I know how difficult it can be for you to have a good night rest when your next-door neighbour decides to test the brand new theatre he just bought. Only that, he keeps testing it every night!
When such is the case soundproofing the room is one possible thing that should be done. What soundproofing does is to make sure the outside noise stays outside, while the inside noise stays inside.
How can you soundproof your room? First, you need to know what sound is and how it travels. Once you know this, its movement can be restricted, thereby making a room soundproof.
How do you define sound?
Sound is caused by vibrations. Without vibrations, there can be no sound. Let’s do a little exercise; try singing or just say something, touch your throat and you will notice some vibrations. The same thing happens when you turn on your car engine and when your alarm starts ringing or any other sound you can think of. Now, how do they travel?
Sound can travel through the following sources; gas (air), liquids (water), solids (wall).
You might be wondering how sound is able to travel through these media. Here’s how – everything that exists in the universe is made up of tiny particles – the air included. Once any of these particles are vibrated a push is created, this push moves the particle(s) to touch another particle which touches another and it becomes like a chain reaction.
The speed at which sound moves depends on the medium it’s travelling. Air is the fastest of these media. The distance to which any sound is heard depends on how strong the vibration is, which determines when it fades as the particles recover from what caused the vibration.
How can sound be restricted and ultimately make your room soundproof?
The following methods will be useful whether all you need is a place of peace and quiet or you want to start your own studio. But first, take note of the following points, they will guide you to making the right decisions on how to soundproof your room from external sound or soundproofing your room from disturbing others.
Be sure to check where the sound is coming from.
- What kind of sound is it? Is it sound from loud music or just people talking?
- Check how loud the sound is. This will help you know how many wall layers to add to the original wall or curtain thickness to use for the windows as you will see in the methods below.
- Check what the wall is made of. This will also help you determine the thickness of drywall to use.
Once you have these points checked then you can begin your room soundproofing.
Mount sound curtains or thick blankets
Thick blankets can be mounted on the wall, it will help in blocking outside noise, especially if your wall isn’t thick enough. You can use this same blankets for your windows but if you are looking to spend more money, you can go for sound curtains specifically for windows.
There are some really special sound curtains like the ‘Acoustic Curtain’, which don’t only block outside noise but blocks the noise coming out of your room and reduces the echo in your room. This will really help when you are recording.
Wallcovering with bookshelves
You can cover your walls by using bookshelves. Well, you can’t possibly cover every wall with a bookshelf, except you are a bookworm and read a lot of books.
This is really ideal for a study room or something similar. The alternative option is for you to place the bookshelf on the wall where the noise is coming from, probably a party wall you share with a next-door neighbour.
Mount unsteady items
Do you hear vibrations in your room when your neighbour who stays upstairs turn their music up? That vibration is from the speakers and other sound items placed on the floor.
The best thing to do is to mount them on insulation pads to keep them still.
Door sweep installation
Door sweeps are used to block sound by sealing the gap at the bottom of the door and sides of the door. No sound in, no sound out.
Adding an extra layer to your wall
You can add more layers to your wall by building a wall frame and nailing it to the main wall. Then you can cover this wall frame with plasterboard which comes in different thickness.
Choose the thickness that will stop the sound from coming through the wall.
You can go as far as decoupling the wall which is basically adding a second wall frame before adding the plasterboard. The air gap between the main wall to the plasterboard makes it hard for vibratory sound to pass between walls.
Put damping compounds in-between the walls
A damping compound, when put between walls, is also a good option for reducing sound filtering through.
Ceiling and floor soundproofing
Yes, you can soundproof your ceiling and floor too. Same materials used in walls can also be used for your ceiling and floor. If there is no one living above you then you don’t have to soundproof your ceiling, the same thing applies to the floor if you have no one living below you.
You don’t need to apply each and every one of these methods to soundproof your room. Find the one which best suits your reason for soundproofing.