How to Soundproof a Room in an Apartment

How to Soundproof a Room in an Apartment

Soundproofing your apartment helps shield your personal space from becoming invaded by
unwanted noise from the outside, or it can simply be used to dampen the echo or other noises inside your apartment, or both, which is especially beneficial if you work from home, you have light sleepers in your family, or you just want to enjoy your hard paid for residence in peace. However, when it comes to how to make your apartment more soundproof, it can be perplexing, since it is a rental space, certain restrictions may apply when it comes to making adaptions to the property.

Therefore, the following tips, along with some recommended products, are provided to you by home improvement experts, musicians, and other apartment renters to help you successfully soundproof any room in your apartment for greater control over your peace and privacy and to also help safeguard your neighbors during the times you are the noisemaker.

List of Affordable Items and Materials You Will Need:

Begin With the Main Culprit, the Walls

Thin walls are one of, if not the major, inlet of noise into your apartment, which is most often due to poor insulation. However, there are some things you can do as a renter that does not require major construction to help soundproof the interior walls.

Buffer the Walls With Bookshelves

Simply placing large, bulky furniture, such as sturdy bookshelves, flush against the wall will help prevent incoming sounds from permeating.

You could also try placing numerous foam panels on the wall to help shield against incoming noise.

Panel foams are made of a flexible, sponge-like material that sometimes includes a decoration or pattern all over that helps naturally absorb sound. In fact, you may have witnessed panel foams in use in vocal booths, where quality sound is a must.

Foam panels come in various designs, some of which also make for excellent wall decor. However, be sure to do a little research to ensure you select panels that are the most effective at noise reduction, such as these self-adhesive 3D foam wall panels from Amazon, which have received great ratings from customers.

You can also add foam panels behind any bookshelves to help further absorb noise.

Apply Sound Reduction Paint

Sound reduction paint, also known as acoustic paint and sound deadening paint, such as Acousti-Coat, which is available on Amazon, has been shown to help prevent sound transfer through the walls by up to 20% or more.

This type of paint has a very thick consistency that, when applied to walls, creates a dense, concentrated barrier with a grainy texture that helps block out noise.

It also contains ceramic microspheres in addition to soundproofing fillers, which help deaden sound from surrounding areas while also helping to prevent sound reflections within your own space.

Many sound reduction paint products are also water-based, non-toxic, and safe for the environment, so you can feel good while using it.

It is also available in different colors to suit your decor, while some people just simply paint over it to get the color they want while still benefiting from its effects. However, due to soundproofing paint’s grainy texture, it may be a challenge to achieve an even finish.

When shopping sound deadening paint, as a general rule, the thicker the paint, the more it will block out noise. You will also need at least 3 coats of paint to do the job, which can be a bit costly and require more time, so be prepared.

Sound reduction paint can also be used in addition to other soundproofing methods at the same time for an added layer of sound protection.

Adorn the Walls with Canvas Prints

Canvas prints are not just nice to look at, but they also help absorb sound transfer through walls since they are made of soft materials, such as linen or cotton, which can serve as a buffer. Therefore, try incorporating a series of canvas prints into your apartment to help reduce sound coming through the walls.

Canvas prints come in a variety of attractive prints, or they can be customized using your own beautiful personal prints on Amazon.

Soundproofing the Interior Door/Doors

The interior door, just like the walls of your apartment, is another big inlet of noise, since it is also usually thin and hollow and contains huge gaps around it, which enables sound to easily come through.

However, the following products, which can be conveniently purchased on Amazon, can help make your interior door more soundproof:

Soundproof Adhesive Weatherstripping

Soundproof adhesive weatherstripping is made of closed-cell foam, which provides various layers of protection, including soundproofing, by creating an airtight seal with insulation foam between the door and the frame, which not only helps reduce sound transfer but also helps keep drafts and bugs out for an all-around cozier apartment.

Or, simply opt for traditional adhesive weatherstripping, which also provides layers of protection; however, it typically comes in a plastic or rubber material.

All adhesive weatherstripping includes a sticky back, which enables you to easily install it around the door.

Draft Stopper

To help save time on soundproofing your door, you could also just simply install a draft stopper on the bottom of the door. However, it will not be enough to soundproof the entire door if there are also huge gaps around the sides or top of the door. A draft stopper can also do wonders for soundproofing individual doors inside your apartment, such as the bedroom doors, depending on the flooring material.

There are also double sided door drafts, which can also be used to soundproof your apartment doors around the bottom.

Soundproof Door Blanket

Another way to soundproof your interior door is to drape it in a soundproof blanket, also called a studio blanket.

These blankets are typically designed with a sturdy, quilted polyester or fiberglass material and a thick batted interior, which can make them quite heavy, and some, such as this one available on Amazon, also feature hooks and loop straps to securely hang on the door.

Otherwise, just about any heavy, thick quilted blanket will do, provided you don’t mind the unsightly look it may give the door as it drapes over it. Because it is so thick, it may also take some wearing in to allow the door to open and close effectively.

These blankets are most often used in loud workshops, home studios, as well as many other spaces that need sound protection, and have been shown to reduce noise by up to 80%, depending on the material and style you choose.

