Noisy neighbours have to be on the top of the list of things people fear of when moving into a new place. It becomes very disheartening when all you want is a warm cozy evening of relaxing and chilling out only to find out that your neighbours who live directly above you are planning on having a dance party!
If you are not the confrontational type, then it can become really hard to go and talk to neighbours regarding this. Or you may have brought up this issue already only to have them pick back up again.
By this point you might start looking soundproofing your living spaces. The most common type of soundproofing a space is done by using acoustic panels. The other popular method of soundproofing a space is by using weather proofing tapes for windows and doors. This is very efficient in keeping out the outside noise.
None of the above mentioned methods talk about the specific problem of tackling noise coming in from the ceiling. This is fair enough as a lot of house owners usually don’t have people living directly above them, or landlords usually want to skimp on costs and not use good quality materials to reinforce the ceilings in the first place.
And then comes the inevitable force of gravity. This makes it ten times hard to install any sort of sound proofing solutions to the ceiling.
You might not want to soundproof every room of the apartment- and that’s where the beauty of ceiling soundproofing comes in, you can soundproof some of the rooms without soundproofing the whole apartment. It’s not like acoustic panellings that only work when all four of the walls are completely covered in these panels.
How to Fix Noisy Ceilings in 2021
First off, let’s start off by looking at some of the easiest ways of fixing a noisy ceiling without having to break the bank.
Firstly you could start off by talking to your landlord, usually, it is within their purview to make sure that people living in their units don’t get too rowdy, or there are even provisions in some places for some places that allow for a complete overhaul and renovations if contested properly. Of course these are all a hassle to tackle, and as we mentioned before, sometimes people just don’t want to get people involved.
If you are a fixer upper however and don’t shy away from a good diy, then here are a few products just for you!
1. Acoustic Sealant or Green Glue.
Sometimes, ceilings are made with two parallel panellings lined between each other. This is done to make space for electricals and fixtures that go on the ceiling. To skimp on costs and/or because of non availability of materials at the moment, the gap between these panels are left hollow.
Don’t worry though, this doesn’t compromise with the integrity of the floor strength, it just leaves a gap that allows sound to be passed through or amplified.
The best way to go about this is by using acoustic sealants to fill in the gap and dampen the sound.
Let us now look at some of the pros and cons of using acoustic sealant.
|1. Very easy to use if the cracka and the holes are very small.|
2. Affordable- you could partially soundproof your whole house at very low costs if the walls and ceilings were made of thick beams with no gap in between the floorboards of the upper floor and the ceiling of the lower floor.
|1. It is very hard to fully soundproof a house using this method.|
2. A lot of apartment ceilings these days are made of thick concrete beams, this means that acoustic sealants are probably inefficient at keeping the sound fully.
Sound can still pass through, and this time there is no hollow space for you to worry about.
2. Ship xnfurn Acoustic Foam Panellings
This method is used when the floors and ceilings are made of pure cement and concrete, so acoustic sealant won’t do the job at all.
This is where the acoustic foam panellings come in.
you might have seen these panellings on the walls and roofs of some movie theatres and classrooms.
Acoustic foam panels have a Noise Reflection Coefficient (NRC) of 0.95. This means that 95 percent of all noise that is that is thrown at it is absorbed, and only 5 percent is thrown back into the environment.
Schools also use this to line their classroom ceilings because the chair scraping and table moving of the students sitting right above them could very well disturb a class.
Let us now look at some of the pros and cons of the Ship Xnfurn acoustic panellings.
|1. Acoustic foam panellings are extremely easy to install and the only thing you would need as a prerequisite is a flat ceiling.|
2. The Ship Xnfurn set of 50 acoustic panellings is more than enough to cover the ceilings of any living space.
3. The product size is one foot by one foot and claims to be eco friendly.
|1. The Ship Xnfurn company claims that the best way to install these acoustic panels are by using a strong Liquid adhesive. |
2. Luckily enough the company also sells liquid adhesive glues.
3. Mass loaded Vinyls
We have previously talked about mass loaded vinyls and how efficient they are in trapping or absorbing sound. They are most often used with the floor mattings of a car to reduce the noise and resonance inside the cabin of the car.
