how to soundproof a door

How to Soundproof A Door: A Complete and Budget Friendly Guide

Doors could be a major factor to consider when you’re planning to soundproof a door in your room as they are definitely one of the main sources of sound leakage and noise. After all, we use doors multiple times every day in our home. And it’s not surprising since residential doors usually have distinctive gaps in the sides and the bottom of the frame, which will result in a lot of annoying sounds to seep into your room.

You can mitigate this by adding a door sill and adhesive strips to the door, but that will rarely be enough.

The easiest way to solve this problem is to buy an acoustical door that’s designed with integrated sound damping materials and gap sealing strips.

However, these doors are quite expensive and tough to assemble. In our guide, we’ll mention some simple and easy steps to soundproof your doors at a fraction of the price of a new and expensive door.

When you decide to soundproof a room and get really serious about it, you know that you will have to devote a lot of time and energy into that project. Not to mention the associated high cost of doing a full renovation of your home.

So, knowing how to insulate a door should be one of the first things to consider when you want to soundproof a room. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a fortune to achieve great results either.

We sometimes have to work from home in our home office and it’s important to be in a relatively quiet and comfortable environment. And let’s be honest, people get distracted very easily. Any noise no matter how minimal it is, could become an annoying distraction which can drastically lower your productivity for the entire day.

As a side note, if you are struggling with lack of focus and productivity due to excessive noise in your house (family, kids, barking dogs and other noisy pets) you may want to get yourself ambient noise canceling headphones or white noise generator. These are a temporary and partial solutions, but could help you get some peace until your room gets properly soundproofed.

You may think that you would only need to isolate the windows, but that won’t be really enough to fully soundproof your room. So, you’ll also need to take care of your doors, especially if they are not properly installed in the first place.

Why You Should Soundproof Your Door?

Whether it is a front door or an interior door, sound insulation is essential to have the quality of life and peace you deserve to have in your own home. You need to have a soundproofed door to improve the acoustic environment of your room.

Even with very good wall and ceiling insulation, noise can still pass through the windows or trough doors. Some sound insulation solutions also improve the energy performance of your home by decreasing heat loss. So, keep that in mind and consider soundproofing your door along with other parts of your home that may be also a source of annoying noise.

How Much Does An Acoustic Door Cost?

If you have the budget you can replace your existing doors with acoustic doors, which will reduce noise by up to 30%. These doors are built with a peripheral seal on the entire frame as well as an automatic adjustable baseboard at the bottom of the door.

Combined with a non-hollow partition, these elements significantly improve the sound insulation of your doors, whether they are interior or exterior.

Prices for a door with sound insulation will depend on their placement. For a front door  you should be ready to spend anywhere from $500 to $2500 depending on the model you choose. Interior doors are cheaper though: different brands and features will have a price range from $200 to $1000, so it’s slightly more affordable than the first option.

Of course the cheapest approach is if you do most or all of the soundproofing by yourself. But for this, you will need to have some experience and invest some of your time and efforts into the project.

Soundproof Your Door On A Budget

how to soundproof a door

If you don’t have the budget to change your front door or if you are a college student, we’ve covered your back. We have some useful tips to improve the sound insulation of your door on the cheap of even for free.

If you hear everything that happens in the hallway or on the stairs of your building, it’s because your front door is poorly insulated.

You can use caulk or rubber slips to insulate the door frame cheaply. An acoustic soundproof door curtain cover is also a good and affordable solution. It is composed of several thick heavy layers, which can decrease the noise by about 20 decibels. You can buy it in store or make one yourself. This solution also helps to avoid heat loss in your home.

You can also get some inspiration from the doors you sometimes see in doctors offices and insulate your front door with a cushion or thick foam sheets. There are also DIY upholstery kits that are easy to install, and you can use them to improve the sound insulation of your door.

Should You Change The Door?

Doors don’t usually offer much of a barrier to the transmission of sound. The most commonly used residential doors are built of very thin decorative panels made of plywood or wood fibers with a hollow core.

Solid wood doors offer a more beautiful finish, but their central panels are not much thicker and their acoustic qualities are not necessarily superior. In order for a door to absorb sound, it should be heavy built and have a fair thickness.

To replace an existing door, solid core wood fibre doors can be found at almost all specialized home improvement and retail stores on the market. The center of these doors is filled with compressed wood fibers that greatly increase their weight and resistance to the passage of sound.

If the appearance of the door does not matter to you (if you’ll use it in a basement for example), it is still possible to attach a 16 mm thick wood chipboard to the one side of an existing door and just put some paint on it.

Keep in mind that whether the door is new or an old one, you will need to have three sturdy 75 mm hinges to attach a solid door to its frame, so it doesn’t fall off after a few months of use.

How To Properly Soundproof A Door?

Whether you live in a noisy neighborhood or in an overcrowded residential building, the sound insulation of the front door is more than necessary to have a real comfort of life on a daily basis.

First of all, if you are buying a new door you should opt for a good door model. It’s recommended to go for a solid thick panel door and avoid glazed or semi-glazed doors( the ones with a glass in the middle), even if the second option gives your home a more stylish look. Most of the times you are looking to choose efficiency over fancy appearance. Though if you happen to be able to combine both, then go for it without hesitation.

You should also avoid the sliding doors or openwork doors, which will inevitably let the sounds pass trough as they are usually lightly built and not very thick.

