Category: 

How can I Make a Room Soundproof?

Soundproof room.
Acoustic foam for soundproofing.
Soundproofing foam panels may be used in recording studios.
Acoustic insulation can be used to soundproof a floor.
Rockwool insulation, which can help make a room soundproof.
Installing double-hung windows could help make a room soundproof.
Making a soundproof room means stopping or reducing sound waves by using certain building techniques or materials.
Article Details
  • Originally Written By: Stacy Popke
  • Revised By: A. Joseph
  • Edited By: Lucy Oppenheimer
  • Last Modified Date: 04 October 2014
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2014
    Conjecture Corporation
  • Print this Article
Free Widgets for your Site/Blog
Waking up in the middle of the night is normal for humans.  more...

October 31 ,  1984 :  Indira Gandhi, Prime Minister of India, was assassinated.  more...

There are many times when a person might want to reduce the amount of sound coming into or leaving a room. Making a room soundproof involves stopping or reducing sound waves by using certain building techniques or materials. There are many methods available, and choosing one will depend on the room itself and the amount of money that you are willing to spend. To make a room soundproof, you might have to make changes to the walls, ceiling, windows, doors and any cracks or openings. A few things that will help make a room soundproof include using a double layer of sheetrock on walls, with a layer of silicone or another sticky sound-dampening compound in between them; installing double- or triple-hung windows; installing a drop ceiling; and installing carpet padding and carpet on the floors.

The best way to prevent a noise problem is to construct the room with building materials and techniques that will reduce the noise that enters or leaves a room. Pre-planning in this way is not always possible, however, especially for renters. In those cases, soundproofing a room centers on how to absorb unwanted noise after the walls already are in place.

Soundproofing Walls

Ad

If you are building the walls or are willing to re-do existing walls, consider using two layers of sheetrock with a small amount of space in between. They can be glued together using a layer of silicone or a special type of sound-dampening glue. For existing walls, a layer of sheetrock can be added over the wall. Sounds waves are reduced as they travel through mass and as they go from substances of different densities, which is why two layers of sheetrock that are slightly separated are better than one layer that is twice as thick. Various sound-reducing materials also can be added to the interior of walls, such as fiberglass insulation, rockwool insulation, mass-loaded vinyl or certain types of soundproofing foam panels.

Doors and Windows

Doorways and windows can also contribute to unwanted noise problems. Thick, solid doors and double- or triple-paned vinyl-framed windows will block more sound than thin doors and single-paned windows. Also, just like the way that a draft of air can travel through leaks around a door or window, sound can enter or leave a room through them. Weatherstrips or caulk can be applied to the gaps around door frames and windows to reduce the amount of sound that sneaks through the gaps.

Floors and Ceilings

Floors and ceilings can be soundproofed as well. Carpet can be installed over carpet padding on floors. Special sound-reducing mats also can be laid under the carpeting. A ceiling can be soundproofed by adding a drop ceiling, which is sometimes called a false ceiling or suspended ceiling. This type of ceiling consists of special panels hung from the ceiling.

Less-Expensive Options

If money is a concern or time is limited, a less drastic, inexpensive approach to making a room soundproof might be needed. This might include using a large bookcase or other furniture against a wall, effectively making a thicker wall through which the sound must travel, or using thick curtains over windows to help keep sounds from traveling through the window as easily. Other simple techniques that can reduce the noise in a room involve absorbing the sound that is already in the room, rather than blocking it from entering or leaving the room.

Sound-Absorbing Surfaces

Hard, smooth surfaces in a room typically do nothing to help eliminate sounds, and they might make the noise problem worse. Soft rugs, carpet and curtains can absorb sound. Rough surfaces on walls and ceilings, such as sprayed-on texture, can help reduce the sound waves in a noisy room.

Wall Treatments

Wall treatments or decorations also can help make a room soundproof. This usually involves tacking on or hanging some sort of heavy material that will block sound waves. The material can range from carpeting to blankets to manufactured paneling — even cardboard egg cartons are an option in some situations. As with most soundproofing materials, the thicker, the better.

Ad

More from Wisegeek

You might also Like

Discuss this Article

anon931495
Post 89

The neighbor's sex noise coming through the adjoining wall is driving me nuts.

anon924675
Post 88

I agree with anon1052. The tougher solution is keeping the noise out in the first place, which is what will help you sleep better at night and concentrate during the day. There are a limited number of options if you rent an apartment (dozens more if you own and don't mind doing some minor mods, such as double-pane windows or door seals). The best I've found are true soundproofing curtains from Residential Acoustics.

