How to soundproof a rented flat

In this blog, I’ll provide several soundproofing strategies that you may use as a renter to keep noise in your flat to a minimum. Disturbing and undesired noise is a reality of life for many apartment residents, and it frequently seems inevitable. Soundproofing doesn’t have to be hard or costly, and even the most basic techniques can make a significant difference.

It’s difficult to ascertain what you can and can’t do in a rental apartment. With a security deposit on the line, even the smallest improvements can cost a lot of money, so even if you’re sick of noisy neighbours or the crowd outside, soundproofing measures may not seem worth it.

Traditional soundproofing measures will appear excessive, especially considering how to explain it to an enraged landlord. There are far fewer risky alternatives to your soundproofing demands than insulating the walls with soundproofing foam or installing panels underneath the floorboards.

How to soundproof a rented flat?

Consider these soundproofing options for your rental flat, which range from free to more expensive.

  • Determine the source of the noise
  • Consult your neighbours and your landlord
  • Apply acoustic Sealant to fill any cracks or gaps
  • Consider using sound-absorbing wall decor
  • Make your doors soundproof
  • Use soundproofing tape to seal your door
  • Soundproof your windows
  • Adding a rug or carpeting 
  • Use white noise machines

Determine the source of the noise

 Breathe deeply if you’re losing sleep or going insane over the noise from your neighbours. It’s aggravating, but don’t become discouraged. Instead, take a tour around your flat and figure out where the noise is originating from.

 Is the noise coming from your right-hand neighbour or the unit over you? Is the noise the loudest near your front entrance or windows? While it may appear like the objectionable noise is coming from all directions, it most likely isn’t.  Determine which locations are allowing the most noise in, then proceed from there. 

There may be an easy fix that does not necessitate a complete renovation of the dwelling. If the problem is caused by traffic noise, for instance, just using weather-stripping and an acoustic sealer to cover the windows and walls facing the road may fix all of your concerns.

Consult your neighbours and your landlord

If the issue is noisy flat neighbours, likely, they aren’t aware of how loud they are. After 10 p.m., most people believe it is fair to turn down their music or television. If you’re not comfortable, kindly ask them if they would lower the volume, or ask your landlord to do it. You won’t require any soundproofing.

Apply acoustic Sealant to fill any cracks or gaps

Thin plasterboard walls with gaps and cracks have been spotted on several occasions, possibly at the corner or on the opposite side of the walls.

This allows soundwaves to readily flow through barriers and into your home, posing a significant danger to privacy.

The most crucial thing to do initially is to locate the gaps or holes and seal them with the best Acoustic sealant or acoustic caulk available.

Both of these could be used on the wall, however, the sealant is the most suggested due to its elastic nature when applied with a caulking gun.

How do you fill gaps or cracks with acoustic sealant?

  • Simply cut the tubing and nozzle as required using this acoustic sealant, which arrives with a nozzle. 
  • You can squeeze out with your hand, however, the quart size Caulk gun is recommended for proper and easier dispensing.
  • Direct the nozzle to the holes or gaps where you located them and fill them with steady pressure on the gun handle. 
  • Wipe all the excess sealant with the huge wipes.
  • One tube of sealant would be enough to fill the 40-50 linear feet.
Materials NeededTools Needed
Acoustic sealantCaulking gun.
acoustic caulkCaulking tools

Consider using sound-absorbing wall decor

Thin walls are common in flats, allowing you to hear whatever your next-door neighbour does. If this is your primary concern, some sound-absorbing wall decoration can help significantly. Hang a large tapestry in your room to bring colour and cosiness while also dampening some of the bothersome noises. Take a step further and use soundproofing foam to coat the wall before hanging your tapestry.

Materials Needed

Make your doors Soundproof

If you can hear every discussion in the corridor from the comfort of your couch, likely large air gaps are surrounding your door. The noise will be reduced if these leaks are repaired. Sound flows through the air, and any gap that allows light to pass through will allow sound to pass through as well.

Install a door sweep if your flat door has a huge gap under it. Use a sweep that has a thick rubber strip that seals against the barrier. Dust, mosquitoes, and draughts, as well as noise, will be kept out. If the rest of the door doesn’t close snugly against the door sills, use foam weather-stripping to seal the edges and top of the door.

The dampening seal on the door is installed in the following procedures.

  • The height and width of your room door should be measured.
  • Cut the weather-stripping to the desired sizes.
  • To seal the door, put the sliced strips in position.
  • From inside, fill in the spaces. Covering your door from the outside will make it appear unattractive.
Materials NeededTools Needed
weather-strippingFoam seal tape

Another alternative is to purchase and install a door sweep beneath the door. Check the gap’s size and purchase a sweep that will exactly fill the gap.

How to install door sweeps?

Using a tape measurer, determine the width of your door. If your door is less than 36 inches wide, use scissors to cut the door sweep to fit.

