Soundproof your rental apartment
Renting an apartment gives you a lot of freedom, such as choice of neighbourhood, the ability to move when you want, and not having to be responsible for major repairs. That said, you generally aren’t permitted to do any remodelling. This means adding insulation or soundproofing materials to the walls is a no-no.
So, how do you block or muffle the sounds of noisy neighbours without taking drastic measures? There are some tricks you can apply to help you live in harmony with next-door, upstairs and downstairs neighbours in a high-rise apartment building.
If your apartment unit is near the elevator or a busy stairwell, you probably hear a lot of hallway noise in your apartment. The best way to block out this noise is to block the air leak at the bottom of your door. You can install weather stripping (if you remove it and fill the holes before moving out). The gap at the bottom of the door is often the biggest culprit when it comes to letting in noise.
Another method is kind of an old-fashioned one. Hang curtains in front of your door. This was done in old, drafty houses to block out the cold, but it works as a sound barrier as well. Hang a curtain rod above the door frame on the interior, and then hang heavy, floor-length drapes. Close them at night so that you won’t be disturbed by hallway noise.
Unless you rent the penthouse in a luxury rental apartment, you likely have neighbours with whom you share walls. While you cannot add insulation to the walls, you can place barriers. Hang wall art and tapestries and place bookcases against the shared walls to help absorb noise.
Not only will it block sound from the other side, it will also keep your own noise in if you are the culprit. After all, it’s impossible to be totally silent all the time. Be a good neighbour and do your part to reduce the amount of noise travelling through the walls — especially if you share a bedroom wall!
Floors and ceilings
Many rental apartments feature either hardwood or parquet floors. While this is nice, it’s not very quiet. Does it ever sound like your upstairs neighbours are constantly moving furniture or bowling down their hallways? They’re probably just walking around, but it sounds like a herd of elephants rather than adult humans. If you want to prevent your downstairs neighbours from suffering through your own amplified steps, lay down some area rugs!
If you want to do more, add additional padding underneath it. Not only will this muffle the sound, but it will also add more cushioning to the carpet — which will feel nice on your feet!
While it’s impossible to eliminate all noise from a rental apartment, you can take some steps to reduce it.