Tired of hearing your neighbours? How to soundproof your apartment
There are many perks to living in an apartment, but hearing your neighbours isn’t one of them. While you can’t expect perfect peace and quiet unless you move to the country, there are ways to reduce the transfer of noise when you live in a multi-unit building.
If you hear people talking and walking in the hallways, the reason could be a gap at the bottom of your door. A door sweep with a rubber strip helps reduce noise and drafts.
Textiles muffle sound, so even a tablecloth on your wood table will perform some sound absorption, as will throw pillows on your couch. If you don’t have carpets in your apartment, get area rugs for the living room and bedrooms to cut down on noise transfer. Thick curtains, especially ones that go right to the floor, do more than just block light – they can also help dull noise from a busy street.
Place plants throughout your apartment. Just as shrubs and trees outdoors are used as sound barriers, indoor plants like ferns, rubber plants and peace lilies help refract and absorb sound.
A bookshelf, filled with books, is an instant way to increase the thickness of a wall and reduce sound transmission. Add a piece of foam behind the shelf for extra absorption.
No apartment will be completely soundproof, and the quieter your home is, the more you can hear others. Having music playing quietly as background noise drowns out sounds from adjoining units. At night, a white noise app or machine can fill your room with relaxing sounds to help you sleep. In the summertime, a portable fan can serve the same purpose.
If you have neighbours who are constantly noisy and disruptive, create a plan before confronting them. You don’t want to do it in anger. In some instances, they may be oblivious to the fact that they’re playing their music way too loud on a nightly basis. If you see them in the hallway, bring up the issue in a nonconfrontational manner. If you don’t know them, write a note explaining the situation.
Once you’ve alerted them to the issue, most people will make an effort to be more respectful of their neighbours. If not, you have every right to bring up the concern with the building supervisor or landlord at that point and let them deal with it. Give the landlord specifics about the type of noise, the time of day it’s happening, and how often.