Excess noise can make it difficult to sleep when you need to, or even to complete day-to-day tasks. If you live in an apartment complex or busy residential setting, you can use fabrics to make the rooms more soundproof. Some fabrics work better than others, so knowing which will best block out the noise best in your situation can give your ears a soothing break.
Soundproofing is a way to lessen sound pressure from room to room. You can achieve this by putting more space between noisy areas or to use some kind of barrier to absorb or reflect sound waves. Impact noise, such as that coming from an upstairs apartment, is harder to deal with than airborne noise. Even a soundproofed room, though, can still have echoes that are hard to take care of with soundproofing.
Mass Loaded Vinyl
Several retailers sell fabrics that are specifically designed for soundproofing. If you have the resources to purchase material, mass loaded vinyl is the best fabric for soundproofing. It reduces airborne noise, but when installed under carpet, it can also reduce impact noise. Mass loaded vinyl can also be painted, so it is a good choice for walls, too. Mass loaded vinyl comes with or without a foam backing. Foam backing works well under carpeted surfaces, as it will help make the carpet softer while also soundproofing. You can also purchase foam products that block sound. The complicated cell structure inside these products absorbs noise.
Fabrics Around the House
Foam around found around the house can help reduce some noise, but it is likely that it will only reduce echo. The same applies to egg cartons. Reducing echo, though, can still make a difference in an area that is poorly soundproofed. A heavy fabric or blanket can block some sound as well. Search for fabrics that are plush, as smooth surfaces will not absorb sound waves. Place these fabrics on a curtain rod that is installed over windows and door frames. Reflective surfaces do not absorb sound, so avoid foil-type materials.
Unless you are willing to alter the construction of the house or apartment building, it is likely that while you can absorb some of the sound, you will not be able to get a completely soundproofed room after the construction process. The best time to add soundproof fabrics is during the construction process when you can add them to carpets and walls. Fabrics built into the walls and floors will also make the room look more aesthetically pleasing, as adding soundproofing fabrics after the fact can make the room look messy.
Katie Tonarely started writing professionally in 2008. Her work appears in the Springfield "News-Leader" and she provides consumer-related content for various websites. Tonarely received a Bachelor of Arts in English education with a minor in journalism from Evangel University in Springfield, Mo.