How to Soundproof a Room

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Have you ever considered soundproofing your room or a certain part of your house? You might be asking yourself why you would need to soundproof any room in the first place.

Think of it as some precautionary steps to take in case you’re a budding artist hoping to turn your little space into a music recording studio. Or maybe you just want to leave a really good impression on your neighbors, especially if you’re the type to invite people over to your house quite often.

You can also soundproof your room to keep out the noise of a busy neighborhood, especially if you, like me, love the solitude that comes with silence when you’re busy working on something important.

Regardless of your reasons why, soundproofing can be easily done and it doesn’t have to be expensive.

Here are some ideas for soundproofing your room that are both cheap and easy to do:

1. Get noise reducing curtains or thick blankets for your windows and/or walls

Curtains for soundproofing of a room
Curtains can reduce a great amount of noise from the street.

One of the ways you can create a soundproof room is by installing thick blankets to the wall or by purchasing and installing soundproof curtains. You will need to hammer up the blankets or drill a hole into the wall, but it will keep in (or keep out) sound. The challenge with installing thick blankets on walls is that, while it is an affordable option and an easy fix,  you will have to install them carefully or even add another layer of fabric on top of it so that your home will still look nice.

If, on the other hand, you are willing to spend to soundproof your place, it would be good to get some curtains that have a noise-canceling feature. Soundproof curtains are usually made with a special kind of triple weave that keeps out harsh light and UV rays while absorbing any annoying noises and creating a peaceful environment overall.

Here are some options for soundproof curtains:

2. Use bookcases…And a lot of books

Bookcase for soundproofing a room
I full bookcase adds an insulating layer for your wall.

This is perhaps my favorite option because who doesn’t love a good read?! Using books and shelves with rows upon rows of books is not exactly the first thing that would come to mind when you are soundproofing your room, but it creates a fairly effective sound barrier. Shelves and books automatically lessen sound especially if the shelves are loaded with books because they provide something like a second wall.

If you are going with this option, get tall bookcases–at least 5 shelves or more–and fill them with as many books as you can. While there have been different, creative kinds of bookshelves making their way to the market for the past years, if you want to soundproof your room, it is better to get the traditional ones built of wood all around. For the books, it doesn’t matter if they are hard bound, paperback, novels, or picture books as long as you pack all shelves of the bookcase with as many books as you can and perhaps minimal decorative accessories and other accents as well.

3. Get a door sweep

A door sweep is usually made of a small piece of plastic or rubber and is attached to an aluminum carrier strip and fitted across the bottom of your door. This can be used for both interior and exterior doors. It serves as a weatherproof seal and helps keep drafts from coming in and out the door, thus reducing heating and cooling costs. In addition to keeping out drafts, they also keep out crawling insects and can help to reduce sound to up to about five times.

A door sweep is easy to install as there are adhesive ones that will simply allow you to peel off the backing and attach it to the door with not much fuss. There are also those that need to be attached with screws and some tools, but while that might be more challenging to install, are more durable and can last longer than adhesive ones. Door sweeps can also be adjusted to close uneven gaps between your door and the floor.

Check out some of the door sweeps below:

4. Install acoustic foam panels to help absorb sound

There’s a popular opinion floating around that acoustic foam panels block sound. They don’t, as blocking sounds require installing materials that are heavy, dense, and thick and assembled together in multi-layers so that the sound will not be able to pass through. If you want to, however, install something that will prevent sound from continuing to bounce and echo around the place, this can be done by putting up some fluffy and porous materials, such as through acoustic foam panels.

Acoustic foam panels can be installed wherever you want them–in your office, in your home entertainment studio, and it can also be used for recording studios and control rooms.

5. Lay down rugs

Rugs for soundproofing of a room
Rugs, even area rugs, adds a great insulating layer to your floor.

If your floor is covered in wood, tile, or other hard materials, it would be good to lay down rugs that will help absorb the sound. Thankfully, soundproof rug pads exist, giving us what we need to help reduce floor noise, while at the same time, improving the overall acoustics of our homes or offices or studios.

A rug also helps to lessen the sound of footsteps and in case objects get accidentally dropped on the floor. It minimizes the echo and absorbs the noise. The thicker the carpet, the better absorption of sound that it can provide. Soundproof rugs are usually denser than most rugs and are made with felt and rubber. Others are made with recycled felted synthetic fiber which adds to the noise absorption and makes it easy to clean and vacuum up, as well as provide another layer of comfort between your feet and the floor underneath.

You can check out the different kinds of soundproof rugs here.

6. Remove anything that shakes or rattles

Noise usually reflects off hard surfaces, like floors, walls, ceilings, and whatever else is in your room. To reduce that, you’ll need to cover bare floors with carpets. When you turn music up really loud, you can feel a buzzing, shaking, rattling vibration from the floor beneath your feet and sometimes on the couch where you are sitting.

It might help to mount speakers and other items that shake or rattle so the vibration is less felt. You can put them on vibration insulation pads, thick rugs, or even on acoustic foam. They don’t absorb or block the sound completely, but they definitely help to lessen the vibration that you may feel.

In case you want to go with this, you can check out the different mechanical vibration damping pads. Their material varies, with some being made of rubber and others being made of cork or a mix of that and other materials. Their thickness differs as well but their purpose is versatile. You can use them for anything, from washing machines to air compressors to subwoofers.

If you, like me, always thought that soundproofing your room would take many materials and require a large sum of money, this shows that it can be quite simple and fun if you put your mind to it! You may think that you don’t need to soundproof your house or maybe just a small room or even your office, but doing this helps you minimize sound going in (if you live in a noisy neighborhood) or out (if you’re the one who doesn’t want to disturb your neighborhood). It can be cost-efficient, easy, and quite fun to do!

Categories DIY