Living in a condo certainly has a lot going for it. From hotel-like amenities to the luxury of letting someone else worry about landscaping and trash removal, there are a lot of advantages. And while these advantages are plenty, living in a condo isn’t perfect; it has a few rather significant trade-offs. Let’s discuss the loudest factor — the noise. We’re going to breakdown everything you need to know about condo soundproofing so that it seems like a less daunting task.

Condos Have Neighbors, Lots of Neighbors

Are condos soundproof? After only a few weeks, condo owners know the answer is a resounding no.

There is bound to be an occasional problem with so many people living close together: having loud neighbors is one example. Even if you get lucky and most of the other owners in your complex are respectful and quiet, you still need to deal with the increased traffic noises and other outside disturbances.

Adding condo soundproofing seems like an ideal response to deal with this excessive noise. However, it can lead you to perhaps the most significant problem with condos: The condo owners’ associations and the boards that run them.

Condos Have Lots of Regulations

Most condo boards are strict regarding what owners can and can’t do with their units. Woe to you if you intentionally or even unintentionally violate these rules. Penalties can be harsh.

Double-check whether your condo has any soundproofing restrictions to prevent unwanted letters from showing up in your mailbox. Read the bylaws carefully and ask the board if there are any updates before starting your soundproofing project. Although it is rare for condos to have regulations about soundproofing interior walls, floors, and ceilings, things can get a bit more complicated when it comes to windows.

Simple Ways of Condo Soundproofing

With the latest rules and regulations in hand, the challenging part comes from figuring out how to soundproof a condo without violating any of them. It can get a bit difficult, but the results make it worthwhile. Starting with the most full proof way to soundproof – let’s address the windows first.

Condo Soundproofing: Your Windows

Many of our clients express that windows have been one of the most difficult elements of their condo to soundproof, until they call the experts. There are of course different DIY methods that you can use, however many of these methods may be costly and not achieve the desired results. For example, heavy drapes may be a costly solution that will filter light out along with some noise – leaving you with a dark space that is still occasionally noisy.

Brand-new windows is also another solution, but very costly. Not only are new windows costly, but your condo owners’ association’s restrictions and approval-process may be a nightmare. So, what’s a cost-effective, full proof solution?

An Ideal Solution to Soundproofing Your Condo

Soundproof window inserts from Sun & Sound are a great way to dampen or even eliminate outside noises without replacing your windows or preventing you from using them.

Our soundproof window inserts are made in Texas using quarter-inch lamented glass panels with a Sound Transmission Class rating of 42 when used with single-pane windows and 48 when used with double-pane windows. Studies show that our window inserts reduce up to 75% of low-pitching noises, such as those from highway traffic, and up to 95% of high-pitched noises like squealing breaks and pool pumps.

You won’t need to worry about violating any condo bylaws with soundproof window inserts since they are virtually invisible from the outside. The inserts fit snuggly between the window and your window treatment. You can order our inserts in several sizes, colors, and configurations to match your home’s interior. Tinting is also available.

Once you’ve soundproofed your windows, let’s go over a few remaining items you may want to consider to prevent noise:

Floor Methods to Prevent Noise

Soundproofing a condo doesn’t have to be complicated. As a matter of fact, it can be as easy as buying new rugs.

Adding wall-to-wall carpeting and large area rugs with heavy padding is a great way to prevent noise from below disturbing you, and they also soak up any excessive sounds from your unit. Although just about any carpeting and padding will help, you can find varieties specifically designed to dampen noise for improved results.

Ceiling Methods to Prevent Noise

Rugs and padding are incredible for noise coming from downstairs, but the upstairs neighbors are probably the ones that are really driving you crazy. Unless you are willing to resort to carpeting your ceiling, how can you stop the sounds from above?

Without going through a major remodel involving dropping the ceiling and stuffing the space between the floor joists with insulation, your best option is to install acoustic ceiling tiles. Although acoustic tiles may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option, they are effective and come in various styles to match your decor.

Walls Methods to Prevent Noise

Shared walls let the sound from your next-door neighbors seep into your home and allow your neighbors to hear you. Depending on your condo’s age and construction style, there may be nothing but a couple of sheets of drywall between you and the family next door.

Unfortunately, most condo boards won’t let you punch a hole in the wall to fill the cavity between you and your neighbor with sound-damping insulation. However, there are things you can do. Acoustic paneling is a popular option. Like acoustic tile, it may not be fashionable, but it works. Other possibilities include using sound-damping paint, wallpaper, and fabric wall treatments.

How to Achieve a Quieter Condo – Start with Your Windows

Find relief from noisy neighbors by taking the first step. Call us at Sun & Sound at 281-914-0264 to learn more or schedule an appointment online. We serve the local metropolitan areas of Austin, Houston, and Dallas.