Soundproofing your garage is not an easy job, but if you have the right guide everything is possible. In this article, I have covered it all for you. Just remember that to properly soundproof a garage you should take care of the walls, ceilings, floor, and windows.
The reason why you might want that is that some people often tend to say that some of the greatest bands have started in a garage. Considering that it was the case with Nirvana, Arctic Monkeys, The Kingsmen and many others, one could say it is indeed true. What’s more, not only great bands have started in a garage, but also some great brands as well. In fact, some of the most successful brands we know today such as Apple, Amazon, Disney, and Google were also first based there.
What I am trying to say is that your garage is not a place that should be underestimated. Despite that its initial purpose is to have your car parked there, it still could serve for many other things. For example, you might think about turning your garage into a home cinema or into a place. In other words, your garage does not always have to be that boring place where you put all the staff that you don’t need so they could collect dust. It is a space that could have many, many other purposes, you just need to be more creative about it and, of course, invest some money at the beginning. Hence, it is no wonder why many people want to soundproof the garage yet many of them never do because they believe it is too expensive.
To help you out, I have decided to create a step-by-step guide about how you can soundproof your own garage all by yourself and save some bucks.
Soundproof the garage door
One of the most important things, but also perhaps the most difficult one is soundproofing the garage door. Considering that the door is a part of the garage that will be moving the most, the best thing to do is to use sheets or acoustic blankets to avoid noise going through it.
Acoustic blankets are actually a common solution when soundproofing doors and other movable parts. They, at most of the part, consist of fiberglass and other sound-absorbing materials. What you should remember is that you should be careful when cutting them as they should match your garage door size.
Another and even cheaper solution to soundproof the door is moving blankets. They are very similar to acoustic blankets but are much cheaper. Check out these ones on Amazon. They come in a pack of 12 and have some really amazing reviews.
Furthermore, take note that it is important to not miss the gaps which are usually on the bottom, the top, and the sides. For this you may use a stripping rubber seal as it blocks the airborne sound leakages. These ones are very easy to install and shouldn’t take you much time. However, even when you apply them there still will be some gaps between the seals and the door. To close them plug them with acoustic caulk.
Learn more about it from this video.
To learn more about soundproofing any door, just go through my article in which I’ve discussed everything in great detail. Here is the link.
Soundproofing the walls of your garage
Soundproofing the walls is much easier than soundproofing the door. There are a few methods that you can use when soundproofing the walls, however, they heavily depend on your needs and budget. Let us discuss each of these in detail.
- Room within a room
- Double wall construction
- Staggered Stud Wall Construction
- Resilient Channels and Sound Isolation Clips
- Double the Drywall
Room within a room
The first option I will tell you about is building a room within a room. The main concept of this option is to remove the current drywall from the inside of the garage and build a frame that is completely separated from the current framing.
This way you will separate the inner wall with the outside wall and minimize the contact between the two frames. Nevertheless, this might not be the best option for wall isolation as not only it is kind of costly, but it also will reduce the space that you might use for something else. Most likely the space loss on one side will be around 6 inches (around 15 cm).
Double Wall Construction
Although this might be similar to the previous option, double-wall construction will take less decoupling and should not be that difficult to construct. The downside is that it still will take some space, nevertheless, it still could be a very good option for soundproofing the walls. Basically what you should do is to construct two stainless steel walls which should be separated by air. The wall of air then insulates the cup by transferring hit through a layer of air. In other words, the heat is first transferred by conduction through one layer of steel, then by radiation and convection through the vacuum and at the end by conduction through the other layer of steel. The coolest thing about double-wall construction is that it is not only a great solution for soundproofing, but it also saves up to 80% of cooling and heating.
Staggered Stud Wall Construction
Another super effective way to soundproof your garage is with staggered stud wall construction. So what this is all about? Well, staggered stud wall construction means that you will have to replace the current framing with a 6-inch (around 15 cm) wide framing in which the studs should be staggered. Moreover, you should put the vertical 2×4 studs alternately on each side of the plate. The space between the two staggered studs is around 12 inches (30 cm). To learn more about the differences between a staggered stud and a double wall, check out this article.
