How to Soundproof Your Apartment – Today!

There are lots of reasons why it’s a good idea to soundproof your apartment.

You may have noisy neighbors who keep on partying even late at night. You may be close to the traffic and it keeps you from having a good night’s sleep.

Or maybe it’s the other way around — you have kids or you’re a part of a band and you would like to control the noise coming from your apartment.

Whatever your reason is, we’ve prepared this article for you. In here you’ll learn how to soundproof your apartment (if possible, today).

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Let’s get started! 😊

Introduction to soundproofing your apartment

Let’s discuss first your apartment and soundproofing in general.

Most residential buildings, especially those in the city, have thin walls and light doors. Because of that, it’s easy for the constant noise from the outside to come inside.

By nature, sound travels in the form of soundwaves through a medium like air or solid objects. Soundwaves are able to penetrate your home because of the holes, gaps, and cracks found on your doors, windows, and even ceilings.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

There are two common principles involved: sound blocking and sound absorption.

Sound blocking is achieved when soundwaves can’t enter because there are objects on its path that blocks or deflects it. Such is the case in using solid objects. However, vibration can still be felt and heard as soundwaves can still travel via solid objects.

Sound absorption is done by trapping the soundwaves and converting them into heat energy. This dampens the noise resulting in a much quieter space.

The common areas in your apartment that you need to be concerned are the following:

  • Walls
  • Doors
  • Windows
  • Ceiling
  • Floor if you’re on a multi-story building

We’ll be tackling each area and discuss what materials and solutions can be used to soundproof them.

Soundproofing the apartment walls

Due to the thinness of your walls, it’s easy for soundwaves to pass through. The main task in soundproofing your walls is to cover the walls or block the soundwaves from entering either by reinforcing the wall or putting up materials in it.

Here’s how you can soundproof your walls:

Move your furniture to block the sound path

Contrary to what others believe as a “myth” in soundproofing, using your furniture to block off the path of soundwaves do work to an extent.

When a soundwave hits an obstacle, it loses some of its power and energy as it will bounce off and die down.

Surely, this is a cost-free method. However, manage your expectations. Moving your furniture won’t completely kill the noise. But it may reduce it to an extent.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Dampen the noise with soundproof panels

Adding a soundproof panel is a good way to add mass and density to absorb more vibrations and dampen the noise.

This is a good way to block low-level noises like conversations and background noises from the outside.

luxhive soundproofing acoustic foam panels

There are lots of available soundproof foam panels on the market. You could buy a 12 pack acoustic foam panels from different brands like Foamily and Mybecca for less than $20.

Seal holes and gaps using sealants

The cracks and gaps in your walls are spaces where soundwaves can easily pass through.

You can seal them using caulks or sealants. If you have sealants in the house already, feel free to use them.

If not, you can buy acoustic sealants like Gorilla or Loctite to seal those gaps and holes.

Put insulation materials on the wall

If you can buy the materials today and you have knowledge and experience in opening your walls, you could probably do this in a day or two.

But if not, you would need to hire a professional for this. We have included this solution since this is one of the most effective ways of soundproofing the walls in your apartment.

owens corning fiberglass board insulation material

There are lots of soundproof insulation materials. But the best of them is batt insulation which are rectangular panels or rolls made of fiberglass, cotton, or mineral wool.

They are a bit pricier, around $40-$60. But they are worth it. Some notable brands include Rockwool, Owens Corning, and ATS Acoustics.

Install new drywall

If you’re ready to spend more, you can also replace your drywall with a soundproof one.

This is an expensive solution and would require you to hire a professional. But it’s pretty effective especially when coupled with insulation material.

quietrock 545 drywall

If you’re curious, you may have to spend more than a hundred dollars on drywall. You might want to throw in a few sealants as well to cover the holes that can’t be covered with insulation and drywall.

Brands you can trust are QuietRock and National Gypsum.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Soundproofing the apartment doors

Some of your doors are probably not made of wood but instead hollow and lighter materials. Due to this, soundwaves can pass through them, not to mention the gaping holes around the door frames.

Soundproofing your apartment doors is easy. Here’s what you can do:

Seal the spaces with weatherstripping

To reduce the sound that’s coming through your door, you obviously have to cover areas like the door frame, door jambs, and the gap under the floor.

Weatherstripping is pretty easy to find. Most of them are “all in one kit for the door”. However, they do work in insulating the air and the noise.

When choosing, make sure to select the thickest. Weatherstripping foams from Magzo have varying thickness

Install a soundproof door sweep

When it comes to the gap under the door, door sweeps are more effective than weatherstripping tape.

Choose soundproof door sweeps that are adjustable, versatile, and self-adhesive. Remember, the door is a moving part of your apartment. You can’t seal them the same way you seal door frames.

suptikes huge gap door draft stopper sweep

There’s an additional benefit in installing a door sweep — keeping away bugs and insects inside your apartment.

Fortunately, these materials don’t cost that much. Check out the door sweeps from Baining, Suptikes, and Pro Grade USA.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Apply soundproof paints

If you like to paint, you can apply soundproof paints to your door.

These paints are thicker than your average paint. They’re made up of latex and sound-absorbing fillers.

acry-tech-acoust-x

Soundproof paints can help dampen noise by 30%. They’re effective against low and faint noises like murmurings.

They’re pretty easy to apply. You can paint them like regular paint or use a spray. Most of the popular choices are paints from Second Skin, Hy-Tech, and Acoust-X.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Cover the door with soundproof blankets

It’s not surprising (or weird) to cover doors with soundproof blankets. Recording studios do this.

