How To Block Noise From The Neighbors

Beginner Info, Soundproofing

how to block noise from neighbors
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Are you looking for a cost-effective and genuine solution to the query, “How to block noise from the neighbors’?”.

If that is the case, then you’ve landed on the correct post.

Furthermore, I’ll walk you through the various aspects of noisy neighbors’ and also things that you can do to get rid of the unwanted and irritating noise.

Even though you’ve bought one of the best homes in the town still you may not be happy if your neighbors are noisy.

Similar to any other human being, I also invested in an apartment.

Everything seemed fine to me until I moved into the apartment with my family.

There wasn’t an issue with the apartment. 

In fact, I couldn’t have expected more than what I got for my investment.

It was in a real sense a dream come true.

I was quite happy with my achievement until I encountered my neighbors’.

They were noisy in the REAL sense.

Within a couple of months, I made up my mind and narrowed down two options- either I would find a solution to noisy neighbors’ or I would sell the house.

Living in my new apartment was literally invisible torture for me.

Sooner I realized that my happiness wasn’t there to stay for long.

Take my words for granted, there isn’t anything as annoying as the noisy neighbors.

It goes without saying that noisy neighbors can get on your nerves, especially after a hectic day all you want is a calm and quiet environment to relax.

As a soundproof consultant with a decade of experience, I was sure that I could easily fix the issue of noisy neighbors’ by soundproofing my apartment.

But, the only problem was the budget. 

I’ve done hundreds of projects on soundproofing apartments, doors, offices, warehouses, and whatnot, so I knew that I needed a good chunk of money to get rid of noisy neighbors.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have a good chunk of cash with me as I had invested all my savings into buying my dream apartment.

So, what was the solution?

Well, I decided to go ahead with the soundproofing project but the idea was not to go the conventional way.

I had a very limited budget so I decided to use all my experiences and learnings and figure out what best can I do with my limited budget.

I believe in the old adage, “Necessity is the mother of invention”.

Keep reading to know my secrets and hacks that I’ve never shared before on this blog.

How to Block Noise from Noisy Neighbors

Moving further, I’ll walk you through step-by-step methods to get rid of noisy neighbors.

As you all know I was on a shoestring budget, so almost all the steps that we’re gonna discuss in this post are budget-friendly and highly effective.

All you need to do is to replicate these steps without skipping any one of them.

So, without any further ado, let’s dive deep into the discussion.

Soundproof Walls

Trust me, the common walls in the apartment are the main culprit.

These walls lack the required thickness and as a result, aren’t competent enough to combat external noise.

Even though you share a single wall with your neighbors it is most likely that the noise will reach out to you.

The problem with the majority of apartments in metros is the poor construction as the constructor wants to make maximum profit out of the project.

The walls and interior doors of the apartment have to bear most of the cost-cutting.

As you’re aware of the fact that walls are the biggest culprit in transmitting noise, so the first thing you need to do is to soundproof them.

There are numerous ways to achieve it.

However, I would discuss the ones that are cheap yet effective.

Well, acoustic foams and panels are something that you can’t ignore if you’re looking for an affordable solution.

These foams and panels are made of sound-absorbing materials such as fiberglass.

These panels reduce the amplitude of the sound waves passing through them by increasing the air resistance.

If the walls facing your neighbors are too thin then I would recommend you add a layer of drywall.

Adding drywall would help you to increase the mass and density of your existing wall, thus, making it difficult for the noise to penetrate the wall easily.

Needless to say, drywall is great at blocking the noise

Pro Tip: It is highly recommended to add two layers of drywall for the optimum result.

If you’re a newbie then you may find the installation of drywall a bit complicated.

Nonetheless, all you need is some screws to hold them in place.

I’m attaching a self-explanatory video for your perusal.

You may have a question, what if I don’t have a budget for acoustic foams and panels?

Well, you can still soundproof your apartment walls.

No need to worry, in fact, the good thing about sound blocking is you can use the things that you already have with you.

For example, if you’ve large canvas paintings, then you can hang them on the wall.

Even you can place a bookshelf and a wardrobe near the common wall.

Similarly, you can arrange furniture in your room in such a way that the common walls are covered to some extent.

Once you’ve applied the aforementioned methods, you’ll experience a tangible reduction in unwanted noise.

I had a couple of acoustic panels of pyramid pattern, and so I installed them on the wall facing the neighbors.

These panels proved to be an instant relief.

To enhance the acoustic properties of the wall, I used some soundproof wallpapers.

If you don’t have a budget constraint then you can use multiple layers of soundproof paints on your wall to achieve the epitome of silence.

