If you’re planning on turning a room into a bubble of silence, or a bubble of noise that keeps the rest of the house in silence, the answer is to soundproof it.
Whether it’s because you’re creating a studio for your music, a place in which to jam with friends, a place for quiet meditation with no audible disturbances, or a place to go and scream when you’re stressed without anybody else hearing you…soundproofing it will create a barrier between the room and the rest of the house, so that sound can’t travel through.
There are many different ways in which you can soundproof your room, so there are plenty of options to choose from! If you want something cheap and simple, there are a few easy and quick methods of soundproofing a room, by simply adding certain materials or designs.
If you want something more reliable and long-lasting, then you can construct soundproofing into the room’s design, which might take a little more time, but is totally worth it in the end.
Whichever method you choose, soundproofing a room comes with plenty of benefits, and it doesn’t have to be too expensive either, especially if you do it yourself! But how do you soundproof a room? Which methods can you use, and how do you execute them?
We’ve got you covered.
From easy and quick methods to our favorite DIY soundproof room construction, we’ll tell you how to soundproof a room, why it’s a good idea, and how much you can expect it to cost!
Does that sound good? Great, then let’s get right into it!
Easy And Quick Methods To Soundproof A Room
Soundproofing doesn’t always have to be super expensive and complicated or require you to tear down the walls to construct them all over again with different design choices. If you want to easily soundproof a room, the solution can often be as simple as adding in certain elements, or attaching things to the walls!
So if you’re looking to soundproof your room on a budget, or you want a quick fix that is going to be temporary or requires no skills at all, then these are some of our favorite methods!
#1. Installing Sound Curtains or Thick Blankets
Thick blankets are absolutely amazing at absorbing sound, so they are incredibly effective at making a room soundproof. This is why one of the easiest methods is to simply mount large thick blankets onto the wall so that they cover all of the surface areas.
For windows, which are one of the ways in which sound leaks out of a room the most, you can use special heavy sound curtains, as these will absorb the sound and act as a barrier. In fact, you could place sound curtains all around the room, and not just on the windows!
However, it is important to keep in mind that if the walls are already pretty thick, or insulated in some way, then this method will add very little to the soundproofing!
#2. Using Bookcases
This might be of a surprise, but bookcases are actually a great method of making a room a lot more soundproof, plus, they are extremely useful as storage for books or other items!
Basically, covering a wall in bookshelves creates an effective sound barrier, in order to reduce the amount of noise that leaks through the walls.
However, it is important to note that for this method to actually be effective, the bookshelves need to be full of items! Books, or anything else!
This method is especially useful if you want to create a library room that is full of peace and quiet, soundproofing, and books, all in one!
#3. Vibration Insulation Pads
Sometimes, the problem isn’t the sound or noise, but the vibration and rattling sound of a loudspeaker or source of the music, which buzzes through the floor, ceiling, or walls.
For example, when someone is playing the electric guitar on an amp speaker, and you don’t quite hear the guitar but you definitely hear the vibrations from the amp.
This method solves just that, as it is all about mounting the shaky items that vibrate onto vibration insulation pads. These pads will absorb the vibrations so that there is no buzzing going through the floor or walls!
This is especially useful for speakers, but it can be used for other sources of noise too! (For example, a washing machine!)
#4. Installing A Door Sweep
Do you know the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor? Well, that’s a massive problem when it comes to noise because it is essentially an open gateway for loud sounds to leak through, escaping the room. This is why something as simple as installing a door sweep, can solve most of the issues.
Door sweeps are nailed to the base of the door, and they block the gap, so that sound can’t leak through. Sometimes, this makes it a bit harder to open or close the door, as it might cause resistance, but it’s worth it in order to soundproof the room!
#5. Acoustic Wedges Panels
Another incredibly effective method for soundproofing a room is to use acoustic wedges panels. These are great at absorbing frequencies, from low to high.
You simply apply these panels onto the wall, and they will act as a sound barrier so that noise doesn’t leak through the walls! We recommend using 12 by 12-inch panels, with a 2-inch depth curve relief, as these are the best ones.
Some panels come pre-prepared with an adhesive peel, making them super easy and fast to attach to the walls. But if they don’t come with this, you can simply use 3M spray adhesive, as it works very similarly.
The more panels you attach to the wall, the more sound will be absorbed. And for a completely sound-proofed room, you will have to cover every single inch of wall with these panels.
