For college-going students, dorms are the best accommodations, considering their cheap rates. If you have ever stayed in a dormitory you would know that the rooms are essentially small. The rooms are also shared by several people. Not just that, people stay in the neighboring rooms too.
This makes dormitories quite noisy. That’s a major problem that students face. Unwanted noises are extremely frustrating. This requires students to block outside noises from entering and prevent noises from going out of their rooms as well.
If you have been facing this issue for quite a long time, you have come to the right place. In this guide, we have shared a few dorm soundproofing methods that are sure to help you reduce unwanted sounds and noises entering the room. Let’s go through the methods in detail below one by one.
How to Soundproof a Dorm Room
There are multiple ways to soundproof dorm room. However, it’s important to remember that no matter what method you have applied, you shouldn’t expect the dorm room to become entirely soundproof. The soundproofing methods discussed below will only help you to reduce the level of noise inside your room.
For better results, we advise our readers to use a combination of the dorm room soundproofing techniques. If you use two or more methods together, you are sure to get an evident reduction in the noise levels. You would certainly enjoy peace and comfort in your room.
So, without any further delay, let’s go through the soundproofing techniques that one can easily implement to get rid of unwanted noises in dorm rooms.
Cork the Walls
A common place where we usually see a cork is on a beer or wine bottle. Cork is known for its impermeable nature, which is why it’s used as a sealant in alcoholic bottles. Besides that, it also offers thermal insulation features and is an excellent sound insulator too!
Wondering how can a cork insulate sounds? Well, it traps the sound waves in its cellular structure. Now, the thicker its structure, the more sound waves would be effectively captured. Cork significantly reduces the effect of impact sounds, often referred to as structural noises, that are created mostly when sound vibrations travel through floors, walls, ceilings, or any other solid surface.
Now, depending on where the noise is coming from, people can put cork noise blockers on the surfaces strategically. For instance, much of the noise is transmitted through the walls. In that case, you don’t need to place the blockers all over the wall surface. If you have your bed placed just beside the wall, place the blocker on that portion of the wall. It would prevent outside noises from disturbing your sleep.
Besides using cork noise blockers, you must also utilize the other soundproofing methods, because cork would only absorb some portion of the unwanted noise.
Do you know that an empty room tends to be noisier than a room filled with objects and furniture! This happens because when sound waves enter a room and don’t bounce off any surface, they strike the walls, and hits your ears stronger. Sound waves become weak when they face hindrances and obstacles, that interfere with their flow. Therefore, try to fill your dorm room space with objects and furniture items to impede the intensity of the unwanted sound waves.
Add furniture to your room. It can be anything, starting from decorative items, lamps, chairs, sofas, bookcases, etc.
If you have an empty cupboard, fill it with books or other items. Buy items that are useful to you, online or offline. No matter how small the addition is, it will help you reduce the intensity of the sound waves, reducing the noise produced as a result.
Rearrange the Existing Furniture
Since the maximum amount of noise comes through the walls, you must place whatever furniture you have against the walls. It’s an extremely effective strategic move. For instance, you can shift the cupboard or the desk against the wall. Or if you have a bookshelf, place it on one of the walls.
However, make sure to not place the beds beside the walls. Try putting them at the farthest corner of the room. Otherwise, you might end up feeling disturbed all night due to the unwanted noises hitting your ears straight.
The bed is our comfort place. Therefore, using it as a sound-reducing element would be highly disappointing. But, if you have no other place to place the bed, consider putting cork noise blockers on the wall beside the bed. It might solve the issue to some extent.
Assess the dorm room properly. Check the spaces that are empty. See whether noise is entering from those spaces directly. For instance, if you live in a room on the ground floor and you hear unwanted noises coming from the upper floor, try soundproofing the ceiling. Don’t know how to do that? We have discussed how to soundproof the ceiling later in this guide. Continue to read below to know more.
When you hang decorative items in your room, not only does your room appear aesthetically pleasing but also helps you to block out unwanted noises! The only thing you have to keep in mind is buying thicker and heavier items as much as possible.
- Buy thick frames. Attach pictures to the frames and hang them on the walls. This will serve a dual purpose. Besides enhancing the beauty of the space, these items would obstruct sound waves effectively.
- There are sound deadening curtains available in today’s market. Buy some of the best quality ones and hang them on the walls and enjoy a quieter study space.
Attach Acoustic Foam Tiles
One can also attach acoustic foam tiles to the walls. You don’t have to worry about the aesthetics. These tiles are available in a variety of colors and finishes. Consider the room’s decor and choose what complements it.
Soundproof the Ceiling
Just like you used acoustic foam tiles to soundproof the walls, likewise, attach them to the ceiling for the same purpose. They are available in different colors. So, you can create an attractive pattern on the ceiling, that would look appealing and reduce impact noise simultaneously. One can also check out the other methods like hanging sound-deadening blankets from the ceiling or attaching thick tapestries.
