Is it Normal to Hear Footsteps From an Upstairs Neighbor?

Is it Normal to Hear Footsteps From an Upstairs Neighbor

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

There are many joys and downfalls to apartment living. Most of these are connected to living in close proximity to other people. It is especially annoying when it is possible to hear the neighbors.

It is an incredibly common experience to hear footsteps from an upstairs neighbor. Usually, apartments were built years prior to the improved sound guidelines, so the roof doesn’t have the insulation and structural support needed to mute steps and additional noises.

Although it is normal to hear the neighbors upstairs, there are a few different things that can be done to improve the situation. Some of these include different add-ons and habits a person can instill in their apartment, involving management, and moving to a different complex.

Things an Apartment Renter can do

Apartment renters can address sound issues on their own and find success without involving management or maintenance right away. The actions apartment renters can take can be organized into two different categories: habits and products.


There are a variety of habits that a renter can adopt that will reduce noise or decrease a renter’s annoyance with additional noises.

One of these is to know that it isn’t the upstairs neighbor’s fault that they make noise in your apartment. More often than not, they are probably not aware of how loud their steps are.

Some people are mean and want to make the lives of their neighbors harder, but these types of people are significantly less common. Talking to them is a great way to reduce the noise, as they will be made aware of the issue and can take action on their end.

If someone is not comfortable talking to the upstairs neighbors, they can start some habits that will help them find peace and quiet. One of these is to be aware of prime times the neighbors are loud.

If someone notices that the upstairs neighbors are loud around 8:30 am due to them getting ready for work, they can work through it in many ways.

One way is to be out of the apartment at that time. People can go on a walk, visit a friend, or find another activity to distract from the noise. Another is to have a different noise overrule the sound.

It is also possible to wear earplugs, especially if the steps are bothersome around sleeping hours. One source recommended having white noise in the apartment, like nature sounds or waves.

If none of these habitual actions are effective, then it might be worth looking into investing in some different kinds of products.

Is it Normal to Hear Footsteps From an Upstairs Neighbor?


There are many different types of products that a renter can look into putting in the apartment. An important note is that renters should be aware of what they are allowed to modify in the apartment. Some products might not be good for renters to use as they can cause damage or break a contract.

One product worth looking into is drywall. Drywall is good at insulating noise and keeping noise and heat/cold in space. This makes it one of the most effective products for soundproofing.

It usually takes the most effort and installation, so it would be incredibly wise to discuss this option with management.

Another product that would be good to consider is ceiling clouds or acoustic foam. Both of these are pieces of soundproofing material that can be put on the ceiling to reduce noise leaking from the ceiling.

They can come in sheets or in fun shapes like hexagons. It is up to the renter to decide whether or not they want to cover the entire ceiling or just spots. Here is a nice example of ceiling clouds.

A product that could make life easier is soundproofing sealant. Soundproofing sealant is a gel that is applied to the corners of walls and ceilings in order to stop sound from leaking. This sealant can be powerful because it is easily applied and muffles noise.

It can be painted so it isn’t noticeable. This definitely requires management approval since it changes the apartment, but it is super small so there is a chance they could approve it. Here is an affordable and reliable brand of sealant to try!

There is always the option of trying to get a renovation or get the ceiling replaced, however, that would be a fight to get approved.

How to Involve Management

Is it Normal to Hear Footsteps From an Upstairs Neighbor?

If the issue continues after communicating with the neighbors and attempting new habits and additional products, then it ultimately needs to be brought up to management. There are a few ways that someone can reach out to management.

Often, when moving to an apartment, they will give residents a list of ways to communicate with them. Some offices will have open office hours so residents can walk in and bring up concerns. Some don’t, so it is necessary for people to email, call, or text management.

The most important thing to remember is to be respectful to the management. Discuss the problem honestly but nicely.

It is always a good idea to write down different instances that were frustrating to make sure that a person covers all their bases and to provide credibility to the complaint. Management can talk to the neighbors and enforce noise limits better than a resident can.

Ultimately, if that still doesn’t change the situation, it might become necessary to move.

Moving to a Different Complex

Moving to a different complex can be an annoying and time-consuming process. However, there are a few different resources and tips for finding a better complex. The most helpful hint is to look at reviews.

Reviews will bring up the good, bad, and ugly of living in a place. Be particularly aware of when a review mentions noise. If there are no reviews about sound problems, that is a good sign. Other hints are to tour the apartment before signing a lease and to choose to live in the upstairs apartment.

All of these methods are valid and can be effective when addressing noise issues from neighbors. If all else fails, doing multiple methods is an effective way to stop noise issues and live comfortably in the apartment. Everyone deserves to live a content life in their home.

Latest posts

Don`t copy text!