If you want to get really fancy with the panels and be professional, then we recommend using panels that are mostly fiberglass, with a thin Mylar perforated facing. These can be pretty expensive, but they are by far the most effective, and they are also available in some cool designs, perfect for a music studio!
#6. Soft Wall Hangings
Hard surfaces (such as drywall, plaster, or tile) will reflect and amplify sounds, so these should be avoided if you want a soundproof room.
Or alternatively, use this method and simply hand soft materials on the walls, in order to cover all of the hard materials up! Because, unlike hard surfaces, soft surfaces are useful for absorbing sounds, helping keep the space soundproof.
The soft wall hangings can be all sorts of things, from tapestries to quilts, to pads, or all sorts of other decorative soft materials. They’re also great for personalizing the space, so it’s a two-in-one of making the place look good, and remain quiet!
#7. Placing Rugs Down
When soundproofing a room, a lot of people take great care to re-design and cover the walls, but often, they completely forget about the floor.
And here’s the thing, the floor is usually a hard surface, meaning it amplifies and reflects the sound, causing it to be louder, and allowing it to leak out of the room.
To solve this, there is a very simple method: lay rugs down all over the floor.
Not only will this help soundproof the room to a better extent, but it will also make the floor comfy and warm so that the space is even cozier!
#8. Adding Extra Drywall
Do you know what can stop sound from leaking through a wall? Adding another layer of the wall as a barrier. This method is definitely the most high-effort of the entire list, and it is also a bit more costly, but it is relatively easy and fast, and it achieves some great results.
Basically, you simply cover the existing wall with an extra layer of ½-inch thick drywall. This provides the room with extra protection against sound, and it will make it a lot harder for the noise to leak out of the room, as there are two layers of wall to get through!
Oh, and if you want to be properly professional about this, you could get specific sound-deadening drywall that includes a dampening compound. Plus, you could also add a layer of insulation while you’re at it, and that way the room will be super soundproof!
#9. Soundproofing A Room Through Construction – The DIY Method
Modern walls are fast and easy to build, making them cheaper, as more and more houses and buildings need to be made available at a faster rate. However, these walls are terrible at blocking out noise, which is why you can often hear the neighbors throughout the day, and sometimes even at night!
As a solution, you can soundproof your room with this DIY construction, which involves ripping out the existing drywall, filling the walls up with fiberglass insulation, adding resilient channels to the studs, and putting up new drywall.
It might seem like a lot of effort, but the result is completely worth it for a more efficient, reliable, and long-lasting method of soundproofing the room.
Oh, and the best part? This DIY is pretty accessible, so there’s no need for specialized tools or advanced construction skills, anyone with minimal experience can get it done with ease.
And on top of that, we’re going to guide you through the whole process, explaining the different tools and materials, and every step of the instructions. Let’s get started!
What You Will Need
Here is everything you will need in order to complete this DIY project, including both the tools and the materials.
All of these should be easy to find at any hardware store, and with the tools, you might already have some in the house, or maybe you could borrow them from a neighbor!
- A caulk gun
- A dust mask
- A screw gun
- A taping knife
- A utility knife
- Tin snips
- ½ inch plywood
- Acoustical dampening adhesive
- A door gasket
- A door sweep
- Cellulose insulation
- Drywall screws
- Electrical box extenders
- Fiberglass insulation
- Joint compound
- Resilient channels
- Silicone caulk
- Whisper clips
- Wood transition strip
- ⅝ inch drywall
- Work gloves (thick ones, to protect your hands!)
Once you have all the materials ready, and you’ve prepared the room, you can go ahead and start on the project! Remember that before you get started you will have had to strip the original drywall from the walls so that you can get to the inside of them!
Our first step of the DIY process begins once that has been done.
Let’s get into it!
- Move the electrical boxes (if needed):
First of all, you need to make sure to turn off the power at the main panel, before you get to work on the electrical systems. This is basic safety 101. Once that is done, you should move all of the electrical boxes that share the stud cavity so that there is a separation of one stud or more between boxes.
It is also important that you mount the boxes so that the outer edge is at least 1 and ⅛ inch away from the stud, in order to allow for the resilient channel and drywall that you will install later on.
(As a pro tip, the boxes that don’t need to be fully moved can simply be repositioned so that they protrude, or alternatively, simply use box extenders!)
