Yes, peace and solitude, isn’t that what most of us crave? Sometimes, getting a safe spot to just concentrate and get away from the noise of the outside world is not that easy. It’s even more uncomfortable when you have to share an apartment wall with noisy neighbors. Don’t worry, you don’t have to pull your hair out, there’s another much better way. Here’s how you can soundproof your wall to keep out the noise between apartments.
Soundproof Apartment Wall
1. Soundproof Your Apartment Wall With Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass loaded vinyl is one of our favorite tricks to keep sound from penetrating through walls and it’s not that hard to install.
It’s a powerful sound blocking material that maximally reduces the amount of noise coming through your wall, especially due to its density and flexibility.
MLV is a heavy material that is easily installed anywhere. Sometimes, walls aren’t thick enough to reduce the amount of noise leaking through, and, instead of adding another layer of drywall, you can install mass-loaded vinyl mats on your walls.
Cutting it to size won’t alter its performance.
You can use MLV in combination with green glue for an even better result; a compound that’s great for soundproofing because it’s very effective in isolating noise.
2. Soundproofing Your Walls With Soundproof Panels
Soundproof panels are available in different shapes and types, depending on their prices.
While soundproof panels, also known as acoustic panels for the studio geeks, do not prevent or reduce sounds from coming through, their work is to prevent vibration of sound on walls, thereby limiting echoes.
It is particularly effective in reducing airborne noises from the TV, talking and movement. They can muffle impact noise by stopping sound waves from bouncing around.
Their shape allows them to absorb sound evenly and they can reduce airborne noises for up to 70%.
You can cut it to size and installation is quite easy. Read also: Best Ways Soundproofing Ceiling Footsteps
3. Use Soundproof Wallpaper
Yup, you heard it right, soundproof wallpapers. Not only do they improve the beauty of your apartment/room, but there are some specifically designed to also reduce the amount of impact noise filtering through your walls.
They are functional and aesthetic, and frankly, very easy to install and remove.
You can apply them to your walls by simply peeling them and sticking them to your wall, and whenever you wish to remove it, you can peel it off again with no damage done to the wall whatsoever.
Resizing them to fit your wall size, wall outlet or frames is easy.
They are good for most types of walls, so you don’t have to worry about making any adjustments, since their flexibility makes it easy to install it on a wall with shelves and grooves.
They are free from heavy and harmful metals and they are anti-collision, along with being kid friendly, waterproof, durable and simple to keep clean.
4. Seal Cracks And Gaps
It’s pretty obvious that where there are openings and spaces in the wall or your door or any other place, the sound is sure to leak through from there. Maybe the space in your wall is coming from outlets that connect from one room to the other, in this case getting green glue can be very useful.
You can also employ weatherstripping to cover up gaps in your closet wall or door. Weatherstripping your door is an easy and cheap option to keep the outside noise from coming into your apartment.
5. Hang Moving Blankets
Moving blankets are types of dense blankets that are used to wrap your belongings in when you move to protect it from damage and it is ideal for soundproofing your walls.
Due to their density, they act like an extra layer of wall that blocks out sound.
Hanging moving blankets is easy, as you can nail, screw, industrial adhesive or tack into your walls.
Depending on the size of your wall, you may have to cut it to size, and the number of blankets you use will depend on the size of your room. You may have to remove anything that keeps you from hanging them over your walls.
Not only will these blankets reduce impact noise and sounds coming from the outside, but they will soften the sounds from inside the room as well.
It’s not necessary to cover the entire wall, and covering the largest surface of the wall can still help it absorb most of the sound passing through the wall. Read also: How To Temporarily Soundproof A Wall & Room
6. Paint The Walls With Soundproof Paint
While soundproof paints may have their skeptics, they actually do work up to a degree.
And for those wondering what’s special about them and if they aren’t like any normal paint, these types of paint are actually much thicker and denser than normal paint, allowing them to muffle noises and stop them from easily penetrating through your walls.
This is especially effective if you’re dealing with mild to lower noise, but their effectiveness is not that pronounced with loud noise, not unless you use the paint in combination with the other techniques we’ve mentioned.
7. Get A White Noise Machine
White noise machines are built to help you concentrate while you work or even sleep, but they’re not much of a permanent fix.
What they do is that they actually generate smooth sounds to subconsciously keep you from minding the external noise, and depending on the level of noise plaguing you, it can completely drown out sounds.
You can’t always have them on, and that’s where the problem is, since you won’t want your white noise machine on when you’re watching the TV or listening to music.
It helps to give a sense of privacy as it controls the sounds entering and leaving your apartment walls, but using it in combination with other soundproofing techniques is advisable.
8. Add An Extra Layer Of Drywall
This is an expensive method, but it’s very effective, especially if your apartment wall has a thin layer. Adding another layer of drywall is one of the best ways to soundproof thin apartment walls. Making the wall thicker enhances its ability to trap sound and prevent it from coming through.
For better results, you can use soundproof drywall which contains gypsum, ceramics and viscoelastic materials. Before applying the new layer of drywall, you might want to consider applying green glue in between.
What green glue does is that it essentially decouples both layers, thereby maximally stopping noise from passing through. In addition, green glue is a soundproofing compound as well.
9. Rearrange The Room
Rearranging your apartment room can do a lot to reduce the sounds that you hear in your apartment. Normally, whenever sound comes in, the first thing it hits will determine in what degree it gets absorbed, blocked and reflected. Depending on the material, it can cause echoes to bounce around the room.
If the room is empty and devoid of rugs, curtains, and other furniture, the echoes will keep bouncing around and resulting in a loud noise. But if there are sound-absorbing materials in the apartment, echoes won’t happen.
It’s great if you already have a bookshelf, cupboards, closet, and other standing furniture. Now, all you have to do is to move the standing furniture to cover the walls of your apartment, leaving a small space between it and the wall.
While this won’t enormously reduce the sound coming into your apartment, its result will be noticeable.
Final Thoughts About How To Soundproof A Wall Between Apartments
If you effectively soundproof your walls, you can control the sound that comes into your apartment from your neighbors and the environment, even if you can’t control the amount of noise they make.
Most of the soundproofing techniques discussed in this article are non-invasive and they’re good even if you’re renting an apartment, but you should proceed with caution when adding an additional layer of drywall as they’re not easily removed like the other techniques. Our best materials for soundproofing a wall between apartments are Mass Loaded Vinyl and soundproof panels.
Dave Pearson is a Canadian musician, sound editor, and audiophile. He is also the founder and owner of the website SoundProofGeek. On SoundProofGeek, Pearson offers advice and resources on audio equipment, including how to assess and improve audio quality, how to troubleshoot and repair audio equipment, and how to improve the music listening experience.