Many of us wonder how to soundproof a room cheaply without having to hire a professional or make an expensive renovation. We’ll look deeper into that further down below in our guide.
But, first we should have a basic understanding about the root cause of the issue with annoying noises seeping into our home.
“My home is my castle” as the famous proverb says and whoever came up with it first, was right. You need a safe and quiet place where you can retreat and recover from the ever increasing stress in our everyday life. But nowadays that’s not always possible as loud noises are literally everywhere.
Cars, heavy trucks, kids screaming, noisy neighbors, airplanes flying low over your house, all these noises can really drive you crazy sometimes. And if you are stressed out too much, this will only make things worse.
So, you really need your quiet and cozy little (or not so little) hiding place where you can close your eyes and get your head straight. Have a recovering sleep, exercise, have some fun or do whatever you like to get that stress off your shoulders. Too much, repetitive, loud and irritating noise won’t really allow you to have a rest and will just increase your stress levels.
It’s understandable why some people move to live in the woods at remote places or in the mountains. But not everyone has that option available.
So, today we’ll take a look at several affordable methods and will guide you on how to soundproof a room cheaply and easily.
Why Would You Want To Soundproof Your Room?
Noise pollution has been a common issue for people living in modern cities. This is a real problem especially if you’re someone who wants to stay away from the noise of the streets, neighbors and other annoying sounds. Most of us prefer to keep their privacy, and if you are in the same situation you will definitely start thinking about soundproofing your room.
It could be quite expensive to hire a professional and buy costly soundproofing materials. But there are some effective and cheap DIY options to make your room a lot quieter and more peaceful. In this guide, we’ll be listing some easy ways to soundproof a room cheaply and without any professional help.
Unless you live in a remote house surrounded by miles of trees somewhere in the woods and away from any neighbors, it can be quite difficult to have a quiet moment at home. Especially if you live in the city or the suburbs!
How Much Does It Cost to Soundproof a Room?
The overall cost to fully soundproof your room can be affected by the size of the room or the types of materials used for the purpose. While a complex soundproofing project can cost you thousands of dollars, the average cost for soundproofing your room cheaply is roughly in the range of 750-2000$. The sum includes the cost of materials, tools and hiring a contractor. But you may save couple hundred dollars by just installing the materials yourself.
That leads us to the inevitable conclusion that we need to find a way to soundproof our home ourselves and without breaking the bank.
Whether you are a skillful handyman or not, here are some ideas for soundproofing your room on the cheap.
So, How to Soundproof A Room Cheaply?
The majority of the noise in your room is a result of reflection from windows or doors and to counter that, you can buy some cheap thick curtains. Ordinary curtains are mostly decorative, but not really helpful for soundproofing a room. Fortunately, you can easily find soundproof curtains designed with multiple fabric layers effective for noise insulation. These curtains also maintain a good room temperature by preventing sunlight or cold wind entering the house.
Make sure these curtains measure a bit more in size than what you need, so they can cover the windows properly.
Although this method may work, it is important to know that you will not get the best results with these curtains. They are a good option as a partial and supplemental solution to the more effective soundproofing methods, like adding acoustic sheets to the walls, insulating windows or installing a false ceiling.
Rugs and Carpets
A thick rug or carpet not only gives your floor an aesthetic look, but also absorbs the noise or echoes to a great extent. Many people ignore the fact that soundproofing your floor is equally important when living in an apartment building. Carpets and rugs are available in multiple sizes, but it’s not necessary to buy a carpet that covers your whole room. A medium-sized rug placed in the center of the room can help you to soundproof your home just as well.
Rearrange Your Furniture
One of the easiest and zero cost approaches is to move furniture around.
Arranging your furniture in a certain organized way could be the cheapest approach to soundproof any room. You may want to get yourself some heavy furniture pieces made with thick material as they’re more effective for the purpose. The furniture would help to prevent the sound waves from reflecting and bouncing around when placed against the walls.
Upholstered items like sofas, couches or ottomans can also be used for soundproofing because of their relatively higher sound-absorbing properties. You can also make use of heavy tables to prevent noise and echo reflected from the floor.
Since the sound transmitted by any structure is transmitted via vibrations through the wall, you want to be sure that the furniture is not touching the walls, a distance of just a few inches should be enough.
You can add as many cabinets, shelves or other pieces of furniture on the adjoining wall from which the irritating sound comes. Though, make sure you don’t overdo it as you can turn your home into an improvised homemade bunker. And no one wants to live in a bunker, right.
How To Soundproof A Room Cheaply With A Weatherstripping Tape
Weatherstripping your doors and windows can help to prevent air and sunlight from entering your room. This technique also helps to soundproof your room as it blocks the air, which is a great sound carrier.
Some weatherstripping materials are quite expensive as they last longer and stick better to the surfaces. But you can safely opt for some of the cheaper versions as they are not that different in quality nowadays. It’s always recommended to look for synthetic rubber tape to soundproof your room as it is denser and better at blocking the air flow.
Soundproof Windows, Air Vents and Doors
Noise can enter into your room mostly through doors, windows and air vents.
If you think that any disturbing sound could be coming from the window or air vents, it’s obviously time to soundproof them.
You can also try to soundproof your doors to mitigate the annoying noise.
Modern doors are often made of light cheap material and have hollow core sections which may be beneficial to balance temperatures, but will allow even the slightest little noise to go thru the door with increased strength. Such a hollow core door will function as an echo chamber and instead of decreasing the noise, it will actually worsen the situation.