Resilient Channels and Sound Isolation Clips
The resilient channel is a thin strip of metal bent that forms a spring-like tube. One layer is attached to the studs, and the drywall is fixed on the opposite side, so it does not touch the stud. These are connected perpendicularly to studs or joists, creating a grid-like structure. The isolation or decoupling of the gypsum layer from the stud helps keep the noise from passing through the wall.
The drywall should not come into contact with the adjacent walls, and no screws in the panel shall be able to touch the stud or any other portion of the wall. To complete the sound shield, you should line the gaps with acoustic caulking. Don’t forget to make sure that the channel is rated for heavier materials!
Double the Drywall
Adding mass to the walls by putting an additional layer of drywall is also a possibility when soundproofing the garage walls. Despite that here there is no decoupling, the additional mass should serve to reduce the sound transfer.
Remember that drywall sheets should cover walls made from vertical wood studs and hollow cavities. The first step that you should do in this method is to install a second layer of drywall on top of the first layer in order to make a better sound barrier. Place the first layer of drywall with the sheets vertically against the studs. The second layer should be placed at 90 degrees to the first layer in order to avoid the seams to line up.
Check out the video below to see how it looks like.
Soundproof the windows of your garage
The ways that you might soundproof the windows of your garage actually might depend on the things you want to use the garage for. So what exactly do I mean by this?
Brick your windows
Well if you are planning to use your garage for just your cars or your band then you certainly do not need some great view, right? And if you don’t need a view then the best way to soundproof the windows of your garage is just to brick them. Take note that the glass leaks the sound very easily. This is something that you won’t have to deal with if you decide to just brick it that ultimately is also much more affordable.
Acoustic plug for windows
If you decide to install acoustic plugs to your windows then make sure to take measures of your window and then cut it so it can fit the size of it. This way the noise will stay inside and would not be able to leak outside the garage that easily. Take into consideration that the plug should fit the window opening without leaving which might allow some sound to escape outside.
The important thing is that if you place the soundproofing on one side of the board (which I highly recommend you to use if the windows are over about 4’X4′) then you should definitely add another layer of soundproofing mat (which you need if you want to make your own acoustic plug) to the inside side of the backing board. Additionally, you should cut the mat an inch in order to make it fit perfectly into the frame. Then it can easily block the noise that may enter through the edges of the plug.
The best thing is that these plugs are very easy to be removed and put back together so your windows might not be soundproofed every time if that’s not what you want. Another advantage is that the temperature in the garage will stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer.
Another advice that I am going to give you is that if the window is too large, it’s best if you leave the plug there all the time and not make it removable. That way it could be sealed by caulking around the edges and might give some extra soundproofing results. Nevertheless, make sure to add a string to the caulked inseam if you want to remove it easily later on in case of an emergency. For a more detailed guide check out this article.
Installing the acoustic blanket is as simple as unfolding it and attaching it to the window. However, the thing is that the procedure and implementation of this form of soundproofing are that there is a difference between the grommet and the clip. In most of the cases, acoustic vibration sheets should be purchased separately from mounting clips and hanging grommets. The distinction between them is clear, the grommets are individually designed and built into the acoustic blanket. On the other hand, the clips are only steel clips that are connected to the blanket and fixed to the walls.
The acoustic blanket is a perfect soundproof option if you need total silence and it is super affordable. Hence, they could be a great alternative if you do not want to brick the windows or replace them with windows made of double-pane laminated glass.
Many people refuse to believe in the effectiveness of soundproofing curtains simply because at the end of the day we are talking about curtains, right? Well, they are wrong. Soundproofing curtains do work perfectly fine and they can be a great option to soundproof your windows. On top of that, they are very simple to install, just like any curtains. The ones that I have installed in my garage work quite well for me. Here is the Amazon link for more details.
What you should know about them is that they are often heavy and thick in order to keep out both, sound and light. Depending on what you will use your garage for, it’s crucial to remember that if you choose them as a soundproof option, you will definitely have to compromise the natural light. If that’s not a problem for you then you are good to go with them.
So the big question is how do they work?
