As great as apartment dwelling is, one of the main downfalls has got to be the (sometimes near incessant) noise. Rumbling trucks at 2 a.m., clacking heels at the crack of dawn. Also, thumps that sound disturbingly like a bowling ball being drop right above your head. Therefore, I think we can all agree that few things are more irritating. You can try drowning it out with your own cacophony. But for the sake of neighborliness, consider soundproofing. While these tricks won’t completely shut out the din. Hence, if you want that, it may be time to pack it all in and move to the country. Thus, they’ll muffle it enough to make life at home much more pleasant.
Seal Door Gaps
As tiny as that sliver between your door and wall may be, if air can pass through it, so can sound. In fact, a 1% air gap can leak 30% of sound, and a 5% gap can leak 90%! So make sure your door is weatherproof. Thus, especially at the bottom by the threshold. Hence, where the biggest gaps usually are. Install a door sweep—look for one with a thick strip of rubber for the best seal—or for interior doors, try a draft stopper.
Shift Your Furniture
Place big, heavy pieces of furniture against walls you share with your neighbors to help muffle sound. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases are especially good for bulking up a thin wall, especially if you fill it with lots of books and objects. For extra sound-blocking, place a thick piece of foam (or hang a soundproofing blanket) behind the bookcase.
Layer Your Floor With Rugs
While rugs are more for blocking sound coming from your own apartment, they can help dampen sound coming from outside your home, similar to fabric on your walls. Cover your floor with a heavy, high-pile rug, cushioned with a high-density foam pad underneath. If your upstairs neighbors are the ones driving you nuts, talk to your landlord: Many leases have a clause requiring tenants to cover a certain percentage of their flooring with a carpet or rug. Your neighbors might have disregarded it, and now’s the time to let your landlord know they need to follow the rules.
Hang Fabric On Your Walls
Sound is absorbed by soft surfaces, so outfit your home with as many as you can, including on the walls. Hang tapestries, or consider soundproofing blankets. These ultra-heavy blankets often come with grommets so you can hang them from hooks on your wall or ceiling. They’re not pretty, but you can always drape a cool-looking tapestry, quilt, rug, or blanket over them.