Soundproofing the Windows

Windows, especially outdated, drafty windows, can also be a major source of noise, not to mention energy loss, in your apartment. However, various window products can address this issue.

Blackout Curtains

Blackout curtains, such as these very popular blackout curtains on Amazon, are uniquely designed to help block out sunlight as well as its harmful UV rays; however, their thick insulated interior also helps drown out sound.

Hence, as the first line of defense against window noise, try placing blackout curtains on all the windows as an inexpensive way to help make your apartment more peaceful. These curtains also come in many different designs and colors to match your decor.

Insulated Window Kit

Insulated window kits
are most often used to help increase the R-value, or energy efficiency, of single-pane windows; however, they can also be used to help reduce noise. And, since they are made of clear plastic, they will not obstruct your view.

You can also install a window insulation kit in addition to blackout curtains and window weatherstripping to really help block out outdoor sound.

There are also thermal insulated blinds available if you wish to take it a step further.

Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels are made of special sound-reducing material, which helps block out sound; however, since they are foam and opaque, they do not provide a clear window view like window insulation kits, which is why they are often a choice for home studios and the such that do not require unobstructed views.

They are also somewhat of a permanent solution, but they have been shown effective at blocking sound. Therefore, if you value quiet over unobstructed views, these panels may be a solution for you.

Soundproofing the Floors

In most cases, sound transfers more from the ceiling than it does from below; however, the floors can still be an issue, especially if you walk hard, have clumsy hands, or you live above loud neighbors. Likewise, if your floor is made of wood, it can create an echo in your apartment; however, the following tips can help.

Decorate with Soft Rugs

Thick, soft rugs on the floor, such as this soft, comfy rug on Amazon, help create a cushiony barrier that helps buffer floor noise. It also helps absorb sound rather than reflecting it into the room, which helps alleviate echoing.

They also come in various prints, designs, and colors, so they also make great decorations.

Interlocking Floor Mats

If you have hard floors in your apartment, interlocking floor mats, also known as puzzle exercise mats, can also help soften the floor to help drown out noise.

These mats are typically made of high-quality foam, and they also come in varying degrees of thickness for greater sound reduction. They even have interlocking carpet tiles for those who prefer a carpeted feel.

Soundproofing the Ceiling

If you live in a building with various floors and happen to live in between the floors, then ceiling noise could be a problem, especially if the ceiling is thin.

However, you can use the same sound-reducing paint you used to help soundproof the walls on the ceiling to help buffer sounds from above.

Or, you may simply consider adding acoustic foam panels on the ceiling as well for a decorative touch that also helps insulate the ceiling.

Seal Holes and Gaps

Even the smallest holes and gaps in your apartment can allow noise in; therefore, consider covering all gaps and holes in the flooring, as well as around the windows, doors, and more, for a more peaceful space.

First, inspect for open holes and gaps around your apartment, and then seal them with one of various sealants, or this fiberglass insulation roll available on Amazon.

Fiberglass, which is most often used as an insulator for heat, when applied to holes and gaps, will not only help fill the openings that permit noise in with its web-like material that also traps sound but, like other sealants, it will also help keep critters out.

Soundproofing the Air Vents

On the subject of holes that permit noise into your apartment, ventilation systems provide one of the biggest in your walls for sound to travel through and into your space.

One solution to soundproof air vents in your room, while also keeping the vent fully functioning is to create a sort of maze inside your vent, which will help absorb sound traveling through them, thus decreasing sound before entering your home.

To do so, you simply install a series of planks inside the duct in a zig-zag position, which forces sound waves to travel likewise. By doing so, noise flowing through the vent will be forced to bounce off the various walls, which will cause it to lose speed. Furthermore, since the vent is not completely closed off, you will still have sufficient airflow to the room but with improved noise reduction.

Invest in a Sound Machine

Sound machines are specially designed devices that produce what is known as white noise, which are various combined frequencies that help the human ear ignore all other sounds.

These machines produce different types of sounds, which are normally used to help promote sleep; however, they can also be used in noisy environments to help overtake or drown out the sound.

There are also many affordable models available, which are just as effective as more costly models. For instance, this sound machine on Amazon is just under $20; however, it has received great reviews from thousands of satisfied customers.

Checkout Sound Apps

There are also different mobile apps that you can download to your smartphone to help drown out outdoor noise while at home and keep you in a relaxed mood.

These apps include various sounds, such as white noise and nature sounds that can also be used to help promote sleep, and they are often free, so browse through various selections to see which apps are right for you.

In the end, the key is to cover/pad your walls, ceilings, floors, windows, and doors as much as possible to prevent unwanted noise from reaching you. You should also beware that while no single product will completely block out sound, it will help muffle sound in that area to help make it less noticeable. Hence, the more soundproofing methods you use in combination, the more significant the noise reduction, so keep this in mind.

Finally, some soundproofing products may be more costly, or some soundproofing methods may seem too extensive, but they also provide greater effects; therefore, if you are in a residence where you intend to stay awhile, it might be worth the investment to live there in peace.