Soundproofing Tips for Apartment Renters

Person playing guitar in apartment with sound dampening features

Soundproofing Tips for Apartment Renters

If you’ve been searching for ways of making your apartment quieter, the following apartment soundproofing tips can reduce noise you hear, and the noise you make. For people who live in houses, there’s an old expression “Good fences make good neighbours”. In an apartment, “Minimizing noise and being a good neighbour, makes good neighbours”. We’ll explain.

First things first, though. Many people have misconceptions about soundproofing versus sound dampening their apartment. The two terms describe two very different techniques that have specific applications and results.

What is Soundproofing?

Soundproofing technologies stop sound from escaping a room or space. A good example is a music studio isolation booth where musicians record their part (whether instrumentally or vocally). Examples of techniques used for soundproofing (whether in a music studio or a noisy factory floor) are floating floors and walls, thick sound absorbing double-doors that are sealed around their perimeter so no noise can escape, and double-glazed air-tight windows. Music studios also use sound dampening materials, but that sound dampening is only to “treat” the sounds inside the room, reducing sound vibration that interferes with audio recording.

The vast majority of apartment buildings (including our McGill Ridge Apartments) do not permit the installation of the above mentioned technologies in suites.

What is Sound Dampening?

Sound dampening is exactly that – reducing – though not completely eliminating noise. Examples of sound dampening materials are acoustic foams, acoustic blankets, sound dampening curtains, and sound dampening wall panels and tiles.

Important! Because McGill Ridge and nearly all other apartment buildings don’t permit tenants to make permanent or semi-permanent changes to their suite, here is what can you do to sound dampen your apartment.

Sound Dampening Your Apartment

Below are some easy ways you can reduce sound in your apartment and be a better neighbour.

Talk to neighbours
If you are concerned about sounds you make, such as listening to music or playing a musical instrument, find out the best time for you to play. Also arrange a “test” with neighbours adjacent to your suite,  playing your instrument in different rooms and asking your neighbour(s) which room was quieter for them.

Buy area rugs
Use area rugs (the thicker the better) and underlayment for the rugs. Use them in living rooms and bedrooms. Also consider “floor runner” rugs for hallways.

Hang textile wall tapestries
Tapestries will dampen some vibrations created by sound.

Remove shoes and boots when you enter your apartment
Don’t walk around in hard sole shoes or boots. Your downstairs neighbours will be thankful!

Don’t place sound system speakers too close to walls.
Leave several inches between the speakers and the wall. Consider placing a remnant of carpet or a rug under the speaker(s) to dampen sound for neighbours on the floor below your suite.

Use free-standing room dividers that have framed textile material
Tri-fold privacy screens stop sound from “bouncing around”.

Purchase fabric furnishings instead of wood furnishings
Textile-covered, thick padded sofas, couches and occasional chairs will absorb some sound.

The tips above will dampen sound for both you and your neighbours. It’s win-win!

Rent at McGill Ridge Apartments

No apartment is “soundproof”, though our Kamloops apartments have been constructed with sound dampening materials and are quieter than many buildings. If you’d like to view an apartment, please complete our Request Apartment Availability form.