How to Soundproof a Door: 11 Best Ways to Make it Happen!
Most homeowners are usually passionate about taking on soundproofing projects. They, therefore, will spend so much time, energy and sometimes money trying to soundproof their homes.
What most people do not realize, however, is that the doorway tends to be one of the most usual ways to let sound into your house or room.
Rather than ignore it, the doorway should be one of the first places to undertake a soundproofing project. The best news is that it doesn’t even have to be expensive.
When I decided to soundproof the rooms in my house, I was not particularly interested in the doorways. However, the need to soundproof the doorway to my home office quickly arose.
Anyone who works from home will tell you how important it is to have a suitable working environment. Any noise, even the smallest of sounds will be a distraction, and you may end up not being productive for an entire day.
Having soundproofed my home office's windows, I realized some sound was getting in through the doorway especially when everyone else was moving about in the hallways. I set out to soundproof the doorway to my office and the results were more than what I had hoped for.
In this article, we will take a look at some of the easy steps you can take to soundproof your doorway. Although some of the steps may require you to invest some money, most will need very little capital.
So, take a look at the steps below, decide on what will work best for you and embark on a soundproofing project that will make your home much quieter.
How to Soundproof a Doorway
1. Seal all the gaps and cracks
This was the first step I took and I highly encourage you to start with this first. It is advantageous in that it is quite affordable and does not require much time and energy to seal the gaps.
Gaps and cracks in your doors will be the main culprits in letting sound through the doorway. Most doors have cracks and gaps and when looking to soundproof the doorway, you should first try to seal these.
If the gaps and cracks are not that big, it may be difficult to locate them. To do this, turn off the lights in the room and ask someone to hold a light on the other side of the closed door. The gaps and cracks will let some light through.
Sealing these gaps is quite easy. We recommend using this insulating sealant. It is an airtight sealant and it is this property that makes it great for sound deadening. What's more, it is paintable so you can paint it to the same color as your door.
If the gaps on your door are smaller, the Great Stuff Big Gap filler may not work for you. For smaller gaps of less than 1 inch, I suggest using Red Devil Small Gap Foam.
It may not seem as much to do to soundproof the doorway, but I noticed some change once I had all the gaps and cracks sealed.
2. Use weatherstripping tape on the door
I have always known that weatherstripping tape was used on the bottom of garage doors. It was, therefore, quite shocking to realize that they can be used to dampen sound as well.
Although I did not try this myself, I have had a couple of friends tell me how the weatherstripping tapes made quite a difference for them when used for sound absorbing.
Weatherstripping is usually tape made from sound absorbing materials such as fiberglass. Usually, they come with adhesive that allows you to easily set it up.
Weatherstripping, although initially meant to keep away dust and dirt, acts as a good sound absorber. You can try out this self-adhesive weatherstripping tape on your door.
While setting up the tape, be sure to get enough compression. The compression ensures that an airtight seal is formed between the door and the tape. It is this seal that blocks out the sound.
3. Use door gaskets
If you are willing to spend a bit more, you can opt for door gaskets rather than weatherstripping tapes.
Door gaskets work similarly to weatherstripping tapes. They are used to seal gaps at the jambs and the header of doors. By sealing the gaps, they block out sound, light, and moisture.
If you would like to try out a door gasket, I suggest you check out this one.
4. Use a soundproof blanket
You may want to reinforce the steps you have already taken to soundproof your doorway. To do this, you can choose to use a soundproof blanket.
Soundproof blankets are usually made of fiberglass, a material that is known to be a good sound absorber. Heavy soundproof blankets will absorb almost all of the sound.
These blankets are usually so easy to install as all you have to do is hang them onto hooks at the back of your door. They are also a good option as you can easily put them up or bring them down when you do not want to use them.
The greatest disadvantage of using soundproof blankets is the lack of aesthetic appeal. These blankets are usually not visually appealing. You may, therefore, choose to use for doorways that you do not care much for such as the one to your laundry room.
You might like: Best Soundproof Blankets and Buying Guide
5. Use a door sweep
Using a weatherstripping tape or a door gasket will help block out sounds from gaps and cracks. However, they do not help deal with the biggest crack there is.
The space between the door and the floor is one of the biggest ways through which sound from the doorway gets into the room. A door sweep will help you take care of this problem.
Once I had sealed the gaps, I decided to try out a door sweep next. The results were amazing. However, it took me and my son a couple of hours to have the door sweep installed.
Door sweeps are simple products made from sound absorbing materials that help seal the gap between the door and the floor whenever the door is closed.
I recommend you try out this door sweep. The triple fin used to make this sweep makes it sturdy and durable.
If you decide to go for a door sweep, you need to bear in mind that door sweeps are not as easy to install as weatherstripping tapes. You will have to drill and screw the sweep's fastener into the door.
Using a door sweep comes with several other advantages as well. Besides blocking out sound, the sweeps keep away insects and dust. They are also energy efficient in that they prevent cold air from your air conditioner from escaping. Less energy is, therefore, required to keep the room cool.
6. Place a Rug
You may decide to place a rug near the doorway to reduce the amount of sound from the other side. Using rugs as sound absorbers not only dampens the sound but also add to the visual appeal of a room.
Rugs, especially heavy ones, absorb echoes and therefore, help in reducing the impact of sound. However, rugs may not be as efficient as other soundproofing methods.
To increase the efficiency of using rugs, you may place some on either side of the doorway. This ensures that the noise that bounces off the doorway is greatly reduced.