Soundproof blankets are denser and thicker than your ordinary blankets. Technically, most soundproof blankets are moving blankets.

us cargo control quilted microfiber door cover

When companies knew that moving blankets like US Cargo Control can be used for soundproofing, they started creating ones designed for studio use. Examples of such are blankets from Audimute and Singer Safety.

You can simply hang them on a curtain rod or find a way to stick them to your doors.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Soundproofing the apartment windows

Soundproofing your windows can reduce the noise going inside your apartment by up to 50%. Like in soundproofing doors, you would have to put a barrier between the sound and the hearer.

Here’s a few ideas on how to soundproof apartment windows:

Use weatherstripping to eliminate gaps

Weatherstripping isn’t only for doors, you can also use them to cover the seams and gaps in the windows to stop air from getting inside.

srhome self-adhesive-weatherstrip

Again, choose the thicker and more durable tape. They’re still cheap and affordable and you can buy one within $5 to $10 budget.

Some of the best brands you can use are SRHOME, CloudBuyer, and G-S-I.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Hang soundproof curtains to absorb the noise

Since we’re talking about windows, you might already have been expecting curtains.

Anyways, soundproof curtains aren’t your normal curtains. Sure, they look the same in terms of appearance. However, the materials of soundproof curtains can absorb soundwaves and convert them into heat.

eclipse Bradley thermal insulation darkening curtains

These curtains are made up of fabrics — polyester, velvet, or satin. The soft, porous, and fluffy surface of these fabrics trap the soundwaves and absorb its energy.

By the way, you can also use soundproof curtains wherever you like. For example, you can use them as soundproof room dividers to act as a sound barrier between two spaces.

Among the brands you can trust include ECLIPSE, Best Home Fashion, NICETOWN, and others.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Soundproofing the apartment ceiling

Unless you’re soundproofing the basement ceiling, this part may prove to be a bit more difficult. However, you may have to soundproof your ceiling to protect yourself from airborne and impact noise like in the case of a heavy rain.

Here’s how you can do it:

Put foam panels

Like in the case of soundproofing walls, you can also place soundproof foam panels on your ceiling.

In addition to its effect, there are panels like the ones from Acoustimac that have an art draw into it.

Be careful when installing them. Make sure that they are sticking strongly either directly on the ceiling or on a panel.

You don’t want to experience being hit in the head by a panel, would you? 😓

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Install acoustic insulation

Like in the wall, you can also install insulation on the ceilings.

They’re not just effective against noise. With an insulation on your ceiling, you’re also adding thermal insulation to your apartment.

rockwool safensound insulation material

Some brands like Rockwool Safe’n’Sound have a stone wool insulation material that can be used inside wall and ceiling partitions.

The materials used also have superior fire resistance and acoustical performance.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Soundproofing the apartment floor

If your apartment is in a multi-story building, soundproofing your floor could protect you from the noise below. Or, it could be the other way around. It’s a good idea to soundproof the floor especially when you have kids running around.

Here’s how you can soundproof your floors:

Lay down some foam mats

The most basic thing you can do is to lay down foam mats.

If you have kids, those puzzle foam tiles with letters and numbers can be used though they only provide minimal soundproofing.

ergocell rubber horse stall mat interlocking floor tiles

For serious soundproofing, there are acoustic floor tiles made with high-density rubber with acoustic, vibration, and temperature insulation.

You can buy them at Ergocell or ProsourceFit.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Use thick carpets

Thick carpets have acoustic absorbency properties.

They dampen noise by converting sound energy into heat.

safavieh hudson shag collection slate plush area rug

When choosing a thick carpet, select one that’s tightly-woven. Check out the carpets from Safavieh, Gorilla Grip, or AND BEYOND INC.

Install floor underlayment or insulation

Lastly, you can also install an underlayment or insulation on your floors.

An underlayment is a thin material that’s applied below the final flooring that you see and slightly above the subflooring.

Insulation materials are placed below the subfloor between the joists. Whichever you choose, make sure to ask the help of a professional.

From underlayments, the brands Roberts, QuietWalk Plus, and FloorMuffler has one.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Other methods you can use

Of course, there are other methods you can use as well. Do note, however, that these aren’t standard soundproofing solutions. Use one that you’re most comfortable with.

White Noise Machines

Lots of people find white noise peaceful and relaxing.

White noise is made up of different sound frequencies and can drown out all other noises in the environment.

hatch-baby-rest-sound-mchine

Although you can buy a machine, there are some on YouTube you can check out.

But if you’re interested in machines that can also be controlled with an app on your phone, check out Hatch Baby, Zonpor, or Homedics.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Wear soundproof earmuffs

Soundproof earmuffs can help you sleep at night quicker and better.

Obviously, earmuffs aren’t meant for sleeping. But there are effective in blocking out noises all around.

spp panda ear defenders soundproof earmuffs

Depending on the brand you choose, earmuffs could be pretty cheap or insanely expensive.

Some of the best soundproof earmuffs we’ve found are these brands: Dr.meter, ClearArmor, and SPP PANDA.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Talk to your neighbor

If the main reason why you want to soundproof your apartment is because of your noisy neighbor, talking to them might solve the problem.

Out of everything in here, this could be the most effective, cost-free, obvious solution. All you have to do is muster up the courage, go to their apartment, and gently ask them to be quieter.

The reality, your neighbors have no idea sometimes that they’re being noisy. If you do it kindly enough, it might work.

But then again, each to his own, so it might not work. Still, it’s worth a try, right? 😊

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com

Wrapping things up…

In conclusion, there are lots of ways you can soundproof your apartment — from cheap and easy ones to solutions requiring a professional’s help.

When possible, use more than one method to soundproof a specific space. They work best when used together. Some of them are naturally linked to another like insulation, sealants, and drywall.

Mikkel Holm, Founder of TheDIYClub.com