Somewhere in the world, somebody lives above or below a noisy neighbor. If you have ever experienced a noisy neighbor, you might wonder if there is a way to soundproof already-existing floors. It doesn’t matter how fantastic your apartment is; if you have unwanted noise, it could become the last place you want to spend your time.
One thing about noisy neighbors is that they can impede your sleep or resting time during the weekend. So rather than having to put up with all that racket or even going to their door to confront them to no avail, you could choose a third solution: soundproofing between existing floors.
It sounds interesting, but before you dive right into it, you need to do some research. The first thing you need to do is find out what you can or can’t do to your apartment. This involves reading up on the terms of your lease and any building codes within your jurisdiction. Once that is done, you can then go through the steps below to find out the seven best noise reduction tips.
Locating the Source of the Noise
The first tip any soundproofing expert would give you is to discover the type of noise and then find its source. There are different types of noise. To successfully soundproof your apartment, you will need to know and understand the kind of noise responsible for the disturbance.
If the noise happens to be traveling through the floor, then you will have to find the significant spot where the noise seems to be the loudest.
When it comes to disturbing noises, two types can be very irritating:
- Collision or impact noise
- Airborne or Arial noise
Collision or Impact Noise
Collision or impact noise is a lot harder to soundproof. This is because these sounds explode when two objects collide—the vibration caused by such a collision results in impact or collision noise. If you were to drop something onto the floor, for example, the noise generated would be an impact or collision noise. The same can be said for someone jumping up and down or throwing a ball that hits the wall. All of these actions will result in a collision noise.
Airborne or Arial Noise
These types of noises are the most prevalent in our everyday life. They are ambient noises that are mostly created by voices, music from a stereo, alarm tone, and radio or TV playing. This is known as airborne sound as the noise is transmitted by air and then carried until the sound wave hits a solid surface, such as a ceiling or floor.
Sound absorbing materials can reduce these airborne or arial noises. To this end, there are numerous soundproofing materials available for purchase today that can seamlessly decrease this type of noise.
Now that we understand different noises, it is time to get into the actual soundproofing process.
How to Soundproof Noise Coming from the Ceiling
If you are wondering how to soundproof between existing floors, taking care of the ceiling is one of the good calls. People tend not to consider that the ceiling could be a sound transmitter. When it comes to noise, sound can come from above or down below.
Most people tend to tackle below, forgetting about the top. When it comes to soundproofing the ceiling, you can use ceiling drywall or acoustic foam panels.
Blocking Sounds Using Ceiling Drywall
You can soundproof your ceiling by adding a thick layer of drywall to it to block the noise. You have to be extremely careful with this method as not placing and fixing the drywall correctly could have it come crashing down on you.
Blocking Sounds Using Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam panels are one of the well-known soundproofing solutions. They are pretty effective at absorbing sound. What’s great about them is that they come in various colors, designs, shapes, and sizes. They can also be constructed using multiple materials. With acoustic foam panels, you get the option of selecting foam panels that best suit your soundproofing needs and tastes.
Understanding Your Floor Type Before Soundproofing
Getting to know the type of noise you are trying to soundproof is one half; the other half involves you understanding the kind of floor you have, as well as the one above you. There are a plethora of floor types used in apartments. However, we are only going to concern ourselves with two of the most popular ones:
- Timber or hardwood floors
- Concrete floor
Timber or hardwood floors are excellent sound conduits as they can easily transmit both collision and arial noises. This makes them quite problematic when it comes to floor soundproofing.
Floors constructed from concrete are typically denser than other floor types, which can help it block out most airborne noises. However, impact or collision noises are bound to be transmitted through the floor.
How to Soundproof a Timber Floor
If your noisy neighbor happens to live below you, then you have to take the step to soundproof your floor, which is their ceiling. If your floor has been constructed from timber joints, the most effective way to soundproof it would be by using thick carpeting.
How to Soundproof a Concrete Floor
Just as we’ve pointed out earlier in this article, concrete floors are naturally a lot denser than other types of floors. This density ensures that arial sounds cannot be transmitted seamlessly through the floor.
Nevertheless, the same cannot be said for collision noises as they are transmitted through the floor. It would help to place some soundproofing over that concrete floor to block collision noises. This helps the floor absorb any noise created from collisions, blocking noise transmission.
When it comes to soundproofing concrete floors, there are a couple of ways you can do so. You can choose to use drywall or furniture.
Blocking Sounds Using Furniture
Not many people know that furniture and furniture placement can affect how much noise you experience. If you are experiencing noise from a particular room more than others, you can choose to move some furniture to the affected space. Doing so will result in a significant difference after. This is because furniture can absorb the vibration caused by impact noise soundwaves, which in turn causes the sound to decay. It can be a relatively inexpensive method of soundproofing a room.
Blocking Sounds Using Drywall
In considering how to soundproof between existing floors, you need to block sounds using drywall as well. You can soundproof your floors by directly installing drywalls. It is imperative to have at least an inch between the floor and the drywall.
Doing this ensures that you are not bridging the gap for sound to be transmitted. After installing the drywall, you can cover that entire area with a thick carpet to further soundproof the floor. When using rugs, use the densest carpets you can find for enhanced soundproofing.
The truth is nobody likes a neighbor that is constantly playing loud music at odd hours or having conversations at the top of their voice. This makes it important to consider how to soundproof between existing floors. The amount of noise generated can drive just about anyone up the wall.
One way to solve this is to discuss it with your neighbor in the hopes that they learn to keep it down. However, if you aren’t one for confrontations or your neighbors persist with the noise even after asking them to keep it down, you could turn to soundproof to help you out.
Soundproofing can help you control the amount of noise transmitted into your home, ensuring a quiet, peaceful, and welcoming environment. Remember that the thicker the soundproofing material, the better it will absorb sound.