If you are like many others who prefer apartment living to a stand-alone house, you have undoubtedly discovered there are both advantages and disadvantages to apartment living. One of the best benefits is you are not responsible for yard work or fixing any problems that may arise, such as leaky pipes. Unfortunately, there are disadvantages as well, but the most common complaint among apartment dwellers is the inability to block out the sounds of their neighbors. Are you are fed up with hearing every move your neighbor makes? If so, read on to learn about several cheap and effective ways to soundproof your apartment.
Fill in the Gaps
Sound waves travel through the air, so it is important to fill in any gaps that will allow sound to escape. Cracks, vents and even electrical outlets will carry sound into your apartment. To help reduce the sound coming from these areas:
- Install electrical outlet and wall plating insulation behind each electrical outlet and light switch.
- Wrap a small piece of foam around dryer connections and where the water pipes connect to the walls.
- Fill in damaged caulking around the shower, bathroom pipes and the space between the bathtub and the floor.
It is typically impossible to remove the existing walls in an apartment in order to install additional soundproofing material. However, there are a few tricks you can use to help quiet the noise between the walls, including:
Install egg crate foam (typically sold in the bedding department) to the wall, from floor to ceiling. Use a staple gun to attach the foam to the wall, so that if you move the holes will be small enough to quickly repair. Once the foam is attached to the wall, cover the foam with decorative fabric, making sure to fold in all edges before stapling over the foam. Once the fabric is place, it will look like wallpaper hung on the wall. To prevent a build-up of dust, simply vacuum the wall at least once a month.
Windows and Doors
If the sounds are coming through an interior or exterior door, the door may be hollow and too lightweight. You can remove the door and install a solid core door and simply install the original back in if you move. For extra soundproofing for a door, install acoustical door seals or weather-proofing strips around the frame and a door sweep on the bottom of the door.
If windows are the problem, the easiest and least expensive way to soundproof them is to install heavy curtains. The curtains should have a thick backing for the most optimum benefits. Even small cracks under the window frame can allow sound to travel inside, so caulk around the bottom and sides of the window and add weather stripping around the inside of the window frame.
Rearranging the furniture is an easy way to block sound. Place heavy items, such as bookcases against the wall where you are hearing sounds. Placing a thick cushioned chair in the corner of an interior wall will also help to absorb some of the sound. If you are hearing sounds from below, try scattering accent rugs with a heavy backing through the apartment. Remember to repair any changes you have made to the apartment before moving, such as patching holes from the staples and replacing any doors you removed with the originals.
These are just some of the great ways to do a little DIY noise reduction in your apartment or house so that fewer outside noises get inside and disrupt your day.