You have just moved into your dream apartment. It has a magnificent view of the mountains. Now you can peacefully work from home and meditate in your backyard in the evenings.
Until Boom! Boom!… Loud music from your neighbors hits your ears, and your anxiety levels are up.
How do you stop the sound from the noisy neighbors? You could move to a new place, but you have just moved in and signed the lease contract! Worry not. You can soundproof your house and block the unpleasant sounds from noisy neighbors.
Pick up your toolbox, and let’s learn some practical steps to soundproof your home and live peacefully without hearing a sound from around.
If you wonder how much noise soundproofing reduces, I wrote a whole article that I encourage you to read.
How To Stop The Noise From Noisy Neighbors?
Instead of covering your head and ears with a pillow, wallowing in misery, and asking why your neighbor can’t seem to get it that you need sleep, you can cancel out this noise.
Here are what you will need in your toolbox:
You have the tools; now let’s discuss where to soundproof your house to prevent the noise from permeating the room.
1- Soundproofing The Walls
Are you sharing a wall with the noisy neighbor? If so, then most of the noise comes through that wall.
Most apartment walls are often thin as contractors try to minimize costs. And since walls are solid, they are the number one culprit in transmitting noise from your neighbor’s house to yours.
Therefore, you should soundproof the walls before any area of the house.
How can you soundproof the walls? Do you remember I told you to have acoustic panels and foams? They will be useful in soundproofing the walls.
Acoustic panels are ideal for this task because they are fitted with fiberglass, which helps with sound absorption. They increase air resistance, thus reducing the intensity of the sound through them.
While contractors built thin walls, adding drywall (acoustic panels) helps to increase the thickness of your wall. Increased wall thickness blocks most of the sound from the next room.
If you can afford it, you can use two drywall layers. And their installation does not need a professional. If you have screws, you can easily hold the panels in place and live quietly.
But what if you don’t have money to invest in acoustic panels or drywall? Worry not; you can still use the items you have in the house to block the sound from your noisy neighbor.
DIY Alternatives To Soundproofing The Walls:
Items in your house can help absorb the sound from the wall. Consider two items:
- Large canvas paintings: If you have these in your home, you can use them as acoustic panels. Hang them on the wall that the sound comes from, and you will significantly reduce the noise.
- Bookshelf or bookcase: You can also move your bookshelf to the wall you share with your neighbor. The wood and the books on the shelf will act as drywall to absorb the sound.
You can combine acoustic panels with these DIY options to completely block outside noise.
2- Soundproofing The Door
Besides the walls, noise from your neighbor can also enter through the door. Most doors are not meant to prevent sound penetration.
The best way to go about it would be to install a new soundproof door, but that is an expensive option. Wouldn’t it be nice to try several cheap alternatives to reduce noise from your neighbor?
Sound from the neighbor will likely penetrate the holes or gaps in the door, hence the need to seal them up.
You can use insulating foam sealant to seal open spaces around the edges of your door. Sealants are airtight neoprene strips and can absorb sound.
You may wonder if using sealant to close gaps on your door will make any difference, but you will notice the difference when you are done.
Furthermore, sealants are removable soundproofing solutions, which means you can use them in a leased house. If you move into a new apartment, you can remove them and use them in the new house.
But sometimes, sound from your noisy neighbor may enter your house through the space between the door and the floor. How do you seal this gap? You can use a door sweep often placed between the floor and the door to prevent sound from passing through when the door is closed.
3- Soundproofing The Windows
Disturbing noise from neighboring buildings can enter your house through the windows. While you can solve the problem by permanently blocking the window, that would also mean you stay in darkness.
So, how do you go about it? The best way to block sound from entering through the windows is by using sealants. Sealants will allow you close gaps that could let sound pass through.
If you have the budget, you can purchase and install double-paned windows. They come with an extra layer of glass, making them more efficient in blocking sound from outside.
However, you should contact a professional to install the windows and seals in your house. Alternatively, you can add an acrylic layer to the existing windows. This will be cheaper than replacing all the windows in your apartment.
4- Fix Soundproof Curtains
Using heavy and thick curtains on your already soundproof door and windows takes it a notch higher to ensure no noise from the neighbors passes through.
Soundproof curtains can prove valuable, especially if your neighbors make noise at night. At night you need total silence and darkness to sleep or concentrate on a matter, and noise is not welcomed.
Soundproof curtains will fortify other endeavors to block sound from causing a disturbance. If the sound gets past the door or window, the curtains trap it, thus blocking further transmission.
And with curtains, you can always move with them whenever you shift residence from one apartment to the other. Furthermore, curtains come in different colors you can choose from to match your taste, preference, and decor.
5- Take Care Of The Ceiling
Living in an apartment can be challenging with noise. You can have noisy neighbors upstairs playing loud music or streaming movies early in the morning, thus interfering with your sleep.
It can be annoying and frustrating to wake up unusually early because your neighbor’s floor and your ceiling are shaking.
Families with the kid’ rooms upstairs can also soundproof their ceilings to prevent noisy kids’ sounds from disturbing the house’s peace.
But how do you soundproof the sealing?
- Drop ceiling: You can install a drop ceiling below the existing one, allowing the space between the two ceilings to isolate the noise.
- Acoustical clouds: If the drop ceiling does not look good for your design, you can go for acoustical clouds, which is drywall screwed onto the existing ceiling.
You can also include an acoustic mat between the existing ceiling and the drop ceiling to help with sound absorption.
6- Soundproofing The Floor
Sound is vibration energy and can permeate from anywhere. If your downstairs neighbors make noise, the sound will reach your house through the floor.
How do you deaden the sound from the floor? The first obvious thing is to install a heavy carpet that covers the entire floor. Some landlords have the floors of their apartments insulated with carpets.
You can add carpet padding if you live in a house with a fixed carpet. But if you don’t have the resources to buy a carpet, you can use rugs like fluffier rugs.
Rugs are excellent because you can choose colors and patterns that match your décor.
7- Use a White Noise Machine
If you cannot use the above methods to reduce annoying sound from your neighbors, you can buy a white noise machine.
These machines are often used to sway children to sleep, and you can use them to hasten your sleep in a noisy environment.
A white noise machine help drown the noise from your neighbors, thus creating a serene environment for you to concentrate or sleep.
Does Soundproofing Work for Noisy Neighbours?
You can soundproof your room and stay away from noisy neighbors. You can eliminate disturbing noise from all corners of your environment by soundproofing your doors, windows, walls, floors, and ceiling.
As many companies adopt a work-from-home policy, your peace is vital to your productivity. Although some of the options I have discussed require huge investments, you will realize the value of that investment in the long run.