How to soundproof a room ( step by step guide )

How to soundproof a room ( step by step guide )

It happens to (almost) all of us: at home we hear noises from the neighbor or from the street that we wish we did not hear (and hence the soundproofing of a room):

  • Whose deafness should be watched on television.
  • The loud music of an old tuned car.
  • The song of someone who did not pass an audition.
  • The alarm clock of someone who always needs five more minutes.
  • The screams of a group of people in the street that is believed in the middle of the field.
  • The horn of the one who has little patience on the road.
  • The snoring that seems to speak in the language of hell.
  • And the worst thing that can happen to us: listening to the neighbor’s toilet until you clearly distinguish its reason for use.

All this prevents us from enjoying our home both to rest and to create content (if you play the piano or are a YouTuber, for example). And to solve it, it is not enough to close a window or a door: you have to soundproof the room that interests you the most.

Here we explain how to soundproof a room . We give you several ways to cover walls, ceiling and floor that will achieve better acoustic conditions.

Choose what suits you best depending on the acoustic quality you need and, of course, the budget you have. You will see that some methods of soundproofing a room are more homemade than others. You will also learn how to soundproof a room without works or, on the contrary, roll whatever you want to maximize results.

Finally, if you are a musician or a broadcaster who wants to further professionalize his work, we will talk to you about what is possibly the best solution for you: the soundproof booth. Perfect not only to isolate you from outside noise but also to not disturb the people you live with or your neighbors.

Why soundproof a room

soundproof room

Simply put: the poor quality of the construction .

The truth is that when building a home, the soundproofing of the rooms is not a priority. And not only in relation to the acoustic aspect, but also to the thermal one, which is very closely related. For this reason, houses with a lot of noise are also usually the ones that maintain the temperature the worst , both in winter and in summer.

Specifically, the cause is poor quality windows and doors, and especially partitions . The partitions are walls that are not load-bearing and serve to separate rooms and sometimes also floors on the same floor. Being walls of minor structural importance, the finishes of the partitions are usually deplorable.

Difference between soundproofing and absorption

When you want to soundproof a room, you have to distinguish between two types of fighting:

  • Prevent external noise from reaching us: this is soundproofing . Also known as sound insulation.
  • Prevent the noise we generate from going outside and improve the sound quality inside: known as sound absorption .
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The first is essential both to rest and to work at home. Soundproofing in a room provides greater silence .

On the other hand, the absorption of sound avoids that echo that we hear when we watch television or when we have recorded ourselves singing, speaking, playing an instrument or playing a video game. This echo is caused by the phenomenon of reverberation .

Logically, absorption also helps us not to bother others . The clearest example is that of a restaurant, in which many conversions take place: the most respectful take measures to disturb a neighbor as little as possible. Another common reason for soundproofing a room in this way is to be able to quietly play a computer game or play an instrument at night without waking up other family members.

So: what interests you the most?

  • If you just want to rest better , apply measures to soundproof or isolate yourself acoustically from outside noise.
  • If you also want to improve the fruit of your work , professionalize content production a little more, then also give acoustic absorption .

How to soundproof a room at home

Soundproof windows

soundproof room windows

Windows are the priority element to soundproof in a room , as this is where the greatest amount of noise usually enters and leaves.

You have several options for soundproofing your windows. From cheapest to most expensive:

  • Put some curtains in front of the windows.
  • Seal the windows with adhesive strips.
  • Change the profile of the aluminum windows (the most common) to one of PVC.
  • Change the windows for ones with thicker glass (with double or triple glass).

The first two involve a minimal investment, while the other two involve scratching your pocket more and spending some time (or hiring a professional). Of course, double PVC windows provide greater thermal insulation as well as greater soundproofing in a room.

For example, double glazing creates between the two panes an empty air chamber or with a mixture of gases. This chamber prevents sound from passing through the glass so easily and therefore will not make them vibrate, generating less ambient noise.

Like everything, you have to look at the budget you have. But good windows are an interesting investment. In this sense, PVC is 1,100 times more insulating than aluminum , which will also show on the heating and air conditioning bill.

Soundproof walls

Soundproof walls

As we have commented previously, partitions are usually of low quality, useful only to separate rooms or homes.

Therefore, the best way to soundproof the walls is to put a second partition and, in between, add some insulating material in the form of a spray, acoustic insulation sheets or fiber panels. Even if you don’t put insulating material, an air chamber will improve the soundproofing. Being thicker, the wall will not vibrate as much when receiving sound waves.

If this is not feasible for you, you can always choose to muffle the sound, rather than reduce the vibration of the wall. This is achieved, for example, by applying plaster to the wall and subsequently a coat of paint. With this we will have made a kind of film that will act as a filter and reduce the power of the sound waves before they reach the wall.

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There are other, more homemade ways that walls help soundproof a room. From the cheapest although surprisingly functional to put containers of eggs or egg cups, to others that you can see below in the decoration section.

