Here’s how to soundproof your future home in Singapore if you don’t know anything about DIY

by Christabel Tan

If you are a new or soon-to-be homeowner, you’ve probably got plenty on your plate. One thing that tends to go overlooked, unfortunately, is soundproofing.

Be it dealing with noisy neighbours who are constantly stomping around or having your sleep be disrupted by the sounds of traffic, it’s really easy to be affected by excessive noise. 

As such, it’s important to create a peaceful home environment through the use of soundproofing solutions, especially if you’re (going to be) staying in a HDB flat or condominium in a busy area (near the MRT tracks or expressway, perhaps). 

However, you don’t have to roll up your sleeves and resort to DIY soundproofing — not all of us are born with the technical know-how, after all. 

So, if you’re someone with little to no DIY skills, and would rather leave the heavy lifting to the professionals, read on for these five easy ways to soundproof your home.

1. Curtains

Photo: Secret Furnishing

Never underestimate the power of fabrics, because one of the best ways to reduce noise and add to the aesthetics of a space is to install noise reduction curtains

If you’re not sure what kind of curtains best suit your needs, especially when it comes to design and functionality, Secret Furnishing is a reliable one-stop shop for custom-made window furnishings at competitive prices. 

For both style and substance, look no further than their Secreto Fabric range, which features 100% blackout curtains. Not only do they have noise reduction and sound insulation properties, but they also block out light completely, ensuring privacy and relief from the heat (UV protection is a must). 

Photo: Secret Furnishing

It’s important to choose curtains made from dense fabric, like 100% polyester in this case, as they work best for soundproofing purposes. 

So, if you’re up for some sweet curtains of your own, simply contact Secret Furnishing here and make an appointment to visit their showrooms. 

PSA: they’re also having one of their biggest sales for BTO curtains and blinds from now till the end of the year, so don’t miss out! Enquiries can be made by contacting +65 84488973.

2. Windows

Photo: Unsplash

I hate to break it to you, but the standard single-glazed windows installed in HDB flats barely do anything for noise reduction.

If you live near the expressway, MRT tracks, or a busy road, your best bet would be to replace regular windows with soundproof ones. Although on the costly side, these special windows not only block out noise, but also provide energy efficiency, thermal protection, and durability. 

Photo: Noise Plaster

You can find an extensive selection of soundproof windows from HDB-approved window specialists like Magnetite, Noise Plaster, and Grilles N Glass, with double glazing being one of the most viable options. 

Double-glazed windows typically have two panes of glass (with an empty space, or air vacuum, in between) and no gaps, ensuring that sound levels are reduced by around 60 to 70%. Top it off with the aforementioned noise reduction curtains, and you’re all set! 

3. Acoustic Panels

Photo: Royale Stones

Enter any recording studio and you’ll probably see the walls and ceilings lined with acoustic panels, pieces of fabric or foam that help to absorb and prevent sound from escaping. 

These panels also work well in apartments, especially if you have a home office or gaming setup that call for a quiet environment. This means you’ll be able to blast music or watch your favourite movies at full volume without disturbing — or being disturbed — by those in the other room. 

Photo: IKEA

You can easily arrange for custom acoustic panels that come in all colours and designs from companies such as Renostics and Enocoustic

For the more budget-conscious, IKEA offers a range of ODDLAUG and NÄVERHÄGG sound-absorbing panels which also function as room dividers — they’re also super easy to install, so no DIY skills required!

4. Rugs and carpets

Photo: Unsplash

One of the easiest and most inexpensive soundproofing solutions out there is to simply use floor coverings like rugs and carpets.  

Given that sound bounces off hard floors, textiles help to minimise the echo (and noise from your downstairs neighbours), dampen vibrations, and reduce noise levels. 

Photo: Unsplash

Choose rugs that are thick and fuzzy with lots of frays and fibres (also known as “cut pile” carpets). In fact, why not go the extra mile by also decking out your space with cushions, blankets, or even fabric-covered furniture? 

5. Sound absorbing plants 

Photo: Unsplash

Did you know that sound absorbing plants are actually a thing?

Aside from being natural “air purifiers”, plants can effectively absorb and deflect sound by breaking up soundwaves and converting them into different sources of energy. 

Photo: Unsplash

Opt for taller plants with thick, broad, and fleshy leaves (rather than thin spiny leaves), like Baby’s Tears, Peace Lily, and Ficus Elastica (Rubber Tree), which can be easily purchased from plant shops like The Nursery, Tumbleweed Plants, and Far East Flora Centre.

You’re better off having several smaller plants instead of one big plant, which should be positioned around the perimeter of your living space, along walls and in corners. Maybe your plant obsession isn’t that bad after all. 

If you’ve been longing for some much-deserved peace and quiet, which of these fuss-free soundproofing solutions in Singapore will you be going for first?

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