Often times, renters avoid apartments and duplexes because they fear a shared wall (or they have terrible roommate experiences). Not only can you hear the neighbors, but they can hear you. Before ruling out these accommodations, read our guide on soundproofing an apartment.
Every home has windows, and glass does a poor job at blocking sound, especially in older buildings. However, you can easily resolve this issue. Porous materials like cloth and fabric absorbs sound waves, dampening the noise. This is why music studios hang foam on their walls.
To soundproof your windows, use cellular shades or curtains. Both are composed of fabric which helps to dampen outside noise. While shades are fashionable, they are often transparent and allow light to enter the room.
Blackout curtains, on the other hand, don’t look as modern but are very thick. Not only does this keep out light, but also dampens sound.
These window treatments are affordably priced and commonly found at big-box stores like Home Depot. Want to skip a trip to the store? Have them custom-made by an online service such as Blinds To Go.
Although you’ve covered the windows, you’re still not done. Neighbors are the biggest source of noise complaints, especially in newer buildings where wood walls are used in favor of brick or concrete.
Fortunately, you have options. If you value functionality over style, you can hang foam or thick fabric from your walls. While not pretty, it does the job and blocks sound. If you wish to make it look nicer, apply some wallpaper with funky designs to match your style.
Another simple fix is to include upholstered furniture in your apartment. Because foam and fabric absorb sound, adding more of this material will help absorb some of the sound waves. However, don’t expect this to be a one-stop solution, and instead use this along with the other ideas we’ve mentioned.
If you’ve lived in a home with hardwood floors, you know the ever-familiar nose of click-clacking footsteps while trying to enjoy your evening. Want to spare your neighbors the hassle? Get a thick rug and pad. These not only absorb sound, but also make things more bearable for the residents below.
To avoid hearing footsteps above you, just pick an apartment on the top floor. Proactivity is the best form of issue prevention.
If you’ve done everything we’ve mentioned and still hear noise, don’t be discouraged. After all, you can never completely block out everything, especially if you share a wall.
If you can’t get rid of noise, a great alternative is to mask it using a sound machine. These create ambient white noise that diverts attention away from the noise outside your apartment. Many tenants consider these machines useful, and they can be found online or at most big-box stores.
Outside noise is a common frustration for both condo owners and apartment residents, but using our tips, it’s easy to soundproof your apartment. Try using one or all of these ideas – you’ll be glad you did.