Can My Upstairs Neighbors Hear Me?

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By definition, renting an apartment means you will be living close to your neighbors. When you live in an apartment building, you are probably wondering if your neighbors can hear you. Let’s dig deeper into whether your upstairs neighbors might be able to hear you.

Will the Sound From My Apartment Travel Upstairs?

mid rise apartment building

Yes, it is entirely possible that the sound from your apartment can travel to your upstairs neighbors. It really depends on how your apartment building is built. Even though it is more likely for neighbors living below you to hear sounds such as footsteps and neighbors living in adjacent apartments to hear the sound from a loud television and music, sound will also travel in an upward direction. This is why you could be heard even on the top floor.

In general, a well-built apartment building with a strong sound control (STC rating) lowers the potential for noise to travel from one apartment to another. Typical noise from sources such as footsteps, television, and/or music should be much less audible in a well-built apartment building. Noise from a very loud television, music, jumping, and running sounds are still likely to be heard.

Are Top Apartments Less Noisy Than Bottom Apartments?

The short answer is yes! Lower-level apartments tend to hear more noise from foot traffic, furniture moving, and the like. The biggest complaint with regard to noise from lower-level apartments is the noise neighbors above them make while walking around.

Some apartment complexes have done a great job with soundproofing so this issue is minimized in them. Unfortunately, when budgets are tight, sound control is among the expenses to be cut. Sound control is significantly more important to the long-term happiness of a resident, but it rarely makes the priority list of apartment hunters.

Can You Minimize Noise?

You may not be able to completely eliminate noise as most of this is controlled by the sound control features of the building itself. You can, however, take measures to help minimize it, giving you more peace and quiet in your apartment. Here they are –

Add Rugs

Thick rugs are a relatively inexpensive way to help with sound control. Add them to your floors and consider asking your upstairs neighbors to do the same if the sound is traveling upwards.

Look for Cracks in Your Walls and Ceilings

Cracks in walls and ceilings, and openings along poorly fitted apartment doors can cause sound to travel. Get in touch with your landlord or property manager to have them fix it.

Be Considerate

Even if you think the noise from your apartment isn’t traveling too far, try to keep it down, especially during apartment quiet times. It’s always best to be a considerate neighbor.

Noise can be a big issue between neighbors so it’s important you take steps to minimize your contribution to the problem.


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