Most work that is done in a garage workshop is going to be pretty noisy for everyone else. In fact, it is one of the biggest reasons why people tend not to use their workshop as much as they would like. To fight off those issues, one of the best solutions is to use some soundproofing techniques that will help out.
No matter how much noise is made in a workshop, it is probably going to be next to impossible to eliminate everything. It is more about keeping the sound down as much as possible and making it a more tolerable place for everyone.
What are some tips for soundproofing a workshop and using material that works? This is a list that aims to highlight some of those top solutions. With a little bit of effort, people can start to see a difference right away.
1. Drywall And All of its Benefits
Adding drywall might not be a solution for everyone, since it does end up costing a decent amount of money. However, it is a perfect solution for those who want to set up a bit more of a barrier that will kill sound right away.
Professionals usually install drywall, but some people are handy and willing to take a task on themselves. This is going to save a little bit of time and money, but it might not be as effective if a person is doing it for the first time.
I would recommend using 5/8 inch drywall for better soundproofing compared to the standard 1/2 inch drywall. You can also install soundproof drywall. This type of drywall is a bit more expensive but will certainly add to your soundproofing project.
Drywall works best if it is around every single wall in the workshop, but that is not always necessary. Try to take measurements to see just how much is needed first, and then begin to plan out the process.
The goal here is to make a workshop area that is very isolated from everything else. Some people will use drywall strategically to isolate a particularly noisy area in the workshop, leaving everything else alone. For example, if there is a lot of sign done in a particular area, having some drywall to kill the sound there will keep everything else quieter.
Before jumping in, it is worth the extra bit of effort to look at the old wall and clean it up a bit before starting. This is going to make it more structurally sound, so closing up the gaps and filling in any holes will benefit everyone in the end.
Having an option to paint drywall whatever color a person might want is also a benefit to making the workshop look a bit like the rest of the home. Not everyone wants to have a workshop stand out too much.
There is also the chance to fill the walls with paintings and photos that help control sound. Some will add mass behind these pictures to provide even more sound control. Finally, acoustic foam panels can prove to be beneficial on top of the drywall.
2. Mass Loaded Vinyl
For many different types of soundproofing solutions, mass loaded vinyl is one material that consistently pops up. There are so many different uses for this type of material, and it works well in the garage since it can hold up under high temperatures and pressure.
Another advantage of using it in a garage workshop is that it is odorless. There are a lot of smells in the garage workshop because they are closed off with cars and the outdoors nearby, so having something that is odorless can make things a little easier to handle.
On top of all that, it is always great for soundproofing. It does not absorb sounds like acoustic foam panels, but instead, it defuses it, making sure that it does not escape the workshop. This keeps the outdoors a lot quieter, pleasing both those who live within the house and neighbors.
Installing mass loaded vinyl is fairly easy, as most people just use Green Glue to attach everything and have it ready to last. It is very durable as well, so people will not need to replace mass loaded vinyl in the future unless something drastic happens.
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3. Acoustic Foam Panels
Chances are, people have used acoustic foam panels (Amazon) in other parts of a home at some point. They can really improve sound insulation just about anywhere, including a garage workshop.
They resemble a sponge-like panel in many ways, and the soft material prevents sound from bouncing from wall-to-wall and creating a lot of vibration. You can even opt for acoustic foam rubber panels. This makes sure that the sound does not get too crazy inside the garage workshop, but it also keeps things quiet outdoors as well.
There are different color choices and options available for people who want to keep the garage workshop looking pretty nice as well. Overall, this is meant to be just as much as a help for people inside the garage as outside the area.
Some people who are going to do voice or music work in a garage workshop will find this to be a must. The thicker the material, usually the better it is at absorbing sound.
Make sure with acoustic foam panels around that the garage workshop that everything is cleaned regularly. They are magnets for dust and dirt, so people need to make sure that they stay looking great or it could compromise the material in general. Feel free to place the foam around just about any hard surface and see the benefits.
4. Rubber Mats And Flooring
Most of the solutions above are all about handling the walls and ceiling of a garage workshop. There is another aspect to soundproofing, and that is making sure the floor is well taken care of to kill sound there. One of the best options out there is using any type of rubber material for floors (Amazon) to stay very quiet.
Not only does rubber help absorb sound, but it is very durable. In fact, some people use the same material used for car tires to cover the floor.
It also provides a good amount of grip, so no one is going to be slipping around in the garage workshop. This keeps people upright, and machinery or tools used will not be sliding everywhere and creating noise.
Rubber mats are usually the most affordable, and the entire flooring area does not need to be covered to notice benefits. It does make more sense to cover everything to kill as much sounds possible, but it might not be the most affordable thing a person can pull off.
5. Window Treatments
A garage workshop usually needs a little bit more than just soundproof curtains over windows to kill unwanted noise effectively. The good news is that there are very few windows in most workshops, but the bad news is that they can really be difficult to control from a sound perspective.
Maybe the best option out there for soundproofing a garage workshop is to use window inserts. This is going to provide an entirely new layer of glass that goes over what is already installed.
This not only gives it one more barrier for sound to get through, but it creates an air gap that can catch and diffuse some of that noise.
Some people leave the window inserts in all the time, and that is one way to make sure that it is always proving to be an effective method.
