Your home should be a place where you can relax and unwind, but noise coming from outside and inside the house can make it difficult to get peace and quiet when you need it most. Here are some tips to reduce the level of noise in your home.
How Sound Travels
Sound is produced when an object vibrates. Sound waves can travel by bouncing off hard, flat, uniform surfaces. Blocking outdoor noise, reducing the number of hard surfaces in your house and increasing the number of soft surfaces can make your home more peaceful.
How to Block Outdoor Noise
If noise from cars, people and dogs outside your home is a problem, inspect your windows and doors. If there are gaps around them, you can seal them with caulk and weather stripping to keep noise out.
You can use drapes, curtains or blinds to cut down on noise. They can also keep your home cooler in the summer, lower your utility bills and give you additional privacy. Another option is to install soundproof window inserts.
Building materials with a lot of mass can block outside noise. If you are planning to renovate your home, installing thick walls with plenty of insulation, as well as thick windows and doors, can block outside noise.
How to Reduce the Spread of Noise Within Your House
Soft materials such as carpet, rugs and furniture can absorb sound. If you have wood or tile floors, you can reduce the noise level by installing carpet or by using rugs in high-traffic areas. That can be particularly helpful if footsteps upstairs bother people who are trying to relax below. A large couch and chairs can provide insulation and reduce interior noise levels.
Wall coverings can provide insulation and spruce up your home’s décor. If a member of your family likes to play loud music, installing acoustic tiles and foam in that person’s room can absorb the sound so it won’t be heard throughout the house.
If your home has an open floor plan, the lack of dividing walls can allow sound to travel throughout the house. Using furniture, bookcases and tall plants to separate the space can deflect noise and limit its ability to spread.
If the floors squeak, there may be gaps between the layers of flooring, or the subfloor may not be level. You can hire a contractor to inspect and repair squeaky floors.
If your appliances are a source of annoying background noise, you may be able to get some peace and quiet by installing new, more energy-efficient ones. They will be quieter and will also help you protect the environment and lower your utility bills.
Make Your Home More Peaceful
If unwanted noise is a problem, you may be able to block or absorb it by making some simple changes. If you plan to remodel your home, structural changes can provide permanent solutions.