How To Soundproof A Thin wall Between Apartments Without Construction

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Apartment dwellers often times encounter disturbing and unwanted noise from next door neighbors. It can be noisy parties or a child who just learned to play a new loud instrument.

But soundproofing wall between apartment can be a simple strategy that can make a relevant difference to this unavoidable fact.

Soundproofing thin apartment walls is not an easy project. You got to answer several questions before landing to a solution. The first step is figuring out your situation.

Where is your problem spot? Or where are your problem spots? Is it your wall, ceiling, floor, door, window, two of the options, three, four, or all? 

The answer to this question will lead to series of questions until you get to the right direction.

We will focus mainly on how to soundproof a wall between apartments. When you are choosing your apartment, you do not often consider the kind of wall it has.

The top factors in your mind would usually be safety, size, location, and cost. Apartments often have walls that are thin, as they are cheap, easy to transport, and easy to build.

You can not ask to change it, either. You got to accept it and take matters on your hands.

You also need to understand the type of noise you are hearing and its level. Once you figure out the noise that you want to get rid of, you then have to face the wide array of products, materials, methods, and techniques to choose from. What makes one better than the other?

Let us go more in-depth on the specific recommendations you can use to soundproof a wall between apartments.

How To Soundproof A Thin Wall Between Apartments Without Construction

We are talking about an soundproofing apartment wall that already exists and recommendations that does not need construction.

The goal here is to soundproofing apartment walls what already exists. We go back to the first step. What is the current situation of your walls? Are they made of hard surfaces? Are your walls thin?

So, without dragging it fuhrer here are 9 easy ways to soundproof a thin wall between apartments without spending too much money.

  • Checking for visible holes on the wall and sealing them.
  • Reposition and add more furniture to fill out empty spaces.
  • Hang soundproof curtains on shared wall
  • Mount acoustic foam on thin apartment wall
  • Install acoustic panels on shared walls
  • Hang mass loaded vinyl on thin apartment walls
  • Repainting walls with sound dampening paint
  • Soundproof interior walls with soundproof drywall
  • Get a white noise machine for masking annoying sound

1: Sealing Holes and Furniture Placement

The general and most common, but also economical, solutions to this problem are

  • Checking for visible holes on the wall and sealing them.
  • Reposition and add more furniture to fill out empty spaces.

This just means that you can basically make use of the things that you already have.

Sealing Holes And Furniture Placement

Holes in your apartment walls are avenue for sound transmission, so be on the look out for this holes and make sure to seal them with any adhesive.

Furniture placement significantly helps. No need to carpenter a built-in bookcase or shelf, as it would mean more effort and expense from you.

You can make use of big furniture, especially those that are upholstered in plush fabrics, like suede, microfiber, chenille, or corduroy.

The more furniture you can put up against your wall without unbalancing the decor of the room, the better the sound absorption.

You just have to make sure that the furniture do not touch the wall behind them, as that air gap will surely absorb sound.

2: Hang Soundproof Curtains on shared Wall  

You got a thin wall? You can add materials of great mass to your apartment walls because they resist vibration and thereby reduce sound transmission.

The past few years, the market has designed a residential soundproof curtain that you can hang onto your shared walls to help with noise problems. 

Hang Soundproof Curtains On Wall

When you make use of old mattresses to hang to your walls, may it be cotton, silk, velvet, polyester, or no matter what they are made of, such material is not dense enough to make any meaningful difference with noise.

This soundproof curtain, on the other hand, is a heavier and thicker version of your mattress and it surely helps reducing sound transmission.

3: mount acoustic foam on Thin Apartment wall 

Noise reflects off of hard surfaces. For this scenario, you need to reflect the sound away by covering bare walls with something soft or rubber textile mats.

So sound waves from loud voices, barking, or a running vacuum cleaner will bounce off the wall, making it significantly lower or it would not reflect at all. 

Mount Acoustic Foam On Your Wall

It softens any disturbing noise within your apartment while also absorbing racket from the adjacent units.

Hard walls are highly noise reflective. So, to better manage noise reduction, we can use soft materials such as acoustic or studio foams.

This high quality foam has a distinctive wedge or pyramid shape that is effective at absorbing sound. Acoustic foams with wooden frame is another version deemed to work better.

They are attached to walls with the use of hook and loop strips or spray adhesive. It can also be mounted to your ceiling for added effectivity.

4: Install acoustic panels on shared walls

You can add acoustic panels to your solution. They are available as boards or fabrics that you hang on walls. What does it do? These panels have dual purpose.

Install Acoustic Panels On Shared Walls

They are designed to stop noise from bouncing off hard surfaces and very effective at blocking racket from other venues of sound, like your walls, doors and windows.

So, although, you use it for your wall soundproofing, it also covers the noise transmitted through any entrance or air gap.

5: Hang mass loaded vinyl on thin apartment walls 

Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a coating material highly known to soundproof walls. It is a limp and heavy sheeting coat with materials, such as plastic, ceramic, and metal.

All the components of the MLV gives it added weight, improving its soundproofing property.

You can use MLV with any of the other methods mentioned, like furniture placement and residential soundproof curtains.

Other heavy duty rubber-based materials are also helpful, but not yoga mats. Yoga mats have absorbing property, but only minimal.

Even sticking it against the wall does not work. It easily degrades, making it less efficient. Your rubber material will only be soundproof if it has heavy weighing components.

6: Repainting Walls With Sound Dampening Paint

There are doubts on the effectiveness of sound dampening paint. Well, it actually works, but only at certain noise levels. Evaluate the noise that you receive from adjacent rooms and your room produces.

How to Use a Soundproof Paint

If the noise is not too loud, you need not to spend too much money on acoustic foams, textile mats, built-in furniture, acoustic panels, or other sound barrier materials.

