Soundproof a Home Gym: Ultimate Guide


Many people spend thousands of dollars throughout their lives on gym memberships without even realizing how expensive it is. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying that going to the gym is bad or not necessary. Of course, it is! But have you ever wondered if there’s a better way? What if you could have an excellent gym at home? If that’s the case, how can you soundproof a home gym?

To soundproof a home gym, you have to pad all the weights and block the spaces from which noise can escape. More importantly, you need to soundproof the floor, walls, ceiling, and windows of the gym. 

Weight lifting equipment

Instead of paying a monthly membership to the gym, and then spending some extra bucks on gas or public transport tickets to get there, maybe it is better to just make a home gym. Ever since I bought some gym equipment and built my own gym at home, I can say that I exercise more than when I used to go to a regular gym.

Having a gym at home is cool, but there’s one problem though; gym equipment is noisy. This is especially not cool for the neighbors. To avoid the headache, it’s best to follow this guide and learn how to soundproof a home gym. This will surely save you a lot of unnecessary drama.

Methods to soundproof a home gym

Soundproof the walls

The most important part about soundproofing a home gym is definitely soundproofing the walls. There are different ways to soundproof the walls, but I will only show you the best and most cost-effective ones.

In addition, before starting any soundproofing project, one of the key things you should know is that you have to recognize the kind of sound you are trying to get rid of.

Keep in mind that there are several types of noise, but the most common are airborne noise and impact noise.

Airborne noise is transmitted through the air only and these sound waves have medium to high frequencies.

Sound waves from impact noise have low frequencies and can easily pass through walls, windows, and doors. Another name generally used for this type of noise is structural noise. This is very important because there are materials that would block only the first type of noise on your walls.

Nevertheless, considering that you are trying to soundproof a home gym chances are you are dealing with impact noise.

Pre-construction tips

If you isolate the walls during the construction process, chances are you will save yourself a lot of money and time.  You have to make the isolation of your walls a priority when you share your walls with offices or rooms that require some level of silence.

For the same reason, it is crucial to build your home gym at a distance from the bedrooms or kids’ room. This is essential if you consider the feelings of the rest of the household while you hit the gym in the next room. Try to picture the discomfort that will cause. You don’t want that, right? Then try to avoid building a home gym next to the bedrooms.

If that’s not possible and your home gym is already constructed, then let’s move on and start soundproofing the walls with materials specifically made for that purpose.

Install acoustic foam panels

Man cutting a foam panel to soundproof a home gym

The acoustic panels are fairly easy to install. What more? They are one of the most effective soundproofing solutions for impact noise. I would suggest you use these ones on Amazon, as their ratings are super high and there are many satisfied customers out there.

These acoustic foam panels work as insulators for your walls. They will not only remove noise but also prevent the loss of heat and energy. They contain rubber foam and they are very strong and resistant.

Luckily, unlike some polyurethane foams, they do not have an unpleasant odor. This is great considering that you will spend at least a few hours there every day. An additional advantage of this acoustic foam panel is that you have adhesive on the back and it is very easy to stick them on the wall.

For a more detailed guide on how to stick them to the following, make sure to check out this article.

Add Blown-in insulation

Alright, let’s first start with the basics and define blown-in insulation.

What is Blown-In Insulation?

Blown-in insulation refers to loose and low-density cellulose insulation. This type of cellulose insulation mainly consists of recycled newsprint.

Amazingly, with an STC rating of 44, this type of insulation can be super effective for soundproofing not only interior but also exterior walls. The most vital thing you should know about this type of insulation is that it can also be added to existing walls. In fact, this is a standout feature of blown-in-insulation. Other types of insulation can be difficult to add after finishing the wall construction.

Another great thing about blow-in insulation is that it will help your walls to increase sound absorption. To soundproof a home gym, this is crucial, as you don’t want sound bouncing about. It is a great soundproofing solution because the cellulose could trap those tiny pockets of air. Those air pockets, in return, trap sound waves and nullify the noise before it gets to the other side of the wall.

What’s more? This type of insulation provides a number of benefits. First of all, it can be very affordable to effectively soundproof home gym walls. Secondly, it is also an eco-friendly soundproofing solution, as it is primarily made of recycled material.

Another important thing to remember is that blow-in insulation comes in a few varieties such as loose, wet, and dense pack. You can also check this AttiCat blow-in insulation on Amazon.

