Unique DIY Solutions for Soundproofing Your Home

Whether you share a wall with loud-talking neighbors, have a busy street outside your home, or a child trying to master Three Blind Mice on the recorder, a noisy house is not only an annoyance but can contribute to poor sleep and low productivity.

You don’t need to build a concrete bunker for your spouse when they need to use the power tools, and you don’t have to start gluing egg cartons to your children’s bedroom walls to solve the problem. You can restore a little peace and quiet to your home with these do-it-yourself tips for home soundproofing. Some require little effort, and some a little more, but you can rest easy knowing you have the solution to cut down on the noise pollution in your home.

Quick and Easy

Sound travels in waves, leaving its originating point and traveling throughout your house. Hard surfaces will reflect the sound waves, while soft surfaces will absorb them. So, the first step to cutting back noise in your home is to add more soft, sound-absorbing surfaces in the room where the noise is coming from. This can include all types of textiles and soft furniture, from rugs to curtains to big plush pillows and deep soft chairs. Even potted plants will help absorb the sound before it travels throughout the house.

In addition to adding sound-absorbing finishes and furniture, you can also move your large sound-reflecting furniture to help reflect the noise back into the origination room rather than throughout the house. Move large, hard-surfaced furniture like desks and dressers to the walls where the noisy room meets other rooms in your house, like a shared bedroom wall.

Just A Bit of Work

If the quick and easy solutions were not enough to cut down on the offending noise, consider trying a few of the following ideas that require just a bit of work:

  • Plug the leaks. You can think of sound leaks similar to air drafts; it will travel through similar openings. Seal up any gaps between the originating room and the rest of the house. Add a weather strip under the door, plug gaps around light switch boxes, light fixtures, windows and doors.
  • Replace your standard interior hollow core doors with solid core doors, at least in the originating room.
  • Install soundproof wallpaper, which is made of a thicker foam material then regular wallpaper.
  • Purchase acoustic panels. These can be hung in a room and not only do they stop sound before it bounces throughout your house, they are designed to also improve the sound in the room they are in. This makes them excellent for music rooms and home theatres.
  • Insulate around any exposed ductwork. If your spouse is using the basement as a workshop and the sounds of power tools is too much to bear, try wrapping any exposed ducts in sound-absorbing insulation to keep the sound from traveling to the rest of the house.

More Work for Less Sound

If your home is the practice space for the next breakout heavy metal band, you might need a little more help with soundproofing. Though it’s a bit more of a project, it’s still a fairly easy DIY and doesn’t require you to buy a lot of expensive soundproofing equipment or materials.

Essentially you need to thicken your walls. Using heavy brick and stone would provide great insulating power, but this isn’t practical for the inside of your home. Instead, you can thicken your drywall. You can add as many layers of drywall as you think are necessary and reasonable. Additionally, you can add insulating properties between the layers of drywall to increase their effectiveness. This can include acoustic caulking, which decreases vibrations that can move between the sheets of drywall and mass-loaded vinyl, designed specifically for noise control and can be placed between two sheets of drywall for a significant impact on reducing sound traveling through walls.

Whether you have a minor problem or a serious noise issue, these solutions work not only for keeping noise in a room, but also for keeping it out. So, if you want to make sure your office is the quietest room in the house, try some of these noise-cutting solutions in your office as well as in the noise-originating room.