My zoom call with an important client was rudely interrupted by a sudden loud music from my next-door neighbor’s subwoofer. I lost the opportunity to close the deal!
This wasn’t the first time noise from a neighbor’s house had interrupted something I was doing. Furiously, I got into my computer, searching for how to soundproof a room in an apartment.
You can soundproof a room in an apartment by rearranging your furniture to dampen sounds and placing bookshelves and large pieces of furniture against shared walls. You can also use curtains, rugs, and blankets to soundproof your room.
I also wondered how many people faced the noise problem in silence and were also searching for similar information. The research took 24 hours, but I have condensed it for easy consumption. If you face a similar challenge, read this guide for help.
You might also enjoy reading: 12 Amazing Soundproofing Ideas For Your Home (Try them now!)
Where Noise Enters Your Apartment?
Living in an apartment means that you cannot avoid annoying noise. Sometimes it can strike suddenly on a calm afternoon.
So, the first task is identifying where sound will likely get through. Of course, you want to identify gaps and open places; however, sound can also pass through walls.
Therefore, it is vital to identify the direction of the sound source to know how and where to focus.
Sound will enter your house through weak points such as windows, doors, holes, cracks, crevices, and gaps. Once you locate the weak points, you can consider how to soundproof an apartment.
However, a room in an apartment may not be yours if it is leased to you; therefore, the soundproofing method may vary from what a homeowner would do. For instance, you may not decouple the room or make major changes in the room’s structure without proper authorization.
Installing permanent soundproofing solutions may also be expensive since you could move to another apartment when the lease contract expires or change jobs.
So, some methods may not apply to soundproofing an apartment. Let’s discuss what is applicable that I implement to reduce the noise in my room.
4 Easy Ways To Soundproof a Room In An Apartment
Many people endure apartment noise because they believe soundproofing is expensive and will sink their bank balances. However, soundproofing an apartment does not need to be expensive.
You can implement some cheap DIY tricks to cut off the annoying noise. You only need to know which materials can block or absorb the sound, and you will be safe.
Whether you want to stop inside noise from getting out (for music or speech rehearsal) or block outside noise from getting in, these tricks can come in handy fast.
1- Use Your Bookshelf
Do you have a home library with old or new books you read? You can push this bookshelf to the wall where the sound is coming from. If the sound is from your next-door neighbor, you can push the shelf to that wall and fill it with books.
This way, you add mass to the wall, reducing sound waves or energy reaching your ears. If you can find a tall bookshelf that fills the whole wall to the ceiling and then stock it with books, you can block noise from outside.
I use a bookshelf, although it does not reach the ceiling. But it has reduced the noise significantly. I can conduct client zoom meetings stress-free.
2- Add Carpets, Pads, And Rugs
You can also buy and install heavy carpets on the floor to absorb underground noise. Sometimes noise comes downstairs, and the carpets and rugs can help reduce it. Besides carpets, you can install sound-dampening pads on the walls to absorb the sound.
I also improve my furniture by covering them with upholstered materials. Upholstered materials are soft, thus reducing sound reverberation.
Soft soundproofing materials can absorb sound and prevent echoes from dropping objects, footsteps, and nearby traffic. Your house will be quieter, giving you and your neighbors peace of mind.
And because thicker carpets, pads, and rugs perform better, ensure you have the thickest. The beauty is that you can find soundproofing rugs and wall hangings on eCommerce sites and order. These rugs are made specifically for sound absorption and are more effective than most DIYs you can make at home.
3- Soundproof Your Doors
Sound often passes through the door into the house easily. If you hear your neighbor’s conversation while seated in the comfort of your sofa, the chances are your front door has big air gaps.
You can reduce this noise by identifying these gaps and sealing them. Stand near the door and spot places that light passes through; that is where sound also passes through.
A door sweep can help you seal the gap underneath the door. These sweeps have a thick rubber strip that can help you seal the threshold. Besides blocking the sound, a door sweep will protect your house from bugs, dust, and drafts.
You can seal the rest of the door spaces that don’t close tightly with weatherstripping foam.
4- Hang Window And Door Curtains
Apart from using door sweeps and seals, you can also increase sound absorption in the room by installing the best soundproofing curtains for windows and doors.
These curtains do not block sound from the outside, but they absorb it. And sound absorption means less reflection on the windows and doors.
They are thick curtains that significantly reduce noise from the windows and doors. Furthermore, these curtains can also insulate your room by preserving heat during winter and cooling during summer. They can help you reduce noise and electricity bills. The thicker the curtain, the higher its sound absorption ability. So, choose thick curtains.
5- Hang Acoustic Foams On The Wall
You probably know that acoustic foams can reduce noise passing through the walls. If you search for soundproofing an apartment, Google SERP will provide acoustic panels as a solution.
They are rectangular or square-shaped fabrics you can hang on your wall to absorb sound and echoes. Maybe you have seen them on the walls of recording studios to help producers enhance sound quality.
But don’t worry, they can work well on your room apartment wall. The panels act like curtains because they absorb sound and prevent reflection.
They are easy to install and affordable. Furthermore, you can move with them should you shift to another apartment.
6- Invest In Soundproof Window Inserts
Soundproofing window inserts can help absorb sound and reduce noise from your environment. They are affordable and easy to install, so you will not need to empty your bank account.
They won’t cause any damage to the property, and you may not need the landlord’s authorization to install them.
Some soundproofing window inserts can reduce up to 70% of the outside noise when used with a single-pane window. The installation process does not require adhesives or nails because it comes with silicone compression tubing for easy fixing.
Window inserts also block inside noise from disturbing neighbors. Ensure you don’t leave spaces or gaps that allow sound to pass through. If you don’t know, you can hire a professional to fix them.
7- Hang Fabric Or Blankets On The Wall
We already talked about soundproofing curtains and acoustic panels, but if you cannot afford them, you can hang heavy fabric or blankets on the wall.
The goal is to absorb as much noise as possible, and the heavier the fabric, the better. If you have old blankets, you can use them.
Alternatively, you can buy these fabrics at an affordable price and install and fix them on the wall. The blankets are soft and will absorb sound waves, thus reducing noise intensity.
8- Turn To White Noise Machines
Although white noise machines are not a soundproofing method, they provide contestant noise signals that can lull the mind of outside noise. They drown out other unpleasant noises in the neighborhood that could interfere with your concentration.
When you play non-distracting white noise, it masks disruptive noise sources. Nevertheless, this may not work for everyone. Some prefer total silence and any noise- white or black- irritates them.
What to read next:
- What is The Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Room?
- 12 Cheap And Effective Ways To Soundproof Your Office.
- Can You Soundproof Your Walls? (With helpful tips!)
Living in an apartment presents its own challenges. Noise from neighbors can make it difficult to concentrate on a project, and you are also limited in the amount of noise you can make if you practice music.
However, all is not lost. You can soundproof your room in an apartment to block or absorb noise. These strategies are simple and affordable for anyone in a noisy neighborhood.
I used door sweeps to seal my front door, a bookshelf on the wall, soundproofing curtains on the windows, and heavy rugs on the floor. I would say noise from outside has been reduced by 70%, and now I can conduct meetings via zoom without problems.