- If you have seriously noisy neighbors upstairs, you must install mass-loaded vinyl on the ceiling. However, you need to call professional help to install it correctly.
Mass-loaded vinyl is a flexible but thick mass of vinyl that is largely being used in soundproofing offices, hospitals, and residential rooms. Though it’s easily installable, one must get professional assistance.
If you think installing MLV is going out of your budget, you can use acoustic egg foam panels. It’s cheap and easy to install. Also, they are easily removable. So, when your school term ends, you can remove them and leave the room as it was previously.
Soundproof the Windows
A considerable amount of noise enters from the windows too. Therefore, it’s important to soundproof them as well. To soundproof the windows, you can simply hang heavy soundproof curtains from best-selling manufactures.
A lot of companies are producing these special types of curtains by using the latest advanced techniques. A lot of people have already bought them and found them effective. These curtains are made up of special materials that are highly effective in noise absorption. Besides absorbing noise, these curtains also provide thermal insulation. As a result, these curtains help to regulate the temperature inside rooms during extreme weather conditions.
The sound-absorbing curtains available nowadays are no doubt expensive. But, they are worth every penny spent.
Add a Carpet to the Floor
Since impact noise is also transmitted through floors, you shouldn’t neglect the floor. Soundproofing floors is simple. Place some thick rugs on the floor. The thicker the better. The rugs will increase the mass of the floor. Now, when sound waves would pass through the rugs, they would absorb a large amount of the sound in the process. By now you must have understood that increasing the mass is an important step towards soundproofing. Not only will adding rugs help you reduce the entry of unwanted sounds, but also would provide warmth to the floor. If you want to get further improved results, you can place a soundproof pad under the rug.
No matter what you do, try to cover the floor as much as possible. Empty spots might act as an entry point for unwanted noises.
When you place a carpet or rug on the floor, not only does it enhance the beauty of the place but also prevents the entry of unwanted noises considerably. Why don’t you place a thick carpet on the floor and see the results for yourself!
Now, if you see that your room already has a rug placed on the floor, you can very well add another layer of carpet on top of the rug. This will increase the thickness, as a result the sound waves have to travel more. In the process, they are more likely to become weak by the time they hit your ears. You can go through the variety of carpets and rugs available in today’s market and buy one of your choices.
Use Soundproofing Paint
Oftentimes, people refuse to believe that even paints can absorb noise. Yes, soundproofing paints do exist and are in great demand in today’s market. They aren’t like the normal paints we use to paint our houses.
Applying them is however simple. Buy the paint of your choice and experience a drastic reduction of unwanted noises inside your room. Soundproofing paints can reduce the noise levels to some extent, but not entirely. Like all other soundproofing measures, this method too is partially effective. Therefore it’s best to use it in combination with the other methods.
A lot of homeowners wonder what do soundproof paints consist of. Well, these paints are produced from latex, which has thermal and sound insulation properties. When such material is added to paints, the paint also shares similar properties, standing out from regular paints.
Now, you might wonder how do they work. Acoustic paints soundproof yourdorm room in three ways:
Firstly, they reduce the sound penetration capacity, because of their high density. For the best results, users are advised to apply at least two coats of paint.
Next, the latex present in the paint creates a solid sealing on the wall. This prevents sound waves from seeping into the wall, thereby reducing noise ultimately.
Paints obviously come with fillers. The sound-absorbing fillers present in those paints muffle the noise by absorbing them.
Before you proceed to apply soundproof paints on walls, remember that they can block only low-intensity sounds. High-intensity noises like traffic noises cannot be blocked by applying soundproof paints. This method is ideal if you hear faint noises from faraway places. But, if you live in a high-traffic region, you need to use this method together with the other soundproofing methods to achieve an evident reduction in the noise levels.
Put a Mat Under the Door
If you find ample space beneath the door in your dorm room, fill the gap immediately with a mat. Remember that any empty space can be an invitation for unwanted noises. Therefore, it’s advisable to close all leaks and gaps. To close the gap under your door, you can use a thick mat and get the issue solved.
The mat would muffle the noise that’s caused whenever an object hits a solid surface. The collision causes impact noise or vibrations that spread throughout the room, causing noise as a result. The mat would prevent a loud noise from breaking out.
We understand it’s difficult for students to survive in noisy environments. It would affect your sleep, academics, and overall health. If you are left with no other option but to stay in a noisy dorm, you must adopt the necessary measures required to make the room soundproof.
Soundproofing dorm room isn’t tough as you can see. By following the easy DIY methods mentioned above, anyone can enjoy living in the dorm room comfortably.
If you have gone through the guide in detail, you would know how to increase the soundproofing features of any room and live in peace. If you are unable to install the items alone, don’t hesitate to call for professional help.