Upstairs Neighbor Walks Like Elephant: What Can I Do?

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If you have an upstairs neighbor, one of the things you face is some level of noise, from loud music to walking around like a herd of elephants.

Upstairs Neighbor Walks Like Elephant

These, and many more, fall under defensible, everyday noises. If not dealt with, this predicament can affect your sleep quality, productivity, and peace.

However, dealing with the stomp, stomp, stomp noise from your ceiling can be a tasking quest, especially if you have tried talking to them and they proved stubborn.

Don’t worry; this post covers how to deal with an upstairs neighbor walking like an elephant to regain your quiet and peace.

What Causes Walking Like an Elephant?

If you’re hearing a stomping noise that scares your cats or waking up your charming little ones, it’s probably your neighbors waking inconsiderately on their floor. They might be dancing, having fun, running around, jumping, etc. it’s hard to say what exactly they are engaged in, but the sure thing is they are hitting the floor pretty hard.

Why can I hear my upstairs neighbor walking?

You might have had a quick discussion with your neighbor about the disturbing stomping noise and discovered that they usually walk. So, this leaves you with an important question 一 why can I hear my upstairs neighbor walking?

Here are a couple of reasons for that:

Thin Floor

Thin floors are not great at isolating the noise from your upstairs neighbor’s footsteps. This isn’t your neighbors’ fault. The sound travels through their floor (your ceiling) via resonance conduction. With thin floors, you are likely to hear their footsteps without them being aware of how noisy it’s.

Lack of sound insulation layer

If there’s no insulation between the floor and the wooden floor, this creates a strong connection for sound transmission. Therefore, the sound of every step they take on the wooden floor migrates to your space.

Sound bridge

Sound insulation is available in different structure options – double or multi-layer. The connection between these layers can permit sound transmission if they are not adequately insulated. The impact sound quickly gets down to you by vibrating the sound bridge.

Frame structure

Newer buildings feature frame structures instead of brick-and-mortar structures. The main load-bearing system is no longer walls but beams and columns. This rigid and lightweight structure is easy to assemble. However, the downside is poor sound insulation because of the thin, light, and flexible floor slabs.

By now, you should have figured that thick wall mass is necessary for better sound absorption. Another issue with the latest frame structure is it’s hard to tackle stomping noise from the ceiling. While it might be an easy task to use soundproofing materials to block out the noise from windows and doors, ceiling noises are challenging to dampen.

How Do You Deal With Upstairs Neighbors’ Footsteps?

Now that you understand why the stomping noise is so loud in your apartment and have decided to do something about it, here are top tips and tricks you can try out to mitigate the situation:

How Do You Deal With Upstairs Neighbors’ Footsteps

Try being honest with your upstairs neighbor

This is the best and quickest way to solve the stomping noise. In fact, you won’t be able to achieve peace and quiet without their help and understanding.

Sometimes, they are not to blame; houses with frame structures do not absorb sound. Therefore, your neighbors might not be aware their footsteps are creating a nuisance on the down floor. So, the best thing to do is to inform them and discuss how to solve this issue.

However, if they are guilty of walking and stomping like an elephant on the floor, calling their awareness of how noisy they are might solve the issue. Remember that the outcome of having an honest conversation with your stomping neighbors is not guaranteed. Nonetheless, it’s your starting point to regaining your quiet and peace.

Also, you don’t want to knock on their door and be rude. Provide strong arguments, and speak confidently and calmly while trying not to project too much emotional bias.

Opt for soundproof underlay

You will have to work with your neighbor on this.

There are two types of noise – airborne and impact noises. The latter is what you’re dealing with. It’s noise being traveled through the solid structure. Therefore, preventing sound from traveling through the ceiling involves installing a layer of soundproof underlay beneath the flooring.

It’s best to go for higher IIC (Impact Insulation Class) rated underlays. The value denotes how well the material can absorb noise. Hence, it’d be wise to stick with higher ratings above 60 for the best soundproofing result.

Install EVA foam floor mats

Installing soundproof underlay can be challenging, considering you must remove the flooring before installing the underlay. This option might seem too stressful and time-consuming for your stomping upstairs neighbors.

So, the easy way is to suggest a simple DIY approach 一 installing EVA foam floor tiles or carpet. The EVA floor tiles mats feature a rubber-like texture, thanks to their Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate construction. This material has excellent shock absorption performance to dampen the stomping noise.

Decoupling the drywall ceiling

Another great idea to combat the nut-driving stomping noise from your heavy-walker neighbor is adding a decoupling element to the drywall ceiling. As said earlier, increasing the mass of a shared wall or ceiling is the best way to protect your peace and quiet.

Simply put, you want to add an extra layer of drywall to the ceiling. While trying to add another layer of drywall, it’s best to properly insulate the space between the new and old drywall layers. It would be best if you filled the area with a damping compound like green glue to slow the transmission of sound waves or clip the layers.

Is it normal to hear footsteps upstairs in a house?

It is not uncommon to hear footsteps upstairs in a house, especially if the house has multiple levels. This is usually caused by normal activities such as walking around, moving furniture, or opening and closing doors. In some cases, these sounds can be amplified due to the structure of the house.

If you are worried that something unusual is going on in your home, it’s important to investigate further. Check for signs of forced entry or other suspicious activity. If you feel unsafe, contact your local authorities for assistance.

Additionally, if you believe the noise is coming from someone living in the home who shouldn’t be there, reach out to a legal professional for advice on how to proceed.


If your upstairs neighbor walks like an elephant and creates annoying stomping noise, before you embark on the revenge path, you should try to have a calm conversation with them. Soft knocks on the door and a relaxed, confident presentation of how disruptive the stomping noise is should fix this issue.

If not, you can report them to the landlord, call the police or file a lawsuit. Keep in mind that you might have to provide some evidence. So, record the noise to prevent your case from being thrown out.

David Briley

David Briley

My name is David Briley, a soundproofing expert with a burning passion for curating and creating audio since adolescence. The need for a quiescent working and living environment cannot be overemphasized.

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