Whether you want to soundproof your teenager’s room because you’re tired of hearing loud music (hey, we don’t blame you), or you’re a budding producer that wants to make their very own home studio, it only makes sense that you should want to figure out ways you can completely soundproof a room.
More often than not, many people only focus on muffling noise via the walls and windows, but totally overlook the room’s door in the process!
This is a mistake, as it means that you’ll be wasting your hard-earned money and time if you neglect this step because, as a large proportion of sound will inevitably get through the door, you’ll be in no better position than the one you were in when you first started.
What can you do, then? Luckily enough, there’s plenty of options you can choose from when deciding on how you would like to soundproof your room door, and this guide covers them all.
From simple hacks you can follow to upgrade the door you currently have, to swapping it out for good and opting for a different kind, this guide will cover all avenues you can go down.
So, without further ado, whether you’re ready to say goodbye to noise complaints once and for all, or you desperately want to enjoy a peaceful night’s sleep free from loud music, read on to discover a variety of effective ways you can soundproof your door(s). Let’s jump right in!
Why is soundproofing important?
Before we take you through the different ways that you can choose to soundproof your door or doors, we first think that it’s a good idea to explain why soundproofing is important.
In a nutshell, soundproofing (otherwise known as isolation)is important for a variety of reasons.
The most common reason why you should consider soundproofing if you plan on playing loud music or something similar in nature is that it will ensure that other people in the house and next-door neighbors are not disturbed.
In addition to being courteous of others, another important reason to soundproof a room is to stop noise from getting into the room.
Though this may not be a concern for a teenager who wants to play loud video games, or for someone who wants to create a dance studio, it is very important to someone who wants to record music.
This is because, in a recording room studio-type setting, background sound can take away from the natural acoustics of the room, in turn lowering the quality of the music that’s being recorded.
Therefore, whether you plan on transforming your office or spare room into a mixing space, it will be imperative that you soundproof your chosen space, as it means that all background noise will be kept to a minimum.
Thanks to that, you can bet that the music you record will be crisp and clear, thanks to the limited dynamic range. Let’s look at an example of this:
As a scenario, let’s pretend that you have recently renovated your home theater into a home recording studio and that the room is capable of reaching a sound level of around 150 dB maximum output.
As is, the room will be able to pick up on general sounds including whirring fans, dishwashers, running appliances, people talking/walking, and even noise from the street.
When combined, these sounds can, in a normal room, take up around 50dB of noise, which will impact your home recording studio dynamic range, causing it to use up around half of its maximum sound level.
This is a huge problem because it means that, when it comes to recording the music, the playback will be masked by these background noises, which will make the actual music harder to hear.
In contrast, if you decide to soundproof that same room (including the windows, walls, floor, and door) you will be able to reduce that background noise level to an around 15dB, which means that your recording equipment will then be able to utilize a much higher maximum dynamic range, which will ensure in clear, crisp and professional sounding music!
Though this is just a simple example of a potential scenario for why soundproofing is so important, it can be applied to all circumstances.
By choosing to soundproof a room, you will not only be ensuring that your family and neighbors will not be disturbed, but it will also mean that you can experience the highest quality sound while in the room. This brings us to our next section.
How does sound travel through the air?
Sound is pretty great, isn’t it? Between listening to your favorite music, laughing with friends, or simply enjoying the latest movies in crystal clear surround sound, sound is a surefire way of elevating our experiences.
Whether that be helping us to smash a workout, enjoy our favorite movies with unparalleled realism, or even just allowing us to connect with our loved ones and friends, sound is a key aspect of many of our lives.
However, on the flip side, unwanted sounds can be pretty frustrating, especially when it interferes with the sound that you actually want to hear!
It can make sleeping impossible, important work tasks way more stressful than they already are, and even cause us to feel irritated or upset.
This leads us to the question of how exactly sound can travel through the air, as this will help you to better understand how you can work with sound, use it to your advantage, as well as gain a deeper understanding of why soundproofing (or isolation) is just so important.
For starters, sound waves can travel in two ways: by passing through structures and by passing through the air.