Soundproof Doors

If you’re an avid reader of this blog then you would be definitely aware of the fact that the outcome or success of a soundproofing home project depends to a large extent on how well the doors and windows are soundproofed.

The same holds true with the common walls.

Unfortunately, most of the doors are hollow nowadays, and they aren’t capable of dampening the external noise.

Pro Tip: Replace hollow doors with solid/ solid core doors for the best result.

If you don’t have any budget constraints then I would recommend you replace the hollow doors with the solid ones.

However, you may try some other alternatives before thinking of replacing the door.

Until and unless, you aren’t living in a high-traffic zone such as an airport or railway station, the methods that I’m gonna discuss with you will definitely be of great help.

First and foremost, you need to figure out all the gaps, cracks, and holes in and around the doors and then you need to seal them.

To find the holes and gaps that aren’t visible to the naked eye you need to perform a simple experiment.

Can you GUESS the experiment?

Close the door and switch off the light.

Remember to have a pencil or a marker handy to point the holes.

Now ask someone to go to the opposite side of the wall and use a bulb or a torch as a source of light.

Focus on the wall with the source of light.

Inside your room, you’ll find rays of light entering through the holes.

Simply mark the holes with a marker and then seal them.

Bonus Tip: Especially seal all the gaps, cracks, and holes in and around the main gate.

For the gaps, you can use a sealant, I’ve personally used it in several soundproofing projects and I’ve found it worth every penny spent.

Don’t forget to use the sealant all around the edges of the door.

Sealants aren’t anything but vinyl airtight strips, and it is this property that makes them sound absorbing.

As a newbie, you may not find sealing all the gaps as a big deal.

However, once you’ve sealed all the gaps you’ll find a tangible difference.

Once you’re done with sealing the gaps and holes, you need to get one door sweep.

Without any doubt, door sweeps are the best way to block the space between the bottom of the doors and the floors.

Door sweep closes the gap whenever you would close the door.

When the door is closed, air compression is created that makes the door sweep airtight and therefore, blocks sound from getting through.

Soundproof Windows

It’s not always the noisy neighbors that create all sorts of nonsense.

Well, I’m talking in the context of noise and nothing else:)

Soundproofing windows can help you to get rid of any sort of noise coming from outside.

For example, the soundproofing windows of your apartment will help you to block traffic noise, the sound coming from the next building, etc.

The easiest as well as the cheapest way of soundproofing your windows is by completely blocking the windows.

However, this solution comes at a cost.

By completely blocking the windows, you’ll not be able to receive the sunlight.

In case, you are OK with it then go ahead.

Nonetheless, there are a couple of other methods as well.

Similar to the doors, you can use a sealant to seal all the gaps, cracks, and holes in and around your windows.

Needless to say, just like the doors, windows also have quite a few gaps and holes.

No need to buy a different sealant, you can use the same sealant that you had used for the doors.

In case, you’re ready to take a dig in your pocket, then I would recommend you to go for double-paned windows.

These windows come with an additional layer of glass that makes them more effective in blocking out the sound.

Moreover, you’ll need an experienced professional to help you with the installation process of the window pane.

No need to change all the windows of your apartment rather add a layer of acrylic to your existing windows.

Although it also has some costs associated with it is way cheaper than getting double-paned windows.

Install Soundproof Curtains

Till now, we’ve discussed soundproofing common walls, doors, and windows.

Trust me, if you’ve done your basics right, the result would be mindboggling.

To enhance the soundproofing capabilities of walls, doors, and windows, you can take the help of soundproof curtains.

Noise-canceling curtains are made of sound-absorbing materials that can not only absorb sound waves but also, can block them.

These soundproof drapes can work as an additional layer of protection against unwanted external noise.

They are quite heavy as well as multi-layered.

Pro Tip: The thicker the curtain the better it will perform against the unwanted noise.

These heavy curtains come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

The installation process is quite easy.

All you need to do is to hang these curtains against the curtain rod.

Moreover, the length and breadth of these curtains may influence their sound-dampening capability.

For the optimum result, the length should be at least 10 inches more than the window frame and the breadth should be twice of the frame.

Personally, I prefer the long soundproof curtains and I install the curtain rods as close to the ceiling as possible.

When it comes to blocking noise from the neighbors, I always prefer soundproof curtains over double-paned windows.

Curtains definitely add to the decor of your room.

They are aesthetic and visually appealing.

Bonus Tip: Buy a soundproof curtain that has grommets/eyelets installed

Soundproof Ceiling

The one thing that I always hate about staying in an apartment is the noise that comes from anywhere and everywhere, and if you’re not working smartly to combat the unwanted noise, then all your efforts will go into vain.

