Everyone deserves calm and quiet in their home. If you’re in an apartment with noisy neighbors or you have your home on a busy street, you might be able to relate to this. Atleast, one should be able to sleep peacefully without any disturbances in their room. But, this is not often the case.
If you’re still hearing your neighbor’s dog even after soundproofing your room, the chances are that your door’s the culprit. Interior doors, unlike other doors, are hollow and hence are lighter. The reduced mass might give you a discount in price, but it reduces soundproofing drastically and lets in all types of noises into your home.
This article will explore soundproof interior doors considering their low mass and hollow properties, including products and different methods you can adopt to keep the noise out of your room. The great thing about the solutions discussed here is that they are entirely DIY and don’t need much professional experience in the field or excellent craftsmanship to pull it off.
11 Ways to Soundproof Your Interior Door
There are mainly two reasons why your interior door is not effective against protecting outside sound and noise. They are:
- Your interior door doesn’t have enough mass to absorb the sound waves.
- Your door has gaps in or around them that let the sound into your room.
All the solutions discussed here will be focused on solving these problems. Let’s look at some of the DIY solutions that you can adopt to soundproof your interior doors.
Use a Door Sweep
Your interior door has a large pocket left open at the bottom. Although it may seem harmless, it is one of the biggest reasons sound comes through your room. To soundproof the bottom of your door, you can use a door sweep. This is especially recommended if the gap between the door and the floor is enormous.
Door Sweeps are highly versatile soundproofing solutions that one can employ with minimal cost and installation procedures. You can buy door sweeps online or go to the nearest stores and buy one meeting your needs and budget.
Always go for dense and soft door sweeps so that it doesn’t affect the door’s functioning. The material inside the door sweeps can vary with the product, so make sure that the material used has a high sound-absorbing capacity. An added advantage of the door sweep is that it prevents the entry of bugs and insects.
However weird it may sound at first, using soundproofing blankets on your door is one of the best solutions one can opt for. These are called acoustic blankets and are amazing sound absorbers.
The best feature of soundproofing blankets is the ease of installation and maintenance. You can remove them whenever you want. These are just thick blankets specially built for absorbing sound coming your way. Hanging soundproofing blankets on your door is sure to have a colossal soundproofing effect on your wall; if not, solve it entirely.
When it comes to soundproofing blankets, the soundproofing increases as the thickness increases. If one layer of the blanket wasn’t enough, you could add multiple layers to increase the mass. However, keep in mind the structural stability of your door while adding more weights to it.
If you have a sliding door in your home, you can add more mass to the door. In such cases, acoustic panels are amazing soundproofing solutions to your interior doors. You can even create a professional work environment for recording using acoustic panels in the room.
Acoustic panels are easy to fit and install and are available in all types of sizes and colors. They are mainly of two types: foam panels and fiberglass panels. The only downside to acoustic panels is the cost which is more than other soundproofing solutions. But, in terms of cost-effectiveness, they lead the pack. Acoustic panels are available in several designs and can even absorb low-frequency noise.
Weatherstripping Tape to Close All Gaps
There might be small gaps in the door frame due to improper fitting or incompatibility in size. These gaps can act as a passageway for sound to come in even when you soundproof the rest of the room. It is necessary to close all gaps in your interior door to have good soundproofing.
Weatherstripping tape is foam tape with adhesive on one side that can stick to any vertical surface. You can stick the foam tape to cover the gaps left in the interior door, and the foam part of the door will fill the space and block sounds coming through it.
You can easily install weatherstripping tape by following the below-mentioned steps. Measure the overall length of the frame you want to cover. Now cut the tape of the specified length with a little extra to account for measurement errors. After washing the door thoroughly with soap and water and drying it, remove the adhesive part and stick it onto the door.
Fiberglass for Sliding Doors
You can opt for fiberglass panels for sliding doors. Fiberglass is one of the best soundproofing materials available in the market. They are more structurally sound, add a protection layer, and are more beautiful than foam panels.
Fiberglass has one of the highest STC ratings in commercially used products. If design and money are less of a priority than utility, you can surely go for fiberglass for your interior door.
Use Door Seal Kit
We have already established the need to seal off gaps and leakages in the interior door to achieve a higher level of soundproofing. You can use blankets for soundproofing the gaps, but it is highly inefficient, clumsy, and not good to look at. Alternatively, you can use door seal kits available online to seal all gaps between your door and the surrounding frame.
