We all know the struggle of having noisy neighbors especially if you’re the type of person who loves to enjoy peace and quiet. If you’re working from home, then it’s even worse.
The best solution for this is to escape. Probably move to a new apartment, or move to a new town. But if you own the place or if the place is convenient for everything you needed to do, this would be a hard pass.
The next thing you can do though is talking to your neighbors about it. There are times that this works out well.
But most of the time, it doesn’t. In some cases, your neighbors will probably comply for a week or two and then after that, they’re back to their old ways.
If options one and two is something you can’t do, the next thing you can do is to soundproof your home. This is absolutely perfect for blocking sounds from your neighbors.
So, how can you block sounds coming from your neighbors? Here are five steps you can follow to block noise from your next door neighbors:
- Soundproof your Walls by using Acoustic Foams And Panels to block noise
- Seal The Gaps In your Door by using Weatherstripping Tape or Insulating Foam Sealants
- USE INSULATING FOAM SEALANT TO SEAL small gaps in the window frame
- Soundproof your Ceilings by adding a drop ceiling or another layer of drywall
- USE carpet panels or FLUFFY RUGS TO DEADEN SOUND THROUGH FLOORS
Basically, you would need to pay attention to these parts of your home and soundproof them. Therefore, you would need to look for ways where you can thicken these parts to reduce the sounds that can pass through.
If you don’t know how to, don’t worry, we’ll help you. We’ll be sharing with you different ways on how you can soundproof your walls, doors, windows, ceiling, and floor for that ultimate soundproofing.
But first, let’s start with the materials you’ll need.
So again, there are 5 parts of your home that you would need to focus on: walls, doors, windows, ceiling, and floor.
You would be needing different materials to soundproof each of these parts.
- Weatherstripping Tape → an easy and effective way to seal gaps on the door frame
- Insulating Foam Sealant → also an effective solution to seal gaps
- Door Sweep → to effectively close the gap between the bottom of your door and the floor; it tightens the air not allowing noise to pass-through
- Soundproofing Blankets → thick blankets that have an ability to absorb sound and reduce noise; an excellent sound barrier.
- Solid Door → replace hollow doors with solid ones
- Drop Ceiling → secondary ceiling you can install below your existing ceiling to effectively reduce noise from your neighbor
- Acoustic Clouds → hung parallel from the ceiling to absorb sound waves
- Drywall → a layer that you can add to thicken the ceiling and reduce noise
- Interlocking Floors Mats → colorful mats you can place in a nursery room to soundproof the floor from the noise below
- Acoustic Floor Underlayment → effective in absorbing noise and vibrations that can echo through the floor
- Carpet Padding → effective sound-absorbing material that will help reduce noise
As you can see, these materials are available at your local store.
It’s easy to acquire them which indicates that the soundproofing ideas to follow are not that hard to do.
How to Block Noise From the Noisy Neighbors in Just 5 simple Steps
Step 1: Soundproof the Walls
If you’re staying in an apartment building, then it’s common that at least one wall is shared with neighbors.
This makes the layer so thin which is why noise can easily pass through.
This is very irritating as it emits that sense of privacy that you need. Usually, even slightly louder conversations can be heard already through these walls.
So, the best solution you can do is to thicken your walls to reduce noise from your neighbours.
Here are some ways to do that:
1: Use acoustic foams and panels
The first thing you can do is to use acoustic foams and panels to reduce sound transmission through walls.
These materials are excellent when it comes to absorbing sounds.
These are commonly used inside a studio as they are designed to improve the quality sound inside a room.
They are usually made of sound-absorbing materials such as fiberglass which makes them a very effective solution to block noise.
2: Use Drywall over your Existing Walls
Another thing that you can do is to add a layer of drywall over your existing wall. This will help in thickening the wall, reducing sound vibrations to stop the noise from your noisy next door neighbors.
However, we would also like to emphasize that you don’t have to add drywall to every wall. Instead, you can focus on areas where you best need extra sound proofing such as the nursery or your bedroom.
Also, it is best to take note that you would need to do additional steps such as refinishing, repainting, and extending electrical outlets. You can search for easy and inexpensive DIYs about this too.
3: Use Mass-Loaded Vinyl
A mass-loaded vinyl is also an excellent material you can use. This is specially made for noise control and would greatly help in deadening sounds. You can place this between your drywalls to improve noise reduction.
Step 2: Soundproof your Doors To Block Noise
There are two things that you need to think about when soundproofing doors: sealing the gaps and thickening the door.
Below are a few ways on how you can do this:
Seal the Gaps
Use a weatherstripping tape
You can use a weatherstripping tape to seal the gaps on your door frames. This is known to be very effective as it’s also made of sound-absorbing materials such as fiberglass.
Installing weatherstripping tapes is quite easy as they are usually self-adhesive.
Just make sure that you measure the right length of the door frame before cutting your tape so that it’s exact measurements.
