4 Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Soundproof a Room

Everyone has a room in the house they wish they could make their own. For me it was my home office but despite my best efforts I simply couldn’t get the rest of the family to stay quiet while I worked. I decided I needed to soundproof my room but didn’t have a lot of time or money to do so. I simply followed the following four steps and was able to create a simple soundproof room that even the loudest kid cartoon can’t penetrate.

First I purchased a soundproof door bottom and installed it at the bottom of my office door. The door bottom drops to fill the gap between the bottom of the door and the floor, then raises up upon opening the door thereby making it easy to open or close. No room soundproofing job should ever be completed without a door sweep as it will block the noise that can creep in from under the door and is much less expensive than purchasing a soundproof door. I then added a layer of plywood on my door with Green Glue in between and painted over it. It doesn’t look the greatest but it was the noise control I was after, not the looks.

My next step was to add some soundproofing to the walls of my office. Instead of filling the walls or installing heavy mass loaded vinyl I purchased an adhesive product actually a damping compound called Green Glue and installed it with another layer of drywall over my existing walls. In my case, the only noise concerns I had were from my children, so I only had to put the damping compound on the walls that faced the entertainment room and the hallway. The other two walls faced the exterior of the home.

I had plans to recarpet the floor in my office so after the old carpet was ripped up I made sure to put down an extra thick carpet pad. Sound waves do travel along the floors in most homes, so this extra measure ensured I wouldn’t be disturbing anyone in the rooms below me and vice versa.

Finally, I took a look at the windows in my room. Despite popular belief, you do not have to install expensive soundproof windows to get the results you’re looking for. In most cases all you have to do is use acoustical caulk and caulk around the edges of your windows and fill in the gaps created during the installation process – a process that is usually sufficient for the average home soundproofing project.

Ready to soundproof your own home office or favorite room? You don’t have to spend a lot of time or money to get great results. Just use patience and make your plan in advance. You’ll be pleased with the end result.

28 Responses to “4 Simple and Inexpensive Ways to Soundproof a Room”

  1. Mark Stewart says:

    I run a restaurant, Need to subdue the noise.

  2. mick white says:

    Hi, I live in the UK and don’t know if I can buy Green Glue over here? What is the easiest and cheapest way to soundproof a small extension, so that I can listen to loud music without upsetting my neighbours? many thanks, Mick W.

  3. admin says:

    You can build a double stud wall put insulation in and double up on the drywall. That should give you good results. If your drywall is up and you don’t want to take it down than your only choice is Green Glue

  4. miscegenated! says:

    I have a thick texture over my existing walls, and can’t really install greenglue+drywall unless i knock the texture down(very time consuming). As such, i’ve been wondering about how to remove the walls without wasting the current drywall, and this is what i came up with:

    1. find the studs, snap a chalk line on BOTH sides of the studs, rather than down the middle.
    2. use a keyhole saw or dremmel to cut along the lines, removing the drywall, and leaving only the thin strips that would still be attached to the studs.
    3. apply greenglue, liquid nails, or caulking that drys flexible, to the backs of the drywall pieces that were removed, and attach them to the OPPOSITE INSIDE wall section, whether it be osb (if exterior wall) or sheetrock (interior wall).
    4. caulk around glued sections between studs and sections. if insulation was remove prior to gluing the cut out sections, reinstall after finishing caulking.

    *note- the strips of drywall left attached to the joist could simply stay there, and new drywall, resilient channel, or hat channel and clip setup would be installed over it, allowing the wall to retain its depth to keep the resonance low (dont know if that would violate building code, but probably not).

  5. admin says:

    With the cost of drywall at about $7 a sheet x 2. It would probably be cheaper to just rip the whole thing down and do the wall the proper way. Insulation Sound Clips Hat Channel 2 layers drywall with GG and Acoustic Caulk on the perimeters. Somehow all the jobs of sawing and trying to conserve old material don’t work out as planned and just doing the whole thing from scratch can be much less stressful and even cheaper in the long run. Good Luck!

  6. Kadin S says:

    Im 15 and have three noisy brothers around the age of 5 and im lookingfor a quicker wal to do my walls do you have a solution? Please help

  7. Karen Nielsen says:

    I want to rent a place, but the overriding issue for me is that it overlooks a busy expressway. I can’t change the structure or windows or add anything as permanent as suggested above. It’s a vintage building (ca. 1920). I also don’t have much money. Any ideas?

