Whether you are looking to create a more soundproof room for your home office or just trying to cut down on some of the noise that makes it into your reading nook or “sanctuary”, there are a number of inexpensive DIY projects that you can do to better soundproof your home. The key to proper soundproofing is to reduce overall vibrations through your walls, find where sound is leaking from to plug it up, and absorb noise overall. This short guide will go over a few of the different, affordable DIY soundproofing methods that you can utilize.
1. Add Extra Drywall.
A second layer of sturdy, thick drywall can work excellently to reduce vibrations in the walls and soak up sounds. Not only is drywall less expensive than brick or stone, but it is much easier to install and can be done quickly and efficiently. This method will require that you extend or otherwise move any electrical lines or outlets in the walls as well as refinish the wall and repaint it once you have your layer of drywall installed. But in the grand scheme of things, none of these efforts are overtly expensive and can be done relatively easily as DIY projects.
It is not necessary that you add an extra layer of drywall to every room in your home. Instead, find a room or rooms that you want to isolate as “noise” rooms or “quiet” rooms and it is within these rooms that you should install your second layer of drywall. Finally, a reading room that can facilitate quiet contemplation!
2. Soften Noise to Reduce Disruption.
The harder the surfaces that your walls are made of, the more that sounds will be able to ricochet and travel around a space. To help reduce this, you can try placing soft materials over walls which will absorb noise and stop sound in its tracks. Whether it is rubber mats, shag carpeting, or really any other soft material, simply attach what you have chosen to the walls and ceiling and watch as the noise levels gradually lessen.
The fun part about this DIY project is that you can customize the amount, type, and style of material that you choose to put on your walls. Are you trying to soundproof a child’s room so he or she can practice their instruments without disrupting the rest of the house? Then try and find some fun designs that you and your child will love to help keep the noise in while not sacrificing your home’s decor.
3. Use Acoustic Panels.
Acoustic panels resemble large paintings or other artwork that can be hung on the walls of your home. In general, these panels are made from wood, fiberglass, foam, curtains, and so on, making them extremely adaptable and customizable to nearly any unique situation. These panels will not completely stop noise, but they will go a long way in lessening the sound that can escape a room.
These panels work by reducing noise via airtight seals against the wall and creating a softer surface on the walls so that noise cannot ricochet as much. In the same way that hanging soft materials on your walls cuts down on noise reflection, so, too, do these acoustic panels.
4. Use Adhesive Strips on Your Windows.
You can find adhesive strips that are made out of a thick plastic or rubber and that fit neatly along the border of your windows. The benefit of this type of sealant for soundproofing goes two ways: one, it will help muffle sounds from the other side of the window; and two, it will seal up any cracks or holes that may exist along the edges of your window. Best of all, this is an exceptionally easy method that can be found cheaply.
This same material, or something very similar, can also be used around the borders of your doors to limit noise between rooms. You can either use adhesive strips or other forms of weather stripping to help reduce noise and improve the overall quality of your home’s insulation.
5. Cover Your Vents.
If you are looking for a truly cheap method of quick soundproofing that will likely only require materials that you can find around the house, consider this set up that is used over vents in your home that may cause sound leakage:
- Find a cardboard box (or a box made of a heavier, sturdier material)
- Wrap the box in soundproof material, which can be anything heavy but made of softer or textured material (you can use old carpet, egg cartons, foam pieces, etc.)
- Glue your soundproofing material to the box securely
- Attach or set the box over your vent
6. Invest in Thick Carpet Pads.
If the sound issue that you are experiencing is coming from a hardwood floor or an upstairs floor, then the solution can be as simple as finding a rug that can cover the area where the noise is most troublesome. The rug itself will help muffle some sound, but if you add a thick carpet pad to the bottom of the rug, you will notice that the sound levels drop even further.
If you are in an apartment complex or another space where you do not have control over your upstairs neighbor, you can always try speaking with them to see if the two of you can work out a solution. After all, no one enjoys excessive noise leakage into their homes.
7. Get to Caulking.
Small holes and cracks in your ceiling, walls, and floors can let in a high degree of unwanted noise (among other issues). Luckily, these holes and cracks can be easily and cheaply repaired by heading to your local hardware store and purchasing some caulk and a caulk gun.
Caulk is most often made out of different materials that have a proven ability to act as highly effective sealants, including: latex, silicone, polyurethane, or rubber. Caulk also comes in both indoor and outdoor varieties, so make sure that you pay attention to the type of caulk that you need for your specific DIY project.
8. The Magic of Egg Cartons.
For the average home, there is a good chance that you and your family may purchase eggs on a fairly regular basis. Instead of throwing the cartons away, gather them up and utilize them as an effective soundproofing material. Not only are egg cartons relatively cheap, but they are generally made of materials that are excellent sound absorbers.
This may be a more time consuming method depending on the size of the room that you are looking to soundproof. However, rather than spend that time attaching egg cartons to every part of your walls, find areas that either leak sound or reflect sound the most and strategically place your egg cartons accordingly.
9. Utilize Your Furniture.
Strategically placed bookshelves and other forms of tall furniture against thin walls can help you seriously cut down on the noise leakage while using equipment that is already in your home. Consider this a chance to redecorate a room, making sure that bookshelves (in particular) are against the walls that leak the most noise. Then you can stack up your shelves with your books and other furnishings to even further dampen noise. (You can also consider hanging a thick blanket or similar material on the wall behind the bookshelf to increase overall sound dampening.)