There are many benefits to living in multifamily buildings, but peace and quiet is generally not one of them. It goes with the territory, because literally the only thing separating your home from another is walls, ceilings, and floors. 

If they aren’t made of concrete, you’ll probably be able to hear loud sounds from your neighbors, and your neighbors can hear your loud sounds, too! The solution then is to apply renter-friendly soundproofing techniques to isolate each unit from one another, acoustically.

The Catch-22 with multifamily buildings that could really benefit from soundproofing is that they are almost always rental properties, which almost always means you cannot make any structural changes as a tenant. Unfortunately, great soundproofing tends to involve structural changes, but that doesn’t mean excellent solutions don’t exist. 

PrivacyShield Soundproofing Composite Foam with Peel and Stick Adhesive Backing (PSA)

PrivacyShield® Soundproofing Composite Foam with Peel and Stick Adhesive Backing (PSA)

A recent customer called me asking about wall soundproofing, noting that his rental apartment thankfully had concrete floors and ceilings, but that the walls seemed to be paper thin. He had sonically boisterous neighbors, couldn’t make any structural changes to the walls, and wanted to see if there was anything he could do. We looked at some great soundproofing foam he was able to add to his walls that severely reduced the sound, a product that didn’t require invasive installation that he can easily remove without damage to the walls when he moves out.

The truth is, there are a host of great soundproofing solutions for rental apartments. In this article, we’ll take a quick look at how soundproofing works, and then discuss how we can apply that information to choose the right products for rental apartments where structural changes aren’t allowed.

What Is Soundproofing?

Soundproofing, also known as sound blocking, is how we utilize specific materials to take all of the energy from sound waves as they cross a barrier before they reach the other side. The better the soundproofing material, the more energy taken from the sound wave, which is another way of saying the more volume is reduced.

Some materials in daily life are pretty good at soundproofing; I mentioned above concrete being one of them.

Many multiple family buildings are built with concrete which helps greatly with soundproofing. Usually, concrete is used in these builds to separate the floors, meaning the ceiling and floors of your unit.

This is great for blocking sound from above and below, but many builders utilize traditional studs— wood or metal–and drywall for the apartment walls. Unlike concrete, drywall isn’t a fantastic soundproofing material, so loud and low, rumbly-like noises won’t have much trouble penetrating.

To effectively soundproof the walls we need to add renter-friendly soundproofing materials and employ techniques to block the sounds that make it through to achieve a sonically self-contained home. 

How Best To Soundproof A Rental Apartment with Renter-Friendly Soundproofing Materials

As mentioned, the hard part about soundproofing a rental apartment is you probably aren’t going to be able to do any invasive renovations as a tenant. The good news is, you don’t need to! 

It’s true that excellent soundproofing usually involves putting material in the ceilings and walls, but it is entirely possible to achieve a significant reduction in unwanted noise – both coming from outside your apartment and maintaining your own privacy by keeping your noise in—with non-invasive techniques. 

Let’s look at a few.

Windows And Doors

Acoustic Door Seal Kit Jamb Seal Installation

Acoustic Door Seal Kit Jamb Seal Installation

Let’s start with something easy and relatively quick.

Windows and doors are often sources of noise pollution because they aren’t as perfect of barriers as walls, ceilings, and floors, since they are literally meant to be gateways. 

The areas around doors, if improperly sealed, can be the perfect channel for noise to enter and exit. A great start to soundproofing your rental apartment would be to install our PrivacyShield® Soundproofing Door Seal Kit. The set includes jamb seals, a threshold seal, and an automatic door bottom to plug any holes that sound may be entering through, all without replacing the door. If you have the benefit of fairly soundproof walls, this may be all that you need to do to effectively soundproof! All of the noise of traffic in the hallway and your neighbors opening and closing their doors is now eliminated.

Depending on your rental apartment, assessing the windows may be another way to reduce noise. Often, windows are where the sounds of the outside world get in: traffic and city noises. Our PrivacyShield® Window Seal Kit is another excellent product you can add to existing windows to limit unwanted noise like sirens, barking dogs, and the rumble of heavy vehicles driving by.

Walls

PrivacyShield® Industrial Dual-Sided Absorptive Soundproofing Blanket

PrivacyShield® Industrial Dual-Sided Absorptive Soundproofing Blanket

When it comes to soundproofing walls in a rental apartment, you are likely going to be limited to only putting material on the wall, rather than renovating the wall and adding soundproofing material within. For this, we have a few options that would work great. PrivacyShield® Soundproofing Blankets are the easiest to install and are excellent at muffling any noise you might have coming through walls.

Another option is to utilize our AlphaSorb® Barrier Acoustic Panels, which have the added bonus of sound control abilities, which reduces reverb and echo in your rooms in order to make sounds cleaner. Note that if you want truly excellent soundproofing from these panels, you will need to cover the entire wall. Either the panels or the soundproofing blankets would be an excellent choice if you are wanting to specifically soundproof a room for a purpose, say a home office or a small podcasting studio.

Floors

You likely won’t have any issues with sound entering from the floor due to the way most multifamily buildings are constructed. If you do, or you’d like to reduce the impact noise of walking around, I would suggest looking for a great rug to use in the areas of concern. Carpet and rugs are great at absorbing footfalls and provide a pretty good barrier for noise, while also giving you a nice aesthetic boost.

Find The Best Renter-Friendly Soundproofing Products For Your Rental Apartment With Acoustical Solutions

It’s my job to find the ideal acoustical solution for your specific scenario, and I love to help! Just because you are living in a rental apartment doesn’t mean you can’t achieve excellent soundproofing. Give me a call today and we can discuss your unique situation and find the perfect soundproofing products to achieve your goals.


To learn more about how Acoustical Solutions can solve your noise control problems, use our contact form, call one of our Acoustical Sales Consultants at (800) 782-5742, or visit us on the web at acousticalsolutions.com.