01 of 08
You Got Noise Problems
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.
The good news? You can turn up the quiet inside your abode.
In fact, it's possible to muffle and even silence noisy intrusions whether you own or rent, no matter your budget.
Here are the seven best ways to soundproof rooms, windows, and doors without... remodeling.
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02 of 08
First Step: Decorate
If your home decorating mantra is "less is more," than your minimalist style may be making things louder.
In a nutshell, sound reflects off hard surfaces like floors, walls, and ceilings in both empty and sparsely furnished spaces, which not only amplifies noise but also prolongs it. That's why loud sounds that originate in bare rooms, for example, a running vacuum cleaner, can seem deafening.
Tired of hearing the couple next door?
Naked walls can make it easier for intruding noises from other... apartments to flood into your home.
Fortunately, strategically placed furniture will soften the clamor created by both reflecting and intruding sounds. Here's what to do:
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- Got bare floors? Get rugs. They will take the din out of sounds that bounce off hard surfaces. If the intruding noise from the guy upstairs is making you crazy, share this tip.
- Does sound leak through a paper thin wall? An epic faux built-in like this one will silence the racket.
- Need to soundproof a bedroom wall on the cheap? This project by IKEA shares how to get the job done using heavyweight fabric and picture frames.
03 of 08
Soundproof Your Front Door for Less Than $30
The neighbor's kids run up and down the shared hallway outside your apartment door. When things get loud, you can hear them stomp and shout from the comfort of your sofa. What can you do?
Just like air and water, sound leaks. Using a few weatherproofing products to seal the gaps around your front door will keep both the elements and sound out.
Here's what you'll need to install:
- 1 Heavy-duty aluminum door sweep like this commercial grade model that costs less than $15. It will plug... the small opening under your front door. You'll need a power drill to install. This video by Lowes explains how.
- 1 Door jamb top and side weatherstripping set. It will seal the gaps along the top and sides of a closed door. Sets are usually available in different colors, materials and price ranges. A good option is this aluminum one that costs less than $12. This video by Home Depot shares how to install using a power drill.
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04 of 08
Soundproof Your Bedroom Door for Less Than $10
When you're a musician and the mother of two toddlers like Chelsea, the mommy blogger behind Staying Steyn, you pick up a few soundproofing tricks. She uses this DIY draft blocker to soundproof her bedroom door. It creates the peace and quiet she needs when the rest of the family is living loud at home.
If you're not the DIY type, you can purchase a heavy-duty draft blocker at most home improvement stores... for less than $10. FYI, these things can get dirty quick, so you may want to buy one with a machine washable cover.
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05 of 08
Soundproof Any Door for $99
Acoustic fabric panels are used mostly in commercial settings. They're great for blocking and absorbing sounds that bleed through walls, doors, and windows. The problem is, they're ugly. Also, most types are made from synthetic materials that irritate skin.
Residential Acoustics has come up with a solution that's much easier to live with. It's called the AcousticDoor, a retractable panel that's available in 13 colorful shades.
When installed correctly using the provided hardware, it can reduce... the amount of noise transmitted through doors by 30 dB. How does it work? It uses heavyweight materials including a dense 10 to 15-pound core to block blaring sounds.
If you're interested in learning more, this infographic breaks down some of AcousticDoor's seemingly magical noise-deflecting powers. So that you know, each panel is made to order, and prices start at $99.Continue to 6 of 8 below.
06 of 08
How to Soundproof Windows for $99
Residential Acoustics also makes two types of heavy duty window dressings that also block and absorb outside noise. Our favorite is the AcousticCurtain.
Like the AcousticDoor, it's also retractable and comes in a broad range of stylish colors. So that you know, they double as blackout curtains. Each panel is made to order with prices starting at $99.
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07 of 08
Affordable Acoustic Grade Window Inserts
Maybe it's the drone of late night traffic. Perhaps it's the din from the sidewalk restaurant. Or possibly, it's the screaming fire trucks that race out of the station next door. Whatever. A good night's sleep is a beautiful thing. But if you rarely get it because of incessant racket outside, what can you do?
While they look like windows, they're framed panels of either glass or acrylic that you install over your existing windows. When in place, they create an airtight seal that reduces the... amount of outside noise by up to 95 percent.
There are typically two types of acoustic grade window inserts: the ones that open (just like windows) and they ones that don't. Precision fit is essential, so all window inserts are made to order.
The least expensive type is acoustic grade acrylic inserts that don't open. They block up to 75 percent of outside noise, and they start at around $300 per window.
How do they work? They are designed to pop quickly in and out of place using a silicone rubber gasket as shown in this video. Indows Windows is a favorite manufacturer. They provide customers with everything they need to install their custom made inserts themselves, including the digital tools for accurate window measurements.Continue to 8 of 8 below.
08 of 08
Expensive Acoustic Grade Glass Window Inserts
Glass window inserts that open and close over your regular windows are more expensive. Companies that manufacture them like Citiquiet charge $1,300 or more per insert including professional measuring and installation. FYI, inserts like these are usually considered a capital improvement that boosts home value when it's time to sell.