Are you getting disturbed from the unwanted noises at work or home? Soundproofing a room can make a difference. In the modern age this is a very common issue. I also struggled with the same issue for a long time. The situation was worse when I started working from home. This was the first time the idea of soundproofing came to my mind and I tested a lot of options and read a lot about soundproofing. There were two challenges that I faced. First of all I had a limited budget so there was no option to hire an expert. Secondly, the work area was too small for any kind of alterations. Therefore, I use small tricks to reduce the outside sound and inside echo.
The Process of Soundproofing
During the process I learned a lot about various products and options available for soundproofing a small room. When you search about sound damping and noise reduction inside a room you get many articles. Additionally, there is a long list of items you can use. For example, acoustic panels, soundproofing tape and adding dry walls for soundproofing etc. As a result, you will get confused. Not only this, many of these soundproofing materials are expensive. Due to this you cannot afford to go wrong with them. Read the article till the end to understand the products you can also use based on my research.
Why soundproofing a room is important
Before we get into the details, first of all your reason for soundproofing should be clear. If you are running a business then it is even more important. From content creators to business owners everyone needs a room with privacy. If your office cabin is not soundproof there is a chance of leaking critical information. Therefore, many business houses think about soundproofing the conference room or personal cabins. The idea is to discuss in private or keep the information safe. Some of the main reasons for soundproofing a room are in the list.
- A soundproof room allows you to keep information secret.
- Blocking unwanted noises contributes towards an increasing concentration. As a result, you will also get better performance.
- You can have a good undisturbed sleep.
- Content creators need a soundproof room to work peacefully.
- Video recording for a YouTube channel or creating a voiceover demands a silent room.
Basics of Soundproofing a Small Room
First of all you need to understand the basics of soundproofing. If you really want to work peacefully you will have to work inside as well as outside. This is due to obvious reasons. The first challenge is to reduce the sound coming from outside. Once you are successful in achieving this goal, you will see echo inside the room. This is because your sound is also not going outside the room. As a result the second challenge will be to control the echo inside the room.
Here is a list of the most common products for soundproofing.
Control the sound coming from outside
This is one of the first requirements. If you cannot control the sound coming from outside, you cannot do soundproofing of a room. Therefore, as a primary requirement, use these materials to stop outside noises.
Sound Proofing material
There are many products you can use for soundproofing a room. You just need to understand the real requirement. For example: you may want to block sound coming from outside. In the second case, you may want to reduce echo in a room. For both scenarios you need different sound proofing materials. Here is a list of soundproofing materials you can use to control noise.
- Insulation Tape / weather strips
- Weatherproof Sealant for soundproofing
- Control Echo and Noise inside the room
- Acoustic foam panels or soundproof foam
- Wooden acoustic panels
- Book Shelf for soundproofing
- Use of Glass for soundproofing
- Installing a Soundproof Glass Window
- Multipurpose Soundproofing material
- Aluminum soundproof windows
- Soundproof curtains
- Rubber mat for Soundproofing
- Using Dry Walls
- Soundproof door
Insulation Tape / weather strips
Insulation tapes or weather strips work well on doors and windows. The primary objective of using weather strips or insulation tape is to reduce air coming from the window. But it also works as a sound deadening material to reduce sound coming through windows. Sound also travels through air and insulation tapes block sound and air coming from outside. As a result soundproofing tapes will help you reduce sound coming from the doors and window.
Weatherproof Sealant for soundproofing
Normally sealant is a silicon based glue which converts to rubber like material after drying. Due to this, you can use sealants to fill all the unwanted gaps. While soundproofing a window, sealant also helps you fill small air gaps. As a result, it blocks sound coming from outside. Smallest of gaps can make a big difference when it comes to soundproofing a room.
Use of Glass for soundproofing
If you are planning to use glass for soundproofing then you need to research a bit. Glass is rigid and many people use this in windows because they are transparent. But a thin transparent glass door would not help much in blocking the sound. However if you are using thick laminated glass it can reduce the sound. Additionally, a laminated glass or toughened glass are also good for reducing the sound. You can also use multiple layers of glass with little gaps in them to make it more effective. For example in windows you can use double glass instead of using one to block the sound coming from outside.
Control Echo and Noise inside the room
Use these products to reduce echo inside the room. They offer sound absorption to a great extent.
