How to Soundproof a Closet for Music Practice/ Recording

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In our bustling world, finding moments of tranquility and silence can be challenging. Whether you’re a musician perfecting your craft, a podcast enthusiast recording episodes, or simply someone seeking a peaceful retreat, having a soundproof space can make all the difference.

While soundproofing an entire room might seem like an intimidating task, there’s one often overlooked yet surprisingly versatile space that can serve as a haven of peace – your closet.

The humble closet, often seen as a repository for clothes and miscellaneous items, has untapped potential as a soundproofing project.

By implementing some effective techniques, you can transform this small enclosure into a soundproof sanctuary where you can focus, create, or just enjoy some quiet moments away from the outside world.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various practical tips, tricks, and cost-effective solutions to help you achieve the soundproofing nirvana you seek within your closet. Whether you want to prevent sound from escaping or block external noise from intruding, we’ve got you covered.

1. Install A Layer Of Drywall

This method is highly effective for a walk-in closet. An additional layer of drywall can make a considerable difference where soundproofing is concerned.

two handymen installing drywall soundproofing a closet
Credit: homedepot.com

While the method is costly, it is effective and worth every penny in the long run.

Drywall is a construction material used to create walls and ceilings. It is made from panels of gypsum board which are mounted onto metal or wood studs using screws, nails, or adhesives.

It’s a popular choice for many homeowners and builders because it is relatively inexpensive, easy to install, and fire resistant as well as soundproof.

Most modern homes have a layer of drywall in the closet.

However, the single-layer might not be as effective in keeping sounds in or out.

When adding the extra layer of drywall, it’s important to sandwich green glue soundproofing sealant or something like mass loaded vinyl in between the layers.

This will enhance the soundproofing ability while ensuring that the two layers stay in place just like you want.

Soundproof a Closet for Music Practice

2. Add Acoustic Panels

If you are looking to add sound quality to your closet, DIY acoustic panelling alongside a layer of drywall.

Acoustic panels are an important part of any recording studio, live music venue, or home theater. They can help to improve the sound quality of your recordings and make your music sound better when played back through speakers.

They are also easy to install, and you do not need to hire a professional to help you.

The market offers a variety of acoustic panels, so you are sure to find one that will match your décor and suit your personal taste.

There are even fabric-wrapped panels that will transform that dull closet into a small haven.

Acoustic foam panels are highly effective in sound absorption, and make at the top list of my most recommended noise absorbing products .

By sound absorption, they don’t block sound transmission inside or outside a room where they are installed.

Instead, the help absorb sound waves from being reflected on the walls, hence effective in absorbing echoes and reverbs.

As such, you get high quality audio recordings and clearer sounds when you have the foam panels installed.

I have previously written a detailed guide to help you hang the acoustic panels without damaging the walls.

3. Install Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass loaded vinyl is a common soundproofing material that is used in a variety of applications. It is made up of a vinyl barrier that is loaded with mass, typically lead shot, barium sulfate, or other materials.

The vinyl barrier helps to block noise from passing through, while the mass loaded within the vinyl helps to absorb sound. Mass loaded vinyl can be used in a variety of applications, such as walls, ceilings, floors, and doors.

 The material is thick, durable, and easy to install and it’s impregnated with tiny metallic particles that help increase the mass.

All you need is to cut it to size and spray some adhesive before installing it. The only downside is the industrial smell which can be too much for people with medical conditions.

If smells trigger your allergies, then I would highly suggest you check out these mass loaded vinyl alternatives.

4. Use Bass Traps

Bass traps are an essential tool for any home studio, and can make a huge difference in the quality of your recordings.

a man installing bass traps in recording studio
Image source: Sound on Sound

But what exactly are they, and how do you build them?

They are devices that are designed to absorb low frequency sound waves. These waves are the ones that are responsible for the “boomy” or “muddy” sound that can often plague recordings.

By absorbing these waves, bass traps can help to clean up your sound and make it much more clear and accurate.

Unlike panels that need installation, bass traps do not.

You just drop them on the corners of your house and you are guaranteed remarkable results.

You are free to move them around until you get the desired results. If your is a small closet, you can still hang the bass traps using hanging strips.

Bass traps are also great when you want to block bass noise from transmitting to your neighbors.

