Are you finding yourself getting distracted on your Zoom calls or are your afternoon naps disrupted due to noisy traffic and neighbors? Have you recently searched, “How to soundproof an apartment?” You’ve come to the right place.
Let’s look at how to soundproof your apartment with ways that range from simple room additions to small home projects.
To get a soundproof apartment, just a few simple tips and projects can dramatically reduce noise in your apartment and create the stress-free refuge you want to achieve.
1. Determine Your Weak Spots
Any unwanted noise you hear is considered to be “leaking” sound because sound waves behave like a fluid. Unwanted noise moves to the weakest points of your apartment or condo and slips into your home through holes, gaps, crevices, and cracks. The first thing you need before you start soundproofing is to locate your weak spots, whether that’s your walls, doors, or windows.
After you determine your spots, you can plan your soundproofing accordingly.
2. Add Bookshelves
Using heavy books on multiple bookshelves is a fairly effective way to create a sound barrier. When combined, shelves and books create a thick barrier that sound has a hard time penetrating, essentially providing a second wall to your apartment. If your sound leaks are coming from a wall shared by a neighbor, this is a great choice.
If you choose this option, get extra tall bookcases (think 5 shelves or more) and fill them as much as possible. There are some eclectic bookcases on the market, but a traditional wooden bookcase works best for ultimate sound stoppage.
3. Add Carpet, Rugs, and Pads
Plush carpet, rugs, and sound dampening pads can help absorb sound, along with wall hangings, upholstered furniture, and even plants. These materials also lessen the sound of footsteps and objects dropping within the apartment, minimizing the echo and absorbing the noise. You’ll not only make your space quieter, but your neighbors will thank you, too.
The thicker the carpet, rugs, or wall hangings, the better sound absorption they can provide. Today, you can even purchase wall hangings and rugs specifically made for soundproofing. Both options are usually denser than typical rugs and tapestries, often made with rubber and felt backings.
4. Invest in Soundproofing Panels or Curtains
You can create a soundproof room by installing wall panels or installing soundproof curtains. They will help keep out sound, but you will need to hammer or drill holes into the walls to hang the panels.
While an affordable and easy option, wall panels and curtains need to be installed carefully which may also require additional fabric depending on your home’s aesthetic or personal taste. While your landlord probably won’t have a problem with you installing curtains, they’ll only work when closed and no one wants to live in a cave.
5. White Noise Machines
While not technically soundproofing, white noise is broad-band noise signals played as a constant. To put it simply, white noise machines are able to drown out other noises in your immediate environment that would otherwise interfere with your apartment’s noise level.
By playing a non-distracting form of noise, white noise machines divert your attention by masking any disruptive noise sources. However, not everyone enjoys the sound of white noise, and your apartment could feel turbulent if you layer your TV or music over the white noise.
6. Seal Your Doors
One of the biggest culprits of noise pollution enters through your front door. Noise from busy corridors finds its way into your apartment through tiny gaps around the door’s edge. Noise can also resonate through the door’s core as well if you don’t have a sturdy, heavy door, which is likely, as most apartment doors are hollow to save on costs.
If you are able to, replace your hollow door with a solid, heavy-set door. If that’s not affordable or allowed your best bet is to purchase an acoustic door seal kit and attach it to your current door. These work to eliminate the gaps around the door’s edge and prevent noise transfer.
However, if you don’t want to purchase a sealing kit, a budget-friendly option is to use pipe insulation foam to apply to the base of the door. If you combine this with some weatherproofing strips, you can get a decent noise-canceling seal.
7. Install Soundproof Window Inserts
Soundproofing window inserts provide window insulation that both reduces and absorbs sound. Installing window inserts is an easy and effective way of soundproofing that won’t break the bank and won’t cause any damage, so you probably won’t need your landlord’s permission to install them.
Indow Acoustic Grade window inserts can reduce and cancel noise — up to 70% of outside noise when placed over single-pane windows and up to 50% of noise coming through double-pane windows*. The inserts, edged with silicone compression tubing, just press into your existing window frame to form a seal with no hassle, nails, or adhesives required.
They’re easy to install and they not only block outside noise but also prevent inside noise from bothering your neighbors.
Getting an exact fit is essential for soundproofing because any gaps or spaces allow sound to seep inside. Indow inserts offer a precise fit to create a more comfortable, energy-efficient space with a profile that allows it to fit into your window frame. They are custom-made so they can offer simple soundproofing for any window shape.
*We want to ensure our inserts help solve your noise problem. Overall noise reduction depends on the amount of noise coming through your walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and existing windows. Noise reduction will be less when placed over double-pane windows. Read our full Noise Reduction Sheet to learn more.
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