Thursday, July 18, 2024

Soundproofing for Renters: Temporary and Non-Damaging Solutions

Are you tired of being woken up in the middle of the night by your noisy neighbors? It’s frustrating, right? Living in an apartment or rental home can be challenging, especially when you have to deal with the noise from people living around you. Sometimes it feels like the walls are made of paper, and you can hear every single sound. It can be difficult to focus on work or relax at home when you constantly hear your neighbor’s music, footsteps, or arguments. But don’t worry, there are some solutions you can try to soundproof your space and get a good night’s sleep. Let’s dive into some temporary and non-damaging solutions for soundproofing for renters!

Everyones Upstairs Neighbors 0 4 screenshot 1 Soundproofing for Renters: Temporary and Non-Damaging Solutions

Non-Damaging Solutions refer to ways in which renters can reduce noise transmission into or out of their rented spaces without causing damage to the property or making permanent modifications. It suggests that the solutions provided are intended to be temporary and easily reversible so that renters can restore the original condition of the property when they move out. We’ll describe some popular and cost effective methods and products that can be used for home soundproofing, such as acoustic panels, window inserts, door seals, and sound blankets, among others.

Divide or not divide?

One way to categorize soundproofing solutions is by whether they involve physically dividing the soundproofing materials from the walls, ceilings, or doors, or whether they involve applying sound-absorbing materials directly to these surfaces. For instance, solutions like soundproof curtains or room dividers would fall into the first category, as they create a physical barrier between the noise source and the listener. Meanwhile, solutions like acoustic wallpaper or sound-absorbing panels that are affixed directly to walls or ceilings would fall into the second category. Both types of solutions can be effective at reducing noise transmission, but the choice between them will depend on factors such as the layout of the space, the nature of the noise, and the preferences of the renter.

Here are some pros and cons for the two types of soundproofing solutions you mentioned:

Physically Divided Solutions (e.g. Curtains, Room Dividers)


  • These solutions are often easy to install and don’t require any permanent modifications to the rental property.
  • They can be adjusted or moved around as needed, allowing renters to tailor their soundproofing to specific situations or rooms.
  • They can serve other purposes beyond soundproofing, such as adding privacy or creating separate spaces in open-plan layouts.


  • Physically dividing soundproofing solutions may not be as effective as directly applying sound-absorbing materials to walls or ceilings, particularly for low-frequency sounds.
  • Depending on the size or layout of the space, it may be difficult to achieve complete soundproofing with this type of solution alone.
  • Certain solutions (e.g. room dividers) may take up valuable floor space, particularly in smaller apartments.

Directly Applied Solutions (e.g. Acoustic Wallpaper, Sound-Absorbing Panels)


  • Directly applied soundproofing solutions can be very effective at reducing noise transmission, particularly for low-frequency sounds.
  • These solutions are often designed specifically for soundproofing, so they may offer better performance than multipurpose solutions like curtains or room dividers.
  • Some solutions (e.g. acoustic wallpaper) can also add an aesthetic element to a room, helping to improve its overall look and feel.


  • Directly applied solutions may require more effort to install and could involve more significant modifications to the rental property (e.g. drilling holes for mounting).
  • These solutions may be more expensive than physically divided solutions, particularly for larger spaces.
  • Removing these solutions could cause damage to the rental property or require professional assistance, making them less reversible than physically divided solutions.

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It’s important to note that for any solution that involves making modifications to the rental property (such as directly applied soundproofing solutions), renters should always seek permission from their landlord or property owner before proceeding. Depending on the terms of the lease agreement, making modifications without permission could result in penalties or even eviction. It’s also worth noting that some landlords may require renters to remove any modifications or improvements made during their tenancy before moving out, so it’s important to keep this in mind when considering any type of soundproofing solution.

We start with materials that don’t fall strictly into one category or the other. Acoustic panels, for example, are a versatile soundproofing solution that can be used in a variety of ways to reduce noise transmission between spaces. While they can be mounted directly onto walls or ceilings, they can also be used to create temporary barriers or sound-absorbing panels that can be moved around as needed. By starting with materials like acoustic panels that offer flexibility and versatility, renters can find solutions that meet their specific needs without causing damage or making permanent modifications to the rental property.