There are plenty of sound-absorbing curtains on the market, but this is the first that actually blocks sounds that I've found.

anon360191
Post 87

How cam I make my office building soundproof from the sound of heavy running packing machines installed on the other side of my building, which is my factory.

The walls of my office are 9″ thick and the window panels are vacuumed with aluminum fabrication, but sitting there feels as if I am sitting among all those big giants.

I am planning to do acoustic work. The office building will have fiberglass wool of 25mm and density is 48kgs or either with the sheets of K-Fonic.

The dimension of my office is 80 feet by 20 feet and the height is about 25 feet. The office is shielded with asbestos sheets with heavy iron trusses. What is a good solution? Please tell me.

sabasheikh
Post 86

My husband's and my room has a thin door and a single-paned window. How expensive is it to change this?

anon268225
Post 84

If you need to soundproof a room or studio and had plans of acustic reforms, think about a Demvox. This is an economic solution and full of advantages for all types of applications:

Recording of musical instruments and voices. Practice and studio for music. Speeches. Study in music academies and institutions. Studio Sound and Audiovisual School. Practice and study of instruments and voices in practice rooms. Karaoke.

For communication: telcos. Private communications.

anon248300
Post 83

Sound reduction doesn't occur because of different densities, it happens because of trapped air! Sound does get reduced by thickening up your wall, but mainly due to trapped air.

Recording studios utilize a room within a room design and double doors with drop down rubber thresholds. The silicone the author says to use helps because it helps the room trap air better, not because it absorbs sound!

anon235527
Post 82

To make a room soundproof, hang different photo frames that are made on carpet kind fabric and observe the level of noise.

anon229925
Post 81

Someone please help me in making my hostel room soundproof. It's impossible to listen to a good trance without disturbing others.

anon193270
Post 79

Most of things will do nothing about the annoying neighbor upstairs whom you can hear walk unless you rip off the ceiling and that is too expensive for most people. Moving is not always possible for all of us.

anon190988
Post 78

i own a site just nearby a railway line. what are the precautions i should take before constructing the house, since noise and the vibrations of the rail movements will be there?

anon180685
Post 77

I have an office cabin with glass door and i wanted to make it soundproof. How can i get it done without changing the whole thing?

Kindly give me some ideas or things to be used

to get rid from this unwanted noise.

anon180506
Post 76

I have a game room in my house, and I would like it to be difficult to hear noise from it. Please help.

anon176062
Post 75

I hear the a/c unit in the apartment below mine. All of our a/c units are in our ceiling. So the sound comes through my floor. I think they need an isolator, but I'm not sure. Does anyone know the fix to this? I know when I go stand outside their door, the noise from the thing is intense. Not all of our a/c units (which are also heating units) are so loud.

anon169584
Post 74

Walls are easily soundproofed, build a timber on neoprene strips from out of 2x4, fill with RS60 rockwool and a minimum of 2 layers of plasterboard. floors can be floated and windows double or triple glazed. I'm in the process of building a recording studio.

anon166434
Post 73

I'm thinking of sound proofing my room using double glaze casement windows.

The installer and window manufacturer says that he has to make thicker aluminum frames to accommodate the weight of the double glaze window - he assures me that the aluminum frame will be airtight. But I was wondering whether I should ask him to pump silicone (like the Dow Corning 795 sealant) inside the frame to give extra mass to the frame. I asked my architect friend but she says no one does this sort of thing.

anon166405
Post 72

my flat has 3 rooms. The hall has a door right before the stairs so whenever someone runs or shouts in the stairs, it's almost impossible for me to hear anything in the hall as the passage to the stairs passes is adjacent to hall.

Also the hall, kitchen and bedroom windows allow sounds in from outside. what should i do to completely eliminate that sound?

how much will be the cost to have three sliding windows 9 feet by 5 feet and a window of 2.5 feet by 5 feet?

priapus123
Post 71

Where do I begin? Well, I live in the old part of the city where our ceiling is held up by beams. We have been having major noise problems from above. The owner did try to insulate his floor, but on the cheap. Now there are renters who make noise when then walk, drop things or even move furniture. I must admit that it is much better since the owner did the work but we are still bothered by the noise. I'd like to know if it is possible to do something to my ceiling?