Soundproof doors

soundproof room door

The cheap option is to fill in the space between the base of the door and the floor. For this you can use a rubber strip (like a sealing strip) or a sweeper (like a small broom).

In turn, the most expensive option but that achieves better results is to have a thicker door , which will provide greater soundproofing. In contrast, cheap, lightweight doors are often hollow on the inside, making them great sound amplifiers.

Soundproof ceilings

soundproof room ceiling

Soundproofing a ceiling is perhaps not the simplest part of a room that we can isolate. The reason? That there is not really a cheap option, since the ceilings are not usually decorated in any way.

Consequently, the only reliable and realistic option is, similar to a wall, to place a false ceiling and, between the two ceilings, to put ceiling insulation foam .

Soundproof floors

soundproof room floor

The floor of a room is surely not our first objective when we set out to improve its acoustic conditions. The truth is that the other areas will provide greater results.

However, soundproofing a floor will help but also make the room feel warmer (which is nice and something to behold).

The floor to avoid is tile, as anything that falls to the ground will make a lot of noise. In addition, since they are cold floors (surely you have seen it sometime going barefoot), they do not help in thermal insulation.

A more optimal floor is already the carpet. But the best floor to soundproof a room is wooden . And more than parquet (expensive and with a more complex installation), we are talking about a floating floor.

From the outset, the laminate flooring is a relatively cheap option, but before placing it, we will put strips of polyethylene foam as a base , which are, in terms of soundproofing, what really interests us.

These polyethylene foam strips are a kind of dense rubber that creates a dissociation . That is, a separation between two structures in the room that are no longer in direct contact with each other and therefore prevent sound from traveling freely.

The laminate flooring has a click system that allows the rows of flooring to be joined without needing any glue, so if you have time and patience, you can change the floor of the room yourself.

The role of decoration for cheap soundproofing

soundproof-room-home-form

If you are one of those who are looking for how to soundproof a room at home, then this section interests you.

Here are tips so you can achieve results without construction work and on a tight budget :

  • Choose thick curtains to mitigate the entrance and exit of any sound through the windows.
  • Hang tapestries on the walls.
  • Wallpapering the walls. The paper also absorbs noise and improves sound insulation.
  • Paint the walls with acoustic insulation paint. The ceramic additive with which this type of paint is made helps trap sound waves.
  • Place wooden furniture in the room. Perhaps the best is a wooden shelf full of books.
  • Clad the walls with wood panels.
  • Put a rug on the floor. Better if it is thick.
  • Place acoustic foam on walls and ceiling. It usually comes in panels with pyramidal or serrated shapes.
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Basically it is about filling any space that comes to mind with whatever . If you have ever changed floors, you will have noticed the difference in soundproofing between an empty room and a fully decorated one .

How much does it cost to soundproof a room

soundproof room price

Now that you know how to soundproof a room so as not to hear the neighbors, that they in turn do not listen to you and also improve the quality of your sound, it is obvious that what interests you most now is knowing the price of all this.

There are several aspects that make giving you a price for soundproofing a room not easy:

  • It depends on whether you opt for solutions that require works or not.
  • If, in case of doing works, you do them or you hire a professional.
  • On the quality of the materials used. For example, in the case of windows, aluminum is not the same as PVC, nor is double glazing the same as triple.

Obviously, the total cost of soundproofing a room depends on its size. But to give you an idea, soundproofing a room of about 10m2 costs between $ 300 and $ 1,200, with an average price of $ 800 .

If you are one of those who prefer a higher level of detail, these are the prices per square meter:

  • Soundproofing the walls costs between $ 60 / m2 and $ 150 / m2.
  • Soundproofing the floor has a usual price of between $ 40 / m2 and $ 170 / m2.
  • Soundproofing the ceiling costs between $ 90 / m2 and $ 180 / m2.

On the other hand, PVC windows with double glazing usually cost around $ 400 .

All this without counting on the possible labor force. Look to see what budget you have and contact a company specialized in acoustic insulation and acoustic absorption.

And if your budget is not large, remember that we have also explained how to soundproof a room with four things and four hard drives . Test the result of making the most homemade and cheap, and decide if you need more soundproofing or not.

A cabin to work without soundproofing the room

If the reason you want to soundproof a room is work, not leisure, then you have an alternative: the soundproof booth . It is a cabin fully prepared so that, inside it, you do not hear anything from the outside and, at the same time, the noise produced inside does not come out .

We at Huddlestone are specialized manufacturers of soundproof booths. We make them in different standardized measures, in order to offer the best price, but we also manufacture fully customized cabins in size and accessories.

To be honest, the main drawback of a soundproof booth is its price , as it is higher than that of soundproofing a room. However, if you want to work quietly, the cabin will always give better results . Oh, and if you move, you take it with you  on the move.