Acoustic panels

Acoustic panels are a common solution for soundproofing rooms and reducing noise. They are made from sound-absorbing materials such as fiberglass, foam, or rock wool, and are designed to absorb sound waves and reduce echoes in a room. Acoustic panels come in various shapes, thicknesses, and designs, allowing for customization to fit different needs and aesthetics.

Acoustic panels are very effective in reducing sound. They work by absorbing sound waves and preventing them from bouncing off walls and other hard surfaces. Thicker panels generally offer better sound absorption, and the specific thickness of the panel will depend on the level of noise reduction required. Acoustic panels also come in various shapes and designs, allowing for customization to fit different needs and aesthetics.

Acoustic panels are typically considered a type of directly applied soundproofing solution, as they are mounted directly onto walls or ceilings using adhesive, screws, or other fasteners. However, some types of acoustic panels may be removable or temporarily attached using hooks or clips, making them a possible option for renters looking for non-permanent solutions.

Foam tiles

Foam tiles are another common solution for soundproofing rooms and reducing noise. They are made from a dense foam material and are designed to absorb sound waves and reduce echoes in a room. Foam tiles are typically easy to install and can be cut to fit specific areas or shapes, making them a popular choice for DIY soundproofing projects. However, they may not offer as much sound absorption as other materials like fiberglass or rock wool, and their appearance may not be as aesthetically pleasing.

The removability of foam tiles may depend on the adhesive used to attach them to the surface. Some foam tiles may come with adhesive backing that can be easily removed without damaging the surface, while others may require a stronger adhesive that could potentially cause damage upon removal. It’s important to carefully consider the type of adhesive and the potential for damage before installing foam tiles in a rental space. In general, it’s best to choose a temporary and non-damaging installation method to ensure easy removal and prevent any issues with the landlord or property owner.

Non – Dividable materials

Materials like soundproof wallpaper or weatherstripping tape may not be easily divided from the surface they’re applied to, but they can be effective soundproofing solutions for renters who are looking for a more permanent option. Soundproof wallpaper typically consists of multiple layers of materials that can help to absorb or block sound, and it can be applied to walls like traditional wallpaper. Similarly, weatherstripping tape can be used to seal gaps around windows and doors to prevent noise from entering or leaving a room.

While these materials can be effective, they may require a bit more effort to install than some of the other solutions we’ve discussed. Soundproof wallpaper may require some expertise in hanging wallpaper to ensure proper installation, and weatherstripping tape can be time-consuming to apply to all the necessary areas. However, with some patience and attention to detail, an ordinary renter can likely handle the installation process for these materials on their own. It’s important to carefully follow the manufacturer’s instructions and seek guidance from a professional if needed to ensure that the materials are installed properly and effectively.

Dividable materials

Imagine you’re sitting on your couch, trying to enjoy a movie, but your neighbor’s loud music is ruining your experience. You decide to try out some soundproof curtains to see if they make a difference. You hang them up, and suddenly the sound of the music is significantly reduced, allowing you to hear the movie much better.

But the real magic happens when you try to take them down. You’re expecting a difficult and time-consuming process, but to your surprise, you simply pull the curtains off the rod and voila! No holes, no damage, no mess. It’s like they were never even there. And the best part? You can easily reuse them in another room or take them with you to your next rental. T

hese dividable soundproofing materials offer renters an easy and practical way to tackle noise problems without breaking the bank. Installing these materials is usually a straightforward process, requiring no special skills or tools. From hanging curtains to placing cushions, these solutions are versatile enough to adapt to any living space. They not only help to reduce noise levels but also add an aesthetic touch to the room. Moreover, since they are temporary and removable, renters can easily take them with them when they move out.

Video: Soundproofing Existing Walls – What works & what doesn’t


As you see, there are numerous soundproofing solutions available to make your living space more peaceful and comfortable. From non-dividable materials like acoustic panels to dividable materials like curtains and cushions, there are options to fit every budget and lifestyle. With a little creativity and effort, you can transform your noisy environment into a tranquil oasis.