People live and thrive in communities. Whether you need to borrow some crockery or want someone to depend on in case of a midnight emergency, friendly neighbors are a blessing – but, it’s quite rare. What if your next-door neighbors are some unconcerned and peppy college students who love nothing but parties? Or a large family whose chatter never ends?
With all the ruckus outside, no amount of fluffy pillows and earplugs can help you get some well-rested shut-eye unless you soundproof your room. Before you experience any more sleep depravity at the hands of your neighbors, we have listed eight practical ways to soundproof a room from noisy neighbors.
Noisy neighbors can be a serious threat to your mental peace and well-being. Start by sealing the gaps inside the doors and windows, and buffer the floor with carpeting. Fortify your drywall with a layer of insulation and acoustic panels for better soundproofing. Lastly, consider reorganizing the furniture and infusing some houseplants in the corners.
Why Is Noise From Neighbors Difficult to Suppress?
Of course, you can try playing nice with your neighbors or file a complaint with the relevant authorities if they are reluctant to listen. The best way to attain noiseless indoors is by buffering your room from the inside out. It may minimize the external noise to hum but suppressing the loud music from next door entirely is a long shot. But why? Why is noise from outside so difficult to stop completely?
For starters, loud neighbors aren’t your only dilemma with soundproofing, especially when living near a busy street. In fact, with the boisterous traffic noise and blaring sirens, noisy neighbors would be the least of your worries.
Even the tiniest gaps and fissures on the surface can let sound waves through. Since sound waves have different pitches and frequencies, the tenacious ones with a bigger wavelength can easily wander in and disturb your peace.
Low-frequency sounds, on the other hand, travel longer distances, making them easier to muffle down than high-pitched sounds. These include the humming sound of cars flowing past the highway or shallow thuds of high-bass music playing at a distance.
While you can overcome airborne noise by blocking the passageways to your room, impact noise is still a serious threat to the calm inside. Such noise transmits through physical objects that lack sufficient padding. If you have large window panes or glass walls, there’s a high probability that you will hear your neighbor’s chatter from the other side.
3-Step Formula to Block Noise From Neighbors
Despite the strict code of conduct laws in most neighborhoods, noisy neighbors are still a prevalent problem in most vicinities and apartment buildings. In the UK alone, more than five million people have reported noisy neighbors, making it a more serious problem than many imagine.
Although you can ask your neighbors to keep it down or even file a complaint against them with the relevant authorities, there’s no guarantee you’ll have your peace intact from that moment on. With the improvements in soundproofing equipment, applying some acoustic treatment solutions to your room is best.
Find the Source
While noise appears barging in from everywhere, it is always directional. When soundproofing a room, you must determine its source – where the noise comes from. Sound waves don’t need large openings to penetrate; even the smallest gaps and fissures can let the noise pass through. Therefore, locating the noise source will help you determine the vulnerable spots in your room and reinforce them against future intrusion.
Determine the Type of Noise
Be it the neighbors or outside traffic; noise travels in two forms; airborne and impact noise. Airborne noise often includes loud music, chattering voices, and the sound of crying babies from the other side of the building. Since they travel through the gaps in walls and floors, airborne noise is easier to intercept.
The knocking sounds of footsteps in the corridor or the scraping of furniture upstairs, and loud bass music are some common instances of impact noise. Such noise travels in the form of vibrations that can only be dampened through padding and insulation.
Once you locate the source of noise and its medium of intrusion, blocking and deflecting the waves is only part of the job. Instead of simply buffing up the structure with padding and insulation, you must tackle the noise both ways. Seal off the gaps between your windows, walls, and ceiling. Then clad up the interior with acoustic materials to soak up the sound waves that leak in.
8 Crafty Ways to Soundproof a Room From Noisy Neighbors
Whether it’s the loud chatter of your neighbors or the HVAC condenser they have placed outside your bedroom window, soundproofing your room is the only way to end the cacophony. Let’s break down the eight creative and simple methods to block noise from neighbors outside:
1. Seal the Leaky Doors
With their hollow cores and sizeable gaps between the door and the frame, apartment doors do little to block the outside noise. Plus, if you have dual-paneled doors with visible space between them, even more noise can pass through.
First off, you need to plug up the gaps and fissures using acoustic sealant where possible. The gaps between the two doors and the door frame should be covered using door gaskets and draft blockers. Here are a few options you should consider:
- Holikme Draft Stopper – This door bottom seal prevents germs, colds, and noise from entering or exiting the room. The draft blocker is self-adhesive, supports easy mounting, and exhibits a dual-layer seal for effective insulation.
- Weather Stripping Seal Strip – The soundproof door seal features a high-resilience polyurethane foam layered with a durable and flexible PE coating. It is designed with flange mounting grooves that allow easy installation and better soundproofing.
2. Buff up the Windows
Windows are as much a liability to indoor serenity as doors are, and sometimes even more. Besides your noisy neighbors, windows may even let the external traffic noise barge into your bedroom without much obstruction.
Though double- and triple-paned windows work exceptionally well in barricading outdoor noise, they are super-expensive compared to normal windows. For a more cost-effective solution, blocking off gaps, airways, and windows might be an excellent place to start.
