Soundproofing a room requires one to approach from all angles and that includes soundproofing the door. Just like the windows, doors are the biggest culprits when it comes to leaking noise in and out of a room. However, complete door soundproofing is an expensive undertaking that requires extensive renovations to the existing door frame. Investing in an acoustically treated door or a solid core door is expensive for anyone who simply wants to reduce noise in their room to manageable levels.
But did you know using household items can significantly reduce the amount of noise that leaks in and out of your home? Household items such as rugs, carpets, blankets, foam tiles, curtains, weatherstripping or any thick and dense material that can be hung on the door will soundproof the door inexpensively.
Below are ways in which household items can be used to drastically dampen sound transfer through a door.
1. Rearrange the Furniture
The most effective furniture for reducing noise is upholstered furniture. Sound attenuation may be greatly improved by using couches and chairs covered in velvety materials like corduroy, leather, microfiber, or chenille. Add textured throw pillows to the sofa to increase the acoustic insulating effect.
This method only requires physical strength to arrange the furniture in your house.You can arrange the furniture to not only soundproof your door but also improve the visual impression of your house. This method is used on a spare door that is rarely used.
You can place your closet or chairs on it to block the noise coming from outside. You can also use a bookshelf by filling it with books and placing it in front of the door. You can also add other big furniture by treating the door as a part of the wall.
2. Use Carpet, Rug, and mats under the door
This method is more straightforward compared to rearranging the furniture. Carpets and mats are good options when it comes to soundproofing.
They have a high acoustic absorbency and works by absorbing sounds that penetrate through the door.
They reflect sound waves and let them bounce back. The process is easy since what you have to do is lay down fluffy carpets and welcome rags on your door, and you will be done. The carpets and rugs will absorb and reduce the noise that reaches your door.
You can also use a mat by placing it under your door.
You can also use it under your carpet to increase its effectiveness. The rugs and carpets do not only absorb the sounds, but they also improve visual impression in your house.
3. Use spare or old blankets in your house
The use of blankets is one of the easiest solutions to the noise problem. There are soundproofing blankets that are designed for block noise; however, you can improvise the blankets lying idle in your house.
The soundproofing blankets are made with thick materials that absorb noise.
Since you don’t have such a blanket in your house, you can use a regular blanket to block sound. What you need is a blanket and some nails to use when hanging.
Even though they do not absorb all the noise they reduce to some extent. Consider using a thicker blanket for better results. You can also use more than one layer of blankets.
4. Use soundproofing paint
Painting the door can be a good choice when it comes to soundproofing. If you do not have the soundproofing paints, you can use the regular paint, but make sure that you apply many layers.
Since Soundproofing paints require a couple of layers, it means that the regular paint will need more.
The paint does not only block noise but also improves the visual impression of your door and protects it from environmental conditions.
5. Use Leftover Green Glue
If you have some green glue lying somewhere in your home, you can make use of it to soundproof your door. You can use the green glue sealant to seal the cracks and gaps on your door after looking at it carefully to identify them.
It’s easy to identify them at night by turning the lights off then ask someone to direct light using a torch on the other side of the door.
This way, you will see the light penetrating through the cracks and gaps on your door.
Apply the glue on the cracks then wait for it to dry for results to start showing. If you don’t have any leftover green glue, you can opt for a bathroom sealant for the same purpose.
6. Hang Curtains or Drapes over the Door
Many people think that windows are not the only place to use drapes and curtains; you can also use them on your door. What you have to do is install the rods above the door frame then attach the curtains on them.
The curtains should be long enough to touch the floor to ensure that they have blocked the noise from the gap between the door and floor.
Soundproof curtains will be the best option, but if you are not able to get one, and then you can use regular curtains. The thicker the curtain, the better, so consider going for the thickest one.
7. Replace the old Door Sweeps and Weathering Strips
Weathering strips and door sweeps do not last forever since they become worn out after being used for long. You don’t have to buy new ones since you can improvise them on your own. You can use wood for this purpose.
First, remove the old stripes and make sure you clean the spot to ensure there are no residues left. Attach the wood on to your door using nails or glue.
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8. Stick some tape
Even though taps are not the best when it comes to soundproofing your door, but it can be used if you need to fix the noise problem quickly. First, identify the holes and gaps on the door then cover them using the tape.
Ensure that you use a thick tape or use several layers for better results. Consider using duct tape instead of the packaging tape. Even though the door may look funny, it helps to reduce noise to some extent.
9. DIY Acoustic Door Plug
A door plug is made of a wooden frame wrapped in sound insulation materials that fits over a door. It is a fixture that must be removed each time the door is opened, so it is not exactly the most convenient option. However, it can make a significant difference.
- Determine the door’s dimensions, then construct the framework to fit around the door. Construct a simple four-sided frame from wood and then wrap one side with an MDF board to create an open box.
- Cover the interior of the box using a thick and dense material. Typically, mass-loaded vinyl is ideal, but carpet will suffice.
- Use some foam, like carpeting or Styrofoam, to cover this. While flooring mats will add mass, materials such as Styrofoam will essentially function as acoustic insulation and reduce echo.
- Attach a second layer of MDF to the top of the box to secure it, and then attach handles to render it easier to take it out.
- Now all that remains is to install it in the frame, and you’ll have a door plug.
10. Apply DIY Insulation
If you have got enough time, you can come up with your insulation. If you have Styrofoam from your newly bought appliances, you can make good use of it.
Styrofoam has properties that can absorb sound. What you need to cut it to the size of your door then use glue to stick it on the door. Since it can look ugly at times, you can cover it with wallpaper or paint.
Egg cartons can also be an option, but they are visually unappealing.
11. Use pillow case, spare mattress
Though mattress foam won’t completely soundproof a room, it will aid with eliminating echoes and distortion. It lacks adequate material mass and is not designed for this sound insulation.
You can use these household items mostly at night to block the noise coming from your neighbor. If you already have carpets and Rugs under the door, you can add up pillows, mattresses, and towels to block maximum noise.
Just place them behind the door after closing it at night, and they reduce the noise significantly.
Soundproofing a door doesn’t have to be an expensive venture. While it’s possible to use cheap soundproofing materials, the best part is that you can use readily available household items.
For best results, you can combine different methods highlighted above.
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.