I live in an apartment and there is a low frequency noise coming from the floor of my bedroom. It is coming from the ceiling fan in the apartment below. The sound is very low, but after listening for a while it becomes painful to my ears. Surprisingly the people living below don't hear anything (or perhaps it gets masked by the normal sound of the fan).

I also think its impact noise, like the sound travels from the fan into the ceiling and then my room, and is not coming through air.

My bedroom should be around 12x12 feet. I have observed that the noise is higher in one corner and also in the center of the room. From what i have read about this topic i think these are called standing waves (not sure).

I used a stethoscope to listen to the floor and the vibration is higher in the center and decreases as i move away. Its almost negligible towards the end of the room. There are no vibrations in the walls. And nothing outside the room (air or floor).

Is there any way to block or absorb this sound? Will placing some sound absorbing material on the floor help? Or any other ideas?

I will talk to my neighbors, but seeing that they aren't facing the problem it may take some time to get it fixed.

  • What material is your floor made of? Is it a hardwood or tiled floor? Also, if this is a rental, have you told the landlord that their ceiling fan needs to be balanced or fixed?
    – JPhi1618
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 16:27
  • It's tiled floor. It's not rental. I have told the neighbors once. They said they will get it fixed, but i got the feeling that they were not taking it seriously. I guess i will go talk again and even pay for the repair if its not very high. Meanwhile i am looking for any other way to tackle this.
    – Jason J
    Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 18:06
  • If this only bothers you at night, when you are trying to sleep, look into white noise generators. These devices mask sound with "white noise", which is relaxing and easier on the ears. You can buy them as a device or as an app for you phone. Most of these generators offer a variety of sounds, like ocean waves, rail cars, bird song, rain storm, etc. I've used one for +15 years and always go for the rain storm. Commented Dec 19, 2017 at 18:38
  • White noise helps a little in masking the noise. But i cannot fall asleep while its running. Maybe i am a light sleeper.
    – Jason J
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 8:39

1 Answer 1


I would start with a good quality area rug placed over the worst offending area. Next get the feet of you bed up off the floor set on anti-vibration pads. If this in not enough, consider a full layer of interlocking exercise mats across the entire floor. Set all of the legs of the furniture in the room on furniture coasters/sliders. If all this fails consider a Christmas gift to the neighbors of a new, quality ceiling paddle fan. Good Luck.

  • Thanks! I have an old rug, not very thick. I tried it but doesn't seem to do much. Maybe i need a thicker one. Do you know any other material that is cheap and absorbs sound better?
    – Jason J
    Commented Dec 21, 2017 at 8:36
  • Actually, buying the neighbors a new fan is probably the cheapest solution. :-)
    – fixer1234
    Commented Apr 28, 2018 at 9:05

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