How To Reduce Noise In My Home

We have all had to deal with a noisy living situation at some point in our lives. Either we have lived near a noisy street intersection, or you have insufferable neighbours who find it appropriate to blast loud music at all the wrong times of the day.

There is nothing worse than coming back home from a long exhausting day of work only to find that your neighbours’ kids are on their third tantrum of the day, or to find that your heavy footed neighbour is rearranging their furniture…. again.

At times like this you really start to question every decision you have made that led you to find your current living accomodations. You might have already started looking into soundproofing your apartment.

If you haven’t, then consider these things:

  • Basic soundproofing – This includes tightening of windows or doors. It requires less work and is the least one can do. The budget is less too.
  • Complete soundproofing – This will require some professional work and will give the benefit of having no noise at all. It requires construction and more work. It is recommended mostly for professional studios. Of course, it will be on the expensive side, but will benefit you for a long time.

If you have already considered soundproofing, then you would already know that some of the problem areas of one’s house tend to be the 

  1. Windows
  2. Doors
  3. Walls
  4. Ceilings
  5. Floor

If you want complete soundproofing, then you would have to block noise from all these areas. It’s easy to get mixed up over terminology. Most of the time, when people think of soundproofing a house they end up making a space sound absorbing. This doesn’t help to reduce the sound from coming into the space, but now the sound gets trapped into the house.

The objective is to reduce the sound in your space by creating a barrier between you and the source of the sound. The barrier could be insulated with sound absorbing materials or be kept in the vacuum as vacuum doesn’t carry any sound waves.

There are a few factors that one need to keep in mind while keeping an eye out for sound dampening products:

Absorption capacity of the material: First of all it is important to look at the absorption capacity of the material. When sound waves hit the material’s surface, some get transmitted through the material, while some get reflected. It all depends on the absorbing quality of material.

Material is insulated: And then it is also important to look at what the material is insulated with, as some materials have the properties to stop noise from passing through them.

Budget: There are professional soundproofing services too, which can be quite expensive. But there are efficient and effective sound materials, which we can implement by ourselves.

Brand: For right soundproofing, you need to stick to the best brands out there who deliver quality products and services.

Customer review: Reviews will help us know about the consumer satisfaction and is it even worth it to buy the material.

Durability: The material should be of high quality and have long-lasting life. It should be able to endure, resist and function without much maintenance.

The process of decoupling is also very efficient at keeping sound at bay. Decoupling is a process by which the two layers of architecture materials are erected and the middle space is kept hollow.

There are a lot of materials out there in the market today to help out with sound proofing a house, let’s look at ways to soundproof a room from outside noise.

without further ado let’s get started, here are some of the best ways to soundproof a living space in 2021.

1. Cover up the noise with white noise

Noise can be covered up by switching on the fan, cooler, TV etc. This method is often confused with sound cancellation. But they are not the same thing. When a background noise is added to the environment, speech is less intelligible. This means you don’t have to actually stop the sound waves from a speaker’s voice in order to obtain speech privacy, you just have to make the speaker’s words unintelligible.

Related:  4 Door Sweep for Soundproofing for Your Room from Outside Noise.

2. Rearrange the furniture in your room

Move your bed to the side of the room that is farthest from the source of the noise and from any windows to help reduce the amount of noise you hear from the street or noisy neighbour. Try to replace hard furniture with soft furniture. After all, softer objects are better at absorbing sound frequencies. Example: Replace a leather or wooden sofa with a soft fabric sofa. Pillows and cushions can also help.

3. Add plants to windows to break up sound waves

Plants are flexible and porous in nature, that is why they act as natural sound reducers. They help in reducing noise levels by deflection, absorption and refraction of noise. Although you should make sure to choose plants that aren’t toxic for kids or animals.

4. Use soundproof curtains on windows and door (drapes)

As we discussed earlier some of the biggest problems when it comes to noise are busy roads. You could be living on the intersection of some of the busiest roads, it is irrational of you to sacrifice peace and quiet just because of your living situation. 

