Soundproof Apartment Windows: Without Breaking the Bank

You might have thought that buying an apartment means living in your own paradise, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes you can find really noisy apartments and other times you will experience your neighbors’ music leaking through the walls, their children crying, slamming doors and so on.

How to Soundproof Apartment Windows? Double-pane windows are a great way to soundproof your apartment. These windows have two panes of glass, and a thick layer of gas between the panes. The gas acts as an insulator, and it reduces or eliminates most outside noise from entering your home.

Noise complaints are a common problem for apartment owners. If you live in a building with thin walls, the issue is more likely to be noise from your neighbors, not the building itself. 

This guide explains how to soundproof apartment windows and reduce noise coming through them both inside and out.

How to Soundproof Apartment Windows

How to Soundproof Apartment Windows

Install weatherstripping around the edges of your window panes. Hanging soundproof curtains will help you block out the noise from the busy street outside your apartment. Add storm windows to the outside of your windows. Storm windows will block out sound from outside, and prevent cold air from leaking in.

The most important thing is to find out whether or not your landlord will allow you to make changes to the windows. If they do not, then you will have to settle for a different form of soundproofing.

If this is not the case, then here are some of the most effective ways to soundproof your apartment windows:

1. Weathserstrip the Window

Weathserstrip the Window

Weatherstripping is an easy, cost-effective way to soundproof your apartment windows. This helps reduce the amount of noise that gets in and out of your home. It’s also a great way to save money on your energy bills.

You can easily weatherstrip your window by using a thin strip of foam or tape. The foam will stick to the window frame and block out noise from outside, while the tape will help seal any cracks between the frame and wall.

Here are some of the most common types of weatherstripping you’ll find:

Vinyl Weatherstripping

Vinyl weatherstripping is a great option for keeping your windows and doors sealed up, but it does have some limitations. 

Vinyl weatherstripping is made from a flexible material that can be cut to any shape and size to fit around the window or door edge. It’s a good choice if you’re looking for something easy to install, but it doesn’t last as long as other options.

Rubber Weatherstripping

Rubber weatherstripping is a great option for soundproofing. It’s inexpensive, easy to install, and quite durable, so you don’t have to worry about it falling apart after a few months.

Rubber weatherstripping is a great choice for soundproofing windows. It’s easy to install, and it’s effective at stopping sound from getting in or out of your home. Rubber weatherstripping can also help keep your windows insulated, which helps prevent energy waste and saves you money.

Rubber weatherstripping is made from durable materials that are made to last for years. It has adhesive backing that makes it easy to install without having to worry about any drilling or screws. Just peel off the backing and stick the rubber weatherstripping in place

Reinforced Felt Weatherstripping

This type of weatherstripping is ideal for sealing off the area between two pieces of wood, including the ones that make up a door frame. It’s made from felt and comes with a rubber backing, which makes it extra durable. 

This type of weatherstripping can be used on any door or window. It’s meant to be cut to size and applied directly to the opening between the two pieces of wood.

The rubber backing on reinforced felt weatherstripping helps keep it in place and make sure it stays there for as long as possible. The felt itself acts as an insulator, keeping the sound from escaping and entering your apartment.

How to Install Weatherstripping on Apartment Window

  1. Remove the old weatherstripping from your window frame. If the old weatherstripping is still in good condition, you can reuse it. If not, remove it and throw it away.
  2. Clean away any dirt or grime from around the window frame using a small brush or cloth. Use soap and water if necessary to remove stains or grease build-up that may be present on the window frame.
  3. Cut weatherstripping to fit along both sides of your window frame. You can use a utility knife to cut through both sides of the weatherstripping at once, but you may need to use a razor blade to trim off any excess material.
  4. Add adhesive around one side of each piece of weatherstripping before attaching it firmly into place with screws or nails. 

2. Seal the Gaps and Cracks

Seal the Gaps and Cracks

If you’re trying to soundproof your apartment windows, it’s important to make sure they’re properly sealed.

Sound travels through walls and windows by moving through the air around it, or through gaps and cracks in the window or wall. So if you have a gap between your window frame and wall, or a crack in the sealant around your window frame, sound can pass through there.

One way to seal the gaps is with acoustic caulk. Acoustic caulk is a special kind of caulk that prevents sound from traveling through those gaps. It’s usually white or gray in color and comes in tubes with a caulking gun attached so you can apply it like a regular caulk.

How to Seal the Gaps and Cracks of an Apartment Window

  1. Remove any existing caulking from around your window frame using an old credit card or other flat tool like an old knife blade that won’t damage the surface of your window frame.
  2. Clean off any dust or dirt from around the edges of your window frame using warm water and dish soap (or rubbing alcohol if you have hard water stains).
  3. Apply acoustic caulk around all sides of each side of your window frame where there are gaps or cracks.

3. Hang Soundproof Curtains 

Hang Soundproof Curtains 

Soundproof Curtains are made of a heavy fabric that absorbs sound waves and muffles the noise of outside traffic and other loud noises. 

They are effective at blocking out low-frequency sounds, such as the hum of air conditioning or refrigeration units, as well as higher-frequency sounds like human voices.