- Green Glue Sealant – Green glue is a widely-adopted caulking sealant for soundproofing purposes. The super adhesive formula dries off into a flexible and durable substance that protects your room from dust, water, and noise.
- Window Weather Strip Tape – With its self-adhesive technology, the weather stripping seal strip strongly binds with glass and metal surfaces. It is weatherproof, windproof, and dustproof, keeping your indoors safe, protected, and silent.
3. Fortify the Drywall
While the apartment walls are well-equipped to protect you from external weather conditions and temperatures, they lack soundproofing. Since the thin walls are the primary noise transmitters from your neighbors, fortifying them with an additional layer of insulation and acoustic fixtures seems the probable solution.
Bubos Acoustic Panels – Unlike standard foam, these acoustical wall panels offer exceptional sound absorption and reduce room reverberation. With the elegant design pattern, they make excellent décor fixtures for your room.
If you don’t want your room to give the vibes of a recording studio, there are perkier and more stylish ways to buckle up your space. As a book lover, you can clad the adjoining wall between you and your neighbor with bookshelves from floor to ceiling. Or you can furnish it as a gallery wall by hanging multiple canvas paintings. You may not know this, but canvas refract and deflect sound waves.
4. Furnish the Floor
Noise is more likely to penetrate downstairs through the floor instead of moving upstairs. That said, what if you are on the wrong side of the picture – the noisy upstairs neighbor who constantly pummels the floor with heavy footsteps and broomsticks? You should furnish floors before your downstairs neighbors call on you.
While you should apply layers of carpet as padding to absorb the impact noise, bridging the gaps in your floor is also vital to stop the airborne noise from passing through. You don’t have to thicken the entire floor with carpets. Rather placing shaggy rugs strategically on places with a higher foot count will do the job.
Pagisofe Fluffy Rug – This shaggy rug boasts a soft velvety texture laced with memory foam underneath that improves comfort. It can absorb strong impact vibrations and retains a calmer indoor environment.
5. Furbish the Ceiling
Your upstairs neighbors might be the biggest intruders to your peace without them even knowing. Even the sound of footsteps, creaking of furniture, and loud chatter can get extremely noisy due to resonance. If they have odd sleeping schedules, the situation can get catastrophic.
Lowering your ceiling can help muffle down the upstairs noise. The air between the actual roof and the drop ceiling is a sound barrier that reduces sound intensity when it travels through. You can also infuse a layer of insulation alongside for better results. To top it all off, invest in an acoustic drop ceiling.
Acoustical Drop Ceiling – These acoustics tiles are manufactured from high-quality fiberglass that is durable and sturdy. With its non-woven facing, the tiles eliminate resonance and echo that travel from the roof above.
6. Reorganize the Furniture
Unpopular opinion, but reorganizing your furniture does impact sound quality inside the room. For instance, instead of leaving your bed back up against the adjoining wall with your loud neighbor, consider moving it farther away from the wall.
The more the distance between your bed and the adjoining wall, the less intense will be the noise you hear from your bed. Shift your couch against the adjoining wall instead to block the noise coming in from the other side of the wall. Lastly, makes sure no corner is left empty without any furniture. This will also help limit the vibrations caused by impact noise.
7. Fetch Some Indoor Plants
For something that elevates your room décor, refines the indoor environment, and improves the room’s acoustics, indoor plants take the top spot. Most indoor plants feature large and thick leafy petals that help refract, deflect, and absorb sound waves barging in from your neighboring apartment.
Besides the twigs and leaves, the potted dirt is an effective noise-controlling method. Set up the plants towards the two corners of your room and group the rest against the window. Sometimes, the plants alone may not make much difference, especially if you live in a busy neighborhood. In that case, get sound-deadening curtains to amplify the sound quality in the room.
8. Introduce Some White Noise
If the noise is too overwhelming to block or buffer, perhaps you should adopt a different tactic altogether. Why not mask the unbearable noise from the outside with a more bearable and affluent noise from the inside?
You can install some white noise machines near your windows and door that battle off the noise with sound waves that are somewhat amiable to hear. Some noise machines incorporate multiple, considerably satisfying soundtracks to choose from. White noise machines are the perfect device that makes sure the external noise does not take a toll on your productivity and health.
People Also Asked
How can I soundproof my room cheaply?
The cheapest way to soundproof a room is by utilizing what’s already present. That includes shifting the bulky thick furniture against the adjoining walls. Installing bookshelves and placing canvas paintings on the wall. You can also set up indoor plants beside the door and windows.
Can I soundproof the existing walls?
Yes, you can soundproof the existing walls by cladding them with an additional layer of insulation and acoustic elements. You can install fiberglass insulation boards or attach acoustic panels to the walls to make them soundproof.
How to soundproof a window from noisy neighbors?
Firstly, you must seal the gaps between the glass panels and window panes. Use caulking sealant to block the gaps and fissures, and install weather stripping tape against the glass panels to counter rattling noise.
How do I block noise from the shared wall?
Clad the wall with acoustic panels and insulation boards. Place some houseplants at the corners and shift your couch to the wall’s center. You can also install bookshelves and hang canvas paintings on the shared wall.