The way that sound waves can travel through the air is quite simple to understand, as sound waves can travel through the air, all while being able to pass through objects that have holes or gaps, such as space under a door.
On the other hand, sound traveling through structures and objects is a little trickier to understand. This is because sound vibrations travel in a wave pattern, which is also referred to as sound waves.
Therefore, sound vibrations can pass through objects by vibrating them, which then causes a ripple effect as these same objects then pass the vibrating sound waves onto surrounding objects nearby.
This is the reason why the further away you stand from the original source that the sound came from, the quieter it will be.
This is because the vibrating sound waves diminish in intensity and power the further they move away from the original sound source until they are no longer able to vibrate to other objects/particles.
What are the best ways to soundproof a door?
Use acoustic drapes
First things first, we’re kicking off our list with something known as acoustic drapes.
If you’re not overly familiar with the term, acoustic drapes (otherwise known as curtains) can be used to help soundproof a door by directly placing it in front of it, via the room side.
Not only will this help to stop sound from traveling out into the hallway, and drifting into other areas of the home, but it can also be used as a way to create a relaxing, calm and cozy atmosphere.
The best part about choosing to soundproof your door with an acoustic drape is that they are super easy to set up and install, and will only require a small curtain rod to be directly positioned over the back of the door.
As they consist of a heavier fabric than standard drapes, they will be able to offer light to medium sound deadening, which will be super ideal for sound recording, listening to music, and watching films in surround sound.
What’s more, acoustic drapes often feature the same design as standard curtains, too!
The only difference between the two types is that the heavy fabric, which will be hung from the rod in the same way as a standard curtain, will be positioned to strategically cover the door’s face.
Then, as soon as you want to settle down for the night and watch a movie, or spend some time playing your favorite musical instrument, all you will need to do is carefully pull the drape across the door to cover it, and you will be good to go.
Plus, when you don’t need to use it, all you will need to do is simply pull the curtain to one side, and the doorway will be free to be accessed!
As a side note, it is worth keeping in mind that acoustic drapes alone won’t be able to completely prevent sound waves from traveling to other places, which is why they’re most suited to those who are only looking for a light source of soundproofing.
For example, if you’ve recently received noise complaints from a next-door neighbor, the acoustic drapes might not be enough to completely absorb the sound waves.
Therefore, if you do want to use acoustic curtains, you should use them in combination with other methods on this list for the best results.
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Featuring a felt liner and blackout fabric combination, the RYB Home Soundproof Curtains are one of the best acoustic drapes currently available on the market.
Available in multiple different colors, these versatile curtains feature a 3 layer design that consists of a felt fabric liner sandwiched between the two curtain folds.
This will be able to absorb irritating noise, offering a level of sound deadening that’s best suited for people that want a moderate soundproofing effect.
On top of that, these drapes will also make a useful and practical addition to your space.
Thanks to the triple-layer weave blackout design, these curtains are 100% blackout, and will even help you to save on heating costs, as they can balance room temperature and insulate warmth.
Use sound-absorbing paint
Another cost-effective soundproofing solution you can employ to soundproof a door is by painting it with sound-absorbing paint!
Now just any old paint, sound-absorbing paint has the unique ability to absorb soundwaves as they pass through doors and walls, all while helping to reduce the chances of them from bouncing off to the next nearby object.
Depending on what level of soundproofing you require, sound-absorbing paint can be a very effective solution used alone, although many people choose to combine it with other soundproofing techniques. Generally speaking, sound-absorbing paint works well when dealing with mid-level noise frequencies such as talking or humming. However, if you are wanting to effectively soundproof a room for tv or music reasons, then we recommend taking a look at some of our other recommendations in this guide and combining more than one solution, to intensify the level of soundproofing you will get.
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If you’re interested in soundproofing your door (and perhaps even your room’s walls) with sound deadening paint, we recommend turning your attention to the Acousti Coat Sound Deadening Paint.
Available in either a 1 gallon or 5-gallon container, the Acousti Sound Deadening Paint consists of water-based polymer that has been specifically formulated to adhere to materials such as wood to help prevent sound vibration.
