Listening to your loud neighbors next door or your roommate across the hall can get annoying very quickly. Rather than taking a drastic step like moving out, try these easy soundproofing hacks to reduce noise pollution and bring some much needed peace and quiet back to your living space.
Three Critical Points of Sound
Before you jump into trying soundproofing hacks in your home, you need to identify the three points or locations of sound that are making your space noisy. Addressing these areas will help guide your action plan and give you better and quieter results in the end.
1. Source of the Sound
Chances are you are well aware of the source of the sound because it’s been driving you crazy for months. Even if you are, make sure you listen again. Take note of all of the sources and what area of the house they’re coming from. Is it the TV in the living room or your roomie next door — or maybe both?
2. Entry Point
Once you’ve identified the specific locations of the source of the noise, it’s time to consider the second critical area of sound: entry point. As the name suggests, the entry point is the area in your house where the sound enters your room. This could be your window, door, or an entire wall (shared walls in apartments are a great example). Identify how the sound is coming into your room and recognize that there may be several affected areas.
3. Reflection Point
The last critical point to address before soundproofing is the reflection point. When noise makes its way into your room, it reflects back at the same angle that it came. To combat this, you need to identify the angle at which the sound is moving and where it’s bouncing back to. For example, if noise is coming from directly across the hall in a straight line, you’ll want to soundproof the first wall that it hits and the opposite facing wall that it reflects off.
Easy Soundproofing Hacks
After you evaluate the three critical points of sound, you’re ready to learn how to soundproof a room cheaply and without too much hassle. Try these soundproofing hacks to enjoy a more peaceful space.
Use Carpets & Rugs
Covering floors with carpets and rugs is a soundproofing hack that is stylish and easy to implement. Having flooring made of tile or marble is a nightmare when it comes to echoes and sound traveling across your space. Rather than spend thousands of dollars to replace flooring, you can throw down beautiful rugs and carpets to absorb sound.
To combat the loudest of noises, you can also try layering your rugs. This is a big interior design trend and it works wonders for soundproofing rooms!
Hang Tapestries & Curtains
One of the easiest ways to help block noise from your room is by hanging drapes and any other decorative tapestries or blankets. Not only do they give the room added flair, but adding soft and thick fabrics to your walls absorbs and dampens sound.
Floor-to-ceiling curtains and woven wall hangings are just a couple of ideas you can look into. You can even search for noise-reducing curtains that are meant to help soundproof rooms.
Add More Furniture
Have you ever noticed that voices echo much more in an empty room versus a full one? That’s because objects, furniture in this case, help block sound.
When soundproofing, try to add more furniture and place the new pieces in the affected space. Include the heaviest furniture you own, preferably with upholstery. These two elements provide the most sound absorption. Here are some of the best furniture pieces for noise blocking:
Wardrobes, dressers, and armoires
If you don’t have room for more furniture, you can improvise with thick blankets and plush throw pillows wherever possible.
Simply Rearrange Decor
Sometimes the easiest soundproofing hack is sitting right in front of you. Because you’ve already assessed the layout of your home and where the noise pollution is the worst, you can look to see what furniture pieces can be moved to minimize your exposure. Perhaps you can move your TV and dresser to the entry point of the sound to help block the sound waves. Alternatively, you can rearrange your couch so that it is furthest away from the raucous.
Whether you rearrange one piece of furniture or choose to swap your home office with your bedroom, there are creative ways to soundproof without spending any money at all.
Seal Your Doors & Windows
While it may not be a decorative way to soundproof rooms, sealing your doors and windows is a functional strategy that can make a world of difference.
For doors, check to see if there is a gap underneath where the door doesn’t touch the floor. These gaps are more common than you’d think and they are a major source of noise pollution. To alleviate this problem, use acoustic sealant tape. It’s inexpensive and easy to remove, which is great if you’re renting. Don’t be afraid to use it on the bottom, sides, and top of the door if need be.
As for windows, the same solution rings true. Even if you have double-glazed windows that are amazing at blocking out noise, you can’t forget about the seals around the windows. Use acoustic sealant glue to fully insulate the gaps.
Incorporate Soundproofing Foam
Depending on your style preferences, you may also want to incorporate soundproofing foam into your room. This foam can be purchased for a reasonable price and comes in a variety of colors to fit your design taste. Simply place it on your walls to add an extra layer of sound absorption.
Dealing with noisy street traffic and neighbors is a problem we’ve all dealt with at one time or another, but these easy soundproofing hacks are a great way to bring tranquility back to your home. As you begin soundproofing your walls, check out our guide on the why, where, and how of decorating your walls for some extra style tips!