Soundproof Apartment Walls Without Construction: Best Tips To Resolve Distracting Noise

apartment interior with furnitures

Last Updated: July 7, 2021

Are your loud neighbors a reason for your constant headaches?

And...

Do you remember the last time you had a good night's sleep? 

Or are you living next to teenage students who like to party a lot? Are you trying to find ways on how to soundproof an apartment wall?

There is certainly quite a lot to watch out for while buying a house—that is undeniable, but all that can go in vain if you cannot maintain the peace and quiet in your apartment. Without further ado, let me list down all the ways you can have your walls soundproofed. 

Methods That You Can Adopt To Soundproof An Apartment Wall

Apartment with shelves and furnitures

There can be several reasons for the disturbing sounds that you are facing in your apartments such as thin walls or inadequate insulation. If you are wondering how to soundproof a wall between apartments, you can begin with one or more of the methods listed below.

Sealing Gaps

The gaps in the apartment walls, even the tiniest of them can let in a great amount of noise and you will not even recognize that it is coming from those places. Make sure to check for these in the walls of your apartment that can be resulting in such noise. 

If you find any gaps on your wall, use a sealant to cover them up.

An adhesive like green glue compound which is a gypsum-like substance can be used to seal those. It is also a soundproofing compound. 

Green glue can basically help in absorbing sound waves to convert them into heat energy. You can clean the area surrounding the holes or gaps and after letting it dry, apply the glue.

Furniture Placement

To accomplish how to soundproof a wall between apartments completely, furniture placement is extremely essential.

The echo effect makes an empty room more likely to release noise. Since there is nothing to block the reflection of noise, it will hit the ceiling and then bounce back on the walls.

Hence, you should stack a row of furniture against the walls to prevent the sound from bouncing through the walls. 

If the furniture items are big and they do not touch the wall behind them, the air gap will absorb the sound rather than passing it over through the wall. 

The more furniture you can stack against the walls without disrupting the decorations, the better the sound absorption. 

Bookshelf Against The Wall

Apartment walls are quite thin. You can place a bookshelf against them to make it thick and dense. Fill it with books so that no space is left for noise to sneak in.

Placing a large bookshelf against the wall and stacking it up can help you solve this problem because it acts as a second wall.

This will not block out the noise completely, but it will significantly minimize the amount of noise coming into your apartment.

Mass Loaded Vinyl

Putting up Mass-loaded vinyl on your walls can save you from noise as well as temperature issues. Mass-loaded vinyl is a coating material best known to soundproof the walls.

It is also used as a thermal insulation product. It can block the outside thermal heat from entering the apartment as well as help you on how to soundproof a wall of your apartment. 

Installing MLV in the apartment includes the following steps:

  •  Trim the MLV according to the measurements of your wall.
  • Clean the area of your wall where you are planning to install the MLV.
  •  Place the MLV on the wall and attach it with the help of pins, nails, or screws.
  • Tape the seams using duct tape.
  •  Make sure it does not cover your electrical switchboards.

Finish installing drywall

Installing Drywall

Installing layers of drywall can significantly decrease the noise coming in. A drywall is made up of materials like gypsum, sheetrock, viscoelastic, and custard board. 

These materials increase their mass and density which makes it effective to block out the noise sneaking in through the walls. 

You can apply green glue on your drywall and then put another layer of drywall on top. Green glue is effective if applied between two hard surfaces. 

Installing drywall is not an easy job and you will need a professional to do this work however, this is an impressive way if you are wondering how to soundproof thin apartment walls.

Soundproof Curtains

Soundproof curtains are one of the cheapest solutions to the shared wall noise problem. They have acoustic properties that can absorb sound. Another advantage of these curtains is that they provide thermal insulation. 

And when you learn how to soundproof thin apartment walls and decide to opt for this method - you’ll also find out that is perfect if you live in a cold area. 

You can hang these types of curtains to reduce sound transmission and the cold coming from the thin walls as they are heavy and thick.

In addition to this, you can also hang blankets as they work just like thick curtains. Moreover, soundproofing types of curtains can improve your place’s aesthetics.

acoustic foam and panels

Acoustic Foams And Acoustic Panels

You can cover the walls by learning how to install acoustic foam or panels. The acoustic panels are made of polyester material. They also reduce thermal energy from the outside wall surface.

They are designed in such a way that they stop sound from bouncing off hard surfaces.

Even though they do not block out the noise entirely, you will notice a significant difference in the amount of noise coming in.

Soundproof Paint

An affordable way to make yourself a soundproof apartment wall is the use of soundproof paint. Soundproof paint is manufactured to reduce the sound by 50%. This paint is quite viscous and is applied in layers to increase mass resulting in a thicker wall.

They absorb the sound and do not let it flow through the walls. Furthermore, they are inexpensive, easy to apply on the walls without needing a professional, and they also provide insulation to the apartment. 

Foam Padding

Foam padding your walls can provide the required thickness to reduce the sound coming in. Foam padding consists of high-density rubber.

The thickness of the pad makes it effective in order to soundproof apartment walls, especially for neighbors' loud bass. These pads can be installed on the wall as well as on the floor.

The foam wall padding may not be the ideal and certainly not the only method for soundproofing apartment walls, however, they do help in a lot of ways to prevent sound from coming inside. 

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you soundproof a shared apartment wall?

There are several methods to soundproof a shared apartment wall. The methods have been extensively discussed in the article above. 

These methods include sealing holes, putting up Mass-loaded vinyl, installing drywall, installing soundproof curtains in the apartment walls, using soundproof paints and foam padding.

How do you soundproof a wall between apartments (without construction)?

As mentioned in the article, there are quite a lot of cheap methods to soundproof a wall without construction. The easiest way to do so is by stacking up furniture against the shared apartment wall.

There are other costly but more effective methods to deal with noise pollution. One of such techniques includes buying a noise-canceling machine. You could also opt for soundproofing blankets, which claim to reduce the noise by 40%.

Here are more ideas you can try to soundproof a wall:

How do you know if an apartment has good soundproofing?

Visually checking can work. You can check if an apartment has got good soundproofing by checking the thickness of the walls and if there’s the best insulation for soundproofing.

Has it got double-paned windows? Are there gaps on the walls? Those are small but important things to check, too, for good soundproofing. 

Usually, there is drywall installed in the walls and ceilings in an apartment that is well-soundproofed, therefore you can use that as an indication too.

Final Remarks

There are many reasons why you would need soundproofing in your apartment walls and it is surely a task. This article answers all of your problems such as how to soundproof an apartment wall. Most of them are quite affordable and they do not require a professional. 

By incorporating the above-mentioned methods you will be able to soundproof apartment walls effectively. Every method listed above has a unique way of tackling this issue and would never leave you confused about how to soundproof an apartment wall.

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