How to soundproof ceiling in apartments? This is a common question among renters. If you are one of them, you might also ask the same question.
If you are living in an apartment with noisy neighbors above, it is really a problem.
Obviously, you can’t control and dictate your neighbor. It is most likely that the noise affects your sleep and tranquility.
So you forced yourself to find ways to get rid of the disturbance. You might have been looking for some type of insulation or paneling to soundproof the ceiling.
So, how do you soundproof ceiling in apartments? The most common materials being used in soundproofing apartment ceiling are the following:
- Acoustic Foam Panel
- Spray Adhesive
- Acoustic Foam Egg Panels
- Mass Loaded Vinyl
- Soundproofing Green Glue
But before you use any of these, make sure to take some important things into consideration.
Soundproofing materials are not made equal. Each of them may not work in all situations.
One of the challenges that a renter may encounter is the terms and conditions stated in the lease.
In some cases, landlords do not permit the renters to make some changes to the existing structure of the apartment.
If terms and conditions really prohibit you to do some construction in the ceiling, your best option is to use materials that do not require construction.
How to Soundproof Ceiling in Apartments without Construction?
As long as possible, you don’t want to do with some construction work (even if you are permitted your landlord to soundproof the apartment ceiling).
In some instances, diplomacy eliminates labor. You can implement this by talking to your neighbor politely.
You can directly ask them to be quieter. But obviously, this does not work all the time.
Not all neighbors are sensitive to your well-being.
As mentioned, you cannot control your neighbors’ behavior and upbringing.
Your only best option left is to do something to reduce the noise from your neighbor.
You do this by implementing some soundproofing techniques that do not need construction.
The good thing about this soundproofing strategy is that you don’t violate the terms and conditions in the lease.
And most importantly, you won’t disturb your neighbor when doing so.
Here’s how to soundproof the ceiling in apartments without construction.
1. Use Acoustic Foam Panel
Acoustic foam panels are some of the best soundproofing materials being used for ceilings.
These materials are inexpensive and easy to install. If you have limited budget and manpower, you can still proceed to your soundproofing project.
Acoustic foam panels come with different types. Before buying one, make sure that it fits with the purpose.
Some of them are designed to soundproof walls especially for music studious. But there are some types that are designed for ceiling soundproofing.
Like other commodities, quality comes with a price. The more expensive acoustic foam panels you buy, the more reliable and durable they are.
Although the price is a little bit higher, the materials would last longer than those cheap types. Obviously, with good quality, you’ll enjoy the benefits for a long period of time.
If you really want to eliminate your neighbors’ disturbing noise, you probably more than willing to spend on soundproofing materials.
The good news is that you don’t have to spend too much money on acoustic foam. There are acoustic foam panels designed for apartment soundproofing that come with a combination of low prices and superior quality.
My favorite is the Foamily Acoustic Panels. Although it is commonly used for recording studios, it works well on the ceiling in apartments.
Needless to say that this material is easy to install. It is only 1-inch thick but really effective in blocking the sound from the outside.
Because it is made in the USA, you can assure that this acoustic foal is of high and superior quality. In fact, it passes the CA Technical Bulletin Cal.
I don’t want to be technical here. It only means that the product passed quality and standard tests.
You can choose different colors you want. The common color is red and charcoal.
Find something that complements your indoor ambiance.
2. Install Foam Panels Using Spray Adhesive
The best way to install acoustic foam panels is by using spray adhesive. Most brands of foal panels come with adhesive.
However, there are times when you receive the product without adhesive. This is a simple problem though.
You can easily buy spray adhesive online. The one that I mostly use in my soundproofing projects is the 3M General Purpose 45 Spray Adhesive.
This adhesive has a neutral ph. What convinced me to use this adhesive is its effectiveness in bonding with virtually any types of materials such as paper, plastic, cardboard, films, and fiberglass insulation.
This material does not only help you soundproof your ceiling in apartments but also strengthen the ceiling.
Thus, this adhesive also acts as the defensive layer as well.
The best part, this adhesive is also usable and effective in all soundproofing projects not only on apartment ceilings.
One pack is more than enough to glue the foam panel. The spare can be used for future soundproofing or gluing projects.
In addition, with this adhesive, there’s no need for any construction. Everything will just tack in place.
Without a doubt, using spray adhesive is a great way to the soundproof ceiling in apartments without breaking it.
3. Add Acoustic Foam Egg Panels
This one is a little bit different from the previous acoustic foam panels. The only difference is that acoustic foam egg panels resemble egg receptacles.
The one I tried is the Foamily Acoustic Foam Egg Crate Panel. This foam does a really good job of absorbing sound. Not to mention its clean look.
The egg-looking surface can be weird when you first see it. But this structure is effective in soundproofing.
