Sssshhhh! Your guide to a quieter home

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Modern architecture has allowed for breakthroughs in home design and endless benefits suited to strict budget and sustainability ethics. Open plan rooms, lightweight construction material and high-tech appliances are some of the features of modern homes that make our lives more stylish, affordable, ethical and convenient. All of this does come with a price though, and in this case it is having to live in a noisy environment. 

Noise has become a by-product of our contemporary lives, and we create a large amount noise pollution by our daily activities. This can have a negative impact on your sleep, stress levels and privacy, which my compromise your overall quality of life. Fortunately, homify has some clever tips and tricks to help you make your home more quiet and improve your holistic well-being.

Apathetic appliances

modern Kitchen by Casas Cube
Casas Cube

Casa prefabricada Cube 75 m2—Cocina

Casas Cube

The biggest troublemakers when it comes to noise in any home are appliances in general, and especially those in the kitchen. Among the multitude of functions which each modern appliance fulfils in our everyday lives, keeping quiet is not one of them. Although functionality is always at the forefront of appliance design, manufacturers are looking at a range of additional benefits to make their products more attractive. This has led to the inclusion reduced noise, and most new appliances on the market will do well. 

If you have slightly older appliances though, you will need to make sure they are performing at top capacity in order to cut down the noise. If any of your household appliances rattle, buzz or vibrates, you should seriously consider taking it to the repair shop, if you value your peace.

Fix squeaky floors

Squeaky floors is a common ailment in older homes, and particularly with wooden flooring. What happens is that one of the floor boards come loose and then rubs against another board or the subfloor to produce that unpleasant sound. 

The first way of fixing squeaky wooden floors is by simply lubricating it. This will minimize the friction between floor boards or between a floor board and the subfloor. You can take a bit of powdered or liquid graphite or even talcum powder. This is the easiest method, but not always as effective. 

The other option is to stop the movement all together, which is a more permanent solution. It may be necessary to remove insulation in order to determine where the squeak originates from. Here you will be able to see whether a nail has missed the floor joist and is rubbing against it. In this case, just cut off the protruding nail with diagonal cutters.

In other cases, the subfloor just needs to be nailed down with more nails in order not to be as loose. 

Where there are any loose planks, re-nail them, and install reinforcing bridging where necessary. 

Fix up the pipes

It is safe to say that it is time to fix your pipes if any of them rattle or bang when you turn taps on or off or flush the toilet. This can be a huge contributor to noise pollution and it will make your life a lot quieter if you can fix it. There are different reasons for the different noises pipes make, and naturally there will be different solutions for each of these. 

If your pipes rattle, it means that water travelling through it vibrates against your home's framing members. This can be fixed by accessing the pipes (through the basement, for example) and covering it with foam pipe insulation sleeves. 

The chattering of pipes usually occur when you turn on certain taps, and it means that these taps should be replaced to relieve the problem. 

When water rushes through pipes and hits a quick-closing valve, we get that banging sound otherwise known as the water hammer. This most often occurs with toilets. To fix this, you will need to refill your water supply system with air to cushion the blow of water to said valves. You can do this by turning off the main water supply, turning all your taps open halfway for the water to run out, then closing the lowest taps and turning on the main water supply again. Systematically then close all the taps again. This should do the trick. 

Soft textiles

 Walls & flooring by Quick-Step
Quick-Step

Light Grey Varnished Oak

Quick-Step

Although you want a quieter home, you may not want to break the bank on securing one, or you may not have the option to do so. There are, however, some ways to contribute to a quieter home that are simple, non-permanent and very affordable. Textiles is the way to go. 

While hard surfaces reflect sound around a room and contribute to noise, soft surfaces absorbs such noise. Using soft textiles for rugs and curtains, for example, is thus a great way to absorb noise pollution in your home. A padded carpet would be best for absorbing sound, but if you're stuck with wood, tile or laminate flooring, a few thick rugs can also help. 

Oil all the doors

A noisy door can be a real headache. Although it may not be such a big deal during the day when there's a lot of activity going around, but during quiet times and at night it can really spoil the mood. Lucky for us, an annoying door is super easy to fix. All you have to do is add some oil to the joints, and that should clear the noise right up. 

The best way to go about this is to tap out the hinge pin one at a time, coat the pin in white lithium grease and insert it back into the hinge of the door. This will ensure long-lasting noiselessness. You will also be able to get spraying can grease at your local hardware store with nozzle applicators, if you are feeling a bit too lazy to go to the trouble of removing each hinge pin. 

Triple glaze

Insulated glazing has become popular in modern homes due to the temperature control it allows. It is, however, also effective in reducing sound pollution as well. Insulated glazing refers to two window panes separated by a vacuum or gas-filled area. This usually referred to as double glazing, but the benefits of the technique can be taken further by adding another layer for triple glazed windows. 

Triple glazed windows are expensive, but highly effective. It will certainly require the services of a contractor, and will cost you about 10 percent more than double glaze.

Soundproofing

Our last technique seems like the most obvious. Soundproofing provides the solution in the name itself and is usually the go-to when trying to quiet down your home. The traditional method involves adding acoustic tiles to the rooms you would like to soundproof. You may think that this will involve drab-looking panels such as seen in old recording studios. This is not the case, since there is a wide market for innovative acoustic tiles which can either be installed permanently or temporarily. 

An alternative when it comes to soundproofing is a living wall. Plants absorb noise pollution, and in addition also provides aesthetic charms, contributes to good air quality, and promotes sustainable living.

For more advantages of a living walls, take a look at: The Benefits Of A Living Wall.

Do you have squeaks and creaks in your home that drive you crazy? Perhaps we can help…
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