Use the paint at mid-frequency noise, basically, the regular talking sound level.

Therefore, the soundproofing paint should be used for soundproofing apartment walls if you are having voice passing through your walls. For loud music or dog barks, it will most likely fail.

You do not need to paint the whole house with it. It is critical to just identify the spots that need soundproofing, then you can paint it with three or more layers.

7: Soundproof Interior Walls with Soundproof Drywall 

Creating a Sound Barrier with Soundproof Drywall is one of the best thing you can apply for soundproofing apartment walls.

Soundproof drywall is a combination of multiple layers of gypsum and other layers of materials, like steel, ceramic, and viscoelastics, to increase its mass and density and thereby boosting its sound blocking mechanism.

But the way to achieving the best performance is for you to apply a second layer of gypsum wallboard. This makes it far less prone to vibrations and transfer of sound waves.

If you aren’t working with soundproof drywall, you could make any drywall thicker by layering it up.

Soundproof Interior Walls With Soundproof Drywall

Also, soundproofing compound applied between two hard surfaces can also be used to dampen sound.

It is packaged in the familiar caulking style dispensing tubes, making it easy to apply to your project.

When applied between two layers of drywall, it can dissipate sound vibrations that pass through not just the wall, but the floor as well.

Who would have thought that a sealant goes a long way to filling in spaces in the walls and reduce noise leakage?

8: Get a White Noise Machine for Masking Annoying Sound

If none of the previous methods worked out for you and you need a temporary solution, you can invest in a product that can take your mind off the noise.

For example, a white noise machines and fans are a tremendous help if you want to mask sounds.

Snooz White Noise Sound Machine

These machines are a great way of soundproofing. They work by drowning out background noise.

White sound machines produce some sound which will subconsciously make you ignore all other sounds and concentrate you on your own job, or sleep.

Finally, you can use them as an extra method combined with previous ones.

Other Techniques to soundproof thin apartment walls

For the best possible outcome, I recommend combining several techniques mentioned, but if your apartment is beyond all the help, I have one soundproofing technology recommendation that requires minimal construction.

The soundproofing industry has improved over time and resulted to various sound absorbing materials and measures. Let us take a glimpse.

Use batts insulation

Batts are commonly made of mineral wool and fiberglass, designed to fit in between the studs of the walls.

Stud walls are timber-framed walls which do not bear much weight, but rather divide up space in your home.These walls are quick, easy and efficient to put together. 

However, they are not good at preventing noise from travelling through your home, as they are usually hollow with no insulation. This is where the technology comes in.

Mineral wool is a natural material which is soft and flexible, making it easy to tightly stuff the batts into standard stud wall cavities.

Fiberglass boards can tame high frequency noise. You can customize your own wood frames using this board with a reminder to handle this material with care, as fiberglass is an irritant and you should use the proper personal protective equipment.

These batts should fit snugly and be installed tightly between your studs with as few hollows or airspace that can transmit sound.

Even leaving a small portion of the wall uninsulated will dramatically reduce the technology's performance.

Soundproofing Myths You Should Know About!

Since you now have a guide to be well on your way to creating the soundproof environment you've been looking for, we also want you to save more time by avoiding common soundproofing errors.

I have mentioned earlier two errors, the old mattresses and yoga mats.

The guide we have created does not cover all the aspects of the best soundproofing job, so it is as helpful having an additional knowledge on which materials need to be avoided.

Do not try anything that is deemed to fail from the start. Here they are:

Egg Crate Cardboard Holders

Egg crate cardboard holders have a similar look to an acoustic foam, but these are terrible at absorbing and even more at blocking sound.

The low density and porous material does nothing at blocking the noise and easily let it pass through.

Carpet or Mattresses on the Wall

Carpets have soft and fluffy surfaces that prevent sound waves from bouncing around the room.

Yes, it absorbs sound created within the room where it is, but would not prevent the noise from entering or leaving the room. 

They are decent sound absorbers, but do little regarding soundproofing the room from incoming and outgoing noise.

Dark Colored Walls 

Dark colored walls may fool your eyes into thinking that the room is quieter and smaller, but it won't fool your ears.

The color of the walls plays a vital role in how the place looks and feels, but it doesn’t affect the movement of the sound or its quality, and of course, it doesn’t actually block the noise either.

These soundproofing errors are collectively believed to be true and helpful, but they have no actual basis in fact. Sound control has techniques that can be limitless.

Although it can be limitless, it is still best to invest your time and money on effectiveness. Purchase and install real soundproofing materials and use proper techniques.

You want to make sure your job is done right the first time. That is why it is highly important that you assess your situation and do a comprehensive research before you purchase anything. 

Understand the science of soundproofing and figure out what are the most appropriate and cost-effective overall noise reduction solutions for you.

on how to soundproof thin apartment walls

soundproofing your apartment walls is crucial to effectively soundproofing any room. There are other spots like your ceiling, floor, door, and window that you can soundproof, but walls take up the most surface area in any room.

Your walls are the source of sound leakage, but also the venue to solve the sound leakage. Because of the size of your walls, soundproofing them is likely to make a far more significant impact than soundproofing the other spots of your room.

So, it is important that you prioritize your walls. The other areas of your room can be soundproofed as a supplement.

If you’re still hearing noises even after you took care of your shared wall (or walls), it could be coming from somewhere else.

I’d recommend dealing with the doors and windows first, as they are the places sound travels through the most. You might have to research on this separately.

You want to make sure your job is done right the first time. That is why it is highly important that you assess your situation and do a comprehensive research before you purchase anything.

Understand the science of soundproofing and figure out what are the most appropriate and cost-effective overall noise reduction solutions for you.

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