Noisy Neighbors? 4 Simple Soundproofing Tips

in Small Space Ideas on by

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.

1. Drapery

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.

7 Responses to “Noisy Neighbors? 4 Simple Soundproofing Tips”

  1. April 18, 2010 at 2:31 pm, upset said:

    This is stupid!


  2. July 16, 2010 at 8:11 pm, DJ said:

    These are some ideas we use, and now from this site we have new ones! Thank you so much!!!
    This is definitely not stupid.”Hay upset” do you have your own house to say this is stupid?!?!? ((( THEY WORK ! )))
    People have hurt each other bad because of noise situations!!!!!!!!!! Take care 🙂


  3. July 26, 2010 at 6:32 am, george said:

    I’d suggest soundproofing! It prevents uncomfortable confrontations with your neighbors, and cuts out any kind of noise from outside! I know a couple of people who’ve used QuietRock, and they seem happy with its performance. So consider this option!


  4. November 27, 2010 at 12:33 pm, Eliazbeth said:

    I moved into an apartment in Hoboken, New Jersey, a very busy, noisy city – that had been soundproofed with a material called Acoustiblok, which you can’t see because it is installed under the drywall. Coming home is like coming home to a private refuge. This stuff works so well, I forget I live in an apartment in the city once I get home and close the door. I never hear a sound from outside my own walls, and I never hear a sound from my neighbors on either side of me, or from my neighbors above or below me. As a freelance writer, this is critical to my livelihood, not to mention my sanity. I have asked my neighbors what they think about the Acoustiblok that was installed in all of our apartments, and everyone says they never gave it any thought because they never have an issue with noise! Nuff said!


    • January 04, 2017 at 3:01 pm, Sheena said:

      > I hate you lol I'd love to come home and close the door and enjoy the sound of silence. I have an upstairs neighbor and the sound of them walking talking even breathing seems to come right through the ceiling. I work from home on the phones so this has my blood pressure so elevated it is measurable.
      I'm actually really happy to hear an apartment CAN be quiet. Enjoy!!!!! 😀


  5. December 09, 2012 at 9:06 am, Michelle Karman said:

    QuietRock and Acoustiblok won’t work unless you OWN your apartment, and where I live, people buy HOUSES…apartments are only RENTED.


  6. January 04, 2017 at 3:09 pm, Sheena said:

    So you start your article with a stomping and talking noisy neighbor and then completely bypass how to cut the noise if you live BELOW a noisy neighbor or in a poorly insulated apartment… it seems there is NO insulation between my upstairs neighbor and my apartment. Every breath they take is amplified into my apartment.. I hear ever step, conversation, song, and even sex. I need the whole apartment quieted but must have ONE quiet room for work and sleep.

    Ceiling is Texture painted
    Not a lot of free cash

    Any ideas? I have thought of using acoustic foam reversed so that it creates air pockets between my apartment ceiling and thier floor…. about the only idea I've had really.


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