If we could manage to remove the noise made by footsteps we'd be so happy, but we need some kind of assurance from someone who knows if it is possible, before we spend huge amounts of money. By the way, we can't hear their television, radio nor voices, so I guess that's something to be thankful for.

anon152997
Post 68

Can anyone help me? I live in a stand alone house and I am in the middle of double glazing my windows in my house to help shield unwanted noise from neighbours, music, voices etc.

The company I have used uses a 6.38 laminated glass in a solid aluminium frame, there is a 13cm air gap between my external window (this is an old aluminium window with 3mm glass and very worn seals) and the new internal window, the new window has been fully sealed. I have also put rockwool batts in the ceiling.

I live in a brick house, which we rendered last year. Can you give any more advice as to what I can do to reduce noise, should I replace the external window too, also some companies use a product called "Hush" glass, which a 6.5 laminated glass. Should I have used this type of glass?

There is around 15m between my bedroom window and the noise source, and my house is a little higher than their entertaining area. I have planted a row of pittosporums which in another 12 months should be high enough to shield our houses, but I am considering adding fence extensions too.

I have to say that the new windows have been good but they are by no means shielding all the noise. If they talk loudly or play bass music I can hear it. Any more advice would be so appreciated!

anon151354
Post 67

Many municipalities have noise ordinances that prohibit sounds that unreasonably disturb others, so, if you are bothered, investigating whether the offending sound is covered by that should be your first step.

If you find that the noise ordinance applies, whether to approach the noisemaker before making a formal report is really a matter of discretion. Oftentimes you will be told that you are the only person who complained, but studies have shown that the person complaining is usually not the only person really bothered by the noise. Others often don't realize that they have a right to do something about it, or they may have some other reason for not wanting to take formal action to stop the noise, such as a fear of having to make a seller's disclosure about the noise should the problem not be resolved and they are forced to sell their home.

I recently complained about a disturbance involving a loudspeaker and was told that no one else had complained, but the authorities investigated and determined that the noise was indeed unreasonably loud and put a stop to it.

The local newspaper nevertheless printed an article about my complaint, indicating that I was the only complainant. Whether it is true that I am the only one who formally complained, I don't know, but I have emails from my neighbors who were also disturbed but did not complain, thanking me for my action.

This is not just a matter of preference for quieter environs, as unwanted noise is now known to cause significant health problems, such as high blood pressure, cardiovascular illness, and even strokes.

These ill effects can occur regardless of whether those subjected to the noise are otherwise willing to tolerate it; that is, even those who say the noise is not really a problem can nonetheless become ill from prolonged exposure to it.

anon134820
Post 64

I just moved into an apartment next to a major highway without considering the noise or the insulation in the room, which by the way is 75 percent glass. Any good ideas on how to insulate without killing the views? Thanks

anon124397
Post 63

One cheaper option to sound proof a door (without having to buy a whole new door) is to buy an acoustic seal kit. These vary in price but can really help against sound transference.

The packs are easy to fit, there's no need to rebate the door with some seals, and can give you up to 51db protection.

A number of reputable companies sell the kits.

Make sure the seals have been tested properly and for under £80 you could get a quiet life! Hope that helps.

anon123918
Post 62

I'm living in a residence room in which is attached to my floor leader by a single door blocked by a closet. We are so close that I can hear him clicking on his mouse and he can hear all my conversations. This is extremely inconvenient as both of us must do work or have social time. What soundproofing solutions are there that I can do myself for a low-cost to the door to make less noise?

Thanks for your help!

anon107931
Post 61

I live in a terraced house and can hear my neighbors clear as a bell in my bedroom when they are in their kitchen and when they have an argument it ticks me off. help, help, help.

anon102283
Post 60

One solution for your own peace and quiet is to use foam earplugs. Additionally, you can get "earmuffs" from Sears or some place like that. I recommend getting earmuffs that are not flimsy; some earmuffs really aren't that good. But I got a pair from Sears for $30 that do a good job (Sears had some not-so-good pairs as well).

Used together, earplugs and earmuffs can really, really give you protection you want to study/sleep/read. Of course, if you're sleeping that way you'll probably end up taking the earmuffs off during the night, which is good because you can then hear your alarm clock.

