I discovered the art of DIY soundproofing when my love for Metallica began garnering the wrath of my neighbors. While I remain adamant to spread the love for this unparalleled and inventive music genre, soundproofing seemed a safer solution. Like many of you, I didn’t have an enormous budget to bring in high-tech soundproofing equipment.
So, I turned to the DIY route to create my own soundproofing solution. On my journey of discovery, I realized that numerous household items ensure effective soundproofing. People require soundproofing for various reasons. While some make noise, others want to eliminate noise entering their personal space.
Either way, soundproofing your door is a great place to start in your quest to make your room peaceful and ambient. Doors are the most vulnerable spot in a room, as they allow sound to escape and enter. However, with these quick-fix solutions, you can soundproof your door without spending a massive chunk of money.
Keep reading to learn how you can use household items to soundproof your door.
Using Household Items for Soundproofing
It was fascinating to learn that soundproofing is entirely achieving using foam tiles, heavy drapes, rugs, carpets, and other items. These are inexpensive solutions, and the effectiveness depends entirely on the mass and weight of the item.
Here, take a look at the solutions I’ve compiled for you.
8 Free DIY Tips to Soundproof Your Door
- Carpets ; Rugs
- Weatherstripping: The DIY Way!
- Make an Acoustic Door Plug
- Foam Floor Tiles
- Hang up a Curtain
- Thick Blankets ; Duvets
- Filling the Gaps
- Rearranging Heavy Furniture
1. Carpets ; Rugs
The key to achieving soundproofing is by adding mass and weight. Mass is the element that absorbs and effectively blocks sound waves as they vibrate through the surface. I strongly recommend readers to explore non-elastic mass. However, you can enjoy satisfactory soundproofing results with any item that is heavy and dense.
Carpets are highly effective at soundproofing because they are quite thick and heavy because of the intricately woven materials. A carpet, rug, or shag has an excellently dense structure that will quickly absorb and block all sound waves. Interestingly, carpet soundproofing works much like acoustic foam works.
Acoustic carpets are a great soundproofing investment, and you can explore a delightful array of variety to enhance your interiors. You see, carpets and rugs typically have an open structure, allowing them to absorb sound waves and preventing them from bouncing off.
- Start by selecting a dense carpet with an open structure. An acoustic carpet is ideal for this purpose.
- Use the carpet to fill up the gap at the bottom of the door. This is instrumental in preventing the noise from emerging from under the door.
- It is best to attach the carpet to the door to eliminate all possibilities of sound transfer. This step will effectively add more mass to the structure.
- Cover both sides of the door using the carpet. This will ensure that the carpet absorbs sounds coming in and exiting through the door.
I strongly recommend readers to use underlay, which makes the process similar to laying a carpet on the floor. In most cases, underlay helps add up the mass to amplify the soundproofing results. You can explore various underlay materials to get the best results for your door structure and soundproofing preferences.
This is a straightforward DIY strategy, and the handyman’s services won’t prove necessary. I normally use spray adhesive to attach the carpet and underlay, but if you’re comfortable with nails and a hammer, that’s ideal.
Carpet is very effective at reducing sound. However, this strategy is certainly not without its drawbacks. You see, adding so much mass can make it hard to operate the door efficiently. While it won’t get heavier, it will make operations difficult by reducing flexibility. If there’s any discomfort, I suggest attaching the carpet only on the outer side of the door.
2. Weatherstripping: The DIY Way!
Weatherstripping is a very practical strategy to fill in all the tiny gaps in doors and windows. Essentially, weatherstripping serves the purpose of enhancing thermal insulation by covering exterior doors. But since sound and heat are both airborne, the purpose of weatherstripping remains the same.
Weatherstripping is commonly available in local home improvement stores, DIY stores, and Amazon. It’s relatively affordable and easy to buy and shouldn’t cost you more than $100. This DIY strategy will help those who wish to save money and use materials lying around and cluttering their toolshed.
Before we begin, keep in mind that aside from the fancy name, weatherstripping is just tape. You can use any tape that is thick and offers your desired results.
- Start by choosing a tape that addresses your desired level of mass/thickness. You can work with decorative masking tape, duct tape, and even electric insulation tape. The thicker the tape, the better the results!
- The next step is focused on reducing the size of the gap between the frame and the door. You can achieve this by adding strips of duct tape to the frame. Be sure to add one layer at a time to avoid a cluttered appearance.
- With each layer of duct tape, open and close the door to make sure it operates smoothly. The last layer must offer a tight, snug fit without hampering the door from closing shut.
- Now, add more duct tape to the top of the frame and the sides. It’s always difficult to add tape around the hinges, but it is important. Avoid adding tape to the bottom of the frame because it will quickly get ruined from walk-in traffic.
- You can close the gap at the bottom by creating a DIY door sweep. All you need is a piece of wood that features the same width measurements as your door.
- Now, take a thick material, such as a carpet piece, and attach it to your door sweep.
