Living close to your neighbours has its benefits, but there’s also the issue of noise in small residences and apartment living. It’s often the case that modern homes are built with lightweight materials that allow sound to travel easier, but some simple tricks can help keep the peace.
- Wonder wall
Hang sound-absorbing materials, such as cotton, foam or felt, on your walls. These could be tapestries, rugs, pictures or artworks, but be aware that some materials are better than others at blocking out different levels of sound.
Adding high-pile rugs or carpets to your floors can stop sound from bouncing and also add insulation properties. Things are also looking up, aesthetically speaking, with egg carton-like ceiling baffles that can aid soundproofing. Better still, they come in a range of eye-catching designs.
- Seal of approval
Door guards at the base of your doors can allow draughts and unwelcome sounds to disturb your sanctuary. They’re also available in a variety of styles and colours to match your decor. Similarly, seal the gaps around windows to stop heat and cold from entering your domain.
- Window of opportunity
Thicker glass can block up to 95 per cent of sounds, so it makes sense to invest in quality. Double glazing is one option that will soon pay its way in reduced utility bills and greater levels of comfort.
- New doors
A solid-core door will be a far more effective sound barrier than lighter, hollow doors. Consider replacing those doors close to living areas and neighbouring walls where sound can create the biggest issues.
Other areas of sound reduction
If you’re interested in taking sound reduction to the next level, you could also consider the following options for decorative and noise-reducing effects.
If squeaky floorboards and chipped tiles are adding to the internal noise and proving a safety hazard, you can instal acoustically engineered flooring that acts as a soundproofing base for your floorboards, tiles or carpet.
Window furnishings not only keep temperatures under control but can also add layers of soundproofing. Heavier drapes layered over sheers provide interior opulence and serve to stem outside noise, while also maintaining inside volume control.
Soundproof the laundry
Ongoing internal noise can prove as meddlesome and distracting as outside interruptions. The laundry is a prime area where noisy washing machines and dryers can wreak havoc with internal equilibrium. Placing shock-absorber pads and soundproofing mats under laundry equipment will lessen the vibrations and thus noise levels from permeating the main living areas.
There are many other simples measures, such as rearranging the furniture to outer walls and loading up bookshelves, to help stem noise levels. This acts as a sound barrier and also creates a stylish, spacious and inviting interior element to your home decor.