Soundproof Blankets

Moving or soundproof blankets are suitable for small rooms equipped with interior doors made of a hollow core. These heavy-duty blankets weigh comparatively more and consist of multiple polyester layers. Although they may seem a bit odd in an area like the living room, they are cost-effective and excellent for sound absorption. You can hang multiple blankets to ensure maximum noise reduction.

Use Acoustic Curtains

Once you’ve appropriately sealed all the gaps and cracks in your door, it’s time to get yourself some thick soundproof curtains. The acoustic curtains are more flexible as you can also adjust them to allow or block the sunlight accordingly. Sound dampening blankets are also helpful to stop the noise, but they’re difficult to remove or adjust, making them not very suitable for covering doors.

Curtains aren’t made just for windows though. You can safely use them to soundproof doors in your home.

Heavy curtains are quite effective noise absorbers. This is because they are made of thick materials specially designed for this purpose. By using them on your doors, you will certainly be able to block most of the noises that bother you.

Install Acoustic Panels

how to soundproof a door

If installing curtains is not a solution that suits you, you can use acoustic panels or sheets.

Acoustic panels are widely used in professional music studios, but they do a great job at soundproofing of  residential homes too. And if you’re serious about soundproofing your doors, it’s recommended to invest in soundproofing equipment like this for better results. Generally, these panels are either made of fiberglass or foam.

While foam panels are great at reducing echo sounds, we recommend you use fiberglass panels for interior doors as they’re more efficient at blocking the sound waves from entering your room. Fiberglass panels will cost you more than foam panels, but they’re available in a wide range of designs and could greatly improve the look of your interior.

Just like the sound-absorbing curtains what you need to do is just attach them on your door. When you install your acoustic panels, it’s better to use scotch tape or other adhesive material and not nails so you  don’t damage your door.

This is not only a safer option for you and your door, but on top of that, it’s also easier to install.

Use Weatherstripping to Soundproof your Door

how to soundproof a door

Weatherstripping is a common way to seal the gaps in your doors that helps in reducing noises. It’ll also prevent dust and insects from entering your room. Most sliding doors have a massive gap at the bottom that ensures the smooth opening and closing of the door. This is why it’s essential to look for a weatherstripping material that glides relatively well and fits your doors perfectly.

If you live in the country side in addition to the normal doors in your house you would probably have to think about soundproofing other types of doors in your home. Nowadays two common options are sliding doors and modern barn doors ( a fashionable fad emerging lately).

Soundproof Interior Door

Interior doors are a lot more delicate and lighter than bulky exterior doors designed with heavy-duty materials, making them more vulnerable to noise leakage. Therefore, you need to put extra effort into soundproofing interior doors. This section features some basic steps for soundproofing your interior doors:

How to Soundproof A Sliding Door

Sliding glass doors are often used in modern homes as they provide a great view and natural light into the room. These doors are not good at blocking unwanted sounds as they’re usually made of thin glass incapable of proper sound insulation.

Minor cracks or wide door frame gaps can also make a lot of difference when soundproofing a sliding door. We recommend you buy an acoustic caulk that seals all the frame cracks to avoid sound leaks.

If there’s a huge gap between the frame and the sliding door, you can buy a brush weatherstripping tape to seal it. Make sure the tape is not too thick, as you may face problems while closing the door.

How to Soundproof Barn Doors

how to soundproof a door

Rustic sliding barn doors are a new trend and are often used as interior or closet doors. And if you’re experienced in woodworking, it’s easy to make a unique DIY barn doors for your home too. Despite its impressively bulky and rustic look, these doors are designed with thin wood, which is not very effective for soundproofing. You could soundproof these doors with the interior door soundproofing methods, but we’ll list some additional ways for soundproofing that are suitable for a barn door as well.

Seal Cracks and Gaps

There’s no way to completely soundproof your doors without sealing the gaps around the door frame. You can find some effective door sweeps on the market that are helpful for filling the bottom opening of your doors. Door sweeps are made of metals like aluminum or silicone with an adhesive backing making them effortless to install, especially on your sliding and barn doors.

Sound easily passes through the open spaces between the door and its frame. There is no point in adding insulation door covers if the sound can pass from these gaps. It’s really important to put a good rubber sealant or door gap sealing strip , which will make the door more soundproofed.

A simple self-adhesive foam tape designed to seal windows and exterior doors can also be used for the purpose.

Add Another Layer Of Wood

Increasing the layers of wood will help to decrease the sound waves from penetrating your barn door. It’s straightforward to double up the wood layers on your door. All you’ve got to do is take the correct measurements and use a reliable adhesive to attach the layers.

It’ll be better if you could pin some nails to confirm your wood layers are adequately attached. Make sure you use a solid core wood material for your barn door, as it’s relatively more effective in blocking the noise than thin sheets.

Plug The Keyhole

It may seem ineffective and trivial, but if your interior doors have wider keyholes, you can plug it with a soft material. It is rarely useful, though if you are having a serious issues with annoying noise, every little thing you do helps and it could be useful for improved privacy too. You can plug them easily with cotton, for example, which will be simple to remove if you ever have to use the lock at one time or another.

Final Words

These were some simple steps to soundproof the most commonly used types of doors you can find nowadays. Most of these methods obviously focus more on blocking and filling the gaps that allow sound waves to enter your room. As this is the most common cause for the appearance of unwanted noise issues. Depending on your budget, you could install some professional sound-absorbing equipment or even replace your standard door with an acoustic door for better soundproofing.

The above listed methods should help you significantly reduce the noise level that goes through your doors. What you need to do before you start your soundproofing project is to identify what is the source of the noise you want to eliminate and then use the method that will work best for your specific case.

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