Soundproof Apartment Doors In 2021: Materials & Techniques To Minimize Outside Noise

blue and white apartment interiors

Last Updated: June 22, 2021

Imagine moving into a new apartment. Everything is seemingly perfect.

One problem, though. 

There's a new apartment complex being built next to it and for sure, you'll be haunted by the noise.  

Even when the construction is finally over, your day-to-day experiences will likely be haunted by those blaring automobile horns and the constant chattering of people. 

Why Bother Going Through The Hassle Of Soundproofing?

This level of noise can not only disturb your sleep, but it can also cause irritability, hypertension and reduce your concentration levels. In times when working from home is becoming ever prevalent, this can negatively impact your quality of life. 

In circumstances like these, you should look for ways to soundproof your apartment doors. In particular, your priority should be to soundproof the front door of an apartment, which is most likely to bring in noises from the surrounding vicinity. 

This article acts as a guide as to how to soundproof your apartment door and points towards the seven most effective ways to do so, with more emphasis on the solutions which can be easily implemented. 

1. Wrap Your Door Up With A Soundproofing Blanket

man holding a black soundproofing blanket

Soundproofing blankets are purpose-built to absorb maximum levels of sound and can be easily pinned to your door using some tacks lying around the house. 

Since they do tend to be a bit pricey, you can choose not to invest in one, and use the denser and thicker blankets lying around the house to get the job done. 

Note that density is vital, as it means more material packed inside a blanket to muffle the sound. 

In case you have to make a trade-off between density and thickness, go for thickness.

Why This Solution Might Be/Might Not Be Right For You:

If you’re just looking for a temporary solution without making any structural changes to your apartment, this is a solution to look out for. 

However, note that using the blankets lying around the house is not a substitute for investing in special acoustic blankets. Regardless, if you’re struggling to sleep over your neighbors’ late-night conversations, it will help you get a good night’s worth of sleep.


2. Hang A Door Curtain

two pieces of blue door curtain

You can also consider investing in indoor curtains. These are multi-layered and are the best curtains for noise reduction, specifically curated to insulate and dampen sounds, by increasing the mass and density of the door and by covering the gaps that may exist around the frame.

To maximize their effectiveness, try to ensure that they completely cover the frame as well as have some extra overlap.

Why This Solution Might Be/Might Not Be Right For You:

The installation is really simple since they can be installed just like an ordinary curtain on a suitable curtain rod.

However, one major drawback of this is its greater degree of effectiveness in preventing sounds from leaving a room, than the sounds coming in. Therefore, this might not be the best option for someone simply looking to block external noises.


3. Make Good Use Of Weatherstripping

man putting strips for door

Arguably, the cheapest and most convenient method to minimize the noise entering your apartment is via weatherstripping to seal the air leaks around your doors. 

Before you weatherstrip, you need to look for the gaps, and how big they are.

Furthermore, the choice of a weatherstrip should be such that it accounts for the friction weather and temperature changes associated with its location.

Note that it is preferable to use bronze weatherstripping rather than foam ones, because of its enhanced effectivity and durability relative to the latter.

Why This Solution Might Be/Might Not Be Right For You:

It is not only cheap, but it is also one of the most effective methods in this guide. While this article is geared towards minimizing noise, weatherstripping also reduces energy losses in the form of heat.

Since the strip surrounds moving parts, it deals with sufficient wear and tear and require replacement periodically,

We recommend that weatherstripping is the first thing you do when you’re looking to soundproof your apartment door.


4. Install A Door Sweep

wood door sweep for wood door

We previously talked about installing weatherstrips to minimize the gaps between the door and the doorframe. However, it does not account for the biggest gap around the door through which noise can enter is the gap between the bottom of the door and floor. 

This spacing is vital to ensure that the door doesn’t end up scraping the floor. 

When making a purchase, ensure that you look for the thickness of the seal as well as the tightness of the seal between the door bottom and the floor.

To cover this space, an apartment door sweep can be a feasible option. A door sweep is a metal strip with a rubber bottom and provides a great seal.

