Easy Ways to Soundproof Your Room or Apartment

  • 01 of 10

    Soundproofing Hacks for Rooms and Apartments

    Whether it's squealing garbage trucks, blaring car stereos, or the annoying clickety-clack of high heels overhead that's making life at home maddening, you're not alone. For many apartment dwellers, disturbing and unwanted noise is a fact of life. But soundproofing doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. Even the simplest strategies can make a big difference.

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  • 02 of 10

    Weatherproof Your Front Door

    If you hear every conversation spoken in the building hallway from the comfort of your sofa, chances are there are big air gaps around your front door. Sealing these leaks will quiet the chatter. Sound travels on air, and any gap you can see light through will also let sound through.

    If you have a large gap under your apartment door, add a door sweep. Use a commercial-grade sweep with a thick rubber strip that seals against the threshold. This will also help keep out dust, bugs, and drafts as well as noise. If the rest of the door doesn't close tightly against the door jambs, seal along the sides and top of the door with foam weatherstripping.

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  • 03 of 10

    Hang Door Curtains

    Door Curtains
    Deirdre Sullivan

    You can create another layer of soundproofing over the front door with heavy blackout curtains. When closed, they help to absorb any noise that leaks through the door.

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  • 04 of 10

    Soundproof a Bedroom Door

    As with the front door, gaps under interior doors let a lot of sound through, as though the door is partially open. Fill the gaps with a draft stopper, either purchased or homemade. The most convenient versions attach to the door (usually with an elastic band) so you don't have to set them into place all the time. 

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  • 05 of 10

    Reduce Reflected Noise

    Noise reflects off of hard surfaces, like walls, floors, and ceilings, adding to the overall noise level inside a room. To reduce sound reflection, cover bare walls and even ceilings with something soft, so sounds like voices, barking, or even the commotion created by a running vacuum cleaner won't reflect. A shag rug on the ceiling and rubber textile mats on the walls softens annoying noise within the apartment while also absorbing racket from the adjacent units.

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  • 06 of 10

    Get a Thick Rug Pad

    Density rug pad
    Rug Pads USA

    You probably know that nothing muffles pesky sounds in a high-traffic area like a carpet. So if you have hard floors, it makes sense to thrown down a thick rug. But here's a little-known tip: Slipping a density rug pad underneath it will boost your rug's noise squashing potential.

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  • 07 of 10

    Muffle Sounds With a Bookcase

    Billy bookcase hack
    Storefrontlife.com

    Got a thin wall? Adding a wall-to-wall faux built-in is a sneaky trick that will muffle noise from the apartment next door. The idea is to add mass to the partition. Massive materials and objects resist vibration and thereby reduce sound transmission. Make sure the edges of the built-in fit snugly to the walls, floor, and ceiling so there are no air gaps, another avenue for sound.

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  • 08 of 10

    Consider Acoustic Panels

    Soundproof door cover
    Residential Acoustics

    Acoustic panels are available as boards or fabrics that you hang on walls. While most types are designed to stop noise from bouncing off hard surfaces, others are very effective at blocking racket from entering through a door or window. For example, the AcousticDoor from Residential Acoustics is a retractable panel that can reduce noise transmitted through an entrance, like your bedroom door, by 30 decibels. Inside each panel is a dense 25-pound core made up of sound-muffling materials.

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  • 09 of 10

    Install Soundproof Curtains

    Residential Acoustics Window Curtain
    Residential Acoustics

    Heavy-duty soundproofing window dressings help prevent outside noises from ruining your beauty sleep. An acoustic curtain for an average-size window can weigh 15 pounds and lies flat against the wall or window trim to block out sound and actually deflect it back outside. Some noise-absorbing curtains glide along tracks for easy opening and closing.

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  • 10 of 10

    Add Window Inserts

    indow window soundproofing windows
    Indow Windows

    If you're looking to block outside noise but not the view from your apartment, consider window inserts. They are clear panes of glass or acrylic that you install over your existing windows. They're designed to create an airtight seal that reduces outside noise by 50 percent or more. Some are designed to quickly pop out when they aren't needed, making it convenient to open the window for fresh air.