How to Soundproof a Room From Outside Noise
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When in the comfort of your home, you certainly want to enjoy the peace and quiet.
However, this may not always be the case especially if you live near a busy street or in an apartment building.
Noise from outside and from the neighbors can be quite distracting especially at night when you just need some rest.
Although there are hardly any places to live where there isn’t much noise, you do not have to put up with it.
If you are wondering how to soundproof your house from outside noise, then this article is meant for you. With these simple steps below, you should be able to have a noise-free room within a short time.
How to Soundproof a Room From Outside Noise
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Check the windows
When it comes to letting outside noise get into a room, the windows are usually the biggest culprits. This could be as a result of a couple of reasons.
There could be a couple of gaps and holes on the frames or the glass simply doesn’t cut it when it comes to blocking sound.
If you want to soundproof your room from outside noise, soundproofing the windows could be the best place to start. There are a couple of ways through which you can achieve this.
However, the method of soundproofing that you choose will depend on how much you are willing to spend on the soundproofing and how much effectiveness you are looking to achieve.
If you are willing to spend a bit more money, then you may want to change the window panes entirely. Most windows are usually single pane and as a result, they let in so much sound from outside.
Replacing the window panes with thicker triple or double-paned ones could make a significant difference in the amount of outside noise coming into the room.
Because they are highly effective, replacing the window panes entirely is quite expensive. Besides, you will have to incur extra expenses as you will need to have them professionally fitted.
When working on a shoestring budget, replacing the window panes may not be a viable option. Not to worry though, there are a couple of other things that you can do.
If lighting is not something that you are entirely focused on, then you can consider getting window plugs for the windows. These are quite easy to make and if made correctly are quite effective.
Another option would be to get some soundproof curtains. Because they are made of a thick and heavy material, they are very effective when it comes to blocking out the sound.
However, the thickness prevents much light from getting into a room. They may, therefore, be a good option for use at night.
Click here for our buying guide and best soundproof curtains selection.
The last thing you should do when soundproofing your windows is using caulk sealant.
Even with the tiniest gaps, cracks or holes, your windows will still let in noise from outside. You can either use sealant or weatherstripping to seal the gaps.
2. Modify the walls
Just as is the case with the windows, there are both cheap and expensive ways of soundproofing the walls.
If you want to achieve maximum effectiveness, then your best bet would be to tear down the wall and add some sound blockers. However, this is as time-consuming as it is expensive.
With time, interior walls develop cracks, holes, and gaps. These become the fastest way through which outside noise will get into the room.
It is, therefore, crucial that you seal all the gaps and cracks with caulk sealant just as you did with the windows.
Another thing that makes walls so good at transmitting outside noise is the fact that most of them are thin. Making them a bit thicker will, therefore, help you deal with the problem of noise from outside.
The most effective way of doing this is by adding a layer of drywall. Drywall is simply a panel made of sound absorbing materials and is mainly used in interior walls and ceilings.
Adding a double layer of drywall will help you minimize the noise from outside that gets into the room.
Of course, adding drywall to your walls is a bit expensive. Rather than spend all that money, you may decide to go the cheaper way.
Get some heavy quilts and wall decorations and hang them on the affected walls. Although they are not as effective as drywalls, you will certainly notice a difference in the amount of sound getting through.
Another inexpensive way of soundproofing the walls would be to move some furniture around in the room.
When it comes to soundproofing, the idea is to create a thicker barrier between the room and the source of the noise.
Move that old bookshelf and place it against the wall. Perhaps take that couch from the center of the room and move it closer to the wall.
Besides helping you get rid of outside noise, moving your furniture can be a way to finally get a redecoration.
Here are more ways to soundproof a wall without touching the drywall.
3. Work on the door
Most doors that are used in houses' interiors nowadays are usually hollow on the inside.
As a result, they do not do much when it comes to blocking out the sound. If there is a significantly huge amount of sound from outside getting into a room, the door could be the reason.
