DIY Alternative Soundproofing

Written by amanda gaddis
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DIY Alternative Soundproofing
Soundproofing your home can be cheaper and easier than you think. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

If you need a room soundproofed, you don't have to hire a contractor to install expensive soundproofing materials. There are different do-it-yourself soundproofing methods for walls, windows and doors. DIY soundproofing for walls involves securing materials to the walls of the room using nails or heavy staples. You can install new doors and heavy curtains to soundproof doors, and a double layer of heavy curtains will soundproof windows.

Skill level:
Moderate

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Things you need

  • Soundproofing materials
  • Hammer
  • Nails
  • Moulding or thin wooden boards
  • Staple gun
  • Box cutter or craft knife

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Instructions

    DIY Alternative Soundproofing for Walls

  1. 1

    Measure the wall you wish to soundproof. Make sure to leave room for windows and doors.

    DIY Alternative Soundproofing
    Foam mattress pads are a great cheap soundproofing material. (Dynamic Graphics Group/Dynamic Graphics Group/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Place the first section of soundproofing material such as cardboard egg crates, cork tiles or foam mattress pads against the wall. Begin in one upper corner of the wall.

  3. 3

    Secure material to the wall using staple gun or nails. Lighter materials can be installed using heavy staples at each corner, but heavier materials will need nails.

  4. 4

    Place your next section of material or tile. Secure to the wall. Repeat until the main sections of the wall are covered.

  5. 5

    Cut soundproofing materials to fit around doors and windows. Materials such as cardboard egg crates and foam mattress pads can be cut with a box cutter, but thicker materials such as carpet may require speciality cutting tools. Secure cut materials to walls around windows and doors.

  6. 6

    Cover unattractive soundproofing materials with heavy fabric such as tapestries or heavy curtains by stapling or nailing. Heavy fabric can match room decor and provide additional sound dampening. You can also secure fabric over soundproofing materials by placing fabric between two pieces of moulding and nailing in place.

    DIY Soundproofing for Windows

  1. 1

    Measure windows on both the inside and the outside of the window frame. The best way to soundproof windows is to hang two sets of heavy drapes called blackout curtains both inside and outside the window frame, which provides a double layer of fabric with space between the layers.

    DIY Alternative Soundproofing
    Glass windows can easily transmit sound if not soundproofed. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Install a curtain rod inside or as close to the window frame as possible. Hang the inside drapes. The drapes for the inside of the window do not need to be pulled taut, so choose drapes that are at least two times the width of the window to allow the fabric to fold. Folded fabric will better trap sound waves.

  3. 3

    Install the second curtain rod so that it is at least 2 inches beyond the first set of curtains. You can purchase curtain rod extenders at a hardware store that allow the second curtain rod to be placed outside the first. Hang your second set of drapes over the first, and again make sure that the fabric isn't pulled taut.

    DIY Soundproofing for Doors

  1. 1

    Remove existing doors by pulling pins out of hinges and lifting the door out of the frame. Many interior doors are made of two pieces of thin wood with air between them, and this can easily transmit sound. Installing new doors made of solid material is a cheap and easy DIY soundproofing option.

    DIY Alternative Soundproofing
    Hollow interior doors can transmit sound, so switch to solid material doors for soundproofing. (Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images)
  2. 2

    Remove hinges and knobs from existing interior doors. Set aside for use in the new door, if possible. Some solid material doors may be heavier than hollow doors, so make sure that hinges will hold the new door before reusing hinges.

  3. 3

    Install hinges onto an exterior or solid material door. Doors made from solid materials block sound better than hollow interior doors, and many doors meant for exteriors offer superior soundproofing to interior doors.

  4. 4

    Hang your new door on the hinges. Install the doorknob and lock, if any.

  5. 5

    Install a heavy curtain rod over the doors on the inside and hang soundproof curtains to provide extra sound insulation.

Tips and warnings

  • To secure heavier materials to walls, always use wide-head nails. You can also secure them by putting a nail through a washer.
  • When installing new interior doors, you might have to buy new hinges if the new door is significantly heavier than the existing door.
  • Always follow basic safety precautions when using hammers, nails and staple guns.

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