If you live in an apartment block where outside noise is an issue, then easy ways to sound insulate a door will come handy. If you are looking to soundproof your door, then it may seem like such a technical thing to do but you don’t need to call in the experts.
You should not worry though as this can be a straightforward task. It is also something that you can do yourself.
Living in a house where the doors are quite thin can get very annoying. It can be worse if you live around noisy neighbours or in a noisy environment. This can be a problem when you sleep or if you’re one of those people that work at home, as you may not be able to get any work done.
If your front door is thin this can even be more challenging. This was a problem I encountered when I moved into a new house. Every noise from out the street simply wafted straight into my front door and then into my bedroom. It did not help that my bedroom door was directly parallel to my front door. In no time, I could not take this anymore and started researching ways to curb this problem, and then it hit me; I should soundproof my doors!
When this idea first came to me, I thought ‘this ought to cost me some cash and a good deal of my time.’ This did not cost much however and in no time, I was sleeping in peace even when a party was being thrown next door. If you’d like to sound insulate a door in your home, you should check out the different options available to you by doing some research.
Major Challenges When Sound Insulating Your Doors
Doors may seem like such a solid feature in the house compared to windows. I was very surprised when I realised how much noise can filter in from a door.
After giving a thought to what doors are made of, this came as no surprise after all. Typical doors come with a hollow middle and this means noise can easily waft through them. This means that although doors may look quite solid from the outside, that may not be the case on the inside.
Besides the inside hollowness of a door, it also has many openings where noise may filter in from. The space separating the door and doorframe is an example. Covering these gaps somehow should also better shield you from noise.
Soundproofing a Door Yourself in 13 Simple Ways
1. The Furniture Close to The Door Can be Moved Around
This is the most simple and straightforward thing to do and it won’t cost you a dime. What you should know is, furniture can be a great noise-blocker. If you have furniture around the door, they will prevent noise from wafting directly into your bedroom or in your room as the noise will either go via or stumble off the furniture. This weakens the noise and won’t make it as intense.
Furniture to consider includes sofas, bookshelves, a closet, a couch, or even a bed. A couch can be a great obstacle to noise considering how stuffy it is. The same goes for other furniture, although a closet should be stocked with clothes to block any actual noise.
Moving things around seems like a pretty easy solution. However, this may not be viable as you must consider the architecture of your building. Taking my place as an example, I can’t move things around by putting a barrier between my bedroom and front door as this means I would be sealing off my door.
Doesn’t hurt to give it a try. Although if it would mean blocking your path or some other kind of discomfort, it’s best not to do it.
2. A Soundproof Door Sweep Works Too
You’re probably thinking how this could work, but when you think about it, if a door sweep can be used to avoid drafts and insects from finding their way in from underneath the door, you could also use these to prevent noise from wafting in from the same spot. Considering that insects can come in from said gap, so can noise too.
For the first time, when I got a door sweep, I went with one from Fowong. With time, I got to see that it picked up dirt so fast, but thinking about it, the door is hardly always neat. Although this particular door sweep is very stylish, it is prone to dirt and weightless.
I also eventually found a perfect door sweep – a Draft Guard Insulator and I am yet to find a fault with it.
3. You Can Seal Your Door Using a Soundproof Door Kit
Similar to the solution mentioned above is the option of sealing the door jamb. You can do this by weatherstripping, by doing a sweep and bringing door gaskets into the picture. You could also just get a kit for door soundproofing door which should also have all the products mentioned above.
The tape can be applied very easily and removed just as easily. It should also fix any visible space between your door and doorframe.
The kind of weatherstripping tape you get should depend on how much gap you want the weatherstripping tape to fix and if you’re considering a perfect fit for your door’s look. You have a range of options to pick from – foam, rubber, or vinyl.
After using weatherstripping tape for my front door and bedroom door, I realised just how effective they can be. The rubber material was what I used and this turned out to be a great mix. The rubber material is reasonable cost-wise, hardly go noticed and also durable.
the foam tape is the most cost-friendly but it does not last for more than a few years. After trying it out, I didn’t like the look of it on my door, you could still try it out though. Vinyl is pretty straightforward to install, durable and, can be very effective, it, however, does cost more.
4. Using Acoustic Caulk to Fix the Spaces Between the Doorframe
Like with most doors and door frames, there is every possibility that there are visible spaces between your wall and doorframe. You should consider sealing off these spaces as they can also be an easy means that noise can filter in. You can do this with no hassle and you also won’t have to bust your piggy bank for this.
Acoustic caulk can remain stable for a longer period without breaks or shrinks. It can also be painted later and is a straightforward process which means you can do it yourself. Acoustic caulk is otherwise called acoustic sealant and is the easier and cheaper option to go with if you’re considering sealing said spaces around your doorframe.
Before you do this, however, you should pay attention to the instruction as acoustic caulk contains solvents that may not be good for some materials. Once you have that figured out, you can proceed by applying generous amounts to the spaces around the door frame.
5. You Can Use Household Items to Soundproof Doors
You don’t have to go get a door sweep or while you’re probably saving up to get one, you can improvise with household items. The result is, after all, getting that space underneath the door fixed, you can push in rags, towels, scarves, basically anything that can fit.
