How to Soundproof Walls and Ceilings Without Removing Drywall

Noise from outside can be quite a large problem for many of us. There can be a variety of sources for this, such as traffic, neighbors, and much more, although that doesn’t mean that you’ll have to put up with it for long.

Instead, soundproofing your home can be quite an effective way of ensuring that you don’t have to put up with the noise. Though you may think that you’ll have to hire a professional to do this, you shouldn’t have to, as the majority of soundproofing techniques can be quite easy to do.

How to Soundproof Walls

As a result, the majority of people have been able to soundproof a house with ease. However, there is one notable problem here, as you’ll need to own the home to do the majority of soundproofing work. Much of this can focus on the fact that renters wouldn’t be able to remove any drywall or do some other work on the home.

This should mean that the majority of renters wouldn’t be able to take advantage of many of these techniques. While this could be a large barrier to overcome, it doesn’t mean that there aren’t ways around it.

Instead, there are a variety of ways that you can soundproof a house or apartment without having to remove any drywall or do a large amount of construction. Though you might think that doing so will involve a large amount of work, or may not be effective, this isn’t the case.

Despite what you might think, you’ll be able to take advantage of several measures to soundproof an apartment or house that you don’t own. While the steps needed may take some time to implement properly, they can be well-worth the time investment, as you’ll be able to sleep easy at night without being bothered by loud noises.

Before you start, however, there are a few materials that you’ll need to buy. These can often be much more affordable than you might think, especially if you purchase them online.

As a result, you shouldn’t have to put too much of an investment into them, which could be an issue for some renters. While how much of the materials you’ll need to buy can vary depending on the house, you’ll need to buy a certain amount of:

Obviously, there could be a large chance that you wouldn’t have many of these lying around your home. However, instead of rushing out to the DIY store, it’s highly recommended that you buy them online.

There are a few reasons for this, with the largest being that it will be much more affordable to do so. Though you’ll have to wait a few days, depending on who you buy from and when, the cost-savings can be worth the wait.

Each of the above should be relatively cost-effective to buy, although this could depend on how much of it you need. As such, you should always measure the areas where you’re going to be placing them before you buy them.

When you’re doing so, you should be as accurate as possible, as this will ensure that you don’t over- or under-buy. Naturally, these should be avoided as much as possible for obvious reasons, with the most notable being that you could waste time and money.

Once you have everything you need, however, it’s time to start soundproofing your apartment or home.

Materials You May Need

Product
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4' X 10' (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
Eanpet Soft Tatami Mat 5' x 7' Area Rug Pad Non-Slip Memory Foam Carpet Large Playmats for Kids Crawling Mat Anti-Skid Doormats Living Room Bedroom Mat Women Gym Mat (Grey)
Franklin International 2892 Sound Sealant, 28-Ounce, Green
Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet Sound - Dampening Blanket - Soundproofing Sheet (Bone)
12 Pack Acoustic Foam Panels Soundproofing Studio Foam Wedge Tiles Fireproof 2" X 12" X 12"
Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive 4-Ounce Tube (1451588)
Preview
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4' X 10' (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
Eanpet Soft Tatami Mat 5' x 7' Area Rug Pad Non-Slip Memory Foam Carpet Large Playmats for Kids Crawling Mat Anti-Skid Doormats Living Room Bedroom Mat Women Gym Mat (Grey)
Franklin International 2892 Sound Sealant, 28-Ounce, Green
Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet Sound - Dampening Blanket - Soundproofing Sheet (Bone)
12 Pack Acoustic Foam Panels Soundproofing Studio Foam Wedge Tiles Fireproof 2" X 12" X 12"
Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive 4-Ounce Tube (1451588)
Prime Benefits
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-
Product
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4' X 10' (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
Preview
TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4' X 10' (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
Prime Benefits
Details
Product
Eanpet Soft Tatami Mat 5' x 7' Area Rug Pad Non-Slip Memory Foam Carpet Large Playmats for Kids Crawling Mat Anti-Skid Doormats Living Room Bedroom Mat Women Gym Mat (Grey)
Preview
Eanpet Soft Tatami Mat 5' x 7' Area Rug Pad Non-Slip Memory Foam Carpet Large Playmats for Kids Crawling Mat Anti-Skid Doormats Living Room Bedroom Mat Women Gym Mat (Grey)
Prime Benefits
-
Details
Product
Franklin International 2892 Sound Sealant, 28-Ounce, Green
Preview
Franklin International 2892 Sound Sealant, 28-Ounce, Green
Prime Benefits
-
Details
Product
Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet Sound - Dampening Blanket - Soundproofing Sheet (Bone)
Preview
Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet Sound - Dampening Blanket - Soundproofing Sheet (Bone)
Prime Benefits
-
Details
Product
12 Pack Acoustic Foam Panels Soundproofing Studio Foam Wedge Tiles Fireproof 2" X 12" X 12"
Preview
12 Pack Acoustic Foam Panels Soundproofing Studio Foam Wedge Tiles Fireproof 2" X 12" X 12"
Prime Benefits
-
Details
Product
Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive 4-Ounce Tube (1451588)
Preview
Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive 4-Ounce Tube (1451588)
Prime Benefits
Details

