Don’t we all hate it when we are trying to concentrate on something, or just yearning to get a good night sleep at home, but the house is wayyy tooo noisy?
Maybe your neighbour is renovating his house, or the road near your home just have happen to attract a lot of noisy cars vrooming by. And yet, no matter how much you try, you just can’t stop these noise pollutions.
If all these noises are driving you crazy, here’s how you can reduce noise and save your sanity and beauty sleep!
How to reduce noise?
Think of noises as a light source. Imagine you are walking under the scorching sun. To avoid the burning sun rays, you would either attempt to block it with an umbrella, or reduce its intensity by wearing shades. It is quite the same when it comes to sound. You can greatly reduce the intensity of the noise, either by blocking or absorbing it. And thankfully for us, there are many ways you can do that. But, let’s start with the cheapest and most easily accessible option – noise absorbing curtains.
Noise absorbing curtains
When shopping for a noise absorbing curtain, we want a heavy and dense curtain which can effectively dampen and block out the surrounding sound. Remember those thick heavy curtains in movie theatres or lecture halls that can block off the light totally? Yes, we are talking about those curtains. Those block-out curtains that can effectively reduce sound and block off light. They are easily available in the market, especially at IKEA. The best part is, they are below $100! This is a steal in the world of audiophiles when they build a soundproofed room.
What to look out for
When it comes to buying noise absorbing curtains, ensure that they cover the entire wall length of your wall, from ceiling to the floor. This is important as sound not only passes through the windows (even if they are closed), sound passes through walls and gaps too! So, having a full length curtain provides total coverage, and blocks / absorbs sound passing through them.
Also, when selecting the material for your block-out curtain, do look out for these traits!
- Heavy, heavy… and heavy
- Pleated (because they are thicker and form wedges, they can triple the noise reduction effectiveness of flat curtains of the same weight and material)
- Suede / velvet material
If you’re worried the block-out curtain will cut off all the light and make your space look gloomy and smaller, fret not! Check out how you can make your space look bigger here!
And, as a smart savvy homeowner, you want to look out for cheap block-out curtains. If you have ever come across those pricey “noise cancelling” curtains, you might have wondered before whether the curtains are really worth the extra bucks. But truth be told, what sales people are not telling you is that no curtain can really block 100% of the noise. So, even if you buy the costlier “noise cancelling” curtain, you may not be getting a much better sound-proofing effect than the usual block-out curtains, which are much cheaper.
If you’re looking for an added noise reduction option for your noisy home, then you could opt for double glazed windows that come with a layer of insulation in between 2 panels of window glasses. These windows, especially if you’re using laminated acoustic glass, can effectively help to reduce noise from the outside. So, if you’ve always been bothered by that heavy-traffic road near your home, this could safely be your best bet.
What to look out for
Depending on the properties of the double glazed windows, the effectiveness of the noise reduction can vary. To optimally reduce noise, do look out for these properties in such windows:
- Have the widest gap between the 2 panes of glass
- Uses thicker laminated acoustic glass
- Have differing thickness of the 2 glass panes used
But of course, the better the quality of the double glazing, the more you can expect to be paying.
And… something dense in your materials
Now, what if, despite using the heavy velvet block-out curtain and the double glazed windows, you still find your house noisy. And you really really really can’t stand even that little bit of noise coming from your neighbours daily commotion. Then what?
Well, for those of us who really need our house to feel zen, don’t fret! You can still give your house an extra noise reduction treatment. You can do so by making use of dense materials in your home furnishings (even doors) or built-in materials (e.g. partition walls). This works because it helps to dampen whatever the sound that is coming your way.
What to look out for
The easiest option here is to start with your doors. When selecting your doors, ensure that they are made of solid dense materials, for instance solid wood. If you’re not too sure, try giving your door a knock. If it sounds hollow, then the door is definitely not dense enough.
Another way to reduce noise in your space is by erecting wall partitions that are packed with rock wool. These partitions can not only help to dampen noise, but can also be useful in segregating your spaces according to your varying needs. This is particularly helpful if the source of the noise is coming from within the house.
But, what if the source of the noise is from your neighbours upstairs? Maybe they have kids jumping around in the house all the time, or they just have really great doors that are worth slamming and slamming and slamming…. Unless you want to start a neighbourly war with those above you, you might want to opt for a more straightforward option – false ceilings. Similar to the concept of wall partitions, you could make well use of false ceiling filled with rock wool to reduce the noise coming from your loud neighbours.
Remember, at the end of the day, regardless of the number of layers of sound proofing you install, noise can still seep in, if your house has plenty of noise entry points. Yes, we are talking about those cracks windows, or even loosely fitted built-in carpentry. If that’s the case, be sure to have them fixed, or make sure that your home design is such that it can be maintained easily.