Heel races, shouting, soccer matches, barking dogs, or furniture that changes places several times a day are some of the most common noises you can hear from your neighbors. Perhaps, such noises can make your relationship with the neighbor deteriorate.
Today, a quiet environment is one of the main concerns we raise when looking for a new home to live in. How will the coexistence be? Will the one upstairs be quiet or a loud movie lover? And will the one next door listen to the radio as if he was deaf?
Living in a community always generates small conflicts between owners and tenants. Talking to that especially noisy neighbor who keeps you awake is the first step. At least to understand what is happening and if a middle ground can be found. If a friendly chat does not solve the problem, it is time to think about how to soundproof a room. In this post, we share your concerns and tell you how to soundproof a room from noisy neighbors. Read on!
TYPES OF ANNOYING NOISES
To begin with, we must make a very clear distinction. There are two types of noise among those that affect us inside a home:
a) AIRBORNE NOISES
These are the sound waves that are transmitted through the air. Examples of such noises include a neighbor’s voice, music, traffic noise, etc.
b) IMPACT NOISES
It is transmitted by the vibration of the building structure. Examples of such noises include the neighbor’s heels, chairs, or furniture that are dragged, a vibration of any installation or appliance, etc.
Before you get started with soundproofing the wall, you should first understand what the basic principles are for effective soundproofing. With this understanding, you can then select the method that is most effective for your room.
a) SOUND ABSORPTION
Some materials can absorb sound by absorbing the sound waves and converting them into kinetic energy. This reduces the noise. A good example of such a material is acoustic foams.
Sound insulation through absorption is particularly effective at higher frequencies. Unfortunately, it is less effective at low, bassy frequencies, as these sound waves have more energy and are therefore more difficult to convert. In order to reduce deep bass through absorption, a significantly thicker material would be required. This then takes up a lot of space and can quickly become impractical.
Sound waves are transmitted through vibrations. In order for a solid object (e.g., a wall) to transmit sound, the object itself must be made to vibrate.
The more mass the object has, the harder it is to make it vibrate. So that noises get through, they have to have more energy (higher volume and/or lower frequency).
When it comes to soundproofing, bulk is the ultimate. So a heavy wall is usually better than a thick (but lighter) wall.
EFFECTIVE WAYS TO SOUNDPROOF A ROOM FROM NOISY NEIGHBOURS
So, let’s get to the steps you can take to make your wall more soundproof.
1. SOUNDPROOF THE WALL
Today, as contractors try as much as they can to reduce costs, they end up building apartments with quite thin walls. And through these thin walls, it is easy to transmit noise from your neighbors. Therefore, one of the best is to soundproof them by using acoustic foams and panels. These panels are made of dense foam that is usually 8-10 centimeters and placed on the walls. They are best suited for airborne noise, but can also be used to deal with impact noise such as footsteps and banging.
Other methods that you can use to soundproof your wall are:
A. INSTALL BULK VINYL MATS
In contrast to acoustic foams, mass-charged vinyl can stop the sound instead of absorbing it due to its high density. It is often more effective when it comes to keeping out louder noises and bass. Mats made of mass-charged vinyl can be attached directly to the wall without any gaps. This makes the whole wall more massive and soundproof.
B. ATTACH THE INSULATING WALLPAPER
Special wallpapers made of cork and other heavy materials are also used to make walls soundproof. The wallpapers can be painted over or papered over again so that they can no longer be seen at all.
C. SOUNDPROOFING WITH SHELVES FULL OF BOOKS
A bookshelf can be quite effective in improving the soundproofing of the wall. Due to their high mass, the books are good at blocking sound and sometimes also absorbing it. The fuller the shelf is packed, the better. Because when there are gaps on the shelf, the noise can continue to get through unhindered from the wall to your ears.
A wall closet can be very effective as well. The more massive and full the closet, the better. But that shouldn’t tempt anyone to over-shop for clothes.
D. ATTACH SOUND ABSORBERS MADE OF ACOUSTIC FOAM
Acoustic foam is very often used to improve room acoustics and reduce sound transmission to the inside and outside. So-called sound absorbers or sound insulation mats consist of such foams and can easily be glued or screwed to the wall.
Sound absorbers can be effective in dampening light to medium noises. They also significantly reduce the reverberation in the room, which means that noises are perceived much less intensely.
It should be noted, however, that such sound absorbers can only be really effective if they cover the majority of the wall. So one or two square meters of sound absorbers on a 10 square meter wall will probably not be able to achieve any significant improvement.
2. SOUNDPROOF THE WINDOW WITH GLASSES OF DIFFERENT THICKNESS
If your house faces a very noisy neighbor, you must pay special attention to the windows. Not only must they be perfectly sealed and preferably made of PVC (which insulates better against noise than aluminum), but they must also be made of double or triple glass. And to hinder the propagation of sound waves, the glass must have different thicknesses (for example, one 6mm and one 8mm).
