Last Updated: August 10th, 2019
There are a number of reasons why you might want to soundproof the walls in your home. Thin walls in many apartments allow you to hear everything your neighbors are doing. If your home is located close to high-traffic streets, next to where noisy children play or near an airport, soundproofing your walls sounds like a very good idea.
Even if you only want to soundproof one room, whether it be your bedroom for a sound night’s sleep or because you want your own recording room, soundproofing your walls is an appealing idea. Yet you might be reluctant to do it. Maybe you don’t have any idea how to soundproof walls, or you are not sure if it is affordable. Don’t worry! There are ways to soundproof a wall cheaply and efficiently!
How to Soundproof a Wall Cheaply
1. Focus on the Weak Points
Before you start to buy any materials, you should take the time out to look at all the weak points that might be there. Is there a window or door that you could possibly soundproof?
If yes, you might want to start focusing on these two areas first. Soundproofing these areas shouldn’t take much investment or time since they are smaller areas.
The windows and doors are the two main culprits when it comes to noise leaking. All you will need to do is seal all the gaps that you can find between your doors and door frames. The same thing goes for the windows and window frame.
For this, I highly recommend using a weatherstrip tape. It is relatively cheap and should get the job done without any hassle. You can simply place it on the bottom of your door to cover some holes.
Another effective method you can try on your windows is soundproof curtains. These curtains contain a layer of soundproof material which will drastically reduce most of the noise coming from outside.
2. Furniture as Soundproofing
One of the easiest ways to soundproof walls cheaply is by using the furniture you already have and adding a few more useful items of furniture. Rearrange furniture that you already have. Place tall furniture items like bookshelves, closets, breakfronts against those walls which let in the most noise. Such walls are, for example, those that separate you from neighboring apartments or walls facing a noisy street. If you don’t have enough or any of these furniture items, you can purchase them. The least expensive option here would be yard sales, flea markets, and eBay.
Another reason to add furniture is that empty rooms tend to echo. Rooms filled with furniture suppress echoes. If you want to soundproof one particular room, check to see what on the other side of its walls. If televisions or any other noisy appliances are located against an adjoining wall, see if you can move them.
3. Soundproof With Decoration
Another way how you can soundproof walls cheaply is by decorating critical walls. Plan room decoration so that critical walls receive the most attention. Paintings or other artwork on thick canvas or other surface are a good way to block noise. If you don’t want to spend any money on art, do it yourself! All you need is some canvas, wood for the frame and paint. And if you get tired of one motif, you can always paint over it!.
If you are renting and your landlord does not want permanent artwork, you only need to attach the frame to the walls with some brackets that can be easily removed when you move out. Instead of canvas, you could also use thin boards. Another option is to buy decorative quilts or rugs that you can hang a tapestry. You can stretch them over a frame or just hang them where the wall and ceiling join.
You can even use heavy blankets in the same way. Those offering the best soundproofing are moving blankets (you know, the blankets movers use to protect furniture). Because they are so good at it, they are also called “soundproof blankets” or “sound blankets”. You can price and order these online. Pay attention to their dimensions. Some of these blankets come with grommets (those metal rings that form holes along the side).
Grommets can make it easier for you to hang them: you will just need to install hooks or rods on the wall. Keep in mind that the thicker or denser your wall decoration is and the more space it covers, the better it will block noise. Soundproofing is even more efficient if there is some space between the wall and the decoration. That is why using a wood frame as described above is a good approach.
4. Hang Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains offer another way to soundproof walls cheaply. An obvious place to hang them is in front of windows or glass doors that face noisy areas. But you could also hang them on long stretches of the wall with or without windows. In order to hang them, you will probably need to install curtain rods. You can even hang soundproof curtains in the middle of a room as dividers. Just as with furniture, this will serve to muffle sounds and eliminate echoes. This approach is also ideal for your bedroom. You can draw these curtains around your bed for a quiet night’s sleep.
5. Soundproof With Foam Panels
Using foam panels is another way to soundproof a wall cheaply. It will involve some cost, but foam panels are not expensive. And despite what you might think, installing foam panels is not very complicated. If you are really serious about effective soundproofing, especially if you want to record sound, you should really consider this option.
One of the nice things about using this approach is that foam panels are available in many patterns and colors. Among the makers of foam panels, some of the better-known ones are SoundTrax, Izo All Supply, Foamily, and Mybecca.
Foam panels are typically from to 4 inches thick. Thicker panels will soundproof better but will also cost more. Prices start around 3 dollars per square feet for 2-inch thick panels. You can order foam panels online. However, it might be a good idea to go to a DIY store, look at an assortment and get some advice before purchasing.
There are also a number of ways to attach panels to your wall. If you are worried about damaging the wall surface, you can even use non-permanent adhesives or Velcro strips. Foam panels cannot, however, be washed. The best you can do is vacuum them.
6. Acoustic Fabric Panels
This is a somewhat more expensive – and more effective – way to soundproof a wall. But it is not much more expensive! Acoustic fabric panels are usually based on a wood frame stuffed with various materials and then wrapped in micro-suede or burlap. Fabric panels offer a larger range of sizes, shapes, and colors than foam panels do. The larger dimensions allow faster installation.
Among the best-known makers of fabric, panels are ATS Acoustics Panel. Prices start at about 7 dollars per square feet for 2-inch thick panels. Mounting/installing acoustic panels is a bit more complicated than for foam panels. Again, you will want to get some advice if you are going to install the panels yourself.
Panels are usually delivered as kits complete with all the hardware you need in order to mount them. As with foam panels, you should best visit a store that carries these panels and informs yourself before purchasing them. Fabric panels do tend to be thicker than foam panels, but you can actually remove the fabric from the panels and wash them.
7. Install Drywall
Most walls today are thin which is why installing drywall is one best option when it comes to soundproofing your wall. The only problem is that it takes far more work than installing foams or curtains on the walls and it’s also a bit more expensive than previous methods but it is surely worth the investment.
Installing drywall needs some construction, so you will probably have to hire a professional to do it for you.
The first step is to buy the drywall, but before buying make sure to measure the length of your wall and accordingly buy your drywall. Before you start the installation process pay close attention to your existing walls.
If there are any holes and cracks, make sure to fill them up using green glue. I have been using green glue for a very long time and I’m always happy with the results I received. After you are finish filling up the holes put drywall to the wall drill screws to secure it.
As you can see, there are a large number of ways to soundproof a wall cheaply. Some of them cost nothing – or next to nothing. Others involve a bit more money, but most are entirely affordable. Just take a good look at the areas you want to soundproof and let your imagination take over!
Thank you for taking the time out to read our article. You can also check out my other articles on the site if you have the time. If you have any question feel free to let us know by leaving a comment in the comment section down below. Thank you.