To learn more on how to install it, take a look at this video:

Soundproof a home gym door

I believe it is pretty obvious that the door can be a huge threat when it comes to transmitting sound. Therefore, door soundproofing, like soundproofing in any other part of the home, is a necessity. If you want to reduce noise to moderate levels, we suggest using a cheap method. One such methods would be using weatherstripping like this one you can find on Amazon.

However, if you want to reduce the sound coming from your doors by a significant amount, it may be a good option to spend some time, money, and energy on it. This is especially important when you soundproof a home gym because the noise coming from some of the equipment can be super loud. Here, I will provide you a few methods on how to soundproof a home gym door.

Attach acoustic blanket

moving blanket on door to soundproof a home gym

Attaching an acoustic blanket is an excellent way to soundproof a home gym door more effectively. Acoustic blankets are generally made of fiberglass, a material known to be a good sound absorber. Heavy soundproof blankets will absorb almost all the noise projected onto them.

However, the best thing is that these blankets are usually very easy to install. All you have to do is hang them on the hooks on the back of the door. They are also a good option since you can easily put them on or take them off when you don’t exercise in your home gym.

Nevertheless, they also have some disadvantages. The biggest downside of using acoustic blankets is the lack of aesthetic appeal.  Yet, considering that you are looking to soundproof a home gym door and not a door which is visible by people coming over, I don’t think that would be much of a big deal.

If the door is visible to guests, then remember that you can remove the blanket whenever you don’t use your gym. I would suggest you take a look at this moving acoustic blanket on Amazon which has a number of great reviews.

Install fiberglass panels

Soundproofing blankets are made of fiberglass and are super effective. However, what is even more effective are fiberglass panels. Just as the name suggests, these panels are also made of fiberglass. The coolest thing about them is that not only are they super effective, but they also look great when installed on the door. In addition, they are also incredibly easy to install.

All you have to do is to use adhesive or staples to attach them to the door. Yes, there are also other ways to install them, but that’s the easiest one and also provides great results. Just like the other soundproofing materials, they are also very easy to find. Basically, all you have to do is check this link out on Amazon and place an order. When you receive them, wait no more; start working!

For a more detailed guide on how to soundproof doors, check out my other article that covers that topic specifically.

Soundproof the windows

windows soundproofing

Just like the doors, it’s equally important to soundproof windows. Here, your best option is to brick them. This will ensure that no sound will escape. However, I am aware that windows are not only essential for daylight, but also for getting fresh air, especially during and after heavy workout sessions.

So, if you are unwilling to brick your windows, I completely understand. Now, let us explore the other options at your disposal.

Install PC Sheets

PC sheets
Photo credit: teijin.com

Soundproofing a window is not an easy task but it’s a very necessary one. PC sheets are one of the best soundproofing solutions specifically made for windows.

So what are PC sheets?

PC sheets stand for Polycarbonate sheets and refer to transparent layers made of polycarbonate that can be attached to windows. They come in different sizes, colors, and textures and are great for reducing loud sounds, especially if they are thick.  The best thing is that the process of installing PC sheets in your window is pretty straightforward.

Firstly, ensure to purchase a PC sheet like this one on Amazon. Remember that it should be according to the size of your window.  Another thing you would need is a magnetic tape that could also be found here on Amazon.

If you already got those materials, then it’s time to begin:

Step 1

Apply the magnet tape stripes on the sides of the window.

Step 2

Ensure to fit the sheet inside the edge of the frame of your window. If that’s not possible, you can also install it over the frame. In fact, this might be a better solution because it will cover all possible gaps and air leaks.

Step 3

Surprise! There’s no step 3, that’s all! Enjoy!

However, if you don’t prefer the two soundproofing window solutions that I listed here, maybe you could check out my other post that includes 11 best ways to soundproof a window.

Soundproof the floor of your home gym

Soundproofing the floor could be crucial if you are planning to lift weight by using dumbbells or any similar weight lifting equipment. Just imagine the noise you will make whenever you put those dumbbells and barbells on the floor.

Not only will it bother the people who live in your house, it could also be a nuisance to anyone in the apartment below. Soundproofing a home gym floor can also help reduce the damage of weights on regular household flooring.

To reduce the noise and protect your flooring, I will suggest two different methods:

Install interlocking tiles

Interlocking tiles to soundproof a home gym
Photo credit: bigdug.co.uk

Interlocking tiles are one of the best cost-effective ways for soundproofing floors. Basically, all you need to do is to buy them, lay them down, and connect them.

The best part is that they come in different sizes and different colors. So, you can use them for decoration purposes if that’s what you want. They are often used in regular gyms as well. Hence, there are interlocking tiles specifically made for gyms. For instance, take a look at these ones on Amazon.