The innovative formula consists of flat latex paint that has been mixed with ceramic microspheres and sound-absorbing fillers.
When in use, this unique combination of high-loading ceramic microspheres, known as ThermaCels, will help to reduce sound thanks to their vacuum centers, while the soft pigment fillers will offer an additional level of sound absorption, preventing it from ricocheting off the surface.
Use acoustic foam tiles/panels
Another soundproofing option you have available to you is using acoustic foam tiles or panels, which can be used to help insulate both your room walls and the door. Read on to discover more!
Extremely popular in mixing and recording studios, the acoustic foam was created to reduce sound vibrations within a room, in the hopes of being able to help improve sound quality and speech clarity while inside the room, while also ensuring that vibrating sound waves are prevented from escaping out of the designated area.
If you’re not overly familiar with acoustic foam, it is often made from a combination of both melamine and polyurethane foam and contains an intricate cellular structure that helps to absorb sound.
It’s also exceptionally lightweight and versatile, meaning that you’ll be able to mount it to just about anything you want to, including walls, ceilings, and, of course, doors!
Besides helping to ensure that sound waves are unable to travel through objects or air, acoustic foam’s sound absorbing properties are so advanced that they are even able to reduce all exterior and background noise that may interfere with the natural acoustics of a room.
For this reason, acoustic foam tiles are most commonly used in recording studios where clear sound is required, as well as large reception rooms, where echoing can all too often be a problem.
They can also be used on a smaller scale, so they’re perfect for your needs!
Acoustic foam tiles make very effective soundproofing insulation in homerooms, and the best part is that they’re often extremely affordable and can be bought in multipacks, so you can be sure that you’re getting the best value for your money, too.
However, keep in mind that the addition of acoustic foam panels to either your door or walls will aesthetically change the visual appearance of your room, which is something to keep in mind if you do not wish to alter the way that the room looks.
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If you’re interested in trying out acoustic foam panels as a way to soundproof your door, we recommend that you pop the ZHERMAO Acoustic Foam Panels on your radar!
Featuring a sound absorption pyramid design, this soundproof foam multipack features a high-density polyethylene foam material that is made of a pyramid shape design.
Thanks to this innovative and unique shape, it means that these acoustic foam panels will be able to moderate sound control by reducing waves, reverbs, and echoes from escaping through the door.
Not only that, but the biggest difference between these acoustic foam panels compared to other types of foam is that they can offer something known as 3D acoustics, which essentially means that they will help to ensure that the overall sound quality within the room is improved, all while ensuring that sounds are kept to a minimum from the outside.
Another feature that really sets the ZHERMAO Acoustic Foam Panels apart from the rest is the 2-inch absorbing thickness.
Compared to other foam panels currently on the market at the same price point, these foam panels from ZHERMAO are around 1 inch thicker and able to provide the same deadening as some of the more higher-end options currently out there.
Whether you want to create a home studio or simply allow your child to listen to their loud music without causing any distraction to others, these are a great choice to consider when soundproofing a door.
Seal the gap between the door and doorframe
Another way that you can choose to soundproof your door is by sealing the gap that is present between the door and the doorframe.
By getting rid of the space that is present between the two, you will help to add a layer of insulation that will not only keep you warm but help to stop sound from traveling.
This method will work the best in conjunction with other soundproofing methods on this list, follow the steps below to give it a try:
What you’ll need:
- Measuring tape
- Damp rag
- Wood plugs (these are optional)
- First, begin by tightening the hinges of the door. Check to see whether the door is loose by lifting the door with the doorknob. If you find that you are able to move it upwards slightly, you will need to take a screwdriver and tighten the hinges. The reason for this is that sometimes, the gap between the door and the doorframe exists only for this reason.
