DIY tips to keep your home quieter

With spring bank holidays ahead many of us are planning DIY jobs to refurbish or refresh our homes. This work is often noisy when underway. Also, the way we design and decorate our homes can have a big impact on how noisy our homes are and how they impact on our neighbours.  Noise from neighbours can drive us mad – but noise within our own homes can also be a problem.  Many people work or study at home andothers want to enjoy quiet time.  So befroe you start transforming your livign space, its important to consider how it will sound as well as how it will look.

Here are some things to consider that can make our living space quieter – reduce the likelihood of you being annoyed by the noise of the family, friends, or housemates you live with – or annoying them:


Look at layout

If you are looking at a major refurb of your home look at the layout – kitchens will clatter and are home to noisy activities from coffee grinding to clanking pans.  Plumbing can also make annoying noise – thundering power showers and flushing loos next to bedrooms aren’t ideal. Consider the relationship of quiet rooms like bedrooms and studies in relation to kitchens, boiler and plumbing – and of course to any adjoining property and outside noise sources like roads. Open plan living areas with stripped floors and minimalist décor will make your living space louder. Consider whether a kitchen in the living space will create communal comfort – or a deafening din as the kettle, food processer and microwave compete with others enjoying screen time, reading or studying.

Think about flooring

Stripped wooden floors and laminates are noisy, especially if you clomp around the house in heavy shoes. Sticking to socks or slippers indoors will keep your home cleaner as well as reducing noise. Whatever flooring you are laying a good acoustic underlay will reduce sound transmission both within your home and to neighbours.  Also fix those annoying squeaky or creaky floor boards. Insulating rugs and mats on high traffic areas will do a lot to reduce impact noise. Cork tiles also absorb sound and are great for warmth too.

Walls and windows

These are hard surfaces that reflect sound – so bare walls and windows increase the noise in a room. While flock wallpaper and clutter may not be to your taste, adding some wallcoverings will soak up sound. Whether its shelves, wallpaper or textiles – sound will be absorbed making the acoustics of a room less harsh.

Double glazed windows will reduce noise from outside, and hanging curtains rather than blinds or shutters can absorb sound inside.


Internal doors between rooms are often not considered when it comes to blocking sound. If you like your open plan space considering retaining sliding or folding doors so the room can be divided. If, for example, someone wants to watch an action film and someone else is studying or writing a report, they can have some insulation from noise. Noise will be transmitted through any gaps around or under doors and through thin material. Internal doors are often flimsy or hollow, so if you really want to keep a room like  a bedroom or office – quiet – consider a solid wood door which is well sealed when closed.

Remember your neighbours

If you are planning a spring home makeover – whether its DIY or getting the builders in – remember you have neighbours – and plan really noisy activity for when they are least likely to be annoyed. Letting them know in advance allows them to plan around the noise. No one wants to be woken by drilling at 7 am on a Bank Holiday – but if they are away or out for the day the won’t be annoyed. They are far less likely to be annoyed or complain if they know what you are doing.

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