A closet is a very important space for a house. It stores all your favorite clothing items, accessories, and many more things.
The reason why many prefer a walk-in closet over a regular one is because of all the extra space it offers. It can not only store your items but also be used for other purposes, such as maybe a music recording studio. But what about when your neighbors and the other members of your house start complaining about the noise?
Well, all we can say is, do not hold yourself back from doing something you love because of something as paltry as noise. The noise entering and leaving your closet can be easily dealt with closet soundproofing. Once you are done with this project, you can use your closet as a safe haven that preserves your privacy.
Before we learn how to soundproof a closet, let us first gloss over what kinds of sound or noise we will be dealing with.
Whenever a place needs soundproofing, it is usually because of two kinds of noise – Airborne Noise or the kind of noise we are most familiar with. It travels through air until they meet a hard surface after which they either die out or travel through the surface to the other side.
The other kind is Structurally Transmitted Noise which travels between two hard surfaces when they come in contact. These are also known as impact noises and you will hear this in the form of footsteps or the sound that is created when something hard is dropped on the floor above yours.
10 Ways to Soundproof a Closet
There are several ways in which you can go about doing this.
You can employ professional help but that is going to cost you a good amount of money. Or you can read this guide thoroughly and do it yourself by selecting one or multiple of these methods.
With some easily available materials and some free time, you can easily turn your closet into a soundproof space.
Mass Loaded Vinyl
Let’s start with one of the most effective methods yet. MLV or Mass Loaded Vinyl is an often used soundproofing material by many professionals.
It is a thick heavy-duty sheet that is flexible and dense. MLV consists of calcium carbonate or barium sulfate and PVC. It is loaded with metal and exhibits both viscous and elastic characteristics.
It is an ideal soundproofing material that absorbs and blocks soundwaves- both airborne and structurally transmitted.
The installation process is simple and all you need to do is measure the closet walls to where you will apply the MLV and cut up the MLV sheet according to those dimensions and attach them to the walls. Glue, screws, staples, etc, can be used for attaching.
Cover the Closet Floor with a Carpet or a Rug
Floors conduct a lot of sound without us realizing it, especially if the floor in question has a story beneath it. You might be peacefully trying outfits inside your closet but the peace is ruined by every word spoken on the floor below reaching your ears.
The easiest and swiftest way to remedy this situation is to cover the closet floor with a sound dampening rug or carpet. Rugs are made of soft fabric, so when sound waves come in contact with them, the lack of a hard surface makes it difficult for the sound to reflect uniformly.
Rugs and carpets are a decent solution for dealing with impact sounds that are created inside the closet. While it cannot block those noises, it can dampen the intensity a lot. Use soundproof rugs in layers to better the results of soundproofing.
Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam is very efficient where echo & noise reduction is concerned. The surface of acoustic foam is grooved which breaks the uniform path of traveling sound waves and dissipates them in different directions before an echo can be formed.
Because of this very reason, music recording booths have walls lined with acoustic foam. But even if you don’t intend to use your closet as a recording studio, it would be good to have a non-echoing space, wouldn’t it? These panels can be installed in the same manner as MLV.
A combined layer of acoustic foam and MLV can be used for a better soundproofing solution. As, by doing this, you will be addressing both the noise issue as well the echoing.
Weatherstrip the Closet Door
The door of the closet is often the place from where most sounds enter or leave. One way to solve this problem is by securing the door with weatherstrips. Now, the primary motivation behind weatherstripping is to protect a room from rainwater and sunlight entering through the gap between the door and the door frame. Since the main job here is to seal a gap, it also means that weatherstripping blocks the path of sound waves.
The material comes in strips as is clear by its name and has to be applied along the edges of the door frame so that when the door closes, there is no gap and the sound waves can no longer freely travel in and out of the room.
Sound Deadening Curtains for the Closet Door
Another way to deal with a noisy closet door is to hang soundproof curtains on it. Since the closet doors are usually made with lightweight and hollow materials, sounds can easily percolate between the doors even if there is no gap near the frame.
Sound deadening curtains are made with soft fabric sewed up in two to three layers and thus are excellent when it comes to absorbing sound. It may not be able to block the sound completely but will have more of a muffled effect on it.
These curtains come in various colors, textures, and designs so you can choose one that will suit the aesthetic of the closet or the room. However, do not go blind into buying a random sized curtain and come to try and fix it up on the closet door. Instead, measure the door for the curtain and the frame above the door for installing the curtain rod beforehand.