- After you have checked this and the gap is still there, you will need to remove and replace the old weather stripping and replace it with a new one. If you have already installed weather stripping on the door, then the reason for the gap will most likely be down to the fact that the stripping is damaged and needs to be replaced with new. Gently peel off the old weatherstripping (you may need to slice it off if you can directly pull it off) and then take a damp rag to carefully clean and prepare the edges of the door and frame for the new weatherstripping. If possible, we recommend installing metal weatherstripping, as metal is thicker in density than other types of weatherstripping, so will therefore act as better sound insulation.
- Next, measure the door and prepare it for the weatherstripping. Close your door and, taking the tape measure, run it along both sides of the door frame, as well as measuring directly across the top of the frame. Keep in mind that the frame of the door is not the same as the door itself (which ends at the start of the latch) so it’s important to distinguish between the two to get the correct measurements.
- After you have done this, carefully open the door and then proceed to measure directly along the bottom of the door with the tape measure. While taking this particular measurement, you should be sure that you are standing on the inside of the door (in your room, not in the hallway) as this is the side of the door where you are going to be applying the weather stripping.
- Nearly there! Now it will be time to mark measurements on your weatherstripping so that it is ready to be applied. Make sure that you have made a note of the door’s measurements so that you won’t have to go back and take them again, before proceeding to take that same tape measure and carefully mark out all the four measurements from the door, so you can easily install it.
- Then, only at the marks that you have carefully measured out in the step above, take your scissors and cut the weatherstripping only along the marks that you have measured out and made above. For best results, try to make sure that the cuts are as even and neat as possible, so this will help to ensure that the weatherstripping is able to apply to the door without a hitch. Keep in mind that one end of each side of the weather stripping, as well as both ends of the top side, needs to be angled to make sure that everything will fit into each other. You will not need to angle the bottom side of the weather stripping.
- Now, it will be time to install your weather stripping! Start by stepping into your room and carefully closing the door. Place the top piece of weatherstripping directly along the top side of the door, and then fix it into place (you will need some nails and a hammer for this). Ensure that the nails are 1½ inches in length and that they are placed at least 2 inches from both sides of the door. By doing this, you are going to help prevent splitting and increase the lifespan of the weather stripping.
- Once you have done this, ensure that the door remains closed and continue to nail the side pieces of the weatherstripping directly along the sides of the door’s frame. Then, just like the way you installed the top piece of weatherstripping, carefully fix the side pieces into place with your nails and hammer, following the same steps you did above. As soon as you have finished hammering all four sides of the weatherstripping into your door frame, all you will then need to do is open and close the door to ensure that the seal stays in place.
- If you’ve taken our advice and used a metal door sweep, it will already come pre-installed with holes screwed inside of it. To install, all you will need to do is clearly mark out the position of these holes directly along the bottom edges of the inside of the door with a pencil, before proceeding to take a drill and carefully screw all of the drill holes into the marked positions. From this point, you could then decide to install a door sweep, which we’ll talk about in our next section!
If you’re planning on doing this to help soundproof your door and would like a visual aid for guidance, we recommend taking a look at this very helpful Youtube video:
Install a door sweep
If you’re in the market for a quick-fix sound-dampening solution that isn’t going to break the bank, you should turn your attention to a door sweep!
Now, though door sweeps are usually used to help stop drafts from blowing in from the hallway, a door sweep can also be used as a dual-purpose product, as it’s also very good at stopping sound from traveling to unwanted places.
If you aren’t overly familiar with door sweeps, don’t be put off by the name, because they’re super easy to install. If you wish to use one in order to achieve an additional level of sound protection, all you will need to do is attach it to the bottom edge of the door, as this is the area that usually has the largest gap.
Side note: If you currently already have a door sweep attached to your door that is cracked or damaged slightly, we recommend considering swapping this out for a new one.
This is because, if it is damaged, the sound will be able to easily pass through the broken part of the construction.
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Specifically created in order to ensure that there is no gap in between the door and the floor, the Suptikes Door Sweep Stopper is a great choice to add an additional level of sound isolation to your door.
Thanks to its innovative design, the Suptikes Door Sweep Stopper will be able to fill in gaps that are up to 1 inch in length and even comes with a self-adhesive door draft blocker that can be used to help fill extra-large gaps to ensure that sound stays put.
