Living in an apartment has many benefits, but living so closely to multiple neighbours can mean more noise pollution.
To prevent noise between rooms and between apartments, or if you're a music fan and want to keep noise in, consider replacing your doors, soundproofing your windows, blocking any gaps and soundproofing your floors.
For all you need to know about soundproofing a flat, read our guide now.
Blocking noise between rooms in your apartment
When it comes to soundproofing a flat, thick or soft objects are usually better at absorbing sound as it travels through the room. Harder surfaces or hollow objects allow the soundwaves to either reflect back across the room or bounce around to amplify it.
Adding materials such as foam panels to the walls can have a hugely positive impact on reducing sound as it travels from room-to-room. If you are someone that prefers to leave the doors of each room open throughout the house then consider closing a door or two. This will create a barrier between rooms, reducing the level of sound heard. Using weather proofing strips around the four edges of the door will help to seal the gaps that sound easily passes through.
Soft furnishings will also help to absorb the sound as it arrives in the room. This alone will not be enough to significantly reduce the sound, but when used as part of a wider plan of action the difference will be felt.
Stop outside noise coming in
Windows that are made up of single panes do not only ensure lower levels of heat insulation, but they fail to do much to protect you against noise pollution too. Double or secondary glazing instantly lowers the amount of sound travelling in from outside, with estimates ranging anywhere between a 15-20% improvement.
Most rooms have at least one window, and any rooms that feature more are usually the most susceptible to being exposed to external noise. Replacing your doors with either composite or solid alternatives is another good way to absorb the sound as it passes through into the room. You can also choose to do the same with your front door, which we go into more detail below.
Replacing your door
If the source of the noise is coming from outside, rather than above or through the walls from the adjacent building, it will help to add some additional features to the front door which makes soundproofing doors in flats much easier to do.
The gaps that are naturally in place around the edge of the doors allow sound and noise to get through into hallways and landings, which can echo and repeat the noise to make it sound even louder.
As suggested for internal doors, replacing the front door with a composite or solid wooden door is the best solution for absorbing the sound. Alternatively, you can also purchase an acoustic door seal kit to help with lighter weight doors.
There are a number of these available on the market at largely affordable prices and these adaptations can be performed easily within the home. When soundproofing doors in flats they help to block out the gaps around the edges of the door, helping to stop the transfer of noise from outside.
Soundproofing your windows
If noisy neighbours aren’t the problem, it could be the location of your home next to a nearby busy road, or inconsiderate drivers in a residential area making constant noise throughout the day. Either way, it can prove to be extremely irritating, but some simple alterations can help to make a difference. Thankfully, soundproofing windows in flats is a relatively easy job to undertake.
Wooden window plugs are a little unsightly but act as solid barriers to lower the level of sound coming in through the window. However, they shouldn’t be used during the day as they block out all daylight too.
Shutters are not only a popular and stylish window dressing but because they are made of timber, they also offer effective noise protection. They are easy enough to open and close, while helping to make life more bearable inside.
Soundproof, or blackout curtains, are made from thicker material to ensure daylight is minimised in the room in the morning. The thickness of the material also helps to absorb sound travelling through the window. Buying longer curtains that reach the floor will also reduce the gaps in which sound usually pass through and are one of the most economical ways to improve quality of life when soundproofing windows in flats.
Blocking noise coming through ceilings and walls
One of the best ways to soundproof ceilings in flats is to install acoustic insulation into a false ceiling built underneath the existing structure. This is a method commonly used when soundproofing a flat as it produces great results. Depending on the amount of height you can afford to lose in the room, this will dictate what sort of insulation can be used.
For example, smaller rooms will make it more difficult to install acoustic insulation slabs without impacting on the space below. Higher ceilings make this an easier job to use a product such as Rockwool Insulation Slabs high performance levels when it comes to sound absorption. In either scenario, hiring a professional contractor or company to construct the roof is the recommended course of action.
Another way is to add acoustic insulation panels to the ceiling when soundproofing a flat, which can be purchased in a range of different colours. This can be done by simply adding adhesive material to position it in place on the ceiling. Alternatively, applying direct-to-wall insulation panels to the existing ceiling will help to reduce noise transfer.
Soundproofing walls in flats can be done in several ways. Adding items like bookshelves and furnishings adds another layer of protection that will help to dampen the noise. You can also choose to add soundproofing foam to the walls, which will have a similar effect. This might not be the most attractive option but it will prove to be effective.
Installing insulation slabs into the wall will offer far more protection and a longer-term solution to the problem. Rockwool RW3 Acoustic Insulation Slabs are one of the most commonly used products for acoustic sound insulation in the home, placed in both external and internal solid walls.
You may also decide to build a false wall which can be filled with acoustic insulation slabs similar to Rockwool Insulation Slabs which is ideal for cavity walls, as well as internal stud walls.
How to soundproof a floor in an apartment
Flats or apartments that contain laminate, or hardwood flooring will benefit from rugs. The soft material will help to absorb sound travelling through the floor.
Carpeted flats or apartments will already benefit from the natural insulation the material provides, with wool and pile carpets offering particularly good levels of sound protection. This makes soundproofing a flat a far easier job to undertake. Adding additional rugs on the floor in hallways, landings and living rooms will increase the absorption of the sound too.