How to Sound Proof a Room

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best way to soundproof a room

When you live in a city or near road, it is difficult to avoid the random sounds that come from the surroundings; whether it is the tik-tok of high heels, the blaring sound of car horns or just children squealing in the playground below. For a lot of people this can lead to multiple issues like migraine attacks, anxiety, panic attacks, pets being disturbed etc. Some people have also accepted it as a part of their life, so much so that they find it difficult to survive in complete silent zones. But did you know that there is no reason for anyone to put up with all that sound and make a part of their life. It can simply managed by knowing, how to sound proof a room or an apartment.

Sound Proofing of a room is sound like a very technical thing to do and there exists many complex mechanisms for it; but it is not like that. We can easily managed it by adopting few practices locally. Sound proofing a room would be helpful especially if there are people who are born with conditions like autism. It also helps in improving concentration, to work in a more focused manner. A lot of times mental peace also depends on the conditions we live in, sound being one of the biggest contributors to it.

But before going for soundproof a room, you should know about how does soundproofing works.

Here are some Best ways to sound proof a room effectively:

Sealing your doors:

how to soundproof an apartment by sealing doors

Do you often hear conversations in your room, happening in the neighborhood ? Do you always wonder why it feels like you literally live on the highway, when you really are just close to it? The answer to it could be that there are huge air gaps around your door. Sound travels through air and hence sealing the leaks would be the first step to cancel noise. You can also use rubber rugs with thick borders to ensure no additional sound gets in.These are made of rubber and hence almost air tight a place, thus not allowing excess sound to enter.

One of the cheapest and easiest solution you can attempt for is adhesive weather-strip that offers layers of protection.

How it works:

It provides insulation to seal all gaps that are situated around the doors. It is easy and yet effective solution. You have to peel of adhesive liner off the tape and stick firmly to entire vertical and horizontal on the exterior of door frame. When the door is closed, it is compress against the foam making an ideal choice of acoustic door seal. Opt for a high quality density foam tape that provides good compression seal.

Benefits:

  • Reduce sound that is passes through door seals
  • Easy to Install
  • Budget Friendly
  • Durable

Thick curtains:

soundproof your room by thick curtains

Curtains work as not just excellent light cancelling devices but also sound. You need to ensure you buy thick curtains or blankets, which are preferably of a darker color and are slightly longer than the door. This will add in a great way to sound proof a room. If you want to get more creative you can use a thick mattress and install it on the wall to ensure the walls become thicker and sound proof. This isn’t necessary in houses made of brick and concrete but more so wooden houses or with wooden panels. The curtains are made of quilted fiber glass that makes it movable and almost fabric like. They might also have a mass loaded vinyl in between to ensure it is thick but not solid.

How it works:

The technique behind the design of curtains is, they contain multiple layers of material. So it will absorb Eco sounds and reduce the sound level.

Installation:

Install the hooks and grommet hooks. Fix the curtain on rod and mount on the hooks. As curtains are heavier comparing to traditional curtains, we advise you to take help of another person too while mounting. You can install pulley for rolling up and down curtains.

Factors to look while buying:

  • Cost – Fix the budget that works fine for you.
  • Quality – Choose for thicker curtains as they would effectively absorb light and sound.
  • Size – Choose the size bigger than traditional curtains. The excess blocks sounds and maximize the potential of reducing noise.
  • Materials – Opt for suede or velvet as they are thick and would greatly deal in muffling sound. Prefer to choose for extra layering of curtain.
  • Curtain Rods– The special rods required for these curtains that is strong and thick.
  • Ceiling – Mount Brackets – They are alternative for rods. Brackets hang down from ceiling and give maximum coverage from ceiling to floor.

Benefits:

  • Flexible option
  • Insulation from heat
  • Blackout light
  • Block unwanted noise
  • Conserve heat and cold flowing from outside.
  • Economical Range

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Installing a cabinet:

easy ways to soundproof a room

Installing a cabinet helps in additionally increasing the thickness of the wall structure. This ensures that sound has many layers to penetrate from. Thus it weakens the overall noisiness of a room and adds to the sound proofing. If you are into reading, bookshelves can be an aesthetic addition to your room and also works really well in reducing the over-all sound penetration. Reading cabinets could be typically made of wood and can have a series of rows and columns to ensure they provide a thick surface for the sound to penetrate through.

How it works:

For consistent and annoying sounds you can install bookshelf cabinet attached to your wall. Filled a bookshelf would work as ticker walls and support soundproof system. It might sound silly, but bulk of books would clutter and break down the noise level.

Installation:

Install a book shelf as per length of your wall. You can slide thick piece of foam between walls and bookshelf for maximum controlling of noise.

