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Neighbors yammering upstairs, budding guitarists, and crying children can contribute to distracting living quarters. A quieter environment can lead to more rest. Depending on one’s hobbies, soundproofing an apartment makes sense if a resident plays loud music or uses noisy equipment. A soundproof environment can lead to higher recording qualities and less disturbance, for people who want to record podcasts or musical instruments at home. Take a look at these four ways to decrease sound traveling in and out of an apartment.

1. Layouts and Placement

Examine the wall materials around the apartment. Some walls will be thinner than others. Make note of areas in the apartment where sound seems to carry. Vents connecting kitchens, plaster walls, and shared balconies may be the sources of most noise. Windows are easy portals for sound to escape. These will need to be blocked off in some way later. Should one room or an entire apartment be soundproofed? Blocking off the gaps between doors and the floor will help create a quieter space.

2. Clear a space

Soundproofing an apartment will usually require the use of materials on walls, windows, and doorframes. Remove fixtures from walls, like picture frames and decorations. Hard surfaces tend to reflect or carry sound, so watch out for hard, metallic surfaces that may enhance noise. For musicians preparing rooms, focus on soundproofing the room that instruments will be played in. Move potted plants, wind chimes, and other window decor, as windows will need to be closed to fully soundproof an area.

3. Absorbent materials

Attaching foam or other absorbent materials, like carpet, can soundproof thin walls. Keep in mind, carpet will not be as effective as professional soundproofing materials (like fiberglass and foam), but carpet can help absorb and block sound from passing barriers. Insulation, cork, heavy drapes, and boxes covered with absorbent materials can also seal in noise.

4. Sealing out noise

Various types of tape can be used around windowpanes and doorframes to block cracks between rooms. Door sweeps from a hardware store can block the passage of sound between closed doors. If possible, find doors that are constructed out of heavier materials that block the passage of sound. When sealing off openings, make sure to never cover smoke detectors or exits. Soundproofing should not happen at the cost of one’s safety. Avoid sealing vents around the kitchen, since these are necessary to filter smoke and food smells away while cooking.

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