- Seal the electrical boxes:
Once all of the electrical boxes are in the right place and position, seal them using acoustical sealant (or alternatively silicone caulk). You should also seal the openings, the holes through studs and plates, and any openings within the framing or drywall. Make sure to cover everything, so that no sound can leak through!
- Insulate the walls:
After you have finished with the electrical boxes, it is time to move on to the walls, by filling them with insulation. This is the biggest bulk of soundproofing.
Fill the stud cavities with R-11 fiberglass batts, taking care to completely fill every single gap and pocket. You can also split the insulation in order to fit it around all of the pipes and cables, do whatever is needed in order to ensure there are no gaps left without insulation! We recommend using the utility knife in order to cut and shape the insulation, to make it adapt to the gaps in need of filling.
(Pro tip: wear the work gloves, a dust mask, and eye protection! Safety must always come first.)
- Screw on backer strips:
The next step is to screw (or alternatively nail) the strips of ½ inch plywood to the wall framing around the doors, floor, and ceiling. This will essentially provide a solid backing, upon which you will, later on, nail on the door casing and baseboard.
We also recommend that you stuff the sound dampening insulation into all of the gaps around the door jambs.
- Attach the resilient channels:
This is one of the main steps in the process, in which you have to attach the resilient channels to the studs, through the use of the 1 and ¼ inch drywall screws. Make sure to space the channels no more than 24 inches apart at the center, with the top of the upper channel being positioned below the top plate. (Make sure you double-check the position before you screw them in!)
You should also attach the channels so that they aren’t running more than 1 inch past the studs, and the ends should overlap.
(Pro tip: resilient channels can be easily cut with the use of aviation snips or metal shears, just in case you need to adjust them!)
- Install the new drywall:
Once you have double-checked the insulation within the walls, and are happy with the results, it is time to install the new drywall. First of all, you need to mark all of the stud locations on both the floor and the ceiling (in order to avoid them).
Next, screw the new drywall into the flange of the resilient channels, using 1 and ¼ inch thread drywall screws, which should be spaced no more than 12 inches apart. (Make sure the sheets of drywall are positioned vertically). If installing them on the ceilings, the sheets should run perpendicular to the channel.
(Pro tip: we recommend screwing the drywall into the channel, and not the studs!)
- Seal all of the edges:
As you might have gathered by now, soundproofing a room is all about sealing every last little gap. So once the new drywall is up, go around and fill the gaps between the floor and the drywall, using acoustical sealant (or alternatively silicone caulk).
You should also make sure to seal the corners where walls meet other walls and the gaps between walls and the ceiling. Also, seal around all of the electrical boxes and the drywall.
(Pro tip: you can scrape away all of the excess sealants with a putty knife, as this will then allow you to add joint compound to the corners properly.)
- Soundproof the doors:
You don’t want all the work so far to be useless due to the door or doors, so make sure to seal them by applying the adhesive-backed gaskets to the stop moldings. You should also install the jamb extensions, as these are strips of wood that will get rid of the gaps between the door and the drywall.
(Pro tip: you might want to install an adjustable strike plate to the door, as once you have sealed it, it will be a lot harder to close due to the thickness of the gasket.)
- Add a transition strip:
Make sure to add the wood transitions trip. This will cover the joint where the two types of flooring meet (from one room to the other), and it is what will provide a good ridge for the door sweep to go up against when installed.
Doors usually have metal strips, but these don’t work well with door sweeps, so make sure to switch them!
- Place the door sweep down:
As a final step, screw the door sweep into the back bottom of the door so that it is able to seal by going up against the transition strip.
(Pro tip: we recommend looking into “automatic door sweeps”, as these rise above the floor when you open the door, and they drop down when it’s closed, making life a lot easier! Although, of course, they are an optional commodity.)
And that’s it! If you have followed all of these steps carefully, you should now have a fully soundproofed room in which you can make as much noise as you want! (Unless you want this to be your quiet room, in which case, shh!)
Some Extra Tips For The Project
If you’re a beginner and are therefore a little less experienced in these types of DIY projects, then you might have struggled a little bit more in following the instructions. So just in case, you had any major doubts, here are some extra tips that might answer your questions or help you out!