Door seals are highly efficient, sophisticated, and, more importantly, inexpensive. Door seals have three components. They are door jamb, door bottoms, and threshold. These can cover the entire door at every edge and provide a structurally sound, visually pleasing soundproofing system with high efficiency.
An interesting point to add is that the door bottoms and threshold can act as individual solutions. You may not need to install every part of the kit just because you have received it. Use the components of the door seal kit as per the requirement of the interior door.
Soundproofing Curtains to The Rescue
Soundproofing curtains are usually used for windows, but the same principle can also be applied to interior doors. Soundproofing curtains have the advantage of blankets because they can be moved around when not in use by the user with ease.
Soundproofing curtains are curtains that are made with special sound-absorbing materials. These are heavier than normal curtains and extend over the doors’ frame to block the sound coming through the gaps.
Beware of false marketing when you are out shopping for soundproofing curtains. There are marketing campaigns that try to sell blackout curtains, which are used to prevent light from entering, claiming soundproofing properties. Beginners tend to buy blackout curtains thinking of the dual functionality of blocking sound and light. Soundproofing curtains may cost a bit higher than blackout curtains, but it is very cost-effective in terms of soundproofing.
Painting The Interior Door WIth Soundproofing Paint
If the noise outside the room is not much and you want an inexpensive solution to block normal sounds coming through your room, soundproofing paint is the way to go. Once you paint the door with the paint and it dries, you can feel the rubbery texture of the paint. The main constituent is latex, and this gives the paint the soundproofing effect.
The rubbery, dense texture of the paint is the main reason for the soundproofing effect. However, remember that this is not a full-fledged solution, and do not expect perfect soundproofing. This is more of a supplement to your other soundproofing solutions.
Soundproofing paints can block off normal and medium pitched sounds, but they won’t effectively keep high and low-frequency sound out. Also, the soundproofing paint doesn’t look as great as regular paint on your door, and there is a limitation in the choice of colors when it comes to soundproofing paint.
Mass Loaded Vinyls (MLVs)
Mass Loaded Vinyls (MLVs) are considered the holy grail of soundproofing. MLVs are very versatile and can be used on interior doors. MLVs are a one-stop-shop solution as it has all the desired qualities one looks at while searching for soundproofing solutions. MLVs are light, flexible, and washable.
Another advantage of MLVs is that you don’t need the expertise to install them in your interior door. Different sizes and textures are available. You can choose one from your nearest store according to your door size. You can choose from a range of different colors of MLVs available in the market. It is also available in transparent form if you don’t want MLVs to ruin the room’s aesthetics.
The only downside of the product is that it is placed higher in the price range of other solutions mentioned here. However, the value for money is guaranteed and can be installed without the help of a professional.
Automatic Door Bottoms
As mentioned above, the gap between the door and the floor is one of the major reasons behind sound passing through. An alternative to door sweeps is the automatic door bottoms. The automatic door bottoms become active when the door is closed, fully fitted with a flat spring mechanism. As the name suggests, all of this happens automatically and requires zero assistance from the user.
Unlike blankets and curtains, they do not need to be manhandled and yet offer higher efficiency. The automatic door bottoms will provide maximum efficiency in filling the gaps between the door and the floor. These have higher freedom and can be adjusted to fit the requirements of your door. Automatic door bottoms also prevent the unwanted entry of insects and bugs.
If Nothing Works, then.
Whatever soundproofing solutions you apply on your interior door, it all comes down to the mass of the substance added. So, if you have tried many soundproofing options and still failed to see the results, maybe it is better to switch to a wooden door that is bulkier and heavier. You can also add the soundproofing mentioned above for better results.
Due to its high density, it can block even low-pitched noise. Keep in mind that wooden doors cost a lot more than hollow doors usually used for interiors. Prices can vary according to the density of the wood chosen, and make sure to find out the STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating before buying a new door.
A hollow door has an STC rating of about 25, while a solid door will have about 60, which can block almost all normal sounds from coming into your room.
In this article, we have explored how to soundproof interior doors. Most interior doors are hollow, and this requires additional soundproofing to keep the noise out. You can get creative and devise your solutions, or play it safe and follow the above-mentioned methods to minimize the incoming sounds.
It may be the case that one soundproofing method doesn’t work effectively, then why not mix it up and try multiple methods mentioned here for better results? It all comes down to how you analyze the problem and find the optimal solution for it.
We have mentioned DIY methods to give you a calm atmosphere away from noisy neighbors and outside sounds. Many different levels of soundproofing can be achieved through the methods discussed in the article. One can go with different methods or combinations of different ones according to the necessary level of soundproofing and the budget you are ready to invest.