How to Deal with Noisy Upstairs Neighbors in 8 Ways
You are hearing upstairs neighbors loud footsteps stomping everywhere, then the other day it was the weekend party they had and you are now wondering how to deal with noisy upstairs neighbors.
The questions you ask yourself are – do these neighbors wonder how you feel downstairs and they don’t actually care at all?.
You are not alone. I have been through it before. It is a known fact that apartments are noisy living places. This is because sometimes where you call your roof is actually someone’s floor and where you call your floor is probably someone’s ceiling too.
In a human dwelling like that, people are bound to disturb each other in one way or the other. Sometimes the environment can be so noisy even sleep tends to become a luxury.
Fortunately, there are ways to control the level of noise you are exposed to these days. With the emergence of soundproof materials, you can reduce the noise you are hearing drastically.
Noise Upstairs Neighbors Solutions
1 . Have an Amicable Conversation with the Upstairs Neighbors
Sometimes what it takes is to let your neighbor know how their noise is affecting you downstairs. To do this, you will have to find the right timing and have the right conversation with them.
First of all, you have to be able to deal with some level of noise when you live in an apartment. You have to keep in mind that just as you have the right to enjoy your rented space, your neighbors do as well.
Depending on what type of floors are in the building, especially if the floors are wooden, every small noise is going to appear magnified.
Looking for how to approach your neighbors on this matter, you can have a look at the lease. Some apartments and condos have a provision in their lease requiring that the residents take steps to keep their noise levels down.
Where I lived, we had such and once in a while, they send notifications in the form of letters alerting residents of the noise again. If one violates it the second third time they are asked to live the apartment.
If there are provisions like that in yours, take note of that.
Approach your neighbor at the right time preferable in the morning or after dinner. Don’t go to them when you are angry or in the middle of their party.
Your neighbor might not be happy and it can lead to friction between you two. Which is not good when you are supposed to be living in peace especially with your neighbors.
When you approach them, you can talk to them about how the noise is affecting you and kindly ask if the couple helps in blocking it out or reduce the level of noise.
If there is a provision like that in the lease, your approach will let the noisy upstairs neighbors take some steps to reduce the noise for you.
If you have spoken to them and yet the noise continues, then you can tell the landlord about it.
This approach will cost you nothing and there isn’t a guarantee that your neighbor will stop the noise. That is why my next step is to share with you some of the tricks and techniques I used on my part to soundproof my apartment against noisy neighbors.
NB: Read your lease to know how many modifications you can make to your apartment as some buildings have strict rules. However, some of the techniques don’t involve making many changes to the apartment.
Some just involve placing a material somewhere when you are leaving you remove your thing and go thus all.
How to Drown Out Noise from Upstairs Neighbors
2 . Put soundproof Blanket on the Ceiling
Soundproof blankets are good at absorbing sounds. So if you are hearing vibrations on the ceiling and want to reduce the sound level, then get some blankets and place them on the ceiling.
Don’t just use the home blankets that you use in bed, these won’t do much. But there are sound deadening blankets that are specifically made to dampen sound.
To place the soundproof blankets up, you will need something to hold it up there. You can use green glue to hold it or any adhesive to hold it firm on the sealing.
3. Soundproofing foam Panels
Acoustic foam is a lightweight material made from polyurethane foam either polyether or polyester and also extruded melamine foam. It is usually cut into tiles – often with pyramid or wedge shapes – which are suited to placing on the walls, ceilings, doors or windows.
Acoustic foam panels are known to be effective in soundproofing noise. these foam panels come in varying sizes and colors and shapes.
Depending on the part of the room you want to use these foams on you get the size and shape for it. The way these acoustic foam wedges work is that they absorb the sound waves’ energy and then convert it to heat energy.
So the about of sound you will hear thereafter is little to none. They control noise levels, vibrations, and echoes.
4 . Add Extra Drywall to the Ceiling
The thicker the ceiling is, the fewer vibrations you will hear. If you are comfortable adding drywall to the existing ceiling, then you will reduce the noise level.
Drywall is known to reduce the noise level to about 80%. To do this, you will need to get some drywall from the local store or get some online.
To attach the drywall to the ceiling, you can use green glue which is also another sound reducing compound. You first need to apply the green glue to the ceiling and after that add the drywall on top of that.
This way, the green glue and the drywall which are both soundproofing materials, will work to reduce those neighbor noises.
5. Paint the Ceiling with Soundproof Paint
Ever heard of soundproof paint?. Well, I haven’t tried it personally, but my friend did get some the last time for here ceiling and said it worked fine for her.
Drywall isn’t the best aesthetic appealing material for your room, but there are several solutions to this problem as well.
Those solutions won’t just fix the appearance of your room but help you reduce the sound even more.
The soundproof paint will work in giving the ceiling a good visual appeal and also soundproof it. My friend said she used this Acousti Coat – Sound Deadening Paint on Amazon.