Both methods are effective as noise isolators. Both of them dampen sound waves and also do not allow the air that carries them to enter.
It is also preferable that they are practicable or tilt and turn since they have a more hermetic seal than sliding windows, making it difficult for sound to spread.
3. SOUNDPROOF THE DOOR
Depending on the property, the simple solution to insulate an environment from noise is to change conventional doors with noise protection. Noise can usually get through the door much more easily than through the wall. This is true, especially if you have a hollow door.
So, keep in mind that mass is one of the biggest factors to consider when looking for a good door. That is, a solid, high-density door isolates sound much better than a hollow door. Therefore, for the doors, solid wood is an excellent insulating material, which can be used in the entrance door of the environment, bringing beauty and helping to control noise.
4. SOUNDPROOFING THE CEILING
In the case of buildings that have very noisy upper neighbors, investing in the installation of acoustic insulation in the ceiling is a good idea.
However, it is most recommended that this type of insulation be provided for in the architectural project of the property – in conjunction with other systems, as the sound does not only propagate through the ceiling, but also through walls, columns, and other structures.
In some cases, these solutions can be quite effective even when installed after construction. There are also several alternatives for houses, such as the triple plaster wood acoustic lining, which provides the same insulation as a slab. For apartments, the best solution is acoustic ceilings (with various models and finishes).
5. ATTACH SOUNDPROOF CURTAINS
Soundproof curtains are characterized by the fact that they are particularly heavy and thick. This allows them to block out and absorb some of the noise. They are usually used to reduce the noise coming through the window. But they can just as easily be attached to the wall, where they are just as effective.
They reach their limits when there is particularly loud noise or deep bass. In return, they offer the additional advantage that they significantly reduce the reverberation in the room. The result is quieter and more pleasant room acoustics.
6. SOUNDPROOF THE FLOOR
Sound insulation on floors is very popular in buildings, as it prevents the passage of sound from one floor to another. Here, too, there are many possibilities, from the most expensive and complex to the most economical and simple solutions.
In some cases, the installation of a carpet is enough to reduce noise. But in others, it may be necessary to install specific materials between the slab and the subfloor, such as acoustic blankets, which can be used both with floating floors (such as wood and laminate) and with ceramic, porcelain, and other floors.
Also, depending on the type of floor used, it is possible to have greater or lesser insulation. The best materials to acoustically insulate an environment are the most dense or hard, such as marble, wooden blocks, granite, vinyl, and ceramic. Porcelain tile is not a good idea, as it causes a lot of echoes.
7. BUILD A CLADDING
If you are really serious and do not spare any expense or effort, you should build a facing shell on the wall. This is definitely the most effective method.
Cladding is basically an additional wall that is attached to the existing wall. This second wall usually consists of plasterboard on the outside and insulating material on the inside. As a rule, mineral wool is a suitable insulation material. As a result, the wall already absorbs significantly more sound.
In order to make the facing layer particularly soundproof, it can be lined on the inside with mats made of mass-charged vinyl. In addition, special soundproofing plasterboards can be used instead of ordinary plasterboard. This gives the wall significantly more mass and keeps sound waves off better.
8. TALK TO YOUR NEIGHBOUR
Before doing any of the above, talk to your neighbors. It may be that by speaking nicely, you will understand each other and get them to simply make less noise. Another option with the neighbors is to share the cost of the soundproofing of the existing partitions between your houses since both of you will benefit.
BENEFITS OF SOUNDPROOF ROOMS
There are some situations described where you can benefit from a soundproofed home. The house should be a nice place to relax. It is best not to be disturbed in your home. The quiet and peaceful house ensures that you can relax after a busy day. When there is no noise to disturb you continuously, you will feel better and can concentrate.
Assuming you are an entrepreneur and work from home, it would be very helpful if you can work in a quiet environment. You don’t even have to make strict decisions to make your home quieter. For example, you can choose to make the door soundproof or the wall soundproof. With these small adjustments, you can quickly create an oasis of peace. Research shows that people who feel relaxed and rested are healthier and have a positive attitude to life.
In addition to making your house quieter during the day, this also has a positive influence on your living experience at night. Many people have sleeping problems because of noise disturbance. Do you recognize yourself in the story about light sleepers? Soundproofing your home will help you sleep better at night. When you wake up, you can start your day fresh. Therefore, do not hesitate to go to those soundproof rooms in the house.
IMPORTANT: If you are going to reform your house and you do not want to have noise problems, it is best that you consult an architect or another specialist in the field who can advise you. The acoustic insulation of a home has some complex details and requires a good execution to function properly.
Soundproofing a room in our time is increasingly a necessity. After all, the mood and peace of mind of a person depend on the situation and atmosphere in the room. Therefore, if the problem of extraneous noises from neighbors has touched you, perhaps today you have found a solution to it.