For many people, home is where you relax with your family and escape the outside world. However, this may not be the case for everyone, especially if you live in a busy area where you may have to deal with exterior noise coming from neighbors, traffic and local businesses.
Fortunately, finding the most affordable way to soundproof a room can be a quick and effective way to get some peace and quiet. Luckily, there are several ways that you can soundproof just about any room, in order to block out outside noise. In this article, we’ll explore the different ways in which you can make a room virtually noise-free within a matter of days.
How to Soundproof a Room From Outside Noise
When you’re soundproofing your room, there are two different types of sound you need to be aware of: airborne and impact noise. Understanding the difference between these types of noise is very important, as this’ll help you determine which soundproofing methods to implement.
Airborne noise involves things like neighbors and children making noise outside your windows, or dogs barking. To get rid of this problem, you’ll need to focus on plugging air gaps in the walls, doors and windows.
On the other hand, impact noise is a form of structure-borne sound that occurs when an object impacts another object. So if you have trucks rumbling by your home, or a construction site nearby, you’ll want to separate your walls, floor and ceiling from the building’s structure in order to improve their sturdiness.
1. Check the Windows
Windows are the main culprit when it comes to letting exterior noise into a room. There may be gaps and holes around a particular window’s frame, or the glass may be too thin to block sound. If the latter is true, you should consider getting some new double-pane or even triple-pane windows.
I only recommend this if you’re willing to spend a fair amount of money, though, as replacing your window panes and having them professionally fitted will cost you quite a bit. If you’re on a budget, there are other things you can do to soundproof your windows effectively.
One more economical option is hanging soundproof curtains. These are made of thick and heavy material, so they’re very effective when it comes to blocking out unwanted sound. This method may not block the noise entirely, but it can certainly complement other soundproofing methods that you use in the same room.
People on a budget can also use adhesive caulking to seal the gaps around their windows.
2. Soundproof the Walls
Soundproofing the walls of a room is a task that’s pretty similar to soundproofing the windows. If you want to achieve the best results possible, though, then your best bet is to tear down each wall and add some sound blockers. Keep in mind, however, that this will be time-consuming and expensive.
As with the windows, you should first check carefully for gaps or cracks and seal them with adhesive caulking. Another thing that can let in outside noise is a thin wall, so making the walls a bit thicker will help reduce the amount of noise that’s coming in from outside.
The most effective way to thicken your walls is by adding a layer of drywall. Many experts argue that a simple layer of soundproofing drywall is much more effective than eight layers of conventional drywall. With a piece of soundproof drywall, the solid gypsum core found in most conventional pieces is replaced with a layer that’s made of gypsum, ceramic and viscoelastic. Working together, these three materials will create a barrier that will help stop noise from passing through the drywall.
Lastly, you’ll still have to think about the room’s air vents, as these are another portal through which outside noise can enter the room. If you don’t care about keeping your air vents open, you can completely seal them off with drywall and a soundproofing sealant.
3. Work on the Door
A lot of people don’t realize that the doorway is one of the places where sound can easily enter a room. Most doors used in homes these days are hollow on the inside, so installing a new one that’s not hollow will be your best bet when it comes to blocking out noise. Solid doors are much more soundproof than hollow ones, although they can cost a fortune and you’ll probably have to hire a professional to help you install the one you buy.
If you’re looking to go a cheaper route, you will be able to soundproof your existing door, even if it’s hollow. You should start by getting a soundproof blanket, as they’ll block out a great deal of noise, even though they won’t be capable of blocking out all of it. For further effectiveness, it’s advisable that you install a door sweep as well. This will fill the gap between your door and the floor that may otherwise let in sound from outside.
Once you’re finished your soundproofing job, you’ll hopefully find out that there’s nothing better than getting a good night’s sleep, without having to deal with noise from the street.
If you’ve blocked out all the unwanted noise from outside your home, but you still have to deal with living in a noisy apartment building, you may be interested in my guide to blocking out noise from upstairs neighbors.