As for helping your co-inhabitants not get annoyed by your noise, maybe you can smile a lot as you demonstrate how to insert earplugs.

anon101839
Post 59

GC seems to know his stuff. I built a drum room and used Green Glue in the walls. Not had any complaints yet and I play three hours per day. I read about it in a book on studio building and researched it, bought it online. Strange that nobody seems to have heard of this stuff.

Mark

anon101310
Post 57

If one is annoyed by loud sounds from neighbors a simple solution is to buy a pair of headphones that help dampen the sound. My brother is a drummer and it can get really loud. These phones help reduce the sound. Not completely but let's just say I can sit next to the drum set and be fine. Vic Firth is a good brand.

anon93846
Post 56

Try living next to someone who "drums" (I use the word loosely as he is a terrible drummer!) in his garage which is between our houses and runs parallel to our garden!

We can't sit in our garden as that is all we can hear, and there is only one room in the house we can't hear it, but it's only us who can hear it apparently, says the neighbour!

He says he lined the walls with rockwool and plasterboard, but the roof of garage is made of corrugated plastic sheeting!

Please consider your neighbours when drumming, I know it's difficult for you to practice but it's also difficult for us to live in our house with the constant thump thump thump.

anon90611
Post 55

I was thinking about using those camping foamies as well. Do you think they'd work to soundproof a den with no windows that a drumset's in? Very loud.

anon89057
Post 54

Use the blue foam mats that you lie under you when you go camping. it's cheaper and they will work like a charm!

anon87787
Post 52

I have a serious problem from the noise of my neighbours and it's affecting my life a lot for the past three years and I am going through hell.

The banging of the doors on the apartment upstairs and banging downstairs drives me nuts, since it seems the building is passing banging sounds from everywhere.

i need a cheap and a paint solution for the walls and the ceilings. it will save my life and family.

Please, if someone or anyone has the solution, I am waiting. thanks.

anon85338
Post 50

Does anyone have any good ideas on the best way to reduce noise inside a patient room, like noises coming from another patient/visitors, hospital staff, equipment, monitors, etc.?

anon75572
Post 47

I agree with the first comment; soundproofing is not an easy task.

To get the best results there are so many different criteria to be fulfilled. I have my room done up with two layers of QuietRock and QuietGlue and sealed every corner with seal and putty and the results are good.

harlington
Post 45

Honestly, it's not rocket science to soundproof a room. if its a smallish size of room you can do such things as have a thick, hard door, reinforce your walls and have carpet/rugs on the floor.

i have a recording studio in my house and that's what i used to soundproof it, and for those who are thinking why have i got a recording studio, it's because i am in a band and practice and record in my house.

Unless its for online it's done in a spare room that hardly gets used. but there are a lot of ways of doing it. that is probably the cheapest and easiest way of doing it. just research online or look for books on it in shops or in your public library.

anon69137
Post 43

My wife is really loud and we live in an apartment. Sometimes we can hear our neighbor trying to listen in. One time I sneezed and he said "God Bless you," so clearly that it was as if he was lying next to me in bed. I am tired of whispering and my wife is tired of having to be quiet.

anon66489
Post 42

I have a one year old baby and whenever she cries, my neighbour screams at us, "Shut up #$%$#" My wife and I are really frustrated and really upset. Kindly advise me what kind of soundproofing I should do. Thank you. Regards, Suresh

anon64566
Post 41

I live in a well made apartment complex and the latest neighbors downstairs... I must say that if you walked by when their windows were open anyone would say "Hey!" It's like being next to the guy with full sound system on in a car and you feel trapped.

Once their windows are closed, rarely can you hear it outside but upstairs -- thunder, surround sound, driving me nuts. the management has said several times, "Gee your building has the slab flooring," as if this should take care of it.

