How to Soundproof a Door: 23 Best Ways to Make it Happen!
Most homeowners are usually passionate about taking on soundproofing projects.
Therefore, they will spend so much time, energy and in many cases money trying to soundproof their homes.
What most people do not realize, however, is that the doorway (along with the door frame) tends to be one of the most usual ways to let sound into your house or room. They simply do not spend enough time to learn how to soundproof a door.
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. This article will walk you through on how to soundproof a door in detail.
The most common problem is the under door noise which is sometimes a bit tricky to eliminate as the door frame itself is not easy to modify.
The reason it’s tricky is that there are a lot of products out there that seem like they might work, but don’t work all that well. For example, a door sweep is a cheap door addition, but at best you’re going to block about 3 decibels.
To truly soundproof a door, you need to do two things:
- Confirm that you have a solid core door. Most solid wood doors have it. If the door is hollow, it’s not dense enough to block sound and needs to be upgraded.
- Use a Sound Lock Door Seal Kit to seal the entire perimeter and bottom of the door around the door frame. These adjustable door seals will perfectly fit into your door if installed correctly, and are the only true “soundproofing” option without modifying the door frame.
A solid core door with a Sound Lock Door Seal Kit will typically have an STC rating of around 45.
Now… if you do want a truly soundproof door, take a look at the Sound Lock Soundproof Door. This interior wood door has an STC rating of up to 56, and is a go to option for recording studios, music rooms, offices, military bases… anywhere where the soundproofing really matters. Look at that wood finish!
However if the buget is out of your range, you shouldn’t leave it as it could end up bothering you more than you could imagine.
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. No one wants to listen to noisy neighbors after all.
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. The door sweep was simply not doing the job.
I set out to soundproof the doorway to my office and the results were more than what I had hoped for.
Even though this door part is tricky to sound proof – there are items such as noise reducer for door which make things easier.
In this article, we will take a look at some soundproof of the easy steps for soundproofing door.
Although some of the steps may require you to invest some money in products such as a door quieter, door sweeps, or a new solid core door, 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 door soundproofing project that will make your home much quieter and forget about that noisy neighbor next door.
Hopefully, at least one of these tips will help in showing you how to make doors quieter while keeping the investment minimal.
What Is The Importance Of Soundproofing Doors?
Door systems often cause noise and are an essential part in all acoustic treatments.
The biggest gaps on walls — and their weakest link in soundproofing — are doors. Sometimes there are leaky doors in the vicinity of the door. And the room beneath the door can often be a larger gap than the room on either side so that there will be more sound leaking.
The problem is that almost all interior entrance doors are hollow. This means they have a hollow core. Although this increases their efficiency it also increases noise issues. Even the doorknobs leak sound. Soundproof doors are one way to solve such problems.
How to Soundproof a Doorway
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Seal all the gaps and cracks
This was the first step I took and I highly encourage you to start with this first when trying to soundproof a door. This is my favorite soundproofing method. You will need a tight seal on your existing door to get a fully soundproofed room.
It is advantageous in that it is quite affordable and does not require much time and energy to seal the gaps or use expensive soundproofing materials.
Gaps and cracks in your doors will be the main culprits in letting sound through the doorway. They play a big part in how much noise comes through.
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 soundproofing kit for large holes and this acoustical sealant caulk for cracks, seams, and small gaps. It is an airtight sealant and it is this property that makes it great for sound deadening and sound absorption. This will greatly reduce that pesky leaking sound coming from outside. It is an effective noise reduction solution.
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 for sealing air gaps.
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. There was noticeable sound reduction as well.
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 and block noise. Who would have thought it works so well to soundproof a door?
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 for an easy set up. What is interesting is that it does not affect how the door opens.
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. We have experienced noticeable sound reduction.
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. This is my door gasket of choice.
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 to absorb sound and further soundproof a door.
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 doors methods.
After all, you’d want to try out and do your best to eliminate even the smallest noise coming from the outside of the door – so you don’t have to invest a lot more money into a sound reducing door.