The upstairs neighbors are especially difficult to handle. 

Furthermore, if your ceiling is made of hard surfaces such as wood, concrete, etc. then you need to think twice before leaving the surface naked.

If you’re an avid reader of this blog then you’ll be well aware of the fact that hard surfaces are more prone to impact noise.

A few years ago, I worked for a couple of months from my home office, everything was going fine until a new tenant shifted to our society just above our floor.

He used to play loud music early morning and it was something that was creating lots of distraction for me.

I literally got irritated with his behavior.

I persuaded him not to play morning music.

My impact on him used to be maximum for a week or so and then he used to be back on his track-playing loud music.

Finally, I decided to soundproof my ceiling.

Moreover, I would recommend you soundproof your ceiling if your kid’s room is upstairs.

It goes without saying that kids are noisy and they love doing all sorts of activities that would create noise.

So, it’s better to soundproof your ceiling to skip the distraction.

There are numerous ways to soundproof a ceiling.

Some methods are cheap while the rest are costly.

Let’s begin with some of the cheapest methods out there in the market.

You can install soundproof blankets as well as acoustic panels on the ceiling.

These sound-absorbing materials will absorb the noise coming from the upstairs.

In case, you’re very particular about the aesthetic and visual appearance then I would advise you to install acoustic tiles on your room ceiling.

These tiles will not only dampen the noise coming from the upstairs but will also add to the decor of your room.

You can select the tiles with the desired pattern to beautify your room.

One of the best ways to soundproof a ceiling is to add a drop ceiling.

I’ve personally used this method in a couple of my soundproofing projects and trust me, I received an amazing result.

The process is easy as well as affordable.

A temporary ceiling is installed at a certain height below the existing ceiling.

The air between the two ceilings acts as a sound insulator and prevents the external noise from reaching you.

To enhance the sound-dampening effect, you can fill the space with a foam panel.

Even you can use acoustic mats between the ceilings.

On the downside, the drop ceiling may not look good and aesthetic.

So, I leave the final decision to you.

Soundproof Floor

Soundproofing the floor is very important if you don’t want the noise to reach downstairs or to prevent echoes, reverbs, and vibrations.

At the same time, if your downstairs neighbor is noisy then you definitely have to soundproof the floor for a peaceful and quiet environment.

There are many methods to choose from; some need to modify the existing floor structure while the rest don’t need to.

To begin with, cover the entire floor with the carpet.

Pro Tip: The thicker the carpet the better it will perform against the noise

Add carpet padding for better results.

In case, you’re least interested in carpeting your floor then I would recommend you add some rugs.

I prefer fluffier rugs (Check the Current Price On Amazon) over others.

The good thing about choosing rugs is that you can choose the pattern that you love or you can even do a mix-match design.

To know more, you can read the article on soundproofing floors as it covers all the needed pieces of information.

Temporary Solution to Blocking Noise from the Neighbors

Well, you may ask me the question, what if I can’t do any one of the above?

Trust me, many of the readers would have this question in their minds.

I agree that some of the aforementioned methods definitely need some sort of modification, and if you’re a tenant then you don’t have an option but to get permission from your landlord, right?

And, what if your landlord says a BIG NO for the apartment modification?

Well, there are a ton of options to deal with the external noise, and one among them is the white noise machine.

A white noise machine is a temporary solution to your permanent problem:):):)

These machines produce white noise which is capable of masking any frequencies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz.

White noise machines are used in offices to enhance employee productivity.

Similarly, they are used in the bedroom to dampen outside noise and get a sound sleep.

You may even use them to help your toddler get a sound sleep.

Other than the white noise machine, some other viable options are noise-canceling headphones, earmuffs, etc.

Even noise-canceling headphones can help you get rid of unwanted noise from your neighbors without having an altercation with your neighbors.

Lastly, you can talk to your neighbors and try to convince them to NOT make a loud noise.

It’s A Wrap

It isn’t easy to live with noisy neighbors.

Exposure to high-pitched noise on a regular basis can spoil your mental as well as physical health.

Stress, anxiety, and depression are some of the side effects of living in a noisy environment.

Nonetheless, following the aforementioned procedure step by step will help you to get rid of your neighbors’ unwanted noise.

Even the unprecedented noise can be easily tackled.

Simply soundproof your doors, and windows and add a layer of drywall on the walls.

For better results, soundproof your ceiling as well.

Don’t leave your room vacant.

Fill it with furniture, a wardrobe, and a bookshelf to get rid of the echoes, reverbs, and vibrations.

So, are you ready to get rid of your noisy neighbors?

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