How To Soundproof or Improve Sound in an Apartment
Apartment Acoustic Treatment
Apartments can be problematic spaces when it comes to acoustic issues. With neighbors commonly being separated by nothing more than thin, often uninsulated walls, sound tends to flow freely between units in an apartment complex. Blocking sound can be difficult in apartment complexes, as construction is typically required to install effective sound barriers.
If construction is an option, consider using Peacemaker® to limit the amount of sound entering or exiting a space. Peacemaker is a sound barrier composed of recycled tire rubber, and is designed to limit the amount of sound traveling through a structure. Peacemaker is available in two variants:
- Peacemaker Sound Barrier - Peacemaker Sound Barrier is designed to provide mass and density to a structure, limiting airborne sound. Peacemaker Sound Barrier is 3.2mm thick, and is designed to be installed behind a rigid substrate, such as drywall.
- Peacemaker Soundproofing Underlayment - at 6 mm thick, Peacemaker Soundproofing Underlayment is a much thicker, heavier product than our Peacemaker Sound Barrier. However, this doesn’t mean that it is better at blocking airborne sound. In fact, Peacemaker Soundproofing Underlayment is less dense than Peacemaker Sound Barrier, meaning it’s actually worse at blocking airborne sound. Instead, Peacemaker Soundproofing Underlayment is designed to be installed underneath flooring surfaces to limit footfall and vibration.
Proper insulation can limit sound transmission if a sound barrier isn't a possibility. For the best results, mineral wool or rock wool insulation should be used.
If construction isn’t an option in your space, isolé® can act as a portable version of Peacemaker. isolé is a sheet that measures 34.5” wide by 82”, and is designed to provide elements of both soundproofing and sound absorption. Each isolé includes a layer of our eco-C-tex® sound absorption material, offering an NRC (Noise Reduction Coefficient) rating of 0.75, along with a layer of Peacemaker Sound Barrier to provide mass and density. Each isolé features 3 metal grommets on one 34.5” side, allowing for quick and easy installation. The size and portability of isolé makes it a great solution for treating windows and doors. When treating a door, use isolé® with a Door Seal Kit for optimal results. Sound can travel anywhere air can travel and a door seal kit can seal gaps around a door to prevent sound from escaping.
Issues with Sound Quality
While sound transmission is the most common acoustic issue experienced in apartments, it’s not the only issue that may arise in an apartment setting. If you’re experiencing issues with sound quality, adding absorption to your apartment can help. As sound reflects off hard surfaces, it can cause a variety of acoustic issues. Adding soft, acoustically absorptive surfaces will help limit the amount of sound reflecting throughout your space. When it comes to sound absorption, there are a variety of options to choose from:
- Acoustic Panels - Acoustic Panels consist of our eco-C-tex sound absorption material wrapped in a fabric or image of your choosing. Acoustic Panels provide NRC ratings ranging up to 0.95, making them excellent options when looking to absorb sound within a space.
- Sound Absorption Sheets - Sound Absorption Sheets are the best option to consider if you are looking for portable sound absorption. Each Sound Absorption Sheet measures 95” x 54”, and includes three metal grommets on each 54” side. Sound Absorption Sheets provide an NRC rating of 0.85.