Seal the gaps with an Insulating Foam Sealants
If you don’t want to use weatherstripping tapes, you can also use insulating foam sealants to seal edges of doors.
These are usually vinyl or neoprene strips that are airtight which gives them the sound-absorbing ability.
Another great thing about them is that they are paintable to match the color of your door.
Just remember that this is not a foolproof solution and it would best be paired with other soundproofing tricks.
Seal the gaps with Door Sweeps
The next gap you would have to pay attention to is the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor.
This gap is usually the biggest and probably one of the major causes of why noise is able to easily pass through.
The easiest (and probably the most inexpensive) way to seal this gap is to use a door sweep.
They are able to reduce the sound by creating compression which also makes it airtight.
There are rubber door sweeps on the market that you can purchase.
However, they have problems with creating a squeaking sound when they get in contact with the floor. You don’t want that.
If this is the case, go grab available clothing straps or blankets that you can place under the door to seal those gaps.
Thicken the Door
Use a Soundproofing Blanket
Usually, this method is highly recommended for interior doors in your bedroom or nursery.
However, if you’re staying in an apartment and the exterior door is thin, then you would need to thicken it.
You can do this by using a soundproofing blanket. Just purchase one from the market and place them on your door.
The only problem with this method is that it’s not good for aesthetics.
And if you’re staying in an apartment, this is not a good look for visitors to see.
Use some Soundproofing Panels
Just like the walls, you can also use soundproofing panels to thicken and soundproof your door.
Soundproof panels are really great at absorbing sounds, and if you’ll be holding a party, you can enjoy great quality music. Plus, they are much nicer to look at too.
Change the door
If you have the budget, however, then it’s highly suggested to change the door.
However, if you’re staying in an apartment building, ask your landlord first if it’s allowed so you don’t get in trouble.
This is a more expensive option compared to the first two. Mainly because if you really want a soundproof door, you would need to buy a solid one rather than those that have hollow cores.
But, though it’s expensive, it’s actually the one that doesn’t require a lot of work on your part.
Plus, you can choose a design that will complement well with your house design or style.
Step 3: Soundproof your Windows
The third step that you need to take care of is to soundproof your windows to to block noise from next door neighbors.
This will help greatly if you’re staying in a place full of traffic. Also, to offer you some privacy away from your loud neighbors.
We will not be telling you to block off your windows just like the other two previous steps.
That wouldn’t make any sense especially that we also want to enjoy some light illuminating inside our house.
So, how are we going to soundproof the windows? Below are some things you can do:
Use Sealants (Again)
The same with the doors, you can expect that there will be small gaps in the window frame.
These gaps, no matter how small, can let the noise go through. So, take a look at your window and detect even the tiniest gaps and seal them.
That’s only the first and easiest way. It’s not foolproof, but it’s a great complement to the other steps.
Get Double-Paneled Windows
One of the best ways you can soundproof windows to to block noise from next door neighbors is to get double-paneled ones.
These types of windows contain an extra layer which increases their soundproofing capability.
However, we won’t recommend you using this method if you’re quite on a budget.
Double-paneled windows are quite expensive and it will require a bigger investment.
There is a cheaper version though that can help you achieve the same results as having double-paneled windows.
That is adding a layer of acrylic to your existing windows. It’s also expensive, but it’s cheaper than buying new ones.
Use Soundproof Curtains
Lastly, change your curtains into the soundproofing ones. These are typically thicker than your ordinary curtains which helps in blocking noise coming from outside your windows.
These are also quite on the expensive side, however, I believe they are worth the investment.
Step 4: Soundproofing your Ceiling
The next thing you would want to soundproof is your ceiling.
I highly recommend this for those living in an apartment building where there are tenants above you.
It’s not nice hearing the footsteps coming from above you so it’s best that you block this sound.
This is also an excellent way to minimize the room coming from upstairs if you have a two-story house.
This way, even if you have visitors, you can enjoy a nice time talking without being bothered by the noise from your kid’s room upstairs.
Here are a few things you can do to soundproof your ceiling:
Add a drop ceiling
The first way to soundproof your ceiling is to add a drop ceiling from your existing ceiling. This is usually installed below the existing drywall.
By simply adding it, you’ll be creating a space between that will help isolate the noise.
Installing a drop ceiling is quite easy even if you would like to do it on your own. However, the process of installing can take days.
You would also need to do some rewiring, repainting, and other adjustments too.
Just remember that you take the exact measurements first and plan everything out so there won’t be a need to re-do.
Place some Acoustic clouds
Another way to soundproof your ceiling to to reduce noise from next door neighbors is to invest in some acoustic clouds.
They are effective products that can help reduce sounds. This method is also a great way to beautify the room.
There are different designs available on the market that are extremely stylish which can add great appeal to your room.
It’s perfect for living rooms if you have visitors coming in.
These acoustic clouds are usually seen in malls or office buildings, but there’s no rule that you can’t use them in your own house.
However, do note that these are quite expensive and may not be a great idea for those who want to are on a budget
Add another layer of drywall
And the last way that you can soundproof your ceiling to is to add another layer of drywall.