- Finally, nail the door sweep to cover the bottom of your door.
This is a highly effective soundproofing solution, and the DIY tasks are very basic and easy to handle. There’s very little elbow grease, except the subtle mummifying that might take a while. Be sure to take your time creating neat and tidy layers of duct tape.
3. Make an Acoustic Door Plug
Here’s another tried and tested soundproofing solution that’s easy and highly effective. A DIY acoustic door plug will make a big difference, but it’s not the most practical choice. Basically, it is a wooden frame designed with soundproofing materials that fit the door. This plug is removed every time the door opens, making it very impractical.
But it is a viable solution for the glass-breaking sounds of aggressive band practice sessions and wild parties. The key is to put together the right materials that boost effective soundproofing properties. Since this guide is focused on household items, I will not suggest using any commercial soundproofing materials.
I advise readers to focus on items that are heaviest and thickest in mass. A carpet, rug, or woolen material will work wonders.
- To build a door plug, begin by measuring the size of the door. I’d recommend creating a basic 4-side frame using high-quality timber. Once the frame is constructed, use an MDF sheet to cover one side to it functions as an open box.
- Use a heavy and thick material to cover the box from the inside. I strongly suggest vinyl with heavy thickness, but a dense carpet will do perfectly too.
- Use thick foam to cover the box. I recommend using Styrofoam or floor mats. While floor mats are functional for increasing the mass, Styrofoam functions much like acoustic foam. It is a much more viable solution to block echo and absorb sounds.
- Attach another thick layer of MDF on the top to seal the box shut. Now, add handles to make sure the door plug is easily removable.
- Now, all you have to do is attach it to the frame, and voila! The door plug is ready.
This is a very practical and cost-effective soundproofing solution for those who don’t mind the hassle of removing the door plug. While it is a temporary solution, it doesn’t cramp the appeal of the interior and offers the advantage of super-dense soundproofing. This is an ideal option for people who seek a non-invasive and straightforward solution.
4. Foam Floor Tiles
Extremely durable and super-thick, foam floor tiles are typically created with EVA rubber. Foam tiles are made with the same materials used for yoga mats, children’s play mats. I recommend working with whatever seems viable, a large yoga mat or interlocking floor tiles. A yoga mat is easier to work with, and it is also much more effective at soundproofing.
Those willing to make an investment can explore the marker for various affordable varieties of acoustic foam panels and tiles. If not, then I strongly recommend the yoga mat strategy. Just like the carpet fix, the best strategy is to attach the foam tiles directly to the door. I recommend the use of spray adhesive to make the process simpler and quicker.
- Start by taking your measurements and cutting out your yoga mat or foam tiles into evenly sized pieces. Using a spray adhesive to attach the foam tiles is simple enough. Just focus on increasing the mass.
- Foam tiles are quite light compared to carpets, so be sure to add up the layers to achieve the desired thickness.
- I strongly recommend attaching foam tiles to both sides of the door to absorb sound waves entering and exiting.
The process of attaching foam tiles is quite simple and doesn’t require much work. This is an easy fix that won’t compromise the aesthetic personality of your door or room. You can explore colored and textured varieties to give the door a distinctive personality. If the floor tiles don’t appeal much, I recommend covering them with a decorative item.
Even a piece of fabric or decorative wooden slab will do the trick. I personally like the appeal of neatly layered foam tiles, so I’d leave them without any decorations. Keep in mind that foam tiles will prove effective at blocking some sound, if not all. They are more effective at absorbing sound waves, so rest assured your secrets will not be leaving through the door.
5. Hang up a Curtain
Soundproof curtains are increasingly popular and one of the best solutions to eliminate noise pollution entirely. They don’t require much of an investment, and they are easily available online and in stores. But since this guide is specifically focused on household items. I will not discuss soundproof curtains.
As it happens, we all have soundproof curtains at home, although we never use that term to describe them. All heavy and thick drapes boost soundproofing abilities, but your regular curtains won’t do the second-hand store.
Velvet curtains are the ideal option because of their thickness and superior ability to absorb sound effectively. Velvet curtains are typically backed or lined, which adds up more mass to their structure. Here’s an easy trick: spotting light through the curtain is an indication that it won’t deliver the desired results.
I am good at sewing, so I recommend readers to take control of this strategy and create the thickest drapes imaginably. It doesn’t require much elbow grease, but it will guarantee effective soundproofing.
- Hang up a thick velvet curtain to block all sounds escaping and entering the door. You can attach the curtain with a rod or nail it down on each side.
- It is vital to ensure that the curtain is long enough to touch the floor with additional material to provide ample coverage. This will help fill in the gap at the bottom, creating a reliable barrier to sound and draft.
- If you don’t have a heavy velvet curtain, consider sewing multiple curtain layers to create a thick velvet layer. The idea is to increase the mass, so it is good to work with thick fabrics that are effective at absorbing sound.
