Our surrounding environments are becoming noisier every passing day. Sirens, honking horns, noisy neighbors, car motors, and airplanes—all these make our lives excessively noisy. There is, however, one way in which you can block out these noises and enjoy some peace and quiet in the comfort of your own home, and that is soundproofing.
A brand new home like Woodside builds employs new technology in building materials which automatically leave your home quieter than most, but, there are many additional ways in which you can further soundproof a home or particular room. We start off by listing a few that will cost you some bucks and require a professional installer in most cases. Then, we get into some easy, budget-friendly, DIY methods for soundproofing.
One professional method of soundproofing comes in the form of adding drywall. You can add an extra layer of ½-inch-thick drywall to your room’s existing walls and then reinforce it using a sound dampening compound (sound deadener filled with asphaltic mastic acoustical sheet material).
Another way the pros would do it would be to install resilient channels. One such example would be using z-shaped metal strips, which are inserted into the walls and are used as a means of creating decoupled walls. That means separating the two sides of a wall to make it harder for sound to pass through it. The metal strips create a springy channel between the drywall and the added wall studs.
Another professional method is to use acoustic foam. It is a product that reduces background noises, such as echoes and helps control the reverberation that any sound can make when they bounce from one wall to another. The acoustic foam is usually placed in all the walls, depending on the room structure. These sound-deadening techniques (as well as the products involved) can be expensive, so you will need a sizable budget. Also, the work involved can be tedious and complicated, so as mentioned, hiring a professional might be required.
If you’re looking to soundproof your home or room, but want to avoid making dramatic changes to the structure or spending a lot of money, here are seven budget-friendly ways to soundproof your home to consider:
1. Use rugs
If you want to quiet your home from the noises you create yourself, rugs may be a good option for you. They, however, aren’t too effective in canceling out airborne noises from outside. A rug dampens indoor noises by absorbing some of the sound waves coming from your music player, TV, kids, pets, etc.
2. Soundproof curtains
Soundproof curtains will not cancel out all outdoor noise, but they can minimize the levels. They are made with a thick material, or a double-layered material to enable them to absorb as many sound waves as possible. Thanks to the multiple layers that most acoustic curtains have, echoes within your home are also substantially lessened.
3. Add bookshelves
Bookshelves act as an extra layer of drywall like in our first professional option mentioned. The small space between the bookshelf and the wall provide some level of sound insulation. This insulation is complemented by the dense books you place on those shelves. The irregular surface of the book filled shelf breaks soundwaves to lessen their reverberation.
4. Reorganize your furniture
A simple tweak in interior furniture organization can reduce the impact of noise in a room. For example, if you live next to a noisy neighbor, you can cancel out the noises coming from them by placing the TV or a speaker against the wall you share with that neighbor. It will also help if you can get your bed as far away from the shared wall as possible. Remember, the emptier a room, the more sound reverberation you’ll have.
5. Wall hangings
Soft wall hangings are superior noise-dampening materials which can be hung on shared walls or exterior walls to help absorb sound waves. These soft wall hangings may include tapestries (which are a form of textile art used that embody a mixture of vibrant colors used to present a story), or even thick blankets. Even framed art can add sound-deadening airspace against the wall to break up reverberation.
6. Soundproof the door
If you live near a busy street or in a noisy neighborhood, adding weather stripping to the exterior door will go a long way in keeping outdoor noises where they belong—outdoors. These strips are mostly made of super soft peel-and-stick foam rubber, which can make them superior in muffling and sealing out sounds. It’s an inexpensive method to soundproof a door. You could seek professional assistance on the install, but it’s actually pretty easy. Give it a shot.
7. Use plants
Plants are known to be a useful tool for noise absorption. Plant parts, like leaves, branches, wood, etc., due to their dynamic texture, are prone to break up soundwaves. When sound hits the surface of the wall, which is flat and rigid, the sound bounces back. But, when it hits a rather flexible texture, the sound will be transformed and deflected in various directions.
Enjoy creating a serene space of your own!
About the author: Anda Warner is an independent architect and home improvement writer.