Block Out Loud Footsteps & Stomping from Upstairs Neighbors’ Floors
1. Increase The Density of Your Ceiling
The denser the material, the better it would be at absorbing or dissipating sound.
By increasing the density of your ceiling, you will stop noise from upstairs to downstairs.
The easiest way to increase the density of your ceiling is to add another layer of drywall or ceiling material that you use directly to the pre-existing ones.
You can improve the effectiveness of this method by applying a coat of Green Glue, or a layer of MLV in between both drywall or ceiling materials. We recommend the highly rated Trademark Mass Loaded Vinyl and Noise Grabber MLV.
If your budget is generous enough, install a layer of Green Glue together with a layer of MLV, and place the second ceiling or drywall next to it.
This will drastically reduce both structures-borne and airborne noise from the noisy tenants upstairs.
You can read more detailed instructions about how to install mass loaded vinyl on ceilings here.
2. Use Green Glue
Green Glue functions as both an adhesive, and most importantly as an acoustic sealant too.
It is used to cover cracks and gaps through which noise escapes and can be applied easily without the help of a professional.
So if you’ve been wondering how to block out noise from upstairs neighbors, this is a good option.
To install Green Glue, locate the compromised part that leaks the noise. Seal it off with this acoustic sealant, and if you have enough create a whole layer of Green Glue before installing the ceiling again.
It will stop noise from upstairs to downstairs.
3. Use Acoustic Tiles
Installing acoustic tiles will also help you soundproof your ceiling against upstairs neighbors stomping.
You can install them by direct attachment to the ceiling using staples, or with an adhesive, preferably one with sound-deadening properties.
4. Use Resilient Channels
Resilient channels are used together with other materials like drywall to enhance their sound dampening effects.
It’s a great way to deal with loud neighbors above you and it does this through air pockets that dampen noise.
Installing resilient channels is easy and would usually come with instructions from the manufacturer.
It normally involves removing a layer of drywall and then screwing a thick piece of the mat on the joints and studding.
5. Install Acoustic Foam
Acoustic foams are not pleasing to look at and can reduce the beauty of your room, so they are reserved for use in places where you won’t mind having them, like the storeroom.
Despite their poor decorative function, they are a very very effective noisy upstairs neighbors solution.
It’s easy to install them, and you can choose to install acoustic panels directly on the ceiling using an acoustic sealant.
Before doing this, however, clean the ceiling for maximum adhesion.
You can also suspend them and this is particularly useful if you have pipes that will prevent direct installation. Nails or screws will do too.
6. Add Blow-in Insulation
Blow-in insulation is another way to increase the mass and density of your ceiling and helps to dampen nosy neighbors’ loud footsteps amongst other things.
It’s most effective in reducing airborne sound, but also takes down structure-borne noise a notch.
Unlike most of the methods listed here, using blow-in insulation isn’t as easy to install and so you would need the help of a professional except you to know what you are doing.
7. Use Drop Ceiling
With a drop ceiling, you would need to attach another ceiling to your already existing one but not directly. This creates a space in between that helps to deaden noise.
It’s effective to tackle all types of noise but requires time and a generous budget. On the bright side, you wouldn’t need to take down your already existing ceiling.
When preparing your new ceiling, use noise-proof materials to help reduce the noise passing through.
Such materials include acoustic tiles and MLV. The better the absorption, the better it will handle noisy upstairs neighbors.
8. Soundproof The Floor Above You
While this is not always possible, it’s very effective if you can have access to the room above you. It’s also cost-intensive, but if you have zero tolerance for noise and money to spend, it’s definitely worth it.
Common flooring materials are tiles, wood, and hard materials. These are very efficient sound transmitters and will cause noise for you living under.
So to reduce the noise, you can lay a carpet with thick padding over the floor. The carpet and padding will add density and mass to the floor, absorbing vibrations before it gets to you.
You can use rugs instead of a carpet but go for the thickest ones, and place a carpet pad underneath also.
This will work to reduce the transmitted noise. This method is one of the most effective if you are wondering how to reduce noise from upstairs floors.
9. Use Anti Vibration Pads and Mats
Their use of either will solve your problem as it takes off the appliance from the floor, and absorbs the vibration.
So you won’t have to suffer from structure-borne noise in your apartment anymore.
10. Replace The Ceiling
With the permission of the landlord, you can replace the ceiling entirely with something else. This a more advanced option and would require a professional.
Keep in mind that the new ceiling would be made according to the specifications of a good sound dampener so that it will absorb all vibrations and upstairs neighbors’ loud footsteps.
You will need two layers of drywall, resilient channels, MLV (Trademark Mass Loaded Vinyl and Noise Grabber MLV are the best rated ones in 2021), and acoustic sealant like Green Glue.
Begin with the installation of resilient channels. These channels are for sound isolation and you will attach the first layer of drywall here.
After installing the first drywall layer, cut up your MLV into smaller pieces so you can easily install it on the ceiling. Install it on the first drywall layer, and then install the Green Glue on the MLV.
Your second drywall layer would be your top ceiling layer. It would go on the Green Glue coat, and you can hold it fast with nails and screws. If you are concerned about how to drown out noise from upstairs neighbors? This is a good one.
How to Deal with Noisy Neighbors Above You
1. Speak with Upstairs Neighbor
If the neighbors above you are noisy and disturb you, you can try to speak to them to cut it down. Practices like playing loud music, or speaking loudly are things that are within their control and they can easily adjust. Dealing with the loud upstairs neighbors directly works in most cases.
If they have a machine like a washing machine, refrigerator, or dryer that is the cause of the structure-borne noise that disturbs you, you can speak to them to consider using anti-vibration pads and mats. This will save you from continuous humming sounds.
You can offer them padded mats or rugs, depending on your relationship with them. If they take your item or decide to soundproof their floor themselves, it will help you a great deal and you would now live noiselessly in your apartment.
2. Complain to The Landlord
Particularly if the floor is squeaky and needs repair, you will need to involve the landlord. Some buildings don’t allow tenants to make the repairs, and it’s the job of the landlord to arrange for the job. Squeaking can be very annoying especially if your neighbor moves a lot.
You also need to get the landlord involved if you have spoken to the upstairs tenants about their noisy habits like loud music or constant partying and they refuse to change. It helps if they deal with the loud neighbors above you by themselves.
3. Make Necessary Repairs Yourself
You can offer to make the necessary repairs if the building contract doesn’t prohibit it. Repairs such as a loose subfloor above you that causes a lot of squeaking is necessary if you must have peace in your own home. If it isn’t too much for you, take it up.
4. Consider Moving Out
If you have tried everything possible, and there is still no forthcoming change, consider moving out. It may be difficult for you, but it’s the only alternative to ensure you have your peace.
Staying in a building without any form of soundproofing can be a nightmare especially if your neighbors are noisy.
There is only so much you can do to try and stop them from making that much noise, but there is a lot you can do on your own to dampen whatever noise they produce.
Replacing the ceiling, increasing its density, and adding a layer of Green Glue to your ceiling are some of the effective ways to reduce noise from upstairs neighbors.