Even though Modern lifestyle has made our life very convenient, it also has its downsides. One of them is noise pollution. This has adverse effects on both health and behavior. Noise can cause hypertension, stress and hearing loss. Now the question emerges, how to deal with this problem? The answer is soundproofing. If you are wondering “How to soundproof a room cheaply?“, then you are in the right place.
Soundproofing sounds like a very daunting task. Many people think of it as an expensive process that requires an expert to do the job. But you may be surprised to know that there exists some cheap way of reducing noise from entering your space and you can do it yourself very easily.
When people bring up soundproofing, they usually are talking about a mix of soundproofing and sound absorption. The main purpose of both is to reduce the noise level and echoes.
What is the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption?
Soundproofing refers to keeping all the external noise from entering a place. On the other hand, sound absorption is about reducing the echoes and sound from within your living space. This is used in areas like a conference room, restaurant or a drum room. You may be using sound absorption materials without even realizing. One example of such sound absorbing material is carpet.
Since we are looking to soundproof the room on a budget identifying where the noise is coming from is going to help a lot in reducing the costs. Most of the time the sound enters your room from either window, walls or next-door neighbors. It is advised to soundproof the whole room, but if you want to only dampen the noise, soundproofing the primary source will be enough. Once you have identified the leading cause, you can move forward with the soundproofing.
Soundproofing the window
In most cases, the noise from outside passes through the window and enter your room. There are many ways of reducing the sound coming through the window. For some inexpensive ways to dampen the noise consider the following methods.
1. Weather-stripping Adhesive Soundproof tapes
Sound enters through the small gaps between the window and wall. If we close this gap, there will be significantly less noise entering the room.
Adhesive soundproof weather stripping tape from Magzo is an excellent inexpensive product designed for this purpose. The material used is a high-density PVC which deadens the sound. Besides soundproofing, this tape will dustproof and insulate the window. Loobani Self Adhesive tape is another similar product.
2. Soundproofing curtains
Soundproofing or sound deadening curtains are a budget-friendly method of blocking the noise. They use high-density materials to absorb the sound coming through the window. And also insulate your window and can help in saving energy. Here you can check my detailed review on them if you have the time. While choosing the right curtain for soundproofing your room consider the following important points.
The type of material used in the drapes will be the most critical factor in absorbing the noise. Good quality material is higher in density and blocks noise from going through it. The best materials for this purpose are velvet, vinyl, fiberglass, and polyester.
Buying the sound deadening curtain is different from regular drapes. You will want to purchase curtains at least two times wider or buy four panels instead of two. Also, purchase at least 8″ longer curtain.
The quality of the material used in these drapes makes them weigh more due to their density. So general rule of thumb is the heavier the curtain, the better. The thickness helps in absorbing the low-frequency sound from passing through them.
4. Ability to Wash
Not all the soundproof curtains are washable, even though this doesn’t affect the soundproofing ability of curtains. But it does matter a lot when with the passage of time the curtain becomes dirty, and you aren’t able to wash them. So, while selecting curtains make sure that they are washable.
If you are buying the curtains from Amazon, see what the current owners have to say about them. Only go for the curtains with a high number of positive reviews. Go for a curtain with a high number of 4 to 5 stars. If there are more negative reviews than the quality is not as good as the company claims it to be.
For the best sound reducing results, Nicetown blackout curtain is an excellent choice they are inexpensive and have all the qualities mentioned above. They have over 4000 positive reviews. Buy four panels instead of two for more density to block out the noise. Best Fashion blackout curtain, with 5000+ positive reviews, is another good choice to consider.
DIY Window Plugs
The DIY plugs are the cheapest method you can use to soundproof your window. These plugs are commonly known as window inserts. They are merely an airtight frame made of a wooden board and uses acoustic foam or mat for sound absorption.
How to Make an Insert Plug?
First, take the measurements of your window for the wooden board. Once you have the measures, use below-mentioned materials to make a plug.
- Wooden Board (same size as your window)
- Acoustic Foam
- Soundproof mat
- Adhesive Weather-stripping Tape
- Pull handles
- After you have all the materials, cut the soundproof mat the same size as the wooden board and stick it to the board using adhesive glue.
- Now cut the acoustic foam a bit larger than the frame so it can completely cover the window.
- Attach the handles facing the window outwards.
- If there are any gaps remaining, use the adhesive tape to close them.
Soundproof the Wall
Most walls let the noise pass through them due to inadequate insulation. You can achieve this through two methods. One method is better than other but costs a lot more. Both are discussed below.
1. Acoustic Foam
Acoustic panels are the cheapest option of the two. Even though they are not as effective as the second method, but they will reduce the noise significantly. Acoustic foam panels are very efficient in dampening the noise due to the quality of their material. You can order the boards according to the size of your room. They can also be attached to ceilings and floor to reduce sound. These panels are very easy to install. Acoustimac Sound Absorbing Panel and Charcoal acoustic foam are two excellent products for soundproofing.
2.Adding Special Material Inside Walls
This method is very costly, and it is only suitable if you are renovating your house and want to put a new wall. This method works best because the whole wall will be insulated, and the wall will absorb noise. This method involves placing a special material behind the wall and will require a professional to install it. You can put TMS mass loaded Vinyl as a soundproofing barrier. It will thicken your thin walls and absorbs all the noise. ATS Cotton Bats is another such material for this purpose.
Soundproofing the Door
Soundproofing a room is quite similar to soundproofing a window. The noise passes through the door from gaps between the door and floor. If these exploits are fixed, then we can stop the sound from entering the room.
Weatherstrips to Seal Gaps
Weatherstrips are helpful in sealing the gaps. Magzo Adhesive soundproof tape is usable for both the doors and the window. The seal is waterproof and can insulate the temperature and can reduce energy cost. Apply the tape around the door frame to cover the gaps and block the noise from entering.
Sound absorbing door sweeps
The self-adhesive door sweeps have multi-layered cavity design that dampens the noise level by as much as five times. These sweeps are made up of flexible material giving them durability. OSPORTFUN Adhesive Under Door Sweep is a highly recommended product. You can easily install this door sweep, after installing the sweep leave it for 24 hours for secure adhesion.
Soundproofing the floor
Soundproofing a floor is very easy and you probably already have soundproofed it without even knowing. If you have carpeted floors than you don’t need to worry about any noise coming from the floor. Carpets absorb most of the sound due to the thick material used for manufacturing them. If you don’t have carpets than buying a thick carpet will be very useful for absorbing the sound.
By following the steps mentioned above, you can soundproof your room cheaply. You probably will not need to apply all the steps to dampen the sound. So, finding the primary source of the noise is necessary to keep things in the budget. There are some methods mentioned above which give better results than the other but are a bit costlier. So, decide which material is better for you depending on your budget. Most of the cheaper alternative mentioned above will do the job fine. And if you want a temporary solution than using the regular blankets to cover the gaps between the door and window will do the trick. Flat surfaces reflect the sound so covering the furniture with blankets or covers will reduce the echoes.