Living

Quiet please: Tips for a poorly insulated apartment

In a multi-family house, living noises cannot be avoided. After all, you live wall to wall with your neighbors. And if music boxes are set up right next to your bedroom in the neighboring apartment, it can get loud. First: You don’t have to put up with any noise. Second: Noise can be significantly dampened by clever furnishings. Here you will find everything you need to know about badly insulated apartments.

Person with music boxes being loud

What noise do you have to put up with?

Obviously, when the basses start humming in the middle of the night, that’s not okay. There are house rules, where you will also find rest periods, e.g. when loud music is forbidden. The best thing to do here is to go directly to the neighbor and ask them to be more quiet. If you are polite and bring up your concerns with a wink, your neighbor will certainly respect your wish.

However, if your neighbor doesn’t show any understanding at all, you can contact the landlord to solve the problem permanently. And if you are completely deprived of sleep by a disturbance of the peace at night, the police will also help.

You can’t do something about everything that happens at room volume at the permitted times. Room volume is the volume of normal living noises. Typical living noises are noises of daily life. If the neighbor’s child practices on the flute or if you hear the tenant’s toilet above you, you have to accept this. Even if children cry and shout at night – this is part of the normal development of a child and must be tolerated. You can, however, do some things in your own home to dampen the noises.

Badly insulated apartment – what to do?

There are a few relatively simple ways of soundproofing your home yourself. A rule of thumb is that particularly bright and smooth surfaces reflect sound well. You should therefore concentrate on these surfaces. However, you must ask your landlord for permission before carrying out any major construction work.

Sound insulation of floors

Carpet: Often a normal carpet helps to reduce the noise of your neighbors from below. You don’t have to contact your landlord for that. But be careful not to damage the underlying laminated flooring or tiles with carpet glue. Sometimes you don’t even need carpet glue and it works wonderfully without it. You can also get some smaller carpets that are as thick as possible. This can also help a little.

Footfall sound plates: You can also lay footfall sound plates or insulating mats under your carpet. These are available at the DIY store. There you can also get detailed advice regarding the installation. Ask your previous tenant whether insulation felts were laid under the floor or liquid screed was poured. Depending on this, you can then take further measures.

Acoustic insulation of walls

Acoustic plaster: Yes, acoustic plaster exists. This plaster promises a sound reduction of about five percent. Acoustic plaster is therefore particularly suitable if the noise isn’t that bad.

Noise protection curtains and pleated blinds: Noise protection curtains, also known as acoustic curtains, are sound-absorbing and sound-insulating curtains. They are particularly suitable if your bedroom is facing out onto a street. But also neighbors’ noises get caught in them wonderfully. Even pleated blinds help to reduce noise. The more wrinkles they have, the better.

Wallpaper: If you have planned to wallpaper anyway, go to the next wallpaper store. Again, there are special wallpapers that are provided with sound insulation. And they even save valuable energy, especially in apartments in old buildings.

Textile covering: When we say textile covering, we don’t mean that you should hang bed sheets on the living room wall. Nor do you have to cover your entire wall with fabric. Instead, you can get a wooden frame, cover it with a fabric of your choice and hang it on the wall instead of a picture. Looks good, doesn’t it?

Moving furniture: You can also do a lot to reduce noise in your home furnishings. Is your neighbor’s children’s room next to your living room? Then why not place your large, full bookcase exactly there? Your wardrobe in the bedroom can also be moved to the loudest position. To break the sound in the room, you can also place room dividers or small pieces of furniture in the apartment. This breaks the sound, deflects it and distributes it throughout the room.

Sound insulation panels: It makes sense to install sound insulation panels if, for example, you want to play a musical instrument more often or sing professionally. They are made of different materials, such as foam, and can be easily attached to the wall. The problem is that they are not suitable for hanging shelves or other wall furniture on them. However, to make them look pretty, you can cover them with acoustic fabric.

Plasterboards: This is certainly the most time-consuming and most intensive measure to reduce the sound in an apartment. You should rather leave it to an expert. In principle, an additional wall is placed in front of the already existing wall with the drywall panels. This works by fixing wooden strips about three to five centimeters thick at regular intervals. The plasterboards are screwed onto the wooden slats. The resulting cavity is filled with insulating material such as glass wool. The wall should not touch the surrounding walls, the floor or the ceiling. Silicone joints are then applied to avoid the transmission of vibration.

The same can be done with the ceiling. If your neighbors above you are too loud, simply lower the ceiling in the same way. As mentioned before, if you are not sure, it is better to call a professional for help. Also remember that this measure will reduce your living space slightly. You should discuss such structural changes with your landlord.

The key to sound insulation: be considerate

Your neighbors also like their peace and quiet. You yourself should therefore also adhere to the room volume specifications. If you would like to celebrate a small party, inform your neighbors and maybe invite them. And if someone knocks at your door after 10 p.m. and asks for peace and quiet, you too should abide by the rules. Then nothing stands in the way of a quiet life together.