How To Make A Room Soundproof From Outside Noise: Your Quick And Easy Guide To Get It Done

bedroom with decorations near a door

Last Updated: July 6, 2021

Wherever we are, whoever we are, and in whatever situation we may be, we have this place we call home. It is the peaceful and serene atmosphere we go back to after a seemingly endless day of work.

Well, that is…

Until dogs start barking & cars start honking. 😀

Noise is all around us, from loud neighbors to the traffic outside. With all that chaotic sounds, it's innate for most of us to figure out how to reduce the noise from outside.

Noises Around Us

To start, we should familiarize ourselves with the types of sounds we hear: impact and airborne noise.

Airborne noises are the sounds that travel through the air. We hear them naturally from the sounds they produce with no physical contact needed. Examples are our voices, TV sounds, and dogs barking.

Meanwhile, impact noises occur because of the impact on the surface that produces sound waves. Day-to-day impact sounds we hear are slamming doors, sounds from construction sites, running feet, and moving furniture.

It is essential to consider what sounds we need to cover to soundproof the room from outside noise more effectively.

In preventing airborne noises, there are situations when you won't even need to use soundproofing tools. You may merely fill up the holes or air gaps where the sounds may pass through.

To cover up impact sounds, however, using soundproofing tools and methods may be mandatory.

Commonly, both impact and airborne noises are present in a room. On one note, you can always decide to remodel your whole room if you can.

However, for those who can’t or aren’t willing to spend too much, you can use objects designed to block noises. You can use these objects in different sections of your room, depending on the noise you’re covering.

Soundproofing can be applied on windows, doors, floors, walls, ceilings, and even in your backyard!

How To Make A Room Soundproof From Outside Noise

Soundproofing The Windows

white window with plants

When soundproofing a room, it is best to start with the windows.

If you have some extra cash in hand and are free to make changes to the window, you might consider modifying your window panes. Try using double-paned windows if yours isn't one already. They are thicker and more capable of absorbing the sounds outside.

But of course, I understand that not everyone will be able to replace their windows. For this case, the first step would be to check the window for any air gaps.

  • You can seal them with a caulk sealant or secure the window frame with weatherstripping tape.
  • Some people opt to use rubber gaskets. They are thin strips of rubber that usually come with a self-adhesive surface. They can seal the windows tight to prevent airborne sounds from entering.

If you don’t consider lighting from windows a priority, you may consider using the best soundproof curtains, acoustic blankets, and window plugs.

  • People consider window plugs one of the most effective soundproofing tools. 
  • Soundproof curtains and soundproof blankets also dampen the noise entering the room. Their efficiency relies on their quality of being much thicker compared to regular clothing. Consequently, expect them to be much heavier, too. Check these if you also need the quietest way to break a window in case of emergency.

Tone Down The Doors

wooden door opening in the house

Doors these days are commonly hollow on the inside, making them less effective at blocking outdoor noise. Ideally, the best way to resolve it would be to change them to solid doors. But again, the choice is not applicable for everyone.

The alternative solution is filling up the air gaps.

You can again use acoustic caulk sealants and weatherstripping tapes. You place them around the door, between the frame and the wall. Further, use the caulk sealant for any cracks present. Also, make sure to keep the door from slamming.

You can also use door sweeps. They are effective most especially if you have issues with gaps between your door and the floor.

Some people also consider using rubber caskets. There are specific rubber door gaskets that can be set up or placed around the doorframe.

You can also utilize soundproof blankets. Get the measurements right, and attach them to your door using either nails, tacks, self-adhesives, or anything else that works for you. Most people usually place the blankets at the back of the door.

People also consider Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV). Most people say that MLV soundproofing is highly effective and easy to install.

Modifying The Walls

blue wall interior

Caulk sealants will never get enough. Once again, use them to fill up the gaps and holes in your walls.

By now, we can see that the technique to soundproofing is by making the surface thicker. For walls, people usually add another layer of drywall. Drywall contains sound-absorbing materials, so doubling that layer would logically reduce the sound.

If you’re looking for a less expensive option, you may also use acoustic panels or acoustic wallpapers as sound deadening for walls. Some people also use Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) for walls.

You may also consider using soundproof latex paint. It is one of the cheapest solutions available.

