In this post, I’ll walk you through the various aspects of soundproofing walls without construction.
Well, most of the methods that we’re gonna discuss are budget-friendly and highly effective.
Mostly, tenants have to face the problem when it comes to soundproofing apartments.Landlords are skeptical when it comes to giving permission for the modification of the walls, rooms, or an entire apartment, right?
We’re here to solve your problem.
Follow the steps that we’re gonna discuss now, and trust me, you’ll be able to soundproof walls between apartments without any construction.
I’m assuming that you already have gone through the pain of sharing a wall.
Whether it’s the loud music next door, an altercation with your neighbors, or something else, in all the cases, all you need is a soundproof common wall.
Like most of you, I also had to tackle my noisy neighbors.
However, it took a long time to realize that the permanent solution was to soundproof my apartment rather than every time and request them to decrease the music volume, etc.
Because of my husband’s job, I had to move to a different city where we had a few shared walls with our neighbors.
Everything was fine until I got a complaint from my neighbor that they weren’t able to sleep because of my dog’s barking.
Trust me, I felt so bad for them.
Without wasting any time, I decided to soundproof the common walls.
I called my landlord and asked for permission.
Unfortunately, he wasn’t different from other landlords, so he started asking me so many questions and finally said to me that he couldn’t allow me to do any modification in the apartment.
He didn’t stop there.
In fact, he said very rudely that if I’m having trouble I can leave the apartment.
All these events happened so fast that I couldn’t understand what was happening.
A few days passed and again my neighbors’ complained about my dog barking.
I can’t say anything to them because they weren’t wrong.
Finally, I decided to soundproof the common walls without any modification, and I conveyed the same to my landlord.
He was like I’m gonna waste a good chunk of money on this project and nothing else.
Well, I decided to not give up but rather go with my will.
It goes without saying that there is nothing like an overnight success.
Though I started on a high note still I couldn’t continue my momentum for long because most of the methods I initially tried were a big failure.
There was a time when I thought of moving to another apartment rather than wasting more money on the project.
But, I thought to give it a last shot.
And, you know what it changed my life completely forever.You’ll be astonished to know that I’m a soundproof consultant with a decade of experience and this was that one event that helped me to decide where I wanna see myself after 10 years.
To cut a long story short, I’ll be discussing all the methods that have given me good results in the past.
At the same time, you should also understand that the outcome of soundproofing common walls to a large extent depends upon the selection of the soundproofing materials as well as the soundproofing methods.
So, without any further ado, let’s discuss how to soundproof walls between the apartments.
How to Soundproof a Wall Between Apartments?
Moving further, I’ll be walking you through budget-friendly and highly effective soundproofing common walls method.
We’ve already received good results from these methods.
But before that, I will be sharing with you a list comprising the product names and descriptions that you’ll need for this project.
Does it make sense?
Figure Out the Loopholes in the Common Wall
Our discussion will mostly revolve around the soundproofing common walls so the first step that we’re gonna perform is to find the loopholes.
In fact, a loophole is a vague term.
Let me make it simple.
You need to check the walls for the holes, cracks, and gaps.
Also, check whether the wall is uniform or not.
Keep notice of the part of the wall which is thinner than others.
Most importantly, check for the pipes in the common walls.
If you find a section of the common wall has lots of pipes then assign that section a high-priority soundproofing zone.
These areas need to be addressed as soon as possible.
They act as a resonating box and encourage echoes, reverbs, and vibrations.
Once you’ve figured out all the loopholes then you need to narrow down on the methods that you want to use to get rid of these loopholes.
Needless to say, there are a couple of good soundproofing methods that you can use for this problem.
For example, the holes, cracks, and gaps can be sealed using weatherstripping or green glue.
As a newbie, you may not be aware of the fact that without sealing holes, cracks, and gaps the probability of achieving quietness is almost next to impossible.
As discussed in my earlier posts, sound waves need a medium to traverse from a source to a destination.
The medium could be air, water, concrete, etc.
Yes, you heard it RIGHT.
Low frequencies sound waves can easily travel through the solid surface.
These noises are called impact noises.
Coming back to the topic, holes allow the sound waves to traverse similarly to air.
Once you’ve sealed all the small and large holes, the sound wave wouldn’t travel from the external environment to your room and vice-versa because of the lack of medium.