The good thing about this foam is its thickness. The panel is designed for studio soundproofing.
However, as I found, this material is great for all the soundproofing projects you would like to do.
It is versatile and durable. It can stand not only against the sound but also against the test of time.
The best thing about acoustic foam egg panels is that they do not only block the noise from the outside but also prevent the noise inside to pass through outside.
Soundproofing the ceiling in apartments with this material will surely eliminate the disturbing noise from the neighbors above.
The foam egg panels come with many designs. I am sure you will find one that perfectly complements your interior design.
In the end, you’ll learn that soundproofing a ceiling is indeed an easy task that does not need any construction.
4. Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
Another great material for soundproofing ceiling in apartments is the mass loaded vinyl. This is material is lighter and easier to install than the acoustic foam panels.
Aside from being handy, loaded vinyl saves your room design. This is perfect if you really want to preserve the interior design of your apartment.
Mass vinyl does not only provide soundproofing for the room, but it also enhances the indoor aesthetic value if implemented correctly.
These thick mattresses ensure to eliminate or block the outside noise.
In addition, mass loaded vinyl is versatile. You can use it in soundproofing not only ceiling but also floors, office cubicle, computer gaming room, study room, and many more.
There are different types of vinyl you can choose from. But for the best result, I recommend the one that I trusted, the Soundsulate Mass Loaded Vinyl.
This soundproofing material is excellent in protecting your room from the noise that is coming through the ceiling.
It does a pretty good job of blocking both high and low-frequency sound produced by loudspeakers or drums.
The feature that I like the most about Soundsulate Mass Loaded Vinyl is its ability to absorb vibration. Using this as your soundproofing material protects you from any noise disturbance from your inconsiderate neighbors.
This material is super easy to install. You can do it yourself even if you are a complete beginner.
As long as you know how to measure the entire area of the ceiling you want to cover, you are good to go without help from anyone.
Using a knife, just cut the pieces according to their respective measurements. Then paste the pieces on the area you want to cover.
The only hiccup that most people have is the price. It is a little more expensive than other soundproofing material.
I was in that same dilemma too. I was hesitant to invest money in this type of vinyl. In fact, I almost decided to maybe choose the inexpensive ones.
But then I realized that price comes with quality. This means that more expensive commodities or services also have high quality.
And I was right. The purchase was worth. Although I spent a little higher, I eliminate the noise that deprived me of having enough sleep.
In my opinion, the Soundsulate Mass Loaded Vinyl is one of the best soundproofing materials for apartment ceilings.
It is very easy to install. Moreover, it also complements the interior design of the room.
5. Block the Holes in the Ceiling if there’s Any
The modern building designs do not have holes that pass through one floor to another.
These holes serve as a passage for electrical cables.
Although those holes have a great purpose, they also could be the passage of noise from other rooms.
The important thing to remember is to block all the holes first before installing your soundproofing materials.
There are many ways to do it. But in my case, I like to use soundproofing green glue especially if the holes are small.
Green glue is great and durable material to fix those little holes in the ceiling.
It comes in different colors. I suggest the one that you like that comes along with the color of your room.
6. Use the Art of Reciprocity
All the techniques we’ve covered so far require investment. There are materials needed to buy to soundproof the ceiling in apartments.
But there is something you can do that does not require money to come up with the desired result.
And this is the cheapest of all techniques.
What I am talking about here is the application of the so-called reciprocity concept.
This means that what you do to others will always come back to you.
Thus, if you are good to your neighbors, they will also be kind to you too.
If you are living in an apartment, this has something to do with the adherence to the rules of the landlord.
If you follow the rules, that is doing what is right not only for yourself but for others, people around you will respect you and do the same.
However, this may not always the case. People behave differently.
As I mentioned earlier in this post, you cannot control other people’s behavior.
If this is the case, you should be implementing the soundproofing techniques shared in this article.
There are many ways on how to soundproof the ceiling in apartments. But before implementing any of the soundproofing techniques shared above, you need to make sure first that the landlord permits you to do so.
The reason for this is simple. Not all terms and conditions permit the renter to make some modifications in the house or apartment.
Seeking approval is always a good idea to save yourself from potential penalties or charges in the future.
Once the approval is obtained, you can now proceed to your soundproofing project and block that disturbing sound from your neighbor above.
The good news is that if you follow the tips you have just learned from this post, you don’t have to construct anything or ruin the existing structure of the apartment.
All you need is to put some soundproofing materials on the ceiling.
As you’ve noticed, all the techniques are doable and super easy.
You don’t need an expert to do it for you. As long as you have the materials needed, you are good to go.
I hope that this post helps you to figure out the best way to soundproof the ceiling of your apartment without construction.
For more information like this, just feel free to visit my Soundproofing Guide.