It is a heavy-bodied, water-based flat latex paint formulated with ceramic microspheres and absorbing filers.
It is said the combination of high loading of ThermaCels with their vacuum centers reduces sound transmission; the soft pigment fillers absorb sound and prevent it from bouncing off the surface
This sound deadening paint is for use on interior surfaces such as primed drywall, ceilings, walls, plaster, metal, and wood.
6. Place some Ceiling Tiles on the Ceiling
Instead of adding may extra drywall on the ceiling, you might want something more beautiful instead. If you want a much denser ceiling you can choose to install the drywall and place the ceiling tiles on top. Remember the denser your ceiling the better it will be at soundproofing.
These ceiling tiles come in different designs, colors, sizes, and prices. They are compatible with these Surfaces- Drywall, Plaster, Concrete, Plywood, lime, lime-cement, chipboard, aerated concrete, masonry, silicates, and popcorned or textured ceiling finishes. I used these Styrofoam Ceiling Tiles and they were great.
Putting ceiling tiles take time and proper planning. So whether you are a seasoned DIYer or you are just starting, make sure you plan the installation properly to get nice looking ceiling.
The ceiling surface the installation is going on should be cleaned of any dust, grease, wax, or any other dirt that may be present.
If the surface displays any cracking or other defects, these defects should be corrected with filler prior to proceeding with the tile installation – cracking or flaking paint should also be removed.
You will need an Instant Grab Adhesive to stick the tiles to the ceiling.
7. Drop the Ceiling
Apart from installing ceiling tiles, the other option you can explore is to drop the ceiling of the room. With this option, you have to ensure that in your apartment you can actually do that.
Some complexes have strict rules and regulations which doesn’t allow you to alter any part of the building. So if you are sure it is possible to drop the ceiling in your apartment. You might want to try it out.
Drop ceilings help in acoustic insulation and in heat protection. Drop or suspended ceilings widely appreciated because not only do they provide insulation but also help in masking the old ceiling.
And for high ceilings, this is a good solution that can also help you mount some lighting that will create spectacular interior decorations.
To install a suspended ceiling, good planning has to take place.
The implementation of a suspended ceiling requires a lot of work and precision. Any mistake can make it look unattractive. A poorly installed suspended ceiling can pose a threat to household members.
It is also necessary to make precise measurements as well as mark the possible places on the boards to cut the holes. a simple procedure is below.
- Plan the whole thing
- Installation of the wall profiles and screwing the hangers under supporting profiles
- Placing of the supporting profiles, filling the ceiling
- Fastening gypsum boards
- Ceiling Finish
8 . Soundproofing Neighbors Floor
Looking for ways on how to deal with noisy upstairs neighbors is not easy. The other way of solving this problem is by telling the neighbor to put some carpeting on their floor.
This isn’t an easy one because if you are not free with the neighbor it might be difficult to say it. Not only that but you don’t know the pocket and budget of the person.
It would have been probably easier if he or she asks you to give one to them.
Either way, depending on the noise type that you wish to prevent, but on some levels, this method can be effective.
Try to talk to your neighbors. If they don’t have, ask them to put some thick carpet on their floor. That will drastically decrease those unpleasant footsteps and help you sleep better at night.
Not only that you will benefit but your neighbors as well. Carpet can decrease the echo sound as well. It will reduce the noise both for you and for your neighbors. Check out my recent article on the soundproofing floor for more details.
Something you simply just need to soundproof the whole room. See how to soundproof a finished room here.
Final Words on How to Deal with Noisy Upstairs Neighbors
Apartment life can be very enjoyable because you get to meet different people and possibly create some great friendships which you will cherish even after you have left the apartment.
But it can also be one of the residents that can be pretty annoying and sometimes dealing with neighbors noise is one of those.
Fortunately, there are many ways to deal with neighbors’ upstairs noise. If you are willing to take on some house projects, I am pretty much sure you can implement two to three of these techniques, you will reduce the noise.
Just that you have to be willing to invest some money and time into it. Some of these techniques are kind of cheaper than other techniques. Others too will require more than and extra more planning.
Depending on which ceiling soundproofing method you choose, just ensure that it doesn’t damage the ceiling. Because it might cause you to lose your security deposit if you are renting.
All of these soundproof ceiling methods can easily be done in most flats. However, the suspended ceiling might be the tricky one. Depending on the building rules, some residencies might not allow especially the sky rising buildings.
Pick the techniques above that you feel if you implement will be effective and won’t land you in trouble. You might need a helping hand too. Maybe a friend will be able to help you with it if you ask them.
Hopefully, this article made your sleepless nights a bit better and helped you reduce the noise from the upstairs.
But if it didn’t, maybe your last chance is to take revenge by learning how to take advantage of various devices to annoy neighbors.