Soundproofing is a popular technique used to reduce unwanted noise and create a more peaceful environment. While there are various commercial soundproofing materials available, they can often be expensive and may require professional installation.
However, an unconventional and cost-effective option that has gained attention is using egg trays for soundproofing. Egg trays, made of a combination of paper pulp and cardboard, possess properties that can effectively absorb and dampen sound waves.
In this article, we will explore the benefits of using egg trays for soundproofing and provide a comprehensive guide on how to utilize them effectively.
When talking about sound absorption, the idea is that the material must have millions of “small things” that will literary move around in 3D space when sound waves hit them, hence converting the wave energy to kinetic energy, which then breaks down to heat energy.
An example is the acoustic foam containing millions of small bubbles that move and flex when the sound waves pressure hits it. In reality, you can see this happen because it occurs on the microscopic scale, but that’s precisely what happens with acoustic foam.
The problem with egg cartons is that they are very thin compared to acoustic foam. Acoustic foam panels use a principle known as diaphragmatic absorption. This is where a thin material is used such that the sound waves pass through once and hit the wall, but the sound waves won’t have much energy to pass back through the diaphragm.
Egg cartons would make great sound-absorbing materials since they have a diaphragm and air cavity behind them, but the problem is that they are just too thin to absorb sound from reflecting into the room.
But this doesn’t mean that egg cartons lack sound-absorbing qualities. At a certain point, any material in the world will absorb some sound. Even concrete floors are going to absorb some sound. But compared to acoustic foam, egg cartons are rendered useless and should only be used as a temporary solution.
Can You Use Egg Trays for Soundproofing?
Egg cartons are made of thin materials like cardboard and recycled paper, which are very poor sound absorbers. I would highly recommend egg cartons for soundproofing as only a temporary solution for anyone who is very tight on budget or has many of these cartons at disposal.
You may notice a slight improvement in the room acoustics, but the results aren’t close to what you’d get with true sound-absorbing materials such as acoustic foam. Don’t expect egg cartons to magically block noise from the room next door or prevent noise in your room from leaking to the next door.
This is because materials such as egg cartons or even acoustic foam panels are only designed to absorb high-frequency sound waves and hence won’t block low-frequency sound waves from transmitting to the next room.
If you are wondering why egg trays absorb some sound waves, it’s because they form a barrier between the source of the noise and the nearby surface. Using a cardboard box will give the same effect.
- The shape of egg crates can significantly help with sound deflection. This occurs when sound waves are scattered, reflected, refracted, or diffracted by an object. When sound waves hit the egg cartons, they are deflected and scattered because of the shape of the egg box.
- Even though egg boxes cannot fully absorb sound waves, they can serve as a sound guard. They can move sound hence reducing echo in a room.
- To some extent, egg boxes can help in diaphragmatic absorption. This occurs when sound waves strike the surface of the absorber (egg carton) and get slowed down upon getting reflected, reducing the echo. But unfortunately, egg boxes are too thin to act as an effective diaphragmatic absorber.
How to Stick Egg Cartons on Wall for Soundproofing
Although it is not as effective as professional soundproofing methods, it can provide some improvement in sound insulation. Here’s a step-by-step guide to egg tray soundproofing:
Materials you’ll need:
- Egg trays or cartons (sufficient quantity to cover the desired area)
- Adhesive (such as glue or double-sided tape)
- Utility knife or scissors
- Measuring tape
- Pencil or marker
- Optional: Paint or fabric to cover the egg trays for aesthetics
Step 1: Measure the area to be soundproofed Use a measuring tape to determine the dimensions of the walls or surfaces you want to soundproof. This will help you estimate the number of egg trays you’ll need.
Step 2: Prepare the egg trays Trim off any excess parts of the egg trays that may interfere with installation using a utility knife or scissors. Remove any labels or stickers from the trays.
Step 3: Arrange the egg trays Start at the bottom of the wall or surface you’re soundproofing. Apply adhesive to the backside of an egg tray or use double-sided tape. Press the tray firmly onto the wall, ensuring good contact with the surface. Repeat this process, slightly overlapping each egg tray until the entire area is covered. The concave shape of the trays helps to break up sound waves.
Step 4: Cover the egg trays (optional) If desired, you can paint the egg trays to match the room’s decor. Alternatively, you can cover them with fabric using adhesive or staple it to the trays. This step is optional but can make the soundproofing more visually appealing.
Step 5: Test the soundproofing Once the egg trays are installed, conduct a sound test to assess the improvement in sound insulation. Play some music or generate noise in the room and evaluate the reduction in noise transmission from both outside and inside the room.
