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How To Soundproof A Room On The Cheap

Jul 11, 2023

Whether you live in a suburban home or an apartment in the city, you might think that soundproofing a room requires hiring a professional contractor. Noise from the neighbors or the surrounding environment can negatively affect your quality of life.

But no matter your reason for soundproofing a room, there are inexpensive ways to do it and don’t be tricked into thinking you have to spend thousands of dollars for it.

Before embarking on a DIY project to soundproof a room cheaply, knowing the right way to do it is essential. Otherwise, you could spend more time and money on this project. Get it right the first time with these tips on how to soundproof a room cheaply.

Soundproofing a room is a significant project. While there are inexpensive ways to soundproof a room, it requires time and effort. Here are some reasons why you would consider embarking on this DIY project.

Soundproofing not only prevents noise from entering the room. It also prevents your private conversations and other sounds from your room from escaping. Therefore, you can maintain your privacy from others, especially if you live in a condo or apartment wherein you share walls with neighbors.

When you block out noises from your neighbors or the surrounding environment, you can enjoy a better quality of life. A noisy environment can increase your stress levels and make sleeping difficult.

Soundproofing a room makes you sleep faster and better. It can also make your room more peaceful and enjoyable for whatever activity you choose to do in the room.

If you use your room to record songs or play musical instruments, you can soundproof a room to prevent the noise from escaping into the other parts of the home. Therefore, you can practice your instruments or play music without disturbing anybody else.

There are low-cost and easy solutions to soundproof a room effectively. Once you learn these techniques, you can maintain peace and privacy in your room.

The first way to soundproof the room is through the floors. The easiest and cheapest method is to add a rug pad beneath the rug or carpet. For this to work, your rug or carpet must cover the entire room’s flooring. The additional layers can prevent sound waves from entering or escaping to the adjacent room.

Soft floor covering, in particular, is beneficial for your effort in soundproofing a room. It reduces the sound of traffic and it muffled noises from other rooms. For the rug pad, choose ones made from dense materials as it is more effective in muffling noises and sounds.

The above method is inexpensive to reduce the sound that enters the room but won’t make your room 100% soundproof. A more effective method is to add a soundproof layer to the flooring, such as polyethylene foam, acoustic foam, or felt.

Place the material beneath the baseboards of the hard flooring and make sure there are no gaps in between. It could provide room for sound waves to penetrate through if there are gaps. But as mentioned, adding a soundproof layer on the floor takes more time and money.

Soundproofing a wall is another inexpensive but effective way to reduce noise in a room. You have plenty of options available depending on your time and budget.

Sealing the doors and windows is the most inexpensive and easiest way to soundproof the walls. Sealing helps to reduce the chances of sound waves entering the room.

You also need to add an insulation layer to the walls by installing an insulation board between the base and dry walls. The insulation layer consists of two pieces: the layer that absorbs the sound and the layer that offers insulation.

Another inexpensive way to soundproof the walls is by adding barriers for sound to enter the room. You can add a bookcase or cabinet to increase the mass on the wall. You can also build a partition in the room to reduce sound transmission. The more mass there is, the better you can reduce sound vibrations within the room.

Adding a wall covering is another cheap method to soundproof a room. The wall covering will provide an extra layer for the sound waves to penetrate, which helps minimize the sound in the room.

There are other methods for reducing noise in a room through the wall but they would entail more investment. For example, installing an acoustic panel or acoustic foam to the wall. But depending on the noise level, the inexpensive ways suggested above should work to reduce sound transmission effectively.

If the room that you wish to soundproof is located on the first or ground floor of the house, you can opt to soundproof the ceilings. There are several ways to soundproof a room cheaply through the ceiling, such as installing an acoustic foam layer onto the ceiling.

This material can absorb sound waves so it won’t travel inside the room; while it cannot guarantee that the room is 100% soundproof, it will significantly reduce the sound that enters the room.

Adding a drop ceiling is also possible, but this one will require more investment. If you install acoustic foam to the ceiling, cover it with another material to make it look aesthetically appealing.

The door is one part of the room wherein sound can pass through. Sealing gaps in the door can help reduce the sound waves that travel into the room. Consider adding a draft stopper or door sweep to prevent sound from entering under the door.

Another effective way to soundproof the room would be to replace doors with a hollow core or thin material with a solid-core door. The added mass will help to deter any sounds.

