These days, it can be hard to find peace, even in your own home. The popularity of a more open plan style of living, coming at the same time as the rise of surround sound digital and audio equipment, means that the modern home can be a noisy place.
The problem is not a new one. Kids have always been noisy creatures, and whatever age you are, you can probably remember your own parents going into meltdown and saying that they could not hear themselves think. But as we have changed the layouts of our homes to make them more spacious, we have certainly exacerbated the problem. So what can you do to bring a little peace and tranquillity back to your home, or at least to certain corners of it?
Controlling and managing the noise in your house needs to be focused in two directions. The first is reducing or damping the transference of sound waves around your home through using the right materials. The second is about attacking noise at source, by getting rid of the noisemakers in your home.
Sounds intriguing? Let’s take a look at how you can tackle each of these areas.
Use sound proofing
Kids want to play in their room as noisily as they wish, and without putting too fine a point on it, adults might want to do the same thing. Soft surfaces absorb sound, while hard ones reflect and can even amplify it, so consider installing soft linings on internal doors, and opt for carpets rather than hardwood or laminate floors.
Acoustic ceiling tiles are not just for recording studios. They are highly effective in reducing noise transference between floors, and are available in a variety of styles to suit your internal décor.
Also consider buying sound-blocking curtains. These are a great innovation, and are perfect for blocking outdoor noises, as well as minimising those created on the inside. They are inexpensive and can be purchased online from a number of sources.
Get rid of the noisemakers
That doesn’t necessarily mean shipping your children off to their friends’ homes, though such a measure might certainly be helpful, but it does involve being selective when you choose new appliances.
Many manufacturers have identified “quiet appliances” as a great selling point, and are emphasising this as a benefit of their premium products. The difference between a new, quiet washing machine or dishwasher and your existing older one can be really significant.
Even if you are not in a position to go out and buy new appliances, you can reduce the impact of the noisemakers quite dramatically by ensuring they are working properly. If a washing machine is clattering and banging, for example, the bearings are probably on the way out. Replacement is inexpensive and will make your machine run smoothly and quietly.
Relax and enjoy
Reducing the noise in your home takes a little effort, but it is definitely worth it, to allow the whole family to coexist in harmony.