I am searching so i can tell them why slab flooring is not enough to stop their sound from filling the upstairs. I can't find anything. I am moving but they are about to build another complex and i really would like to be able to help them to learn why the slab is not working -- or not enough.

anon63910
Post 40

i m having a big big trouble because of my roommates. they listen to loud music, also I am disturbed a lot due to loud music; due to this I'm not able to concentrate on my studies, and i can't say anything to them. please do suggest to me what should i do so that my ears are safe.

anon63635
Post 39

I live in a townhouse, and the person next to me has a home theater system. I do not hear the music but sure notice the vibrations from the sub woofer. how can I get rid of this vibration? I feel it through my feet on the floor or even when I am bed. It's driving me crazy, and I cannot sleep at night. I told him about it but he could care less. Thanks.

anon52919
Post 36

i play halo 3 a lot because I'm like an mlg pro, but not noticed yet. basically not pro yet but good. i have to yell call outs on a mic and dad gets mad and turns the internet off. how do i make it where he can't hear me in his room from mine? i have a wooden door but it is not completely hollow. I'm thinking rubber around it but not sure. what should i do?

anon50761
Post 35

just read the book "Get Better Sound." it explains it all.

anon48043
Post 33

I am an amateur robot builder living with five people in a three bedroom duplex, and about once a day somebody complains about my noises from using tools or testing vocal functions/alarms or movement tests. I am on the top floor and most times have someone downstairs and sometimes sharing one wall upstairs. Some of the robots have legs and walk noisily (just testing) because i have hardwood. I put a rug down and it helps some but my room is bigger than the rug and the robots are out of my direct control because I am testing more than one at the same time, so they often scrabble on the wood. I thought, make the robots themselves out of soft materials that are sound proof and thought it could have stealth applications but that's not the direction I'm going in with this. There is no garage.

anon44811
Post 32

Im going crazy, i have a set of laptop speakers that run with a subwoofer and it seems that even when the bass is turned right down i still annoy the other people in my house. I listen to a lot of bass heavy dance music and i need a solution to this! The place is rented and the room I am in is on the first floor of a three story house, and i have house mates on four sides; above, below and on two sides. There is a fire door that keeps a lot of the noise in on the one side though and i have double glazing which is a bonus so that side's not so much of an issue. I think the bass is mainly being carried in the floor (even though i have raised it off the floor already.). Would putting the sub in some kind of sound dampened box on legs make any difference? or maybe sound proofing the wardrobe? Oh yeah, and I'm skint lol so cheapish materials are the only option really. Please, someone with some real music knowledge, advise! :)

anon43768
Post 30

Any suggestions to inhibit the low register thrumming noise from my neighbor's air conditioning unit? Will MLV on our party wall help. What about the floor. Would the same product work? I want to retrofit my bedroom first and would love suggestions from anyone. Thanks vrbchsusan

anon42932
Post 29

I'm thinking about doing a science project about soundproofing my room, but I don't want to spend a ton of money just on the project. what's the easiest, most inexpensive way to soundproof a room?

anon42915
Post 28

I have neighbours who bang a metal gate right beside my water tank. The noise is very grating. How can I stop this noise?

anon40779
Post 27

My room is right next to the TV, and my roommates like to stay up late watching it. The door itself is made of heavy wood, but I can still hear it. Any ideas? --Josh

anon35284
Post 25

Hi,

Well, I have birds!! Big loud birds and I need to soundproof the room they live in. I see there are a lot of different materials, but most seem to be discussed in the context of music. Any thoughts on what might be the best material for my house? thx CB

anon28106
Post 24

Right, I've completely soundproofed my garage, but now my other recording artists and I are struggling to breathe, any ideas for soundproof ventilation?

fairweather
Post 23

Hi a lot of things have been suggested and many are very good, especially GC's. However sometimes using a "Rockwool" (more accurately mineral wool as Rockwool is a manufacturer's name) can be quite bulky and reduce the size of your room. However, as mentioned sand can greatly reduce sound transmission and save space.

Products such as Karma Acoustic EasyPanel is a great way to do this. This is a double layer of cross fluted corrugated cardboard filled with silica sand encased in hardboard material.

This reduces sound by 6dB and takes up very little space. However, as mentioned before, making an independent wall system will reduce the sound transmission even further, but will greatly reduce the area of a room.

AF

anon25755
Post 22

I'm building a home studio. My set up is in the living room. The artist i work with can't record there, cause there is noise from the computer fan and refrigerator, so he will be recording out the room next door and my room is a problem. There is a big glass door which is next to the street outside. When someone starts a car or drives by i can hear them. I will be putting up blankets or stand the mattress. I can have them on on the corner when the artist records. He will be wearing headphones so there is no sound. How can i make this room more soundproof without having to spend a fortune and to record quietly. I can't stick anything to the original walls cause its an apartment so i can't make changes to it.

whuCED
Post 21

I play drums, in a one car spaced garage at the moment. I'm worried about the garage door. Can someone give me some ways to stop the sound from getting out of the door. One of my drum teacher's friend's has a garage. He got a wall built in where the garage door was with a double double glazed window and a double double glazed door, which stopped sound from getting out. It's very quiet, but I don't have the money for that!