Why This Solution Might Be/Might Not Be Right For You:

One of their greatest advantages is that they can be easily removed, and thus be reused in case you decide to move out.

However, a downside of this option is that sweeps can wear out pretty quickly and so will need more frequent replacements relative to other options on this list.

5. Use Some Foam Tiles

Another viable solution to soundproof your apartment door is to use foam tiles that absorb sounds. The density of the foam allows it to dampen the strength of the sound. 

Not only are they more inexpensive than other options, such as using fiberglass, but they can also look reasonably aesthetic, unlike those soundproofing blankets.

These foams are available in a wide range of densities, to allow for different levels of noise reduction in a room, as per your requirements. 

Why This Solution Might Be/Might Not Be Right For You:

Note that most foam tiles are more of sound absorbers rather than sound blockers, meaning that while they are pretty good at preventing the noise from inside your room from going out, they are less effective in blocking the sounds incoming from the outside. 

An important consideration to make in your purchase is prioritizing panels made of composites, rather than other materials since composites tend to both absorb echo within a room and are effective on how to reduce noise from the outside. Ordinary panels only tend to do the former.


6. Coat That Door With Sound-Absorbing Paint

man painting a door white using roller

Using sound-absorbing paint can be a viable option if you’re looking for something that is economically feasible. 

This is a special type of paint, thicker than ordinary, due to its composition of ceramic microspheres and sound-absorbing fillers. 

Sound-absorbing paint absorbs the sound waves as they travel through the walls.

Its application is rather convenient as it must be coated on the walls just like ordinary paint. It is recommended to apply at least three layers, with a 32-hour interval between each coat for a noticeable difference in noise reduction.

Why This Solution Might Be/Might Not Be Right For You:

However, keep in mind that if you are vulnerable to experiencing loud volumes of sound, like barking dogs, or crying babies, this solution might not be for you. 

Sound-absorbing tapes typically absorb only mid-frequency sounds; for instance, faint murmurings of TV’s, or late-night conversations.

This is by no means a stand-alone solution and would prove to be most effective when used in conjunction with some other soundproofing method mentioned in this guide.


7. Invest In A Solid Door

solid door

While this is possibly the most expensive option on the list, replacing a hollow door with a solid one is one of the most effective options aside from finding ways how to soundproof a hollow door, if you are looking for how to soundproof an apartment door.

Why This Solution Might Be/Might Not Be Right For You:

Moreover, unlike most other options; it is a permanent solution meaning once you install one, you wouldn’t have to worry about soundproofing your apartment door for years to come. 

Not only will a solid door dampen the sound intensity to a reasonable level, but it will also add a layer of insulation thereby reducing energy bills. However, they are not the easiest to install, and you would most likely need a professional to get the job done.


FAQs About Soundproofing An Apartment Door

How do I temporarily soundproof a door?

Wrapping your door with the thickest blanket lying around the house is the most temporary and abrupt solution. While your door might not end up looking as flashy as it previously was, this method will surely get the job done. Also, add a device to stop a door from slamming to not add to the noise.

How do you soundproof an interior door?

Using acoustic panels, soundproofing blankets, door sweeps, installing a solid door, and weatherstripping are some of the options available. Note that all these options do fall under how to soundproof an apartment door generally, and so are not limited to interior doors.

Here's a quick guide on how to weatherstrip doors:

How can I soundproof my door cheaply?

Weatherstripping is one of the most inexpensive ways which you can use when soundproofing your apartment door. The tape will seal the gaps in your door to give it a tight seal effectively reducing noise transfer. 

Conclusion

If you were looking for a guide on how to soundproof an apartment door, we hope you got a few solutions you can readily implement. 

All in all, various options exist if you’re looking for ways to soundproof an apartment door. 

Just like any other purchase, there is a tradeoff, in this case, between the capital investment and the level of noise reduction. 

While some options such as weather stripping are relatively cheap, they will not offer the same level of sound reduction as replacing a hollow door with a solid one would.

It all depends on the vicinity you live in and the noise reduction levels you need to ensure your day-to-day experience is a smooth one.

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