The door is pretty vulnerable as-is when it comes to sound, and the problem becomes even worse when it is slightly older. Not only do a lot of older doors tend not to have the same high-quality soundproofing material already built-in, but they are more vulnerable to damage over time that has hurt their performance.
Before feeling like it is a must to replace a door and move in a different direction, there is the opportunity to make some changes that will help with soundproofing. What are some of the best ways to soundproof an old door? These solutions all make a lot of sense for individuals to try out.
Maybe a pretty old door is just a small nuisance on certain occasions. If that is the case, a person might not need to make any huge changes in the beginning. Something that is very temporary can make a pretty big difference in the end, and it does not have to be up all the time.
1. Soundproof Blankets
Using blankets over a door might be the easiest solution for people who want some temporary soundproofing. It takes virtually no effort at all, and it is up in a matter of seconds.
People can put one blanket over the door, or use multiple options to add layers to the door itself. Not only can one go over the entire door, but others can be used to close every single gap. The more thickness added to the door, the better.
Blankets are not necessarily designed to stay on a door all the time, and it would not look great in the first place. It is nice to have blankets around for any type of soundproofing on the fly, but it is only going to provide so much help in the end.
Most people will start with Soundproofing Blankets (Amazon) because they are a less intrusive way to sound proof a door, but then they go to something else if that is not getting the job done.
2. Filling In Cracks
An old door might be pretty vulnerable with sound, but it does not have to be that way. One of the easiest ways to fix things without spending much money at all is to fill in all the cracks. The more solid the door can be on its surface, the better it will handle sound.
A lot of people think that filling in cracks is going to be a huge task that takes a long time, but products make it so easy to do without any special assistance.
An acoustical caulking sealant (Amazon) is one easy solution that most people already have around their home. Apply a little bit of caulk in the beginning so that there is not too much that later needs scraped or sanded off.
3. Gap Foam
Filling cracks around the door might get to the point that it is just too much for some people. Maybe it is effective to use caulk, but it just does not look all that great. Another option is to use an expanding gap form, which is another way to fill the cracks and close them off completely.
It takes a little getting used to so that not too much is applied in certain areas, but most people will find it to be a very valuable option to have. This foam is pretty inexpensive and can be kept around for when other cracks might develop later on down the road.
4. Foam Tiles
Foam Tiles (Amazon) are pretty easy to add to just about any surface out there, and doors are no different. They work by absorbing soundwaves and also adding some strength to the door so that noise is not transmitted as quickly. It does not take a lot to attach foam tiles to a door, and it is pretty easy to take down when it is not in use.
Some tile works best when they are covering up pretty much the entire door, as that allows a bit less sound to get through. It also looks like it is uniformly done, instead of just being thrown up there for a temporary type of solution.
Since they are so lightweight, people do not have to worry about doing any damage to the door. This is why people think of foam tiles as one of the easiest solutions for any type of sound deadening in a room (source). These are the same type of tiles that people use for the walls as well, so those looking for a uniform look will really enjoy it.
5. Mass Loaded Vinyl
A lot of people over the years have really enjoyed using mass loaded vinyl for all types of soundproofing projects. It works for doors very well also and is the same type of material that a lot of professionals use for the ultimate effectiveness.
With a range of thicknesses and a pretty affordable price, this works particularly well to block any sounds from coming in (source). When it is installed properly, an entire room feels like it is completely isolated from the outside world.
It is something worth looking into for those who have struggled to find something that works for them in the past.
If the mass loaded vinyl does not look particularly great on the outside, another option for people to explore is to consider putting up mass loaded vinyl and then something over the top. This still allows for outstanding effectiveness, but it can look a little better on the outside in the end.
6. Door Sweep
A quick solution to a lot of soundproofing problems at the bottom of the door is a door sweep. These are a great way to make sure that any gap at the bottom of the door is not going to be an issue whatsoever.
A door sweep that is properly installed will just lightly brush up against the floor when it opens and closes. It is something that will not really hinder the performance of the door whatsoever, but it helps tremendously with this whole setup.
They are a little vulnerable to breaking, and if they are becoming noisy once again, it might be worth looking into to see if the sweep has any smaller cracks or breaks in it. They are relatively inexpensive to replace if they do break down too much.
The door sweep that I always recommend has a rubber bottom (Amazon) that creates a good seal between the door and the floor.
7. Rugs and Carpet
Most people think of rugs and carpet (Amazon) as ways to soundproof the floors, but it actually helps with controlling and older door as well.
If there is any type of gap whatsoever between the bottom of the door and the floor, the carpet or rug can help with that. A thicker option is going to be best, but any type of solution better than nothing at all.
The only thing people need to look out for is that the door can sometimes get stuck on carpet or a rug if it is a little too tight. This might hinder somebody from coming in and out of the room, so take some measurements first if it is any type of problem.
If the carpet does need to be built up a little bit, going with an underlayment will close the gap as well. Some people will try to soundproof floors exceptionally well, while also keeping the door in mind since there is that very troubling spot.