What are those foamy things made out of that I see in the studio I go to? If anyone could tell me, i'll be just another happy kid wanting to play drums in a friendly environment! Thanks

anon18563
Post 20

Okay, from reading this thread, I have an idea regarding how I might reduce the low frequency sound coming from my home theatre subwoofer, I'd like the experts to tell me if it will work or not.

I live in a corner apartment, so I have only one neighbor to worry about. My home theatre front and center speakers are on a desk that is against the wall I share with the neighbor. My subwoofer is under it, on the floor.

Since what I've read here says that the best way to soundproof in an existing room where you can't modify existing walls it to build new walls, I'm thinking the following might help:

I don't think the higher frequency sounds travel that much compared to the sub because the sub is pretty loud in comparison to the front speakers. So the subwoofer is my largest concern. To isolate the subwoofer using the "new wall concept" without actually building a new wall, I'm thinking that if I add soundproofing material to the desk, which is a box with five sides (on the underside, that is) then the desk can serve as my new wall. The sub is under the desk, so if I add anti-vibration feet to it to get it off the floor, add anti-vibration feet to the desk to get IT off the floor, and add sound dampening material to the inside of the desk (the footwell) behind and on the sides of the subwoofer, I'll have a "new wall" that significantly reduces the sound coming from the sub, but doesn't dampen it from coming right at me when I'm watching a movie or playing a video game on my computer. Will that work?

anon14216
Post 19

def try soundstop fiberboard. it deadens sound by reducing vibrations, its cool because it deadens the sound as opposed to just dampening. Good if you're playing an instrument and you want the resonance.

anon14110
Post 18

anon11109,

Probably the only thing your neighbors and people living downstairs hear is the bass, which, at least for me, would get on someone's nerves quite easily. My roommate uses large fiberglass pads that hang from the walls for his dj beat development. However, honestly you should just visit their rooms and tune your bass down till it's not noticeable.

buddynme
Post 17

hi i am president of florida service dogs, inc and i recently purchased a new home with 3/42 acres of land, i had the back half fenced in and couldnt put in privacy fencing as i wanted to due to the water when it rains, and vinyl was way over priced. so went with chain link 6ft green fencing. i have 4 small 25 pounds and under pet dogs by the house in their fenced off area. and we want to build kennels out back of the property to house/train the dozen service dogs, (larger dogs 50 plus pounds) dogs in training that we have. course the problem we have is the noise of the barking, and even bigger problem is i am late deafened LOL. i have only lived at the new place now for a week, and until last night i had not one complaint from anyone about the barking dogs...normally the dogs don't bark, but the neighbors (which i have only one! sigh) came complaining how the dogs barked all night long. this is the little pet dogs not the big dogs as they aren't on the property yet. how do i make their little area soundproof???? i need help please, we have a small portable shed building in their running area, its about like a 10 by 7 size shed, with a window and large door which opens to there yard running area. the neighbors house is probably 100 ft or more from mine! but there are no trees out there and nothing else out there...its all open property......no concrete no buildings etc...and how do i make the kennels soundproof?

terryp
Post 16

I'm trying to put something on the walls in my apartment to keep the neighbors happy when I play the drums in a secluded bedroom. Is there anywhere to get studio foam for a better price than a music store? You know, the stuff you put in a bass drum to dampen it.

anon11831
Post 15

i live in a rented house and i am very fond of Trance, so every night i play trance with the lights off, and trance consists of high bass, so i think i am disturbing my neighbour, my room is made up of concrete floor, the people who stay below me are disturbed.. what can i do to reduce the noise to reach them, i have a very good sub woofer system to boost the sound, but i don't like to disturb people living downstairs me... kindly help.

Brooklyn, INDIA

anon11561
Post 14

two words - Green Glue. It's a fairly inexpensive material you sandwich between a double-layer of drywall (you can use in ceilings and floors as well) which works wonders.

anon11275
Post 13

For most of you who ignored anon1052's initial response to the article and want to do it cheaper and easier, you can't. You can only get slight reductions in sound. It must be kept in mind the difference between less resonance, echo, volume etc. of sounds already in the room and keeping sound from going in or out. All the urban legends about egg crates and stuff really do very little for in the room sound and next to nothing for sound going in and out. Think "soft stuff that absorbs" for internal sound and "total isolation barriers" for keeping sound from going in and out.

