Your home is supposed to be your sanctuary; the place you go to when you want to rest and relax in peace and quiet. But for many people, it can be hard to get that peace and quiet at home. Between noise from passing traffic, noise from appliances, and noise created by other people in the house, homes can be remarkably noisy sometimes.
If you’re desperate to make your home a quieter place, here are a few things you can do to help keep the noise down.
Check Your Doors and Windows
When you want more peace and quiet in your home, the best places to start are your doors and windows. What type of doors do you have as your exterior doors? If you have hollow core exterior doors, replacing them with solid core doors could significantly cut down on noise coming in from the outside. If you have a solid core door, but still have problems with noise, make sure the weatherstripping isn’t worn down and that there aren’t any gaps in the caulking.
There are several different ways your windows might be letting in sound from the outside. If you have older single-pane windows, replacing them with new vinyl replacement windows with multiple panes could help make your home more peaceful. Worn-down weatherstripping and gaps in caulking around your windows can also let outside noise in. If you need to patch up some caulking around doors and windows, use an acoustical caulk for maximum noise reduction. If you have lightweight curtains on your windows, switching to curtains made of a heavier fabric is another way to block out some of the sound coming from outside.
Insulation and Drywall
If you have an older home that doesn’t have a lot of insulation, having some added is a great way to eliminate noise. Denim batts and blown-in cellulose are two types of insulation that are very effective at soundproofing. As an added benefit, adding more insulation will help cut down on your heating and cooling bills!
If you’re open to the idea of starting a larger project, you may want to consider adding new drywall in some areas of your home. Certain types of drywall are designed for soundproofing, so they’re more effective at cutting down on sound transmission than regular drywall. You don’t necessarily have to add new drywall throughout your home, either. Just adding it in areas that are particularly loud, such as on exterior walls or in rooms that you definitely want to keep quiet, can help make your home more comfortable.
Planning to replace some flooring in your home? The type of flooring you choose can make a difference in your home’s acoustics. Your flooring won’t cut down on noise coming in from the outside, but it can help control indoor noise. Hardwood and engineered wood floors may be in style right now, but carpeting and cork flooring are more effective options for dampening noise.
Another common household annoyance is noise caused by squeaky floors. While you’re having your flooring replaced, be sure to have your floors tightened in any areas that squeak before the new flooring is installed. When you’re replacing flooring on a second story, consider having a noise-dampening underlay installed under the new flooring to prevent noise from people moving around upstairs from bothering the people downstairs.
General Household Noise
There are a lot of sounds that come with simply living your day-to-day life, like noise from running appliances and noise from your plumbing pipes. Nobody intends to cause a ruckus by using these things, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t annoying or distracting, either. The good news is that there are ways to cut down on the amount of noise these things create. If you have loud plumbing, insulating your pipes with duct wrap can help quiet them down. Many newer models of appliances run much more quietly than older models, so if you’re due for new appliances anyway, look for ones that include “quiet performance” on their list of features.
Not ready to replace your appliances? Placing rubber or cork pads underneath them may help cut down on some of the noise they create.