When you signed your apartment lease, you were completely unaware of the noisy neighbors and their habit of stomping around and listening to music until the early hours of the morning. However, sharing walls, ceilings and floors is just a natural part of apartment living. Sometimes the structure of the building may cause sound to carry more easily and even normal amounts of noise can seem amplified. If you have given up trying to reason with noisy neighbors and landlords who can’t do anything about it, there are some simple ways that you can help soundproof your apartment.
A lot of the time, noise may be coming from outside. If your building has a outdoor common area, balconies or a porch, the sounds from outdoor parties and barbecues can carry into your apartment. To block some of the noise from outside, outfit your windows with drapes or curtains. Choose thick and heavy curtains over sheer or light cotton varieties. These will help block out the sound more. For even more sound-absorbing power, buy longer curtains that go almost to the floor and use a curtain rod that is wider than the window. Not only will this make the window appear larger, it will also cover a good bit of the wall, soundproofing that as well. You can even find specialty curtains that are designed to help cancel out noise.
2. Floor Noise
If it is the downstairs neighbors that are getting on your last nerve, try soundproofing your floor. A major culprit of noisy apartments can be hardwood flooring. Though the hardwood may look amazing, it can also transmit sound so well that you can dance along to whatever music the downstairs neighbors are listening to. Increase your floor’s ability to absorb sound by laying down area rugs. Rugs are great at absorbing extra sound. You can also check carpet stores for discounted carpet remnants. Large scraps of carpeting can help you cover up most of the floor.
3. Decorate Walls
It could be your bare walls that are amplifying the voices of the people next door. Besides adding style and personality to your apartment, hanging things on the walls will help soundproof it as well. Even small changes like hanging pictures and shelves can help absorb sound. For a bigger impact, hang things like tapestries, quilts or even curtains on the walls. The fabric textures will add interest to the room and also help absorb any sounds coming through thin apartment walls.
4. White Noise
Some office places play something known as white noise through their speakers. This is a random sound signal that just sounds like static. Some large corporations use it because it cancels out distracting sounds like conversations, phones ringing and printers without being distracting itself. In fact, most people rarely even notice it unless it is suddenly turned off. Having any kind of background noise like a fan or air purifier running in the background may make you better able to ignore the noises. It can also help you sleep better at night.