We don’t often think about how to make a room soundproof, but when we do, we don’t seem to come up with any soundproof idea. In recent times with the adoption of the work-from-home, study-from-home, and entertain-yourself-from-home culture, going through a simple video conferencing call can seem chaotic. For one, we don’t know much about many soundproof materials. For example, if you were to turn a small conference cabin into a soundproof room on your office floor, how would you go about it? This is why this blog doesn’t just share some of the most efficient, accessible, and cost-efficient ways of making a room soundproof, but also explains the science behind them. Before we dive into the several ways to soundproof your room, let us understand how the process of proofing sound works in the first place.
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To understand how to soundproof a room, we need to understand how sound works first. As you may have read in your school science book, sound moves in the form of waves i.e., if you speak from one end of a small bathroom, the voice echoes back, as in bounces back and forth over and over till it dissipates. As you can imagine, such an echoey sound is not great for video conferencing or recording podcasts. But what makes the sound or the quality of the audio bad?
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Well, there are two types of sound waves – direct – one that comes directly to our ears from the source of the sound and reflected – one that is created from the waves getting bounced off of walls. It is the reflected sound that reaches our ears later that creates a distortion – making the sound quality bad. So how do we solve this, or soundproof the room? There are two options that we can pursue. One is absorbing the reflected waves, which isn’t a great idea, given that absorbing too much sound can make your recordings seem unnatural. The second option is to diffuse the sound waves, wherein, you scatter the sound waves into different directions to achieve a smooth audio quality. The best results are achieved by using the two methods together. That begs the question, how to soundproof a room from outside noise as well as inside ones?
To get such a sound dampening effect, you need materials that are soft instead of hard ones, as hard materials echo more. This is why you must have seen the walls and floors of recording studios typically covered in soft foams with many angles for soundproof insulation. And to stop external sound waves from entering the room, dense materials are used to reinforce every sound-leaking gap.
The Cost of Creating Noise-Cancelling Rooms
When you go out to get soundproofing materials and establish a soundproofing cost, you should note that the total price will depend on the type of sound-absorbing materials for the home, their quality, as well as the surface area of the room you want to soundproof. While the area of space for home soundproofing may vary, you will get panels of acoustic foams costing somewhere between INR 2,000 to INR 4000 for a set of 7-10 panels. You will also need blackout curtains that are heavy/dense enough to block outside sound, again ranging anywhere between INR 3,000 to INR 10,000 depending on the quality of the fabric. The overall cost of soundproofing a room in India, therefore, can range anywhere between INR 40,000 to INR 1 Lakh, on average.
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How to Soundproof Your Room: 10 Sure-Fire Ways
From weather-stripping, adding rugs as underlay and adding sound-dampening wall hangings, foam rubbers, window treatments, bookcases, drywalls, and more, there is a myriad of ways to soundproof a room. The choice as mentioned above, depends on the quality of the material you use, the kind of area you want to soundproof, as well as the total budget you want to go for. So, keep a keen editorial eye on the top ideas listed below on how to soundproof your room. Read on!
1. Weather stripping tapes on doors & windows
Weatherstripping isn’t usually found on interior doors, but placing some around the outside of the entryway can help reduce noise. You can also find stick foam rubber strips. The weather stripping as a process here is not only inexpensive but also simple to apply. Even better, it produces a very tight seal. Felt is one of the oldest types of weather-stripping; it is available in packs of rolls, and even in variants with or without adhesive backs. These are also quite cheap and are surprisingly efficient at noise reduction. To close the gap along the floor, add a door sweep or an under-door draft blocker at the bottom of the doors.
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2. Padding drywalls
As mentioned before, the best way to make sound waves stop on their tracks (metaphorically) is to use dense materials to deaden them. While the process of using dry padding is not the answer to the question ‘how to soundproof a room cheaply, it is definitely one of the most effective ones to keep a room quiet. The dampening compound comprised of such a sound dissipating caulk can also be added on top of the drywall, the entirety of which will not be thicker than 6 inches.
3. Quilted window pads
If you are wondering how to make a room more soundproof than it is, you can look at combining your sound-shielding window curtains with quilted window pads. While window curtains serve the dual purpose of blocking both sound and harsh sunlight, windows also do get more fragile with time due to high exposure to external weather conditions. This is where quilted pads for windows not only help protect them, but also keep the sound out in an excellent way.
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4. Hanging up tapestries
If you do not want to commit to professional soundproofing materials and equipment, there is a cheap and attractive alternative. Tapestries made of fabric, rugs, or even on painting canvases do an excellent job of absorbing sound waves on a flat wall, and therefore dissipating the noise (as opposed to amplifying it due to a hard wall surface).
