A common issue that people living in a lower level apartment rental experience is noisy upstairs neighbors. You may have a neighbor who stomps around the apartment or one that likes to play loud music at all hours of the night. Regardless of the type of noise you are dealing with, there are ways to help reduce noise from tenants living above your apartment. Here are some tips.
Pinpoint Where the Noise Is Coming From
Before you do anything to help reduce the noise, you might start by figuring out where the majority of the noise is coming from. If the noise seems to affect a certain area of your apartment, focus on soundproofing that room before you tackle changes in the entire space.
Figure Out What Type of Noise It Is
Noise from an upstairs apartment will be annoying regardless of its nature, but identifying what type of noise is bothering you can help you determine the most effective way to reduce it.
There are two types of noise: airborne and impact. Airborne noise is carried through the atmosphere and typically includes voices or music. Impact noise is the result of a physical impact on the building, such as footsteps, dropped objects, or movement on the floor. By figuring out the type of noise that’s affecting your apartment, you can choose the technique that will help reduce it the best.
Remember That Noise Is a Reality in an Apartment
Before you set off on a mission to soundproof your apartment, remember that living in an apartment rental exposes you to a greater amount of noise simply due to the nature of the building. You may have people living above you, behind you, beside you, and below you, and you will hear noise from those people more likely than not. Try to have realistic expectations as you try different techniques to block out noise.
You must also keep in mind that living in an apartment will also limit what you can do. You will not be able to make any structural or physical changes to the apartment, but here are a few effective ways to help you drown out noise from upstairs apartment neighbors.
1. Be Strategic with Furniture Placement
If you have figured out the source of the noise or the area of your apartment most affected by it, you can rearrange furniture to help absorb or block out some of the sound that is coming through. For example, you might place a tall bookshelf under the area where the most sound comes through. The bookcase itself, along with any books or decorations on its shelves, will help to minimize the sound. Make sure that you do not place decorative pieces that will create more noise from vibration.
2. Use Upholstery to Your Advantage
Softer surfaces will absorb sound better than hard surfaces, so try to add more upholstered pieces into the décor scheme of your apartment. You might have a fluffy couch with extra throw pillows in the living room, or perhaps you switch out your hard-wooden headboard for an upholstered one. Adding pillows to your bed, cushions on your dining chairs or area rugs on the ground are other ways to help absorb sound from noisy neighbors.
3. Try Tapestries for Your Wall Art
Rather than hanging up framed artwork, try to find tapestries that will fit your design style. Tapestries can be a beautiful decorative accent and effective in reducing noise.
4. Add Some Soft Décor to the Bathroom
By design, a bathroom will have more hard surfaces where sound can bounce and reverberate. To help offset this, consider adding soft rugs or extra towels that will reduce noise.
5. Talk to Your Neighbors
If you’ve already tried everything you can to deal with noisy neighbors from inside your apartment, it might be time to try something outside. Take the time to go upstairs, calmly knock on your neighbor’s door and respectfully talk to them about the noise coming from their apartment. Do your best to remain polite and direct during the conversation so that you don’t create a bigger problem.
6. Contact Your Property Manager
Contact your property manager and explain the problem. They might have a more effective solution for you to try.