Can My Upstairs Neighbors Hear Me?

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Husband and wife in bed with pillows over their heads to block out noisy neighbors

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Renting an apartment by definition, means you will be living near-by 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 can hear you.

Will the Sound From My Apartment Travel Upstairs?

Yes, it is entirely possible that the sound from your apartment can travel to your upstairs neighbors depending 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 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 strong sound control (STC rating) means that the potential for noise to heard from one apartment to another is greatly diminished. Typical noise from sources such as footsteps, television or music should be inaudible in a well built apartment building, however, noise from very loud television or music, jumping and running sounds are likely to still 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 make above them 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?

While you may not be able to completely eliminate noise (as most of this is controlled by the sound control features of the building itself), some measures can help you 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 travelling upwards.

Look for Cracks in Your Walls and Ceilings

Cracks in walls and ceilings, and openings along poor fitted apartment doors can cause sound to travel, which is why you will want to get them fixed for yours and your neighbors’ sakes. 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 quite time hours. 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 the issue as much as possible.

Husband and wife in bed with pillows over their heads to block out noisy neighbors


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