Fitting in household items can look a bit rough and may not look presentable. If you are big on décor and design, you can make a good-looking draft stopper yourself with materials around your home. Items you have indoors should also contribute to the silence you need, like quiet fans or air conditioning units.
You should pull out your glue or scissors depending on what you can handle better. All you’ll need is some old jeans sewn or glued into the form of a draft stopper. You can then fill this up with rice, pillow stuffing, and any other suitable stuff you think will do. When there are no pants you can use for this, any other piece of material should do.
The good thing is, your draft stopper could look just as good as any door sweep, you’d have gotten on the open market.
6. Using a Soundproof Blanket is Also an Option
If there is anything I have learned over time, it is that thick and stuffy objects are better at absorbing noise. Moving blankets are usually thick, and rightfully so if they are going to serve their purpose. Moving blankets are used in wrapping furniture and other stuff to avoid any kind of ruin when you’re moving.
By hanging a moving blanket on your door, you can to some extent control the noise that wafts in. Didn’t think of that, did you? Plus, this is a very cheap way to soundproof your door.
When picking out a moving blanket for this purpose, I’d advise you to go for one with grommets (like these Bedsure blankets) as this will make hanging and removing less of a hassle. Grommets are the metal rings on the sides of curtains and such.
You could also make grommets by yourself if you already own a number of blankets that haven’t already got one. Another option may be to nail the blanket in place, but I would not advise this and it would always be the last option.
7. Door Gaskets Work as Well
These work very similarly to how weatherstripping tapes do. However, the strips of tapes are exchanged for a pair of magnetic gaskets placed on the door jamb.
Door gaskets are effective only on metal doors as the magnetic strip can only stick to metal thereby sealing the door. This takes a little more effort to install but they are way more effective than weatherstripping tapes.
8. Sound Insulating Fibreglass Panels
These work just like blankets but weigh a lot more. These are also made specifically to prevent noise unlike moving blankets. The panels come with brass grommets found on all sides and this means you can be picky with where and how you let them hang.
They are actual barriers to sound and prevent sound from wafting through. They absorb sound and as such stop them from bouncing around and with these, you won’t have a problem with echoes.
The downside, besides cost, is that these panels are not that pretty. As long as you can handle looking at them, they are a very effective way to sound insulate a door.
9. Attaching Soundproof Foam to the Door
These can be seen in most recording studios. Some of the most common ones are Polyester, Polyether, and Melamine and are made from acoustic foams which are further derived from polyurethane materials.
When installing soundproof foam panels, a common mistake made by most people is glueing them onto the wall. This simply damages the wall or your door if you do the same. The best thing to do is to make available a divider. For instance, cardboard panels. You can glue your foam panels to cardboard the hang them with high bonding Velcro strips. About 3 or 4 strips should do for one door.
Soundproof foam panels are affordable and very easy to install. Although they may not the best at eliminating noise, they do give your room a quieter feel to it.
With a fixed foam cover installed on your door, noise from outside can be deadened and your room can be insulated from heat. Although I won’t advise you to do this as it is a risk and might be some building code violation, it is, however, a worthy mention.
10. Using Soundproof Curtains over Your Door
If your door has a curtain rod over it, then it is great for using soundproof curtains. And while this option may come off as awkward, it can help lessen the noise you have to deal with.
They may not be as thick compared to blankets and fibreglass but they do have some added comfort. You can use this alongside a door sweep for even better results.
11. Soundproof Door Paint Does Some Work
Soundproof paint can be effective at blocking a moderate type of noise – for example, loud talking, yelling, or even singing.
It, however, may not block high or low pitch noises like traffic noise or the occasional plane flying past. If you are lucky enough to find a colour that goes with your door, then you should give it a try.
Soundproof paint is also affordable and pretty straightforward to use.
12. Buy a Solid Soundproof Door with Proper Seals
As I mentioned at the beginning of this article, a good number of doors are hollow on the inside and that is why noise can waft through very easily. If you have tried all the options mentioned above but seem not to have that much-desired silence, you can install a new door with a solid core.
I did try most options but at the end of the day, the noise did not entirely disappear. I decided to get a new soundproof door, seeing as I cherish my sleep and my neighbour was most definitely not planning to stop throwing parties. I had to bust my piggy bank for this but with the amount of sleep I’m getting, I say it was worth it.
There are a range of doors with a solid core to pick from if you’re looking to get one. You could go for hardwood (this cost more) or medium-density fibreboard (MDF). They usually have a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating and the higher the rating, the better.
Doors that have STC ratings are pricier. A door with an STC rating of around 30 – 35 should block out normal talk but if you have especially loud neighbours, you might want the consider one around the range of 40 – 55.
The Solitude You Get When you Sound Insulate a Door in Your Home
Maybe because I am a light sleeper, I did go through a lot just to have the quiet I now enjoy in my apartment. I had to replace the front door, use weatherstripping tape alongside a door sweep on my bedroom door to finally get to this stage. You probably won’t have to go through all this though.
In conclusion, your options range from moving furniture to acoustic caulk or a door sweep or soundproofing kit. You can also resort to curtains, blankets, or foam insulation. If these do not turn out well, you should consider spender a bit more and getting soundproof fibreglass panels. At this point, if all effort proves futile after this, a new door entirely is the only way to go.
If you have not tried out most of the options outlined here, you should go try them out now!