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Noisy neighbors are a common problem, particularly in apartments or duplexes where you share a wall with the residents next door. Whether you’re tied into a rental and can’t renovate or simply want a fast fix for your home, these solutions will help you dampen unwanted sound and create a quieter space.
Dampen Outdoor Noise With Drapes
Thick draperies can reduce the volume by as much as 10 decibels when hung around offending windows where you’re experiencing a lot of noise leakage from outside. That may not seem like a lot, but 10 decibels is actually the difference between the sound of a busy street and the hum of a washing machine. You may not block the noise out completely, but you should be able to turn it into a permissible background drone.
Image via Flickr by Renato Ganoza
Thicken Your Floors With Sound-Absorbing Rugs
Fibrous materials can absorb sound and dampen it, leaving less noise to travel through the air and to your ears. If you don’t have to carpet, those thin hardwood floors could let a lot of sounds through. Thicken your floors easily and attractively with heavy rugs. The thicker, the better. So lay down a foam pad first, then choose the plushest floor dressing you can find.
Hang Soundproofing “Art”
Foam, Styrofoam, and fabric are all effective at blocking noise. If the sounds from your neighbors are coming through the walls, choose some decorative wall hangings that’ll reduce the noise. Cover a piece of foam in a decorative fabric for an eye-catching DIY piece that’ll fit in with any environment. Stick a piece of Styrofoam in the back of an open canvas behind a beloved painting or canvas print to dampen noise coming through that wall. For a soft textured look, simply hang floor-to-ceiling curtains along the wall.
Rearrange Your Furniture
Heavy furniture pieces can absorb a great deal of noise, particularly when they’re full. A bookcase packed with books or dresser filled with clothing will dampen the noise effectively. If you’re suffering from a thumping bass behind the same wall you have your headboard on, rearranging your furniture could make a big difference in how you sleep at night.
Create Noise of Your Own
If the previous tactics aren’t dampening the noise as much as you’d like, it may be time to create some noise of your own. This doesn’t mean competing with your neighbors to see who can play the loudest drum set. Instead, fill your space with peaceful, soothing background noises to block out all the unwanted sound. White noise, like a gentle background whooshing, can block out other sounds and help you get a good night’s sleep. A peaceful album of ocean sounds or rain may work if these environments soothe you.
If your home isn’t the peaceful haven you’d like, you can drown out the sound of neighbors easily and effectively with these simple fixes. For a minimal amount of money and less than a weekend of free time, you can transform your home into a peaceful paradise.