Brick Underground's best advice for soundproofing apartments in New York City

By Mimi O'Connor | May 16, 2018 - 12:00PM 


People from outside New York City may wonder how it's possible to live in one of the busiest and loudest places on the planet and still somehow expect to have quiet in your apartment. But that's just how we are: we want it all. Soundproofing needs vary—some really want to keep noise out, while others are desperate to dampen the racket made by their own kids or dogs—and there are numerous ways to tackle each challenge.

Here we've rounded up Brick Underground's best advice and ideas for soundproofing apartments in New York City. 

Soundproofing 101

What are common noise complaints? Can you tell if a building has noise issues before you move? What are the ballpark estimates for soundproofing, and how do you know if a professional is taking you for a ride? Find out all this and more here.

How new windows can help

Installing new, soundproof windows can be very effective in keeping street noise out. But not all soundproof windows are created equal. Here's the scoop on how they vary, and who you might need to check in with before putting in new panes.

And where windows fall short

General street noise is easily handled, but higher-pitched sounds, such as sirens, and those lower on the register, like the jackhammer, are more difficult to reduce. Read more on the capabilities and limitations of soundproof windows here

Explore strategies beyond expensive windows

Not everyone has the budget or ability to install soundproof windows, but there are plenty of other ways to muffle and drown out unwanted noise. Noise-reduction professionals chime in with advice here.

Do you own? Learn from other people's projects

Such as this one, in which a couple soundproofed the floors of their Brooklyn brownstone. Here's a step-by-step guide to the process.

Include soundproofing in your renovation plans (and budget) 

A renovation project can present the perfect opportunity to install some soundproofing, with costs dependent on what you've planned, and where. Here's some advice on fixes both small and extensive, with estimates on how much you should expect to pay to work in soundproofing. 

Soundproofing as a renter

Renters face a specific set of challenges when it comes to trying to reduce noise. Here are some ways to soundproof without making permanent changes to an apartment.  Additional ideas can be found here.

Try a budget technique if living with roommate noise

For about $40, this simple modification can help take the edge off the noise emanating from a common space. 

Go to the root

In some cases, making the noise stop is easier than dampening it, particularly if you join forces with other people similarly peeved by the same offender and go to the root of the problem. Here's a guide to working en masse to affect positive noise change.

Look on the bright side

It could be worse. You could, for example, live next to a church with big bell tower. Or be surrounded by ongoing construction.

Better luck next time

If you've endured enough and swear you'll never live in a noisy apartment again, consider these tips on how to find a quiet place to call home.





Brick Underground articles occasionally include the expertise of, or information about, advertising partners when relevant to the story. We will never promote an advertiser's product without making the relationship clear to our readers.