The most important thing is to choose the right material for your curtains. If you want something that will last and will not be too expensive, then cotton is the best option. 

It is also very easy to wash and care for, so it’s perfect if you are looking for something that can be easily cleaned.

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution and don’t mind spending more money on it, then consider investing in velvet or silk curtains. 

These types of fabrics are very durable and will last longer than any other type of material when it comes to hanging up soundproof curtains around your home.

4. Use Window Inserts

Use Window Inserts

Glass window inserts are made from a special type of glass that is able to absorb and dampen sound waves, making them much less likely to enter an enclosed space. They can be installed in any window that isn’t double-paned and will make your apartment much quieter.

The downside of these inserts is that they don’t block out all sound, so if you want something more permanent, consider other methods such as double or triple paned windows.

5. Install Quilted Fiberglass Panel

 Install Quilted Fiberglass Panel

A quilted fiberglass panel is made by sandwiching layers of insulation materials together with a layer of fabric between them. This creates a strong barrier that will help keep outside noise out. It can also be used as an alternative to soundproof curtains or blinds.

The material in this panel is designed to block sound by absorbing it and converting it into heat energy that dissipates into the surrounding air. It’s made up of millions of tiny fibers that absorb sound waves as they travel through them. 

This means that the noise outside your home will be greatly reduced when it hits this material.

6. Add a layer of Acrylic Glass

Add a layer of Acrylic Glass

Acrylic glass is made from plastic that has been treated with ultraviolet radiation. The result is a material that’s extremely hard and durable, yet also transparent. It’s used in many industries for its ability to block light but still let people see through it.

You can buy sheets of acrylic glass at any hardware store or home improvement center. They come in different thicknesses, ranging from 4.5mm all the way up to 12mm thick, which is about 1/2 inch thick. 

For soundproofing purposes, you’ll want to go with one of these thicker sheets because it will absorb more sound waves than thinner ones would.

7. Add a Rubber Gasket

Add a Rubber Gasket

The main reason why sound travels through windows is because they are not airtight. You can seal them with the addition of a rubber gasket around the window frame to create an airtight seal. 

The gasket will reduce the amount of sound that comes through the window. This is especially useful for thin glass or single-pane windows that don’t have any seals between them and the frame.

8. Replace with a Double Paned Window

Replace with a Double Paned Window

If you want to reduce the noise from outside, replacing your existing single-pane window with a double pane window is a great way to go. This will help reduce the amount of sound that passes through your window and into your home. 

The double pane glass also has a layer of air between each pane that reduces the amount of heat transfer between outside and inside, making it more energy efficient than single pane glass.

Double pane windows are more effective at reducing noise than single pane windows because they have two layers of glass separated by a small amount of air. 

The air between the panes acts as a buffer to reduce outside noises from penetrating through to your apartment.

Some older apartments may not have enough space between their walls and floors to install new double pane windows without removing some drywall or flooring. 

If this is the case, consider installing acoustic foam around your current window frames before replacing them with double paned models.

9. Add Storm Window

Add Storm Window

If you don’t want to replace your entire window with a double pane window, then adding a storm window to an existing window is a great way to keep the noise out. 

Storm windows can help make your apartment more comfortable and quiet. They are placed outside the window and offer additional insulation from bad weather, drafts and noise from outside.

The problem with this option is that it’s expensive. The cost of adding storm windows can easily be more than $100 per window in your apartment, which means it would cost thousands of dollars to soundproof all your windows.

Although installing storm windows may seem like an expensive undertaking, it is worth every penny because they will last for many years to come. 

Even if they need replacing after 10 years or so, they will still save you money on heating bills and make your apartment more comfortable throughout the year.

Understanding the STC Rating

If you’re looking to soundproof your apartment windows, it’s important to understand the STC rating of the material. STC stands for Sound Transmission Class and is a measurement of how effective a material is at blocking sound. 

The higher the STC rating, the more effective that material will be at reducing outside noise from entering into your home or apartment.

You can understand the STC rating by the following table:

STC RatingWhat you hear
25Soft speech can be understood easily.
30Normal speech can be heard and understood
35Loud speech can be heard and understood
40Loud speech can be heard, but not understood
45The threshold at which privacy begins
50Loud sounds can be heard, but are very faint
60+Considered Good Soundproofing

The following table shows the STC rating of different types of window soundproofing treatments.

Soundproofing Window TreatmentSTC Rating
Single-Pane Window18 – 25
Double-Pane Window26 – 35
Window Insert + SIngle-Pane Window36 – 40
WIndow Insert + Double-Pane Window41 – 45
Window Insert + Double-Pane Window + Added Storm Window50+

Acoustic Curtains for Soundproof Apartment Windows

Acoustic Curtains for Soundproof Apartment Windows

Acoustic curtains are specially designed curtains made from sound-absorbing materials that help to reduce noise levels in a room. They are also known as soundproof curtains, noise-reducing curtains, or sound-dampening curtains. Acoustic curtains are an affordable and effective way to soundproof your apartment windows without making any structural changes.

How do Acoustic Curtains Work?

