You must invest a lot of money and effort to make your home soundproof. You would probably have to negotiate with the other inhabitants and set some ground rules.
The problem is that soundproofing your room is a tad more ambitious than most people can afford, and while talking to your family/roommates is effective, it has some drawbacks. Simply put, you can’t expect people to tiptoe around their homes 24/7.
The simplest, least expensive, and most conciliatory way to provide peace would be to make yourself a quiet spot (or a home office). Pick one room (ideally in a remote part of your home) and put as much effort toward soundproofing it. Here’s how you can do just that.
The first thing you want to work on when soundproofing the room is walls. There are many ways to soundproof walls, depending on what you’re trying to accomplish. If you want to improve the room’s acoustics, installing acoustic panels is best.
More and more people are working from home, and they attend virtual meetings via conferencing tools like Zoom and Google Meets. Others plan to become content creators or start their podcasts. If improving acoustics is just as important as soundproofing, you want to invest some money in acoustic panels.
Now, the cheapest, least expensive, and one of the most effective ways to soundproof your walls is to consider drywall. This is also a method you can apply to the ceiling (which we’ll discuss later). Another inexpensive solution is to find soundproofing wallpaper. These aren’t easy to find, but they’re worth it.
Adding mass, in general, is bound to help, and it doesn’t matter what form or format you choose to go with. For instance, placing a bookshelf next to the wall slightly dampens the sound.
The next thing you want to learn is how to make windows quieter. The problem is that while windows are a barrier, they’re not always the most efficient. First of all, they’re smooth. This means they reflect sound waves, causing echo and worsening your home’s overall acoustic structure.
The cheapest and simplest solution would be to hang a ceiling-to-floor curtain. However, even here, not all curtains are made the same. Heavy drapes are more effective and will help you dim the room more efficiently. You could invest in soundproofing curtains if you’re willing to spend more. These curtains are made of special materials.
If you want to protect the room from outside noises, you might want to add an extra pane. So, switching from single-pane to double-pane windows is often a good idea. For those who already have double-pane windows and want more without overinvesting, window inserts and storm windows are usually a great solution.
If the budget is not an issue and you want to ensure your room is as soundproof as possible, you should replace the door. The thicker the doors are, the less noise will get past them. Then again, some doors are designed to be soundproof. Remember that replacing interior doors (let alone buying some special ones) is expensive. Unless you also plan to replace the windows, it may cost as much as the rest of the project combined.
Because noise always finds a way, you must seal all the gaps. If the doors are installed well, you won’t have to apply sealing foam around them. On the other hand, some noise may still come from under the doors. The simplest way to prevent this is to get an inexpensive draft stopper.
Another great thing to try is weatherstripping the frame around the doors and the area right next to the threshold. This way, you’ll completely seal off this area from the rest of the room. You can also buy an acoustic door seal kit containing everything from a sweep to seals and gaskets.
The floor also reflects sound, so you want to cover it with something non-reflective. Most flooring options are smooth and (as such) reflective, but this is not that big of a problem. All you need to do is buy a carpet, and you’ll solve the problem simply and efficiently.
It all comes down to what’s beneath. Getting a carpet is all you need on the ground floor. On the other hand, if you’re upstairs and want to ensure they’re not bothered by your footsteps, you may want to start with an acoustic underlayer.
We’ve already spoken about carpets, and there’s one more thing worth pointing out. While the footsteps and furniture scratching are massive problems, people from downstairs may also cause noise. This is another reason to soundproof your floor by any available means.
Carpets are much cozier and even elevate the room temperature by as much as two degrees. If you have small children (who love to play on the ground), this will make a massive difference. The problem is that carpets are somewhat harder to maintain.
First of all, you want to add more mass to the ceiling. We’ve mentioned this once before, but you must add more mass. Drywall panels are the most obvious solution to your problem.
Now, if you’re working from a family home, there are a few things you need to bear in mind. You can work on the adjacent rooms to improve the sound structure in your soundproof oasis. You can soundproof the ceiling in the room below, but you can also add a carpet to the room upstairs. You can observe all of this as ceiling soundproofing.
One of the most innovative solutions (albeit not one of the cheaper ones) is to buy acoustic ceiling tiles. You cover your ceiling with these tiles to soundproof the room. They block the noise, prevent echo, and aren’t that bad to look at.
While soundproofing your ceiling is important, it’s the last item on this list for a reason.
Ultimately, even the best soundproofing method will take you only so far. You must still talk to your family members and roommates and set some ground rules. Also, buying silent headphones is generally a good idea, but if you’ve already done some soundproofing, the effects will be even greater. To get a truly peaceful home, you need to combine different methods.