5. Soundproof The Closet the Door

The door is often a primary source of sound leakage in a closet. Implement these strategies to enhance soundproofing:

  • Solid-core doors: Consider replacing the existing hollow-core door with a solid-core one. Solid-core doors provide better sound insulation due to their dense construction.
  • Door sweeps and seals: Install a door sweep at the bottom of the door to create a seal with the floor. Additionally, use door seals or weatherstripping to address any gaps between the door and the frame.
  • Adding mass to the door: Attach mass-loaded vinyl or soundproofing blankets to the door’s surface to increase its mass and improve its soundproofing capabilities.

Sound-blocking curtains and blankets are pretty affordable, making them a great choice if your budget is tight.

They are also available in different colors and styles, so you can also turn them into décor pieces. Both soundproofing blankets and curtains take care of cracks, gaps, and thin doors.

They are perfect if you want to soundproof your closet without having to spend too much time making improvements. If you’re on a budget, it won’t hurt trying to soundproof the closet door with household items.

6. Replace The Door

Sometimes it is cheaper to replace that paper-thin door than trying to fix it. If you notice that most of the noise gets in through the door, just make plans to replace it.

You should also consider getting a new door if your current one is cracked or the gap below and above the door is too big.

A solid core door will do your closet a lot of good.

These doors come in different styles and prices, and if you take your time to compare, you will find one that fits your home and matches your budget.

7. Seal All Cracks

Even the smallest gaps and cracks can allow sound to infiltrate your soundproofed closet. Take the time to identify these problem areas and seal them properly. Here are some effective techniques:

Identifying gaps and cracks: Inspect the closet thoroughly, paying attention to areas where the walls meet the floor, ceiling, and door frame. Use a flashlight to spot any tiny openings that may need attention.

Caulking and sealing techniques: Apply caulk to seal gaps and cracks in the walls, paying extra attention to corners and edges. Additionally, use weatherstripping or door seals to close any spaces between the door and the frame.

A standard sealant may work for a short time, but because it cracks and shrinks over time, you are better of with the acoustic sealant variety if you are looking for a long-term solution.

Foam tape is also good for sealing cracks and gaps. It is easy to use, comes with its own adhesive, and you can cut it to whatever size you want using scissors. Here is my detailed guide on my most recommended acoustic sealants on the market.

8. Soundproof Closet Floor

Soundproofing a closet floor with carpet can be an effective way to reduce noise transmission. Here are some steps to achieve this:

  • Clean the Floor: Before starting any work, make sure to clean the floor thoroughly. Remove any dust or debris that might interfere with the installation of the carpet.
  • Install a Layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV): MLV is a thin but heavy material that’s used for soundproofing. It’s easy to install and can be cut to size with a utility knife. Lay it down on the floor, ensuring that it covers the entire surface. It’s ideal to overlap the edges of the MLV pieces to ensure complete coverage. Use a strong adhesive or double-sided tape to secure the MLV to the floor.
  • Install a Carpet Underlay: A carpet underlay or carpet pad is a layer of material that’s placed beneath the carpet to provide additional soundproofing, insulation, and comfort. Carpet underlays are made from a variety of materials, including foam and rubber. They’re often sold in rolls that can be cut to size. Place the underlay on top of the MLV, cut it to size if necessary, and secure it with a strong adhesive or double-sided tape.
  • Install the Carpet: Choose a thick carpet as it will help to absorb more sound. Roll out the carpet over the underlay, cut it to size, and secure it with a carpet stapler or adhesive. Make sure it fits snugly against the walls. In some cases, you might want to install baseboards or moulding to hide the edges of the carpet.

9. Add Reflection Filters

Reflection filters work by absorbing sound waves before they can bounce off of surfaces and be reflected.

This absorption helps to reduce the overall level of noise in your recording, making it sound more clear and professional.

 closet with reflection filters
Source:instructables.com

There are a variety of different reflection filters on the market, each with its own set of benefits and drawbacks. So, how do you choose the right one for your needs?

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

The size of the filter: Larger filters will be more effective at absorbing sound, but they can also be more expensive and difficult to transport.

The material of the filter: Different materials will absorb different frequencies of sound. So, if you’re trying to reduce reflections in a specific frequency range, make sure to choose a filter made of a material that absorbs well in that range.

10. Don’t Forget The Ceiling

Soundproofing a closet ceiling can help in reducing noise transmission to or from the space. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how you can achieve this:

Identify the Source of the Noise: Before you begin, it’s important to understand where the noise is coming from. If it’s coming from above, then you’ll need to focus on the ceiling.

Assess the Structure: Take note of your ceiling’s construction. This includes the materials it’s made of, how thick it is, and its overall condition. These factors will help determine what soundproofing methods and materials will be most effective.