Acoustic curtains work by absorbing sound waves that enter through windows. They are made from thick, dense materials such as fiberglass, cotton, or polyester, which trap sound waves and prevent them from bouncing around the room. The curtains are hung over the window frames and can be opened and closed like regular curtains.

Benefits of Using Acoustic Curtains for Soundproofing Apartment Windows

Using acoustic curtains for soundproofing apartment windows has several benefits, including:

  • Reduced noise levels: Acoustic curtains can reduce outside noise levels by up to 50%, making your apartment quieter and more comfortable.
  • Improved privacy: Acoustic curtains can also help to improve privacy by blocking out sound from neighboring apartments or outside traffic.
  • Energy efficiency: Acoustic curtains can help to improve energy efficiency by providing an additional layer of insulation to your windows, which can reduce heating and cooling costs.
  • Easy installation: Acoustic curtains are easy to install and can be hung over existing curtains or blinds.
  • Aesthetically pleasing: Acoustic curtains come in a variety of colors and designs, making it easy to find a style that matches your decor.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Acoustic Curtains

When choosing acoustic curtains for your soundproof apartment windows, there are several factors to consider, including:

  • Material: Look for curtains made from dense, sound-absorbing materials such as fiberglass, cotton, or polyester.
  • Size: Make sure the curtains are the correct size to cover your windows fully.
  • Style: Consider the style of the curtains and whether they will match your decor.
  • Soundproofing performance: Look for curtains that have been tested for soundproofing performance and have a high noise reduction coefficient (NRC) rating.
  • Price: Acoustic curtains come at different price points, so consider your budget when choosing the curtains.

Installation and Maintenance of Acoustic Curtains

Acoustic curtains are easy to install and require little maintenance. To install the curtains, simply hang them over the window frames using a curtain rod or track system. It’s essential to make sure the curtains are hung tightly to prevent any gaps that could let in noise.

To maintain acoustic curtains, regularly vacuum or brush off any dust or dirt. You can also spot clean them with a damp cloth if needed. Avoid washing the curtains in a washing machine as this can damage the sound-absorbing materials.

Benefits of Soundproofing your Apartment Windows

There are many benefits to soundproofing your apartment windows. If you live in an apartment, then you may be familiar with the problem of hearing your neighbors through the walls.

Reduced noise: When you soundproof your windows, they’ll become more effective at blocking out noise from other apartments and rooms in your building.

Increased privacy: Another benefit of soundproofing your apartment windows is increased privacy since it will keep others from being able to hear what’s going on inside your home or apartment.

Reduced heating costs: Reducing the amount of noise that makes its way into your apartment from outside can help you save money on heating bills by keeping the temperature in your home just right all year long.

Conclusion

The best way to soundproof windows is to use caulking and weatherstripping around the edges of the window. This will keep the sound from escaping into the room, and it will also prevent outside noise from coming in. Adding storm windows over existing windows greatly reduces the noise from outside.

There are many ways to soundproof an apartment window. You may need to use more than one solution, depending on the type of window you have and how well you want the soundproofing to be.

Soundproofing is the process of reducing sound, and it can be done with a variety of materials. This article has provided some of the best ways to soundproof your apartment windows. 

If you have any questions or would like to discuss this topic further, please feel free to leave a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (Soundproof Apartment Windows)

How can I soundproof my apartment window?

Curtains are the best option for soundproofing an apartment window. Not only are they cheap and easy to install, but you can also make them yourself by sewing together a few sheets of fabric and installing them using curtain rods that match the rest of your window treatments.

If you’re looking for something more permanent, you could consider installing an acoustical panel over your existing glass panes. These panels are made of dense foam or fiberglass and are glued onto the edges of all four sides of your window.

Can I ask the landlord to soundproof the windows?

Yes, you can ask the landlord to soundproof your windows. You can even offer to help pay for the cost of soundproofing. However, if you do that, make sure that you get it in writing and have a written agreement signed by both parties. 

This way, if there is ever a dispute over what was agreed upon, you’ll have proof that the landlord agreed to do whatever work you paid for.

What is the cheapest way to soundproof windows?

The cheapest way to soundproof windows is to use a soundproof curtain. A soundproof curtain helps reduce the amount of noise that leaks into your home from outside. It does this by covering your window and blocking out most of the noise that comes in through it. 

The best part about soundproof curtains is that they’re very inexpensive, so you don’t have to spend a lot of money to get started.

How do I stop outside noise through windows?

You can install double-pane windows and use window inserts. You can also use storm windows, which are placed on the outside of your home’s regular windows. Storm windows keep out noise and let in light but still allow you to see outside clearly.

Double-pane windows are the best solution. They have two panes of glass, separated by an air layer. The air layer helps keep out sound, so if you have these windows installed in your house, it will help block out noise from outside better than single-pane glass would.

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Brendan Ratliff
Brendan Ratliff

As a soundproofing and acoustical professional, I have helped new homeowners, builders and remodelers with their projects. I also help contractors/designers learn how to properly install soundproofing in their clients homes.
I enjoy helping people understand the process of soundproofing and acoustical construction. SoundproofProfessional.com is a one-stop solution for all of your soundproofing related questions.