If you’re a renter, chances are you’ve had to deal with noise from your neighbors at some point.
Whether they’re playing music too loudly or having a conversation at all hours of the night, it can be frustrating trying to get some peace and quiet.
Generally, most apartments’ wall partitioning is thinner than what you would find in a single-family home, so they’re more susceptible to noise transfer.
As such, soundproofing a wall between apartments can be a great way to improve its structural properties and minimize the amount of noise that passes through.
While there are many theories on how to soundproof a wall, we’ve compiled the best tips and tricks to help you do it yourself (or with the help of a professional).
How to Soundproof a Wall Between Apartments: The Ultimate Guide
Dealing with noisy neighbors can be a frustrating experience for any renter.
While it’s easy just to turn up the volume on your television or music, this doesn’t solve the problem at hand—you can still hear what they’re doing.
You can soundproof your wall between apartments with the following methods:
- Filling Up Cracks Or Gaps
- Place White Noise Machine
- Using Soundproofing Curtains
- Using Acoustic Foam
- Using Acoustic Paint
- Acoustic Panels
- Mass Loaded Vinyl
1. Filling Up Cracks Or Gaps
The first step in soundproofing a wall is to fill up any cracks or gaps present.
You can do this by using caulk, foam sealant, or even drywall compound if there are large gaps between your floor and ceiling.
Make sure to get into every nook and cranny, as even the smallest opening can let in noise. If you have a particularly stubborn gap, using a plunger can help to push the compound further into the opening.
2. Place White Noise Machine
If your neighbors are particularly chatty, or you just want to ensure a good night’s sleep, you can place a white noise machine in your apartment.
This will drown out any other noises coming through the wall.
This is, however, a temporary solution. If you’re looking for something more permanent, it may be best to invest in a soundproofing product such as acoustic foam or an MLV sheet (more on these later).
3. Using Soundproofing Curtains
Soundproof curtains can also come in handy if you’re dealing with noisy neighbors.
They are made from a thicker fabric designed to block out noise, so they can be rather effective at reducing the amount of sound coming through your walls.
You’ll want to hang them as close to the wall as possible for better results. If you find that the curtains aren’t doing enough, try hanging them in pairs for more insulation against noise transfer.
A good soundproofing curtain is triple-layered with a black liner and an outer layer made from blackout material.
This not only blocks out light but also helps reduce noise transfer by up to 50%.
4. Using Acoustic Foam
If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to soundproofing your wall between apartments, using acoustic foam is one of the best ways to go about it.
This is a material designed to absorb sound, so it can help to reduce the amount of noise that passes through walls, ceilings, and floors.
There are many different types of acoustic foam available on the market, so you’ll want to find one that best suits your needs.
You can buy it in sheets or panels and even use it as insulation for pipes.
5. Using Acoustic Paint
If your budget is tight, acoustic paint can be a less expensive solution to soundproofing your wall between apartments.
This product features special ingredients that absorb and dampen noise to reduce the amount of sound coming from outside sources.
Most soundproofing paint types are made from vinyl acrylic and feature soundproofing fillers.
The paint will need to be applied in at least two coats for best results, and it’s important to make sure that the surface is completely smooth before application.
6. Acoustic Panels
If you’re looking for a more high-end solution, acoustic panels can be a great way to soundproof your wall between apartments.
These are panels attached to the wall, ceiling, or floor and feature a soundproofing material such as vinyl or foam.
They can come in different shapes and sizes, so you’ll want to choose one that best suits your needs. Acoustic panels can also be used on windows if needed.
7. Mass Loaded Vinyl
If your neighbors are particularly loud and you’re looking for a more heavy-duty solution, using mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) can be the best way to go.
You can use this type of noise-absorbent insulation on walls, ceilings, and floors.
It’s made from a thick layer of vinyl that helps block out sound waves, and you can use it in conjunction with other products such as acoustic foam or soundproofing curtains.
Yes, and the best way will depend on your budget and needs.
Some of the most popular methods include filling cracks or gaps using soundproofing curtains, acoustic foam, acoustic paint, or acoustic panels. You can also use mass-loaded vinyl for a more heavy-duty solution.
Why does my wall sound hollow?
A hollow-sounding wall may be a sign of poor insulation or an empty cavity behind it.
You can try tapping on the wall with your knuckles to check for air pockets or use a drill bit and see if you hear any sounds coming through from outside sources.
If you find no noise transfer happening, it may be a sign that your wall is already soundproofed.
Can I soundproof my bedroom wall?
Yes. Some of the most popular ones include using acoustic foam, curtains, or even mass-loaded vinyl for a more heavy-duty solution.
You’ll also want to make sure that there are no gaps between doors and windows so as not to let any sound through.
Noisy neighbors are one of life’s many bugbears. The good news is that it’s not all doom and gloom. There are plenty of ways to deal with noisy neighbors, whether you want to be proactive or reactive.
While most of these hacks are possible to DIY, some will require the help of a professional. Whatever you choose to do, just make sure that you’re safe and that your neighbors are happy too.