How to Make Egg Cartons/Boxes More Effective in Soundproofing
If you’re on a budget or have egg cartons, you can implement several methods to improve the effectiveness. They are as follows:
- Fill one side of the egg boxes with pieces of fabric or paper. You can use glue or wallpaper paste to ensure these scraps stick to the egg cartons. This will increase the mass, and as well all know, the more the mass, the more a material is good at absorbing noise.
- You can add soft materials between the walls and the cartons or simply over the egg cartons. You can use old blankets or rags and attach them to the wall before hanging the egg cartons over them.
- You can combine egg carton soundproofing with other more effective solutions. For instance, if you want to keep noise inside the room, you could try to lower the volume of your stereo.
Benefits of Using Egg Trays for Soundproofing?
Using egg trays for soundproofing is a popular DIY method that some people claim can offer benefits in reducing noise. While egg trays may not be as effective as professional soundproofing materials, here are a few potential benefits they could provide:
The uneven shape and contours of egg trays can help scatter sound waves, preventing them from bouncing back and forth in a straight path. This scattering effect can reduce echoes and reverberations in a room, making the space acoustically more pleasant.
Absorption of high-frequency sounds
Egg trays, particularly those made from foam or similar materials, can absorb some high-frequency sounds. These trays may help attenuate sounds like hisses, sharp noises, or some high-pitched tones, making the environment quieter.
Egg trays are relatively inexpensive and readily available. They can be repurposed from household waste, such as empty egg cartons, which makes them a low-cost option for individuals on a budget.
Ease of installation
Egg trays can be easily attached to walls or ceilings using adhesive or pins. They are lightweight and can be arranged in various patterns, making them simple to install and remove if needed.
Egg Cartons Soundproofing Alternatives
They say cheap is expensive, and that’s precisely the truth regarding egg carton soundproofing. Why invest in egg boxes that won’t make any significant difference when you could get fantastic sound-absorbing results with these alternatives?
Soundproof blankets absorb sound and minimize noise transmission by forming a barrier against sound. They are also known as sound barrier curtains and may be draped from portable frames, floor-mounted frames, or fastened to your ceiling to create a wall between machine noise and personnel.
Sound blankets can be compared to sandbags’ ability to block flood water. The blankets are thick and heavy to prevent sound waves from penetrating the material. In addition to obstructing energy, the core cushioning fiberglass absorbs the energy that the core density prevents. This renders the soundproof blanket a hybrid material capable of “blocking” directed noise and “absorbing” reflected sound waves.
Depending on the company you buy from and the degree of soundproofing you want, soundproof curtains can also be referred to as sound-absorbing, acoustic, sound-deadening, and sound dampening.
Regardless of their name, these curtains are constructed of heavy, thick fabrics such as polyester, velvet, or suede and hung over the window frame. Typically, they feature a porous surface that helps them to absorb sound, making a space quieter.
A high-quality and effective soundproof curtain will be hefty, densely woven, extend from ceiling to floor, and extend several inches past either side of the window. The curtains must cover as much area as a possible all-around window so that the curtain folds may establish a seal around the sides.
Anti- Vibration Pads
You might consider getting vibration pads to dampen speaker vibrations when constructing a home studio. Position your speakers directly on the pads. They can be quite useful if you live in a terraced or semi-detached home and don’t want to disturb your neighbors.
These pads can also be applied to walls to minimize outgoing and incoming low-frequency noise.
- Soundproof a Room Using Sound Blankets
- Soundproof Blankets for Sound Blocking and Sound Absorption
- Soundproof Curtains: Do They Really Work?
- How to Hang Acoustic Foam Without Damaging Walls?
Acoustic foam is a type of open-celled foam that is utilized for acoustic treatment. It reduces the amplitude of airborne sound waves with the aim of noise control or reduction. The energy is converted to heat and dissipated.
The purpose of acoustic foam is to enhance or alter the acoustic properties of a room by reducing unwanted sound thru absorption. This objective necessitates installing acoustic foam on ceilings, walls, floors, and other surfaces. Ideal placement may assist in efficiently regulating room resonance and provide the space with the required sound qualities.
Using egg trays for soundproofing is an innovative and cost-effective approach to reduce unwanted noise in your living or working environment.
With their unique cellular structure and inherent sound-absorbing properties, egg trays can effectively dampen sound waves and improve the acoustic quality of a space.
By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can successfully utilize egg trays for soundproofing, creating a quieter and more peaceful environment without breaking the bank. Remember to assess the acoustic requirements of your space, plan the placement strategically, and maintain the egg trays for long-lasting soundproofing benefits.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.