How to Reduce Noise in an Apartment

Reducing noise in an apartment is part of a lifestyle strategy to cope with your neighbors, have a calmer home environment and to help keep city noise down to a minimum.

How to Reduce Noise in an Apartment

Noise pollution is a very real problem, and noise pollution can occur not just within an apartment building, but within your own apartment as well. Landlords who own multi-family properties or apartment buildings understand the power of noise complaints; a noisy tenant can drive others away, increasing costs for the landlord as she deals with high turnover from renters. Whether you are an apartment occupant or a landlord, learn how to reduce noise in an apartment to make apartment living a more harmonious experience for everyone involved.

Cover the floors with wall-to-wall carpeting with padding underneath. Do not carpet bathrooms and kitchens, however, with wall-to-wall carpeting. Area rugs are fine in these potentially messy rooms. Wall-to-wall carpeting is the single best way to reduce noise in an apartment but for some renters and landlords this may be too expensive. If you do cover the floors with wall-to-wall carpeting, the thicker the carpeting and padding, the greater the noise reduction.

Use area rugs where wall-to-wall carpeting is not possible. Include thick padding under the area rugs to reduce noise further. The more surface area covered by rugs, the lower the noise issue.

Cover windows with soundproofing curtains. These are thick curtains designed to reduce noise. While they are more expensive than other curtains, they cut noise pollution and not only reduce the level of noise coming into an apartment, but reduce noise going out of the apartment.

Install curtain rods around the pain doorway and hang a soundproofing curtain. This prevents noise from going in or out at the main entry of the apartment. If you live off of a shared entryway or hallway, this can make a dramatic difference in noise exchange.

Place door draft blockers under the main door. This not only helps to reduce heat loss in the winter, it also reduces space where noise can travel.

Replace hollow-core doors with solid-core doors. If you are the tenant, ask your landlord for permission.

Things You Will Need

  • wall to wall carpet
  • padding
  • area carpet
  • door draft blockers
  • soundproofing curtains
  • solid core door

Tips

  • Consider installing soundproofing foam if you are a landlord who wishes to soundproof the apartment. If you are the tenant, ask your landlord for permission to use soundproofing foam on the main door and window frames to reduce noise.
  • Consider adding a layer of sheet rock and Green Glue to walls for extremely tight soundproofing.

Warning

  • If you have noise issues with a neighbor, do not try to "out noise" them. Request basic soundproofing from your landlord and cordially ask neighbors to keep the sound down. If noise becomes an ongoing issue, research noise ordinances in your town to know your rights.

Resources

About the Author

Lea Barton has been writing since 1989, with over 2,000 articles in print and online for such publications as "Today's Parent," "Boston Globe Magazine", and Associated Content. She attended Harvard University's Extension School, completing courses in creative writing and German.