How to Minimize Sound & Keep Happy Apartment Neighbors
Have you ever wondered if your upstairs neighbors wear cement blocks as shoes while walking across their apartment? Or why your one neighbor insists on listening to 80s grunge rock at the highest volume right when you’re trying to get some shut eye?
Let’s face it — sometimes apartment neighbors can be noisy. But, at some point, we’ve all been guilty of amplifying a bit too loudly during inopportune times. While your dog may appreciate your shower singing at 6 AM, for instance, your next door neighbor may not.
Fortunately, there are several simple solutions that can help you muffle (or even mute) these daily audial annoyances. So, listen up and read on to learn the best ways to soundproof your apartment for quieter surroundings that both you and your neighbors will surely appreciate!
Cover Bare Walls
Bare walls are like a springboard for soundwaves — they tend to amplify noise in a space. By adding soft surfaces to a room, you can absorb a lot of that noise. The best sound-absorbing materials include cotton, foam, and felt; think large tapestries or decorative fabrics. The porous nature of these fabrics are what help the material absorb sound, and there are plenty of options today that are on-trend.
Wall coverings don’t necessarily have to be soft to absorb noise, though. By simply adorning your walls with a gallery wall of pictures, adding a vertical garden, or affixing damage-free wallpaper, you can create a sound barrier that’s both effective and stylish. Canvas wall art can also help absorb sound. Pro tip: To create an extra buffer, layer a piece of foam inside the hollow of the canvas.
Bookshelves are another great way to insulate your apartment from outside noise. Just make sure to pack your bookshelves tightly; too many gaps can counter your sound-blocking strategy. And if you’re worried that bookshelves might transform the vibe of your apartment into that of a boring library, fear not. There are plenty of creatively designed bookshelves that are far closer to fab than drab.
Same theory as the tip above, but here we're applying it to your floor! Adding rugs to bare floors helps keep sound from bouncing. Even if your apartment is already furnished with carpet, extra padding from a rug will add another layer of protection from the pitter-patter of dog paws, high heels, or rowdy kiddos. When selecting a rug, look for "high-pile" options that best minimize noise. Not only are rugs quite functional when it comes to noise reduction, but they can be stylish too! A bright, artsy rug really brings a room together by creating a centered focal point.
Use Door Seals
All of those seemingly minor cracks under your doors may appear innocent enough, but you’d be surprised by how much sound can enter an apartment that way. Door seals are cost-efficient, easy to install, and highly effective at mitigating unwelcome exterior noise. Added bonus: door seals provide insulation from drafts, blocking cold or hot air (depending on the season). That means less energy use and lower utility bills!
Try Ceiling Clouds
Not to be confused with those that bring rain, “ceiling clouds” are acoustic panels that hang from the ceiling to help absorb noise and echoes from above. Because ceiling clouds must be securely mounted to the ceiling, make sure to consult with a professional (and your TLC Properties manager) to ensure a proper install; otherwise, you could be liable for any damage.
Cancel It Out
A set of high-quality earplugs, noise-cancelling headphones, or a white noise machine can do wonders for drowning out unwanted sounds so you can enjoy utter peace and quiet.
Even with your best efforts, it’s impossible to block 100% of exterior sound all the time — that’s true for an apartment, house, or office building. Most apartment neighbors are simply unaware of the noise they’re producing; usually, all of that racket is not created intentionally to annoy you. If you’ve implemented all of the above tips and are still struggling with noisy neighbors, it may be time for a friendly intervention by contacting your TLC Property manager who can assist you in bringing peace to the situation.
Quiet time in no time.
It only takes a couple small adjustments to make a big difference in blocking sound within your space. Have you ever had a noisy neighbor? Sound off in the comments section below. Then, make sure to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter!