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In the past, homeowners used to worry about the outside noise of loud neighbors or busy streets, but now there’s some other racket coming from inside the home: smart devices. The constant pings and dings of Internet-enabled, voice-activated technology in open-floor-plan homes has some homeowners thinking their homes are no longer peacefully quiet. Wall Street Journal’s Alina Dizik gives some tips on how to reduce the noise as the devices continue to become more popular.

One of the biggest problem areas: the kitchen. Not only do kitchens have a lot of noisy gadgets, including newfangled sound-emitting ones like wi-fi-enabled refrigerators and ovens, the sleek surfaces on appliances, countertops and tile floors reflect rather than absorb sound. People also often place their virtual assistants, like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Home, in kitchens.

For clients’ kitchens, he recommends using perforated wood panels to create a decorative ceiling, or acoustical plaster that blends in to ceilings and absorbs sound, costing about $35 to $45 a square foot at the higher end. Sound-absorbing panels on walls also help.

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