Soundproofing Ideas and Materials

Written by kimberly hawthorne
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Soundproofing Ideas and Materials
A soundproofed room will keep the sound of drums from reaching your ears. (Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images)

Your teenager is practicing to be a drummer and your next door neighbour insists on playing loud music at the most inappropriate times. Don't worry, you can use soundproofing materials to quiet the noise of drums and avoid conflicts with neighbours. Soundproofing materials will transform your home into a peaceful sanctuary.

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Unless your teenager is a professional drummer there is no need to spend a fortune on soundproofing his room. Adding a second layer of five-eighths-inch sheet rock to the walls should do the trick. Sheet rock is priced under £13 for an 8-by-10-foot sheet, as of 2011. Other soundproofing materials for walls are considerably higher in cost and some require professional installation. For added measure, use silicone caulk to glue a layer of felt to the existing walls prior to hanging the second layer of sheet rock.

Doors and Windows

The easiest way to soundproof a door is to buy a new one. Most interior doors have a hollow core that allows whispers to get through. Replace the interior door with an exterior door made of medium density fiberboard and a solid core. Install the door just as you would an exterior door with gap insulating strips and a door sweep seal. If replacing the door is not an option you can hang an acoustical mass loaded curtain over the door. This product is also hung over windows to keep noise from bothering the neighbours.

Floors and Ceilings

Depending on where a room to be soundproofed is located, you may need to soundproof the floor and/or ceiling as well. Floors and ceilings are soundproofed by applying a mass-loaded vinyl barrier. This product is effective in blocking 85 to 90 per cent of noise. It comes in 4-by-8-foot sheets and has a peel and stick backing. It is only one-quarter-inch thick and can be installed under carpet padding and to ceilings. Carpet and padding will also help reduce noise levels.


When the noise in your home is coming from outside, you will need to soundproof one or more sides of your home. The best place to start is the windows. In most cases, outside noise will enter your home through windows, even if they are closed. Remove the old seal material and reseal windows with acoustical caulk and add a second pane of glass, leaving a 1-inch gap between the panes. Plant bushes and trees around your home; they are great insulators as well as sound absorbers. If none of these options do the trick, you can always soundproof the entire exterior of your home.

Soundproofing the exterior of your home will be quite an undertaking. Remove the siding from your home carefully if you want to reuse it, otherwise you need to purchase new siding. The best siding materials for soundproofing are cement fibre or insulated vinyl. Before installing previous or new siding, apply a coat of noise proofing compound to the sheathing.

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