How to Soundproof An Apartment Ceiling-No Construction
If you are looking for how to soundproof an apartment ceiling, chances are your ceiling is someone else floor. Unless you are living on the topmost floor of your apartment.
Living in an apartment comes with its Pros and Cons. Noise is one of the cons that come with living in an apartment. There are people from all walks of life that live in a building. You might find some people are not that considerate when it comes to noise making.
Even though there are rules and regulations in every building, things like heavy footsteps, stomping, kids running around, or other forms of noise are not easy to control with just rules.
If you are hearing your upstairs neighbors making a lot of noise a lot of times, then it is time to look for ceiling soundproofing solutions to have some peace.
But before we look at some soundproofing techniques, let us get to know the types of noise that you can hear from your ceiling.
Types of Noise
There are two main types of noise you can hear from your ceiling. These include impact also known as structural and airborne noise. Examples of such noise include; footstep stomping, dropping dishes, a running washing machine, and any object that can make impact sound.
Impact noise is created when an object makes a direct impact on the floor. This creates vibrational energy to travel along the structural pathway.
This type of noise is transmitted via the air. The sound waves travel by air and it can fill any space. That is why it can be a bit difficult to control airborne noise. Examples of such noise include; music, car horns, loud conversations, television sets, crying, and among others.
How to Soundproof An apartment Ceiling
Whether you are soundproofing ceiling footsteps, soundproofing ceiling impact noise, or soundproofing ceiling music noise, these soundproof techniques here will help you to reduce the noise levels in your apartment that is coming through the ceiling.
1. Use Acoustic Panels
These types of soundproof panels. If you are willing to invest a little bit of money to get soundproof acoustic fiberglass panels like these ATS Acoustic panels, you will be able to dampen impact sound and airborne sound.
They look simple yet have great sound absorption. These acoustic panels have a noise reduction coefficient of 1.0 which is the highest of the NRC scale.
The panels are covered with attractively textured fabric, so your ceiling won’t be covered with some ugly panels that you cant deal with.
These are great for walls and ceilings alike. ATS Acoustic panels can muffle some of those impact sounds and absorb the echoes and reverberations on the ceiling surface.
With these soundproof panels, you don’t have to cover the entire ceiling, isolate where the noise hotspots are, and place them there.
To install, you can use industrial glue or 3M general purpose adhesive spray to spray the surface and stick them to the ceiling. These are great ceiling soundproofing panels.
2. Soundproof Foam Panels
The soundproof foam panels are probably the cheapest of all the different types of soundproof panels. They are affordable and most of the time come with self-adhesive.
These foam panels sometimes look like egg crates. Some are good for home walls, others are great for recording purposes in the studio and finally, there are foam panels excellent for the ceiling.
3. Seal Gaps and Cracks with Green Glue
Gaps and cracks are not usually found on ceilings. However, you might find in some apartments, cables may pass through the ceiling to link to the next floor. This is especially so in the older apartments. Whereby a lot of time wasn’t put into designing them.
Those holes and cracks are places sound can pass through into your ceiling to make the noise louder than usual.
To take care of them, you need a sound dampening compound like green glue to take care of them. Green glue is one of the popular soundproofing compounds. Other brands can equally serve the purpose. But I found green glue to work best.
4. Add Extra Mass with Mass Loaded Vinyl Mat
5. Paint the Ceiling with Soundproof Paint
Soundproof paint is much thicker than standard wall paints, this is because it is a very heavy-bodied water-based paint which gets its density from a combination of ceramic microspheres and sound-absorbing fillers.
The sound-absorbing fillers consist of thermals, these are tiny vacuum sealed cells filled with soft pigment.
6. Soundproof the Floor Above You With a Floor rug Pad or Carpet
The best way to block noise is to tackle it from the source. The neighbors above you are the source of the noise.
If you could find a way to deal with it from the source, then the noise on your ceiling will be reduced. I am assuming you don’t have access to the upstairs floors. If you do, I suggest you fill and rearrange the room upstairs. Rearranging the room can change its acoustics.
You can get a floor mat that will cover the hard surface of the floor. This way, when sound is made, some of it will be absorbed by the carpeting and the furniture in the room. Therefore, it won’t leak through the floor into your ceiling downstairs.
The other scenario will be assuming you don’t have access to the room upstairs. You can offer to buy your neighbor a rug pad to cover their floor politely. This will only work if approached correctly because your neighbor owes you nothing.
I found these rug pads by Rugpadusa to be beautiful and have thick pads that will cover any type of floor adequately to sounds from bouncing and also absorb impact noise like footsteps.
On How to Soundproof An Apartment Ceiling
Soundproofing apartment ceiling can be a tricky one sometimes. This because most people that live in apartments don’t own them. Therefore, rules and regulations are governing your stay there.
Any soundproofing method shouldn’t go against that. However, the soundproofing ceiling tips I shared above are non-invasion and do no permanent change to the ceiling.
You can always remove such materials or cover them up when you are leaving the apartment and need to handover the plate the way it was.
to get effective soundproofing results, I recommend you combine two or more of the methods here. You must remember the more mass you have the better.
But I will also advise that when placing anything on the ceiling it should be held securely in place. This will avoid materials accidentally falling on you.