How To Soundproof A Bedroom
As a customer home builder we’re asked to do all sorts of interesting things in new homes and major remodels that sometimes include soundproofing. It’s not a common request but every now and then we’ll get a client who wants a soundproofed bedroom, music or movie room. It’s easy enough to do when the walls are open and you can see all the studs. But what about if you want to soundproof your existing bedroom and your not doing a remodel. That’s what we’ll discuss in this article. How to soundproof a bedroom without any major remodeling of any kind. Some simple, easy, inexpensive things you can add to your bedroom to soundproof it.
What Is Soundproofing?
Soundproofing is the process of using a variety of products which suppress, reflect, diffuse or absorb sound waves. These products, such as soundproof windows and doors, special insulation, multiple sheet rock layers, baffling, carpeting and soundproof curtains can all be used to reduce unwanted external noises. And soundproofing a bedroom not only works to keep out unwanted noise from the outdoors but also other rooms throughout the home.
Soundproofing a bedroom doesn’t just keep unwanted sounds out of the room, it also keeps sounds inside the room from getting out. If you want a room where you can crank up that stereo or practise your favorite instrument, a soundproofed room is a great idea.
If your soundproofing an existing bedroom then your options are a bit limited. You won’t be able to add the soundproof insulation or special windows. But there are still lots of things you can do to soundproof your bedroom that don’t require a major remodel or lots of money. And it makes a great weekend DIY project so why not give it a try.
Tips On How To Soundproof A Bedroom
Many homes are located near busy roads, trains, parks or in the city. Living in a crowded area means you’ll have disturbing outside noises to deal with. Or maybe you live in a noisy house packed with people. If your one of these people then it’s understandable that you’d like to soundproof your bedroom as much as possible. The question is how to soundproof a bedroom all on your own?
Ahead we’ll go over a bunch of great ways you can soundproof a bedroom, on your own and for very little money. Individually, some of these steps may not seem to make a big difference. But all together, you’ll see a big improvement. While it’s unlikely you’ll get your bedroom to be 100% soundproof, it’ll sure be a lot quieter than it used to be.
Best of all, these bedroom soundproofing methods are all easy and affordable.
That huge gap at the bottom of your bedroom door lets in tons of sound.
1. Seal The Gaps Around And Under The Door
Most interior doors don’t have a tight seal because they’re not designed to keep out the weather. Exterior doors on the other hand have a rubber gasket around the edges which creates a tight seal when you close the door. A side effect of this weather tight seal is a bit of soundproofing. Even though exterior doors aren’t specifically designed to be soundproofed they’re much better at keeping out sounds than interior ones. As a general rule in construction, the better the door the tighter the seal.
Because of the lack of a good seal your bedroom door is a major way sound gets in and out. Don’t worry though, dealing with the door seal is a cheap and easy thing to fix. While sealing the door won’t do anything for outside noise it’ll help somewhat with noise inside the home.
A standard interior door has gaps around the edges and bottom where air and sound waves can easily pass through. You probably don’t realize it but a lot of noise comes through these gaps and especially through the gap at the bottom. Closing these gaps will help.
The first thing you should do is install a good door sweep. They’re really cheap and do a pretty good job at keeping some noise out.
Next add some weather stripping seal tape around the edges of the door to seal the door like an exterior one. Both of these things are cheap and easy to install. You can pick them up at your local Home Depot and install them in around 10 minutes.
A solid core door block sound much better than a hollow one.
2. Install A Solid Core Door
Another issue with interior doors is more often then not the core is hollow. Spec home builders and remodelers use hollow core doors because they’re a lot cheaper but still look like a solid core door. The problem when it comes to sound issues is that sound waves go right through them. It’s almost like you don’t have a door there at all. Sealing the gaps around the door still helps, but not nearly as much as if the door itself was solid.
While a solid core wood door isn’t totally soundproof, switching to one will make a big difference. Especially so if you also seal the gaps. The reason is that sound waves bounce off or get absorbed by a dense, solid surface instead of penetrating through them.
Changing the door is an easy process. You don’t need to replace the entire door frame, just the door itself. Take the old door off the hinges and install the new door. Replace the hardware and your done. The whole process takes around 20 minutes or so.
If you live in an older home you may be in luck. Typically older homes used solid wood doors. Ever hear the old saying they don’t build em like they used too. Well when it comes to doors and trim work that’s often times true. Older homes used much better quality wood finishes than newer tract homes do.
A solid wood door will cost around $150 for a standard model but could cost a lot more if you get into exotic or modern designs.
If you don’t have a solid wood door or can’t afford to buy one there are still a few things you can do to add mass to your door. We’ll go over some of these options later.
Seal the cracks and gaps in your old bedroom windows to add some additional soundproofing.
3. Seal Your Windows
Windows are where the majority of outside noise comes in and the first place you should start if this is an issue for you. Most older and even some new homes have low quality windows with a bad seal. This can cause drafts, let heat and ac escape and doesn’t do much to block outside noise. Luckily there’s something you can do about it.
That same rubber weather stripping you bought from Home Depot to soundproof your door will also work great on a window. This isn’t going to make a gigantic difference in terms of blocking sounds but it’ll help a little. But it will help a ton when it comes to stopping drafts, keeping in your heat and ac and saving you some money.
If any air is coming in through cracks in the window seal then so is sound. Weatherstripping isn’t dense enough to completely block all the sound but it’ll help. Think of it like raising your car window. The car doesn’t suddenly become soundproof just because you rolled up the windows but it should be quieter.
Soundproof curtains are a great way to block outside noises in the bedroom.
4. Install Soundproof Curtains
Since most of the external noise comes inside through the windows it makes sense to soundproof the windows as much as possible. Sealing all the cracks and gaps is a great idea but that doesn’t do much for the rest of the window. This is where a good set of soundproof curtains can help. They really do work, don’t cost a fortune and are super easy to install.
