Okay, this is a question I get more often than you can imagine. My bedroom is nearly completely soundproof and anytime I have friends over and they get to experience the serenity, they want that for themselves. So if you’re like my friends, and you want to know how to soundproof your bedroom, this article is what you’re looking for!
The trick to soundproofing your bedroom is simply blocking everywhere through which soundwaves could escape or enter your room. Easy right? That’s exactly what it is – doable! The most common spots via which sound can slip through are cracks on your door, floor, windows, and every other space between adjacent walls. Pad these places, and you have a soundproofed room.
The next question on your mind may be how can I do this cheaply? Or how can I do it myself? The answer to these questions is what I seek to address in the following section.
How to soundproof your bedroom for cheap – a DIY Guide
To do anything cheaply, you have to understand the most important factors and satisfy them first. In the case of soundproofing your bedroom, the most essential places to focus on are
- The door
- hard floors
- Plain walls
We will go over every one of these focus points and show you how you can effectively hush sounds coming in through them.
NOTE: Completely insulating your room from noise will attract a significant cost, so you might have to make do with studying your house and figuring which of the soundproofing measures will make the most difference.
How to soundproof a bedroom door
Considering that your bedroom might be farther from thoroughfare than other rooms in your house, the biggest noise threat to your peace may be coming from adjourning rooms and passageways. What this means is that, soundproofing the door to your bedroom could significantly insulate your room from noise. Here’s how you can go about soundproofing your door
Install door sweep
One easy way to know you need a door sweep to help you curb the entrance of sound is to try this little experiment; turn on the lights in the hallway, get into your room and turn off all your bedroom lights. Do you see light creeping into the room from underneath the door?
If yes – which is the most likely outcome – then you need a door sweep to shield against noise. Both light and sound are waves, so if light can come in, sound can too.
Door sweeps protect the space between the bottom of your door and the floor, to prevent sound from slipping through. They are normally made of rubber materials which you can easily nail to the foot of your door and keep the noises at bay.
Pad or Replace the door
When you think of soundproofing any particular space, the most commonsensical approach is to add more weight to the surface. We experience this concept in our lives every day; if you want less sound through any surface what do you do? You double it. That same process applies to doors.
To reduce the possibility of sound passing through your door, you could get it padded. Padding your door could be done by adding an extra layer of wood to it. This may not be the most aesthetic approach, but it is cheaper than acquiring a new door – which is the best option.
Use door seals and weather stripping
Sealing gaps and cracks on your bedroom door is an effective to soundproof it. Apart from the space between your door and floor, the biggest culprit for letting in noise would be the cracks on your door and the spaces between you’re your door and its frame. The good news is that you can seal out those noises in a few steps, and you can do it all by yourself.
Weather stripping your door also helps you conserve energy and reduce your heating bill. For instance, in the video below, you would see how you can block heat, noise, and light simply by weather stripping.
I have written an entire article about how to soundproof a door and it took me more than 15 hours on. It has useful tips, videos and links to useful material for a low price. If you want to find out more, click here.
How to soundproof a bedroom floor
Is soundproofing your bedroom floor necessary? Well, this depends on a whole lot of factors. Not all room floors need to be soundproofed to the same extent – although for a perfectly quiet room, soundproofing everywhere including the floors is mandatory.
If you live in an apartment building for example, then soundproofing your floors can hush noise pollution significantly. This is because most of the sound transmitted via floors are impact noises and vibrations such as footsteps, something tripping, television sounds, etc. These vibrations can be pretty troubling to a light sleeper or easily distracted individual, so here’s what you can do about your noisy floor.
Opt for cork or vinyl floors
One reason you may need to soundproof the floor of your bedroom to reduce noise pollution, is the type of flooring already in place in your home. If you’re like me and already have cork floors installed in the original construction, then you needn’t bother about your floor being the principal source of noise pollution. You may want to take care of the other sources first.
This is because cork and vinyl flooring is less likely to transmit sound like other types of flooring such as hardwood, tiles, and concrete floors. The higher the foam-backed quality of vinyl floor you use, the more your chances of being unperturbed by minor sounds and vibrations.
Use carpets and rugs
Realistically, if you have other types of flooring installed in your home, you might not have the option of changing the entire floor since you’re on a budget in the first place, so the best you can do is to explore other affordable options available to you. One of such options is to cover your floor with thick rugs and carpets.
Possibly the easiest and cheapest do-it-yourself move you can make to soundproof your bedroom floor is to place a rug or carpet on it. It’s as simple as finding the right fit for your room and following a few guidelines to install it.
Photo by Megan Markham
Use a rug pad
This goes a step further than just throwing a thick rug over your floor; using a rug pad or underlay is a more extreme measure if you want quiet floors. Using rug pads is particularly necessary if the principal source of noise pollution in your home is from the floor below. By adding an extra layer of insulation between the floor and the rug, you cut the chances of sound slipping in from below.
