Making a room totally soundproof requires a great deal of time and expense. However it is possible to soundproof a room or an area well enough to block the worst sound from getting in or out. Sound travels into or out of a space in the same way that air does, so soundproofing a room is the same as making it very well insulated. Sound is also best blocked by allowing an air space or air chamber in between layers. Allow for this when you are designing your soundproof room.
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Things you need
- "Green Glue" or silicone caulking
- Drill or screw gun
- Sheetrock screws
- Plain wooden furring strips or 2- by 4-inch lengths of wood.
- Extra-thick roofing felt or mass-loaded vinyl
- Heavy carpet padding
- Heavy carpet
- Tools appropriate for cutting Sheetrock, carpet, carpet pad, vinyl and felt
- Weather stripping
- Door seals
If your walls already have Sheetrock over them, then you'll just be adding an additional layer. If your walls are made of something else, like plaster and lathe or cement brick, you'll need to add two layers. Start by finding the studs in the current wall.
Apply a layer of silicone caulk or "Green Glue" to the area of the wall where the studs are located.
Attach a second layer of Sheetrock to the original Sheetrock wall, screwing the Sheetrock into the studs. The silicone or "Green Glue" acts as a vibrational dampener.
Tape the wall, making sure to put silicone or Green Glue on the seams of the Sheetrock to prevent extra sound from getting through.
Paint the wall as you would a normal room.
Attach plain wooden strips to the full length of the ceiling, spaced 2 feet apart over the width of the ceiling.
Attach a layer of Sheetrock to these new supports.
Put silicone or Green Glue across the areas where the new supports are in place, on the new layer of Sheetrock.
Attach another layer of Sheetrock to the first layer, screwing it in at the new supports.
Tape the new ceiling, being sure to put silicone or Green Glue in the seams to prevent sound from getting through.
Put down layers of the heaviest roofing felt you can find, or layers of mass-loaded vinyl, making sure that you alternate layers going vertically and horizontally across the floor to prevent sound leakage through repeated seams.
Put down a layer of the heaviest carpet padding you can find.
Put down a layer of heavy shag carpeting. All these layers work together to prevent sound from coming up through the floor.
Put in windows with double glazing, as widely spaced as possible and airtight, to prevent noise.
Seal around windows with weatherstripping or silicone caulk to prevent air and sound from getting in at the frame.
Consider blocking up your windows if too much noise gets in that way from the street or other sources.
Install a solid-core door in your music room. If possible, install two doors, one swinging out into the hall, the other swinging into the room, to act as an extra layer against sound.
Put seals around the door or doors to make a tight fit when they are closed.
Decorate with soft, thick items to help with soundproofing.
Hang heavy curtains, like velvet theatre curtains, to help dampen extra sound and make the room fairly sound-neutral.
Use soft furniture to help take up extra sound within the room.
Tips and warnings
- Seal all open cracks or gaps with flexible caulk.
- Remember that sound gets in the same way air does, so the tighter your room can be, the more soundproof it will be.
- Green Glue takes time to cure, so if you use it, be prepared for alterations in the sound of the room.
- If you are soundproofing a room, remember that you still need to be able to breathe. You can ensure enough air by installing a studio ventilation system or by opening the door every once in a while.
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