How to tell if an apartment is soundproof?

In this blog, we will discuss in detail the factors which will determine whether the apartment is soundproof or not. 

No matter how nice a rental unit is, one of the major drawbacks you may encounter is noise from outside sources flowing into your apartment. There are few things as irritating as noise constantly disrupting your peace as shuffled feet outside your door early in the morning, rumbling cars at 3 a.m., and thumps from the flat above you. Because soundproofing is unquestionably the most effective method of blocking noise from outside sources.

The age-old dilemma of how to discern if your neighbours to the left, right, top, and bottom will bother you for the rest of your life before you rent or buy. On the wall, ears are listening for insulation and soundproofing.

Before you continue reading, keep in mind that in a multi-complex apartment, you will never be completely shielded from outside noise. This is the fundamental truth. The way your neighbours behave will have an impact on your life and attitude. If you’ve always lived in apartments in the city, you’re well aware of this and have developed a thick skin. If you didn’t know, now you do.

How to tell if an apartment is soundproof? 

The most straightforward method is to look for traces of soundproofing treatments. There are three key elements to look for when determining whether or not an apartment unit is soundproof:

  • The door jamb is completely sealed.
  • The walls and ceilings are covered in drywall.
  • Windows are fitted with soundproof window plugs.
  • Soundproof drapes have been installed at the windows.
  • The floor is covered in a thick carpet.

These items appear to be just decorative within the unit. They aren’t, however. All of the items listed above, when properly placed, contribute to reducing the amount of noise that passes through the unit.

The issue with renting an apartment, as all renters are aware, is that you have no control over the noise from outside. This is because you have no control over your neighbours. This is especially common in residential complexes. You do not influence how soundproofing materials are used to reduce noise.

Because noise is a sound that travels through the air, it can easily infiltrate the unit’s weak spots. Walls, hollow doors, and wall cracks are the most common entry locations for noise. Unfortunately, many modern apartments have thin and weak walls, allowing noise to easily infiltrate.

Aside from walls, the noise problem is exacerbated by hollow doors and gaps in window jambs. However, by comprehending these issues, you can devise a soundproofing technique for an apartment unit.

To avoid this problem, the best thing you can do is find an apartment that has already been soundproofed. However, if you are renting an apartment that is not soundproof, you can do the following:

  • Soundproof the Doors
  • Soundproof the Windows
  • Soundproof the Walls
  • Soundproof the Ceiling
  • Soundproof the Floor

Soundproofing an Apartment in Simple Ways

Soundproof the Doors

As previously stated, most doors are hollow, making them ineffective at insulating the entire room from noise. As a result, the door is one of the weak points where sound can travel through. Furthermore, most door jambs contain holes that act as entry points for obnoxious noise.

If this is the case, there are a few approaches you can take to address the issue. Some of them are as follows:

Seal the door jamb

The gap in the door jamb is a weak area that permits noise from outside to get in. So the easiest way to deal with it is to seal it. Use weather-stripping tape to keep the elements out. Rubber, foam, vinyl, and silicone are just a few of the materials available.

You can seal the area between the lower part of the door and the floor in addition to working on door jambs. That area is a potential noise corridor, leaving your room vulnerable to noise.

Fortunately, a door sweep may be used to close it, this material does an excellent job of keeping outside noise out of the space.

Material Needed
door sweep

Cover the Doors

If you still hear those undesirable sounds from outside after using the two techniques, you can also add a defence system to help minimize the noise.

My other suggestion is to use stiff foam to cover the door. The only disadvantage I see with this material is that it does not appear to be very attractive. The thickness increased to the door, on the other hand, will greatly aid in noise reduction.

Material Needed
stiff foam

Soundproof the Windows

The window, in addition to the door, is a weak area in the room. It is, in reality, the weakest section. If your apartment is next to a busy street, the noise will be bothersome and may interfere with your sleep and concentration.

Fortunately, there is a method that you can use to resolve this issue. The usage of weather-stripping tape is one example. Apply the tape to the places that need to be repaired.

A window plug is another material that can be used to treat the window. A soundproofing pad is attached to a wooden board to create this material. It is simple to implement and does not necessitate any prior knowledge.

The only disadvantage I see with this material is that it lacks an appealing visual characteristic and tends to hinder light from entering the space. However, if you’re in a hurry to solve the problem, this material is your best bet.

Finally, and most importantly, a soundproof curtain is my preferred method of window treatment. In terms of soundproofing, this is the quickest and most straightforward method. A soundproof curtain not only blocks sound but also adds aesthetic value to the room. This curtain is thick enough to keep noise out.

The curtain must be hung on the window in the same manner as a standard curtain. That’s all there is to it. You have a decorative element as well as a soundproofing substance that is simple to apply.

Material Needed
weather-stripping tape
Soundproof curtain
Window plug

Soundproof the Walls

Weak walls offer almost no protection against outside noise or sound. Even bad are wooden walls. Fortunately, there are some quick and simple solutions for reducing the noise coming through the wall.

Rearranging the furniture

If carefully placed, furniture can assist in suppressing noise from the outside. Outside noise can be reduced by using your sofas, couches, and even beds. In tiny spaces, this method works effectively. Aside from that, you can also add wall décor. Those artworks, too, can make a difference. It’s crucial to understand that his method doesn’t eliminate noise, but it will undoubtedly assist you in achieving your aim of having a quieter location to sleep and study.

Installing a Dry Wall

This isn’t a quick fix, but it’s the best. Adding another layer of drywall is pricey, but it will be well worth it. The additional drywall will thicken the wall, making it more resistant to outside noise.