  • Then, with the clear vinyl seal contacting the bottom of the door, place the door sweep against the closed door. Make a mark on the door surface where you want the sweep to go.
  • Then, using the markings as a guide, remove the liner and force the door sweep into place.
  • Finally, double-check for gaps between the adhesive door sweep and the door threshold.
Materials NeededTools Needed
door sweepclear vinyl seal

Curtains for the door

Identify every small element of the space that can absorb noise, particularly any soft materials such as books and other such items. Move items next to the wall, as they are the most effective at absorbing sound or noise. As a result, arrange the sofas against the wall. 

Hang soft materials like curtains or blankets on the wall. Heavy blackout curtains can be used to add an extra layer of soundproofing over the front door. They soak up any noise that escapes through the door while they are shut.

Materials Needed
Heavy blackout curtains

Use soundproofing tape to seal your door

Sound enters your home through holes in the door all the time. Many acoustic door seal kits are pricey, and probably more than you’d want to spend on a temporary solution. Instead, get some soundproofing tape from a home renovation retail outlet and apply it to cover all of your door’s edges. It will close any spaces between the door and the doorframe, reducing noise.

Materials Needed
soundproofing tape

Soundproof your windows

Sound can enter through windows. Invest yourself in a set of heavy curtains if you’re sick of getting awakened by honks and sirens every night. Hang one of these above your window to mask some of the annoying noises. You may discover drapes that reduce noise while also blocking all light.

Adding a rug or carpeting 

If your upstairs neighbour seems tap-dancing every night, you should go directly to the source. Inquire if they would consider putting a rug in the room to lessen the sounds and mask the footfall. You might also ask them to take their shoes off and see if it helps! If your neighbour refuses, inquire with your landlord about the possibility of putting carpet. It’s a long shot, but it never hurts to inquire. Just make sure you’re requesting courteously.

We can also place heavy rugs on the floor. The majority of the structural noise will be absorbed by heavy carpets. Rugs will reduce the noise and enhance the acoustics of your flat.

Materials NeededTools Needed
carpetNon-slip area rug padCarpet tapeCarpet Cutter

Use white noise machines

White noise machines do not absorb noise in any way. White noise machines block out other noises in your natural vicinity that may prevent you from going asleep or staying asleep.

White machines deflect your attention by disguising disruptive unwanted noise via playing a non-distractive kind of noise. Here’s a helpful guide to white noise machines that will help you pick the right one for your needs. Some sound masking devices can even be adjusted to conceal certain sound frequencies.

Materials Needed
White noise machines


Soundproofing your flat effectively is a big job, but it’s doable if you have the time, permissions, and know-how. If you’re a typical tenant, your best chance is to think about some quick solutions that will provide you with some noise relief.

 If you have a little more flexibility, a few easy changes could go a long way toward keeping noise out of your flat. If you want to go all out, consider the density and decoupling dampening rules.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to build a soundproof rental flat?

Is it possible to hear what your neighbours are saying through the wall?

Sound travels through the air as a result of airborne noise. The airborne sound wave hits the wall, causing it to vibrate due to pressure fluctuations. This vibrational energy passes through the wall and is radiated on the opposite side as airborne sound.

In an apartment, what is excessive noise?

Ordinary noise is created by everyday actions such as walking, chatting, or closing doors. Extreme noise refers to noise that isn’t considered “normal,” such as constant blaring music or sound from gatherings. Ordinary noise in an apartment, such as walking or talking, is referred to as “ordinary noise.”

Is it possible to use soundproof plasterboard?

Is soundproof plasterboard so effective? The majority of acoustic plasterboards suppress sound by 36-46 decibels. You should still achieve a 36 dB noise reduction if you use a single layer of soundproof plasterboard on a normal stud construction wall. The higher the value, the greater the sound absorption.

Is it true that carpet can aid to minimise noise?

Carpet muffles loud noises and creates a calmer, more relaxing home environment. The only way to eliminate excessive noise generated by ground impacts such as footfalls, chairs scraping across the ground, and objects thrown on the floor is to install carpet and underlay.

Is it true that cement planks are soundproof?

Because cement boards are dense, they are effective at isolating both airborne and impact noises. Because cement boards are hefty, sound has a hard time passing through them. As a result, cement boards are great dampening materials.

What can I use to dampen sound on the walls?

Thick blankets, moving pads, tapestries, or quilts can be used to cover the walls. Any soft material will do, though thicker fabrics will buffer more noise than thinner ones. Attach sound-absorbing panels to the walls and, if needed, the roof if you don’t mind the space taking on an industrial feel.

What is the best way to keep traffic noise out of my bedroom?

If nothing else helps, place thick curtains or drapes on windows or try hanging heavy material on a nearby wall to absorb some sound. Place a rolled-up towel or other cloth at the bottom of the bedroom door. If you don’t have drapes, you can also put towels on the windows.