Skip to main
Go Back
Strata Logo

    Noisy neighbours? How To Soundproof Your Condo On Any Budget

    Written By Nathaniel Hartree-Hallifax

    If you live in a condo you know all too well the struggle of noisy neighbours.

    Whether it be above, below or beside you, it can sometimes be hard to enjoy a quiet evening at home when someone is screaming at their Xbox or cranking Dubstep at 1 am on a Tuesday.

    Maybe you have to deal with what sounds like an amateur bowling league above your head at 4 am or you have one of those couples upstairs who like to have really loud fights and even louder make-ups.

    Whatever your noisy neighbour situation might be, we get it and we’re here to help because wearing earplugs 24/7 is no way to live!

    So how can you soundproof your condo so that you can go back to pretending you don’t have annoying neighbours? Soundproofing.

    Yes, my friends, you need to soundproof your apartment.

    Okay so quick sound 101 lesson: sound is a form of energy that travels in waves away from the source. It causes vibrations, which eventually reach your ears and then a bunch of stuff happens in your brain to translate those vibrations into the annoying sound of Judy vacuuming at 8 am on a freakin’ SUNDAY!

    So to stop the vibrations from reaching your ears you need interrupt the chain of events.

    And since you can’t stop Judy from her incessant cleaning habits you need to stop it in another way.

    The best way to stop sound travelling through your walls is to build it into the walls, ceilings and floors. There’s soundproof drywall and soundproofing insulation that can significantly reduce the amount of noise.

    Treat yourself

    The best way to stop sound travelling through your walls is to build it into the walls, ceilings and floors. There’s soundproof drywall and soundproofing insulation that can significantly reduce the amount of noise.

    The catch is that in addition to the cost of renovating or building, the materials are super pricey. For example, soundproof drywall can cost up to six times more than regular drywall.

    But if you’re willing to splurge your condo will be as quiet as a monastery!

    Just to give you an idea of how well it works, soundproofing is measured by a sound transmission class (STC) rating. A rating of 40 is considered to be soundproof but soundproof drywall has a rating between 50 and 55. At this rating, you can’t hear someone talking through the wall at all. Ahhh peace and quiet!

    This is because the soundproof drywall is made up of gypsum that is layered with other materials like plastic or glue to create really stiff drywall. The stiffer the drywall is, the less it vibrates and the less sound travels through it.

    Soundproofing insulation can be installed to take care of the sound that comes from the ceiling or floor, because sound doesn’t just travel sideways.

    The insulation is usually made up of a type of foam that has tiny air cells in it. When the vibrations travel through the air and hit the tiny cells they dissipate and the energy is transformed from sound energy to heat energy, thus reducing the amount of noise you hear.

    Middle of the road

    If you’re not renovating or building from scratch there are some other options that will also help dampen the cacophony coming from your neighbours. They’re not dirt cheap but they also won’t break the bank either.


    The idea is to make the wall heavier so they vibrate less, which means you need to add things to the wall or floor or ceiling that will do that.

    There are a few options here. The best is probably Mass Loaded Vinyl or MVL because it's heavyweight it can stop things from vibrating as much. It can be added on top of existing walls and if you put this up with these ones. But these just absorb sound, they don’t block it.

    Student budget

    Now if you’re extra broke and the above options aren’t in your budget, fear not, there are still a couple of things you can do!

    First and foremost, seal up any holes where sound could get in. Places like: under doors, around light fixtures, around your windows etc. You want to make sure there are no gaps where sound can leak in.

    Also add things like carpet, thick curtains and lots of soft things around your apartment to absorb sound.

    For extra sound absorption, you can hang moving blankets on your wall, but it’s not really the most effective or eye-pleasing way to try and create an oasis of silence.

    If you’re willing to get your hands a little dirty and be crafty you can make your own soundproof drywall panels that will help block sounds.

    While using soundproof drywall around an entire room is expensive, one sheet of drywall is only about 60 dollars, so you can buy one and create some panels that look like art on your walls. You just need a sheet of drywall, a picture frame and some wallpaper or paint.

    Once you assemble it you can hang it up on your wall to help silence whatever Judy is doing over there.

    But if all else fails, we at Strata can always help you find a new condo with less noisy neighbours!

    Starting your search for a new home? Click on any of these links to access active listings, sold listings or contact a Strata agent.

    For any questions about this article or media inquires, please email