How to Soundproof Your Apartment or Room

The PropertyClub Team
Aug 16th 2020
Noise is often a concern when you live in an apartment complex. Whether you want to prevent it from coming in or going out, here's how to soundproof your apartment or room so that you and your neighbors can live in peace.

When you live in a house of your own, you have a lot more freedom when it comes to making noise. Playing instruments in the garage won’t get complaints from the neighbors. Shouting when your favorite player makes a goal in the game won’t cause people to bang on your walls. It’s the freedom that makes homeownership popular, but not all of us can afford a house.

If you live in an apartment or condo complex, chances are that you are surrounded by neighbors. That means any noise you make, or alternatively, the noise they make can quickly become a problem. If you have loud, noisy neighbors you might be wondering how you can soundproof your apartment. Or if you plan on making excessive noise and living it up loudly, you’re going to have to be proactive about keeping your place quiet to avoid upsetting your neighbors. 

Here’s how you can soundproof an apartment or a room with relative ease.

Make It Hard For Soundwaves To Travel

The easiest way to make sure that soundwaves don’t carry into other rooms is to reduce the number of ways that sound waves can leak out. Here’s how to prevent noise from traveling in or out of a room. 

  • Weatherproof your doors and windows. Insulation is going to be the name of the game for you, especially if you have wooden floors. If you can upgrade your windows or add a door sweep, do it. This will help prevent the air from carrying soundwaves out of your room. 
  • Put some weatherstripping on your windows. Weatherstripping is a type of tape that is meant to block airflow from the outdoors to your window. Though it’s mostly a way to insulate your windows, it also happens to be a great way to block out soundwaves that could come from outside.
  • Add drapes to your windows. Curtains help muffle sound and add a little extra insulation to your room. The end result? A slightly quieter home. If you want additional protection, use soundproofing curtains. They are specially made to help reduce sound without looking like eyesores. 
  • Consider adding a bookcase or cabinet to your walls. The furniture will act as a buffer between your wall and the source of the sound. This means a bookcase or cabinet will absorb a lot of the noise that would directly hit your walls instead.
  • Add padding near inside door cracks. The padding will muffle the soundwaves and keep them from reflecting down hallways. A draft protector is more than enough to help this out.
  • Seal up any holes you have in your walls. Even tiny holes can let soundwaves escape from a room. Patching the holes you find up is the best way to prevent sound from leaking out, so grab some spackle and start patching things up.

Keep Soundwaves From Reflecting

Have you ever been inside a room where you could hear every single footstep that you made? If so, you understand why soundproofing a room means you need to reduce the amount of reflection that sound can make. Thankfully, this is pretty easy to do as most materials will absorb sound and keep it from reflecting. 

  • Add carpeting to your floor, or at least add a rug. If you’ve ever worn heels on a wooden or concrete floor, you already know that wood carries sound very well. You can avoid that acoustic cost by keeping a rug in that area.
  • Get carpet pads for your carpets. Along with covering your floors to muffle noise, get carpet pads. These can make a huge difference in how well your carpets can absorb sound. 
  • Consider adding studio soundproofing padding to your walls. A little bit of padding can go a long way. Acoustic panels will absorb soundwaves and nullify the chances of reflection. If you have an in-home recording studio, they’re practically a must-have.
  • Don’t put speakers directly on your floor. If you’re playing music inside your home, the easiest way to avoid having sound reflect and reverberate off your floor is to avoid placing your speakers directly on the floor. At the very least, put a rug underneath your speaker.
  • Get a ceiling tapestry. The more your walls and ceiling are covered, the less reflection you’ll have. If you don’t feel like adding studio panels to your ceiling, adding a tapestry can reduce the reflection. 

Make Your Home Extra Quiet

If regular soundproofing methods don’t work, you might need to go a little harder on your soundproofing. These tips below will make the most of your efforts:

  • Get window panels. Soundproofing window panels will block your view of the outdoors, but they also will prevent sound from becoming a nuisance. Many people might not be too fond of an obstructed view, though. So, it may be best to use these soundproofing panels as a last resort.
  • Consider adding insulation to your ceiling. If your landlord will allow it, a good way to make your home even more soundproof would be to add insulation to your ceiling. You can do this by adding acoustic foam paneling to the ceiling.
  • Paint your walls with sound-reducing paint. Most people aren’t aware of this, but there is such a thing as sound-reducing paint. It’s affordable, can look pretty great, and yes, works wonderfully as a way to keep things soundproof. 
  • Consider asking neighbors to help. Worried about neighbors getting upset? Suggest that they get carpeting for their floors to help reduce the amount of sound that ekes through the ceiling to their floors. Even a small throw rug can make a difference when it comes to soundproofing.

Soundproof Room Dividers are Another Option

If you're looking for a more portable option, soundproof room dividers can be a great solution. You can go with acoustic panels, which can also partition a room or soundproof curtains. What's nice is that you'll be able to take them with you whenever you move, so you'll easily be able to soundproof your future apartments. 

Conclusion

Soundproofing your apartment isn’t a quick fix task, but it doesn’t always have to mean that you will need to spend months fixing things up. Heck, if you are not making too much noise, chances are that you might not even need to get specialized foam pads for your walls. 

Between the use of weatherproofing materials, soundproofing paint, and even doing things as simple as adding a bookcase to your walls, you can significantly reduce the amount of reverb that your home gets. This, of course, will lead you to having happier neighbors and a happier landlord.