We had also talked about how the Mass Loaded Vinyl can also be used to soundproof rooms and recording studios.
The same principle can be applied to the soundproofing ceilings! Let us now talk about some of the features of Mass Loaded Vinyls!
|1. Mass Loaded Vinyls are vinyl coverings that act as a barrier between the source of sound and the person. The objective of MLVs is to provide a barrier from which sound can bounce off of pretty easily while also saving up on space and sometimes being multifunctional.|
2. MLVs are primarily used as a noise dampener and have Noise Reflection Coefficients of more than 85 percent.
Let us also look at some of the pros and cons of using MLVs as a way of reducing noise coming from the ceilings.
|1. MLVs are significantly cheaper than acoustic foam panellings. |
2. MLVS are multifunctional and can be used for a variety of reasons.
3. MLVS are also very effective at soundproofing a space.
|1. Bad quality MLVs can deteriorate really fast and in some cases can even start smelling in summers, so it is advisable to invest in some good quality MLVs.|
Now, let us look at a few more labour intensive ways to soundproof your ceilings. These methods might need you to hire a contractor, or at the very least a group of friends who are really good with hammers!
4. Second Channel of Ceiling Drywall
The most basic structure of ceilings are that of metal joistings on top of which ceilings are built off of. Most of the time these ceilings are kept exposed. These are the times when you can see the skeleton of the ceilings so to speak.
Some places choose to cover up the joists with a second drywall that’s usually thinner than the main drywall.
If you are looking to put up the secondary drywalls, and you are also looking to put up soundproofing features in it, then you might look into spending a bit more and investing in soundproof drywall.
Let us now look at the possible advantages of putting up Soundproof drywall instead of conventional drywalls.
|1. They are definitely better than conventional drywall at blocking out noise.|
2. The process of putting up Noise cancelling drywall is exactly the same as putting up normal drywalls.
|1. Using soundproof drywalls is that installing drywalls would reduce the height of your ceilings by almost 6 inches!!|
2. Soundproof drywalls too need to be supplemented with other measures to ensure perfect silence!
If you are really committed to achieving the perfect silence, then we would suggest that you pair your drywall project with acoustic sealants.
5. Soundproof Insulation Slab
Acoustic sealants make sense to install when the gap to be filled is small or when the fix needs to be temporary.
A better alternative to Acoustic sealants are Sound absorbing slabs that are placed right in the middle of the two drywalls.
This is a more elegant and proficient way of installing sound proof materials between two layers of drywall.
An alternative to soundproof insulation slabs are Batt insulation, Batt insulations are primarily made of wood shavings, natural fibres and fibreglass strands.
Batt insulations are usually made for the walls, but for soundproofing purposes, you can also use it in the ceiling.
6. Create Resilient Channels
Resilient channels are an air pocket of ½ inch that resides between the main drywall and the second drywall.
As we all know, sound travels faster in solid than in air! This air pocket channel slows down the impact of the noise, and by the time it hits the second drywall, the noise is too weak to pass through.
Now that we have seen all the possible ways of soundproofing ceilings, you can take all these tips and start soundproofing your room. It is important to ensure that you are getting the peaceful and calm residence that you are entitled to!
Most of these techniques to reduce the noise coming from the ceiling can be replicated on the walls and the floors.
The most important distinction now lies in whether or not the noise is airborne or in contact. Most of the ceiling noises usually are, and hence, this comprehensive guide can be really useful to that degree.
Sometimes the plumbing and wiring of an apartment run through the ceiling. If the noise from the ceilings sound like a plumbing problem, then it might be time to call a plumber. A noisy plumbing system can be indicative of bigger problems.