When you’re a renter, you never know what sounds you’re signing up for. From crying babies to baby making, you’re bound to hear your neighbors. Whether you’re a budding musician or a sleepy Buddha, soundproofing your apartment is a must for keeping both you and your neighbors Zen. Here are five ways to soundproof your rental:
1. Seal the cracks
Wired.com suggests using a product such as Green Glue to laminate your walls or stick drywall to the ceilings for super-soundproofing. This type of soundproofing is not an option for most renters; however, you can use the sealant to plug up cracks and gaps. Even the smallest crevice can leak sound. Check with your landlord before you use any type of sealant.
2. Add extra texture
Apartment Therapy recommends adding “curtains to your windows, fabric wall hangings to your walls, and rugs (to your floors!) to diffuse noise from neighbors and the street.” However, rugs aren’t limited to floors. There are lots of examples of decorators using rugs as tapestries and wall art.
This DIY blog offers up a tutorial on using a rug as a headboard. This equals serious soundproofing for renters with limited space who are unable to rearrange their bed against a quiet wall.
3. Rework the room
Rearrange your furniture to both block sound and avoid it. Arranging large bookshelves against the wall next to your noisy neighbors will add an extra barrier. Likewise, move your bed away from walls that produce noise. Dummies.com has several tips for arranging furniture in multiple rooms in your apartment.
4. Stabilize shaky things
Stabilizing shaky furniture will surely please the neighbors. Unstable side tables and even sofas can cause major noise for the folks downstairs. Wherever possible, lengthen legs of uneven chairs and add weight to flimsy DIY furniture.
EHow has a step-by-step on stabilizing shaky desk legs. Similar steps apply to fixing furniture.
5. Go vintage with vinyl
Layering any items on your walls will help block interior and exterior sound, but vinyl is an especially effective insulator. Instead of buying bulky mass-loaded vinyl, consider displaying your record collection. The records will act as a soundproofing agent. Bonus: You’ll add character to your apartment with free wall art.
If you don’t have a record collection, make a trip to your local thrift store and build a collection over a short period. Depending on the artist, used-album prices go as low as $1. While you’re at the thrift store, look into cheap rugs and curtains for texture.
If all else fails, you might need to invest in a white-noise machine to control other noise nuisances. Additionally, consider talking to your neighbors and working with the landlord to set up building quiet hours.
What are some of your unbelievable noisy neighbor stories? Share your tales in the comments below.