Do you have noisy neighbors, or loud pets, or want peace and quiet in your space? Or maybe you’re the loud one and want to be respectful. Either way, soundproofing a room can solve all these problems.
And guess what? It’s not hard to do it yourself! I’ll cover why you might want to soundproof a room, which rooms are best, and the different methods and materials you can use to soundproof effectively.
Reasons to Soundproof a Room
I know several reasons you might want to soundproof a room I’ve lived in with musicians, Youtubers, and home renovators. There’s always noise around, and soundproofing can make everyone happy.
Maybe you’ve got a home office and need to block out distractions, or you live in a noisy city and desperately want to create a peaceful living space.
Soundproofing can also be hugely beneficial if you’re a musician or artist who needs a quiet workplace space but doesn’t want to bother your family, roommates, or neighbors.
What You Should Understand About Soundproofing
To fully understand soundproofing, it’s important to understand how sound works. Sound is created by vibrations, which travel through the air as sound waves.
These sound waves can travel through solid objects, such as walls, floors, and ceilings, and be heard on the other side. Sound can also bounce off surfaces and create echoes and reverberation.
So, before you start soundproofing, I want you to understand a few key concepts:
- First, soundproofing doesn’t completely block out all noise but reduces it.
- Second, sound travels through walls, floors, and ceilings, so all surfaces should be addressed when soundproofing a room.
- Finally, the materials used for soundproofing can affect the aesthetics and functionality of the room.
How to Soundproof a Room the Easy Way
If you want to soundproof a room quickly and easily, here’s my step-by-step tutorial using affordable and accessible materials. Most of this can be bought at a local hardware store or, if you don’t have access to one, try looking online as most hardware stores have home shipping.
- Acoustic foam panels
- Weatherstripping tape
- Mass-loaded vinyl
- Green glue
- Drywall screws
Step One: Assess the Room
Identify the sources of the noise and where it’s all coming from. Check around for any air gaps, cracks, or openings in the walls, floors, and ceiling. Make notes and draw up a list of areas you need to tackle. This gives you a better idea of how much of the materials you need to get.
Step Two: Seal Air Gaps
Use weather-stripping tape to seal any air gaps, like the gaps you find around doors and windows.
Step Three: Add Acoustic Foam Panels
Hang some acoustic foam panels on the walls using drywall screws. Place them strategically on the walls where noise enters or leaves the room, like around windows and doorways.
Step Four: Add Mass-Loaded Vinyl
Add a layer of mass-loaded vinyl to the walls using green glue to adhere it. This adds a heavy mass to the walls, which will help absorb loud sounds.
Step Five: Seal Seams
Go around and carefully seal any seams or gaps in the walls, ceiling, and floor using interior caulking. Spray foam is best for gaps and cracks larger than an inch.
Step Six: Decouple the Walls
You can easily decouple the walls by adding another layer of drywall, but with a gap between the existing wall and the new layer. This will prevent sound from traveling through the walls. Instead, it gets trapped in the space you’ve left.
What Rooms Should Be Soundproofed?
Essentially, any room can be soundproofed, but certain spaces benefit the most from soundproofing materials:
- Home theaters
- Recording studios
- Home offices
Each one of these rooms requires a quiet and peaceful environment for different reasons but soundproofing solves the issue.
What are the Methods of Soundproofing?
There are several methods you can try for DIY soundproofing. Add some mass to walls, such as extra insulation, doubling up on drywall, etc.
Decoupling walls is another way.
Adding absorption of some sort, like foam or even egg cartons, can help immensely.
Sealing air gaps. Sound travels through the path of least resistance, so filling gaps and holes with caulking or spray foam can help muffle a lot of noise.
Each tactic has pros and cons, and the best method for you will depend on the specific room and the level of soundproofing you need.
How Much Does Soundproofing a Room Reduce the Noise?
Noise reduction achieved through soundproofing a room depends on many factors, like the type of noise you’re dealing with (loud voices vs musical instruments, for example), the materials and methods you plan to use for soundproofing, and the specific characteristics of the room being soundproofed (open space with high ceilings vs small space with many walls).
But I will say that effective soundproofing can significantly reduce the amount of noise that enters or exits a room, sometimes by as much as 50 decibels. Just remember that complete noise elimination is almost impossible, and some noise will still be heard.
No More Noise
Soundproofing a room can be an excellent way to lower noise levels and create a peaceful environment. By using the methods and materials I carefully outlined in this guide, you can easily soundproof a room quickly and the DIY way.
Remember that soundproofing is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and the best method will depend on your specific room and the level of soundproofing you’re hoping to get.