Noise is a common problem in modern buildings and homes.
External noise can also be an issue, but we often overlook the noise we create while moving around inside our own home.
In the quest to make your home as quiet and peaceful as possible, it’s important to take into consideration in order to soundproof interior doors.
The soundproofing on interior doors is usually much less than exterior doors, which can lead to a lot of noise coming in from outside when you’re inside.
Soundproofing interior doors can be done with just a few affordable materials readily available online, at any hardware store or home improvement center near you.
A-List of Ways on How to Soundproof Interior Doors
Defining “soundproof” is complex because your perception of noise is subjective and may be based on many factors, including the type of sound you are hearing.
A more accurate term would be to say that a door will dampen the noise passing through it by providing insulation, although to truly reduce sound, you need mass, which is why acoustical treatments are still required on the walls.
1. Seal The Joints
One barrier to sound insulation is the top and bottom seal of the door frame.
While most doors come with a thin foam seal, this usually does little to reduce noise leakage around the door.
If your door is a hollow core, replace it with a solid wood or metal one.
If it’s already solid, check to see if you can add another thicker seal around the edges.
2. Replace Hollow Door with Solid Wood Doors
Wood is not only solid, but it also absorbs sound waves very well due to its porous nature.
However, this means you should take care in choosing your door to ensure that it’s made of hardwood.
Plywood will absorb some sound, but it does so very poorly compared to solid wood.
Solid wood doors are a significant advantage because they offer a strong, secure barrier to keep noise from escaping or entering a building.
Plywood doesn’t have the same strength as hardwood, so it won’t be as effective at blocking sound.
Solid wood doors can stand up to knocks that would damage or knock off the finish of a thin door.
3. Install Acoustic doors.
Acoustic doors are the most common type of interior door used for soundproofing.
Their sturdy construction and high-density foam insulation make them quite effective when blocking noise from traveling through adjacent rooms.
While these doors can be expensive to purchase, they are relatively easy to install.
Acoustic doors are designed to help insulate you from noise.
They have a thicker core, including insulation between the two layers of wood.
Hinges are “damped” to limit noise transfer, and they use mortise-and-tenon joinery for sturdiness.
These doors are very expensive, though, with prices exceeding $2,000 for standard interior acoustic doors.
The panels used in acoustic doors are specifically designed for soundproofing, and the door is designed such that it fits perfectly to the door frame, not allowing gaps that could otherwise leak noise into other rooms.
The panels also add mass that helps dampen noise coming through the door.
Additionally, the door seals are magnetic or improved depending on the manufacturer, making these doors perfect for noise reduction.
Other benefits of acoustic doors are that they can still be used as fire-rated doors. They also offer the best aesthetic design and will easily complement the aesthetics of your home.
The STC ratings of most acoustic doors range between 60-70; the sound insulation you will get with such doors is non comparable with standard doors.
4. Glass Doors
While glass doors are mainly used for aesthetic purposes, sometimes they can be improved to make them soundproof.
You can achieve a sound deadened glass door by inserting a glass pane into a steel or wood door.
It’s important to note that the glass pane’s size and dimensions will differ depending on the manufacturer.
A thicker and double pane glass will be the best in insulating against noise for maximum soundproofing benefits.
A regular glass pane door has an STC rating ranging from 28-35, while a soundproof glass door ranges between 48-55 and higher.
5. Solid Core Doors
These are a popular choice for soundproofing a room.
They are made of either wood, plastic, or fiberglass and have a dense core that makes them very heavy compared to other interior doors.
Their increased weight helps prevent decibel levels from traveling through them easily.
Additionally, solid core doors have an insulated foam core that minimizes noise transfer between adjacent rooms.
In fact, these doors are so dense that installing a peephole in them is very difficult.
Although soundproofing solid core doors made of wood, fiberglass, or plastic can reduce the noise levels in adjacent rooms to a certain extent, acoustic doors provide much more effective soundproofing against decibel levels.
They are constructed with two hollow wooden doors fitted with padding and insulation to make them extra thick.
Soundproofing Existing Interior Door for Maximum Sound Insulation
If you’re on a budget and urgently need to dampen sounds coming through the door, then I would highly recommend you try the DIY methods recommended below.
Remove the door, either take it off its hinges or remove it completely.
Make sure all screws are out of the way so that you can easily cover the door with soundproofing.
I recommend using 703 or Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) for the actual soundproof material, both are effective, but 703 requires less installation time per square foot.
Make sure that whatever material you purchase says it’s for acoustic use on building interiors; if not, then it’s not as effective or as durable as it should be.
Before you start, if your door is painted, make sure to remove any paint around the edges where you will be installing your soundproofing so that there is a smooth and clean edge.
If the soundproofing does not adhere correctly to the surface, it can easily come off the door.
If you want to be very thorough with your soundproofing, you can also buy weatherstripping material used on doors and windows for gaps that are approximately 1/2 inch wide or less, which usually works great since this is the most common size of the gap between your door and doorframe.
If you can’t find this exact size, buy it and cut it smaller to make it work for your door.
Take one sheet of material approximately 24 inches long by 48 inches wide and attach it to the door by placing double-sided tape or glue on each side of the sheet.
Make sure you wipe off any dirt or dust there since this will prevent the adhesive from working properly.
If your door currently has a doorknob, remove the cover plate and take out the screws. Sometimes, they’re not in plain sight.
Once that is done, use the new doorknob with your soundproofing material attached to it.
For the top and bottom of your door, you can use rubber or foam strips and any material that is 1/2 inch wide by 2 inches long.
If you want to soundproof every inch of your room, put double-sided tape on those strips and place them parallel to the floor.
After this is done, make sure that both sides of your door are covered with soundproof material on each side, including the top and bottom of your door.
Use Household Items
Did you know that you can use household items to soundproof interior doorways?
Well, you only need household items such as old thick towels, curtains, or heavy door drapes and hang them on your door.
These household items will add more mass to the interior door hence blocking noise from traveling across the door.
On How to Soundproof Interior Doors
Above are some of the most effective methods to soundproof interior doors.
These methods are not only expensive, but some are also quite affordable for anyone on a budget.
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.