How to sound proof a flat?

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Top tips for noise proofing your flat and what it might cost

It’s almost impossible to sound proof an apartment 100% and depending on your budget, it can be expensive. However, sound absorbing materials that reduce sound travelling can be effective and can be added for little cost. But first it’s worth understanding what you’re up against. Sound is measured in decibels, the higher the reading the louder the noise. The average home produces around 50 decibels, and a loud rock concert is about 110 decibels. There are plenty of free apps that can measure the decibel volume, so next time your neighbours are maxing up the volume on their stereo why not give it a test.

If your neighbouring wall isn’t solid brick and just a stud partitioning, all is not lost. If you consider the well-known hotel chain (sounds like Terrier Inn) uses stud partitioning, sound proof plaster board and sound proof insulation to create a peaceful environment, and their business depends on people not complaining of noise problems, this can be a quick and effective solution if done well.

If you’re the noisy one and receiving complaints from neighbouring properties, why not try the following to help reduce the volume coming from your flat…

Consider which room produces the most noise? Is it the appliances in your kitchen or the home entertainment system connected to your speakers? Is it the smoothie maker whizzing? Maybe consider Acoustic foam paneling, this can help dampen the travel of sound in your property by a few decibels. Or if it’s the Harlem shaker of a washing machine dancing about in the kitchen, it might be time to consider a more efficient quieter appliance (which will also save you money in the long run).

  • Place a rug, carpet tiles or even better a sound isolation riser under your speakers and subwoofer to help reduce the transferal of sound around your and neighbouring flats.
  • Try moving speaker closer together – if they’re too far apart this could require the volume to be greater.
  • Lower the ambient noise – do you have a whirring dehumidifier or portable air conditioner? Or maybe a fan left running all day in an office room? These volumes aren’t going to annoy your neighbours as much as the latest Bjork concert on DVD but it will be contributing to the overall ambient noise of your flat.

Sadly, not all  of us can modify our rooms or move furniture to help reduce the noise for neighbours, but if you can make some slight tweaks it will help to keep the peace.