Our [Free Guide]: To DIY Soundproof Room
In the first part of our guide, in the content we cover all the basic techniques that you can use to make your room more soundproof. We will also show you how you can soundproof a wall at home. In the second part of our guide, you can also learn how to soundproof floors and ceilings, in the third part you will learn how to make windows more soundproof, and finally in the fourth part of this guide, learn about the treatment of doors.
You can do all this with some basic DIY skills, and you do not have to break. All this you will find in our free guide.
Content Quick Guide
- Part 1: How to Soundproof a Room: Basics How to Soundproof a Wall
- Part 2: How to Soundproof a Floor & Ceiling
- Part 3: How to Soundproof Windows
- Part 4: How to Soundproof Doors
How Sound Works
The crash of a cymbal, the clang of a bell…all physical actions send “sound waves” rippling through the air. When these “waves” reach our ears, they vibrate a sensitive membrane—the eardrum—and we hear them as sounds.
Noise is simply unwanted sound. In the home, most people consider noise to be just about any sound other than the sound made by what they’re doing. For example, if you’re on the phone, the television in the next room is noise. Conversely, if you’re watching television, phone conversations are noise. Your teenagers’ music is noise, period.
And where there is a very thin wall surface (or no surface at all, such as an open window or door), sound simply travels from one area to the next without the need for transference.Unfortunately, conventional walls and ceilings are only marginally effective at blocking noise. They are built like drums. They have membranes (typically drywall) on the two outer surfaces of a structural framework that’s filled with air. Sound waves strike one surface and carry through the air or framework to the other surface where they’re broadcast as audible noise.
Controlling noise involves cutting down on noisemakers and reducing the movement of sound from one place to another. Soundproofing measures employ surfaces that absorb sound vibrations and structures that minimize sound transference.
Achieving a home that is quiet can take a little work, but when you’re ready to relax in a quiet room and enjoy a good book, you’ll know it was well worth the effort. Silence is golden.
Here are 7 helpful techniques for making your home a quieter place:
1 Cut Down on Noisemakers
No, “cutting down on noisemakers” doesn’t mean sending your kids off to play at your neighbor’s house, though this no doubt will help. It does mean opting for quiet appliances when you need to buy new ones. Manufacturers have picked up on the problem of noise and, as a result, make premium models that are very quiet. The difference between the noise made by conventional whole-house fans, dishwashers, and other typically noisy appliances and their newer, quieter counterparts can be significant. Of course, the closer appliances are located to living or sleeping areas, the more it matters to buy quiet appliances.
Working properly is also part of the equation. Listen for rattles, vibrations, buzzing, and other noises made by your home’s appliances and equipment. If something seems unusually loud, fix it or get it fixed. Just jump to the DIY Home Repairs page of HomeTips and use the Search box to find instructions.
2 Use Sound-Absorbing Materials
Hard surfaces reflect sound waves; soft surfaces absorb them.
Sound-blocking curtains are an inexpensive way to minimize outdoor noises and absorb some interior room sounds. You can buy sound-blocking curtainsfor under $40 on Amazon.Materials that help control sound within a room are familiar to most homeowners. If you want to minimize sound bouncing around a room, opt for “soft” materials such as acoustic ceilings and padded carpeting rather than hardwood, tile, or laminates.
Companies such as Armstrong World Industries have a wide range of acoustic ceiling materials that are particularly popular for cutting down on noise transference to and from basements and other activity areas. Acoustic tiles and drop-ceiling systems offer excellent acoustical properties; people who think the conventional styles are a bit too institutional will like some of the newer styles available.
If you’re building a home recording studio, soundproofing is an art. A good place to start is with soundproofing acoustic deadening sound tileslike the ones shown here. They come in a variety of colors. Cost ranges from about $15 to $40 for a pack of twelve 12-by-12-inch tiles.With ceilings, as with the entire house, the most effective way to minimize noise is to combine a number of different sound-blocking and sound-reduction methods.
3 Install Sound-Blocking Doors
The largest opening in most walls is a doorway. One of the most effective ways to keep noise from moving from one room to the next is to install (and weatherstrip) solid doors, something you can easily do whether or not you’re remodeling or building.
Most interior doors are of hollow core construction. They are very ineffective at blocking sound. According to a spokesperson for the National Wood Window & Door Association, “Any one of the particleboard-core, composite-core, or solid-wood doors would work much better at providing a sound barrier than a hollow-core door.” Of course, solid-core doors are more expensive, but they are also available in a much broader selection of elegant styles.
4 Weatherstrip Interior Doors
But most of the sound doesn’t come through the door, it comes around the door. It’s important to install weatherstripping or door soundproofing to provide a seal. Usually the easiest and best material to use is adhesive-backed high-density foam tape.
If you were to replace a hollow-core door with a solid one and weatherstrip the perimeter, what would be the result? According to the National Wood Window & Door Association, “If you did all of this, you could probably end up with an STC [Sound Transmission Class] rating of 34 to 36.”Rubber bulb weatherstripping gaskets and a weatherstripped threshold should seal the gaps around the perimeter.
5 Tweak Your Sound System
If your entertainment gear is pumping sound through an inexpensive or poorly designed speaker system, it may be creating a lot of unnecessary household noise. The idea is to enjoy the sound when you’re at the television or near the media gear without imposing the sound on the rest of the house.
Subwoofers, because of their booming low-frequency tones, are classic offenders. You can buy a
6 Consider the Garage Door
Your garage door is also a consideration if there is a room next to or above the garage. Though the typical garage door is built with a open interior framework and a sheet of plywood, steel, vinyl or aluminum on the outside, you can also buy premium garage doors that are filled with foam insulation and have an additional covering on the inside. These are particularly good at keeping street noise from invading through the garage.