In this guide, you’re going to learn different ways on how to soundproof thin apartment walls. Thin apartment walls are prone to leaking unwanted noises from next-door neighbors. Most are the times you’ll hear beds squeaking– BTW check out this guide on some of the quietest bed frames. (click here).
One of the biggest downsides of living in an apartment, even thick walls are a noisy neighbor. Fortunately, science has proven that there are ways you can deal with noise problems in apartments. The methods illustrated in this guide are cheaper than you would think. Let’s take a closer look at how to soundproof apartment walls.
How Sound Travels Through Thin Apartment Walls
According to an article published on the New York Times website. Sound travels in two ways. Low- and high-pitched noises can be airborne such as the sound of your television. (Source)
Low pitched noises like bass noise or chair scrapping the floor/ footfalls from the floor above you move through vibrations.
Different Ways on How to Soundproof Thin Apartment Walls
In most cases, the two mix, for example, a television mounted on a shared wall. Below are the different ways on how to soundproof thin apartment walls.
This may sound like a crazy idea, but trust me, it’s worth it. You see, the rule of thumb when it comes to soundproofing is- the more the mass, the better.
And in this case, because your apartment walls are thin, stacking furniture against the common shared wall will help reduce unwanted noise from neighbors.
If you own a bookcase, the better, a bookcase will not only be an excellent addition to your apartment but will also help you reduce unwanted noise through the wall if you set it up against the shared wall.
The books you add to the bookshelves will further help reduce noise problems as well. Consider a wide bookcase like the Furinno Pasir 3-Tier Open Shelf to cover as much space as possible.
2. Use Soundproofing Blankets or Curtains
Acoustic blankets such as Grommeted Industrial Blanket and Audimute Sound Absorption Sheet Sound are specially designed for soundproofing purposes. They have grommets to make the installation process easy.
Alternatively, you can hang some soundproofing curtains on the wall or the windows adjacent to the shared walls.
Acoustic drapes are versatile. They not only help they also help block out sun rays through your windows, but they also provide you with privacy, block and absorb unwanted noise.
The best curtains for noise reductions are ones made of thick materials such as vinyl, polyester, and velvet. These curtains aren’t your typical curtains. Ordinary curtains are made of thin and lightweight materials that don’t block or absorb sound. They are also cheaper than blackout drapes.
Acoustic foam panels are specifically designed to improve the acoustic qualities of a room. They do a little job in reducing unwanted noises- and for this reason, you can install them to help minimize noise problems.
Like decorative wall painting, acoustic foam panels will add a touch of flair to your interior decoration when installed on the ceiling or walls.
Some of the recommended acoustic panels are the ATS acoustic foam panels. However, first, consult with the property manager to make sure that you’re allowed to undertake this structural change.
4. A Layer of Drywall
Another method to make your thin apartment thicker is by adding a layer of drywall. Soundproof drywall is made of gypsum, ceramics, and viscoelastic.
The best method would be sandwiching green glue sealant between two layers of drywall. Green glue damping compound is effective in soundproofing as it converts sound energy into heat.
While it’s purposely designed for thermal insulation, spray foam insulation still does a fantastic job in soundproofing against unwanted noises.
This material is available in two forms: open and closed cell foam insulation. It can be sprayed on the wall and crevices that could leak outside noise inside your apartment.
This insulation material is excellent for soundproofing against two noise types: airborne and flanking noise.
Here is a detailed guide on how spray foam insulation soundproofs against unwanted noise.
Old apartments were designed in such a way that they shared utilities. For example, you would share electrical wiring with the next-door neighbor.
Such holes can easily leak noise into your apartment hence disrupting your quiet stay. Even the tiniest cracks can leak a considerable amount of noise.
Your best bet would be sealing all these gaps and cracks on your wall.
You can use green glue soundproofing compound or spray foam insulation. Spray foam will expand and fill those cracks/crevices on the wall.
One of the best materials that can help reduce impact noise, such as bass noise. They are also great for dealing with airborne noise as well.
You can install them on your thin apartment walls. They will not only help reduce unwanted noise, but they will also act as great thermal insulators.
How do they work?
They are thick panels and add mass to your walls. More mass equates to better soundproofing properties.
8. Foam Mats
Foam mats are the easiest ways of soundproofing against unwanted noises. I would recommend this method only if you’re on a budget and want a quick fix to reduce noise.
Their thermal insulation properties are added benefits. In addition, they are very resistant to petrol and oil. They are also lightweight and odorless. I would recommend them for soundproofing apartments with thicker walls that don’t require much isolation.
Soundproofing paint will be a great complement to the existing soundproofing hacks recommended in this article.
However, it’s important to note that soundproofing paint won’t reduce the noise problem by 100%. The paint is thick, and unlike regular paint, you will need to apply several coatings for it to be effective.
An excellent example of soundproofing paints is Acousti Coat – Sound Deadening Paint available in 1-gallon container. It helps dampen tinning and ringing noise in metal structures. It’s environmentally friendly and can be applied by spray, brush, or roller.
Final thoughts on how to soundproof thin apartment walls
Above are great tips on how to soundproof thin apartment walls. They are quite affordable and easy to implement hacks.
However, before implementing any of the hacks recommended above, it’s always good to check with the property manager to see if they allow minor structural changes to the rented apartment. Otherwise, I wish you the best in your soundproofing journey.