By: Demetrios Salpoglou
Whether you’re a native or a recent transplant, you know that the city of Boston has tons to offer. If you’re looking for a place to live, you have many choices. You can find Boston apartments for every stage of life, whether you’re shopping for inexpensive rooms for rent in Boston or for Boston luxury apartments.
But all Boston apartments are likely to face the same obstacle: noise. It’s just a part of the equation in multilevel, multi-unit housing. Cheaper properties may have thin walls with inadequate soundproofing. Older buildings have rickety, squeaky floors. And the thickest drywall available won’t do much if your neighbor decides to throw a thrash metal party at 2 in the morning.
The bad news: We can’t fix your neighbors. The good news: we do have some real ways to help soundproof your apartment. And the best part? The strategies listed here are all removable. First, a caveat: Rental agreements can vary. Always read yours carefully. If one of the tips below sounds like it would violate your agreement, use a different one instead.
Read on for 4 removable ways to soundproof your apartment.
1. Egg Cartons
Cardboard egg cartons are a great shape for diffusing sound. And they’re lightweight, so you should have no trouble affixing them to the wall using safe adhesive. Check out this tutorial for using egg cartons in this way. As the tutorial notes, egg cartons will not completely soundproof your space. But they will dampen sound significantly. And they’re (practically) free!
Pro Tip: You might find the egg carton option a little ugly. Consider attaching posters to the front of the egg cartons. Or place them strategically (behind couches, behind artwork, and so on). You’ll dampen more sound by coating an entire wall, but every little bit will help.
2. Acoustic Foam
If you’ve ever been inside a recording studio, you’ve seen acoustic foam. This funky foam is much better than egg cartons at absorbing sound. Acoustic foam is also lightweight. You should be able to attach it using a removable adhesive like 3M Command hooks.
Pro Tip:If you go this route, don’t choose just any foam. An egg-crate mattress topper may look similar to acoustic foam, but it’s not engineered to do the same job.
3. Rugs and Carpeting
Hardwoods and laminates are all the rage in interior design. But these materials are noisy to walk on. If you’re getting complaints from your downstairs neighbors, buy some plush area rugs. Cover your high-traffic areas with rugs to reduce footfall noise. Doing so will also reduce your overall interior noise level.
Pro Tip: You can also take your rugs vertical. Hang a rug or a thick decorative curtain on a problem wall to reduce the noise coming through. (Remember, do this only if your rental agreement allows you to hammer nails or place wall anchors.)
4. Secure Your Doors and Windows
Sometimes the sound isn’t coming through the walls. It’s coming from outside. Your door and windows are to blame. You likely aren’t allowed to replace windows and doors, but you do have a few options. First, apply new seals to your door. Normal hardware-store seals will help some, but an acoustic door seal will do even more. Second, use window seal kits on the noisiest windows.
Pro Tip:Window seal kits require placing a few screws in your window frame. Use putty to fill those holes when you move out, and your window frames will look as good as new.
Truth be told, the Boston apartments you’re considering probably all have noise issues. Use these 4 noise-reducing strategies so you can get back to enjoying your new place.