In addition, the empty space between the door and the door frame is often the culprit for outside noise to seep into our homes, so use a caulk sealant or tape in those places.
You can replace the hollow door with a thick solid core door, but this alternative is quite expensive and will probably cost you more than you originally expected.
Alternatively, a more affordable method is to hang sound-absorbing sheets and panels on the door along with adding weatherstrips to the door frame.
There are high-end doors and windows that manage to reduce sounds from the outside by several decibels as they are made of dense and heavy materials. These products are not cheap at all, but sometimes peace of our home is priceless and you may consider spending a little more if you have the budget.
Soundproofing your windows and doors could help you reduce unwanted noise cheaply, and will also keep your apartment warmer throughout the winter months.
Blankets are probably the most accessible and efficient way to get an affordable soundproofing for your home. They’re known to reduce the echo (which is basically the sound bouncing off surfaces and repeating itself) and can also absorb unpleasant noises.
A thick and densely built blanket will make it easier to soundproof your walls, windows, ceilings or flooring. These soundproof blankets are made of two layers, including a transparent layer at the top. It’s a budget-friendly soundproofing option for people living in rented places who don’t want to make any permanent changes in the room.
We recommend you to check out moving blankets as they’re better at dampening the sound waves.
Acoustic Foam Panels
If you’re unable to soundproof your room with the handy DIY methods we listed above, you may want to get yourself some professional products to get the job done. The acoustic foam gives you an increased sound absorbency compared to other cheap and homemade soundproofing approaches.
They’re mainly used in recording studios, but could also be placed in a small apartment room without issues too. These inexpensive acoustic foam panels and sheets are available in different sizes, shapes and materials and can easily be installed with the help of spray adhesive or pins.
Acoustic panels are specially designed to absorb sound. Most are also fireproof for additional safety. They are usually installed between the drywall cover of the walls, which requires their removal and replacement. So this isn’t really an easy renovation you could do yourself!
Other types of acoustic panels are just attached to the wall, which is the preferred option for people on a budget and those looking to do as little mess as possible. If you are not comfortable installing the panels yourself, call a professional to do the job for you.
If you’ve got some unused mattresses lying around in your home, you can attach them to the wall to absorb and block the sound waves that bother you. Although mattresses can be helpful, they can also ruin the look of your home and will take a lot of space in the room, so you should take that into account and decide if it’s worth it or not.
Nonetheless, it’s a very cheap and easy way for college students to soundproof their room on a budget.
Other Cheap Soundproofing Materials And DIY Methods You Can Use:
Most of these methods will cost you nothing, which means that you will only use materials that are already available at your home.
1. Use a caulk or sealant
All sounds travel at a crazy high speed (343 m/s) and will go trough almost any obstacle to get to your eardrums. That’s why it is so difficult to cut the pesky noise completely. One solution is to use acoustic sealant in the form of silicone to caulk sealants. Apply it around windows, switches, door frames, moldings and ceiling light bases, but also in any cracks and crevices you can find. Treat even places that seem too small to let the sound go through.
2. Cover the walls to soundproof a room cheaply (actually for free)
To effectively block sounds, nothing works better than putting obstacles in the way of the sound wave. One of the easiest tricks to do that is to cover the walls with thick material. It may sound odd, but it actually works. It could be with paintings, shelves or wall papers, anything that could dampen the noise.
By the way, this is a novelty trend of home design in the last few years, so it’s yet another reason to try it out. And if you already have these available in your home that method will cost you nothing, really.
You could also install a library that runs along a wall, fill it with books and stack up the bulky decoration items that you like. Some people even cover the door and walls with fabric, foam and cushions. Which gives your room a nice chic modern effect and could prove to be a great budget friendly soundproofing option for your room.
3. Move furniture away from the walls
Furniture such as sofas, beds or drawers are a very good vibration conductors unfortunately. They help the noise to spread throughout the room. The same goes for large appliances too. So, make sure they don’t touch the walls at all and that will decrease the noise by a few decibels.
4. Make a double wall
Covering an existing wall with drywall sheets is a cheaper option than installing acoustic panels. And they can do a good job at sound and vibration absorption. They are bought in the form of gypsum boards that can be painted or decorated by your preference and are among the most affordable options. You can also create this double wall with bricks or by adding textured panels. The latter are very trendy nowadays and you can find various products of that type suitable for every taste.
5. Install a false ceiling
Many people living in apartments hate to hear the noisy people who live above them. And it’s not always an option to ask the neighbors to walk around in slippers. In this case, it is necessary to make the big step: install a false ceiling. You do that by creating a second ceiling under the first leaving a certain distance between the layers. So, the created empty space will serve as an effective sound damper.
There is a disadvantage though: the false ceiling will make you to lose a few inches of the height of your room. Usually that’s not a problem, unless you are more than 3 meters (about 10 feet) high or your room is with the size of a cardboard box.
6. Add insulation wool
It’s also possible to insulate the walls with sound-insulating acoustic wool. You will probably need to call a professional who will install it on your walls, but it’s still cheaper that a full renovation or some of the other costly options that are available.
Soundproofing can get really expensive, depending on the complexity and size of your room and renovation project. But it shouldn’t be. If you’re not willing to invest in costly materials, we’ve looked at some affordable DIY methods to showcase you how to soundproof a room cheaply and effectively.
Have you made any changes to your room or you consider doing a renovation to soundproof your home? If you have any questions or suggestions on home improvement and affordable soundproofing let us know in the comments below. We’ll be happy to help.