Soundproofing a Room: How to Reduce City Noise in Your Home

In a busy city like Philadelphia, the vitality of urban life can interfere with the quiet enjoyment of your living space. If noisy neighbors or loud street noises filter into your new home or apartment, soundproofing a room can be a sanity saver.

In a busy city like Philadelphia, the vitality of urban life can interfere with the quiet enjoyment of your living space. If noisy neighbors or loud street noises filter into your new home or apartment, soundproofing a room can be a sanity saver. Here a few suggestions to help you block excess noise.

Add Textiles to Mute Sounds

The easiest and cheapest way to mute sounds from outside or other apartments in your building is to add heavy fabrics to your living space. Heavyweight material like velvet curtains or product made exclusively for sound dampening work best. Light-blocking curtains available at Bed Bath & Beyond contain extra layers of fabric that also work to reduce noise. To cover a shared wall, specially made fabric acoustic tiles or even canvas prints can add to your decor while serving to reduce noise.

Flooring Options

Certain flooring options work better than others when soundproofing a room. For an easy solution, place area rugs over hardwood flooring to dull some of the noise rising from apartments below. If you’re looking to add new flooring, cork flooring is well known for its sound-absorbing properties. Carpeting absorbs noise as well as providing cushion and added heat retention in the cold winter months.

Some Not-So-Simple Solutions to Consider

If you work from home or sleep during the day due to a second- or third-shift job, soundproofing a room may be more of a necessity than a personal preference. The best noise reduction solutions may require a greater monetary investment, but with some additional home improvements you can block a large percentage of noise creeping in to your home. Window soundproofing can be completed through the use of acoustic seals. Products like the Climate Seal Acoustic Series window inserts claim to reduce noise by 80 percent. Installing a second drop ceiling using acoustical tiles is another solution. The hollow space between the two ceilings works to kill sound vibrations emanating down from higher floors, while acoustical tiles provide additional noise reduction. Although the drop ceiling tiles are often used for basements or in commercial settings, they can provide a significant sound barrier in apartments as well.

Everyone’s tolerance level for noise varies and solutions are available from simple to complex. If you’re searching for a home or apartment in Philadelphia and have concerns about the surrounding noise level, keep in mind that many products are available to assist with soundproofing.

Jennifer DiGiovanni is a freelance writer and a partner in a real estate investment firm focusing on residential properties. She previously worked in the financial services industry and has earned an MBA from Villanova University. Jennifer enjoys writing about real estate, home improvement and small business.

3 Comments

  1. Margareta Sevnsson
    April 6, 2015

    Nice article!!To enhance the sound quality soundproofing is necessary.In this case väggabsorbenter,helps you in reducing problem of echo and gives you good results.

    Reply
  2. jresquival
    March 8, 2017

    That’s a good tip to add heavy fabrics to your room. Soft materials are really good at absorbing sound. I’m getting heavy drapes and considering sound proof windows to deal with city noise in my apartment.

    Reply
    • Victoria Keichinger
      March 9, 2017

      Great tip!

      Reply

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