Acoustic foam panels
Acoustic foam panels or acoustic foam sheets work well inside your room. You can also call them soundproof foam or acoustical panels. Due to the sound absorbing nature many people use it to make soundproof rooms or to make home studios. The primary objective of using acoustic foam is to reduce the echo. Therefore, you should use them for echo reduction only. You cannot use soundproof foam or acoustic foam panels to reduce sound coming from outside. Because it is not a sounder blocker. Therefore, using them to control the noise coming from outside is a bad idea.
Wooden Acoustic Panels
Wooden acoustic panels can absorb a lot of sound. First of all, a wooden panel is very dense and secondly it fits well. Due to this, panels block and absorb a lot of sound. The only downside is the cost. They are a little expensive if you compare the cost of wooden acoustic panels with the cost of acoustic foam panels.
Bookshelf for soundproofing
If you have a good collection of books, you can use them to absorb sound. A book shelf along the wall offers great sound absorption. You can also buy some secondhand books for the purpose of soundproofing also.
Multipurpose Soundproofing Material
These products not only help you reduce sound coming from outside but also reduce noise inside. As a result you can use them inside or outside the room depending on the requirement. Additionally, they also provide an affordable soundproofing solution.
When it comes to soundproofing a room, curtains play an interesting role. They are multi-purpose and help you in a positive manner. You can use them to absorb sound coming from outside. They provide good sound absorption. Additionally they also absorb echoes inside the room.
Rubber mat for Soundproofing
Rubber mat for soundproofing is a good solution. You can reduce footprint sound if you are using a rubber mat for the floor. Many people use rubber mats for the gym so that they can also protect the floor. Rubber floor tiles are dense due to which they block sound. In addition, they also absorb noise. You can also install rubber mats on the walls and make use of door sweeps. Door sweeps may create little noise while opening and closing the doors but they work well. The only threat is fire. Make sure you are not using flammable materials inside the room to enhance security. Additionally, you can also use some fireproof material above the floor mat to increase safety further.
Using Dry Walls
Many people also call it a soundproof wall. This is one of the cost effective materials to soundproof a room. You can buy drywalls in many sizes depending on your requirement. Due to this, using drywall to soundproof the room is a good idea. It can reduce the noise to a great extent because they block both (inside and outside) noises. First of all you need to install them properly in a perfect fit. Second thing is to fill small gaps with sealant. As a result you will get effective sound insulation.
Installing a Soundproof Glass Window
Same as wood, glass is also made up of dense particles. Due to this very limited sound can pass through glass. Remember, glass does not absorb any sound. Either it allows passing sound or reflects it if used properly. Additionally, we can block the outside noise completely by adding two layers of laminated glass. The process also involves keeping a gap between two layers and creating a vacuum. As a result you get better results while soundproofing a small room or large space. Normal glass Windows also block some amount of sound.
Aluminum soundproof windows
Aluminum soundproof windows have good results in canceling noise. This is because the metal has the capability to block a lot of noise. Due to this automobile companies make use of aluminum for sound dampening. Even thin aluminum sheets or foil does a great job in sound insulating. Therefore, you can also use aluminum sheets on the doors to reduce outside noise. Additionally, you can make use of soundproof windows. These windows are made up of aluminum and glass and have good results.
Yes, this one also exists in the market. If you really want to soundproof the room then you first need to block sound coming from the door. A soundproof door works fine in this case. Normally they are made of thick wood. A soundproof wooden door blocks the sound coming from outside by a great margin. There are minimum or no air gaps when you close the door. The outer layer is laminated, polished or painted. The paint is also of good quality. Therefore, no sound comes through the door. Some studious also us acoustic foam panels on the inner side to make it even more effective.
Common Questions of Creating a Soundproof room
There can be many reasons for creating a soundproofing room. But if you do not use the right material the result will not be as expected. The claim is based on personal experience. Additionally, I also had a lot of questions. Therefore, you can read the list of questions and answers. Some are due to personal experiences and some include research. This will help you understand the process of soundproofing a room better. These are some most common questions that come to mind when soundproofing a room.
Who should Create a Soundproof room?
