How To Reduce Noise From Upstairs Floors
A question which looms in the minds of most apartment dwellers today is how to reduce noise from upstairs floors.
There’s no denying life in a city is tough. Fast life and dealing with the constant demands of life wears us out. And that’s perhaps why we need a quite surrounding back home where we can relax.
Often in a residential building, this is a privilege not meant for all. With people of different backgrounds, professions, and personalities occupying the same building, the building in itself is a cultural pot, brewing in both chaos and harmony.
For some people, this healthy ecosystem gets upset with the menacing presence of a noisy and inconsiderate neighbor occupying the floor upstairs.
Noisy and loud neighbors are a major epidemic in today’s society, plaguing a large number of houses. Having egregious personalities, leading busy lives and nurturing complicated relationships, these neighbors have a tendency of taking out all of their frustrations and worries out into the world in the form of yelling, loud music or partying, without considering the consequences of those actions for the poor fellow downstairs.
As a neighbor you might be quite patient and understanding, confronting them a number of times and explaining your plight to their deaf ears. There comes a point when all your limits are tested and you feel enough is enough. This is when you must decide to take preventive action and get done with it once and for all.
A Look at How to Reduce Noise from Upstairs Floors:
If you want to drown out the deafening noise from upstairs, you should know that there is no universal solution available. Yet, don't be disheartened as there are various approaches to sound insulation which, when carefully investigated, reveal great techniques that produce results.
You can consider all of these techniques to decide upon the ones which best fit your situation.
Maybe insulating your cozy living room completely from the upstairs noise will cost a lot and need more time and energy, but you can always choose to go the extra mile to ensure upstairs noises are a thing of the past.
Below are a few invaluable tips on how to reduce noise from upstairs floors:
Discover the source of noise:
This is the first and foremost step to be kept in mind before taking any further decisions. It is essential to find out the source of the noise, before splurging on any materials for construction work. Different buildings have different designs and depending on the circumstances you’re in, you may or may not have to insulate your ceiling area.
If you have achieved this extraordinary task of locating the specific area from where the sound is originating, then that is your area of focus.
However, sometimes the structure of a building makes it impossible to determine the source of the noise, as it may be transmitted from different channels before reaching your apartment. In that case, you might have to resort to full wall insulation across the house to reduce the noise.
Understand the type of noise you are dealing with
There are different types of noises that have different characteristics and implications. Though they are equally disturbing and annoying, these noises are often distinguishable if you pay enough attention.
Figuring out the type of noise assists you in your decision to have a soundproof apartment and helps you make the correct construction choices. Keep in mind that we are dealing with both types of residential noise:
If the sound is reverberating off the building structure, then it is the most probable structure-borne noise, also known as impact noise. This is the sound when someone or something physically applies force on the building mass, mostly floor, which leads to the sound vibrating across the whole building, especially the house just below.
The vibration reaches your ears in the form of a loud thump or thud, most probably when someone is dancing, jumping, moving furniture or dropping something heavy.
The resulting echo can be eliminated by a number of easily available sound-absorbing materials.
Another type is the airborne noise, which travels through the air and can be heard loud and clear. Loud music, argument, speech or music result in this noise.
Protection against these noises can be done in the form of a combination of sound-proofing and sound-absorbing techniques. Whereas soundproofing obstructs the passage of sound waves, sound absorption uses materials that reduce echoes and reverberations.
Maximize the ceiling density:
A surface’s resistivity to a sound greatly depends on its density. Keeping in mind the importance of both density as well as structure, try to construct an additional thick layer under the ceiling with good sound-proofing materials.
One of the most widely used and preferred materials for wall and ceiling soundproofing is Drywall. Known for its soundproofing qualities, a layer of drywall can block the passage of any sound waves. For complete absorption, the drywall layer must be densely coated under the ceiling.
For best results, set up two to three layers of drywall, while covering the entire length of the ceiling of the room you are trying to soundproof.
It is also important to know what to use to glue the sheets of drywall together. There are a number of such glues in the market which serves the purpose. You can also choose from a wide array of sound-insulating compounds, as well as caulks and sealants.
It must be noted that the layer of drywall applied is airtight and must effectively reduce the upstairs noise. To that end, you can use a noise-proof sealant.
An added benefit of this technique is you don’t require any help or assistance from your neighbors and anybody else.
Drywall is not the most pleasing to look at and hence certain modifications can be done on it in the form of sound-dampening latex paint and soundproof foaming panels.
Build Up Drop Ceiling:
Another effective way of soundproofing your home is to construct a drop ceiling, which hangs under the actual ceiling. It is scientifically designed to create a space between the actual and drop ceiling, referred to as the plenum area. This space has is filled with air which exists under higher pressure than the atmospheric pressure outside. This layer of highly-pressured air acts as a natural insulator.
The plenum area employs an innovative method to cut out any upstairs noise. In case any noise manages to get across into this area, it stops the noise in its course and traps it.
You can also protect the ceiling by using appropriate acoustic tiles and panels, which not only give a sleek appearance to your ceiling but are also effective for soundproofing.
It is not always necessary to opt for a drop ceiling, especially if the regular ceiling and drywall coating does the work well. That said, if the existing noise reaches a consistent and extreme level, a drop ceiling can certainly come to the rescue.
Alter the floor above the ceiling:
It is an obvious fact that if the upstairs floor is occupied by your neighbors, there is almost no chance of soundproofing their floor.
It is a more complicated process and depends on a lot of external factors, which are not under your control.
However, you must opt for this even if there is a slight possibility because of the following reasons:
- The simplest soundproofing strategy is carpeting the floors. You can find a plethora of rugs and carpets in the market which is perfect for reducing noise.
- You can also hire a professional company to insulate the space between the upstairs floor and your ceiling, after taking due permissions from your landlord.
- Installing acoustic underlayment is another simple, time-saving and cost-effective method that can be adopted.
Insulation the underside of the floor above:
This is a very challenging and yet highly effective technique of canceling noise from upstairs. It requires removing the ceiling altogether to make sure the underside of the floor above you is properly insulated.
This may involve heavy construction work and require time and manpower, but there are many budget-friendly solutions available which you can make use of.
Once the ceiling is successfully removed, resilient channels are fitted to the underside of the floor upstairs. These metal channels create air pockets in the structure which reduces the impact of noise by a considerable amount.
After installation, fix the standard gypsum walls back to the panel and enjoy a noise-free atmosphere.
On a final note, these soundproofing methods have been tried and tested, guaranteeing you a peaceful and relaxing home.
Excessive noise disrupts our daily life, causing a mental disturbance, headaches, lack of concentration and productivity and sleep deprivation.
Everyone has a right to a peaceful living condition.
Be sure to know that soundproofing will also be in the best interests of everyone around you and hence, you might get help and cooperation from your neighbors as well