Is the outside noise from your neighbors annoying you? Has the construction noises from across the street tampered with your calm and quiet? Everyone deserves calm and peace in their own home and their room. A quiet room can have a significant impact on the mental health of a person. Not to mention the health benefits of a good night’s sleep without your next-door neighbor’s stereo keeping you up. If you can relate to the situation, you need an upgrade in soundproofing in your room.
There are a lot of techniques that help you soundproof your home such that the sounds don’t leave the room. But, it’s high time to talk about how to soundproof a room from outside noise. In this article, we will be talking about efficient and economical ways to make your room soundproof from outside noise. What’s more, the solutions mentioned here are entirely DIY and can be achieved without much professional expertise.
One thing to keep in mind before we dive deeper into solutions to make your room soundproof from outside noise is that there are mainly two types of sound/noise you have to consider:
- Normal sounds/airborne
- Impact noise/vibrational
Airborne sounds are sounds that are caused by airborne noise. This can include loud speech, neighbors’ dog barking, horns of vehicles passing by, etc., whereas impact noise directly affects the structure of your room or house. This can be caused by wall-mounted bass speakers, construction jobs occurring next door, trucks passing by, etc.
You have to thoroughly understand the type of noise you are facing in your home or in your room to decide on what kind of soundproofing you want to implement in your room. If you are suffering from airborne noises in your room, you need to focus on closing the existing air gaps in your walls, windows, doors, etc., with sound-absorbing materials to keep the noise out. You have to separate the walls from the vibrating structure for impact noise to keep the vibrations out. Normal soundproofing may have little to no effect on such scenarios.
Now that you know what type of soundproofing you want for your room to get a quiet night’s sleep, let’s explore each of the DIY soundproofing solutions to block outside noise in a room.
How To Make A Room Soundproof From Outside Noise?
Below are some of the best ways to keep out the external noise that can tamper with your peace of mind. These are cost-effective solutions and have a high return on investment in terms of efficiency. We’ll be covering each part of a general room so the methods mentioned here can be replicated and scaled to any room in your home.
Soundproof Your Windows
Windows are, by far, one of the weakest areas in this list in terms of soundproofing. The level of soundproofing your windows provide depends on many factors. Suppose you’ve old wooden windows in your room, there is not much to do, and it is nearly impossible to soundproof them. However, you can examine your windows and work on them accordingly.
First, inspect your windows closely. Find holes or cracks between the hinges and the frame through which the breeze can get into the room. If wind can get in through a closed window, so can the sound created outside. Also, check the quality of the glass in the windowpane. If it’s too thin, there can’t be effective soundproofing no matter what you do. Ideally, it would help if you go for double-paned PVC windows to block out most noise.
If changing the windows is out of your budget, you can find and close all the existing air gap. You can do this with the help of all-weather foam tape or green glue, which can be found online or at nearby hardware stores.
Use Window Plugs
If you can’t do much on your window, you can build upon it. Get ready to build your first DIY window plug! Window plugs can be made using a material you choose, such as foam board, fiberglass, wood, etc.
You can start by taking accurate measurements of your windows because the plug should fit into the cavity smoothly and must feel like the window is not there once the plug is in place. Then, create a list of supplies you might want to use for the plug. You can also add additional soundproofing materials like mass-loaded vinyl on your plug to get a better effect. Cut the board in line with the measurements and take good care while doing so. Once you are done, you can add handles for ease of movement and add paints and other designs to improve aesthetics.
Go For Heavy Curtains And Window Liners With Soundproofing Properties.
Another viable option and a fashion statement can be the selection of heavy soundproof curtains. These soundproof curtains can add style to your room while blocking out unwanted noise from outside to an extent. You can also go online and find a suitable window liner that has sound-deadening properties and even absorb heavy vibrations from outside.
Window liners can have multiple functionalities. It adds a layer of additional sound barrier to your curtains and can be used for blocking out external sound and light rays coming through the window panes.
We may not notice it, but the room door is a major contributor to letting the outside noise get into your room. If you are using a thin door made of fiber or plastic, there is almost no level of soundproofing, and all that happens outside your room can be heard. Not to mention the air gap between the floor and the door.
