How to Soundproof Your Home

December 06, 2016

Your home should be the one place where you can consistently have peace and quiet, but it’s not always easy to make this expectation a reality. At Riley’s Real Wood Furniture of Eugene, Oregon, we are all about making your home more comfortable. Whether it’s a noisy street outside your bedroom window or loud music coming from your child’s room, there are steps you can take to dampen the sound waves that are giving you a headache and keeping you up at night.

Let’s start with a quick lesson about sound waves. Sound travels as vibrations through the air, carries well in large, open spaces and reverberates off hard, flat surfaces. Your general goal when soundproofing is to dampen, absorb and block sound waves. 


Keeping Sound Out

The best way to eliminate the noise from rowdy neighbors or other external sources is to try and keep it from entering your home. Many of the ways you can do this double as ways to insulate your home from heat loss. This means that if you live in a cold weather climate, you can efficiently tackle two home improvement goals at once.

Ensuring your walls have good insulation, weather stripping windows and doors and replacing drafty or old windows are all ways you can improve the sound barriers between your home and the outside. Replacing windows will give you a big return on your investment as windows are often the biggest culprit for letting in outside noise. You’ll want triple pane glass – perfect for keeping sound waves out and heat in. You can also install noise reducing blinds or drapes over a window if you don’t want to replace it or if you found that replacing it didn’t quite do the trick.

Doors should also be a major concern. Hollow doors should be replaced with solid wood or medium density fiber doors. If you don’t have the budget to replace your hollow core door, try installing vinyl peel and stick soundproofing material onto the door. No matter the door you have, installing a bottom door seal that is tightly fit is another key step. 

If you share a wall with a noisy neighbor, think about putting a bookshelf against the wall and filling it with as much stuff as possible. Moving other large items like dressers or cabinets against the wall should help too. You could even hang a curtain from the ceiling between the wall and the bookshelf/dresser/cabinet for maximum sound dampening.  


Keeping Sound Contained

If you have a rowdy family member or a room dedicated for noisy activities like playing piano or watching movies, keeping the hullabaloo contained can be crucial for retaining the sanity of the other household members. Many of the tips listed above can also be used for containing sound. In addition, you can add plush surfaces such as pillows, living room furniture or bedroom furniture to a room to provide more obstacles with which sound waves will interact. Soft surfaces help to trap sound and keep it from reverberating. 

Wall to wall carpeting is great for absorbing sound, but area rugs can provide a similar effect. Shag carpet is great for this purpose as its greater surface area allows it to absorb more sound waves.

If you are looking to truly soundproof a room, you are going to want to purchase acoustic panels or tiles. Keep in mind that when soundproofing, you’re only as strong as your weakest link, so adding acoustic tiles over every inch of wall and ceiling space won’t be as effective if your doors and windows don’t receive the same level of attention.