Nonetheless, sealing the gaps and cracks will not prevent impact noise such as some objects falling on the floor or footsteps.
Well, we can dampen impact noise using some other soundproofing techniques that we’ll discuss later in this post.
Now, the question arises, how to figure out holes that aren’t visible to the naked eye, right?
I’ll help you with an experiment that you can perform to find even the smallest of the holes in the common walls.
For better results, execute this experiment in the night.
Close the doors and windows of your room and make it completely dark.
Go to the opposite side of the wall and place a light source near the wall.
Come back to the dark room and you’ll find rays of light coming inside the room through the holes.
Using a marker, highlight all the gaps and cracks.
Finally, use Green Glue or QuietRock to seal these holes.
Remember, there are quite a few variations of green glue.
Some green glue can be painted while the rest can’t be.
Henceforth, you’ll find a tangible improvement in the acoustics of your room.
To resolve the problem of non-uniformity in the walls as well as to tackle the problem that would arise because of a large number of pipes in an area, I would recommend you use soundproof blankets.
Soundproof blankets aka moving blankets are thick, dense, and multi-layered blankets that can absorb unwanted noise to some extent.
You can understand the capability of the soundproof blankets from the fact that they are used in recording studios as well as video recording rooms to enhance the audio quality.
Some of the high-quality noise-canceling blankets are capable of dampening up to 40% of the noise.
The installation process is quite easy and you can do it on your own without seeking professional help.
All you need to do is to install a curtain rod on the wall and then hang the blanket from it.
If you don’t wanna install a curtain rod then use the hooks to hang the noise-deadening blankets.
Try Mass-Loaded Vinyl
So, here I’m presenting to you one of the most effective solutions to tackle impact noise.
Mass-loaded vinyl is one of the best ways to tackle impact noise.
Nonetheless, you can even use vinyl mats (Check the Current Price On Amazon) to combat airborne noise.
The outcomes are superlative especially if your common walls are thin.
All you need to do is to place them on the thin walls.
As a result, you can expect your room to be a bit warmer in the cold seasons and vice-versa.
If you don’t believe me then keep track of your electricity bills once you’ve installed them.
You’ll find a tangible reduction in the electricity bills.
Enough of the mass-loaded vinyl, let’s have a look at the vinyl mat as well.
These thick and dense mats constitute soundproofing materials which when installed on the walls will dampen the low-frequencies noises.
To be honest, vinyl mats are a solution to multiple noise-related problems.
In short, if your neighbor is playing loud music then the vinyl mats are the perfect solution to it.
Rearrange the Furniture: Zero Cost Method
Rearranging furniture, bookshelves, and wardrobes can be a great way to soundproof walls between the apartments.
And, the good news is you don’t have to spend a single dollar.
I’m assuming, you’re well aware of the problems that echo alone can bring.
Filling the room with furniture and bookshelves will reduce the percentage of sound waves that will get reflected from the hard surface.
Place the furniture and bookshelves in such a way that it covers a major portion of the common wall.
Remember, to leave a space between the furniture and the wall.
The air gap between the two will act as sound insulation and will provide an additional layer of protection against unwanted noise.
To thicken the line of defense and prepare bookshelves as a second wall, fill them with books.
Moreover, adding paintings, canvases, and closets will definitely enhance the acoustics of the room.
Place Foam Mats
Foam mats fall under the category of soundproofing materials that can be easily installed.
I’ve used foam mats in a couple of my projects and I can say with confidence that it’s value for money product.
They have awesome insulating power.
Foam mats once installed on the common walls will keep the room warmer in the winter and vice-versa.
Within a couple of months after its installation, you’ll find a reduction in your electricity bills.
Another good thing about foam mats is that it is resistant to oil and petrol.
Foam mats are made of rubber foam and are odorless as well as lightweight.
They come with adhesive on the back side so you’ll be able to easily install them on the common wall between the apartments.
Install Acoustic Foams
It goes without saying that acoustic foams are the most common solutions to noise problems.
Mostly these foams are used in audio recording studios, but they can also be used for soundproofing walls in an apartment.
After installing acoustic foams, you can expect a reduction in unwanted noise of up to 70 percent.
Acoustic foams are a great sound barrier for airborne noise and combining them with the soundproofing materials that can combat impact noise could be a superlative soundproofing solution.
