Home Decor

5 Soundproofing Hacks to Drown Out Your Noisy Neighbors

None of these involve moving out.

February 19, 2020
Photo by Rocky Luten

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There’s a saying among the acoustics junkies, home improvement enthusiasts, and city dwellers of Reddit: Sound is like water—it can find its way into a space through even the smallest opening. In other words, making a room, let alone an entire apartment, completely soundproof can feel like a Sisyphean effort. As hopeless as they may sound, these same Reddit users do their best to, at the very least, reduce the amount of noise that seeps its way into their homes. And, lucky for us, they’re more than willing to share their hacks with the rest of the internet-browsing public.

Whether you’re dealing with a loud neighbor, constant construction, or bumper-to-bumper traffic right outside your window, you can counteract some of the cacophony using the Reddit-approved tips below:

1. Make Your Gallery Wall Do Double Duty

Sound reduction doesn’t necessarily have to be a whole new DIY project—you can actually use your pre-existing decor to enhance your home’s resistance. In one Redditor’s case, this meant tacking felt, foam, and other soft, sound-absorbing materials onto the backs of framed pictures. Although the Reddtor’s trick of using panty liners to cushion their hanging art is pretty darn funny (and not to mention inventive, we’d recommend sheets of fiberglass instead.

2. Plug Up Leaky Doors

Doors can allow a sneaky amount of noise into your living space, especially if there are sizable gaps between them and their frames. Plus, if your interior doors have hollow cores, even more sound is liable to get through. Replacing any hollow core doors with solid ones will make a dramatic difference, as one Redditor noted, but if that isn’t an option, they also recommended sealing the gaps around your doors with soundproofing adhesive. While this trick will work as well for your front door as for your bathroom door, another Reddit user suggested a hack that’s particularly suited for interior doors: draft blockers. Although their intended use is insulation, draft blockers fit snugly between the bottom of your door and the floor, and thus stop sound from moving from room to room as easily.

3. Expand Your Home Library

If you prefer a grand bookshelf to a gallery wall, you’re in luck. Several Redditors have posted that leaning a large shelf, ideally one laden with heavy books, against a wall will help absorb some of the noise that’s coming through from the other side. Extra credit if you add some of that fiberglass we mentioned earlier between the shelf and the wall—you can even find hangable fiberglass blankets for floor-to-ceiling shelves.

4. Browse Wall Hangings and Upgrade Your Curtains

Who said tapestries were just for college kids? According to one Reddit user, thin walls can get a minor sound absorbency boost from fabric wall hangings—and there are plenty of grownup options to be found. Aside from tapestries, another Redditor claims that your windows can get a similar treatment from heavy, blackout curtains, in case street noise is the source of your woes.

5. And, As A Last Resort: Cover Up The Noise

As silly as it may seem to walk around wearing earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones in your home, many Reddit users insist that it’s the surest way to get some peace and quiet—especially when you’re trying to sleep. White noise machines, streamable background sounds, and even humble box fans are said to work just as well, if you’d rather not physically plug your ears before hitting the hay.

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Have a tip for dealing with noisy neighbors? Tell us in the comments below!

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Sara Coughlin is a freelance writer living in Brooklyn. Although she writes about food, health, wellness, lifestyle trends, skin-care, and astrology, she’d much rather talk to you about professional wrestling, rock climbing, and her personal favorite true crime theories. You can find her in her studio apartment doing yoga while a pan of veggies gently burns in the oven.

2 Comments

GigiR March 1, 2020
Sound conduction hack:
A client of mine had a problem with the noise of pounding veal on a butcher block next door. The dead easy solution was 4 hockey pucks. One puck was placed under each of the butcher block legs to stop the sound travelling through the building materials between the restaurant and my client’s premises. It worked well. You might want to put a puck under each point where your bed legs touch the floor, or under your sofa legs. Can’t guarantee it in the reverse, but it might work. Good luck.
 
Girlfromipanema February 21, 2020
Content, content, must generate content.