Keep in mind, though, that they only work up to a certain degree. If the noise you’re encountering is only minimal, soundproof paint is a good option.

Once again, soundproof blankets come into the picture. They are most efficient if you live in apartments or rental houses due to their portability and utilization. They might be a bit difficult to set up, but with the proper choice of quality, they might be what you need.

Too lazy for the mentioned tactics? You can choose to decorate your wall instead. The easiest way to cover up the noise is by hanging bookshelves, closets, tapestries, and other home decorations you’d like.

Insulating The Floor And Ceiling

Room with light

Soundproofing a floor and ceiling may not be that necessary if you live in an owned house. But you could consider it in an apartment or boarding house, especially with all the footsteps roaming around.

Most people insulate the floor by placing carpets, rugs, or mats. Additional furniture also helps. The heavier the material, the more sound they absorb. You may also use the mentioned Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV).

In insulating the ceilings, most people suggest doubling the drywall in the ceiling as we did with the walls. Some people also advise constructing a drop or suspended ceiling.

Options for ceilings involving reduced construction work are soundproof paint, MLV, acoustic tiles, or acoustic panels.

Upgrade The Air Vents (If Applicable)

Your air vents can also play a role in reducing the noise outside. On the contrary, if you don’t need them, you could seal or block them with drywall or filler spray.

If you do, however, choose to keep them, you can use the fan-favorite soundproof blankets.

You can also use sound mazes or honeycomb vents, common choices for soundproofing air vents. Both are capable of dampening the sound while also maintaining air circulation.

If you’re willing to spend a bit more, you can replace your current air vent with an acoustic one. Acoustic air vents have a sound-absorption function installed.

Remodel The Backyard/Garden (If Applicable)

Plants and bushes in garden

Want to learn how to reduce noise from outside? You can start with your yard.

Plant or rearrange your trees, shrubs, flowers, and other plants near your windows and rooms. Surprisingly, the plants themselves are shock-absorbent.

You shouldn't expect this technique to fully resolve your problems as they are not as effective as the others. Nevertheless, your plants are capable of softening the noises that damage your ears, and essentially, your sanity.

Soundproofing Vs. Sound-Absorption

When figuring out how to soundproof a room from outside noise, you should consider the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption.

Soundproofing is NOT the same as sound absorption.

Soundproofing refers to the blocking of the noise, while sound absorption is more focused on improving the quality of sounds by dissipating them.

There are various products or materials used to absorb sounds. People often mistake these products to have soundproofing functions, so better be careful!

One of the most commonly mistaken sound-absorption mediums is foam. Foam is effective for reducing the echoes of the sound vibrations due to its irregular surface. However, don't expect the noises thoroughly blocked. Foam is not thick nor solid enough.

Here's a video showing what makes sound absorption different from soundproofing:

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I block outside noise in my apartment?

Noise in an apartment usually comes from footsteps and the vehicles outside.

To cover them up, start with heavy rugs and mats for the floor. Place some acoustic tiles or panels in the ceiling and some soundproof blankets on your walls. You may also use Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) for both the ceiling and walls.

Does acoustic foam block outside noise?

No, acoustic foam cannot block outside noise. It is a common misconception. Foam is used as a sound-absorption tool, meaning it can deafen the echoes and improve sound quality.

However, it cannot completely block the noise or soundproof a room.

How to Soundproof a Bedroom from Outside Noise?

If you want to know how to make a room soundproof from outside noise, you need to fill in the air gaps in windows and walls. You can use caulk sealant for this.

You may also soundproof your door with weatherstripping tape and door sweeps. If there is still some noise left behind, you can use soundproof blankets or Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV).

Final Thoughts

Have you ever wondered how noisy it is and thought, "How to keep the noise out of my room!"?

Luckily, there are various options to help you. You can apply them to your windows, doors, floors, ceilings, walls, and even your backyard.

Before doing so, identify what kind of noises are present. Then, recognize the section of the room that is best to soundproof for the most efficient blocking of noise.

Commonly used tools are soundproof blankets, caulk sealants, and weatherstripping tape. You can also make further modifications to your room if you can. These include installing double-pane windows and additional layers of drywall.

Cheers to a warm, comforting, and quiet room to relieve our worries!

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