Not much sound passes through two feet thick of concrete to the outside, but anybody who has had a band play in their unfurnished basement knows it sounds terrible inside.

For the flute player: You have the perfect set-up already. Hang a bunch of clothes in the closet. All those irregular surfaces and absorbing fabrics just might do the trick. I do the same thing when I practice singing or my saxophone when I need to be quiet. Also, you are then using your closet as a closet.

anon11109
Post 12

i live in an apartment and want to convert a walk-in closet into a music practice room. i play the flute, so bass really isn't a problem. the closet does not share any walls with neighbors on either side, but there are apartments above and below me. also, there is a flimsy metal door on the closet with air vents running its entire length.

any suggestions on how this can be done effectively and cheaply (i hope).

thanks. tony

hallandale beach, fl usa

anon7260
Post 11

High frequencies are easy to dampen, carpet in the room will help this, even some carpeting on the walls. Heavy drapery etc...

Bass is usually the problem. Isolation of the rooms surfaces with dense, heavy material is the key here.

A room within a room. Walls ceiling and floor need to be isolated from the original. Isolation prevents the transfer of bass vibrations thru to the rest of the house.

Lay a new floor structure (2x4's and 3/4 inch plywood) on a series of rubber shims or blocks.

The same principal is used for the walls, build the new wall structure (2x4's and 3/4 thick plywood or 3/4 thick drywall) and support it on some kind of shock absorbing material. Don't fasten the new wall structure directly to the old, again use shock absorbing material between and do not fasten too tightly, the tighter it is connected, the more bass will transfer to the outer structure.

Ceilings, isolation of a drop ceiling, isolate the hanging wires on springs and allow the edges of the grid system to "float" against the wall to prevent vibration transfer, use the heaviest tile inserts available or cut your own from 3/4 plywood or drywall.

anon6857
Post 10

what about soundproofing pipe noise...can it be done? for how much? and are there any cost-effective solutions? my roommate likes to take long showers at night and i can hear the water running through the pipes of the sink in my own bathroom, unbuffered right next to my bedroom and i hear it.

barnaby2122
Post 9

hey jenosequa,

the easiest and cheapest way to soundproof a room?

I used sound proofing fiberboard. It's super cheap and lightweight, making it easy to handle. the only company I know of who makes this stuff is Knight Industries. there's a ton of info on their website.

let me know how it works out.

anon5785
Post 8

Why aren't bathrooms soundproofed? Ut seems like soundproofing a bathroom would be a very useful and valuable addition to any apartment or home!

anon5732
Post 7

It is all about how much quiet/silence makes it worth it for you.

Texture and material density will affect the sound wave. Ex.: try to scream in the water.

So it is like an infection chain control, you take one link of the chain and the entire structure gets weaker or disappears

Lin R.N.

anon5150
Post 6

I am in an office building where the sound comes up from the floor below and the hallway is rather loud. any thoughts on soundproofing the floor and doors? Thanks so very much! Jen

anon3746
Post 4

Is there any way of soundproofing train noise in a room?

jenosequa
Post 3

Thanks for all of the great tips! I am wondering though, specifically, what would you say is the easiest and cheapest way to prevent sound from leaving a room? We rent, and our apartment is right next to our landlord's! I think his bedroom actually shares a wall with ours! Plus, our hardwood floors are apparently not insulated well at all. The downstairs neighbors complained about the noise from the last tenants, saying they could even hear conversations they were having, plus other noises which kept them up at night. Can someone please help us get some privacy and help our neighbors be able to live in peace??? Thanks!!!

anon1961
Post 2

I wish to obtain DRAPES for the purpose of sound blocking. I live in an apartment and there is a pool on the other side of a sliding glass door (with kids who scream). I also have a window in that direction.

Are there drapes made specifically with sound proofing in mind?

What material would be best, if searching for drapes for soundproofing?

Any suggestions on finding such drapes appreciated.

anon1052
Post 1

This article seems to be confusing two very different issues.

1/ Soundproofing is the action of preventing unwanted sounds from entering or leaving a bounded location.

