I, Mark Roemer, know the city’s noise can be draining. Whether it’s squealing garbage trucks, blaring car stereos, or the overall buzz of foot traffic outside your window, it can stress you out. If you think that all that commotion makes life nuts at home, you’re not alone. Disturbing and unnecessary noise is a truth of life for many apartment dwellers, which also seems inevitable. In my last apartment, I had a neighbor who would make noise during the day and night. That made it hard to sleep during the night and nearly impossible to get any work done at home during the day.
Fortunately, soundproofing is a choice, no matter where you live or what sort of room you have. Although this can conjure up visions of renovations and draining bank accounts, without blowing your savings or reconstructing your house, there are several ways you can shut out the noise. Soundproofing doesn’t have to be sophisticated or costly, and it can make a significant difference to even the most straightforward techniques. Below you will find a list of many different ways to make your home as quiet as possible.
Weatherproof Your Front Door
If you hear every conversation spoken from the comfort of your sofa in the building corridor, then chances are that there are large air gaps around your front door. Sealing these leaks would keep the talk silent. Sound moves in the air, and it will also make sound through any distance you can see the light through.
Add a door sweep if you have a wide gap under your apartment door. With a dense rubber strip that seals against the threshold, use a commercial-grade sweep. It will also help to keep all dust, bugs, and draughts, and noise out. Seal around the sides and top of the door with a foam weather stripping if the door’s remainder does not shut securely against the door jambs.
Hang Door Curtains
Blackout curtains are not only good for making sure you have the least amount of light possible in your room or home; they can also minimize the noise that enters your room or home. By adding these to the doors that border locations that people congregate outside your apartment, you can reduce the sound that enters your apartment. It may sound strange to hang curtains on doors, but I can assure you it will help immensely.
Soundproof a Bedroom Door
Gaps under interior doors, as with the front door, allow a lot of sounds to pass through, as though the door were partially open. Either purchased or handmade, fill the holes with a draught stopper. The most suitable models (usually with an elastic band) are secured to the door so that you do not have to put them in place each time you enter the room.
As a bonus, you can keep your room at a more constant temperature. Depending on how old your apartment is, that can be an excellent thing for both the summer and winter seasons.
Reduce Reflected Noise
Noise is reflected off hard surfaces, such as walls, floors, and ceilings, adding inside a room to the total noise level. I recommend covering bare walls and possibly even ceilings with a soft material to minimize sound reflection, so noises such as voices, barking, or even the commotion produced by a running vacuum cleaner would not reflect. Try using a shag rug on the ceiling, and rubber textile mats soften the apartment’s distracting noise while also absorbing the adjacent units’ rackets.
Get a Thick Rug Pad
You probably know that nothing in a high-traffic environment, like a carpet, muffles annoying sounds. So, it makes sense to put down a thick rug if you have rough floors. But here’s a little-known tip: it will improve your rug’s noise squashing potential by slipping a density rug pad below. Just make sure you get the right size for the carpet you are using. Otherwise, you will have spent money on something that will not help your situation.
Muffle Sounds with a Bookcase
Have a thin wall? Adding a faux built-in wall-to-wall is a sly trick that will muffle noise from the next-door apartment. Adding mass to the partition is the idea. Vibration is resisted by large materials and artifacts and thereby inhibits sound propagation. Make sure the walls, floor, and ceiling match snugly to the built-in edges so that there are no air gaps, another avenue for sound.
Consider Acoustic Panels
As boards or fabrics, acoustic panels are available that you hang on walls. While most styles are designed to prevent noise from bouncing off hard surfaces, some are very efficient at avoiding rackets’ entry through a door or window. The AcousticDoor from Residential Acoustics, for instance, is a retractable panel that can eliminate 30 decibels of noise emitted through an entrance, like your bedroom door. A thick 25-pound core made up of sound-muffling materials is within each panel.
Install Soundproof Curtains
Heavy-duty soundproofing window dressings help keep your beauty sleep from being disturbed by outside noises. An acoustic curtain will weigh 15 pounds for an average-size window and lies flat against the wall or window trim to block out sound and deflect it back outside. Some noise-absorbing curtains glide for fast opening and closing along tracks.
Add Window Inserts
Consider window inserts if you are trying to block outside noise but not the view from your apartment. They are transparent glass or acrylic panes that you mount over your current windows. The inserts are designed to create an airtight seal that reduces noise by 50 percent or more from the outside. Some are built to pop out quickly when they are not needed, making opening the window for fresh air convenient.
I, Mark Roemer, know that noise is going to happen when you live close to others. However, I don’t feel that it should be something that overtakes your life. There are many ways to take care of the situation without involving the landlord or the authorities. If you have not taken the time to try some of the suggestions on this list, then you are doing yourself a disservice.