Let us answer the basic question first before creating a soundproof room. Almost everyone needs a soundproof room. If not more, at least everyone needs a peaceful sleep. For this you need to control the unwanted noise coming from outside. If you are in a profession that demands attention you need it. For example, you want to publish a book. You need space to write the book. In other cases if you want to record music, your audience will not like unwanted noises. Therefore, soundproofing is the solution.
What is the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption?
The main difference between soundproofing and sound absorption is the way both work. Soundproofing is associated with blocking any sound or noise entering inside a room. Sound absorption is linked with reducing the sound or absorbing echo within a room. Therefore, based on the purpose, you use the material. Using the right soundproofing material is important.
Does Plywood Stop Outside Noise?
The answer is a partial yes. While soundproofing a room you can also use plywood due to its sound absorbing nature. In general plywood is a good soundproofing material but it does not work 100 percent. To get better results, you will need a thick wall of plywood. It can surely help but sound waves can pass through wood. Therefore, you need something that absorbs sound. You need sound damping materials like foam, wool etc. to reduce the sound. In some cases, a particle board or MDF board works better than plywood.
Can sound pass through Glass Door?
The straight answer is yes if you are using a thin, transparent glass. This does not block sound waves much. A toughened glass, thick laminated glass or insulated glazing can block a lot of noise or sound coming or going out of the glass. These glasses reduce sound transmission by reducing the resonance and adding air space.
Is rubber good for soundproofing?
Rubber has good sound absorbing properties. Due to this many people use rubber based sealant to fill small gaps and holes. Additionally, you can install a rubber mat for the floor to reduce foot noise. You can also buy rubber floor tiles or rubber sheets to reduce sound.
How effective is using a drywall for soundproofing?
Using drywall to soundproof the room is a good idea. It can reduce the noise to a great extent. Drywall is also a cost effective sound damping material. Due to this many people buy drywall to reduce noise. If you use them properly and fill all the gaps with sealant they can be very effective.
Can sound pass through brick walls?
Yes, sound can easily pass through brick walls. It is because they are less dense than most people expect. There are bricks and there is plaster (plaster is the mix of cement and dust). Brick walls can absorb a lot of sound and heat waves but you cannot rely on them for soundproofing.
Can you block the sound using a 4.5 inch brick wall?
No, the regular brick walls inside the house only reduce the sound. For example, in residential buildings (apartments) we have 4.5 to 6 inch thick walls. If your neighbor is shouting or playing loud music, it transmits through the walls.
Does sound pass through Electric Switches?
Not exactly through the switches but there is enough space or gap for sound waves to pass through them. Additionally, they are built with thin plastic material which is not a very good sound absorber.
Can I use aluminum foil for soundproofing
Yes you can do it. Aluminum blocks the sound to a great extent. You can install soundproof aluminum windows and easily get 70-80 percent noise cancellation.
Does soundproofing foam work both ways?
I believe you are asking about the egg crate shaped foam panels. They do not block sound passing from them. However they absorb sound to some extent. Depending on the thickness and density of the foam they absorb sound. Due to this many people use them to absorb sound and reduce echo inside a room. So if you want to soundproof a room, use foam to absorb soundwaves.
How does soundproof paint really work in dampening the sound?
Soundproof paid or acoustic paint can work both ways to make a room soundproof. There is a thin layer of paint but it still reduces the amount of sound coming and going through it. If you are creating a soundproof studio for recording, this can be useful. If you paint both walls (inside and outside) using soundproof paint, you can expect good results. But remember this is not the only solution and will not work for high frequency sound. For better results you can install sound proofing panels (mineral wool, fiberglass, cellulose, open cell foam) etc.
Can I make soundproofing panels at home?
Yes, you can make soundproofing panels at your home with basic equipment. However they may not be of professional quality but will surely reduce the noise. You can make use of old towels, sticking them inside wooden frames would not be tough. Later cover them with some beautiful cloth material. You can keep the shapes and sizes as per your requirement. You can also hang them on the wall as decorative pieces. These soundproofing panels can reduce noise by a decent margin.
Can sound travel through air? Does sound passes through air and How?
Answer to the questions is Yes. Sound is a type of energy made by vibrations. These vibrations create sound waves which move through mediums such as air, water and wood. A periodic disturbance in the medium (Air) is created by the vibration of sound and the particles of the medium vibrate about their mean position and transfer of energy in the form of sound waves takes place, i.e. in the longitudinal waves.