5. Lay down rugs
Not only may sound bounce off walls, but it can also bounce off hard surfaces like your floor. Floors occupy a substantial portion of the room and echo sound waves, open areas of the floor even more so. If you have a floor with a solid surface in your room made of either wood, laminate, or even tile, the easiest solution is to use an area rug to assist the absorption of sounds. A huge plus?You can choose one that suits your artistic personality with a variety of décor options! Given the higher thickness, note that thick carpets are preferable to thin rugs.
6. Wall hanging sound-proof panels
Sound is both reflected and amplified by firm surfaces such as drywall caulks, angular panels, plaster, and tiles. As a result, it’s only natural for soft surfaces to absorb sound, making spaces with soft rugs, tapestries, and cushions, much quieter. thick blankets or quilts can also be used to cover walls in artistic ways. You can also use sound absorption panels on your walls as well as ceilings, but the look of the room will be much more industrial or corporate than homely. That said if you are looking at noise-dampening materials, be sure to explore others such as the dense polyester fibre, soft foam rubber, cork etc, that are generally used to construct such soundproofing panels.
7. Wall-length bookcases
If you have always aspired to create a quiet library at home, here is a way to hit two targets with a single arrow. As natural soundproofing materials, an array of books on ceiling-to-floor or wall-length bookcases work pretty efficiently in creating that pin-drop-silence atmosphere in the library/workroom. Not only do they work as a second wall, but also educate and entertain us at the same time. Quite literally genius if you ask me!
8. Plug door sweeps
Regardless of how much effort you put into soundproofing your room, none of it will be of any use if you do not take care of the doors. It is usually the bottom of the doors that bring in a lot of outside noise into the room. The best way to deal with it is to get a door sweep that can be glued or nailed to the side and bottom edges of the door. Sweeps are typically made up of plastic, metal, rubber, or a combination of them all, coming with self-adhesive options. Alternatively, you can also make DIY draft blockers underneath the doors and secure them with Velcro tapes.
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9. Soundproof paint
While the term ‘soundproof’ is a misnomer, ‘sound reducing’ or ‘absorbing’ paints are still effective in not only making your room look attractive but also reducing noise transmission. Also known as acoustic paint, these water-based based soundproofing materials are made of fast-drying viscoelastic compounds so that you can control a certain level of noise pollution within the room.
10. Get a white noise machine
Another product that is not quite as effective as professional-grade soundproofing materials, but does a wonderful job of limiting noise pollution is the white noise machine. How it works is a curious one. Instead of eliminating sound waves, the white noise machine increases the flat and neutral layers of the sound that typically generate dull and disturbing noise.
Design the Perfect Soundproof Room with NoBroker Interior Designers
The question of how to make a room soundproof has many answers. Yet before beginning on the journey to soundproof your room professionally, it is best to get a clear understanding of all the soundproof room making costs involved, the quality of the materials used, their durability, as well as the wide variety of associated décor choices they offer. If you don’t know where to begin or how to get the right designers in the first place, be sure to check out NoBroker’s top-starred interior designers, who can help you make your room more soundproof, or even design a new soundproofed from scratch – at the lowest price quotes in the market. For more details, check out our interior decoration and designing services below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Sound moves in the form of waves i.e., if you speak from one end of a small bathroom, the voice echoes back, as in bounces back and forth over and over till it dissipates. Soundproofing is the process of preventing an excessive reflection of sound within a room i.e., making a room quieter.
From weather-stripping, adding rugs as underlay, adding wall hangings, foam rubbers, window treatments, bookcases, drywalls, and more, there is a myriad of ways to soundproof a room. The choice as mentioned above, depends on the quality of the material you use, the kind of area you want to soundproof, as well as the total budget you want to go for.
There are two types of sound waves – direct – one that comes directly to our ears from the source of the sound and reflected – one that is created from the waves getting bounced off of walls. It is the reflected sound that reaches our ears later that creates a distortion – making the room’s sound quality bad.
There are two ways to soundproof a room. One is absorbing the reflected waves, which isn’t a great idea, given that absorbing too much sound can make your recordings seem unnatural. The second option is to diffuse the sound waves, wherein, you scatter the sound waves into different directions to achieve a smooth audio quality. The best results are achieved by using the two methods together.
While the area of space for home soundproofing may vary, acoustic foam panels cost somewhere between INR 2,000 to INR 4000 for a set of 7-10 panels. The overall cost of soundproofing a room in India can range anywhere between INR 40,000 to INR 1 Lakh, on average.
The use of heavy blankets and quilts is the least expensive method of soundproofing a wall. Depending on where the noise is coming from, place blankets over the wall, doorways, or vents to muffle it. Hang blankets within the walls or on either side of the doors to block out noise
Some of the best household items that you can use for soundproofing a room without spending much include blankets and quilts, pillows, cushions and curtains. Rugs, carpets and mattresses.