Not only that but in addition to blocking out noise, the Suptikes Door Sweep Stopper can even be used to help retain heat, block out pesky drafts and even prevent light from slipping underneath the door at night.
This makes it a handy household item, just as much as it is ideal for soundproofing.
Plus, for convenience, this Suptikes Door Sweep Stopper is extremely easy to install, as all you will need to do is measure the bottom of the door, cut any excess seak, prepare the surface, peel off the backing sticker and then apply the door sweep directly to the bottom of the door. It’s as easy as that!
Reinforce the door panel
If you don’t want to swap out your current door for a new one, then the good news is that you don’t have to!
As an alternative, you can choose to simply reinforce the door, which will in turn help to make it denser and, as a result, better able at preventing sound from passing in or out.
If your door isn’t naturally dense, then it means that it will allow sound to move more freely through it.
Therefore, if you don’t reinforce the panels to increase the overall density of your door, then it means that sound is going to be able to travel both in and out of the room - which can cause all sorts of problems!
A good option to consider when reinforcing the door panels is by purchasing another piece of wood (that is the same width and length) and then drilling it into the door, as this will help to increase the thickness of the door.
If possible, we recommend choosing MDF (medium density fiberboard) wood, which is a type of engineered material that is made by breaking down hardwood into fine particles and then combining it with a super-strong resin binder.
The best place to purchase this is at your local DIY store, where a member of staff will be able to take your door’s measurements, and then cut a piece that will perfectly fit it.
This service is usually free of charge, too, which means that you’ll be able to enjoy great value for money with the peace of mind that the wood piece will fit.
In addition to the medium-density fibreboard wood, you can also choose to purchase a separate noise dampening sheet that you can place in between the door and the MDF wood piece.
This will mean that you get an additional layer of noise-muffling insulation, all while ensuring that noise is unable to pass through.
Need some inspiration? If you are interested in trying this method out, we recommend taking a look at the following video, which is filled with helpful information and a visual demonstration.
The content creator even includes useful tips on what you should use to effectively reinforce the panels, as well as what you should avoid!
Use a solid door
Last but not least, the final soundproofing solution you can choose is to simply purchase a thicker door.
By choosing to purchase a door that features a solid core or a solid wooden door, you will instantly get a level of soundproof protection.
This will make it harder for noise to get through the door, as it will be denser.
This means that, when sound travels through the air, the density of the door will be able to ‘absorb the sound waves as soon as they come into contact with the door’s surface, which will help to reduce how loud the overall sound will be.
Of course, you could always choose to pair a solid door with additional methods that we’ve listed above, but this is entirely up to you and what your personal needs are.
As a side note, it’s important to keep in mind that the majority of interior doors for homes are usually made with lighter woods, materials that are less dense in nature.
The reason for this is because it helps to make them more affordable and accessible to everyone, as well as the fact that soundproofing is often not a requirement for shoppers.
Though purchasing a solid core or solid wood door will be more expensive, we think that it is an investment worth making.
Not only will they be able to ensure that sound will have a lower chance of being able to pass in and out of the door, but they’re also great for heat insulation, so your room will always be cozy and toasty warm! It’s a win-win.
So, there we have it! You made it to the finish.
Hopefully, after reading this guide, you have been able to discover all of the ways you are able to soundproof a door and are now getting ready to try out your favorite (or favorites) in your home.
Before you go, remember to keep in mind that regardless of whether you are planning on becoming the next biggest music star, or you simply want to enjoy blockbuster movies with your awesome surround sound system, you must take the necessary steps to totally soundproof the room in question, as not only will this be a courtesy to members of your family and your neighbors, but it will also ensure that you can get the best sound experience possible while inside the room, as it will be free from the distractions of any background noise.
While you’re here, why don’t you bookmark this page? By doing so, you’ll always know where we are and can come back whenever you need to touch up your door soundproofing skills, or simply want to refresh your knowledge on why soundproofing is such an important thing to do for rooms that are intended for loud activities and music.
Thank you for reading!