top of page

How Do I Soundproof My Apartment?

Updated: Mar 8, 2022

A Guide to Dealing with Noise in an Apartment

“He shoots, he scores!” and the audience erupts in elation and endless cheers! The only problem? You’re not watching the game. The sound is coming from your neighbor’s apartment…

Living in an apartment complex offers a great sense of community and security, whether it’s your first-time renting or you enjoy the affordability and convenience it offers. But when you can hear your neighbor’s music or perhaps you have a dog and you’re concerned about the noise disrupting your fellow residents, then it’s time to consider how to make your apartment more soundproof.

The question is, what can you do to soundproof your apartment, especially if you’re renting.

Before you take drastic measures, we look at simple ways to create a soundproof apartment and the steps you can take to manage noisy neighbors. Let’s start!

Loud Speakers Getting on Your Nerves
Loud Speakers Getting on Your Nerves

What Does Soundproofing an Apartment Mean?

Soundproofing an apartment means taking measures and performing modifications to prevent or minimize noise from the neighbor or from the street traveling through your walls, windows, and ceilings (in the case of living downstairs). Realistically, a professional soundproof involves the installation of insulating materials to stop the transfer of sound.

Fortunately, there are simpler steps you can take to minimize noise, whether you are the one making it, or you are on the receiving end.

We look at tips for both renters, shared homes, and condos.

Sound Travels - So be Mindful
Sound Travels - So be Mindful

Jump To:

1. Acoustic Panels

2. Landlords will Guide & Counsel New Tenants

Why Aren’t Apartments Soundproof?

Most properties are not built with soundproofing, especially apartments. For properties that are close to busy streets, double glazed windows are generally installed in a renovation or insulating materials within and along the walls.

Do You Play An Instrument In Your Apartment?
Do You Play An Instrument In Your Apartment?

What is Considered Excessive/Unreasonable Noise in an Apartment?

A noise that is described as “unreasonable” or “excessive” is a noise that is not considered regular or everyday sounds. Traffic from a nearby public road is an everyday sound but loud music and parties are not.

The difficulty is determining the fine line between noise that is unreasonable or acceptable and expected in an apartment or residence.

If you can hear people talking or footsteps into a neighboring apartment, this could be regarded as expected daily noise.

Ongoing shouting, stomping, banging of doors, loud music, hooting from cars in the complex, and persistent dog barking, are considered the “unreasonable” end of the noise scale.

Throwing a Full Out Party In Your Apartment May Be Considered Excessive
Throwing a Full Out Party In Your Apartment May Be Considered Excessive

Do Apartments Have Quiet Hours?

While not always explicitly stated in the lease, every tenant has the right to quiet enjoyment of their residence. This means that parties, loud music, shouting, and unreasonable sounds should cease between these times.

The standard times for ‘quiet hours’ in apartments range from 10 pm/11 pm to 7 am/8 am during the week. These hours differ on weekends and public holidays.

If quiet hours are not stated in your lease, speak to your landlord about what is considered times of quiet or undisturbed hours in your apartment building or complex.

Jump To:

1. Why Aren't Apartments Soundproof?

2. Speak to Your Neighbor

Sometimes We Just Need Peace & Quiet
Sometimes We Just Need Peace & Quiet

What Can You Do to Reduce Noise in Your Apartment?

Living in an apartment requires some consideration for your fellow neighbor but what if you have children and you want to live upstairs or you are concerned about your dog making noise while you are at work?

We look at what you can do to soundproof a room and more.

Living in an Upstairs Apartment with Children

Whether you live upstairs or downstairs in an apartment, considering ways of managing noise can go a long way to preventing unwanted noise complaints. With urban living and more families moving into apartments, one of the most popular questions asked is how to soundproof noisy children in an upstairs apartment?

If you are a parent and you live in or want to live in an upstairs apartment, you may be concerned about your children’s activities creating noise and disturbing your neighbors below. Children will run, jump, play with their toys and this may be heard by the downstairs resident.