The best workaround is to use a solid door made out of bulky material. The door itself can act as an insulator to the outside noise of your neighbors. If you have done it right, then let’s fix the air gap of the door. There are door sweeps available online and in stores made of highly sound-absorbing materials like denim and foam. These door sweeps are easy to set up, maintain, and can be washed. You can choose adjustable door sweeps to fit into any door regardless of the material, thickness, and door size.
Door Sweeps block out the air gap below the doors and prevents entry of particles and insects, all the same. They are made of sound-absorbing materials and dissipate the incoming sound energy into heat energy.
Soundproof The Walls
If you have a shared space, or your neighbors are pretty close to your home, the walls of your home must be thick enough to block out the noise from outside. First, you have to make sure that there are no cracks, gaps, or hollow spots in your wall, interior, and exterior/shared walls. If there are gaps, immediately seal them with acoustic caulks.
If you’re opting for a zero-low budget solution, you can hang up soundproof blankets on the shared walls and rearrange your furniture in such a way that they face the shared wall and absorb most of the noise coming your way. But, this is not an effective solution. You have to use professional soundproofing solutions such as mass-loaded vinyl (MLVs) and denim insulation for better results.
Denim insulation can be considered if you want eco-friendly solutions. It is very versatile and offers amazing soundproofing properties even better than fiberglass. They are made of mostly recycled materials and are resistant to bugs, molds and can even absorb dust particles lowering your chances of catching a respiratory disease.
MLVs are very efficient in soundproofing as it, if done right, doesn’t leave any spots unattended in your walls and can be used with any types of construction materials including concrete, drywall, etc. They can be painted over, washed, rolled, and they are available in transparent forms.
Acoustic Foam Panels
If you want to go the extra mile and are ready to spend more, acoustic foam panels are the way to go. One of the best and cleanest solutions available in the market, acoustic foam panels are very effective and can give your room absolute quietness once lined up along the walls. The best thing about them is the ease of installation and the level of customization you can bring into it. They can blend in with the walls and can be mounted on shared walls for best results.
The only drawback to acoustic foam panels is the lack of abundant color choices. They are available in different sizes and are available for soundproofing professional heavy-duty equipment. Such foam panels are used to line walls of recording studios.
Line Up The Shared Wall With A Bookcase And Artworks
Another multi-utility solution in this list, wall-mounted bookcases, are unique ways to organize and display your books and still have the added advantage of blocking out noises from the other side of the wall. This is especially helpful if you and your noisy neighbor share a wall.
If you don’t have the resources for a wall-mounted bookshelf, do a little rearranging in your room, and push your book cabinet along the wall. Fill the remaining part of the walls by hanging your artworks, photos, etc. If you have books gathering dust in the attic, now is the time to get them out, arrange them neatly and tightly, and place them against the wall. Who knows? Maybe you will want to reread them at some point in time.
Soundproof The Outside Of Your Home
Yes, you can make changes in your backyard and yet have soundproofing inside your rooms. Curious? It’s pretty simple. You can block the noise from your neighbors even before it gets to your home. You can achieve this by actually planting or transplanting tall trees or bushy plants alongside your windows and backyard. This won’t be much effective, but it can soften these noises before it reaches your walls and provides soundproofing in a way.
In addition to soundproofing your home, there is an added advantage of greenery in your backyard. Another viable option is to plant a tall fence along the borders of your property. Boundaries are good, especially in line with your house, because the fence will block or soften most sounds. Adding the foliage and the greenery, you can have a pretty efficient soundproofing system around your house.
Unless you have a penthouse with spacious grounds around it, you are bound to have noise problems at some point. It can be annoying to live with noisy neighbors, especially when you have completed your 9-5 job and all you want to do is sleep peacefully in your room. As mentioned above, having a peaceful atmosphere in your room and your home can significantly impact your mental health. It is better to take action rather than have constant quarrels with your neighbors and soundproof your room.
However, keep in mind that you don’t need to block out every single noise coming from outside. It isn’t a practical and good use of your money. If soundproofing doesn’t bear the expected results, you can always go with earmuffs that can cancel out noise or bring in a white noise machine into your room.