How To Reduce Walking Noise From Upstairs Floors : 6 Working Method

Are you disturbed by the walking noise of your upstairs neighbors? If yes, then you are alone.

Nowadays, most people stay in apartments. Impact noise is the most common issue for people staying in apartments. The noise is usually noticed when a child runs or walks on your upstairs floor. 

You cannot concentrate on your office work because of this noise. The stomping noise of your upstairs neighbor may also force you to wake up in the middle of the night, which is quite annoying.

A recent study shows that 30 million Americans are dealing with noise pollution, and most are worried because of the loud walking noise of their upstairs neighbor.

Walking noise is an impact noise that is quite challenging to deal with. Fortunately, there are a few that can help reduce the walking noise of your upstairs neighbor. It includes replacing the ceiling or adding mass to your ceiling. You can even request your upstairs neighbor to soundproof the floor.

The article discusses how to reduce walking noise from upstairs floors. So, keep reading this article to learn some of the essential ways which will help to lessen the walking noise coming from your upstairs floors.

Why Does The Walking Noise From Your Upstair Neighbor Sound So Loud?

You should have brief knowledge about sound waves before soundproofing your apartment. Sound is waves that require a medium to travel. The medium can be solid, liquid, or gas. 

Now let’s discuss an example. Suppose you clap your hands. The contact between your two hands causes vibration, which ripples in the air around you, similar to the ripples you see when throwing a stone in water. These vibrations will bounce from the walls, ceiling, and floor into your ears; thus, you hear the sound.

The soundwaves your upstairs neighbor creates travel into your room through their floorboards. The waves echo in the space between their floorboards and your ceiling and finally reach your ears.

There are usually two types of noise. The first is airborne noise, and the second is impact noise.

1.AirBorne Sound

Airborne sound is the sound waves that travel through the air. Example -phone ranging of your neighbor, dog barking, conversations, or TV sound. 

2. Impact Noise

When a physical impact occurs on your upstairs floor, that noise travels through the floorboard and reaches your ceiling. That time the type of noise you hear is called impact noise—example-vigorous workout, walking with large footsteps, or rearranging furniture.

How To Reduce Walking Noise From Upstairs Floors?

Have you tried to talk with your upstairs neighbor about the walking noise? Have they ignored your complaint? If yes, then there are a few ways to reduce walking noise from your upstairs floors.

1. Insulate The Ceiling

The thin density of your ceiling can be the reason for hearing noise coming from your upstairs neighbor.

Insulating the ceiling is one way to reduce walking noise coming from your upstairs floors. It will increase the mass and density of your ceiling and will help to reduce the noise. This method can reduce both airborne as well as impact noise. 

In short, insulating the ceiling drastically reduce phone ring, conversations, and foot noise coming from the ceiling.You can take professional help to insulate the ceiling and reduce noise.

Also Read : 20+ Working Tips On How To Make Your Neighbors Move Immediately

2. Improve the Mass Of Your Ceiling

You can increase the mass of your ceiling in various ways. The first is to add a drywall sheet to the existing drywall. It will increase mass and can reduce walking noise.

 Another excellent option is to use a layer of sound-dampening compound, i.e., green glue, between the two drywall sheets. It will drastically reduce the noise coming from the upstairs neighbor.

Another option is to mass loaded vinyl sheets on your ceiling. The thin roll sheets of MLV can significantly help to reduce walking noise.

3. Replace The Ceiling

Are you staying in your flat and worried because of consistent walking noise from your upstairs neighbor? If yes, then we will recommend you completely replace your ceiling. Try to build your ceiling soundproof to reduce noise levels. For instance, install resilient channels on the ceiling. They are thin metal channels that help to improve the sound insulation of the ceiling.

The drywall should be attached next to the resilient channel. Install MLV(Mass loaded vinyl) on the first drywall layer. Use a sound-dampening compound like green glue over the MLV. You can then install the second layer of drywall sheet.

4. Install Drop Ceiling

Some people don’t want to replace their existing ceiling to reduce walking noise from the upstairs neighbors. You can install a drop ceiling to reduce noise levels in such cases. Installing a drop ceiling will create a dead air space to minimize waking noise and other airborne sounds like dogs barking or conversations.

Drop ceilings are available in materials like wood, drywall, or composite. You can buy according to your preferences and budget. These ceilings are available in the form of panels that hang from the main ceiling. The gap between the main and drop ceiling can dampen the sound waves and reduce the noise to the maximum extent.

Another advantage of adding a drop ceiling is that it will add insulation to your room and are even relatively easy to install.

5. Soundproof The Floor Above You

Dealing with neighbors who don’t care about your well-being is frustrating. But if you have already talked to Management or have no legal action plans, you must think of soundproofing the floor above you to reduce the noise levels.

Remember, if your upstairs floor consists of tile, wood, or any hard surface, it can easily release the sound waves that reach your room through the ceiling. 

There are various ways to soundproof the floor. 

  • One excellent and affordable way is to lay heavy carpet and paddings on the floor. The heavy carpet and padding will absorb most of the noise levels, and thus, you can listen to less noise. 
  • If you cannot install carpets, think of purchasing rugs. Thick and heavy rugs also help in dampening the sound waves. Carpets and rugs even add insulation to the house of your upstairs neighbor.
  • Laying Interlocking floor mats is also an option to dampen sound waves. They are even cheap and relatively easy to install.
  • If you want to create more protection against walking noise, other excellent options exist, like filling insulation in the gap between your ceiling and the upper floor. But for this step, you need to take the help of professionals.
  • Another simple and affordable way is to lay soundproof floor underlayment on your upstairs floor. Setting a floor underlayment will require less time than insulating the space between the upper floor and ceiling. So most of the people prefer to try this method.

6. Use SoundProofPaint On Your Room

Another great solution to reduce noise levels is to use soundproof paint in your room. They are both UV and water-resistant. 

So you can use them in every room of your house.Each soundproofing coat will reduce noise levels by 2 to 3 decibels. Once you apply this soundproofing paint in your house, you will experience a drastic reduction in walking noise coming from your upstairs neighbor.

The latex-based soundproofing paints contain polymer. Both of them create a good seal that helps muffle the walking noise. Some soundproof paints contain fillers that help to dampen the walking noise levels. 

Another best thing is that soundproof paints are available in various colors. You can easily paint them by using rollers or a brush. Apply one coat and then wait until it is completely dry. You can then apply another coat over it. Repeat the process till you are satisfied with the noise insulation.

Remember, this method is quite time-consuming, especially if you have decided to work alone. But it will work for you if you don’t want to spend much money on minimizing noise levels.


Constant listening to the noise from upstairs will reduce your concentration on your work. It may also leave you tired and stressed. You need to first talk to your upstairs neighbor regarding the noise problem.

 If your neighbor is good, he will try to minimize the noise as much as possible. But if your neighbor ignores your complaint, you need to think of a few ways to reduce walking noise from upstairs.

 We have discussed some of the ways how to reduce walking noise from upstairs floors. You can use any of the tips to reduce noise levels.

FAQ : How To Reduce Walking Noise From Upstairs Floors

Q1. How do you sleep through loud footsteps?

Ans : It becomes pretty difficult to sleep whenever you hear loud footsteps. Well, you can insert earplugs deeply to sleep comfortably.

Q2. Why are my upstairs floors so noisy?

Ans : There can be many reasons behind noisy floors, like improper installation of timber structure, movement in the floor, or when joists are not on the same level.

Q3. Does talcum power fix squeaky floors?

Ans : The talcum powder is a baby powder used to reduce chaffing or rashes. But it can also be used to fix squeaky floors.

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