Well basically their surface often consists of porous surface which enables them to absorb sound waves. However, they still can’t make your garage completely silent. On the other hand, there are still some great benefits from them such as:
- Simple and fast soundproofing solution
- It also can serve to block the natural light as well (if that’s what you want)
- They are great in keeping the garage cool during summer and warm during winter
- High-quality soundproof curtains are made in a way to keep the space as much as silent as possible (yet still not completely silent)
To make sure you will buy some of the great quality, check out the video below and choose ones which suit your needs and budget best.
Soundproof the floor of your garage
I will start with the cheapest option for soundproofing the floor of your garage and that is a carpet. Now the truth is that it won’t absorb that much of the noise. Nevertheless, it might work for you in case the noise will not be that loud and you want to save some bucks. In fact, this could be particularly great if you want to soundproof the garage for band purposes. It both looks cool and you will be able to play the instruments barefoot just like many popular musicians do. The reason why they do that is that they claim that they could feel the vibrations from the floor that could be super powerful.
If you still need something which will absorb the sounds more, let’s take a look at other ways to get things done.
Use Rubber Underlay as a way to soundproof a garage
Rubber is among the best sound absorption base technologies preferred by many people. Many rubber underlays are made from recycled rubber, making them much more eco-friendly than they were back in a day.
The commercially available rubber underlay is simple to mount and does not need to be coated with adhesives. In addition, these items are super strong and very durable.
They have smooth, supportive underfoot padding and are typically available in a flat or waffle style. Flat underlays feature better protection and stability to the carpet. On the other hand, the underlay waffles have a more relaxed underfoot feel and magnetically enhance the thermal insulation of the underlay.
Rubber Cork Underlay
The rubber liquor underlay is basically a combination of rubber and liquor. This provides it with a high density that allows it to provide excellent acoustic insulation. Rubber-cork underlay is simple to attach, durable, water-resistant and eco friendly. It offers high soundproofing. Also, it is a great way to save money on heat energy as well as it also saves the heat. Here is the Amazon link to it.
Soundproofing the ceiling
If you want to completely soundproof your garage then you should definitely not forget about the ceilings. The truth is that most of the noise will not be leaked through the ceiling but through the walls. However, it still doesn’t mean you shouldn’t soundproof it as well.
Sound absorption sheets and acoustic blankets vs. tiles and foam panels
The first option that I am going to suggest to you is to use sound absorption sheets and acoustic blankets. It is affordable and it is easy to install. Nevertheless, if you are looking for a better and more effective solution then perhaps you should go with soundproofing tiles and foam panels.
What you should know about this is that soundproofing foam panels should be cut in tiles with pyramid or wedge shapes. This will help to reduce the sound because it won’t be bouncing off of flat surfaces. You should definitely consider this option if you are looking to soundproof your garage for band purposes because these foam panels are mostly present in professional music studios.
Take a look at this video to see how they should be installed.
Add resilient channels in addition to other methods
I have already mentioned them, but I still decided to list them as you could use them in addition to other methods in soundproofing different parts of the garage. It is kind of optional, but it definitely could help you in making sure that you completely managed to soundproof the garage. What’s more, many consider it an alternative to building a room inside the garage.
The resilient channels first appeared in the US back in the 60s as an affordable way of soundproofing. They quickly became very popular because they were better in comparison to other soundproofing options at the time.
Just like I said above, they consist of thin metal or sometimes of non-corrosive steel and are specially for soundproofing purposes. People mainly use them for soundproofing walls and ceilings. They are super useful in combination with some other soundproofing materials like blankets for example.
Keep in mind that the good resilient channels have high STC rating– 65. That is great and is exactly why resilient channels became popular for garage soundproofing in the first place. Nevertheless,e careful when buying them as their quality has significantly dropped from the time when they first appeared till now. Auralex Resilient Channels are great, which is why I highly recommend them in case you decide to use them.
The best advantages of resilient channels are that they are super affordable and are also very practical. To learn more about how to install them, check out the following article.
I hope this guide will serve you as a great guide to soundproof a garage. The key thing to remember is that if you want to soundproof your garage completely then you should definitely try to use a few methods combined.
Other things that I will suggest you is to not save money on quality materials. Despite the fact that they might cost you a few bucks more, they still will provide you a higher quality. In other words, try to not compromise the good quality for a few more bucks. Good luck with your work!