How to Reduce Noise from Downstairs-8 Easy DIY Ways
I knew apartments have noise but sometimes the noise can be unbearable. Even though we all know we have to deal with some level of noise, sometimes the noise can be worse than we actually imagined!.
Most often than not, you imagine that the upstairs neighbors are going to be the ones given you problems. So it is surprising to you when you find the downstairs neighbors been the loudest.
All sorts of noise you have to deal with them. If it is not friends visiting them and talking so loud, or the heavy footsteps of them walking around the room, or them slamming the doors, then it is the TV volume which is very high.
You are now looking for a way on how to reduce noise from downstairs neighbors that are giving you sleepless nights.
Well, these neighbors couldn’t care less about how you feel. Whether you are sleeping well or not is not their problem. After all, they think they have the right to enjoy their apartment just as you do.
Well because its an apartment, You will need some non-invasive or no -permanent solutions to help reduce the noise from the neighbors.
Thanks to soundproofing methods that are available at your disposal these days. You can implement some of these techniques here to help you reduce the noise levels from the neighbors downstairs.
How to Deal With Noisy Downstairs Neighbors
1 . Place a Carpet on the Floor
Many landlords don’t want to invest too much money into their properties. They want to make money fast hence they use cheap products and don’t care about creating an ambient environment for their tenants.
If not you could ask the landlord to install carpets on both you and your neighbor’s floors. Thick floor carpets are good at insulating the floor especially hardwood, tiles or concrete floors.
That been said, if the noise is really a problem for you, I will recommend you get a thick floor carpet from your local store or online. For best results, get a carpet that will cover the entire floor even with a small part against the wall.
Don’t install it on the floor just place it nicely on your floor to avoid getting into trouble with your landlord. Why I am saying just place it on the floor is that that way when you are living the apartment you will simply roll it and take with you or give it to someone.
Installing it will require you to get permission from the landlord which he/she will most likely not give you.
2. Get a Floor Rug Pad
These floor rugs come in different sizes, colors, and shapes. They are even more beautiful than carpets. They are designed to be thick and provide some level of sound insulation to the floor they are placed on.
You can use them on top of your carpet. or if you are not a fan of carpets much you can place them instead of the carpets.
These rugs will help in combating echoes and provide superior Lock’s thick felt surface layer providing a dense barrier for sound dampening and insulation benefits.
I used this Floor Rug Pad in my bedroom when I was living in an apartment and it worked fine by reducing the impact noises. But I also placed other soundproof under it and the noise was drastically reduced.
3 . Install Puzzle Exercise Mats With Eva Foam Interlocking Tiles
Puzzle mats are mostly found in classrooms, the children’s place ground, gyms, garages, etc. These puzzle mats are durable, none- skid textured tiles that protect the floor and are comfortable to walk on.
The puzzles are lightweight pieces that you can easily connect together and easily disassemble if you want to take it off the floor for storage.
They are versatile in the sense that, its both water-resistant and noise-resistant and are easy to clean.
These puzzle mats come in different colors and sizes as well. So you choose what color and size you would want for your room floor. If you will like to get a puzzle mat, we got this puzzle exercise mat for our children’s playroom.
4. Place a Mass Loaded Vinyl Mat(MLV) under the Carpet
Vinyl mats are known for their effective sound dampening properties. To make your floor soundproofing more effective, don’t just use a carpet or a floor rug alone on the floor.
Reinforce your soundproofing efforts with a mass loaded vinyl mat. The way you do this is that you identify the exact part of the floor where the sound comes through the most.
Measure it and get a vinyl mat for the floor. These mats can be used to soundproof different areas of the room as well such as the walls, the ceiling, even windows, and doors.
Well, back to our floor, you place the Mass Loaded Vinyl Mat on the floor and place the carpet or the floor rug on top of it. This way, the vinyl mat will first absorb the incoming sound then the carpet or the rug.
By the time the echoes come out of the floor, they won’t be heard much. All these steps so far are non-invasion soundproofing methods that don’t require any landlord permission.
You are simply placing things on the floor without spoiling any floor wood or concrete. When your time is up you carry your soundproofing materials with you.
5 . Use a White Noise Machine
If you are looking for a quick way to block out all the other noises on the background in your room, then a white noise machine will be a good investment.
Because of the neighbors’ noise, if you are having a hard time sleeping, then this white noise machine will generate soothing sound of steady consistency to help you sleep.
This machine, however, is a quick fix for your noise problems. They just provide sound masking for you to sleep or relax.
For more options on white noise machines, here is an article on some of the best white noise generators for privacy in office and at home.
You need to embark on a DIY soundproofing project by implementing some of the techniques I mentioned here. Those will take care of the problem much better.
6. Soundproof Your Windows and Doors
Airborne noise coming from your downstairs neighbors can easily pass the openings in your windows and doors to get into your apartment.
