How to stop echoes in the home

Updated February 21, 2017

Echoes can be a problem in any home, especially in a house with high ceilings and large rooms. Wood, stone and tile floors all add to the problem, as does an absence of soft furnishings. An echo is caused by sound bouncing off hard surfaces, with glass, marble and concrete being the worst. There are many ways to lessen the echoes in your home, with options suitable for most budgets.

Hang long drapes at the windows to soften the surface around the glass. These drapes can either be functional or, if you don't like the effect of drawn curtains, they can simply hang at the sides of the window. In this case, use a soft roman shade for privacy, which also adds softness to the area. Echoes bounce from walls to ceilings to windows to floors, so pinpointing key areas such as windows can help to sharply decrease this "ping-pong ball" effect. Adding any type of softer material to a hard surface reduces echo.

Hang canvas art work or fabric wall hangings to soften the surface of walls. Do not hang pictures in glass frames as you will be adding another hard surface for echoes to bounce off. A silk wall covering can be a sophisticated and luxurious option, softening the walls in the way carpet softens hard floors.

Add rugs to hard floors. Carpet stops the entire floor from being a hard surface. If you have wood, stone or tile floors, these help an echo to continue bouncing around the room. This does not mean you need to carpet the entire room, even small rugs will help soften the floor's hard surface.

Use plenty of soft furnishings and accessories around the home. For example, use throws and cushions on furniture, especially hard wooden furniture. Even items such as a stuffed teddy bear will help soften a surface. Other soft furnishings such as large floor cushions or bean bags will also help reduce echoes and can be a fashion statement.

Use acoustic foam on walls or ceilings. This can be a good choice if you want a simple, minimalist look, without lot's of soft furnishings. The foam can either be applied to the walls with a spray-on adhesive or be cut to size and mounted on a board. This board can then either be leant against or hung on the walls. The foam is available in a range of designs and colours.

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About the Author

Based in England, Tami Mason writes for and various other websites. Mason has worked as a proofreader and copy editor since 2007 and is a trained interior designer who also specializes in art history, art and crafts.