Installing Mass Loaded Vinyl between the layers of drywall is another option. The MLV’s mass will undoubtedly contribute to the soundproofing effect and noise reduction.

Fixing the Crakes and Gaps in the Walls

Material Needed
Acoustic caulk
Mass Loaded Vinyl

Gaps and fissures are some of the reasons why the wall’s ability to prevent outside noise deteriorates. Fixing the holes and cracks in the wall will make it a better barrier against outside noise. It’s simple to do with acoustic caulk. Acoustic caulk is simple to use and long-lasting. You’ll get a better result if you apply it appropriately.

How to apply the Acoustic Caulk

  • Clean surfaces that should be sealed. Make sure that all surfaces that will be sealed are cleaned.
  • Create an appropriately sized hole. To start using the acoustical sealant, first, you have to cut it open.
  • Apply Acoustical Caulk.
  • Let it dry.
  •  Apply finishing products.

Soundproof the Ceiling

The apartment unit’s doors, walls, and windows aren’t the only conceivable weak points. Unless you live on the top floor, the ceiling is often the weakest portion of the structure. If that’s the case, the noise from outside is coming in via the ceiling. Fortunately, there are solutions available.

However, the following suggestions, which I will share with you, will require your landlord’s agreement. In most circumstances, tenants have little capacity to make structural changes to the rented flat.

If you are allowed to do so then you can proceed as below:

Add some drywall to the ceiling

You can use drywall on the ceiling to reduce outside noise in the same way that you can on the walls. The added layer of drywall thickens the ceiling, making it more capable of suppressing sounds, particularly from above. You can add two drywall layers if you want to get even better results.

Add a drop ceiling

Another choice is to install a drop ceiling. The drop ceiling is a second layer of the ceiling that sits on top of the first. This method of soundproofing is more effective than the previous method.

Soundproof the Floor

The floor can also be a weak point in the room, allowing noise from the floor to enter. When you live in an apartment that is mostly composed of wood, this is a regular occurrence.

Working on the floor, however, is a bit easier than soundproofing the ceiling, in my opinion. You may easily and quickly solve it by following these steps:

Adding thick soundproof carpets

The quickest technique to reduce noise is to lay down a thick carpet on the floor. A thick carpet performs an excellent job of absorbing and reducing noise. If you wish to take this route, I recommend using a thick enough carpet to get a better outcome. 

Adding Thick Soundproof Carpets not only function as soundproofing materials but also add to the room’s aesthetic appeal.

Adding rubber mats or foam under carpets

The noise can sometimes be so loud that the carpet is unable to shut it out. In that situation, you can put foam or rubber floor mats under the carpet. Rubber mats can also be used to soundproof a floor.

Material Needed
Thick  Soundproof Carpets
floor mats

Conclusion

Soundproofing an apartment can be a costly project, and some methods take a long time to complete. If, on the other hand, you have noisy neighbours, live in a particularly noisy neighbourhood, or simply like peace, soundproofing is well worth the time and effort.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How to tell if the apartment is soundproof?

Several factors can be considered while answering the question. Starting from the building material to the surroundings, the location of the apartment is the factor that plays an important role in deciding whether the building is soundproof or not. However, we have discussed in this blog details, about the factors which are involved in deciding whether the building is soundproof

How can I soundproof my apartment, noisy neighbours?

Well, first you have to confront your neighbours if they have an ear to your sayings that should solve your problem if not then we have discussed all the relevant details about soundproofing the apartment and the tools, materials you will require to do so under your budget off course.

How much does it cost to soundproof an apartment?

The cost of soundproofing a room can be as low as $300 to add an acoustic door or wall panels in a room of the same size. Acoustic panel $1 – $10 per sq.ft. Insulation $1.50 – $4 per sq.ft.

Does soundproofing work?

Yes, soundproofing does, without a doubt, function when done properly. If noise created within the room is causing poor room acoustics, your soundproofing treatment will focus on eliminating echoes.

Can you soundproof a ceiling in an apartment?

If you are allowed by the owner, contractual lease then definitely you can do that Soundproofing your ceiling will cut down slightly on impact noises from above, Drew advised, but it’s better for airborne noise, so he recommends it for folks who are looking specifically for “more privacy and a quieter environment.

How do I tell my neighbours are too loud?

With your noise complaint, approach your neighbour calmly and respectfully. Without being confrontational, explain how the loudness is affecting you. They aren’t even aware of the disruption they’re making.

Sources

https://apartmentnotes.com/how-to-tell-if-apartment-is-soundproof/#1_Look_at_the_quality_of_the_construction_material

https://www.quora.com/When-renting-an-apartment-how-can-I-tell-how-sound-proof-the-walls-are 

https://quietden.com/how-to-tell-if-an-apartment-is-soundproof/

https://apartmentabc.com/if-an-apartment-is-soundproof/

https://www.review2sound.com/how-to-tell-if-an-apartment-is-soundproof-before-renting-or-buying-an-apartment/

https://www.apartmenttherapy.com/ways-to-tell-if-apartment-has-adequate-soundproofing-before-moving-ingood-questions-171822

https://www.reddit.com/r/melbourne/comments/7ydebw/how_to_determine_if_an_apartment_is_sound_proof/

https://www.apartmentlist.com/renter-life/how-to-soundproof-an-apartment

https://www.phillyaptrentals.com/blog/are-apartment-walls-soundproof/

https://www.brickunderground.com/blog/2011/11/keeping_it_down_how_to_choose_a_quiet_apartment

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