Unwanted noises from upstairs floors in your home or apartment are an issue many homeowners and tenants deal with on a daily basis. Whether its rambunctious children, heavy-footed neighbors, or creaky floorboards, dampening out these sounds doesn't have to be an expensive task.
Carpet and Area Rugs
Visit your local thrift shop or department store to pick up some thicker area rugs for the upper levels of your home. Laying them out in high trafficked areas of your upper level could greatly reduce the noise from filtering down to your lower levels.
If area rugs are not an option, or further soundproofing is needed, use a sound dampening product called Green Glue. This product can be applied between two pieces of dry wall and works as a constrained layer damping system which pulls and stretches sound waves on the damping material thus converting the sound energy into heat which then quickly dissipates. Bottles can be purchased directly from the company website, for a price that works out to roughly 50 cents per square foot as of early 2011.
Depending on how large the ceiling you're looking to soundproof is, acoustic foam can be a cost effective option, which can be applied with general ease using self-stick adhesives and Velcro attachments. The acoustic foam acts as a thick layer, absorbing the sound waves. Acoustic foam typically comes in charcoal color but can be purchased in a variety of colors for those who want to match a room's color scheme. Acoustic foam ranges in price from $2.50 to $9 per square foot, as of early 2011, depending on the thickness and retailer.
Mass Load Vinyl
Mass load vinyl can be installed between a carpet and its floorboards. The product adds density and weight between the pieces of drywall making it difficult for sound to pass through. The average cost of mass load vinyl is approximately one dollar per square foot. This is a cost effective option if the area you are looking to soundproof is not too large.