Buy weightlifting drop pads

There is one more thing that you can use in a combination with interlocking tiles, and that is weightlifting drop pads. These pads are specially made to cushion the impact of the weight dropping on the floor in the gym. So, if you invest in them, you will definitely not regret it. I have these ones from Amazon and I only have positive things to say as they proved to be very effective.

Carpet your floor

Most of the time, when people decide to make a home gym they leave the floor uncarpeted, and that’s a huge mistake. Carpeting the floor is essential because it could also serve as a soundproofing solution and reduce the noise that you make while working out.

Yes, it is true; carpeting itself can’t be the ultimate solution to soundproof a gym floor, but it is helpful. My advice is to use it in combination with the other previous methods that I mentioned. Hopefully, it will help you out!

Soundproof a home gym ceiling

soundproofing your ceiling

If you think that soundproofing the ceiling is not necessary, you are wrong. Sound can leak from everywhere, and to prevent that you should soundproof the entire home gym. There are different ways to soundproof a ceiling. One of the best ways is to install acoustic foam panels as I suggested to you previously when talking about the walls.

Of course, there are also other ways. So, here’s a list of my favorites:

Decoupling the ceiling

Decoupling has proven to be one of the most effective ways to soundproof a home gym ceiling. However, let’s first define it.

What is decoupling?

Decoupling in literal terms refers to separate objects. In soundproofing, it refers to isolating sound with the use of resilient sound clips, resilient channels, double stud, etc.

To soundproof a home gym ceiling with decoupling, make sure to follow this guide:

Remove the current drywall

The current drywall is in direct contact with the ceiling joists. This allows the sound from the upper deck to pass directly through the beams with little resistance. Once the old drywall is removed, you can install a new ceiling with an air gap between it and the top floor. This allows decoupling and prevents the transmission of vibrations.

Apply Green Glue

Decoupling is only very effective in reducing the sound of conversations and high-pitched noises, but it can make low frequencies sound louder. To get the best of both worlds, we need to apply Green Glue damping compound (like this one you can find on Amazon) to a new layer of thick drywall and bolt it to the subfloor from below.

Be careful not to use screws that break the top floor. This could open new holes through which noise would enter.

Apply R19 Fiberglass

This Standard R19 fiberglass insulation on Amazon is as good as the more expensive “acoustic” insulation. Fill the gaps between the beams, but avoid using it too much.

Insulating materials such as cellulose, mineral fiber, cotton, or polyester are effective alternatives.

Add floating ceiling joists

This decoupling method is most effective for home ceilings. To do this, install a new beam between each pair of ceiling joists. The new beams should extend 2.5-5cm lower than the original beams. Ideally, the floating beam can be placed on the inner layer of a decoupled wall. This creates another air gap between the beams and the outer layer of the wall.

After that, just install more drywall over the joists and apply acoustic putty like this one on Amazon.

To get a better idea on how decoupling is done, make sure to take a look at this video

On the other hand, if you want to learn more methods about soundproofing a ceiling, then it would be best if you check out my article that covers that topic in particular. You can find it here.

Extra tips to reduce the sound

weightlifting equipment on a floor

Having a home gym myself, I have also found out some other great ways you can reduce the sound that you are making while working out. Here are some of them:

Buy rubber coated dumbbells  

If you worry about the sound of your dumbbells so much, why not replace them with rubber-coated dumbbells? Iron dumbbells not only make a loud sound when you leave them on the floor, but they also damage the floor. Therefore, consider buying rubber coated dumbbells. These are the ones I ordered a while ago from Amazon.

Wrap weightlifting racks with padding or cloth

Another thing you can do to reduce the noise while working out is to wrap weightlifting racks with padding or cloth. Basically, all you need to do is wrap them with a few layers of cloth bare tape like this on Amazon and you are good to go!

Buy a heavy sandbag

Instead of weightlifting racks or dumbbells, you can perhaps lift a heavy sandbag. No, I am not telling you to go outside, fill a bag with sand, and use it as fitness equipment (although you could), I am telling you to buy one.  This one on Amazon looks good.

Final thoughts

Working out is an essential part of some people’s lives. In fact, that’s why many of them, including myself, have home gyms. However, our passion for fitness doesn’t have to be a nightmare for the people around us, right?

If you want to avoid that, then I would highly recommend that you soundproof your home gym. That’s what I did and I never regretted that decision. I feel like if I hadn’t done it, most of my neighbors would have stopped talking to me a long time ago.

I hope that this guide helped you out with the process and now you feel ready to start your next home project.

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