Increasing Privacy and Decreasing Noise in Apartments

Decorative acoustic ceiling tiles

One of the most common complaints with apartment and condominium living is noise. When residential spaces are built so closely together, you often share walls and floors with others. Voices, sound, and loud music can easily travel between walls, and living quarters. Apartment buildings and condominiums with especially thin walls may receive a lot of complaints, and are likely to find it difficult to fill their buildings. The following noise reduction possibilities should be considered when building or remodeling.

Building layout to reduce noise
How residential living is laid out can deter some amount of noise. For example, putting bedrooms side by side can carry over loud TV or children crying sounds. Even backing a living room up to a bedroom can be troublesome, especially if one of the residents tends to entertain frequently. Consider backing high trafficked areas with low trafficked areas for the best noise reduction. You will see a lot of condos set up in rows, with the garage being attached to the main living area of the house. Many people do not spend a lot of their time in the garage, giving each resident more privacy.

Thicker walls
If you have to lay out the building so that common rooms are next to one another, it is usually a good idea to use thicker walls. Thicker walls block out more noises. You can also use specially designed noise reduction walls, like sound wall panels or soundproofing walls materials. If the walls are also existent and noise complaints have come after the build, you can add high pressure decorative laminate to them. The process of soundproofing a room is accomplished using a combination of 4 tactics, adding mass, damping, decoupling, and filling air gaps. Improving the condition of your walls can decrease traveling noises.

Sound proofed ceilings
Acoustic ceiling materials can also be beneficial in reducing noises. However, acoustic ceiling materials are used to reduce noises that travel through the floor and ceilings. Many apartment residents often complain of being able to hear those above them walking or running throughout the building. In some cases, loud music and voices can also travel through the floors and ceilings. Specialized acoustic ceiling materials, such as ceiling clouds can block out large amounts of these sounds. Many of these acoustic building products look similar to normal building materials.

Install durable fixtures
When walls are not effective in keeping noises out, durable fixtures can be installed. These include cabinets, countertops, and other permanent wall fixtures. Surfaces partially hinder waves going from one room to another. The 1% rule states that for every 1% of opening or unobstructed area of a surface, 50% of the sound will make it through. Keep these numbers in mind when deciding how many durable fixtures to install in a room with exceedingly high noise levels.

Safety concerns regarding loud noises
Resident complaints are one of the most common causes for improving noise privacy in a building. However, large amounts of noise can also be harmful. Community noise can be detrimental to your health. Adverse health effects include cardiovascular problems and learning deficits. Studies indicate the incidence of heart disease increases as community noise levels rise about 40 decibels (dB). When you rent out a living space to residents, it is important for both privacy and health that you provide them with acoustic ceiling materials and other noise reduction properties.

Apartment and condo living has both pros and cons. Although you can usually save money on rent and you are not responsible for your own landscaping duties, there can be problems with privacy or noise control. You often share walls and ceilings with neighbors, and voices and music can travel far. It is the property owner?s responsibility to build or remodel the property to best protect these things. Building materials can be used to block out noises, noise blocking fixtures can be installed, or the layout can be designed in a way that two common rooms are not right next to each other.

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