How to Soundproof a Wall Between Apartments (Without Construction)
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Do you have problems with the noise coming through the walls of your apartment?
You might have the best neighbors out there, but thinnest walls can’t isolate every sound they make – especially at night.
If that’s the case, then you might be looking into the right direction.
The worst case scenario - you might be living next to a couple of students who like to party even on work days.
Or you just don’t feel comfortable listening to your neighbors’ conversations.
Or they might have a washing mashing which is banging on the wall.
All of these, and much more are very unpleasant when it comes to sharing a wall with anyone, and you might have started to think about solutions to this problem.
And no matter what is your exact problem, you share one thing in common with 60% people out there.
And that is the will to learn how to reduce neighbor noise in apartment.
When I had my first child, we’ve been living next to a family who had a very loud dog.
It was barking occasionally, even in the middle of the nights, and it just happened that all of our bedrooms had shared walls with this family.
We were often waking up at night from the noises of loud barking and my child even started to get scared of this sound.
Naturally, we had to find a thin walls apartment solution. We started looking here and there, we tried several different methods.
Some of them worked, and some of them didn’t.
So, here are some of the fantastic solutions that helped me solve different soundproofing apartment problems over the years.
How to Soundproof a Wall Between Apartments
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Focus on the weak points of your apartment walls
As we all know how thin walls can be in apartments, you should probably search for the weakest parts of your wall when it comes to noise.
Some parts of the walls are sometimes thinner than others.
Other parts have a lot of pipes which are for noise like resonating box for a guitar. Those parts need soundproofing the most.
For this cause, you can use some of the soundproofing blankets. Soundproofing blankets are commonly used in studios or recording rooms.
They are really good absorbing sound fighters, as they are mostly made of soundproofing substance.
Simply put, they are blankets with special noise-reducing material that will cut the noise up to 40%. Furthermore, they are massive and really heavy.
Combine them with DIY sound proof wall kit and you’ll improve the chance of eliminating the loudest noise.
You will probably have to ask for a hand in order to install these ones. They are not hard to install, but really heavy to hold and put on simultaneously.
There is one useful hint for acoustic blankets- always search for those with grommets or eyelets, as they will drastically ease the whole installation process.
Also, in case you’re living on a second floor or any floor above the first floor in an apartment building – you might look into ways how to soundproof your apartment floor as well.
2. Search for possible holes and glue them
Okay, I know it might sound funny, how can there be holes in the walls?
Well, if you moved into the type of apartment that, back in the days, was anyhow connected to the apartment next to you, then you might find some cables going through walls, for example.
Can those little holes release such noise? Well, be sure they can. Especially if you’re dealing with thin walls.
Even the smallest ones can release a great amount of noise which you won’t even recognize that’s coming from those particular holes.
You need to seal them somehow. There are a lot of substances capable of this job but I would recommend you go with the one I tested- green glue.
Green glue is a gypsum-like substance which will not only seal the hole but soundproof it as well.
The one thing that you should think of is that there are some variations of green glue.
Namely, some of them can be painted over, while others can’t. In order not to mess up your walls appearance, you should probably search for the first one.
3. Use mass-loaded vinyl
You can put them on your thin apartment walls not only as a part of your soundproof solution but as a thermal solution problem.
After putting these on my walls, I’ve noticed a significant change in temperatures during the winter (few degrees higher).
So, you might ask: how do they work?
Vinyl mats are very fat, thick panels based on soundproofing materials which can be put up on the walls in order to decrease that unpleasant bass noise (low-frequency noises).
Simply speaking, this is one effective solution to several problems.
One of the biggest problems they solve is adding soundproofing to existing walls.
4. Put some furniture and fill out space
You are probably familiar with the echo effect. Then, you probably know how it echoes in the empty room.
First of all, you need to fill up your room a bit. That will prevent the sound bouncing from hard surfaces, like walls are.
I recommend using some of the furniture to cover the walls between apartments. I myself have found bookshelves as some of the most useful ones. The more wall it covers- the better.
Of course, feel free to fill it up with books. That way, you will have a thicker line of defense as bookshelf will act like a second wall.