Benefits

  • Cost effective solution.
  • Adds aesthetic look to your room
  • Easy to Install
  • Movable
  • Budget friendly

Reduce sound echoes:

make your room soundproof by reducing echoes

Sound shares a key phenomenon with light, that is, it gets reflected off surfaces. This increases the over-all sound in a room and some of it also lingers on. Sound reflects off harsh surfaces like ceilings, stone walls etc. It would be advisable to give them a smoother finish. You can cover these spaces with soft rugs and that would work a great deal in reducing the sound reflection, typically caused by animal barking, appliances etc. Once can also use rubber textured wall panels to ensure the place does look aesthetic while being sound proof.You can use towels, fancy fabric pieces that are thick to coat walls and thus reduce echo.

How it works:

Although, carpet, rugs are minor things but they can increase the acoustic absorbency of a room. A soundproof rug pad would decrease the floor noise. It can reduce sound of walking from 25 to 34 decibels.

How to Install:

Rugs and carpets are easy to install. Choose thick coating fabric for your floor. Clean the subfloor properly. Remove the doors. Cut the tackles strips as per size and install it. Layout the carpet and staple near the tackles strips. Trim the excess carpet and keep it 3” extra next to walls.

Benefits:

  • Reduces sound reverberation.
  • Easy to assemble
  • Reduces echo in room.
  • Fits in budget.

Investing in some acoustic panels:

best way to soundproof a room by acoustic panels

Acoustic panels used to be a very difficult thing to find and mostly used for highly technical purposes. But today you may find it in most furniture specific retail stores or it could be easily available online. What do acoustic panels do? They majorly prevent sound bouncing off hard surfaces. It is easy to install them as they can be hanged and they blend in perfectly with the architecture of the room. There are also some panels that reduce sounds by upto 30 decibels. What they primarily do is that they muffle the sounds and that helps in making a room sound proof. Acoustic panels are made of acoustic foam that are wrapped with either fabric or rubber. They generally have a lot of rugged edges to ensure the cancel as much sound as possible.

How it works:

It comes in s size of 2” or 4” choose thicker one. Panels have absorption filling made with foam and fiberglass. Sometimes the panels are made of recycled materials to provide soundproof in eco friendly way.

Installation:

Cover both walls and backside of the foam with help of packaging tape and then spray some adhesives in between. Another option is to try installing impaling clips with screws. Hang your acoustic foam on them.

Benefits:

  • Prevent sound bouncing from hard surface
  • Easy to install
  • High quality panels reduces upto 30 decibels
  • Eco Friendly and Budget friendly

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Window Alterations:

soundproof a wall by window alteration

Windows are essential to ensure enough light enters the room. They also offer a view of the surroundings one chooses to live in. It would be difficult to block both these purposes of having a window to sound proof a room. But what if there was an easier way to do it? Window inserts work best in such cases as they are pieces of acrylic glass that helps in cancelling sound. You need to install them in your windows and voila! Say yes to beautiful view and sunlight and no to the sound.

In some cases window acrylic glass insets are known to reduce sound to up to 50%. You can also have the quick pop-out variety, so fresh air flowing in from the window, when required isn’t tampered with. Window inserts are generally made of thin fiber glass, so they don’t take up a lot of space, at the same time prevent sound from entering efficiently.

How it works:

It primarily use thicker glass that adds mass between your window and outside. Laminated glass further reduces noise transmission by blocking air space.

Installation:

You can easily installed it with your existing window. There are two type of replacement full frame and insert. Clean the frame, install flashing tape on it. Cover the entire length of sill. Seucre the uppor window with silicone caulk. Spray insulation around the frame to fill any gaps. Use finishing nails to install the exterior. It contributes about 4 inches of dead, sound reducing air between primary window and new window.

Benefits:

  • Blocks 90 – 95% of sound coming through windows.
  • Blocks heat transfer and increase energy efficiency.
  • Can be installed on preexisting frames or new ones.
  • Efficient
  • Budget Friendly

Reduce the shake:

easiest way to soundproof a wall by Insulation pad

Have you ever been bothered by the rattling sounds of washing machines? Why just washing machines, one can be easily disturbed by the shakiness of sound amplifiers or music system. To ensure we cancel out that sound and it does not add to the over-all noisiness, you can do a simple step-just install thick insulation pads under them. They first of all reduce the movement because their shape reduces the space between the appliance and the surface. It also absorb the necessary extra sound, thus making the room almost sound proof. Insulation pads are made of thick foam, the foam that’s used to create foam mattresses. They reduce movement, are almost impermeable and also provide the necessary support.

How it works:

The pads are made up of thick foam that have sound absorbing properties. The foam prevents sound waves from reflecting surfaces. The foams are easy to cut and assemble.

Installation:

Cut the cardboard as per the dimension of room. Wrap the acoustic foam as per size of cardboard panel. Attach the foam to the panel. Using hammer nail only edges of each panel.  