- The aim is to have an airtight room with no gaps whatsoever, so that sound can’t leak through in any way. So use as much caulk as you need! Caulk and seal around absolutely everything, even if it seems like way too much. Just remember that if air can get through, so can sound, so fill in every little gap and crack!
- If your original walls are plaster-and-lath, then instead of going through this entire DIY process we recommend you simply seal the cracks and gaps. This is because plaster-and-lath walls are already pretty soundproof! (You can still remove them and go through the entire process if you would prefer.)
- While you remove the ceiling and wall drywall, you can take the opportunity to add light fixtures if needed! Trust us, the amount of times people later on realize and have to go through it all again is insane!
- You 100% have to remove the existing drywall before you install the resilient channel. You can’t attach it to pre-existing drywall, as it will not work. Sorry!
- There is no need to install resilient channels on both sides of a wall. You only need to do it on one side of the wall, in order to soundproof the room!
- Do not use the resilient channels on steel studs, as there is no need. Steel studs already absorb sound vibration, so all you need is to add some insulation on top!
How Much Does It Cost To Soundproof A Room?
If you’re thinking about soundproofing a room, because you want a quiet study room, a music studio, or any other, then you’re probably wondering about the possible cost of the project. So…how much does it cost to soundproof a room?
The truth is that it completely depends on a few different factors. First of all, it depends on the size of the room, and the number of walls, ceilings, and floors that need soundproofing.
It also depends on how good you want the soundproofing to be, as it can range from amateur to highly professional. Plus, it completely depends on whether you’re going to do it yourself or hire a professional, as well as the different methods used.
If you do it yourself using simple and easy methods, such as adding blankets to the walls, installing bookcases, attaching a door sweep, and similar, then soundproofing a room should be relatively cheap, and you should definitely be able to do it for an average of under $200.
If you do it professionally, however, the average cost ranges between $500 to $2000, and on top of that, you will have to pay for the labor, which tends to be around $200 to $400 per worker, a day.
But back to doing it yourself, it completely depends on the materials that you are planning on using, and how much of them you need. The most common and recommended method for soundproofing a room is to attach soundproof panels to the wall.
It’s easy, fast, and highly effective. And as there are also different types of soundproofing panels, the price can range.
Here are the average prices for the most common types of soundproofing panels:
- Acoustic foam panels: $30 for a pack of 12
- Fiberglass panels: $68 for a pack of 12
- Regular drywall panels: $600 for 12×12 square feet
- Soundproof drywall panels: between $1000 and $1500 for 12×12 square feet
And as we mentioned, you then need to take into account how big the room is, in order to calculate the total price of all of the materials needed.
Benefits Of Soundproofing A Room
Soundproofing a room can require more or less effort, and more or less money, depending on how professional you are wanting to go.
Most people just want to slightly soundproof the room, adding little details that will reduce the noise, such as installing a bookshelf, putting down rugs, covering the walls with tapestries, and similar. And this is pretty easy, and it’s a “why not” kind of situation, you know?
But other people want to properly soundproof their room, putting in a little more effort and money, in order to attach soundproof panels to the wall, add a door sweep, and sometimes even re-design the construction of the walls themselves.
But is it worth it?
Our answer is yes. Having a soundproof room, for some, is a necessity (music studio, meditation room, or similar). But regardless of whether you need it or not, having a soundproof room within your house is always an amazing idea.
In fact, we’ve put together a list of benefits, just so that we can convince you!
- It increases privacy within your home!
This one is one of our strongest points to make because you can never underestimate the value of privacy within your home. Privacy from the outdoor world, and privacy within the house.
It means you can use that room to do whatever you want, without having to worry about people outside, neighbors, or other people in your house, hearing and complaining.
It is also a great way to create a sort of “bubble space”, in which it is just you, your thoughts, and whatever you are doing.
- Peace and quiet!
This one is super obvious, but come on! Peace and quiet? How is that not tempting? Picture this, someone within the house wants to practice guitar, or drumming, or is playing music really loudly, and it is driving you crazy.
The solution? Stick that person in the soundproof room, so that the rest of the house can enjoy some peace and quiet! Or you could use it the other way around.
Let the entire house fall into chaos and noise, and you can take refuge in the quiet room, where it’s just you and your thoughts, perfect for relaxing, unwinding, and giving yourself a break!
- No noisy neighbors, no traffic, and more!
