Do you enjoy your home more when it’s quiet and peaceful? You are not alone. You don’t need to spend endless amounts of money to achieve your soundproofing goals. With these cheap soundproofing hacks, you will be on your way to a quiet home and a peaceful life.
When peace and quiet reigns, your home becomes a place where you can rest without interruptions and get work done without distractions. Sadly, absolute control over how much noise you experience in your home isn’t something you automatically have. For instance, you might be generating hardly any noise in your home while your neighbors spend all day and night making an awful racket.
This racket will vibrate through your walls and ceiling, seep in through your windows and doors, and shatter whatever peace you may have.
But it’s not just the neighbors. Vehicles passing by on the streets, construction workers using machinery down the road, dogs barking, kids playing outside, or a couple having a love spat in the street. These and other noises can seep into your home and leave you with a splitting headache.
Good news is you are not powerless. There are effective soundproofing hacks out there that you can use to keep outside noise where it belongs – Outside of your home.
Now, you are probably saying something along the lines of soundproofing your home sounds like an awfully expensive project. Well, if you hire a contractor to soundproof your home, yes. But if you use the cheap soundproofing hacks we are about to provide you, then no.
Top 10 Soundproofing Hacks that Actually Work
We’ve put together these scientifically proven yet cheap hacks that you can implement with everyday household items that you probably already own.
Those that you don’t already own can be purchased inexpensively and we guarantee that by the time you are done putting them in place, the amount of outside noise invading your home will be minimal.
Want a quieter home without fatally wounding your bank account? Here’s how you do it.
1. A Big Bookcase
If you aren’t a fan of reading, there are other ways a bookcase can be of use. If there’s a particularly thin wall in your home that freely lets noise in and out, add mass to the wall by placing a big bookshelf against it. The more books you add to the bookcase, the thicker its mass and its soundproofing effectiveness.
For this hack to be wholly effective, make sure the bookcase covers the wall completely. If possible, there should be no space at the sides, the top or under the shelf. This way, sound vibrations will be unable to sneak around the bookcase.
2. Heavy Furniture
Your couch and similar heavy furniture will impede sound from traveling around a room. The more furniture in the room, the less sound can get around. But to implement this hack and get the best results, you have to know the strategic locations to install your heavy furniture.
For instance, leaving the furniture in the center of the room is pointless. Instead, place your heavy furniture against walls to add mass to them. Then place your other furniture in front of or beside windows and doors, where they can absorb any noise vibrations that try to get through those portals.
3. Decorate Your Walls
Another way to add mass to your walls and minimize how much sound vibration can get through them is by hanging canvass paintings, tapestries and pictures on the walls.
The heavier and thicker such decorative pieces are, the more effective they will be at minimizing how much sound can be transmitted through the wall.
4. Soundproof the Air
The concept of soundproofing the air understandably sounds weird, but it actually works and is surprisingly easy to accomplish. All you need to do is make some noise of your own, specifically white noise.
To cancel out any noise from outside that has managed to make its way into your room, simply put on some white noise to drown it out. It’s basically like fighting fire with fire.
This hack works best if it is implemented in a closed room that has already been soundproofed to some extent. This way, the white noise at reasonable volume will be able to drown out whatever muffled sounds still manage to seep into the room.
Some of your best options for a white noise machine are the Marpac Dohm (Amazon), and the LectroFan High Fidelity White Noise Sound Machine (Amazon).
5. Heavy Carpets or Blankets
Heavy carpeting is excellent because it makes the floor of your home really comfy to walk and even lie on. Carpet also has the added advantage of being able to absorb sound.
For example, if you install carpet on the floors from wall to wall, it will absorb much of the sound in that room and stop it from escaping to an adjoining room.
Admittedly, it may be difficult convincing your noisy neighbors upstairs or in the next room to install thick carpets, but you can take the decision out of their hands by installing carpeting on your walls and your ceiling. This will effectively muffle any sounds being transmitted through the walls.
To make the installation of carpeting more effective, install thick padding under the carpet.
If you find installing carpets on the wall of a room to be too expensive, you’ll be happy to know that old blankets will also serve. Hang your old blankets on the wall you are sharing with a noisy or nosy neighbor, and you’ll significantly minimize sound vibrations from getting through.
FYI, heavy moving blankets are most ideal for this hack. The thicker and denser the blankets are, the better. You can install them by nailing or gluing them, or hanging them on curtain rods over the wall you are trying to soundproof.
6. Shut the Doors
Sounds so simple but there’s more to it. Think of sound like cold. It’s much easier for cold air to get into a room when a door is wide open. But when the door is closed, penetration is reduced.
The thicker you door is, the more effective it will be at keeping out sound. This is why it is typically advised to opt for a door with a solid core.
But even if your door is solid, there are probably still gaps around it that sound, just like cold, can seep in through. One particular gap that sound uses to get around doors is the gap underneath the door.
