How to Deal with Noisy Upstairs Neighbors in 7 Steps
Noisy neighbors are a pretty annoying problem. Once you face it, you will realize how much matters having a normal peaceful environment.
If you are living in the apartment, the main problem should not be neighbors from beneath, but from upstairs. Sometimes, the noise is so loud that you can’t sleep or function normal. Most of the times, if the insulation is bad, you will hear the footsteps or some irritating noises that are repeatedly bouncing off.
In a time when most of the people are living in apartments, there should be an easy solution to the noisy upstairs neighbors problem. However, the solution is sometimes not that easy, and requires a bit more effort, negotiating, and investments.
With that said, I will try to point out some of the cheapest and most efficient ways of dealing with this problem. So, let’s get to the point.
How to Deal with Noisy Upstairs Neighbors
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Try to find out the source
First things first! What you need to make sure is to find out from where the noise is mostly coming. Common mistake is made to waste money on some materials and unnecessary methods before even expecting the source of your problem.
Sometimes, the source is surprisingly small, and for those you will need not much investment. For example, if there is a small hole or a crevice, it can probably increase the overall noise coming from upstairs. So fixing those is not much of a job.
On the other hand you can find out that the noise is coming just from a specific area, and not the whole ceiling. If this is the case, then you are in luck.
Problems like these and knowing how to deal with can save you a lot of money that you would otherwise waste on unnecessary materials.
2. Specify what type of noise bothers you
Once you locate the source of the noise, you will have to find out what is the type of the noise that bothers you. Sometimes, you will hear only footsteps. In other cases, you will have the problems with neighbors’ teenager and his loudly playing music.
Depending on the type of the problem, there are various solutions. Of course, you might deal with complex noise- main type and residential area noise. In those scenarios, you can reduce the noise just by following this article’s steps.
In case that the noise is coming through the structure of the building, which is nothing strange in the nowadays ways of constructing, you are dealing with one of the hardest noises to deal with- structure-borne noise.
This impact noise is well-known as a vibrating sound. This vibrating sound, as it may sound harmless, it really isn’t. You are hearing it as a loud noise that pierces through your brain.
For example, just to give you an insight of what is this noise, imagine that sound of furniture moving in the apartment from upstairs. Or even dropping some items on their floor. Nevertheless, heavy footsteps can create such noise.
This can be easily solved by using some soundproofing materials, or sound-absorbing ones to reduce the echo and impact noise.
For example, ask your neighbors to put some carpet on their floor. Not only that will reduce the noise in half, but it will make you sleep much easier because there will be no footsteps above your head.
When it comes to other type of noise- airborne noise, you will need a bit more effort. Airborne noise needs a combination of several techniques in order to exterminate completely. Use some echo-reducing techniques along with panels, and other soundproofing material.
That will exterminate the chance of sound passing through.
3. Density of the ceiling can be increased
It’s quite important the density of the ceiling. No matter the material used for its construction, if thin, you will surely hear some noise from upstairs. Well, if you have a problem with the thickness of your ceiling, fear not!
There are several materials that can be used in order to reduce the noise, and increase the thickness of the ceiling. The thicker, the better. You can put an additional layer of your ceiling by adding some soundproofing materials.
For this cause, you can use drywall. It’s a thick material that can effectively block out the noise and reduce it by 80%.
Of course, the more, the better. Put several layers of this material to reduce the noise from upstairs even more.
In order to seal this, and put it together, you should use some of the most popular sealants out there- green glue. There are a lot of sealants that can be used, but green glue is the one that I would personally recommend, as it will hold the drywall in place and secure that soundproofing effectiveness. Learn more about Green glue here.
For this technique of upstairs noise defense, you don’t need any help from your neighbor. Everything can be done inside your own apartment. True, drywall isn’t the best aesthetic detail for your room, but there are several solutions to this problem as well.
Those solutions won’t just fix the appearance of your room but help you reduce the sound even more. Firstly, you can go with soundproof paint. It’s a thick paint that can solve two problems. In other words, hit two birds with one rock.
Other than that, you can use some soundproof foam panels. These panels come in various designs, and sometimes can add to your room’s appearance in a way that you couldn’t imagine.
4. Make a drop ceiling
What is a drop ceiling? Well basically, it’s a layer of ceiling hanging underneath your actual ceiling. The space between is well-known as a plenum area. In this area, all the sound passing through your primary ceiling will disappear.
How does it work? Well, since the air in this plenum area is more compressed, it will act as a wall of soundproofing material, soundproofing your room like you’ve never seen before.
This method is the most effective against impact noise. No more vibrations, footsteps, or items dropping can be heard.
Of course, this is a bit expensive technique and requires a bit time and effort. On the other side, it’s highly effective and might solve your problem fully.
5. Neighbors’ floor matters for you
Now, we all know how neighbors can be a pain-in-the-neck kind of people, but if they aren’t there is a simple, cheap solution to the noise problem. Namely, it depends on the noise type that you wish to prevent, but on some levels, this method can be effective.
Try to talk to your neighbors. If they don’t have, ask them to put some thick carpet on their floor. That will drastically decrease those unpleasant footsteps and help you sleep better at night.
Not only that you will benefit but your neighbors as well. Carpet can decrease the echo sound as well. It will reduce the noise both for you and for your neighbors. Refer him to our article on soundproofing the floors.
6. Insulate the Underside of the Floor-Ceiling Assembly
Although ambitious, this is one frankly effective method of noise reducing. You may ask what is the difference between this one and the similar methods from this article.
For this technique, you will need to remove the ceiling and make sure that its bottom side is well insulated. Once removed, you are ready to insulate it. You can use some resilient channels as they are metal constructions in charge of soundproofing.
By creating small air pockets, resilient channels are great in dampening sound and reducing it to minimum.
After installing these channels, you can add a gypsum panels on top and you will have the same looking ceiling as before. There is a one small difference- this one is soundproofed.
7. Try to speak with your neighbor
It’s hard to knock on someone’s door and ask him to be a bit quieter. Anyway, if it can solve your problem, then I see no problem at all.
There is always a nice, polite way of asking your neighbors to be a bit quieter. Actually, this is the first thing that you should do- try to speak with them. If it doesn’t help, then try other methods.
On Dealing with Noisy Upstairs Neighbors...
In the light of everything aforementioned, we may conclude that there are several effective ways of dealing with upstairs noise. These ways are kind of cheap, but there is one or two that actually require a bit more effort and time.
Needless to say, these methods can be used combined. Like that, the sound reducing will be even more effective. For example installing resilient channels and making a drop ceiling can cut the noise completely. True, you can make a bunker out of your apartment, but that’s not the point.
Your goal is to reduce the noise with the minimum of resources spent. Therefore, follow these simple steps that I pointed up and you might solve your nose problem faster than you think.
Hopefully, this article made your sleepless nights a bit better and helped you reduce the noise from the upstairs.
- Green glue
- Soundproof paint
- Resilient channels
- Try to find out the source
- Specify what type of noise bothers you
- Density of the ceiling can be increased
- Make a drop ceiling
- Neighbors’ floor matters for you
- Insulate the Underside of the Floor-Ceiling Assembly
- Try to speak with your neighbor