Soundproof curtains come in two basic designs.
- Thin, dense and super porous material is made into a curtain that rolls down like a shade. Because of how they’re designed and what they’re made of they do a good job of blocking sound. They’re also great for blocking light and creating an additional thermal layer too which helps keep out drafts and seal in heat and ac.
- The second type of soundproof curtains look like traditional drapes. They’re made of a super thick, tightly woven material that hangs from a bar. This style curtain generally hangs all the way down to the floor and a few inches to each side of the window to ensure complete coverage. They also create a good additional thermal barrier and block out sunlight.
As a bonus, both style of soundproof curtains look great. There are tons of colors, patterns and sizes to choose from so chances are you’ll be able to find something you like.
Check out our post all about soundproof curtains and if they really work here.
Acoustic soundproof foam wall panels can soundproof any wall in the house.
5. Hang Soundproof Acoustic Wall Panels
We’ve covered sound coming through the door and your windows, but what about through the walls. As sound waves hit the walls they reverberate right through and you can hear whats on the other side. The same concept is true of floors and ceilings. So what can you do about it? Hanging acoustic soundproof foam panels is pretty much your only option without doing a major remodel. Honestly most of these panels are really ugly and hanging them will make your room look like a recording studio. But some manufacturers do make nicer ones like the example shown above. These acoustic panels have a modern design, look great, are easy to install and aren’t that expensive.
Acoustic soundproof panels are made of a thick foam which adds some additional insulation value to your walls. You can hang them anywhere you need a little additional soundproofing.
Acoustic foam not only helps stop sound from getting into your room but also from getting out. If you value your privacy then these panels can help.
Another great thing about acoustic panels is that they absorb bounced sound which stops echoing. If for whatever reason you want the absolute best sound quality in your bedroom then these are a must. That’s why they line recording studios with them. It’s not so much for the soundproofing but more so for the added sound quality.
Acoustic ceiling panels can soundproof any ceiling.
6. Acoustic Soundproof Ceiling Panels
Sounds coming from above can be an issue if you rent an apartment or sleep on the first floor. In either of these cases acoustic soundproof ceiling panels can help. They look just like a regular ceiling panel, install right over the existing sheet rock and aren’t that expensive.
The panels install pretty easy if you have some basic power tools like a screw gun.
If you want even more soundproofing install the acoustic panels over a layer of soundproof foam. The foam layer combined with the acoustic tiles will block out all but the loudest sounds. While it won’t make your room 100% soundproof it’ll be a huge improvement.
Shop around when your in the market for ceiling panels. Some of them are really ugly but some manufacturers make nice ones like what you see in the pic above. These look just like a regular ceiling and the broken up paneling give the room a nice effect.
One thing to note is that you’ll have to do some installing and maybe some wiring for things like recessed lighting or ceiling fans. The boxes will have to be dropped a little to accommodate the slightly lower ceiling height.
A thick rug is a great way to soundproof wood floors.
7. A Thick Rug
Soundproofing a wood floor can be a good idea both to reduce outside noises from the floor below a little and to quiet noises inside the room. There’s more to soundproofing a bedroom than just keeping sounds out. maybe you just want quiet that creaky old wood floor so people don’t hear you walking around all the time. A thick rug can help.
Area rugs work great for the area they cover but don’t do a thing for the rest of the room. If you want to soundproof the entire floor you’ll have to install wall to wall carpeting. This is a good opportunity to soundproof though because it’s all in the padding. Install a layer of soundproof foam under your carpet padding. This will eliminate all but the loudest noises coming from below.
Double glazed windows are great for not only additional insulation but also soundproofing.
8. Double Glazed Sound Proof Windows
This option is easily the most expensive on the list but if you’ve got serious issues with outside noise installing soundproof windows may be worth the expense. By far the most outside noise comes in through the windows so soundproofing the windows is a logical answer. Sealing the cracks and installing soundproof curtains both help a lot but not as much as a double glazed soundproof window will. And you can still add soundproof curtains to your new windows for even more soundproofing and that additional thermal barrier.
Changing your bedroom windows can be a DIY project if you know what your doing and have all the tools but I’d recommend hiring a company to do it for you. Especially if your on the second floor. You’ll have to do a little interior remodeling too like installing new trim and some painting.
This is really only an option if you own the house. If your renting then you can’t just rip out and a window and install a new one. But if you do own your house it’s worth considering. Double glazed soundproof windows are great for a bedroom but aren’t really necessary in every room of the house. They match standard construction windows though so if your replacing all the windows in your house you could soundproof some rooms and install regular windows in the others. No one will be able to tell the difference.
Does soundproofing a bedroom work? How do you soundproof a bedroom? These are two common questions we get asked all the time. The answer is yes and hopefully the methods we’ve gone over in this post will help you with the how.
By following these simple steps you’ll be able to turn your bedroom into a serene place to get some sleep. Will it be 100% soundproof? No, but the difference will be significant. You can block out all the regular, everyday street noise and noises from the rest of the house. Loud noise will still come through but there’s nothing you can really do to stop that short of building yourself a concrete bunker.
Most of these things can be done in a weekend, are affordable and really do help. It’ll be much easier to just plane relax and get some sleep. Which is exactly what you should be doing in your bedroom.
As an added benefit the rest of the house won’t hear what your doing while your in your room and the soundproof curtains block out the sun when closed so if you ever have to sleep during the day it won’t be a problem.
If your ever building a new home or remodeling an older one try to implement some soundproofing techniques into the design. There are a ton of soundproofing options available to you during construction that are really effective.
If you have any questions or comments e-mail us any time. We’d love to hear from you.