Nevertheless, if you’re on a shoestring budget then it may seem a big investment and I’ll not deny this fact.
But, you know what?
These acoustic foams are definitely worth the investment for your thin common wall between the apartment.
Apply Soundproofing Paints
Soundproofing paint is a myth or a legit thing?
I had this question when I first heard about soundproofing paint.
If you also have a similar query in your mind then let me tell you, soundproofing paint is 100% legit.
If the noise coming through the wall is quite loud then soundproof paint alone couldn’t dampen all of them.
Of course, a certain percentage of the noise would be dampened.
To be honest, If the noises are too loud then soundproof paint can’t do much.
Soundproof paints are good at combating low frequencies such as bass.
For the optimum result, you need to apply multiple layers of paint on the wall.
The other benefit of soundproof painting is that it will add to the decor of your room.
If the intensity of the noise that you want to combat is not severe then coupling soundproof paints with something like arranging furniture will do the trick for you.
There is no difference between the look and feel of soundproof paints and regular paints.
Like regular paints, they also come in different shades and colors.
Temporary Solution to Soundproofing Wall between the Apartments
Till now, we’ve kept our discussion around the permanent solutions for soundproofing walls between the apartments.
Moving further, I’ll walk you through some temporary solutions that may help you to get instant relief.
White Noise Machine
A white noise machine is definitely a great way to instantly combat unwanted noise.
As a result, you can either sleep well without any disturbance or you can concentrate on your work.
White noise machine produces white noise which is similar to blowing wind, rain, etc.
White noise is similar to white light which comprises lights of all the colors.
For example, when you pass white light from a prism it will be dispersed into the light of various colors similar to the rainbow.
You can even use a white noise machine to help your kids or toddlers get a sound sleep.
In case, you’re having a tough time because of the thin common wall between the apartments as well as noisy neighbors then I would recommend you to try a white noise machine.
Switch on the white noise machine whenever your neighbor plays loud music or they perform any noisy activities.
The machine will mask the noise.
White noise is the remedy to both external noises as well as internal noises such as household appliances sound, kids screaming, and many more.
In short, they work by drowning out external noise.
So, what are you waiting for?
Noise Canceling Headphone
Noise-canceling headphones are yet another effective way to get rid of noisy neighbors.
However, I prefer active noise-canceling headphones over passive ones.
In short, it reduces the ambient noise inside the headphones for better quality and clarity.
It goes without saying that these headphones cancel the noise rather than blocking it.
They have proved to be highly efficient against the low-frequencies.
Still, I need to convince you.
- Well, in this section, I’ll be taking quite a few questions related to the soundproofing wall between apartments.
- These questions are either asked by my clientele or readers.
- In case, you also have similar questions then let us know in the comment section.
How can I make my wall more soundproof?
- Increasing the soundproofing of an existing wall isn’t as tough as it seems to be.
- If you’ve done the homework in the correct way which includes the selection of soundproofing materials and methods, then the probability of your success is quite high.
- I would recommend you consider the following methods for optimum results:
Does blanket block sound?
- Definitely, a soundproof blanket blocks noise.
- In fact, it’s a solution that really works well when you are a tenant and you can’t make any modifications to the existing structure of the room.
- If you’re assuming it will block 100 percent noise then you’ll be at the receiving end.
- I’ve soundproofed quite a few rooms using blankets and I can assure you that it has the capability to absorb the unwanted noise between 30 to 50 percent which could be further increased to 70 percent by increasing the layers (thickness) of the blankets.
It’s A Wrap
I hope that you’ve got a clear idea about soundproofing the common wall between the apartments.
All said and done, the methods mentioned in this post aren’t tedious or time-consuming.
The good thing is that you can expedite these steps on your own without the need for any professional.
And, the best thing is that all the methods explained above are quite affordable, and even a person who is on a shoestring budget can take advantage of them.For the optimum result, you need to use a couple of methods together in such a way that some methods will combat high and mid frequencies and the rest will combat low-frequencies.
Moreover, I’ve tried to share all the pieces of information about soundproofing common walls between the apartments that I’ve gathered over a decade.
What is your budget for soundproofing the common wall between the apartments?
Which methods have you implemented from the above list?
Was your project successful?
Did you try any method other than the ones mentioned above?
If yes, then what was the end result?
Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are interested in similar information.
After all, sharing is caring.