Use Décor To Your Advantage

What many people might not realize is that their furniture can be quite useful in preventing a lot of sound from coming in through their walls. Alongside this, you might not have realized that there can be a few relatively unique ways that you’ll be able to take advantage of your décor, each of which could prove quite useful.

While the primary benefit here is that you’ll be able to reduce the noise that’s coming into your home, there are a few other advantages. One of the most notable is that you shouldn’t need to put much effort into it, as you’ll simply need to move some of your belongings around.

The first thing you should do is move any bookcases, wardrobes, or other large furniture against any walls that are shared with neighbors. When doing this, however, you should leave a small gap between the furniture and the wall, as this will make sure that it doesn’t vibrate with noise and damage the wall. Having a variety of softer materials around a room can also prove to be quite helpful in this regard. Some of the most obvious examples of this are sofas, rugs, curtains, and much more. The main reason for this is that soft materials are much more effective at absorbing sound than harder ones. This should mean that having a large number of these can be quite helpful for you. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to add a significant amount of style to the room when doing so. Despite being a simple approach, this can be much more effective than you might think.

The first thing you should do is move any bookcases, wardrobes, or other large furniture against any walls that are shared with neighbors. When doing this, however, you should leave a small gap between the furniture and the wall, as this will make sure that it doesn’t vibrate with noise and damage the wall.

Having a variety of softer materials around a room can also prove to be quite helpful in this regard. Some of the most obvious examples of this are sofas, rugs, curtains, and much more. The main reason for this is that soft materials are much more effective at absorbing sound than harder ones.

This should mean that having a large number of these can be quite helpful for you. As an added bonus, you’ll be able to add a significant amount of style to the room when doing so. Despite being a simple approach, this can be much more effective than you might think.

Hang Fabrics On The Ceiling

Ceilings can often be the most difficult area to soundproof, especially if you live in an apartment building. This is even worse if you live under somebody who isn’t bothered too much by the sound, even after you’ve asked them to keep it down.

However, there are a few things that you’ll be able to do that shouldn’t require much effort or any construction. One way that you might not have thought of is to hang sound-dampening fabrics around your ceiling, with soundproof curtains and blankets being some of the most useful for this.

When you’re doing this, there are a few things that you may need to keep in mind. Prominent among these is that you’ll have to use thick, heavy fabrics, as these will be much more effective at absorbing the sound and preventing it from coming into your apartment.

While lighter fabrics may look nicer, they can often be much less effective. If you do decide to use these, then it’s recommended that you layer them. In the majority of cases, you might need to use two or three layers to see a noticeable difference.

There are a few ways that you’ll be able to attach the fabrics to the ceiling. While nails will be an obvious way of doing so, this might cause damage that you might want to avoid. As such, double-sided tape or some other adhesive might be the better-recommended option.

Loctite PL Premium Polyurethane Construction Adhesive 4-Ounce Tube (1451588)
  • Adhesive comes in a 4 oz. Tube, is perfectly safe to use, repositionable and VOC compliant for sale in all 50 States
  • Constructed of 100% polyurethane, this adhesive is perfect for both indoor and outdoor projects and is guaranteed to last as long as the surface you’re using it on

Add Soundproofing Materials

Soundproof blankets and curtains can be a well-recommended way of dampening the sound that you’ll hear and can be used in almost any area of the home. While there are quite a large number of options to choose from here, one of the better choices can be the blankets that are typically used for moving home.

Despite what you may think, these offer quite a large sound-dampening quality and can be relatively inexpensive to buy. Alongside this is the fact that they can look much more attractive than you may have thought, which could help add to the overall style of a room.

Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet Sound - Dampening Blanket - Soundproofing Sheet (Bone)
  • Effective sound absorption - Sound Absorption Sheets have a 0.85 NRC Rating. Sound Absorption Sheets are NOT designed to block sound
  • Each Sound Absorption Sheet measures 95" x 54", and includes three metal grommets on each 54" side, allowing for easy installation

However, these might not be recommended for the ceiling, although there can be a variety of other things that you’ll be able to take advantage of this. One of the most notable of these is acoustic foam tiles, which can be used around the home.