- Once the curtain is ready, just hang it up, and the deed is done. You can either use nails to attach the curtain directly to the door or hang up a rail. I recommend attaching a rail to easily open and close the curtain as needed. A rail also allows you to hang the curtain out the outside when the door is opened.
I am a big fan of this soundproofing strategy because it’s simple, straightforward, and aesthetically pleasing. The curtains are a permanent solution as they’re easy to open and close. The curtain will not only block the sound waves, but it will also prevent them from reverberating.
Besides, they will enhance the appeal of your door and add more color to space. To make the most of this strategy, consider adding the curtains to the inside of the door.
6. Thick Blankets ; Duvets
Do you have any old duvet sets or wool blankets lying around in the attic? Well, it’s time to put them to good use. Much like the carpet strategy, blankets and duvets offer the perfect amount of thickness to block and absorb sound waves.
This simple strategy requires attaching a blanket or duvet to the door, and it’s very straightforward and easily manageable. However, I only recommend this option if you cannot bear to sacrifice a carpet for a DIY solution. I firmly recommend the carpet strategy as the best soundproofing fix.
If you don’t agree with me, you can always go ahead with the thickest duvet or wool blanket at home. A thick winter duvet will certainly work wonders at absorbing sound waves and echo. You see, duvets and woolen blankets are designed to effectively trap warm air near the skin. This makes their functions similar to acoustic foam.
Attaching a thick duvet to the door will bring about a noticeable difference, but it won’t prove effective at eliminating noise pollution entirely.
- Start by selecting a thick duvet featuring wool or cotton to create a solid sound-blocking mass.
- Use nails or spray adhesive to attach the duvet directly onto the door.
- You can also invest in curtain clips to hang up the duvet without making any holes in the precious thread count. This way, the duvet is easily removed when needed.
- Much like the curtain strategy, it is a good idea to add additional coverage to fill the large gap at the bottom of the door. Be sure to add extra material and allow the duvet to touch the floor for effective results. This bottom gap is the biggest culprit behind the airborne sound, so address it effectively.
Soundproof blankets are relatively cheap and highly effective as they are designed with super-thick materials. However, for a temporary fix that doesn’t involve any spending, this quick-fix is definitely worth an experiment.
7. Filling the Gaps
Airborne noise pollution always travels through gaps and cracks, so all soundproofing strategies must follow this crucial step. Interestingly, it can also work as a standalone solution. People don’t realize that gaps are the major problem with doors attracting airborne noise. While you can address this problem with weatherstripping, elimination requires detailed research and a solid fix.
First, you must identify the gaps and cracks and then get to work.
- Take a torch and start by examining all the gaps and cracks. Be sure to switch off the lights to make the best use of the torch. A second pair of eyes won’t hurt as two are always better than one on the quest of identifying nasty cracks.
- Shut the door with one person standing on each side. Turn on the torch and start tracing it across the frame. This is the simplest trick to identify all cracks and gaps easily.
- Once the gaps are spotted, fill them up with the DIY weatherstripping strategy discussed above. You can use duct tape to fill in all the cracks.
- The gaps between the wall and the door frame are a major source of noise pollution. These gaps require a tougher solution, and duct tape just won’t do. These gaps are common in older and aged houses, and you can fill them up with a builder’s sealant.
- I recommend using acoustic sealant – a silicone-based product that remains elastic after drying up. Bathroom sealant is an alternative for those who want to stick with household items. Bathroom sealant features silicone, and these products are mold-resistant and waterproof.
Silicone is highly effective at reflecting sound waves, so it will effectively seal the gap and block soundwaves. Filling up all the gaps is instrumental in preventing loss of warmth and noise pollution. This strategy is quite effective, but I recommend combining it with another method, such as the heavy drapes.
8. Rearranging Heavy Furniture
I know this may seem odd, but trust me, it’s tried-and-tested, and it works wonders at reducing noise pollution. However, this strategy does not apply to the main door but rather a spare door that doesn’t require frequent opening. This is a viable strategy to eliminate noise pollution coming from the street or the neighborhood.
We regard our bookshelves, tables, and racks as fixtures and storage solutions. But they play an instrumental role in interacting with air and airborne sound. Heavy furniture loaded with items is capable of absorbing and blocking sound effectively.
The simple act of placing a bookshelf loaded with heavy books in front of the door will ensure effective soundproofing. However, this strategy is harder as it requires a lot of elbow grease and moving around heavy furniture.
For this strategy, let’s work with a bookshelf.
- Select a tall bookshelf that covers the door and fill it up with books and items.
- Now, face it in front of the door, so the bottom is effectively covered, alongside the hinges and cracks.
- You can also seal the gaps with the strategy mentioned above before placing the bookshelf.
This is a viable solution for doors that are forever closed and unusable. Instead of ignoring that door, use it to reduce noise pollution in your house or apartment. You don’t have to necessarily work with a bookshelf. Any big piece of furniture or fixture will work nicely. Consider the closed door like a wall and add anything that covers it completely.