2/ Acoustic treatment, is a way of preparing a room to provide a flatter frequency envelope, to minimise echo, flutter, reduce existing frequency resonances and generally 'deaden' a room.

Egg cartons are a shoestring budget attempt to attain the the latter. By breaking up the waves of sound reflected from a wall they aim to subtly reduce standing vibrations (in a tight range of frequencies) but will do virtually nothing to prevent the ingress or egress of sound.

Even expensive surface mounted sound treatments (as seen in most professional studios) are designed to do the same job more effectively and across a wider range of frequencies - many are high density and also act as 'bass traps' ... but again, you can pay up to $1000 per square meter and STILL not significantly reduce the ingress and egress of sound. But the sound that DOES get in will not echo, boom, or become coloured by the rooms own characteristic resonances. Hardly a help to those seeking refuge from the neighbours.

So, how do you soundproof a room ?

Well, sound travels well through air... but some of the most annoying components travel even better through water and most solids. What sound really doesn't enjoy is having to move from one density medium to another (energy is lost here) ... or trying to get past a free standing resonator (The resonating mass will soak up most of the energy at that frequency).

Soundproofing is one of those things that really needs to be planned for in advance. No matter what you place in the walls to deaden the higher frequencies will NOT prevent the annoying bass frequencies being transferred through the framework and using the internal paneling as an effective soundboard.

So, I'd say drop the blown fibreglass and mount slab rockwool. NOT to the panelling, but to the frame. The frame should be properly caulked and no air gaps left around the rockwool. The interior panelling should be isolated from the frame using silicone or neoprene gaskets. 5200 is great too.

For external walls there's little you can do beyond a standard blown-insultion job. However, by floating an interior frame from the wall as above you will get an additional layer of protection and the slab rockwool will soak up a lot of frequencies a brick wall (insulated or not) inevitably passes.

To correct the author on a few points:

Sound travelling between one wall and another does not set up a vibration. Sound already IS a vibration. The significance of parallel surfaces is that they create the potential for standing waves between the two parallel surfaces. This is an issue for recording studios and audiophiles as it can 'comb filter' the audio... but has no relevance for those annoyed by their neighours music, road traffic or lawnmowers. Non-parallel walls (And surface treatments) may help you to hear your music as it was meant to be heard - but won't stop external noises.

In particular, surface treatments are particularly expensive, are often misrepresented as 'soundproofing', and will do little or nothing for anyone suffering with noise pollution except needlessly lighten their wallet.

Wall insulation, Double Glazing and and airtight seal around the windows will suffice for most external noises such as children, lawn trimmers and light road traffic.

Carpeting (particularly with a good heavy underlay) does help deaden a room. But for reducing unwanted noise it would probably be far more effective used on your neighbours floor than your own.

This is because noises *within* the building, such as neighbours, will be difficult to soundproof against given the buildings construction. And, whilst it IS possible to isolate a room from vibrations carried directly by the building itself, it is cost prohibitive for the average joe.

However, for those setting up a home recording or listening area... a room-within-a-room setup is quite effective. In particular, the entire inner space should be built upon a raised flooring. Possibly heavy slab rockwool isolated by neoprene or even (as one DIYer suggests) suspended on tightly packed rubber hemispheres made from halved superballs. My home-brew studio is within a concrete garage containing a sand-suspended poured-concrete base with neoprene, rockwool then two opposing layers of hardwood flooring with a heavy rug.

The walls are heavy rockwool panelled walling of 'inside-out' construction with silicone gaskets between each joint and this sufficiently removes unwanted external mid-high range frequencies. This is surrounded with heavy block resonators suspended vertically from the garage beams (Thus isolated from transferring their vibrations to the recording enclusure) which were designed to soak up traffic rumble and aircraft noise which were a particular problem. Each block is graded to soak up a particular problem frequency and produce a kill effect over a wide range of low-end frequencies.

Doors are a particular problem. They need to be heavy! Solid doors are not always best - a sandwich constructed door filled with sand is better but hanging them presents fresh problems ... and the seals around doors are a major culprit, so these need special attention, even at the hinge side. They should be airtight when closed.

As you see, soundproofing is no easy task.

Eggboxes and carpeted walls indeed : )

-GC

Post your comments

Post Anonymously

Login

username
password
forgot password?

Register

username
password
confirm
email