When we think of a home or a living space, we automatically picture somewhere we can come back to after a long tiring day or somewhere where we can just peacefully exist without being bothered.
But what if you were being subjected to the unwanted noise from all around your home such as from the traffic outside or just chatter from rather loud neighbors?
It completely ruins the image of a perfect home doesn’t it? But thankfully, there are methods in place that have been developed to deal with this exact situation.
This is where soundproofing comes in. It is a type of construction technique that aims to reduce sounds from getting transferred between two sides of walls and other hard surfaces such as a window or a door etc.
Just like any other service, getting your walls soundproof costs money and it is only right to wonder about the cost to soundproof a wall before starting the project.
How Much Does It Cost To Soundproof A Wall?
On average, the process to soundproof a wall costs at least $1000 and it can go up to between $2500-$5000 depending on the size of the wall, number of walls, materials used, and whether there are windows or doors on the wall, installation costs, material transportation cost, etc.
While a soundproofing project costs a significant amount of money, it is still one of the most worthwhile investments one may make in their lifetime. This is because, once you get a good soundproofing installation on your walls, it will serve you with a quiet and truly private space for many years to come.
In this article, the cost of soundproofing a wall has been broken down by considering the various factors that contribute to the price.
The best way to enter a project such as this is to have a plan. The plan does not have to elaborate down to every detail but you should have a basic layout of what you plan to do and get. The first step in planning for a soundproofing project is choosing the kind of material you want.
The material determines the bulk of the money you will be spending so it will be wise to have a budget to choose the material you want. If the wall(s) you will be soundproofing are small, then you can get a decent amount of high-quality material that costs more. But if your budget is limited and the walls in question are large then you will be well off with the material that costs less.
There are a number of materials you can choose from.
- Foam– This is an insulation material that has to be sprayed into the small cracks or areas of the wall cavity and also on the windows and doors. It is usually sprayed in two layers to maintain uniformity in application. It costs between $1-$3 per square foot.
- Acoustic Foam– As the name will tell you, acoustic foam is specifically made for soundproofing walls and these come in sheets or panels. It comes with a higher degree of sound blocking and thus costs more than the regular foam- between $10 to $100.
- Soundproof Drywall– A soundproof drywall is basically a plasterboard panel filled with some soundproof material. It is a faux wall that goes on top of the main wall. The material that is used to fill the panel has to be soundproof. And the average cost of soundproof drywall is between $50 to $60.
- Acoustic Tiles – These are easier to install as they come in smaller tiles instead of large panels or sheets. Acoustic tiles are made from soft fibrous material that is better for sound dampening rather than sound blocking. The average size of a square acoustic tile is 20” x 20” and costs $10 per tile.
- Blown Insulation– This insulation is done for ceilings and walls and uses a dense material for the purpose. The quality of the material and insulation can greatly vary depending on how large the surface in question is. It can cost anything between $40 to $200.
- MLV– Mass Loaded Vinyl is a very effective material for soundproofing walls. It is a dense sheet that is injected with metal particles and is particularly good for adding mass to surfaces. It can cost between $2 to $5 per square foot.
- Resilient Channels– Resilient channels are a great method to decouple walls for soundproofing them and can cost a minimum of $190. So this is a pricier choice.
Windows and Doors
After the wall, floor and ceiling, there comes the most important places from where sound could be leaking through liberally. It might even happen that your wall is actually soundproof but because of your window or door, all the chaotic sounds of the outside keep entering your room, and all the sounds inside your room can be heard from outside.
The most practical and easily available method of making sure that less sound travels from the other side of a closed window is to cover it up with a sound-deadening or sound-absorbing curtain. The fabric on this type of curtain is different from regular curtains as it comes in three layers. Two of them are a cloth fabric while the layer sewn in between in thick soundproof material.
The cost of these soundproof curtains, if we are considering the standard dimensions of 7 feet then two of them should be $15 to $50 in price. If you need 4 of them for two windows then the price will be between $50 to $100.
The upper bracket of this range has been included to make users aware of the market trends but you can safely get good quality soundproof curtains for $25 as well.
Weatherstripping is another way to seal the gaps in your door and windows to make them soundproof and this will cost you anything between $130 to $700. Let us break down the cost, shall we?
The cost for the material needed to weather strip will be between $1.5 to $25 per linear foot depending on what you choose to get. On the cheap end, you have foam, tubular, and gasket products while on the pricier side you have magnetic, metal and door sweep. Then comes the cost of tools which will be between $15 to $25. Lastly, the labor cost will be between zero to around $150 depending on whether you will do a DIY project or hire a contractor.
On average, you can set aside $100-$400 for weather stripping both the door and windows in one room.
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Type of Room
The type of room also determines the level of soundproofing it requires.
Bedroom/ Gaming Room/ Gym
While these three rooms have nothing in common, these need a similar level of soundproofing.
Your bedroom needs to be silent and should be able to block noises from both leaving and entering.
Similarly, in a gaming room, those who have elaborate gaming set-ups will especially need to ensure that the sounds from the speakers do not leave the room.
Inside gyms that have floors below, the floors need to be well soundproofed to protect the lower floors from impact noises. There will also be the sound of blaring music coming from a gym, so it needs to be equipped for that.
For soundproofing all three rooms, the project should cost you between $300 to $1,500.
Home Theater/ Garage
The reason why these two were put together is because both of these places generate large amounts of sound, way more than the normal ranges of sound generated in an average household.
Garages are used for more than just housing cars. Some may use it for repairing machine parts, building a wooden structure, and even may use it as a place to jam to music using loud musical instruments.
In Home Theaters, speakers are installed to produce theater-like effects inside the house, producing large amounts of sound in the process.
Both of these require a higher level of soundproofing and the cost will be between $6000 to $10,000 to properly execute the project.
The dimensions and the size of your wall play a huge role in how much the total cost for the entire project will be. The materials you buy will have to be measured per square feet of wall that needs to be soundproofed. Even for acoustic tiles that come in smaller panels or tiles, the number you buy will be calculated according to the dimension of the wall.
Similarly, a bigger wall will also rack up the labor cost if you have hired a contractor but do not worry, an honest business will never charge you more than what they quoted at the outset of the project.
Now, this is a place where the cost is never fixed because it depends on what kind of person or business you hire to do the project. You can ask a contractor who will do the work solo and you can also ask a business that specializes in soundproofing, they will bring multiple people in to finish the work sooner than it will take one or two people. So if you wish to get a quick and efficient job, it will cost you money. If time is not an issue for you it will cost you slightly less.
Where you live or where the contractor(s) is based also determines the labor cost. For example, in metropolitan cities, it will be much more than in the countryside.
No matter, you should set aside $200 to $400 for this purpose.
Now, this is a subjective cost head as you may choose to use your vehicle to transport the materials between the store and work site. If you are getting them delivered online then the cost will already be included in the delivery fee.
If the contractor is bringing over the stuff then it will be included in their service charge or the labor cost. Therefore, it will be naive to put a definite range on the transportation cost as it will depend on the type of vehicle, gas prices at the moment, distance covered, number of trips made, etc.
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Costs such as labor and transportation can be avoided if you take it upon yourself to do a DIY project. But this poses some risks unless you are an expert as some of the materials need to be handled with caution and care.
If however, you are a novice at this, it is best to ask for an expert opinion right from the get-go. Ask for an estimate from multiple contractors according to what type of materials they have and their packages. Conduct your own market research to choose the best combination of budget and material.