Finally, you can soundproof a room by checking the windows for potential leaks or gaps where sound waves can travel through. Installing window inserts is an easy but effective way to block out noise from outside.

Window inserts are made with acrylic or glass material over the existing windows. They provide an airtight seal on the windows to prevent outside noise from coming into the room.

The advantage of using window inserts is that you can easily remove them when not in use. Therefore, you can still open your windows if desired.

Weatherstripping the windows is another inexpensive way to soundproof a room. Look for any cracks and gaps in the window. Add caulk into the gaps to reduce the sound wave transmission into the room. It is also a great way to make your room more energy-efficient, so it is worth the investment.

Installing soundproof curtains is the final method to soundproof a room through the windows. These curtains are made of thicker materials that prevent sound waves from passing through and entering the room. The curtain can deflect sound so it can help you make your room soundproof.

Understanding how the four elements of soundproofing works is the best way to effectively block out sound from entering your room.

If you want to take on a DIY project of soundproofing a room, you can easily find the products online or at a local hardware store. Check out the top products you need for soundproofing a room.

A rug pad is an excellent investment if you want to soundproof the floors of your room. Place it under a rug or carpet to block sound from traveling through the floor. It works best when you live in an apartment or a two-story home.

Foam tiles are not cheap, but they are highly effective in soundproofing the floors of your room. Foam tiles are available in various grains and help block and minimize vibrations from the sound waves. Therefore, the sound that might enter your room is significantly muffled. The foam tiles come in stylish designs, so they do not need to add covering.

Although not cheap and requires a lot of work to install, vinyl sound barriers are very effective at soundproofing a room. They are dense, flexible sheets made from mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) material designed to block and reduce the transmission of sound through walls, ceilings, and floors.

These barriers are highly effective in soundproofing applications due to their mass and limpness, which prevent sound waves from passing through.

Often used in residential, commercial, and industrial settings, vinyl sound barriers are easy to install and can be added to existing structures or incorporated into new construction to provide a quieter environment.

Wood Slat Acoustic Panels are another go-to product for soundproofing a room. They are designed to provide high quality noise-cancellation capabilities, making it ideal for use in homes, offices, studios, and other spaces where acoustic quality is a priority.

A cork roll is another material that would help reduce the noise in the room. You can use it on the floor (underneath the carpet), walls, or ceilings. You can even use it to cover the entire room to make it soundproof! Ideally, you can install the cork roll while building the room so it can be applied onto the walls and flooring as it requires an exterior layer placed over it.

Soundproof or blackout curtains are perfect for soundproofing a room because they are made of thick, heavy materials. The thick material deflects noise from the outside to prevent it from entering the room. As a bonus, the curtain can also block out light and make it cooler.

Don’t be fooled into thinking you must invest a lot of money to soundproof a room.

Whether you want to block out noise from your neighbors or keep noise from inside the room from leaking out, you can try the methods recommended here. They are easy and affordable solutions to soundproof a room that are fit for any budget or needs.

The trick is to use materials that absorb sound waves or deflect them. Adding layers is also a good trick because it makes it difficult for the sound waves to penetrate through those layers.

Not all the methods shown here are equally effective. Some might do a better job at soundproofing than others. Try out different methods to see which ones work best.

You don’t need to spend money to soundproof a room and block sound from the outside. You can use thick blankets or curtains to close off any gaps in the doors or windows of your room.

The secret is to trace the source of the sound to block them out from your room effectively.

There is no such thing as a material that can stop sound waves. Instead, you can choose materials that deflect or absorb sound to minimize their volume level. Foam and fiberglass materials are suitable for blocking and deflecting sound.

Egg cartons are made of thin cardboard materials. Therefore, they are less effective in soundproofing a room than they are made out to be. But you can use egg cartons to reduce echoes from sounds coming from the outside, which minimizes the impact of the sound going into the room.

Upholstered furniture is the best kind for soundproofing a room. You can place it next to the wall where the sound is coming from, which will help to deflect or absorb sound waves. Adding textured pillows, such as those made from suede, corduroy, or chenille materials can also act as sound buffers.

Chief Building Officer at Green Building Elements, joined us after a successful career and business owner at Alexander Architecture, which served the New York City Metropolitan area. Prior to running his own firm, John was an architect working for Gensler projects in Boston which is the largest architecture firm in the United States. John holds both a bachelors and masters degree in architecture from the Rhode Island School of Design. John is the current contact for InformeDesign and The 1 Percent program of Public Architecture.