Well the product’s company that we have linked down believes that one should be able to live in utter bliss and quiet without having to sacrifice on style. These soundproof curtains are elegant and multifunctional. 

The three layers of curtain are sound deadening and light blocking materials. It can block out harsh morning light and the loud outside sounds. They have a range of gorgeous designs that will suit any aesthetic and any household. The curtains can also work as thermal insulation. If you are a household that spends on heating, the blackout curtains can be a great investment towards preventing heat loss and are thus energy efficient.

5. Install a door sweep

There are gaps at the bottom of our doors which leak noises in and out of the room. For this problem, a door sweep can be helpful when placed under the door. It is a long, thick strip with foam cylinders placed on opposite sides of a door, which creates an airtight, draft-proof seal. It can be ordered in a variety of sizes and lengths, depending on the gap at the bottom of our door. They are waterproof and washable. Not only noise, but it will also help to stop bugs or insects from entering the room.

6. Fill cracks with acoustical Sealant

It is a paste which is polyurethane-based, has moisture-cured filling and acts as a great insulation material.  It helps in sealing joints, cracks, gaps and holes in doors, windows, HVAC, roofing & pipes. It reduces the sound transmission and provides a long-lasting, resilient seal.

7. Thick blankets to walls (Audimute Soundproof Blankets)

If you are someone who is looking to soundproof a space without necessarily using big bulky acoustic panels, then soundproof blankets can be the next best thing.

FEATURES: The soundproof blanket has a Noise Reflective index of 0.85. This means that the product is 85 percent efficient in absorbing sound and reflects back only 15 percent of the sound back to the environment.

Now let us look at some of the pros and cons of these Soundproof Blankets!

PROS:

1. The blanket that we have linked down for you also has three metal grommets that help you hang the product up.
2. However the price is lower than a moving sheet and efficiently lowers sound in an environment.

CONS:

1. All in all, the soundproof blanket is not as good as compared to a moving sheet.
2. These blankets are very functional and industrial looking, that’s why they are not pleasing to the eye.

8. Use bookcases or construct wooden rack near the wall

Bookcases, shelves or any furniture adds density, which can help block the sound. Heavy objects like these resist vibration, which makes it much harder for sound to be transmitted. By implementing these, your home’s interior design will get enhanced too!

Related:  Best Ways To Soundproof Ceiling From Footsteps And Impact Noise

9. Build a basic wall frame 

Wall frames are most commonly used and very quick and easy to put up. It consists of vertical wooden planks (the studs), which have a sheet of drywall on each side. Most stud walls will have an empty cavity between the two sheets of drywall, where we can put insulation materials. Example: Fiberglass insulation, Cotton batt insulation.

10. Spray foam insulation

Spray foam can be sprayed into an open cavity, like in walls, attics, crawl spaces. It can completely cover gaps and voids, and can even work better than the traditional fiberglass insulation. It can be used in areas where it’s hard to insulate. It never loses its shape and won’t compress, sad or settle over time.

11. Cotton batt insulation 

It is usually made up of recycled jeans and other clothing items. The material is bound together and made into batts, which are easy to install in empty walls, floors, attics, and ceilings. It is usually put between studs of the house and comes in different sizes.

12. Fiberglass in your wall cavities

Fiberglass insulation is most widely used by people and has been dominating all the time. It is made up of plastic which is obtained by molten glass. Along with sound, it also helps in blocking the spread of heat and cold in structures. The material does this by trapping pockets of air and sound waves. It is similar to Cotton batt and can be placed between empty walls, floors, attics and ceilings. 

13. Sound Insulation Sheet

These are not a sound blocking product, but a sound absorption product. It will provide the same excellent results as expensive foams, tiles, and panels. It will give a noticeable improvement in the sound quality by reducing sound echoes and reverberation. It can be placed in empty wall frames.

14. Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation

The most common complaints landlords receive are of their neighbours being too noisy. Now the reason why it is so easy to listen in on your neighbours is because the partitioning between two flats are usually thin and flimsy. Because of the presence of thin walls, there is nothing acting as a barrier to shut off those sounds. Most people use Batt insulation between their dry walls to help act as a barrier. Batt insulations are made of either fibres, wood shavings or packed cotton. Therefore, it is a great material to put in wall frames.

The product’s company that we have linked down for you claims that it is hydrophobic, termite resistant and fire resistant. This product is loved by all professionals and mature house builders. The best part is, this product can also be used interchangeably with acoustic panels.

The product offering is generous. The professional grade batt insulation is easy to use and install. It is way more aesthetic than acoustic panels. Although the product falls slightly on the pricey side.

15. Soundproofing Vinyl Membrane:

We have discussed in our last article a number of ways on how to soundproof the interiors of a car, the best way to do it is by applying mass heavy matting. This method makes sure that there is a sound wave absorbing barrier between the passenger and the road. The same principle can now be applied to residential homes.

Now let us look at some of the pros and cons of these Vinyl Membranes:

PROS: These vinyl sheets are made from premium quality goods. They are multifunctional and are effective for a number of uses. Now because of the flexibility of the product and because of its light weight in general, the product can be hung, fitted or glued onto surfaces.

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CONS: The product is sort of small at only 10 by 4 of material. The company recommends that you use this product on ceilings and walls where sound transfer is at their loudest.

16. Add Drywall Sheets & Plywood Panel

Drywall sheet is mainly made of gypsum (calcium sulfate dihydrate) and is one of the most popular and widely used materials for building interior walls. When installing a layer of drywall on top of another layer of drywall, it will help in dampening sound. Plywood also helps in blocking the sound and can be used for packing the wall frame. But it is not a popular choice because sounds travel faster through wood. These materials can be used to pack the wall frames. 

17. Acoustic Coat – Sound Deadening Paint 

We know this might sound like a joke, but the efficiency of the Sound deadening Paint has been hailed long and wide. This product claims to reduce noise by a whopping thirty percent. The application process of the Sound Deadening paint is identical to the process of applying normal paint. The logic behind this product is, as long as there is a barrier against the sound and the person, the sound-waves will either be absorbed by the barrier or be reflected back to the noise source. 

18. Vinyl Stickers for floor

If you are being disturbed by sounds coming from the floor below, or you don’t want to disturb others below when walking across the floors, then try out this one. Maybe you do not want to put down carpeting, then put these stickers on! Just like wallpapers, they have varieties of designs to choose from. These stickers can be peeled off when you move out and they won’t damage the existing floor. They are water resistant, so you can install them in a bathroom too.

19. Install carpet

Carpets are not only for styling your home, but can also be a great soundproofing for your space. It is an excellent sound absorber and can reduce the sound of footsteps by 25 to 34 decibels. It is the best soundproof underlay you can afford. They are available in a variety of thickness options and designs, and will offer high comfort too.

20. Install soundproofing acoustic panels/ Use acoustic wedges panels (Acoustic Foam) 

These acoustic panels are best suited to soundproof a closed off living accommodation. The best thing about this product is that they come in a variety of colours and beat the old default acoustic panellings that only come in black. The product is also fire retardant and made from very high quality NRC. The material is one inch in thickness. The product can be installed both in the ceiling and the walls.

PROS: 

1.The material is rated really high in the NRC index, this means that the product is very efficient at blocking out noise and cancelling out reverb.
2. There are a variety of colors and textures to choose from, which will enhance the theme to your home’s interior design. It comes in different sizes and thickness.

CONS:

1. The product is not self-adhesive, the company instructions recommend that you mount the product with spray glue or tape.
2. One drawback is that it has fire properties. Because the acoustic panel/wedge is composed of mainly polyurethane, it releases a black smoke when burned. Hence, this material may not be safe when there is an occurrence of fire. 

Now that you are armed with the knowledge of what soundproofing a house means, you can use this guide to help you acquire the necessary goods to get you started on the journey of more restful sleep and blissful households.

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