Another solution is only to put them in when it gets very noisy, but just make sure to remember the setup process beforehand. The last thing a person wants to receive is an angry call or worse from a neighbor because they started working thinking that they had the inserts in for the windows.
Anytime there are cracks in the window area, there is a higher chance of noise leaking through and becoming problematic. Staying on top of cracks and other vulnerabilities takes time, but weatherstripping helps quite a bit. This can be put over everything near the edge of a window, making it much more sealed off overall.
Remember, windows are the most troublesome area in a garage workshop. It is not going to provide the same type of soundproofing as the walls, ceiling, or floor. Sound loves to escape a noisy room through the window, so making it a solid choice makes so much sense.
7. Soundproof Blankets
It is recommended by a lot of people to simply have heavy-duty, soundproof Blanket (Amazon), or moving blankets around at all times. The simple reason why is that they have so many different uses without having to be permanently installed.
Some people go ahead and put soundproof blankets or curtains over certain areas, but others will just use them as floating material that helps from time to time.
One common option is to put a blanket over a door into any room so that there is an added layer. This works well in the garage workshop, but having durable blankets to move items also helps out.
People are always coming up with new ideas to use these, and it just makes sense to have a few of them around in case something pops up.
Reasons Why Garage Workshops Become So Noisy
All of the recommendations above are necessary because of just how loud the garage workshop can become. There are many reasons why these workshops can be loud, but people continue to use them because they are convenient.
With limited space inside the home, a workshop in the garage is a lot easier to implement. There just needs to be a right amount of alterations to make sure that it functions properly.
Structure-Borne Noise and Airborne Noise
There are two distinct types of noises that people are fighting against when building a garage workshop. The first is structure-borne noise, and that occurs when an object hits something solid. Noise is created and becomes problematic when it causes vibrations that enter the walls and floors. For example, footsteps or something dropped on the ground is an example of structure-borne noise.
Airborne noise is, as one might expect, noisy travels through the air. It is created in the air instead of making an impact, and that noise can sometimes carry if things are not properly soundproof. Watching television or even a normal conversation is an example of airborne noise.
The only way to treat both of these variants of noise is to block the path from the room to every place else. Also, there needs to be a complete elimination of any leaks that might be out there. That is why a combination of adding mass and having soft material to absorb sound is necessary for the best indoor sound.
Tailoring the Garage Workshop To What It Will Be Used For
Not everyone is planning to use their garage workshop for the same activities. For some people, they think of a workshop as a way to build and create things from time to time.
For others, it is a way to learn a musical instrument or have practice for the band. The sound quality within a room is not going to matter that much for people just working, but musicians want to make sure that it sounds great inside as well.
If the goal is only to block sound and not necessarily improve sound quality, a person can soundproof a garage workshop a little cheaper. There is no need to spend a lot of money on acoustic treatment that helps make an impact.
Following specific guides for the right type of soundproofing will just make financial sense. There are way too many people who go overboard with soundproofing, and it comes to a point where they are not getting a good return on investment. They might see just a little bit of a change, but not enough to justify potentially thousands of dollars spent on the upgrade.
Most soundproofing methods are pretty easy to add to if it needs a little bit more in the end. It is better to go this route than to go with too much in the beginning, and just be overwhelmed with high costs.
Stay Away From Vulnerable Areas
If people have a luxury of picking where they are going to place their garage workshop, try to use an area that has very few windows or doors. These are much harder to soundproof, and might be impossible to treat completely. It makes a lot of sense to have the workshop with very few or no windows whatsoever, and just a single door to go inside and outside.
If it is inevitable to use an area with a window, make sure that those windows are treated properly. Spend an extra amount of time making sure that they are all up to code and not letting air easily enter. If air getting through, sound is without question going to permeate.
Something as simple as even taking neighbors into consideration when building a workshop might matter to some. Putting the garage workshop in an area that might not be that close to them will help out as far as complaining is concerned. Sometimes this just can’t be pulled off, but it allows for a lot more freedom instead of always having to wonder if they are going to be complaining at a later time.
Combine Soundproofing Techniques & Materials
Soundproofing is not an exact science all the time since every garage is going to be different. To get the most out of soundproofing a garage and a workshop inside one, make sure to try a bunch of different techniques and see what works best.
Professional assistance certainly comes in handy, but even having some additional pieces to help can prove to be beneficial. Everything makes a slight difference without setting a person back at all.
Realistic Expectations With Sound Control?
A lot of people wonder about when they put in some soundproofing material just how much of a change will they notice? When it comes down to it, the truth of the matter is that people will still be able to hear instruments being played, heavy machinery running, and other loud noises in any workshop. It is about controlling the sound and making it a little more pleasant to everyone else.
This is achievable to a certain degree, and something that people are more than satisfied with. Asking for complete silence it is really nothing more than a dream at this point, as the technology is just not there to pull it off.
Is It Worth Soundproofing a Garage Workshop?
All in all, people should soundproof a garage workshop, regardless of what they plan on using it for. It just makes sense to spend that extra bit of money on material that can provide a little more peace and quiet.
A garage, in general, can be relatively noisy, so just a little bit of treatment will make a big difference in allowing people to function the way they would like.
No one wants to be the resident in the neighborhood that is constantly getting noise complaints about what they are doing inside a garage.