How to Soundproof an Apartment Without Breaking the Bank

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With a bit of imagination and a systematic approach, creating a soundproof apartment is not expensive. Soundproofing of apartments is a common requirement. While some people do it to guard their privacy, some are forced to do it due to noisy neighbors. You can buy a number of soundproofing solutions; however, most of them are expensive and require the use of professionals and costly installations.

Many housing experts believe that using permanent, soundproofing solutions isn't wise. This is mainly because the performance of a soundproofing installation may not be up to the expected levels. Then you have to tear down the existing soundproofing additions, a situation that results in unwanted expense. Furthermore, such permanent solutions pose a problem if the house has to be redecorated. Homeowners should use soundproofing solutions that are affordable, effective, and flexible. Unlike professional solutions that might create the need to seek legal permissions, easy soundproofing methods pose no such issues.

You should understand that at the core of every soundproofing technique lies a simple concept—sound waves create reverberations and echoes that you need to limit. You can use the following suggestions to soundproof your apartment in a budgeted manner:

Creating Soundproof Apartment Floors

Using household supplies, you can easily soundproof floors.

Collect and Clean Filler Material

Start by collecting old carpets and pieces of rags/foam that can be used as the filler material. If possible, wash them once or let them dry in the hot sun for at least two days. This step is essential to eliminate germs and other infectious micro-organisms. Using the scissors, cut these materials into even-looking pieces.

Lay the Filler Material

Remove your existing carpet. Clean the entire area. Ideally, you should disinfect it with a household cleaner. Place the dried materials on the cleaned floor. Ensure that you maintain the same thickness as these filler materials. Doing so helps to eliminate carpet seams. Always position the fibrous side of the carpet pieces/rugs on the underside and facing the floor beneath them. You need to position the pieces this way because the upper, flatter side forms a better bond with the overlying carpet. This positioning also helps to eliminate carpet seams and create a uniform appearance. Don’t fill too much of the underlay around the exit/entrance because you don't want to interfere with the opening and closing of doors.

Secure the Underlay

Using double-sided duct tape, secure the underlay material with the overlying carpet. If you have a carpet roller, roll across the carpet surface repeatedly. This rolling helps flatten the underlay that might cause the carpet to develop small bumps. It also helps to press the surfaces against the duct tape and secure them more firmly. For a few days, keep as much of the furniture as you can around the outer edge of soundproofed carpet area. This ensures that the filler materials aren’t pushed out when people walk upon the carpeted area.

Creating Soundproof Apartment Walls

Shared walls are a challenge from a soundproofing perspective. Proper soundproofing techniques mean the use of costly items like acoustic tiles or special, sound-absorbing coatings. However, you can soundproof your walls in a cost-effective manner with the following suggestions.

Identify Problem Areas

You need to identify the walls in your apartment that allow the most sound to come through. Soundproof the problematic walls only will help you cut costs.

Create Natural Sound Barriers

Move as many sound-absorbing items as you can against the identified walls. For instance, relocate your bookshelves along the walls. If you have a sofa or some extra padded chairs or couches, place them along the walls. The cushion and fabrics of these objects make for a natural sound barrier that dampens the vibrations. You can also place wall hangings along the shared walls.

Insulate the Walls with Wallpaper

You can cover the walls with fabricated wallpaper. You can cover only two of the four walls in an apartment with the wallpaper and leave the two opposing walls uncovered. Thus you can cover the two walls that are most prone to letting through the sound and save money. You can easily install the wallpaper using wallpaper adhesive.