You can choose either adding a single layer or a double layer of drywall. Again, it depends on what you need.
Installing drywall is an effective way to soundproof your ceiling as it makes it thicken and thus reducing the capability of sound to pass through easily.
It does not, however, improve the aesthetics of your house. You might need to do some repainting to improve your ceiling look.
Step 5: Soundproofing your Floor
Lastly, soundproof your floor. Again, this is highly recommended to to reduce noise from neighbors for those living inside apartment buildings.
However, it’s also great if you want to minimize the sound that echoes around your house.
There are three materials you can use so you can soundproof your floor:
Interlocking Floor Mats
These are colorful puzzle mats with shapes at the center that you can use to soundproof the floor in the nursery room.
Yes, these mats aren’t only for decoration or for the purpose to keep your kids safe but also to soundproof the floors as well.
Place these mats all over your nursery floor. This way, no matter what noise your neighbors will make on the floor below you, it wouldn’t awaken your baby.
The same thing if it’s at your own house.
Acoustic Floor Underlayment
Deadening the sound through the floors by using acoustic floor underlayment is the best thing you can do to reduce noise noise from downstairs neighbors.
This is a thin layer of insulation that you can place under your carpet to serve as a sound barrier.
For the best underlayments, you can opt for laminate flooring underlayment.
Also, the noise-reducing capability will be more effective if you have a hardwood or vinyl floor.
The application of this material is fairly easy. All you need is to unroll it from wall to wall and secure it on the edge using some nails.
Just make sure to cover all the areas as needed.
The last soundproofing materials that you can use is carpet padding. It is specifically designed to reduce noise by reducing the echoes around your house.
To install the carpet padding, you just need to roll out the material from wall to wall. Cut it on the edges and secure it with glue or nails.
Do take note that carpet padding is heavy, so you might need help from a friend to help you with the installation process.
If doing the things indicated above is not enough, or if you don’t have the budget to invest in most of the materials needed, here are some more soundproofing techniques that you can do.
Rearrange your furniture
Sometimes, all you need is a little furniture rearrangement.
If your bed is too close to the window where the traffic is, try to move it away from the window.
If the sofa is too close to the wall where the noise is coming from, then rearrange it.
In other words, move your furniture away from the source.
Especially the furniture where you really spend time to relax such as your bed, your office desk, or the living room sofa where you usually gather to talk.
You can also rearrange heavy furniture such as bookshelves to help in thickening your wall so that minimal sound can pass through.
White noise machines
Another thing you can do is invest in white noise machines.
Though they are not really effective as stand-alone soundproofing machines, they can still effectively drown out the noise coming from your neighbor.
Also, they create a calm and soothing sound to help you relax too while you go about your business.
Placing white noise machines in your nursery area will also help a lot in keeping your baby sleep at night.
Cork Boards can work too
Aside from panels, cork boards are great soundproofing materials too as they can help absorb sound.
This is absolutely perfect to place inside your home office where you can also do some organizing at the same time. It’s a dual purpose!
We’ve mentioned using carpet panels, but, if you don’t have the budget to invest in those, you can settle for some carpet rugs.
This will help prevent echoes coming from the floor. Not only will it help in silencing or quieting down the noise coming from below your apartment, but it will also help to muffle the noise coming from your apartment down to your neighbors.
Large Canvas Paintings
Lastly, you can use large canvas paintings. Just like acoustic panels, these are great in absorbing sounds coming from your neighbors.
However, unlike the acoustic panels, they come in different patterns that will improve the aesthetics of your house.
To use these as a soundproofing material, simply arrange them in the area where the noise is coming from. This will help improve your soundproofing.
Just remember though that this method is not foolproof but it’s a great complement to other soundproofing techniques.
You should not tolerate your neighbor’s noise, because there are a lot of ways that you can block them.
With the following soundproofing steps, you’ll be sure to achieve the peace and quiet you deserve.
Just remember that all these soundproofing techniques compliment well with each other. For greater effectiveness, you can combine two or three of the steps that you think you can do.
All these steps are not complicated and the materials can be purchased at your local store which is good news.
If you, however, are not confident doing all of these on your own, then hiring an expert to do it would be great.
Also, hiring an expert will save you all the trouble plus it will be faster too.
Whatever you choose to do, just always think that soundproofing is all about thickening that layer so that noise will not pass through. So, don’t be afraid to let your creative juices flow.
Jessica is a Acoustical Engineer, currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. After graduating from her degree in Master of Engineering degree in Acoustics from Solent University in 2014, Jessica worked for a few companies before She will be blogging about her past and current experiences in the studio and sharing her journey as she pursues her career goals. She enjoy the balance of work inside and out of the office, solving practical problems on a daily basis as every project is different and requires a different solution, the variety of work (sound insulation testing, background noise survey, mechanical plant commissioning, external plant assessment, plant room breakout assessments) and the mix of independent and team work.