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In this guide, you’ll learn different ways on how to reduce noise from upstairs floors. While you can easily get even with your noisy neighbor, there are other simple DIY methods you can implement right now to reduce unwanted noise.
The main noise problem you’ll be dealing with in this case is Impact noise- aka structure-borne sounds.
As the name suggests, impact noise is transmitted through structures (walls, floors). Good examples include footfalls, furniture movements, utensils falling on the floor.
An article published on Science Direct website suggests that there’s a close relationship between impact noise exposure, annoyance, and health complications. (Source)
Therefore, dealing with every aspect of the noise problem in your home not only helps manage the problem but also indirectly improves your health.
Dealing with a noise problem is one of the significant steps to improving your wellbeing and achieving a conducive living environment.
How to Reduce Noise from Upstairs Floors
Below are simple DIY hacks on how you can reduce noise problems from the above floor. You can also implement these hacks to soundproof your walls as well- for instance, soundproofing your home theater room.
1. Locate the Source of the Noise and Talk to The Neighbors
The first step to reducing noise from your noisy upstairs neighbors is locating the source. You don’t want to spend money buying unnecessary items that will not help with the problem.
Determining the source of the noise is not hard when you know the type of sound coming in through the ceiling. Noise can be either impact or airborne.
Airborne noises come from the Television or radio, people having a loud conversation or a phone ringing, and are transmitted through the air. Impact noise, on the other hand, comes from feet stomping the floor loudly or an object falling on the floor.
Impact noise cause vibrations that are transmitted through the ceiling into your space.
Once you have located the type and source of the noise, you should consider talking to your neighbors about it. Tell them how you are greatly affected by the sound, and they should minimize it.
Remember to be polite so that you can both agree on the course of action. Some neighbors are actually quite understanding, and they may not realize how their actions are affecting you.
However, some are not so understanding, and this may make you take extra action such as involving the authorities.
If talking to the neighbors is not working, you should consider other means.
2. Using Acoustic Form
If you don’t mind about the look of your home, consider installing acoustic foam. The foams are not pleasing to look at, but they do an excellent job of minimizing noise.
Mounting the foams is easy, so you can make it a DIY project instead of spending extra money hiring a professional.
There are different ways you can mount the panels on the ceiling; one of them is suspending them so that they hang like a cloud. This method is common on pipes-and-obstructions type of ceiling.
You can also apply an adhesive like Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound on the back of the panels before installing them. However, you should remember to clean and remove any protrusions on the ceiling’s surface that may interfere with the installation of the foams.
You can also fit them on the ceiling using nails. An example of acoustic foams you can use is TRUE NORTH Acoustic Foam Panels.
3. Using Drywall
Consider adding to the density of the ceiling to minimize the noise. The denser the ceiling, the better it is at reducing noise.
One of the ways of achieving that is using drywall. Drywall is a type of construction panels made of different materials, which include gypsum, plywood, and asbestos-cement board.
These materials, when combined, form an acoustic and thermal material that is used on walls and ceilings in construction.
If you want to use it on your ceiling, the process of installation is much easy if you have a friend to help you.
Before installing the drywall, you need to ensure there are no obstructions that may interfere with the drywall installation. Then clean, dry, and flatten the surface before attaching the drywall.
You will need an adhesive to attach the drywall, and a good example is a green glue. The glue is not only an adhesive but also a soundproofing material, so you will enhance the effectiveness of the drywall.
If you already have a drywall in place, you should consider installing another layer of drywall. This will help add to the density of the ceiling and greatly reduce the noise reaching your ears.
The process of adding the drywall is not hard; in fact, it is similar to the one used when adding the first layer of drywall.
4. Using Green Glue
Green glue is an adhesive but also a soundproofing product that works well at minimizing noise. The adhesive works as a sealant to cover cracks or gaps on a surface.
If you can’t find green glue in your local hardware store or online, you may want to try these green glue alternatives.
Using this product is pretty easy for anyone, and you won’t even need a professional to help you. All you need to do is apply it to the source of noise in your ceiling.
You will need to remove your current ceiling before applying the sealant on the areas leaking in the noise.
Fill these areas with the sealant for effectiveness.
Remember, green glue also works well when paired with other soundproofing materials.
5. Installing Acoustic Tiles
Acoustic tiles are also a good option when you want to consider soundproofing your ceiling against the upstairs noise.
The tiles are similar to acoustic foams in terms of how they are placed on the ceiling. The tiles are placed by either attaching them directly on the ceiling using an adhesive or using staples to attach them.
Thought the tiles are not common in homes, they are an excellent option to consider, especially if you want to hide exposed pipes on the ceiling.
Acoustic tiles are cheap and easy to install, so you won’t need to spend money on hiring a professional. The tiles are also effective even though they are not 100% at canceling noise.
6. Install Resilient Channels
You should also consider resilient channels if you are wondering how to reduce noise from the upstairs floor. Resilient channels are used to enhance other soundproofing materials, such as drywall.
Resilient channels reduce noise through the creation of air pockets that dampen noise. Here is a guide on how resilient and hat channels work.
Installing resilient channels is not hard; in fact, some come with installation procedures from the manufacturer.
The steps involve exposing the ceiling through the removal of the layer of drywall. Then on both the joints and studding, place a thick piece of the mat then screw them in place.
RC1 Resilient Channel is an excellent example of the product to use in soundproofing your ceiling.
7. Consider Moving Out
If you have tried all the methods, including talking to your landlord, but there is no change, then you should consider moving out.
This might be hard, especially if you invested a lot in the home. Remember, your peace of mind is paramount.
Look for a house or apartment with no close neighbors or where playing loud music or making noise is against the rules.
Final Thoughts on How to Reduce Noise from Upstairs Floors
Above are some of the best hacks on how to reduce noise from the upstairs floors. For the best results, you may consider combining two or more methods.
However, it’s important to note that these hacks won’t eliminate the problem 100% unless your neighbor decides to. But they should help you reduce noise problems to manageable levels.
If nothing seems to work out best for you, you can always move to a quiet neighborhood.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.