Plant in window with partly opened curtains

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5 quick tips to soundproof your apartment

Can you hear your neighbour’s music, conversations in the hallway or cars honking outside your window? It doesn’t matter where it’s coming from, we can all agree these unwanted (and annoying) sounds can take their toll on your peace of mind. 

Since it’s not quite possible to start constructing soundproof walls, ceiling and flooring in your apartment, we’ve put together a list of 5 quick ways to reduce noise – starting now. 

Tip #1: Seal the gaps in your front door

A red front door and white front door

Photo by Landon Martin on Unsplash

First things first, take a couple of minutes to figure out where the sounds are coming from. A good place to start is none other than your front door. 

If you can hear your neighbours chatting in the hallway while you’re enjoying a coffee on your couch, chances are there might be a large gap under your front door. 

Sealing this gap does a good job of blocking out the noise from outside – here’s how:

Install a door sweep with a thick rubber strip that seals the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold. This will not only help keep out the noise, but will also keep the dust, bugs, and drafts out of your home.

After you install the door sweep, use some weather-stripping tape to cover the top and sides of the door to completely fill all the air gaps. 

Tip #2: Cover your windows to reduce both noise and drafts

Bed covers thrown back

Photo by Burst on Pexels

Sure, windows let in drafts. But did you know they also let in noise when they’re closed? Here’s how you can reduce some of that noise: 

• To reduce outside noise by 50 percent or more, consider window inserts. They’re clear glass or acrylic panes that are installed over windows and designed to create an airtight seal.

o This will also help keep out the cold, and there are options available that can easily pop out when you want to open up the window to get some fresh air. 

• Another option is to install soundproof curtains. Heavy-duty soundproofing curtains can help block out sound and actually deflect it back outside. Bonus!

o There are many options that can help in other areas as well, such as sound-absorbing blackout curtains that can help you get a better night’s sleep. 

• For something less heavy duty, a quick fix is to swap out your blinds or cotton curtains with a heavier material like velvet. 

o Try pleated styles as they can triple the noise reduction compared to flat curtains of the same weight. Who knew?

Tip #3: Add in soft furnishings to absorb noise 

A white couch in the living room with gold lamp on a nightstand table

Pictured: Minto Apartments’ 1235 Marlborough Court

Sound bounces off hard surfaces and is absorbed by soft surfaces, so investing in soft furnishings can make a world of a difference.

• The perfect rug can not only make your living room feel cozier and your feet toastier, it can also help absorb sounds. 

o Invest in a thick carpet that comes with an underpad; it’ll not only help absorb sound caused by movement (footsteps or movement of furniture), it’ll also help reduce the sound of voices.

• Noise doesn’t only reflect off of the floor, it reflects off walls, ceilings and other hard surfaces. To reduce the reflection of noise, cover walls with something soft like fabric wall hangings

o This can also be a great way to decorate your room and add in a pop of colour! 

• If you’re already thinking about getting a few pieces of furniture, consider buying upholstered furniture instead of wooden or metal chairs or stools to reduce the number of hard surfaces in your living space. 

o You can also buy thick blankets and throw pillows to add to the cozy factor and help dampen some of that sound. 

Tip #4: Use acoustic panels for soundproofing and décor 

Colourful wall art

Photo by Chinh Le Duc on Unsplash

Acoustic panels come in many different shapes and materials and are excellent at absorbing unwanted sounds. The best part is, they can be used as accents and décor around your home. 

Check out this post on 23 decorative acoustic panel ideas for inspiration for some fun ideas. 

These panels are generally lightweight and come in a range of prices, making it easy to find one to fit your budget. Alternatively, cheap soundproofing foam is very easy to get your hands on and also comes in a variety of colours.

A completely free option courtesy of Modern Castle, is to dig into your storage closet and pull out some thick blankets. Once you’ve gathered your thickest blankets, decide if you want to keep the sound out or in:

• Sound in: In case you live with roommates and want to keep them from hearing your loud music, you’ll need blankets on all sides of your room.

• Sound out: If you want to keep the outside noise from entering into your home, you’ll need to put blankets over the source of those sounds. Determine where the sounds are coming from first. If they’re coming from the window, place the blanket there. 

• Affix to wall: In both cases, you’ll want to hang the blankets using wall tacks, tape, or small screws depending on how heavy they are.

Tip #5: White noise to the rescue 

Rock Pile

A sound or white noise machine can drown out unwanted noises and help you get a great night’s sleep. 

These machines don’t completely remove all noise, but instead mask background sounds and can be quite affordable (there are even apps on your phone that can help!). 

Next time unwanted noises seep into your apartment, try out a couple of these quick tips and see what a difference they can make. All that’s left to do is sit back and enjoy the silence. Aaaahhhhh.