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Fill Up the Shelves
In most cases, when you buy a property with a closet, it comes with shelves lined against the wall. One of the easiest ways to reduce echo and sound in a room is to fill the shelves. Closets are mostly empty spaces where a fraction of the place is used.
If you are planning to keep it that way, then you should at least fill all the shelves with things like fabric, towels, and blankets so that the sounds find a barrier when they try to enter through the walls. By doing this, you will be adding mass to the walls and the sound waves cannot easily percolate through the walls.
Use a Microphone Isolation Shield
A closet is an ideal space to turn into a personal recording studio if you do not wish to clutter your main living space with audio recording equipment. But here’s the thing about a recording booth, it needs to be absolutely insulated against any sorts of noise or echo for a good quality recording.
This is where the need for acoustic foam paneling occurs but even then, the space may not be fully echo proof. In such a case, you can try a microphone isolation shield.
Microphone isolation shields preserve the quality of a recording by blocking out any unwanted background noise. Microphones used for recording purposes are usually very sensitive and pick up the slightest of sounds and to combat that, reflection filters are ideal.
Microphone isolation shields not only block unwanted sounds but also reduce reverberations caused in a small space resulting in clear audio clarity. Technically speaking, it is not a method to soundproof your closet but it sure is a good way to deal with the unwanted blasts of noise such as footsteps, the sound of people talking, the wind, and the like.
Many video content creators use microphone isolation shields nowadays to stop any unnecessary sound from getting picked up by the mic. The microphone isolation shield looks like a curved panel that is fitted around the microphone. It basically acts as a barrier between the sound and the mic and only lets your voice pass and be recognized by the mic.
Use Bass Traps
Hanging bass traps in the corner of our closet is another good hack to turn your walk-in closet into a home studio or just a place for you and your band to jam to music. Whenever a sound is emitted inside your closet, the space is essentially being filled with sound energy that will bounce and reflect off of every hard surface it meets.
This is where bass traps are needed as they provide insulation against reverberations caused by these bouncing sound waves.
They are usually made from an absorbent material such as foam and are usually placed in the corner of any room.
Now you may ask, why corners specifically? There is a good reason for this. Low-frequency sounds tend to accumulate wherever there is a boundary. Every room has two boundaries which are in parallel positions to each other. Therefore if low-frequency sounds build up along a wall, it makes sense for them to gather in the room corners.
This is why corners are an ideal location to place bass traps and reduce reverberations inside a closet.
Install an Extra Layer of Drywall
Drywall can work wonders when soundproofing a closet. Chances are, your closet is already equipped with a layer of the drywall as is the norm with most construction these days, but closet walls are generally thinner than a room wall and one layer of drywall sometimes isn’t enough to keep out noises that tend to be extremely loud.
With the second layer of drywall, you can try the decoupling method of soundproofing in which sound gets trapped between two layers of reflective material and gradually loses its intensity because the layers are not in contact and thus the sound cannot vibrate and transmit through the layers.
Drywall decoupling can be done by installing resilient clips and hat channel on the first layer and attaching the second layer on top of it.
Drywall is a very durable but expensive material and although its primary use is to construct ceilings and walls without the use of mortar and brick, its composition makes it an excellent choice for soundproofing projects.
You can also get some kind of pretty design or pattern for the drywall that suits your preferences and the whole look of the space.
Fill Up Any Air Gaps with Acoustic Caulking
If you have the above-provided methods and something still seems amiss in the sense that your closet is still vulnerable to noise, then it is time to check whether the closet has any gaps, holes, or cracks.
You can try the most expensive soundproofing hacks there are but if there are any cracks or gaps in the surface then it will all be for nothing. Sound travels through air and air intrinsically by its nature will move towards any gap on a surface.
You can take care of this easily by applying the acoustic caulk in these gaps and cracks. Acoustic caulking is different from regular caulking as it uses an acoustic sealant like a green glue soundproofing compound instead of normal sealants.
The installation process is also quite easy, all you have to do is get hold of a caulking gun and fill the cartridge with the acoustic sealant of your choice. Then you have to fill the cracks and the holes with the sealant by using the gun.
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These were the most effective methods to turn your closet into a quiet haven insulated against noise. It is not always necessary to use a closet for the purpose of storing clothes and accessories, sometimes you may want to use it as a space to wind down in private after a tiring day of work.
You can use it as a home studio or a place to make video content from. The purpose doesn’t matter, what matters is if these methods are helpful or not. Try them out today and find out yourself.