. But it would have been better maybe if some pictures are added to be more specific. Thanks!
Awesome! Need it right now.
Adam Philray Raymundo
My problem is my neighbor above me. My condo is loft type hence my bedroom is close to the living room of the tenants above my loft who perennially makes irritating sounds and "kalabogs" of all sort until wee hours in the morning that it prompted me to report them to the police and barangay tanods.
What do you think is the best way to soundproof my lofy ?
Thanks for the kind comments everyone! We'll look into creating more tips on how to help reduce apartment noise :)
@Maricar That sounds like an irritating problem. If the noise you're dealing with are mostly footsteps/people moving pieces of furniture around, or people getting frisky, one of the best ways is to muffle the noise is to have the tenants upstairs install area rugs. On your end, installing an insulation foam on your ceiling can help. I found a DIY explaining the process (http://www.diynetwork.com/how-to/rooms-and-spaces/walls-and-ceilings/soundproofing-a-ceiling). Installing these can get expensive so you might want to talk to your landlord about covering the expenses.
Have you tried talking to them and your landlord/condo admin? Most of the time, tenants are unaware that they are being too loud until somebody calls them out nicely (being mad only seemed to fuel their 'need' to make noise). I had an upstairs neighbor before who would give me a heads up if they going to have a party or are expecting company. They also asked me to send them a text when needed to 'keep it down' as it is difficult to gauge how much noise is acceptable, especially whe you're having a good time. Fortunately, that set up worked for me. Hope you get to find a good solution for your noise problem soon!
Acoustic foam is not really the most effective material if iyou intend to block sound from going in and out of your room. Sure it does reduce echo and reduce reverberation inside the room but not very effective as a sound barrier, If noise is really a big issue, consider building built in watdrobes from floor to ceiling if possible. Also consider installing high density acoustic foam in between walls or in between ceiling .