Noises like people talking downstairs or the TV noise. These are some types of airborne noise. Since sound is like water, any opening it gets it will pass through. Your windows and door could be the biggest inlet and outlet of sound in your house.
To block these sounds, you need to seal the gaps and cracks in your windows and door. You can use a weatherstripping tape to seal all the gaps and cracks. This Weatherstripping door kit is an all in one kit for soundproofing your door.
It has a strong peel and stick backing adhesive but can also be removed without causing damage to the door. You can use it to seal all the gaps and cracks in the door.
It does a good job of not only expelling outside noise but also keeps away ants, dust and other bugs from entering the room. Use it as a door sweep as well for the gap between the door and floor. Which is the biggest gap in the door.
For the windows, you can you the same door weatherstripping kit to seal the gaps but I, however, prefer to use a transparent weatherstripping silicone window kit for my windows.
The windows can be further soundproof with a soundproof curtain or blind.
These curtains are sound deadening. They help in dispelling any noise that will be coming in through the windows. Not only do they sound block, but they also help in blocking out light from entering the room. Hence, they are also referred to as blackout curtains.
These sound deadening curtains can also be used for the door. You just have to get one that compliments your room decor and is long enough to cover your window from top to down and install it.
You hang them just like your normal curtains. They are not very effective on their own unless you implement some of the soundproofing techniques here and seal your windows gaps and cracks
Don’t expect that all your noise will all of a sudden disappear because you just hanged a soundproof curtain. They will only reduce the impact of the noise in the room.
Here are more detailed articles on soundproofing doors and windows.
How to soundproof a window in 12 ways
Obviously these soundproofing techniques I mentioned above are non-permanent and non-invasive in an apartment building. You can implement them if you like them in your room.
Well, there are other options that are beyond your control which I will discuss below. You can try them out as well if they work, that will be great but if not, you do what you have control over.
After soundproofing the windows and doors, if you think the sound is also getting in the room through the walls, here is my recent article on how to reduce noise through walls. I shared some tips and tricks to use to soundproof your walls too.
7. Tell Landlord to Insulate Downstairs Ceiling and Floor
You can bring the issue of noise up with your landlord and request if he/she will be willing to soundproof the ceiling and floor in the downstairs rooms.
they could place things like resilient channels or bass traps to reduce the sound from reaching your room so loud.
The landlord could also install carpeting on the floors which will reduce the foot stampings and other impact noises.
This idea I am doubtful your landlord might be willing to do the soundproofing. I am not sure but there is no harm in trying. Maybe if they do it, they could rent it out for a higher price.
8 . Offer to Buy Your Neighbors a Nice Floor Rug or Carpet
Maybe instead of asking your neighbors to buy carpets and use them on their floor. You could offer to buy a carpet or a nice floor rug to use on their floor.
Maybe if you ask them to carpet their floor, they might say they don’t have money but if you are the one offering them for free, it won’t be a problem.
This solution will involve been a good neighbor and having a good conversation with them.
I am sure if you let them know how their noise is affecting you upstairs and want to help with a solution in a nice way, they won’t reject the offer.
Are you upstairs neighbors also a pain in the ass?. Well here are some techniques to reduce noise from noisy upstairs neighbors.
Final Words on How to Reduce Noise from Downstairs Neighbors
To conclude, I haven’t seen an apartment building where there is no noise at all. Some level of noise is acceptable in apartments.
Just that if you notice the noise in your apartment is too loud than normal, you can do what is within your control.
By DIY soundproofing your apartment will reduce the level of noise you will be exposed to.
I know apartment buildings don’t allow you to do major renovations without permission, so that is why all the soundproof methods I mentioned above you can implement without seeking permission from the landlord.
If you decide to in any way alter any part of the room, you should seek permission first as you might lose your security deposit or get yourself into trouble.
But soundproofing techniques like putting carpet, floor rug, sealing door and window gaps, using mass loaded vinyl mat, or even the puzzle mat will not destroy the floor or any part of the room in any way.
Instead, you will be preventing scratches on the floor by protecting it with a mat or carpet.
Like I mentioned above concerning the white noise machine, it is a temporary fix because not all the time you will want to have it on. But if the neighbors are making noise you can’t control it.
If it will help to talk to the building supervisor or landlord, well you can talk to them to put measures to reduce the noise.
But I think the best solution is to soundproof your apartment even that way, if you have visitors or your TV or speakers are on, you won’t be worried about disturbing the upstairs or downstairs neighbors.
I hope you found these soundproofing techniques helpful and will apply them.
Let me know whether you have any questions or suggestions in the comment box. I will be glad to help in any way that I can.
Having a sound sleep is a fundamental human right! Don’t let others rob you off it.
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