It’s 1.30 in the morning and you’re wide awake, struggling to burrow deep enough into your pillows to drown out the sounds of Slipknot blaring from the house or apartment next door. Or maybe it’s the whole house extraction system the builders thoughtfully placed right against your bedroom wall in the adjoining property. Whatever the source, noisy neighbors can ruin your sleep and your life. The good news is that there is a simple solution.
Get a broom and bang on the ceiling or wall as loud as you can and scream at the inconsiderate ………
But seriously there (if that did not work) are solutions that are more affordable than you might realise. So, when it comes to noisy neighbours, what can you do? Apart from asking them to keep it down, , there is an option that’s within your control: soundproofing. At first, this may seem drastic, but there are products on the market that make it simple to do your own soundproofing, quickly and effectively.
Step 1 – Find exactly out exactly how the noise is getting to you and where it is being allowed in (the source)
First things first, it’s important to identify where the noise is coming from. Whilst sound is directional, it’s also incredibly good at finding the weakest spots in your defenses. Even the smallest gap in your wall or ceiling can be enough to let in large amounts of noise. Therefore, knowing which direction the noise is coming from makes it possible to intercept it. There’s no point in soundproofing your walls if the noise is coming from upstairs!
Step 2 – Identify the type of noise
When it comes to noise from neighbours, there are two types to worry about: airborne and impact. Airborne noise is from sources such as loud conversations, music, home theaters, and outdoor equipment. Impact noise comes from footsteps, scraping furniture, music bass and generally travels through your apartment’s building materials.
Step 3 – Apply the solution – Soundproof!
Once you know where the noise is coming from and how it’s transmitted, it’s time to get soundproofing. But don’t just jump out and grab the thickest soundproofing material you can find and affix it to your walls. First, if there are any small gaps that are letting in noise, consider using an acoustic sealant. Once the small bits have been patched, if the sound is still an issue then it’s time for the next level!. For airborne noise, a cheap solution can be to install soundproof barriers in the direct path of the noise. This forces the sound to travel around the barrier and reflects some of the noise back to the source (take that noisy neighbour!).
Acoustic Wall & Ceiling Treatments
For walls we recommend applying a high-density barrier such as Tecsound or Techmat Deadsheet this is applied to your current wall or better still sealed behind a layer of acoustic plasterboard. This can be improved further by capturing airborne noise, either by installing Mineral Wool within the walls or if this is not possible then acoustic absorbers such as Echo or Alpha acoustic wall panels can be applied on the surface of the wall (usually on top of the barrier mat). This approach will both block and absorb the volume of noise traveling through your walls or ceiling.
Acoustic Treatments for Floors
If the noise is coming through the floors, you again have two options depending on how bad the problem is, the first and easiest is to apply a super slim barrier and absorber such as TechMat Floor (2 or 3 Ply) this can be laid directly on to the floor. Carpet or wooden floors can then be fitted directly on top (tiles would need a plywood substrate fitted in the first instance). The product is great for both airborne and impact noise situations and installation is simple. Since it doesn’t require access to the outside of your building, this is an excellent solution for apartments and townhouses. If this does not work then the floor will need to be lifted and a mineral wool absorber installed. If time is taken to apply the best solution, then the acoustic application can be hidden, and more importantly, it will lead to a more peaceful life.
I’ll end with a word of warning: there’s no way to achieve 100% soundproofing in a poorly designed or constructed building. All soundproofing is a reduction in noise power – hopefully down to levels that are below audible – but no material can completely stop sound. Using a combination of approaches can help reduce the noise from your neighbors.
If you would like any further advice or product recommendation then please do not hesitate to contact us