These can come in quite a large range of styles, so you should be able to find one that suits your needs while still being effective. While these can be the better-recommended option for your ceiling, they can be used on the walls and many other areas.

When you’re doing so, however, you should make sure that you use a strong adhesive, as this will make sure that they don’t come down quickly or easily. This will have the added benefit of not damaging the ceilings or walls, which you should want to avoid as much as possible.

Build On Top Of The Drywall

If it’s possible, then it could be recommended that you build on top of the drywall, as this can be one of the better ways of soundproofing your home. While this will mean that you’ll have to do a certain amount of work, it can often be well worth it, although you should ask your landlord’s permission beforehand.

The most notable thing you can utilize here is mass loaded vinyl, which is one of the more effective soundproofing materials on offer. When you’re applying this, you might need to apply a few layers to see the largest effect possible. As such, you’ll need to use a high-quality adhesive when you’re applying them.

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TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4' X 10' (40 sf) 1 Lb MLV Soundproofing Barrier. Highest Quality!
  • Best Seller, SUPER HEAVY - Made in the USA!
  • 1/8 of an inch thick - 27 STC - Highest Quality!

When you’re doing this, you should also check the walls for any cracks or gaps. These are areas where a large amount of noise may seep through, despite how small they may be. In the majority of cases, you’ll be able to find these around the doors and windows.

To properly seal these, you’ll need to use an acoustic caulk. Once you’ve done this, you could add a layer of soundproof insulation or mass load vinyl to enhance the soundproof quality.

You should also be able to do much of this with the ceiling, which will prove quite helpful.

Drop The Ceiling

One of the last notable things you can do to prevent noise coming down from above is to create a drop ceiling. Similar to building on top of the drywall, however, you’ll need to ensure that you have your landlord’s permission before you start this process.

One of the more beneficial aspects of this is that you shouldn’t need to touch the ceiling itself. Instead, you can line all of your walls with L-channels, which will then be used to hold your drop-ceiling in place. While you’ll need to screw these in place, they should be strong enough to hold everything in place.

Once done, you’ll be able to add a variety of soundproof materials along a grid that falls slightly below the ceiling itself. In the majority of cases, this will be made up of mass loaded vinyl and other fabrics, and you should layer these as much as possible to achieve the desired effect.

Soundproof The Floor Above

If it’s possible, then it’s highly recommended that you soundproof the floor above you. There are a few simple and effective ways that you can do this, with soundproof carpeting being one of the most notable.

There is quite a large number of options you have when doing this, although memory foam carpets have been shown to be one of the more effective. Alongside this, layering is a factor that you should also consider, which applies to every area that you’ll be soundproofing.

This should mean that you’ll need to put down a few other materials when you’re doing so. Mass loaded vinyl is perhaps the better-recommended option here, as it can be effective without needing too much time or effort to do so.

In the majority of cases, you’ll need to glue the mass loaded vinyl to the floor, which will then dampen the sound that works its way through. In some cases, you might need to put two or three layers down before putting a memory foam carpet or rug on top of it.

However, this might not be possible for many people, especially if they’re living in an apartment building. If this is the case, then it’s recommended that you speak to the people living above you and ask them to keep the noise down as much as possible.

When you’re doing this, you can also tell them about the various ways that they’ll be able to soundproof their floor and ask them to take advantage of these. If all else fails, then you might have to speak to your landlord about the problem, which could end up solving the issue for you, although this should be a last resort.

As each of the above steps highlight, there can be a variety of ways to soundproof your house without removing any drywall. This should be quite positive news for the majority of renters who live in noisy neighborhoods or anybody who doesn’t want a significant amount of construction to be done.

While some of the above could take a certain amount of time and effort to implement, this can reap dividends once it’s done. This should mean that you’ll be able to rest easy at night without being bothered by the noise generated by traffic or other outside noises.

Naturally, unless you’ve got permission to alter the walls from the homeowner, you should steer clear of the last few steps. However, each of the others should still prove quite effective at reducing the amount of noise that comes into the house.

Though you shouldn’t be able to soundproof the house without putting work into the drywalls completely, you’ll still be able to reduce it quite significantly. With how accessible the steps can be, it can be worth spending the time to do so.

By ensuring that you’re smart during the process, especially when buying the required materials, this should also be quite a cost-effective way of soundproofing your home.

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