Across the US, families with children under the age of have increased by more than 31% in apartment living. This means that more people are considering cost-effective ways of soundproofing their apartments.

Noise complaints concerning kids are a sensitive topic and perhaps it is a good idea to speak to your landlord about your concerns.

Whether pets, babies tumbling across the floor, or young children running and playing in apartments, let’s look at the simplest ways of buffering noise in apartments.

Use Thick Carpeting

For families in an upstairs apartment, one way to reduce the sound of pitter-pattering feet running across the floor is to use a large rug with an underlay. Dense carpeting can significantly reduce the thuds of activity heard by the downstairs neighbor, especially across hardwood floors.

This can also work for larger sized pets that may run and jump across the floor.

Jump To:

1. Tips From a Landlord on Dealing With Noise in an Apartment

2. Soundproofing an Apartment and Dealing With Noise

Have You Considered a Thicker Rug or Thicker Carpeting
Have You Considered a Thicker Rug or Thicker Carpeting

A Look at the Best Tips to Make Your Apartment More Soundproof

From your doors, and windows to your floors, we look at the following options for soundproofing your apartment.

Identify the Areas in Your Apartment Most Susceptible to Noise

Is it the door, the window, or the floor between you and the upstairs neighbor that is the weakest spot for noise transfer?

If it is the floor, as previously mentioned, a thick carpet in a large size covering the entire living area or dense rugs spread throughout can assist in reducing loud footsteps, thuds, and jumps.

By determining the weakest areas of your apartment, you can focus your insulation efforts and manage the cost to keep the noise at bay.

Insulate the Doors and Windows

For external noise, one of the easiest ways to control disturbances is by sealing gaps, cracks, and openings around window frames and doors. You can purchase insulation tape to seal off frames, which can also help with drafts and interior temperature regulation.

If you want to soundproof your apartment door, you can purchase an acoustic kit to insulate the door. Most types of noise come from the gaps and the weakness in the door. Because apartment doors are not of dense manufacture, their hollow consistency can actually create higher levels of sound transference inside the apartment.

A seal kit is designed to close the gaps around the door and the framework. You can also use insulation foam as an affordable alternative, to reduce the possibility of sound travel.

Do Bookshelves Help to Soundproof an Apartment?

A bookshelf looks great but as far as keeping the noise from transferring in between walls, it won’t do much. You can try to hang carpeting or padding on the walls to create density.

Acoustic Panels

The acoustic panel has become a popular solution for apartment living. In a rental apartment, always discuss modifications to walls before you decide to take on a DIY project. It is best to speak to your landlord about the noise and to ask about the steps you can take to manage the disruptions.

Use White Noise Machines and Ear Plugs

Many people swear by using white noise machines. The soft tunes carried by the device can help distract you from the bigger disturbances. It also provides a balancing effect throughout the apartment.

For more persistent noises through the night, earplugs may be a good investment.

Jump To:

1. What is Considered Excessive/Unreasonable Noise in an Apartment?

2. What Does Soundproofing an Apartment Mean?

Create a Space for Peace
Create a Space for Peace

Speak to Your Neighbor

This can be a difficult and touchy subject but if your neighbor is playing loud music, their dog is constantly barking, or slamming doors, the next step is to speak to them kindly. Remember, many people aren’t aware that what they’re doing is causing you grief and can be heard inside your home. Making them aware of this with a polite conversation may assist in easily resolving the issue.

If you don’t feel comfortable talking to your neighbor or feel they may not be reasonable when approached, the next step is to talk to your landlord.

Maybe Your Neighbor Does Not Know - You Can Kindly Make Them Aware
Maybe Your Neighbor Does Not Know - You Can Kindly Make Them Aware

Speaking to Your Landlord About Noise Disturbances in Your Apartment

Landlords deal with noise disturbance complaints periodically. From significant cases of disruptive tena