  8. admin says:

    The cheapest option that will help somewhat is to hang a sheet of 1 pound Mass Loaded Vinyl over your windows that should give you some reduction without changing the structure etc.

  9. Wanderer says:

    Hi I was wondering if you could give me an estimated cost on doin what you listed above so I’d know how to save and also considering money wise will be a pain could you list from cheapest to most expensive on which one to do first? Thanks

  10. Mike says:

    I live close to the freeway and the sound actually is not that bad but I was wondering if i use the acoustical caulk around my bedroom window. Would that at all help?

  11. Leslie says:

    I live very close to a major freeway. My bedroom faces the freeway. I can see the cars, trucks etc. driving by at night. Its a mile in didstance
    from the condo. What soundproofing materials can one suggest so I don’t have to listen to the decibels the traffic creates at night. It takes me too long to get to sleep. Have tried a white noise machine with no luck.
    Just want a good night’s sleep every night.

  12. Alice says:

    Hi I live in an apartment and need to soundproof my ceiling from a person walking heavy on their feet how would I block that out?

  13. Vivek says:

    I want to soundproof only windows as they are facing to neighbors. Can you suggest any solution in this matter? Thank you.

  14. Sue says:

    We are looking to soundproof our basement bedroom ceiling from our busy life upstairs, which includes children and dogs. Our son in law is a police officer and needs some rest during the day. Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

  15. admin says:

    That is one of the most difficult sounds to block on an existing home as the actual structure is vibrating from the weight of his steps. At this point your best bet is to install carpet with a good carpet underlayment. The thicker the padding the better.

  16. admin says:

    You can put up a good window curtain barrier which you can apply with velcro strips and remove whenever you want.

  17. Michelle says:

    I sound proofed my bedroom wall 10 years ago with soundproofing insulation and then dry walled over it, now I can hear the sound of my neighbours TV like I never did anything. How do I fix this irritating problem?

  18. melinda says:

    I recently moved into an apartment where one of my bedroom walls is next to my neighbor’s kitchen. There is a lot of noise that comes through the wall. Since I rent, I cannot use plaster, drywall or green glue to reduce the noise. Can you suggest anything that is not permanent to reduce the noise?

  19. marcus says:

    I.Need a help. What is the cheapest way and easiest way of building acoustic treatment in a room when are shortage of cash . The room size is 12×12 length . Height is 12 fit

  20. Kerrie says:

    I live in a rented house and need to sound proof a wall between my room and my sons as he is constantly on his Xbox yelling. I can’t do much to the wa because we are renting so what can I do??? HELP

  21. vipun says:

    my room is 10 by 12 feet and height of ceiling is 9.5 feet. there is lot of sound comming from the neighbourhood through 6 by 5.3 feet window and the door on opposite wall is 6.1 by 3.2 feet.
    the noise of the whole house enters through the door. and the house is of ground floor only.
    i don’t want the noise from the others and i don’t want to disturb anyone.
    please give me nice,easy and inexpensive solutions for my window and door.

  22. Shalena says:

    Hello. I live amongst some very noisy neighbors. The base of their music feels like it’s hitting my head and vibrates my home. They have refused to stop. How can I soundproof my bedroom to eliminate the sound of this base?

  23. admin says:

    Low bass can many times fall below the standard STC spectrum and many Soundproofing products can be ineffective. The Green Glue Damping compound is a very good performer on low frequency sounds and that would be your best solution. Add another layer of drywall to your walls and ceiling with GG sandwiched in between. If you do not have insulation in your walls pump cellulose in there first.
    You can read more about GG here. http://www.tmsoundproofing.com/green-glue-faq.html

  24. admin says:

    Best solution for the window is a soundproof curtain that you can install and remove at will. A more expensive solution is to purcahse a special window that goes installed over the existing window.
    For the door – the best most econimical solution is explained in this How to soundproof a door article.

  25. admin says:

    Try tacking up 1 pound Mass Loaded Vinyl across the entire wall of your sons room. Or dock his x box if he yells past certain hours 😉

  26. admin says:

    Not really. Unless you don’t mind a sheet of Mass loaded vinyl across your entire wall.

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