Unfortunately a fact of modern living is that we are, all too often, affected by the noise of our neighbours, traffic and even the other people living in our home.
Modern houses are particularly prone to noise pollution as the walls are thinner than older properties and they are often packed in more tightly together within the street. We also have a lot more apartments or flats than ever before, which again means that we are literally living on top of one another.
However, you shouldn’t have to put up with high levels of noise pollution in your daily life. We all deserve to be in a place that is peaceful and where we can shut out the rest of the world when we want to.
How can we make our room quieter? Is it possible to make our rooms more soundproof?
You will be happy to know that there are a lot of things you can do to help reduce the noise in your living space. Some are simple and cost little to nothing to implement and others may require a bit of an investment.
It all depends on the level of noise you are suffering with, whether you want a long-term fixed solution or if you are just temporarily trying to patch up the problem. If you are renting, for example, you may not want to invest in soundproofing systems.
Identify the source of the noise
This may sound simple, but identifying the source and type of noise is important in understanding how to reduce it.
It may be that you are hearing footsteps from the room above you, or perhaps it is the neighbours TV. You may be disturbed by the humdrum of traffic that just seems to reverberate throughout your home.
Locating the source of the noise will help you to know where you need to place your soundproofing. Listen to where it is the loudest as this will be the area you need to cover. If it is more of a general sound vibration, then you will need to take steps to soundproof the whole room.
How does sound travel?
There are two types of sound, airborne and vibration. Airborne sounds are the noises you hear from people talking, the noise of car engines etc. Vibrational sounds come from the bass of music, footsteps, traffic vibrating on the roads and any banging noise.
Sound bounces off of hard surfaces at the same angle that it hits it. This means that wherever the sound is coming in from, you need to break that reflection point to stop it from travelling around the room. Sound is a vibration, the only way to reduce it is to reduce the area it can reverberate.
For example, if you have a neighbour who is playing their stereo on the other side of your wall, the sound is travelling through that wall and will keep going until it hits the wall on the other side. Unless you deaden that sound by placing something against the wall to stop it, or by interfering with the sound before it reaches the other wall causing the echo.
All sound energy builds up unless it is interrupted. While you won’t be able to completely soundproof your room, you can minimise the impact and reduce the noise significantly with a few simple steps.
5 easy ways to help reduce noise in your room:
- Rugs and soundproofing underlay
Rugs and carpeting will not help with airborne sounds such as traffic noise or talking, but they can help with the vibrational sounds. So if you have a child whose footsteps you can hear from downstairs, or you have a neighbour complaining that they can hear you, a rug or soundproof underlay can help.
Rugs/carpets and underlay will also help to soften the sounds generally vibrating around your room as they help to absorb those vibrations.
Acoustic underlay and high density mats are an effective way of reducing vibrational noise between floors.
- Add in soft furnishings
You may find that simply adding in some extra soft furnishings will help to reduce the way the sound travels around your room. Play around with your decor to see what works for you.
Hanging tapestries, canvass paintings and even wallpaper can help to reduce the sound vibration. Use soft throws, think about the placement of your sofa etc.
A bookcase strategically placed against a noisy wall can help to deaden the noise bleeding in from another room. It is always best to try and place heavier furnishings against the adjoining walls and the outside walls to help the interruption of the sound vibration.
You can also buy noise reducing curtains, but make sure that the windows themselves are properly sealed before investing. It may be that all you need to do is improve the gaps around the window.
Doors are often overlooked as a source of noise bleeding through. But the type of door you have will have an impact on the sound that can travel through it.
A lot of modern homes have hollow doors which allow sound to easily travel through them. A solid wooden door or a soundproof door will help prevent this immediately.
Make sure there are no gaps around or under the door by fitting weather stripping. You can also hang heavy blankets on the doors to help deaden sound as a temporary measure.
- Soundproof panelling
This one is a more involved solution, but there are many different types of soundproof panelling available. You can create a panel as part of your decor and have it fitted over your existing walls and doors.
Or you may want to integrate the acoustic panelling into the plasterboard, if you are building a new home for example.
Acoustic panels are available as fabric covered boards that you can hang on your walls to help to stop the noise from bouncing off them. They work by absorbing the sound vibrations.
- Ceiling panels
If you are the unfortunate person who has a noisy neighbour above you who won’t cover their wooden floors, then you may need to soundproof your ceiling to prevent that noise pollution.
Again there are different types of ceiling panels available. You can integrate the noise stop panels into your ceiling system, creating a new false ceiling. Or you can, as with the walls, lay acoustic panels over the top of your existing ceiling.
There are many designs of fabric to choose from to cover the wall and the ceiling panels with. You are not limited on colour or texture, so it is easy to find something that will work with your interior design.
For more ideas and help with your soundproofing solutions, why not contact one of our friendly team today.