Nobody likes to be disturbed by loud noises. Living in a big city often means accessible shops, transit, and entertainment, but it also brings with it a lot of noise from traffic, transportation, and events. Even in a suburban neighborhood, noise can disrupt your daily life. Luckily, undertaking some simple soundproofing projects can give your ears a much-needed break without breaking your budget.
Add door curtains
One way to cut down on the noise from sirens, trains, and vehicles passing by is to install door curtains over the front door. Once you’re home and settled in, you can cover the door to provide a barrier from unnecessary noises. This is especially helpful if you live in an apartment building and want to minimize noise from your neighbors. Heavy blackout curtains are the ideal choice for noise absorption and are available from many storefront and online retailers.
Invest in weatherstripping
Weatherstripping can go a long way in keeping irritating noise from invading your home in addition to environmental elements like cold and wind. If you notice little gaps where the door does not exactly meet the frame, use foam weather stripping from the hardware store to fill this space.
Try a door sweep
If your noise problems seem to stem from the gap between the door and the bottom door jamb, a door sweep or draft stopper works well, too. The best door sweeps come with a rubber strip that seals right up against the door, blocking dust, insects, and moisture along with noise. This is an easy solution that saves you the hassle and irritation of unwanted noise, while also keeping heating and cooling costs under control.
Noise bounces off walls, floors, and ceilings, and carpet can go a long way in insulating your home and dampening these echoes. Installing carpet in areas like the bedroom and living room reduces the number of hard surfaces that readily reflect sound. Though this is a more cost- and time-intensive method, you’re certain to notice less sound pollution around your home.
Use rugs and mats
Rugs and mats are a more temporary and sometimes more affordable alternative to carpet for controlling noise that carries through your house — and they aren’t just for the floor. Rubber textile mats in fun, decorative designs can cover walls and provide an element of soundproofing, and thick pile like a shag rug also helps. Choose the noisiest room in the house — or the one you want to be the quietest, like the bedroom — and lay down a few rugs.
Adding a density pad beneath your favorite rug will make the material even more efficient at blocking noise from neighboring residences or other rooms in your house. In addition to giving you a more cushioned tread, rug pads add another layer of noise protection and are easy to find in-store or online. Many people who complain about noisy neighbors have found that a dynamic density paid reduces noise levels and makes each room feel more cozy and private.
Build a bookcase
Combine your love of reading and interior design with your need for soundproofing by building or buying a bookcase. Turning an entire wall into a bookcase helps dampen the extra noise and enhances your living space. The bigger the wall unit, the more sound it will muffle, especially if you take care to eliminate air gaps and ensure the shelving fits firmly to the floor and adjoining walls.
Buy soundproof curtains
When you’ve had enough of noise from your neighbors and the street, you may want to invest in some soundproof curtains. These window dressings are positioned flat against the window or wall trim to absorb and deflect noise. Some easy-opening varieties even come with gliding tracks for the most efficient, attractive use.
Use window inserts
Window inserts could have a massive impact on your soundproofing if you’re looking for an option that doesn’t block light and views from your windows. These acrylic or clear glass panes are installed on top of your current windows, sealing them and cutting outside noise in half. If you tend to prop open your windows for fresh air, look for window inserts that pop out easily.
Hang acoustic panels
Installing acoustic panels is a time-honored solution for soundproofing. Available in a wide range of fabrics and board types, it’s easy to pick your preferred material and design. Though the most common rooms for these panels is music studios, they can keep outside noise out and interior noise in wherever they’re installed. Retractable options can minimize noise at entry points, such as your front door or bedroom door.