It’s pretty much common knowledge that living in an apartment is one of the noisiest places to live. You’d be dealing with loud children upstairs, fighting couples next door, loud stereos, house parties, crying babies and more. Also, there would be instances where you’d be doing some noisy stuff yourself, which can cause issues with your neighbors. This is why soundproofing is important. It helps absorb vibrations created by the noises in your house and helps block out noises from others. Here are some tips to help you out in soundproofing your apartment:
1. Ask your landlord
Before you get started in soundproofing your apartment floor, make sure that it’s fine with your landlord. You don’t want to infringe on anything that may be within your lease. You may be lucky if your landlord would do it for you (since it can raise the value of his/her property), but in most cases, it will be fine. Make sure you won’t make any modifications that would violate your apartment lease. If the landlord doesn’t approve, then you can go for temporary soundproofing solutions, which will be discussed later.
2. Hire a pro
If you have the money, you can pay a professional to soundproof your floors (given that your landlord approves of this). They will know what soundproofing material would work best for your floor and how to do it. You only have to worry about looking for a pro and having the money to pay them. Because of this, hiring a pro can be a lot more expensive than buying the needed materials and doing it on your own. It’s the easiest way to soundproof your floor.
3. Consider easy soundproofing techniques
If your landlord didn’t approve of adding a soundproof layer underneath your flooring, consider easy soundproofing techniques that will make no drastic changes in your flooring and can be removed anytime. Here are some of your options:
- Interlocking floor mats
First, you may simply lay down some interlocking floor mats at the surface of the floor you want to soundproof. Lay it from your corner and work from there, until you covered the floor with the mats like a large jigsaw puzzle. It’s the cheapest and easiest soundproofing technique, but it’s not the best at dampening noise as compared to other products you can use. Get a neutral-colored one like this black BalanceFrom Puzzle Exercise Mat to make sure it matches with any interior.
- Sound-absorbing carpet/rug pads
Underneath your floor carpet, place some carpet or rug padding to provide soundproofing (and even insulation) for your floors. It’s a denser and thicker version of the carpet pads common in the market. They can be great to use on its own, but it’s best when layered under your traditional carpet. Felt Rug Pad from RUGPADUSA works as an excellent noise reducer for under your area rugs and carpets and makes them extra soft and comfy, too. Secure them at the edges with nails or glue to keep it in place, then lay down your carpet or rug on top of it.
- Flooring underlayment
A flooring underlayment is a thin layer of insulation typically placed under a carpet (or even under the floor mats) for an extra soundproofing layer. It’s best for use on top of a hardwood or vinyl floor. The Laminate Flooring Underlayment is a great choice, as it is made with a vapor barrier and is 3mm thick. It can also be installed under concrete, vinyl or hardwood flooring.
4. Use glue and other soundproofing compounds
A sound-proofing compound like Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound can be applied directly into your existing subfloor layer, before placing a rigid layer above it. It helps secure items like an acoustic underlayment or sound-absorbent carpet padding to a hard floor, while also providing noise-canceling capabilities.
5. Add extra layers when installing flooring
If you are permitted to make some changes to the floors to soundproof it, install your choice of finished flooring on top of the underlayment as a floating raft. Here’s an example: On your plywood or OSB subfloor, add a layer of Green Glue, then place a cement board. Nail it together, then add a rubber flooring underlayment, then finally install your finished flooring (like hardwood, tile, laminate, vinyl, etc.).