The option of using a rug pad can be vital if the flooring in your house is of a hard material like hardwood, tiles, or concrete. In these cases, a rug alone may not suffice and an underlay would be required to do the job. What more? These dense underlays and rug pads are great because they are quite affordable.
How to soundproof a bedroom window
Windows are another high-risk noise pollution source. This fact is especially obvious if you live in a busy neighborhood with your windows close to the street. The glasses and the frames used in a window setup do very little to stop any form of vibrations from coming in.
The problem with windows though is that, there’s not much you can do to the window itself, apart from weather stripping and sealing it. The good news, however, is that there are accessories like soundproof curtains you can decorate your bedroom window with to make it better able to prevent the entrance of noise.
Use soundproof curtains
The most usual method to reduce the amount of noise coming in through the window is to soundproof curtains, and it’s perhaps the most attractive way too. Soundproof curtains are basically thick drapes and tapestries that can be used in place of the ordinary curtains or blinds. Their mass helps to prevent the easy passage of sound waves and also absorbs noise in a phenomenon known as damping.
If you live in a cold region, another benefit of a soundproof curtain would be its thermal insulation capacity. Simply put; it won’t readily allow heat to escape the room, hence, saving you some cash on your heating bill. So what you get with a soundproof drapery, you get the multiple benefits of noise cancellation, visual barrier against excessive light and distracting neighbors, and a warmer room.
Use window inserts
Here’s another way you can dramatically improve the noise insulation of your bedroom. Window inserts are just new and improved glass panes that can significantly reduce the entrance of noise and light. They’re thicker and more durable than the regular window panes, but they fit snugly into the original window frame of your house so you don’t have to replace the entire window.
Indow windows can block out 50-70% of exterior noise penetration, which makes them an incredibly effective soundproofing option. Imagine installing a window insert and using a soundproof curtain in one room, you get to hush out about 95% of regular noise. I didn’t go that far, but if a completely quiet bedroom is your priority, why not go for them both?
Weather stripping and sealing your window
Weather stripping or sealing a window is the process of using a strip of material like a sealant tape or rubber gaskets to seal spaces in your window. They are usually applied at the points where the window touches the frame so besides impeding noise, they also help your window to be tightly shut, which in turn keeps out cold air.
Below is a video of how you can weather strip your windows yourself.
How to soundproof your bedroom wall
Walls are pretty solid and hardly penetrated by common sounds and noises, therefore, while your bedroom walls might be the least likely source of noise pollution, they are not soundproof and can still play a role by acting as reflective surfaces. Sounds and vibrations bounce off hard surfaces like walls and floors and become more pronounced.
What this means is that if you live in a noisy environment, not padding your walls and leaving them bare can add to your noise problem.
Also, if the walls of your home are thin – which is quite common in apartments – this could make living with a noisy neighbor quite unbearable. In that case, you will have to find ways to add more mass to your wall to inhibit the entrance of noise. Let’s look at some affordable ways by which you can do that
Use soundproof blankets
Using blankets is a cost effective way of insulating your bedroom walls from noise. Nailing thick blankets to your wall will prevent sounds from bouncing off it because the blankets will absorb the vibrations intended for the walls. What more? This is one of the most inexpensive ways to block sounds from disturbing you, as blankets are plentiful and abundant, not to mention affordable compared to other options.
However, blankets aren’t the only relatively cheap options you have, you can choose to install some soundproofing wallpapers or rubber textile mats over your wall to damping the effect of noise. Some wallpapers are capable of absorbing vibrations and therefore could be a preferable soundproofing option to tapestries for you, if you prioritize aesthetics over anything else.
Pad your walls with furniture and decorative items
One simple and smart way to keep the sounds and vibrations off your wall is to cover it with furniture and other decorative items. An entire plain wall in your bedroom is going to reflect more sounds than the parts that are interrupted by décor. Examples of items you can use to break up your solid wall space include:
This is a particularly shrewd way to soundproof your wall to suit both style and function. You can install a wall-to-wall book case on the walls of adjourning rooms to absorb and diffuse the sound exchange between them. You can also stocking the shelves with books, awards, figurines, and other pieces of decoration. The bookcase will absorb the vibration and disperse it within its shelves to reduce the overall output. While installing a bookcase, it’s imperative that the edges of the case fits snugly to the floor, wall, and ceiling. This will allow no room for sound to escape through those tiny pockets of space.
Photo by kolya korzh
Piling up art work, photographs, and other types of hanging décor on your wall is an aesthetic way to improve the sound insulation capacity of your wall. Since the general idea is to break up bland hard surfaces, these delicate items will suffice as they would more readily absorb the noises and vibrations that enter the room. This worked remarkably for me, as I have various art works and pictures hanging in my room. So whatever you do, ensure to have your walls adorned with decoration. That is a cheaper and more aesthetic approach compared to fully padding your walls with acoustic materials.
To soundproof your bedroom is a luxury, and like all forms of luxuriousness, it often comes with a high price tag. You can pay attention to the needs of your bedroom and building, and then figure out which of the above approaches will be the most effective for you. If you decide to apply all or most, then be prepared to spend more.