Soundproofing Your Apartment
There may be nothing more annoying than a noisy neighbor. It’s important to consider this from both views. You should try to be courteous to your fellow complex dwellers. If you play an instrument, keep late hours, or even have been blessed with a newborn, you might be keeping your neighbors up at night. Soundproofing your apartment might be easier and cheaper than you think.
A Win-Win Situation
Soundproofing works to your advantage whether you are the noisy neighbor, or you have the unfortunate luck of living next to one. These techniques keep your noise in your home and block out the ruckus coming through your wall.
You should check with your building manager for answers to a few questions. Find out if there is a noise ordinance in place for the complex. It may be against regulations to play your sax at 3 am. It’s also important to ask about the various methods of soundproofing your walls. You may not be allowed to make certain, or any, alterations to your apartment.
Once you know what type of soundproofing, you’re allowed to complete, make a budget. Choose a dollar amount you know you can afford. Use your go-to search engine to find soundproofing projects in your price range.
You could go the more expensive route and have a professional install the soundproofing system for you. It may be quite a bit cheaper to purchase and install it yourself.
Sound barriers are available and generally manufactured out of recycled tire rubber. There are sound absorption sheets for your walls, ceiling, and floor. Another option is soundproofing fabric panels. You can find these printed with pictures to add some flair. Try a keyword search for acoustic panels to compare prices and efficiency.
There are several less expensive techniques as well. Keep in mind that sound waves bounce off hard objects, but softer materials absorb them. Placing a thick, shaggy rug on your floor can reduce the noise drifting up from below you. Fully stocked bookcases can be used to absorb noise traveling through walls. Large, cushy couches can help noise coming from your apartment walls and floor.
White Noise Blender
You can use any combination or all these techniques to reduce the noise in your home. Take it one step further and buy a white noise machine. These too can be found from ridiculously priced to fair bargains. Some emit scents while playing soft music or gentle nature sounds. While white noise will not block nor absorb sound waves, it can distract your brain. This can help you get some much-needed rest even if your neighbor insists on picking tunes or redecorating at the crack of dawn.
Take a look at our article on Community Etiquette for some tips for being courteous to your neighbors. You may be able to hash out a schedule with your neighbors if you get to know them first. If you do happen to have a bundle of cuddles on the way read New Baby Apartment Preparations for suggestions on preparing for your newborn.