8. Weatherstripping Tape
It is pretty easy to invest in some weatherstripping tape (Amazon) and use it for sound absorbing around any type of door.
It is a type of tape made of fiberglass in most cases, and it can be put on any kind of door in just a few minutes.
It might be intended to help with controlling dust and dirt, but it also acts as a way to absorb the sound. Make sure that there is an airtight seal when putting the tape on, and everything else should work as planned (source).
9. Install, or Replace the Door Threshold
The threshold has been used for quite some time by various property owners looking to close the gap between the ground and the door itself. In a way, it works much like a door sweep, but just not as effective. If it is way too loose, or it does not really close the gap at all, it might be time to replace the threshold totally.
Before going out in purchasing a new one, try to do some measurements to see how much space there is. They are pretty easy to install, and they do not get in the way once they are properly put in.
There is going to be a lot of traffic over the threshold, so it is important to make sure that there is no damage done to them throughout time. As long as everything stays in a pretty solid condition, no one should have any issues.
Maybe the relatively easy solutions are just not working for one reason or another. When that is the case, more drastic measures might be necessary.
Individuals can still do these advanced solutions, but some might feel more comfortable hiring a professional.
10. Replace the Door
It is not an option that is always feasible, but there is a chance that some people just are not satisfied with how things sound even after doing some fixes. If that is the case, there might be no other option other than to invest in a new door and get everything fully replaced.
One reason why people will replace their door is that it is beyond repair. Maybe there are too many cracks, and even investing in budget solutions is not going to change anything ultimately. People will put so much time and effort into making sure that the old door performs well that it does not even look like the same thing.
If a new door is purchased, make sure to look for something as solid as possible right from the beginning. It is going to be a heavier type of door, but it ends up doing a much better job with soundproofing in general. This means that there will be less soundproofing material actually needed to add to the outside, and some get by with nothing at all.
It might seem a little excessive to go with a heavier door on the interior, but it does not have to be like that with every single entry in a home. Just make sure that the main entrance in a room that needs everything quiet has the proper setup.
11. Strengthening the Door Panel
If the door panel seems to be a viable area around the door, it might be worth looking into strengthening and reinforcing the door panel that currently exists. That means adding layers to the mix to dampen vibrations and close any gaps.
If it seems a little too tricky, a professional will be able to handle this. Some work needs to be done, and some people do not want to mess with that whatsoever. Make sure to take everything off properly, and then reinstall the same way it was before. Otherwise, making some subtle changes to the door panel might ultimately cause more trouble than it is worth.
12. Soundproofing Door Gaskets
There is such a thing as soundproofing door gaskets out there, but they are a little complicated to install. Most people will go with weatherstripping first since it works a lot of the same way, but new door gaskets might be a solution if that does not do enough.
Gaskets will last a very long time if they are installed correctly, they will be screwed right into the door frame, so the chances of them coming loose are very slim if everything is done correctly. Gaskets are made of aluminum and rubber, and they can make a pretty big difference with any type of door out there.
13. Putting Material Inside a Hollow Door
For people who insist on keeping their old doors, most of the solutions make a lot of sense to put on the outside of the door. However, if people have fairly easy access to the inside of the door, there are ways to fill it up and add mass to it in that way.
Make sure to use something very soft and easy to put into an area when needed. No one wants to fill up a door and have it rattle around and make a lot of noise when it is opened and closed.
The best suggestions have to be either foam insulation (Amazon), fiberglass insulation, or styrofoam. They all work pretty well to add some mass, without making the door too heavy. People may also put other soundproofing material on the door after that, so play around with different setups and think about what actually works.
14. Turning a Door Into a Wall
The final solution might be a bit drastic for some people, and it might not even be feasible if it is the only door in the room. However, turning an old door into a part of the wall and eliminating it is one of the most effective ways to help with soundproofing.
It might seem like a complicated task to wall up the door, but it just starts with taking off the door and the frame to begin. After that, a stud grid needs built, and then it is covered with drywall to bring it up to how the rest of the wall looks.
Unless it is professionally done, it is still going to be noticeable that the door used to be there. Some people will fill that area up by putting some type of furniture near it, and others just do not care about the aesthetic overall.
Obviously, only some people will have the option to go in this direction. Every room needs at least one door to get in and out. This works best if there is an unnecessary amount of entries in a bigger place.
Is an Old Door Worth Keeping Around?
With so many solutions out there to help with soundproofing, it should come as no surprise that people are perfectly fine with keeping their old door if they find something that works for them.
It is not going to always be the best solution for everyone, as some people really have to deal with a lot of issues with their older door. However, those people who are willing to put in some time and effort will find that it is much cheaper to do some repairs than to replace everything altogether.
Think of soundproofing any part of a room as a lot of trial and error. A lot of people might not know initially what is going to work best for them, but they eventually figure things out.
Start with some of the more inexpensive and temporary options out there, and then start to gravitate toward something a little more expensive if that does not work. Most people eventually figure things out and are pretty satisfied with the ultimate results.