Furthermore, you can use closets and some amazing wall arts. Anyway, do not expect some enormous soundproofing results. This is just a basic trick to reduce the noise.
This might not do a whole lot, and in case you’re living in a rented apartment where you can’t just do “decoration” without permission of your landlord – removable soundproof wall installations might come handy.
Mostly because you can remove them and take them with you without damaging the existing walls.
5. Place foam mats
As one of the easiest soundproofing materials to install, foam mats might do the job with soundproofing your apartment walls.
If you want to spare some money, this is also one affordable solution. The great thing about foam mats is their insulating power.
Not only that you can use them for soundproofing purposes, but as thermal loss reducing material as well.
Since foam mats are mostly made from rubber foam, they are very resistant to oil and petrol.
Furthermore, foam mats are odorless and lightweight which is a really ideal solution to soundproof apartments with thick walls that don’t require such big of a isolation.
Additionally, they most likely have the adhesive on the back side and you will be able to easily install them on the walls between apartments.
6. Use acoustic foams
As far as I concern, whenever I hear the word “noise”, my first association is “acoustic foam”. Acoustic foams are the most common solution to the noise problems.
You can mostly see them in recording purposes or studios, but they can be used for apartment walls as well. Acoustic foams can cut the noise by 70% (if the noise is somehow really loud).
The best usage of these foams is when they are combined with some of the previous methods.
Since they are great airborne noise insulators, in combination with some other methods, you can achieve even better results (for example if you use them with some method that has great effect against impact sound).
Truly, sometimes they might be a bit bigger investment. But, you know what? They are definitely worth it for your thin apartment walls.
See here for the best acoustic foams.
7. Paint the walls with soundproofing paint
So, you are probably wondering how can soundproofing paint fight the noise. Is it a myth or a true thing?
Basically, soundproofing paint can actually work. But, it all depends on how much noise is coming through.
You will be able to reduce the noise in half if there is not much noise actually.
On the other hand, if there are savages right next to you making some really big noise, then I’m afraid that soundproofing paint can’t do much.
This paint is really thick and when applied several times with several layers, it can really be massive. The result of that will be really good insulation of low frequencies.
Therefore, if you just started hearing some smaller noise through your thin apartment walls, and you also need some décor, then, maybe is a time for a bit of rearranging and painting.
Also, this is one easy and cheap solution to your noise problems.
These paints have the same quality color as normal ones, so you won’t notice the difference- except the one when it comes to the noise reducing.
8. Get a white noise machine if you need an immediate solution
If you are in a rush, or none of the previous methods worked out for you, so you need a temporary solution, you can go with a white noise machine.
These machines are a great way of soundproofing not only your apartment from the noise coming from outside but yourself as well. They work by drowning out background noise.
Simply said, white sound machines produce some sound which will subconsciously make you ignore all other sounds and concentrate you on your own job, or sleep.
They are often used as a sleep-aid during the nights.
Finally, you can use them as an extra method combined with previous ones.
For example, if you use soundproofing paint, and you aren’t content with the results, you can use this machine at the same time to increase the overall apartment soundproofing.
On how to soundproof thin apartment walls
Basically, these are all the solutions for soundproofing apartment walls. They do not require much effort, and most of them are highly affordable.
If you’re on a very tight budget, there are still cheap ways to soundproof your walls – so don’t lose any hope!
For the best possible outcome, I do recommend combining several methods as each one of them has a different way of preventing the sound (and prevents different sort of it).
These solutions can be done by yourself alone, as they are simple to install, or you can use a hand from a friend to speed things up.
Either way, it doesn’t require much time.
All in all, I hope that I gave some insight on how to soundproof walls between apartments.
- Focus On The Weak Points Of Your Apartment Walls
- Search For Possible Holes And Glue Them
- Use Mass-Loaded Vinyl
- Put Some Furniture And Fill Out Space
- Place Foam Mats
- Use Acoustic Foams
- Paint The Walls With Soundproofing Paint
- Get A White Noise Machine If You Need An Immediate Solution