Noise Blocking Curtains For Shared Condo Wall And Apartment Walls
Every builder will tell you true sound blocking needs to be done with a drywall construction. While that may be true, who wants the hassle and expense of hiring contractors?
What if there were noise blocking curtains that block out noise? What is there were noise blocking panels that you could install yourself, easily? Keep reading.
Normally noise blocking is done on the apartment wall level. However, if you can loudly hear crying babies through your wall, or can hear through the wall a couple having rough sexual relations, or a couple to the left of you that all too often communicates by yelling and screaming, then your noise blocking by walls is insufficient.
Many newly constructed homes and multi unit buildings have noise-blocking requirements. Just like there’s a fire code, there’s also a noise code.
However, many apartments are built without the regard to the noise code. If you get disturbed by your neighbors noises you know it.
Retrofit The Walls With Sound Dry Walls Is Expensive
Retrofitting the walls with additional sound absorbing dry walls can be expensive. Who likes to pick contractors from yellow pages? And, if you pick wrong, you will have to do it all over again. Who has the money? Who likes to deal with the other HOA members? And then the endless hiccups and delays… And if you are renting an apartment, you will hardly stand a chance at retrofitting anything!
So here we look for less expensive alternatives that you can implement on your own, such as noise proof curtains and noise blocking acoustic panels. These inexpensive alternatives may not be perfect, but they can be an easy way to keep your walls quiet. They will also work for renters!
Easy DIY Options, Noise Blocking Curtains And Acoustical Wall Panels
Compared to hiring contractors, hanging heavy media room noise blocking curtains or lighter noise reduction curtains is as simple as, well, hanging any curtains. And placing acoustical wall panels can be as simple as hanging a painting on the wall! Easy peasy!
Heavy Media Room Curtains That Block Out Noise
Just like in a TV room, media room, or home theater, heavy curtains can be hung on the walls, not just windows. In fact, in media rooms, the best acoustics is accomplished by placing heavy velvet curtains on all four walls.
You can simply start hanging curtains that block the noise on a single wall of your condo or apartment. That will usually be the wall that separates yours from another apartment, or an adjacent condo. The wall where the most noise is coming from. That will already remove a lion share of the neighbor noise.
We will give our recommendations for heavy velvet media room curtains below, but first, just a word or two about dimensioning.
Curtain Height For Maximum Benefit
You want your curtain to cover most if not all of the wall that you want to treat acoustically. Velvet curtains often come in heights between 60 and 120 inches, and you want to pick the height that is the largest that still fits within your wall height.
Wider Curtain Width Helps To Reduce Noise
This is where it gets interesting. We have shown on another page that noise reduction measurements demonstrate just how big the “pleat” effect is. The fact is that, when you add fullness to the curtain by pleating it or simply by buying wider total width, you can increase noise reduction by as much as a factor of 2 – 3.
To achieve the extra noise absorbing factor, just make sure that the total width of the media room curtain is 2.5 times to 3 times wider than your wall width. That way, even when the curtain is closed, it will look full. The already significant noise reduction of a heavy velvet curtain will double or triple!
Rod Size And Thickness
When you are planning for an extra full, extra heavy curtain, make sure your rod will handle it, Pick rods that are sufficiently wide and that have a diameter of 1 inch. Don’t go for anything less than 1 inch diameter and you will be fine.
Lighter Faux Suede Blackout Noise Reduction Curtains
We much prefer heavier velvet blackout curtains. If, however, you feel that a lighter curtain will block the noise sufficiently, sure, take a look at lighter, blackout, thermal insulating type panels. Thermal insulating curtains will block the noise coming through the window. They will also reduce the noise coming through the walls. Follow the exact same suggestions for curtain width, curtain height as for the heavy velvet curtains above.
Just follow the above suggestions about the proper width (total curtain width 3 times the window/wall width) and length. Even as you close the curtains, you will get fuller, more wavy curtains. You will double or triple noise reduction compared with others who don’t follow this advice and buy only 1.5 times the window or wall width (yet still report significant noise reduction).
Acoustical Wall Panels Alternative For Noise Absorption On Walls
Have you ever hung a painting on a wall?
Acoustical Wall Panels are not that different from paintings! Did you know putting acoustical wall panels on the walls for noise absorption is not any more difficult than hanging a painting on the wall?
Noise reduction experts suggest 1-inch-thick fabric-wrapped acoustical wall panels to reduce the noise. They will be solid and be placed on walls like oil paintings. They can be placed in a wall-covering fashion, with sides aligned next to each other.
Or, you can be more creative, and less strict, and simply place them in random spots across the wall, covering most of the wall. Tastefully, of course. That way, your placement will in itself become a work of art.
You can allow your imagination to take you wherever you want. You can choose between acoustic fabric panels and acoustic art panels!
Acoustic Absorption Sheets Or Blankets
In some cases, you could use less expensive sound absorption sheets for quick and easy acoustical treatment of walls. They look and feel like very heavy and thick curtains. You will not want to be pleat them or compress them into a wave because of their thickness.
However, you can simply hang them on the hooks, and improve noise absorption that way. They won’t look as good as acoustical wall panels but they are highly portable and easy to install, they will cost a lot less and they will absorb the noise just as well.