Your home is your oasis. A respite from hustle and bustle of a noisy world. The last thing you want to deal with is unwanted noise. But frequently, you have no choice. Teenagers practicing the trombone in their bedroom, surround sound speakers, or new babies can make it difficult to sleep, concentrate or relax. And if you share a wall with a neighbor, you may even start to get a complaint. This why many people turn to soundproofing their homes.
Whether you need to soundproof a single room or an entire home, soundproofing increases your serenity and privacy. It’s a gift for both yourself and your neighbors. And the best part is, in most cases soundproofing can be achieved with a minimum of effort and expense. That’s where Oola comes in.
We’ve gathered all the best tips and tricks for soundproofing your room, home or apartment below.
Basic Soundproofing Techniques
1. Soften It Up
Noise is amplified by hard surfaces. If you have hardwood floors and naked windows sound will echo and bounce around. The fix for this is simple and stylish. Add soft materials and fabric wherever possible. Area rugs and furniture pieces with fabric upholstery will absorb sound, rendering your room both quieter and more beautiful.
Covering your windows with thick curtains or drapes will absorb sound also. To get the most soundproofing for your buck, opt for curtains specifically designed for soundproofing.
Tip: Add a thick carpet pad under your area rug to absorb even more sound. You can also increase the soundproofing power of your furniture by adding comfy blankets and throw pillows to sofas and chairs or a tablecloth to the top of your bare table.
2. Line Your Walls With Books
If you’re just looking to achieve a bit more privacy or banish loud, echoing, hollow sounds from your home, these basic soundproofing techniques should do the trick.
Reading stimulates your mind and boosts your vocabulary. What’s more, bookshelves add a touch of class, color, and visual interest to any style of decor. But if that’s not enough to make you want to add bookshelves to your walls, perhaps you’ll be interested to learn that the thick pages of books also have soundproofing qualities.
3. Drape Fabrics On Your Walls
Blank walls aren’t homey. They look cold, boring, and institutional looking. But that doesn’t mean you have to cover them with paintings and photographs. Quilts, tapestries, and woven blankets can add a gorgeous, artistic touch of color to the right room and absorb sound in the process.
4. Plug Your Doors
If your doors let in drafts, chances are they are letting noise pass into your room, too. The easiest remedy is to plug up the bottom of the offending door or doors with a thick, plush towel. If that solution isn’t in keeping with your decor, you can also purchase fabric draft stoppers online.
Advanced Soundproofing Techniques
If you have a family member who plays a loud instrument or likes to turn up the bass on their stereo, basic soundproofing techniques are a good starting point, but may not offer you the relief you’re searching for. In those situations, you’ll want to move on to advanced soundproofing techniques. Particularly if you live in a multi-housing unit and share one or more walls with your neighbors.
1. Use Sound Proofing Panels or Tiles
If you have an in-home recording studio or have a room where soundproofing is a major concern, soundproof panels or tiles will offer you the extra sound absorption you need. For all over sound absorption, cover all areas of your walls, doors, and ceilings. If, on the other hand, you are only worried about blocking sound in a specific area, such as a shared wall, you can install the panels in only in that specific area.
2. Seal Your Windows And Doors
If you’re worrying the sound of passing cars, roosters or barking dogs making their way from the outside to the inside of your house, sealing your doors and windows will definitely help block some of the noise. You can use a soundproofing sealant. You can buy in a tube in a rubber sealing strip depending on which you find easier to work with.
3. Buy Soundproofing Curtain Liners
If you want to take the sound absorption offered by curtains and drapes to the next level, add soundproofing liners to your curtains. Many options have room darkening qualities as well, making these the perfect fit for people who work at night and need to sleep during the day.
4. Switch To Solid Core Doors
Solid core doors are, well, more solid than their hollow cousins. This means they are superior when it comes to soundproofing. To save money, just switch the doors where extra soundproofing is necessary rather than the whole house.
5. Buy New Windows Or Window Inserts
If you have older windows, chances are they are at least partially responsible for any noise that passes back and forth from the inside and outside of your house. Buying new windows or window inserts is a serious expense however and may not be in your budget, particularly if you’re a renter. This is definitely towards the higher end of the price range when it comes to soundproofing options.
6. Remodel Your House
- If new windows or window inserts were towards the higher end of the price range, then a full-on remodel would be considered the very top. Remodeling is expensive, and definitely not for everybody. However, if you were by chance considering a remodeling project anyway, it does offer a fantastic opportunity to design your space for superior soundproofing from the very stop. A few options to consider if this applies to you:
- If you are using sheet vinyl, buy cushioned, luxury vinyl — the thicker the better. It’s much quieter and softer underfoot than the hard thinner, cheaper vinyl.
- For floating floors such as engineered hardwood, a glue down installation will significantly lessen the noise and clicking sounds. If that is not possible due to budget or if you’re using a floating floor such as laminate where gluing is not recommended, opt for a superior underlayment with soundproofing qualities. Cork and rubber are both excellent options.
- If you are opting for nailed or glued down solid hardwood floors no additional sound barrier will be necessary. These are a naturally quieter than floating floors. Please note, however, that all hard surface flooring options will be noisier than carpet and area rugs will still be necessary if you want to absorb sound.
- If you are building your walls from scratch, opt for soundproofing insulation in the interior. If you are not adding a room or knocking down walls in order to build them again, you can also add insulation and an extra layer of drywall to an existing wall also. Keep in mind that although this will greatly increase noise absorption, it will also shave inches off the square footage of your room.
No soundproofing option is ideal for every situation. Much depends on your lifestyle, budget, and decorating aesthetic. Luckily, the available options are almost endless.
We hope this article will help you achieve peace, quiet and even help you sleep better at night. Because everybody deserves to enjoy their hobbies without sacrificing their privacy or ability to relax or concentrate. A little bit of know-how goes a long way when it comes to soundproofing. Here’s to enjoying your home without worrying about excess noise.