A gap exists between the door and floor to ensure the door can be opened and closed smoothly without it being dragged across the floor. To block sound from getting in through this gap, you can block it with a thick rug.
Alternatively, you can block the gap with a draft stopper. Installing a draft stopper is affordable and easy, and a great alternative if you don’t have any extra rug or carpeting lying around to clog under your door. It also works regardless of if your flooring is a hard surface or carpeting.
Asides from blocking the gap under your door to keep out sound, there’s more you can do to your door to make it more soundproof (full door soundproofing article).
For instance, by tactically positioning soft furniture in front of the edges of a door, any sound that gets past the door will be absorbed by the furniture.
Also, because sound is basically vibrations, a fair amount of it can still penetrate a room by going through the door and not just around it. This is even more likely if the door doesn’t have a solid core.
Fortunately, you don’t have to spend money replacing your door with a solid core one. To make the door more soundproof, simply hang a thick blanket on it. The blanket will absorb the sound vibrations and stop them from getting into the room.
If hanging a blanket seems impractical or simply unattractive to you, there’s the option of simply hanging your coats on the door. The thick fabric of the coats will absorb the vibrations just as effectively as placing a blanket will.
Note that this cheap and effective soundproofing hack will not only stop noise from getting in through your door, but it will also keep noise made within the room from getting out through the door. This huge benefit is something couples who like their privacy in the bedroom will definitely appreciate.
7. Shut the Windows
Burglars and sound love getting in through doors just as much as they love getting in through windows. To keep burglars and sound out, all you need do is keep your windows shut.
But like solid core doors are more effective at keeping sound out, double or triple pane windows are also more effective than single pane windows. But upgrading to double pane windows can be pretty expensive. So instead of changing windows, close them then cover them up with heavy curtains.
The thick fabric of the curtains will absorb much of the sound vibrations that get in through the closed window glass. And if you’ve got a little more money to spend, you may consider installing safety film or a glazing sheet over the glass of your windows.
Cost-effective glazing sheet can be installed with ease and quickly to insulate your windows against external temperatures and sound.
Lastly, like doors, sound can still find its way through cracks or gaps around your windows. This can significantly minimize the sound blocking effect of keeping a window shut.
To fix this, seal cracks or gaps around your doors with weatherstripping or acoustical caulk. But bear in mind that compared to weatherstripping, acoustical caulk (Amazon) is a more permanent and long-lasting solution.
8. Soundproof Wallpaper
Since you may not be able to shore up all your walls with a big bookcase, perhaps you’d like a hack that you can apply in all rooms? Ever heard of soundproof wallpaper?
Soundproof wallpapers are not like regular wallpaper. For one, they are far thicker and denser than regular wallpaper which makes them super effective at minimizing sound penetration. But like regular wallpaper, they are available in a wide variety of colors and designs.
Soundproof wallpapers are available as acoustic panels or slippery latex that’s covered with regular wallpaper. Either option is effective at dampening sound.
So if the idea of hanging blankets or carpeting on all your walls seems extreme, then you’ll definitely prefer the subtle hack of soundproof wallpapers.
9. Soundproof Paint
This is a soundproofing hack that is gaining traction among an increasing number of homeowners that want to spend as little as possible for a quieter home.
The composition of sound reduction paint (Full Article) which makes it heavy and imbues it with the ability to absorb sound vibrations makes it a very effective soundproofing hack. While a lot goes into making soundproof paint, its biggest component is probably the ceramic additive in it.
Sound deadening paint is non-toxic, so it’s a hack that will keep down the noise without negatively impacting the health of your family and/or pets. The paint is also available in a variety of colors so you pick one that best suits your interior décor vision.
10. Do Egg Cartons Work?
Now that you’ve heard our hacks, let’s talk about one you’ve probably heard of elsewhere but whose effectiveness seems doubtful. I’m talking about egg crates.
You’ve probably heard the legend of how egg crates (minus the eggs of course) can be used to soundproof a room. If you are wondering if it’s true, the answer is more of a maybe than a definite yes.
Because of its design and feel, egg crates may remind you of the panels or foam used to coat recording studios. The difference is egg crates are far lighter and far less dense than actual acoustic panels. Because of its lack of sufficient density, egg crates are actually not much good as a soundproofing hack.
But they aren’t completely useless either.
Because of the undulating and uneven body of an egg carton, sound waves cannot bounce of egg cartons and thus will not be able to echo. So, if you tactically install egg cartons in sensitive parts of a room, this will help significantly minimize sound echo and reverberations within the room.
So which of our Soundproofing Hacks should You Use?
For best results, you should combine as many of the above hacks as you can. Fortunately, a number of these hacks are inexpensive or even free and can be implemented either at home or at work.
If combining all or several of the soundproofing hacks above still doesn’t deliver the level of quiet you desire, then you might want to consider relocating or at least consult a soundproofing professional.