Imagine this. You have had a busy day and can’t wait to escape from the outside world. You reach your house and pour a glass of wine. As you are settling to relax, your solitude is invaded by your neighbor’s sounds. Annoying, right?
If you have had the experience, you must be asking, I can hear my neighbors through my wall. What should I do?
First things first. One of the reasons you can hear your neighbors through the walls is because the walls are thin.
Luckily, there are several things you can do to reduce the amount of noise getting into your house. Some of these things include:
Use acoustic panels and foams.
These are boards made from sound-absorbing materials such as fiberglass. The panels increase air resistance, which reduces sound passing through them.
Made of porous expanded polypropylene, the panels absorb sound before it bounces off walls and ceilings. The panels attach to the wall with hooks, tape, or clips and come in various sizes.
If you don’t have the foams, you can use drywall to add thickness to your walls. When you create thicker walls, you reduce the amount of noise you hear.
Drywall is also highly effective at blocking out sound. For excellent results, add two layers of drywall. You can do the work by yourself, but let an expert handle it if you don’t have the skills.
To install drywall, you need screws to hold the wall in place. Screw the drywall in place, so the screws attach to the wood studs already in the wall.
Use canvas paintings
Besides making your house beautiful, canvas paintings can also block the noise from getting into the house.
Hang the paintings on the wall you share with your neighbor, and you will be amazed by the amount of sound you reduce.
Don’t have canvas paintings? Position the bookcase on the wall, and it will have the same effect as the canvas painting.
For best results, pack as many books on the shelves as possible. Avoid pockets of space as they will reduce the effectiveness of the shelves.
Apply latex paint
Did you know there is sound-reducing latex paint you can use to reduce the noise getting in through the walls? Visit your latest store and get quality paint that has been shown to reduce transmission and reflections by up to 30%.
Sound absorbing fillers, resins, and ceramic microspheres make the paint sound resistant. Depending on your tastes and the house’s design, you can choose between light and dark tinting.
Add soft furnishings
It’s a fact that a room with plenty of hard surfaces reverberates and bounces sound, reducing the noise getting into the house.
When you add furnishings such as carpets, upholstered furniture, rugs, draperies, or even potted plants, you significantly minimize sound wave vibrations, reducing the noise.
When buying a carpet, pay attention to the STC rating. You should buy one with a high number.
Invest in a white noise machine
A white machine adds non-structured noise to a room hence effectively masking the sounds coming from your neighbors. When buying the white machine, ensure it’s not too loud or too big such that the white noise machine becomes a nuisance to the neighbors.
Rearrange your furniture
Rearranging your furniture can seem like a tiny fix, but it makes a great difference when done right. For example, if the noise is coming from the wall next to your bedroom, don’t put your bed too close to the wall.
If the garbage truck drives by your window too frequently, turn your bed, so the head is as far as possible from the window. The purpose of doing this is to increase the distance sound travels so as little noise as possible reaches you.
Block sounds entering through the door.
If you have a roommate with whom you share a door, you might think the sound is getting through the walls while it’s coming in through the door. Most doors have a gap between them and the floor where sound might be getting through.
To reduce the amount of noise getting into the house, you have to seal the gaps. One of the best products to use is door blockers. You can buy the blockers or make them from noodles. Use foam glue to conceal them with fabric and attach them to your door with Velcro strips.
This makes it easy to wash the fabric when it gets dirty.
Other things you can do to reduce the noise
Soundproof the ceiling
If you live in an apartment, the noise might be coming from the ceiling, which might be driving you crazy. You can reduce the noise getting into your house by adding a drop ceiling.
You install the ceiling below the existing drywall, and the space between the drywall and ceiling will isolate the noise.
If you have the funds, invest in acoustical clouds for the ceiling that blocks the annoying noise and, at the same time, improve the look of the house.
If you have added a drop ceiling and still can hear the sound or don’t like the current look, consider adding another drywall layer.
Soundproof the floor
Did you know noise from your downstairs neighbor might be getting into your house through the floor? To reduce it, consider soundproofing the floor. The first step is to install a thick carpet that will deaden the sounds.
If your landlord doesn’t have a problem with it, consider carpeting the entire floor. To reduce the sound even further, add carpet padding to new and existing carpets.
Don’t you like carpets on your floor? Use fluffy rugs that will make your house comfy while blocking annoying noise.
What if the noise is still passing through?
If you have tried everything to block noise, but you can still hear it and you are wondering, I can hear my neighbors talking through the walls, try talking to your neighbor about it. If this doesn’t work, consider moving. Of course, you should be ready to lose some money as you will be canceling your lease.