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 doors, 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.
To soundproof doors, 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.
You might also like: How to Quiet a Loud Door Knob
9. Use sound-absorbing panels
Soundproof fiberglass blankets may be an expensive option. As an alternative, you can decide to use sound absorbing foam panels.
It’s most likely you’ve seen acoustic panels on a door before. They come in different shapes and sizes – all the way from foam which is the most popular option to even wooden acoustic panels.
Foam panels increase the air resistance which in turn reduces the amplitude of sound waves when the door closes.
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.
We recommend the Acoustic Pro Fabric Wrapped panel. Fabric is 2x more effective than foam in sound absorbing. It also improves sound quality and speech intelligibility by reducing reverberations and echoes and it is Made in the USA.
When you are putting up the foam panels, using nails may cause damage to the door. You can try out this adhesive spray.
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.
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 doors option is that it is quite expensive, especially if your house has a lot of interior doors.
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. This is something you definitely do not want in a soundproof door.
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, especially with a solid wood door.
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.
The Sound Lock Soundproof Door is a 400 pound wood door that comes pre-hung with everything you need. All you need is a double studded opening to install it in and you’ve got the best door soundproofing money can buy.
These doors come equipped with acoustic door material that is used mostly in the music & radio industry to eliminate outside noise 100%.
However, be aware that installing the noise cancelling 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 to help with a solid core door.
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.
Attaching a drywall to your existing hollow door will significantly reduce the sound that goes through it.
12. Paint The Door With Soundproof Paint
It is rare to see soundproofing manufacturers using soundproof paint for sound protection.
One reason sound deadening paints have long disappeared has to do with its focus on mid frequencies. A mid-range is a frequency that corresponds primarily to normal speech.
The disadvantage of soundproof painted surfaces is the low frequency interference.
It's not very effective in the lower frequencies, either in aircraft or other vehicles noise.
It is harder to detect sound in large-scale paints. These paints are known to create raised surfaces that result in substantial textures.
13. Use Gap Foam
Gap foams can be effective in door soundproofing.
The gap foam grows with the foam expansion, thereby making it a significant barrier to the inside of the house and the other rooms.
The thicker the foam the better it becomes at blocking noise.
Start spraying foam onto the exterior doors, gradually moving toward the outer walls as you cover any existing gaps. It can be used in hollow door knobs because many of them have holes in the center.
Gap foam should be applied after you've installed Vinyl Sheets, Door Sweepers or other suggested solutions. Gap foam can be ordered online through Amazon.
14. Install Soundproofing Composite Material
Another thing you can use in your door soundproofing project is composite materials.
They can be placed under the doors or on floors. They are manufactured as thick dense sheets, which serve as an excellent barrier against all incoming sound sources.
You can also apply these to the door if they are used in an area where the door has a gap.
One other way is by buying custom doors with sound insulation composite inside them. You can attach it to the door in the room where the sound proofing system is installed.
Get your soundproofing materials from Soundproof Cow.
15. Place a Fiberboard Over Your Door Frame
The fiberboard material resembles sound proofing composite materials, because both materials can be installed inside the doors core and around the door frame.
Fiberboard is not as flexible as composite material, so there are no bends.
Fiberboard is the most efficient for use inside and outside doors or for wrapping them with strips around cracks and edges. If possible, open up the door to the core and add a fiberboard here.
Look at these fiberboards on Amazon.
16. Use Dense, Heavy Mass Foam Tiles
The tiles are to be arranged in the same fashion as puzzle pieces. This makes it the best possible customization option when trying to soundproof a door.
Some doors are different sizes, so a thick foam floor tile would be a perfect fit for your door.
Note that it is not possible to use traditional tiles and floor puzzles.
Heavy weight will prevent the sound from coming in and bounce the majority of low sound waves.
Floor puzzles reduce sound absorbance, but don't block sound as effectively as heavy-packed foam tiles. Find this item at Amazon.com.