Those that live next to noisy neighbors, or live right by the side of a big and busy road, know that having a soundproof room is essential in order to live your life in peace without getting distracted and suffering from disturbance every five minutes.
This is especially useful for people that work from home, as you could then set up the office in the soundproof room, and have no worries about the outside being noisy during a conference call!
- A soundproof room can be given a specific purpose!
Usually, when people create a soundproof room, it is because they specifically need a soundproof room for a certain activity or hobby.
The most common reason is needing a music studio, somewhere in which to practice music and record your tracks, without getting sound interference from the outside, and without annoying the rest of the people in the house or street.
But although music studios are the most popular and obvious, they’re not the only good use of a soundproof room.
It could be a yoga or meditation space, an office or study area, a library to read and relax in peace, a dining room, or anything else you can think of!
- It can be visually appealing!
Sometimes, when people think of soundproof rooms, they think of dark and dingy music studios that are unappealing and definitely not homey. But that couldn’t be further from the truth!
In reality, a soundproof room can look like whatever you want it to look like. Soundproof panels come in all sorts of colors and designs, and you could use rugs and tapestries to decorate and soundproof at the same time, in order to create a completely personalized result.
The Science Of Soundproofing A Room
If you’ve read this far down, and you’re kind of fascinated by the whole process of soundproofing a room, then you might also be interested in the actual science behind it!
Because as with everything else in life, soundproofing has a scientific explanation behind it, and that is the basis on which the different methods of soundproofing are designed upon!
First of all, we need to understand sound. So, noise is transferred in the form of sound waves, with each sound wave having its own frequency, which we sometimes refer to as pitch. A single noise can have many different sound waves, with different frequencies, going from high to low.
And these soundwaves can pass through objects, such as walls, ceilings, and floors, carrying the sound with them. So when we can hear something from another room, it is because the sound waves are able to reach us.
Every object and wall inherently acts as a barrier, but often, they are not a good enough barrier to completely stop the sound waves, which is why we still get some noise coming through. So when we soundproof a wall, the aim is to improve the efficiency of the sound barrier, so that noise won’t get through.
Before we continue, it is also worth noting that not all noise makes it through walls in the same way. Low frequencies can penetrate walls a lot easier than higher frequencies, which is why it is easier to hear the loud bass from a loudspeaker, rather than someone talking excitedly at a high pitch.
You can picture this as if you are at a party, and you’ve gone to the bathroom. You will be in a bubble of semi-silence, but you’ll hear the vibrations of the music almost more clearly!
This is because low frequencies have a longer wavelength, helping get part of them through the wall with more ease.
It is also important to note that there are two main types of noise: airborne sound, and impact sound.
Airborne sound is noise which you hear around the house, from things such as the TV, people talking, music, and similar.
Impact sound, on the other hand, is the noise that is generated by energy impacting a surface, causing it to vibrate. So this is a sound that we hear through walls, floors, ceilings, and when someone knocks at the door. This type of sound is lower in its frequency, and therefore the hardest one to block out.
As a general rule, in order to soundproof a room, we simply make the surface thicker. For example, by adding extra layers to the wall, or attaching thick and soft materials. This increases the barrier, meaning the sound wavelengths have to travel a lot farther in order to make it through.
This is also sometimes referred to as the mass law of soundproofing. It is the idea that by doubling the weight of the acoustic barrier, you can gain an improvement of roughly 6dB of sound reduction.
So if you double the thickness of the wall, you get around 40% of extra soundproofing, which hopefully is enough to stop the noise from getting through.
However, this is not always enough to soundproof a room, which is why it is also important to make use of sound-absorbing materials. Or in other words, materials which are able to absorb the energy of the wavelengths, therefore stopping the sound from traveling any farther.
A great example of this is soundproof panels, which are made out of specific materials that are able to absorb the sound, acting as a far more effective barrier.
In conclusion, in order to soundproof a room, you have to add layers of thickness, made out of sound-absorbing materials, onto the walls, ceiling, and floor. The key is to seal all of the gaps, so that there is no space through which sound can make it through, therefore effectively making the space soundproof.
You can soundproof a room using easy and fast methods, such as adding thick blankets to the walls, laying down rugs, or attaching soundproof panels. Or alternatively, you could strip the drywall, and then add plenty of insulation, in order to “reconstruct” the walls into being far more inherently soundproof than they were before.