Double Decker Bus

London is busy, and getting busier all the time. Eight million people, driving two and a half million cars, make a lot of noise. And that means that getting a decent night’s sleep is something of a challenge when you live in the capital.

Thankfully, we’ve got four handy home hacks to bring some peace and tranquillity to your part of London – but to make the most of them, it’s good to know a bit about the science of sound first.

The science of sound

Sound is essentially just energy. It travels in one of two ways – through the air, or via vibrations. Soundproofing is all about absorbing or redirecting that energy. We can achieve that by adding mass to a structure, to help reflect sound. We can separate or ‘decouple’ structures to stop vibrations travelling. Or we can use certain materials to absorb the sound. Here’s how you achieve these in practice.

1. Strategically place heavy furniture

Sofas – we’ve all got one. But if you’re smart about where you position yours, they’re not just a comfy place to sit, but an effective ally in the fight against noise, too.

Big, upholstered items of furniture like chairs or sofas are great at dampening sound. If you get a lot of noise coming through a shared wall, move your furniture against it, and it’ll act as a soundproofing buffer. By adding more pillows, you add more mass, increasing the effect.

2. Invest in good curtains

Patio doors

Swapping thin curtains for bulkier alternatives is a surprisingly effective way of absorbing street noise. Choose curtains that are big enough to cover the section of wall above and below the window for the best results.

3. ‘Weatherproof’ your door

Doors are one of the main ways sound enters your home. The reasons for this are simple – there are air gaps all the way around them, and that’s how the sound gets through. Thankfully, there are easy solutions.

You can add weatherstripping around the edge of the door to improve the seal, and help keep the noise out. Failing that, you can opt for a more heavy-duty solution, and fill the gaps with special foam tape that expands to create a snug fit once you’ve peeled off the adhesive liner.

4. Acoustic glazing

Plane flying over a house

But perhaps the best way to guarantee a good night’s sleep in even the noisiest London locations is to install special soundproof windows. Soundproof windows work by reducing the energy of incoming sound waves. They often use thicker glass, different thicknesses of glass in the same double-glazed window, and large gaps between each pane to keep noise at bay – and at Newview, ours can offer sound reductions of up to 40 decibels!

That’s the difference between a jet taking off and quiet conversation in a restaurant, and much more than the recommended 30 decibels of insulation.

If you’d like to learn more about how we can help bring some much-needed peace and tranquillity to your home, don’t hesitate to give us a call!