The best and most effective way of dealing with the door would be to get a new one installed. Solid doors are available and provide so much better soundproofing than the hollow doors.
Of course, they are much more expensive and will have you looking for a professional so as to get it fitted.
A cheaper option would be to soundproof the door. This can be done in a number of ways.
For starters, you can get a soundproof blanket. Although they are cheap, soundproof door blankets are quite effective in blocking out outside noise.
They are usually hung at the back of the door and held in place with tacks or adhesive. See here for our reviews of the best soundproof blankets.
There is one downside to using soundproof blankets. They are not visually appealing and would, therefore, interfere with your existing interior theme.
For this reason, they are best used in rooms that are hardly used by guests.
For further effectiveness, it is advisable to use a door sweep as well.
Whenever the door is closed, there is usually a small gap left between the door and the floor. This also lets in sound from outside.
A door sweep is usually attached to the bottom of the door so that when the door is closed the sweep seals the gap at the bottom.
Alternatively, you can also use some weatherstripping at the bottom. It is just as effective as a door sweep.
Finally, the last thing you need to do when soundproofing your door is sealing the gaps.
Just as you did with the windows and walls, ensure all gaps and cracks are tightly sealed using caulk sealant.
4. Soundproof the air vents
The air vents are another way through which noise from outside gets into the room. They are simply large holes in the walls that let air and sound in freely.
If you do not find them necessary, your best bet would be to block them entirely. You can do this by filling the gap with some filler spray. You can also drywall the gap entirely.
However, if you still wish to have access to some fresh air, then you will have to soundproof the air vent.
You can either use a sound maze or a honeycomb. Both of these are effective at reducing noise while maintaining airflow at the same time.
5. Do something on the outside
The final thing that you will have to is work on the outside. The main idea is to put as many barriers as you can between the noise and the room.
For starters, you can try planting some tall plants and trees by the room that you intend to soundproof. This way, the sound will have a harder time getting around the plants.
Alternatively, you could try building something that will drown out the noise. You can, for example, try building a waterfall outside your home.
The sound of the water will deaden other sounds or at least make them quieter.
The last thing you may want to consider is building a fence all around your property. This is, however, a very expensive option.
For the fence to be effective, it has to be at least 8 feet tall. Of course, it can be taller but if it is shorter it will not be as effective.
6. Insulate the Ceiling and Floors
If you are looking to block outside noise from your room entirely, then insulating the ceiling can come in handy.
Of course, this is especially applicable if you live in an apartment building. If you live in storey house, the people upstairs or downstairs are family, so you may not need to soundproof the ceiling and the floors that much.
When soundproofing the ceiling, there are several options that you can choose from. Using a drop ceiling is one of the easiest ways to keep sound out of a room.
If you decide to go with a drop ceiling as your option, you may want to get some acoustic hangers as well. These will help in reducing the noise from the vibrations in the suspended ceiling.
You can also use acoustic foam panels to keep noise out of the room completely.
As for the floors, thick fluffy carpets and rubber mats should help you reduce noise from outside.
You can also add an extra layer of carpets or play around with some of the heavy furniture you have for better results.
Soundproofing may be a great option, but one of the best ways of keeping sound out of a room is by tackling the source of the sound entirely.
Before getting a budget for your soundproofing, it may help to determine what is the source of noise and whether you can deal with it.
Is your neighbor’s dog too loud? Do they play loud music?
You should try talking to them first, and see if you can solve the issue without spending too much.
On Soundproofing the Room From Outside Noise
While outside noise can be quite annoying, it is possible to soundproof any room from outside noise.
Whether you are willing to spend so much just to get some peace and quiet or you are on a frugal budget, it is possible to apply some soundproofing techniques that will have you block out all the noise from outside.
- Check the Windows
- Modify the Walls
- Work on the Door
- Soundproof the Air Vents
- Do Something on the Outside
- Insulate the Ceilings and Floors