Figuring out how to soundproof your apartment can be challenging. How to soundproof a room cheaply is even trickier. No one wants to loose that deposit! No one wants to spend a fortune either. But we want some peace and quiet. In this article we’ll cover some cheap and efficient ways to soundproof your apartment without doing anything that will cause you to loose your deposit and get some relieve from those noisy neighbors. We’ll cover how to soundproof an apartment ceiling, doors, windows, and how to soundproof thin apartment walls.
Probably the most annoying noise problem in your apartment is the neighbors upstairs stomping around. Honestly this is also going to be the most troublesome one to solve as well. Soundproof apartment ceilings typically need to be built to be soundproof. There are a few things you can try to help mitigate the noise.
I admit, this sounds like admitting defeat and bribing your neighbor. The truth is it’s the most effective way to cut down on the noise if the floors above are a solid surface like hardwoods.
This will help knock the sound back some and is probably the most efficient way that doesn’t involve serious work. You can get creative with this approach to get a unique look that doesn’t look awkward. Using eye hooks and securing the blankets tautly with as small a gap as possible.
This is obviously slightly more risky approach to address the problem but it will be effective. Get a good quality soundproof drywall and some Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound and do the entire ceiling. If you’re planning on staying a while this may not be a bad way to go.
Sealing your front door as tightly as possible is a good first step. You may even need to try to adjust the hinges slightly to square the door to the frame on older apartment doors. Also a good soundproof door sweep is a must. Self-adhesive soundproof foam tape can create a tight seal around the edges of your door.
Windows can be especially troublesome. Just like with doors, you’ll want to do your best to get them to seal as good as you possibly can. You can also purchase a window insert that will add an extra layer of glass or acrylic on the inside of the window. These are easily removed when you need to leave and get your deposit back. Last, some good soundproof curtains can really knock down sound coming through a difficult window.
Strategically placing furniture can help quite a bit. Especially placing large book cases or other wall covering furniture in front of a wall that is on the other side of the sound problem.
Another technique is to decorate the offending wall with soundproof curtains similar to a movie theater. In a theater it’s done to reduce echo and the curtains aren’t soundproof. In an apartment where we want to reduce sound from coming through walls adding mass can really cut down sound penetration.
The application of mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) can also dampen sound. Some MLV also comes sandwiched with foam which can add to the dampening effect.
Unfortunately many apartment buildings don’t have the greatest soundproofing between adjoining units. This seems to be especially true with newer construction.
If you want to know the trick for how to soundproof thin apartment walls most effectively, it’s all about mass. The same techniques we applied to exterior walls apply here as well. Decorating with acoustic drapes or strategically positioning large furniture like book cases can make a big difference.
If these techniques haven’t proved helpful and you’re planning on staying for a while you may want to consider adding a layer of soundproof sheetrock over top of the existing layer of sheetrock with some Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound. This can make a big difference and the slight thickness added to the wall shouldn’t raise any eyebrows.
Another trick for to how to block sound from neighbors is to use a white noise machine. I’ve worked in many offices where white noise machines are mounted to the ceiling and run all the time. Every time I worked in one of these offices I didn’t notice the white noise machines until after I’d been working there for a while.
Soundproofing a property you don’t own means compromise. The great news that no one wants to hear is that if you can’t solve the problem to your satisfaction you can always move. Not so easy if you own your home.
There are many reasonably priced options to try. You can try them one at a time until you achieve the right balance.
One last trick that never hurts (except maybe pride depending on the situation) is bribery. Some cookies regularly can go a long way toward promoting good will and a little more desire to be attentive.
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