Choose Your Soundproofing Material: There are several types of soundproofing materials you can use, depending on your specific needs and budget. These may include:

  • Acoustic foam panels: These are great for absorbing sound and preventing echo.
  • Mass loaded vinyl (MLV): This is a thin but heavy material that blocks sound effectively.
  • Soundproof insulation: Like regular insulation, but designed specifically to block noise.
  • Drywall: Installing an additional layer of drywall can significantly reduce noise.

Install Soundproof Insulation: If your closet ceiling is made of drywall, you might consider installing some soundproof insulation above it. This involves removing the drywall, fitting the insulation, and then replacing the drywall.

Add Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV): MLV is a popular soundproofing material due to its thinness and effectiveness. You can apply it directly to your ceiling using adhesive and seal the edges with acoustic caulk.

Install Additional Drywall: After installing the MLV, you can add an extra layer of drywall for added sound reduction. You’ll want to use acoustic caulk and soundproofing compound (also known as damping compound) between the layers.

Seal Cracks and Holes: Use acoustic caulk to seal any cracks or holes in the ceiling. This will prevent sound from seeping through these small gaps.

Install Acoustic Foam Panels: If the noise is echoey or reverberating, adding acoustic foam panels to the ceiling can help. These panels absorb sound and reduce echo, making the closet quieter.

Decorate as Needed: After the soundproofing is complete, you can paint or decorate the new ceiling as you wish.

Remember that working on a ceiling can be difficult and potentially dangerous, so be sure to take the necessary safety precautions, such as using a secure ladder and wearing protective eyewear. It’s also advisable to have a partner assist you with this project, especially when handling large, heavy sheets of drywall.

11. Soundproof Paint and Acoustic Wallpaper

If you’re converting your closet to a recording studio or drum room, then I would highly recommend you take care of echoes and reverbs.

Soundproofing paint also known as acoustic paint is a water based, thick latex paint that’s formulated with sound absorbing fillers and ceramic microspheres.

Check out my guide on acoustical designed paint to find out how it works, it’s effectiveness as well as it’s applications.

Sound wallpaper is also a great sound absorber that works similarly as the soundproofing paint.

Final thoughts

In conclusion, soundproofing a closet is an effective and practical solution for anyone seeking peace and tranquility within their living space.

Remember to begin by identifying the source of the noise and assessing the level of soundproofing required. From there, incorporate a variety of techniques such as adding acoustic insulation, sealing gaps and cracks, and utilizing soundproofing materials.

Lastly, don’t overlook the importance of addressing the door, as it is a major avenue for sound leakage. By installing weatherstripping and soundproofing the door itself, you can ensure maximum noise reduction. With a soundproof closet, you can create a serene environment for activities like recording music, practicing meditation, or simply enjoying some solitude.

So, don’t let noise disrupt your peace any longer—take the necessary steps to soundproof your closet today and revel in the blissful silence it brings.

References:

1 thought on “How to Soundproof a Closet for Music Practice/ Recording”

  1. What an insightful article! I’ve been looking for ways to enhance my music practice and recording setup, and soundproofing my closet seems like an ingenious solution. The tips and techniques outlined here are nothing short of game-changing for someone like me, who’s been struggling with noisy neighbors and limited space.

    First and foremost, I appreciate the emphasis on safety. Using proper materials and ensuring good ventilation is crucial to prevent any accidents or discomfort during extended practice sessions. The mention of acoustic sealant is particularly helpful. It’s easy to overlook this step, but it can make a significant difference in the overall soundproofing effectiveness.

    I also found the advice on decoupling, absorption, and diffusion techniques incredibly informative. The explanation of how to install mass-loaded vinyl, foam panels, and diffusers makes the process seem much more manageable, even for someone with limited DIY experience like myself. The recommendation to layer different materials for maximum soundproofing is a great tip – it’s all about creating a harmonious acoustic environment.

    What sets this article apart is its practical approach. The step-by-step instructions and the list of necessary materials are incredibly handy for beginners like me. It helps demystify the soundproofing process and encourages us to take the plunge and try it ourselves. The cost-effective options mentioned, such as repurposing existing materials, is a bonus for those on a budget.

    I’d love to see some more examples or case studies of successful closet soundproofing projects in the future, but for now, this article serves as an excellent starting point. Kudos to the author for sharing their expertise – you’ve given me the confidence to embark on this exciting soundproofing journey and elevate my music practice and recording game. Thanks for the fantastic guide! 🎶🔇

    Reply

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