Although the weatherstripping and door sweep worked magic for me, I decided to throw in a couple of fluffy rugs. Although the difference is quite minimal, at least I have noticed it. Especially when it comes to the case of echoes within the room.
If you are looking for a rug to use for sound dampening, I suggest you try out the Safavieh Hudson Shag Collection. It is an extra thick rug made of polypropylene fibers that make it strong and durable. You get to choose from a variety of colors and designs as well.
The advantage of using rugs is that they do not come with any installation processes.You do not need to do any work to set it up. You simply buy the rag and place it wherever you feel like.
That said, I recommend using rugs as reinforcement for other existing soundproofing methods. Using rugs as your only option may not be effective both in terms of cost and in sound dampening.
7. Get some soundproofing curtains
We are used to using curtains and drapes on windows. However, did you know that you can use curtains on your doorways as well?
Curtains act as great sound absorbers. This is because they are made of thick materials that dampen the impact of sound.
When soundproofing any doorways, you may choose to put curtains on them. Soundproof curtains are specially designed to keep sound away. Using them on your doorways will block out most of the noise you want to.
To install soundproof curtains, you will need to install curtain rods above the door frame first. This may take some time but is not really difficult. Once the rods are installed, you can then use drapes just as you do on your windows.
Using heavy soundproof curtains will also block out the light. What's more, because they are insulated, soundproof curtains will also trap heat.
When choosing soundproof curtains, you can choose any colors and designs that match with the existing décor.
You might like: Best Soundproof Curtains and Buying Guide
8. Dampen the noise on the other side
A doorway is just a path for the sound. It is not exactly the source of the noise.
When soundproofing the doorway, dampening the sound on the other side of the doorway should be one of you key steps.
To dampen the sound, you may decide to use rugs as we have discussed above. You can also decide to use heavy canvas paintings or even bookshelves. The main idea is to fill the room or hallway as much as is possible.
Identify the source of the noise and work towards dampening the sound as much as you can. For example, if you are soundproofing the doorway to the hallways, you can decide to hang a couple of canvas paintings in the hallway.
9. Use sound-absorbing foam panels
Soundproof fiberglass blankets may be an expensive option. As an alternative, you can decide to use sound absorbing foam panels.
Foam panels increase the air resistance which in turn reduces the amplitude of sound waves. These sound absorbing foam panels, therefore, reduce the amount of sound that passes through them.
Just like the soundproof fiberglass blanket, all you have to do is hang the foam panels on your doors and you are good to go.
When you are putting up the foam panels, using nails may cause damage to the door. You can try out these command strips. Not only are they safer for your doors but are also very easy to use.
However, they are not visually appealing and so you may want to use them in rooms that are not constantly used. You can also try to arrange the panels in various panels.
Rather than use foam panels, you can decide to use acoustic panels. Acoustic panels work in the same way as foam panels, only better. They are also more aesthetically appealing and will look great at the back of your door.
10. Use some mass loaded vinyl
Mass loaded vinyl is a thick material that acts as a good barrier to sound that is transmitted through the air. If you get distracted by the noise from the hallway when working in your home office, mass loaded vinyl could be the answer to all your sound problems!
Installing the mass loaded vinyl is quite easy. All you have to do is buy the vinyl and cut it according to the size of the door. You will then have to attach it to your door.
To attach, you can either use staples or heavy adhesive. To achieve even better results, use double layers of the mass loaded vinyl and attach it to your door.
A downside of using mass loaded vinyl as your soundproofing option is that it is quite expensive. Although cheaper mass loaded vinyl is available, purchasing this may not be effective. They are often black so for homeowners who do not like the color, it may be a setback.
11. Buy a new solid door
Most doors used in homes these days are usually hollow. Hollow doors are light and great amplifiers of sound.
Of all the steps in this guide, buying a new solid core door is the most expensive. However, when you decide to get a new door, you will certainly notice the difference.
Solid core doors are thicker and rather than amplifying sound, they will dampen any sounds that pass through them.
If you are ready to spend a bit of a fortune on your soundproofing project, buying a new solid door is a great option for you.
Installing the door is also not easy. You will need some experience to do this. If you are not sure how to go about this, it may be best to call in a professional.
If you do not want to spend so much buying a new door, you can try adding some mass to your existing hollow door. To do this, cut some wood to the size of your door and attach it to your door.
Alternatively, you may decide to use a drywall on the door. A drywall is simply a board made of sound absorbing materials. They are typically used in interior construction.
Dry walls reduce the amount of sound that passes through them. Attaching a drywall to your existing hollow door will significantly reduce the sound that goes through it.
On Soundproofing the Doorway
By now, it is pretty clear that the doorway can be quite a menace when it comes to transmitting sound. However, the above are steps you can take to soundproof your doorway.
Soundproofing your doorway, just like soundproofing any other part of your house, can be both expensive and cheap.
If you are looking to dampen the noise just to decent levels, then I suggest using one of the cheaper methods such as using weatherstripping adhesive tapes.
However, if you want to reduce the sound coming from your doorways by a significantly large amount, it may be a good option to spend some time, money and energy into it.
All in all, the above steps will help reduce the amount of noise through your doorways. The trick is to identify how much sound you want to block out and get a method that will work for you without causing a strain on your finances. To get the best results, I suggest you try out at least two of these soundproofing methods.
Take on a couple of these steps and you will be amazed by the results!