Imagine this. You just bought your apartment, and someone moves to the apartment above yours. Every time the new neighbor is in the house, there is unbearable noise. Either it’s the kids running around, loud music, and constant stomping that it feels there is an earthquake.
Everything in the house, from the ceiling to the wall and bed, shake so bad that there is no way you can concentrate or sleep.
You have tried talking to the neighbor, and the noise isn’t receding. The neighbor owns the property—they aren’t renting, so you can’t speak to the management and ask them to leave.
You own your property for which you are paying a mortgage, so moving out isn’t an option. What should you do? Here are tips on how to stop noisy upstairs neighbors:
Install acoustic plaster
Acoustic plaster is plaster that contains aggregate or fibers that come in handy at absorbing sound. Depending on the application style, finish, and manufacturer, acoustical plaster has a noise reduction coefficient of 0.50 to 1.00.
You can mount the acoustic plaster in two ways: direct and suspended. In type A mounting, you first install the gypsum board then seal all the HVAC, electrical, fire sprinkler, and other penetrations. This is meant to prevent air movement between the plenum and occupied space.
You then test the existing plaster, previously painted GWB and GFRG surfaces for bond strength, then clean and sand them. You should then attach the acoustical plaster to the substrates to the adhesive and secure it with spring washers.
In the suspended mounting, you install the acoustical board and plaster directly to the drywall grid. As you can tell, this is cheaper as you don’t incur the cost for a layer of GWB.
Experts say this installation increases the sound absorption performance in the low-frequency range with the direct to grid installation method commonly known as E-400 or E-200 mount and the air gap behind.
Regardless of the installation method you go with, ensure that you go for a high-quality acoustic plaster. Also, ensure that you hire an experienced and certified professional to handle the installation. You don’t want someone that will damage your property.
Invest in good quality earplugs
If you are single, instead of trying to reason with a neighbor that won’t see your point of view, you are better off investing in good-quality earplugs.
There are two main types of earplugs you can go with: expandable foam plugs and pre-molded, reusable plugs.
The expandable foam plugs are the most popular and the cheapest. These plugs are designed to expand and conform to the shape of your ear canal, which comes in handy at blocking most of the noise coming from the outside.
To wear the earplugs, you should roll them into a thin, crease-free cylinder then insert them into your ear. How you roll the earplugs isn’t of importance. The important thing is the result. For the best blocking, ensure that you have a thin tube such that about half the length of the earplug will easily fit your ear canal.
You can go for the pre-molded, reusable earplugs often made from silicone, rubber, or plastic if you have a larger budget. Unlike with the foam plugs where one size fits all, with the pre-molded plugs, you need a different plug for each ear.
You should buy the earplugs and wear them when you get in the house or hear your neighbors getting into the house.
To get the most from the earplugs, remember to take good care of them. For example, for the disposal of earplugs, dispose of them after a day or two of use. For the reusable ones, clean them whenever you see a lot of dirt on them.
If you don’t like earplugs and prefer headphones instead, go for them. Headphones often don’t provide a good seal as earplugs, so you need to put on some music to better block the noises coming from the outside.
Blast some music
If you don’t want to wear earplugs or listen to music through your headphones, you can always put on some music to mask the noises coming from your upstairs neighbor.
When you are listening to music, you have two options. Listen to the music at a volume that is just high enough to mask the noise or give your neighbors a piece of the action by purchasing a high-quality J4L speaker, then put them on your ceiling (their floor) and blast loud music.
To piss them even further, blast the music when they are sleeping, or it has gone quiet.