DIY tips to keep your home quieter
Did you know that our interior design and decoration can have a big impact on how noisy our homes are? Noise from neighbours can drive us mad – but noise within our own homes can also be a problem. With many people working from home, studying, or for anyone want just wanting to enjoy some quiet time with a book, open plan living with stripped floors and minimalist décor can make your living space louder.
With spring bank holidays, ahead many of us are thinking of refurbishing and refreshing our homes. 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.
Think about flooring
Stripped wooden floors and laminates are noisy if you clomp around the house in heavy shoes. If you have hard floors wear socks or soft shoes indoors. 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. Whatever flooring you are laying a good acoustic underlay will reduce sound transmission both within your home and to neighbours.
Walls and windows
These are hard surfaces that reflect sound – so bare walls and windows can increase the noise in a room. While flock wallpaper and clutter may not be to your taste, adding some wallcoverings – whether its shelves of books, wallpaper or textiles – sound will be absorb 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 busy 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 – including underneath.
Remember your neighbours
If you are planning a spring home makeover – whether its DIY or getting the builders in – you’re your neighbours – and plan really noisy activity for when they are least likely to be annoyed. No one wants to be woken by drilling at 7 am on a Bank Holiday . They are far less likely to be annoyed or complain if they know what you are doing.