Effective noise protection in the apartment

A noisy building structure in residential complexes can make life in an apartment quite nerve-wracking. Switching off the sources of noise is usually relatively hopeless - systematic measures to reduce noise in the home promise more control over the problem.

What you can do to improve noise protection in your home

Which noise gets on the nerves is very different depending on the situation and the individual perception. The measures that you should take in your apartment depend, among other things, on the type of sound: structure-borne sound, i.e. above all impact sound from the neighbors above, penetrates the ceiling in a different way than airborne sound from traffic, voices or television.

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Here are a few suggestions for different noise scenarios:

Mainly structure-borne noise (impact noise):

  • Floating screeds
  • With wooden beam ceilings: sand pouring
  • Ceiling suspension
  • Lay out carpets (at the neighbors)

Mainly airborne noise:

  • Wall insulation
  • Large format furniture
  • Crack seals

Impact sound problem

In principle, structure-borne noise in the home is more difficult to reduce than air-borne noise. Because here the source of noise is created directly on the building fabric and is passed on through the material. The resulting audible airborne sound emitted from the ceiling can only be moderately attenuated in the room.

If you take care of noise protection before building, this has great advantages. So you can decide in advance for floating screeds in the intermediate floors, which are applied to an insulating layer from the outset.

Even wooden floors with insulating sand fillings can only be realized in an excellent way.

If you want to retrofit an apartment against impact noise, you have the option of hanging the ceiling and laying out carpets. Important: ceiling insulation by hanging is only really effective if a few rules are observed! Above all, it is important to maintain sufficient spacing between the flat construction elements and to prevent sound bridges from connecting parts under tension.

Persuading the above neighbor to make a rug may take some diplomatic skill, but it can be very beneficial.

Measures against airborne noise

You can shut out airborne noise (road and air traffic, voices, music) relatively easily with simple measures. The flat wall insulation is still the most complex. You can also insulate the surface of the apartment door against staircase noise.

You can achieve a lot with large pieces of furniture and textiles such as carpets and tapestries. They ensure an overall more multi-dimensional interior surface that can absorb the sound and distribute it more evenly. Here, too, avoiding sound bridges is crucial: a cabinet, no matter how large, beautiful, but screwed to the wall, does next to nothing.

What should not be underestimated in terms of overall noise perception are small sound passages on windows and doors that do not close flush. You can easily interrupt this with self-adhesive seals and draft strips.

Incidentally, it is ideal, especially with predominantly airborne noise, if you combine several of the measures mentioned.