In this article, I’ll show different ways on how to soundproof a room from outside noise. For many of us, our homes are our quiet haven from the busy city streets.
Unfortunately, most are the time when our quiet fortresses are hijacked by sounds of neighbors, traffic, pedestrian, kids playing, and construction- making home living unbearable.
While this is a common sign of modern life, it doesn’t mean that we should put up with it.
In this guide, we shall look at different methods on how to soundproof a room from outside noise and restore the Zen of a quiet home.
Ways on How to Soundproof A Room from Outside Noise
Below are 5 different hacks on how to soundproof a room from outside noise.
For effectiveness, ensure that you approach each step detailed to avoid any mishaps because a tiny gap left out in your window or even door can render your work useless.
1. Soundproof the Doors
A door is one of the main entries and exit of noise into and from a room. Hollow doors do not block a lot of noise compared to a solid door.
The first step is to determine whether your door is hollow. If your door is a hollow, one considers replacing it with a solid since it may be the reason a lot of noise is penetrating your room.
On the downside is that this method is expensive, and you might have to call a professional to fit the door for you. However, there are other cheaper methods to soundproof your door.
Cracks and gaps as tiny as they look can let a lot of noise into your room. Check whether your door has cracks and gaps on it if so use a caulk sealant to seal them.
The use of soundproofing blankets is also a method of soundproofing a door. It is one of the affordable yet effective methods to block the noise reaching your room.
Installation is easy; just hang the blankets at the back of the door and use tacks or adhesive to hold them in place. On the downside is that they do not visually impress, but if interior design is not your priority, then this is a good choice to go for.
You can also use a door sweep when the door is closed to fill the gap left between the floor and the door. This method can be used alongside another one for more effectiveness.
It is usually attached at the bottom of the door so that the sweep seals the gap as the door closes.
Alternatively, you can use weather-stripping at the bottom of the door. It functions just like the door sweep.
2. Soundproof the Windows
Windows are also big culprits when it comes to letting in noise into a room.
If your windows are letting in a lot of noise, it could be due to some reasons. The windows may be having some small gaps and holes on the glass or frames.
If you notice that your windows have some gaps, use a caulk sealant to seal them.
You can also use weather stripping to seal the gaps.
There are other several ways to soundproof your windows; however, this will on the effectiveness you want to achieve and your budget.
If you have some extra coins to spend, you can change the window panes to replace them with thicker double or triple ones.
These window panes are highly effective and will require a professional to fit.
If you are on a tight budget, replacing the window panes may not be your choice.
You can consider using window plugs for the windows if the lighting is not an issue for you.
The other option is to use soundproof curtains since they are thick and made of a heavy material that can block a lot of noise. If you use natural light during the day, you can use the curtains at night.
3. Soundproof the floor
Soundproofing the floor is a good idea, especially if you are living in a story apartment. The upstairs and downstairs neighbors may be too noisy such that the sounds are reaching your house.
If the upstairs neighbors are too noisy, consider using a ceiling vibrator or soundproofing the ceiling.
There are several ways to soundproof your ceiling, depending on how much you are willing to spend and the effectiveness you want to achieve.
Some of the ways include the use of Mass Loaded Vinyl to absorb both low and high-frequency noises. The MLV is very heavy, effective when it comes to sound absorption.
They not only reduce the noise but also improve your room’s interior design since they are visually appealing.
These MLV mats can also be used to soundproof floors.
4. Check the Walls
Walls can let in noise into your room, especially if they are thin or have cracks. There are both expensive and cheap methods of soundproofing walls in your house.
The most effective method is tearing the wall and installing sound blockers. The drawback of this method is a bit costly and time-consuming, so it doesn’t attempt it if you are on a tight budget.
As walls get old, they tend to develop holes gaps and cracks with time, which let in outside noise into your room. Seal the cracks with a caulk sealant just like you did with the door and windows.
The other reason why your walls might be letting in outside noise is that they are thin. Try making the walls thicker to reduce the amount of noise reaching your room.
Try making the walls thicker by adding a layer of drywall on to the room’s wall.
A drywall is usually made of sound-deadening materials; that’s why it is the best when it comes to sound absorption.
You can use a double layer of the drywall for maximum sound absorption. The only downside is that the method is a bit costly.
The last option on my list is moving some furniture and places them against the walls.
Since the idea of soundproofing is creating a barrier between the source of noise and the room, using household items for soundproofing will be ideal.
Move the wardrobe, bookshelf, or a cupboard and place them against the wall.
You can also move the couches and chairs and place them near the wall. Even though this method is not very effective, you will be able to notice a difference in the end.
5. Ceiling Acoustic Treatment
A ceiling can also be soundproofed by using a drop ceiling. You need to purchase some acoustic hangers to help you suspend the drop ceiling below the existing ceiling.
You can also use acoustic foam panels, which act as great sound absorbers.
Floors, on the other hand, can be soundproofed with thick, heavy, and fluffy rubber mats or carpets.
The thicker the mats, the more noise they absorb, and you have less to worry about if your downstairs neighbors are a bother to you.
For more effectiveness, use double layers of the carpets. You can back them up using heavy furniture around your house for better results.
You can also change your floor into hardwood floors if it is floorboard since they are more intact and don’t cause squeaky nights.
6. Soundproof the air vents
Did you know that HVAC systems could also leak noise into your home?
Soundproofing vents isn’t a hard task to accomplish.
The most effective methods involve creating a sound maze.
This is because the maze won’t prevent air from flowing through the air ventilation but will prevent outside noise from leaking into your room.
Alternatively, you can seal the air vents or block them entirely- however, be ready for some furnace-like temps in the summer.
Final Thoughts on How to Soundproof A Room Outside Noise
Above are some of the best tips on how to soundproof a room from outside noise.
The most important factor, in this case, is to ensure that you ensure that all you deal with all aspects of your house.
Don’t forget to soundproof the ventilation systems.
Make sure you seal all the gaps on walls, windows, or doors. Have you tried any other soundproofing methods? Please let me know in the comment section down below.
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.
1 thought on “How to Soundproof A Room from Outside Noise”
Hello, you mentioned in your blog that drywall can be an effective of greatly reducing noise. Could I just nail on 3/8″ thick drywall onto my existing finished interior walls to block out neighbor’s music/TV blasting, dog barking, train, motorcycle revving, etc? If so, this seems like a much cheaper option than buying expensive acoustic panels? Thank you.