17. Install Acoustic Door Thresholds
Like sweeping doors, acoustic doors thresholds are meant to reduce the amount of vibration under a door.
Although you might seal the gaps with best high-quality vinyl sheets, the space beneath the door frame is important too.
It’s a different system for doors to be installed in a door sweep than a door threshold.
It allows you to open and close the doors without moving the sweeper on the floor.
This threshold is suitable for soft areas which cause noise when opening the door using the door sweeper. You can get acoustic door thresholds on Amazon.
19. How To Soundproof A Metal Door
There are a few steps you can take when soundproofing metal doors.
In order to find the spots, you can turn off the light in the room and use a spotlight to reveal where the light travels through the cracks.
Mark the spots for treatment.
If the gap is small you can use neoprene rubber strips. For larger gaps you can use fiberglass, rigid insulation, backer rod, or rock wool.
This will do the job to keep off those unwanted sound waves in your metal door.
19. Fill A Hollow Core Door With Foam Insulation
One of the ways to soundproof a hollow core door is to fill it with insulation foam.
The only thing you'd need is an insulation spray bottle.
First, drill holes in the hollow core door for the best result. The holes should be the size of the straw included in your sprayer kit. Place the door on a flat surface and allow the foam to expand and solidify.
20. Use Meeting Stiles For Double Doors
If you use double doors for the bathroom or the bedroom, the sound isolation may be difficult to achieve.
Meeting stiles can be an effective way of protecting doors every time they touch one another (for example an exterior door in a music studio) and act as double seals.
To install meeting stiles, you simply have to select your ideal size, screw the screws in the places where the door meets. That's it!
They work similarly to door sweeps except for their vertical orientation. Those can be found at tmhardware.com.
21. Fill The Door With Sand
This alternative for door soundproofing is not so common and neither practical.
You must prepare for this to be done properly. As the sand is quite heavy it is not easy to load it on top of a door. That being said, the end result is surprisingly good.
One important fact is that door hinges need to be strong and durable to provide the necessary stability for the heavy sand door. A sand-filled door panel reduces noise significantly if installed properly.
22. Use Sound Isolation Padding Tape
Acoustic isolation tape can also be used to seal cracks on doors.
Tapes for sealing doors can also be used in the absence of weather stripe and gaskets.
The padding tapes are self adhesive and widely used for wall mounting.
The sound isolation padding on the tape breaks the sound waves and helps reduce the sound transfer from walls into door frames.
23. Install An Automatic Door Bottom
An automatic door bottom utilizes a concealed flat spring mechanism.
When an automatic door bottom is closed, a plunger works as a compressor against the door frame.
This activates the mechanism and lowers a neoprene seal which pushes against a doorway threshold until it seals the gap.
On Soundproofing a Door
By now, it is pretty clear that the doorway can be quite a menace when it comes to transmitting sound. This is also true for all exterior doors.
However, the above are steps you can take to soundproof your doorway using a soundproofing kit of your choice.
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. You can't simply install solid core doors everywhere.
Also, while your focus should be on the door panels, you shouldn’t forget to install noise cancelling door seals which are placed in between the door and its frame to reduce sound leaks.
All in all, the above steps will help reduce the amount of noise through your doorways. And get rid of those annoying loud neighbors!
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 soundproof door methods.
And hopefully, this post is clear enough featuring plenty of information, possibilities, and even products you could use among many available soundproofing solutions.
And of course, we hope you’ve now successfully learned how to soundproof a door.
Take on a couple of these steps and you will be amazed by the results!
You might also like: How to Stop a Door from Slamming
- Seal All The Gaps And Cracks
- Use Weatherstripping Tape On The Door
- Use Door Gaskets
- Use A Soundproof Blanket
- Use A Door Sweep
- Place a Rug
- Get Some Soundproofing Curtains
- Dampen The Noise On The Other Side
- Use Sound-Absorbing Foam Panels
- Use Some Mass Loaded Vinyl
- Buy A New Solid Door