German philosopher Arthur Schopenhauer once said that the "amount of noise anyone can bear undisturbed stands in inverse proportion to his mental capacity." While Schopenhauer was perhaps exaggerating, it's true that a peaceful environment encourages thoughtfulness and productivity. If you’re looking for ways to reduce noise levels in your home, there are several effective solutions to promote tranquility, no matter what’s going on in the room adjacent.
The first thing to do when soundproofing your home is to identify what’s creating noise in the first place. One of the most common causes are footsteps on bare floorboards. The best way to remedy this is to either carpet your floorboards or cover the main thoroughfares in your house with rugs. Carpets and rugs not only muffle your footsteps, they actually absorb other sounds in the room – reducing general noise levels.
Use soundproofing materials
If you’re prepared to make more significant alterations to your home, consider insulating your walls and ceiling with soundproofing material. Unfortunately, the way that most walls are designed does little to stop sound passing from room to room. They tend to have wood or drywall on either side, with a hollow cavity in between. This cavity acts like a drum, allowing noise from one room to easily pass into the next. One way to reduce this is to soundproof walls with special insulation and install acoustic tiles in your ceiling. These materials absorb sound waves and prevent them from passing from room to room. For a less invasive and less expensive treatment, soundproofing paint is a good option.
Replace your doors
Doors, especially those found in modern homes, are often hollow, making them ineffectual at keeping out the noise. Replacing these doors with solid-core versions has the same effect as insulating your walls. By cutting down on the hollow areas between the rooms in your house, you make it much more difficult for sound to travel between rooms. It’s important that the area surrounding doors are soundproofed too – a soundproofed door is no good if there’s a gaping space between door and floor. Seal it with gasketing to reduce sound filtering through.
Adorn your walls
If you don’t want to go so far as to completely re-insulate your home, there are many tricks that you can use to create a similar effect. The key thing to remember is that you’re trying to add as many layers of sound absorbing material between one room and the next. One way to do this might be to hang a heavy tapestry, or look at placing a large upholstered sofa against a particularly bothersome wall. Large bookcases are particularly effective sound proofers – thick books are remarkably good at soaking up sound.
Engel & Völkers has been at the forefront of the real estate industry for 30 years, making us well-versed in home improvement. For help and advice on how to maximise your home’s value by soundproofing before selling, contact one of our expert local shops.