Posted February 05, 2016 by Gabriel Posternak

Putting mute to your noisy home

Over the past 15 years, the noise level in major metropolitan areas has increased sixfold and is inevitable that some of this noise pollution invades your home. And that, added to multiple beeps and notifications from smart machines, the tv, pets and just walking can make indoor spaces very noisy hell. If that's your case, pay attention to the following tips from our experts.

First of all, you have to know that, to lower the indoor noise, you must obstruct or dampen the sound waves 'attacking' your home. To do so, you must add surfaces that absorb sound or reverberation and block the noise coming from outside or from other rooms. There are 3 areas you must check to achieve that: walls and ceiling, floors, and windows.

Walls and ceiling

Walls are sound waves blockers, so an open plan is naturally more noisy than a closed plan design. Make your open spaces quieter by fill them with upholstered furniture, pillows and draperies. In the kitchen, choose low-sone appliances, surround machines with felt or fiberglass and install soft-close cabinets.

Building with drywall may be fast and inexpensive, but it’s not very good material to block and absorb sounds. To buffer against noise, ask your contractor to apply some kind of insulation inside.

And then, to avoid reverberation over masonry solid walls and ceilings, you can apply acoustic panels or partially cover them with wood, tapestry or a gallery wall made of pictures printed on canvas.

Floors

Traditional hardwood, laminates or ceramic tile floors can be very noisy to walk over them and very poor in absorbing reverberation. You can minimize their problems applying wall-to-wall carpet with a sound absorbing padding. Also, decorating with area rugs -for living rooms and bedrooms- or rubber mats for kids’ rooms and gym are excellent options.

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If you are planning on install new flooring, know that floating hardwood, concrete and cork are the ones with the best sound performance.

Windows and doors

As we said before, a lot of sound pollution comes from outside so windows and doors must act as noise barriers while serving their purpose. Defective caulk or crevices result in poor insulation, so take care of that ASAP. If you need more extreme measures, consider replacing your windows or your windows’ glazing. Double and triple-pane windows give great results in both sound and thermal insulation, so ask your contractor about it.

The other barriers you need to take care of are the doors. Even between rooms noise should be blocked, so install solid-wood-core doors and seal their perimeter to avoid sound leaks.

For general noise reduction, you can use felt pads in your furniture and rubber pads for small appliances and dish racks, on countertops and in sink basins to reduce the clanking of dishes. In highly noisy spaces, like kids’ rooms and playrooms, extra pillows and beanbags can do wonders.

And don’t forget the landscape, because trees and hedges are natural noise filters and together with wood fences can help insulate your home from traffic sounds in a green way.  

Is there any trick to reduce noise that you want to share? Leave it in the comments below!

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