Benefits:

  • Lightweight
  • Soft
  • Available in variety of colors and styles.
  • Can Easily installed
  • Budget friendly option
  • Works for small spaces too

Acoustic fix in place sheets:

cheapest way to make a room soundproof

The acoustic wedge panels are generally seen in recording studios and professional setting, but can also be used locally to sound proof a room. It is working very well in absorbing sounds across frequencies. Most of them come with a stick on background so you can easily install it by own. There are varieties of acoustic panels that are available but the best would be the one which is mostly fiber glass and has a thin layer of Mylar perforated facing. This variety of acoustic wedges are recommended because they provide the best results and help in making a room almost sound proof and cancel the noise.

How it works:

Each panel is covered with high quality of fiberglass for maximum sound absorption. Diffusers are intended for absorption of the echo.

Installation:

Usually the panels comes with leveling brackets. Install the brackets to wall surface with the provided screws. Place fabric side down on clean surface. Apply adhesive around the panel. Rest the edge of panel on the leveling brackets and press against the walls.

Benefits:

  • Sound proof
  • Light weight
  • Heat and fire resistant
  • Easy to install and remove
  • Parallel to style quotient
  • Higher durability.

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Transforming energies:

easiest way to soundproof a room

It would really be advisable to fill walls, especially the ones that have spacing between them with a damping compound. Once you do that there is magical effect that it leads to. The damping compound effectively transforms sound energy to heat energy and helps in not just reducing the sound but also making the room warm and comfortable. This may be a technique that is usually ignored but can go a long way when planning to sound proof a room, especially, in places that have the air conditioning strong or the outside weather is generally cool.

A damping compound also has multiple applications like it is as sturdy as sound proofing One thing that needs to be kept in mind is to be patient while installing using this compound as it may take some days to cure and give results to its complete potential. Damping compound is also called as green glue is a visco elastic material or simply dampens sound. So when sound travels it vibrates the molecules of the surface through which it is travelling. But green glue dissipates the sound energy and stops vibrations quickly, thus reducing sound.

How it works:

Green Glue is unique damping product which is used for new construction and renovation projects. The property of compound act as damping material that dissolves the vibration occurred by sound waves when they pass through ceiling, walls and floors. It has polymeric formula through which mechanical energy emitted from sound waves is converted into heat energy.

Installation:

Place the first layer of dry wall and seal the seams between sheets. Cut the end of tube, screw on separate nozzle and cut. Apply Green glue to second sheet of drywall with random pattern. Press the board against the wall or ceiling and fix with appropriate screws.

Benefits:

  • Non Hazardous
  • Environment friendly
  • No odor
  • Beneficial for interior noise, exterior noise, flanking noise, etc.
  • Budget friendly

Fill the gaps:

how to soundproof your room by filling the gaps

A lot of times sound escapes into the gaps that have been left between the panels. These resonate and also can work as extra for the sound to echo. To ensure the room feels cozy and complete sound proof one of the best things to do is to fill these gaps with an acoustic caulk. These acoustic caulks or sealants work well in adding strength to even the building structure as they are elastic and sound resistant. But there are certain points that you should keep in mind while using a caulk:

  1. It is always advisable to use water based caulks as they are easier to be cleaned up. Solvent based sealants could sometimes damage the material they are used for sealing.
  2. If it is used in an environment that needs to look aesthetically beautiful, it would be most ideal to use a caulk that can be painted over. That is easy to identify, as most sealants come with a disclaimer that they can be painted on. This would help it to blend with the rest of the architecture at home and not stand out from the panels. There could be an option to see if something can be glued on them. If not, they could be painted on and the wall paper could be glued on the paint
  3. It is not always necessary to use acoustic caulk. The idea is to cancel the sound, by reducing surfaces that help in accumulation or bouncing off a surface. This can also be achieved with a normal sealant and not necessarily an acoustic caulk. Also a normal caulk is easier to handle and malleable, It can be easily pushed into smaller cracks. An acoustic caulk however is not so simple when it comes to dealing with minute cracks or really thin gaps.

How it works:

Acoustic caulk is applied between adjacent drywall panels between the walls, floor or ceiling. When you apply caulk or sealant, it will crack or shrink due to which it provides an effective sealing and defense against the passage of sound.

Installation:

The sealant should be applied between two soundproof materials. You can apply with caulk with your finger protected with gloves. Fill the essential gaps you would see that as it dries it gets harder.  

Benefits:

  • Easy to apply
  • Paintable
  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to apply
  • Turns clear as it dries
  • Adheres very well
  • Stays flexible
  • Reduces sound transmission
  • Budget-friendly

Above article shows how to sound proof a room with easy ways. These ways are some best and effective ways of noise cancellation which will help to make a room sound proof. Most of the techniques mentioned can be applied locally and professionally both.

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