How to Soundproof an Apartment Ceiling

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Soundproofing an apartment ceiling.
Soundproofing an apartment ceiling. (Image: ceiling light view2 image by askthegeek from Fotolia.com)

Soundproofing a ceiling can give much needed peace and quiet to residents of apartment buildings. Upstairs neighbors with dogs or children, or neighbors who simply walk heavily or throw parties regularly can create a lot of noise. Lose of sleep, difficulty concentrating and added stress are a few of the disadvantages of living below noisy neighbors. However, simply soundproofing the ceiling can prevent the aggravating noise.

Things You'll Need

  • Ladder
  • R12 or R13 Fiberglass insulation
  • Foam tiles
  • Caulk
  • Isolation clips

Expose the ceiling

Your ceiling must be completely exposed to soundproof it. Remove any drywall and place it aside, intact, as you will be replacing it. Only the wood struts of the ceiling should be visible.

Use a sturdy ladder that will fully support your weight.
Use a sturdy ladder that will fully support your weight. (Image: Wooden ladder image by Tasha from Fotolia.com)

Pack the foam insulation into the exposed spaces between the ceiling struts.

The higher the quality of the insulation, the better it will block sound.
The higher the quality of the insulation, the better it will block sound. (Image: cork texture background image by Sean Wallace-Jones from Fotolia.com)

Check your ceiling carefully for holes. Even the slightest hole can let sound through. Use acoustical caulk to fill any holes.

Caulk will seal any small holes to prevent sound from getting through.
Caulk will seal any small holes to prevent sound from getting through. (Image: glazier image by Greg Pickens from Fotolia.com)

Place a dense layer of foam ceiling tiles over your ceiling. The thicker they are, the more difficult it will be for sound to get through them.

Go back over the ceiling to check for holes. Use caulk to seal any holes left when the foam ceiling tiles were added. It is very important that all holes are sealed, so double check the ceiling before moving to the next step.

Replace the drywall you removed in Step 1. Use isolation clips to create a small gap between the drywall and the ceiling. The gap will prevent noise caused by vibrations.

Touching up the paint on the ceiling will give it a finished look.
Touching up the paint on the ceiling will give it a finished look. (Image: paint roller image by Ana de Sousa from Fotolia.com)

Tips & Warnings

  • Get permission from your landlord before beginning.
  • Wear clothing you don't mind ruining.
  • Fiberglass can be sensitive to the skin so wear long sleeves and pants.

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