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How To Soundproof A Bedroom?

We all know that living with unwanted noise can be terribly inconvenient – causing sleepless nights and stress-filled days. So, whether you are the one making the noise or the one being irritated by the noise, soundproofing a bedroom can be the perfect and in many cases, low-cost solution for everyone living in peaceful harmony.

There are several ways to soundproof your room to prevent sound waves from traveling in or out. If you are a visual person and would like to see it being done step by step, you can check out some informative videos on soundproofing at eHow.com.

Some people have the luxury of soundproofing a room before it is even built. If you fall into this category then you will want to work with your contractor about adding in soundproofing materials into the walls, doors and windows. Your contractor can also work on increasing the thickness of your walls. An article in eHow notes that you can have your contractor add a second wall to an existing wall (without the walls touching) letting the sound isolation clips between the walls prevent the noise from traveling outside the room. You can also ask your contractor to add in fiberglass insulation to the interior walls to insulate the sound. Finally, there are also special paints you can use that will also help soundproof a room. If you go to your local home improvement store, the experts there can advise which paints are best for reducing and absorbing the sound waves from traveling out of the room.

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Most people, however, are looking to soundproof a room that already exists. Therefore, before you start shopping for insulation materials, take note: The easiest way to soundproof a room is to add window dressing to all your windows and to cover your floors end to end with carpeting. In addition, you can hang blankets or even install corking on your walls to keep in the sound. You might also consider having furniture with soft fabrics versus harder surfaces such as woods.

Here are some additional means to soundproof your existing bedroom:

1. First and foremost, check your bedroom for sound leaks. You can do that by examining all the doors and windows. Once you ascertain where those noise “leaks” are you can begin to plug them up.
2. Window soundproofing can be as easy as installing a piece of sheetrock into the frame of the window.
3. Arthur Knoxson, president of Acoustic Sciences, advises that in order to eliminate air leaks from the doors you can purchase a weather stripping kit from your local home improvement store. These are pretty inexpensive and are comprised of foam strips that you can install all the way around the door. The key is to make sure the foam strips are the right thickness since you must seal the door airtight in order to eliminate sound traveling in or out.
4. To buffer your walls from sound traveling in or out, you can install one or two layers of drywall.
5. You could also remove one or two walls in your bedroom and apply insulation materials such as fiberglass. Your local home improvement store has a variety of insulation products to choose from.
6. Another way to install insulation is to drill holes in your bedroom walls and then buy or rent a machine that will literally blow insulation materials through the holes. A few hours of work to patch and paint the walls to cover the holes is all you will need to complete this project. If you decide to go through this route, no wall demolition is necessary.

Kelly

Kelly Sperber has been a professional writer for 5 years. She joined TheHousingForum Team in January, 2011. Kelly enjoys skydiving, attending fashion shows, and gardening in her spare time.



  • Guest

    First soundproof the ways where the most noise enters: windows, and if you have it a patio door.
    Installing a pane of 1/4 inch thick laminated glass outside each window will effectively cut noise in half.
    Laminated glass 3/8 inch thick may be better, but it will be too heavy to lift and hold while installing it.
    Caulk and secure every inch of the new pane to the frame so there are no gaps for noise to enter through.
    Add brackets to hold the glass in place if the existing frame does not have grooves for extra pane support.
    And as always measure, measure, measure before you order and when you pick up glass panes.
    Laminated glass cost about $10/sq ft +tax if you install yourself.
    Installing a storm door with laminated security glass outside a patio door cuts the bedroom noise also.
    Storm door with laminated security glass such as Larson cost about $500 installed.  Key word here is laminated glass.
    Door installation is best left to a pro. I no longer sleep with a pillow wrapped around my ears.

  • PennyV

    Guest, are you suggesting adding the laminated glass as a separate add on to the windows, as if it were a second layer of glass?  Or do you mean the person should remove their current window panes and replace it with laminated glass panes?

  • Guest

    Adding a second layer of glass as an add-on to the existing 1st floor single-pane windows worked for me. Once all was measured it took a few days to make laminated panes at a local glass shop, and then a few hours to install. Original windows still open from the inside, but the outer panes don’t.  

    If it’s a second floor or higher then either replacing the current panes with laminated glass or inastalling the second layer of glass on the inside may be easier.   

  • PennyV

    I can understand how adding the laminated glass as a second-layer add-on pane could work for soundproofing a room.  However, I don’t understand what good it does to be able to open the original window if you have the air flow shut out by the laminated pane.  Unless the only purpose to opening the window would be to bust out the laminated pane in case there was a fire.

  • Martin

    I live on the 4th floor of an apartment block and on the ground floor there is a pub which has live music most weekends. Also noise from the apartment directly below travels straight through to my bedroom. Would soundproofing my bedroom floor help? I have a patio door leading out to my balcony from the bedroom but the traffic noise tends not to be an issue.
    Regards,

    Martin

  • Guest

    I would guess that it’s low frequency base that you hear most from the pub. This noise is most difficult to insulate because it travels through the walls. Higher frequency traffic noise gets effectively cut by the patio door. The suggestion is to read your lease agreement and see if landlord can be of any help in getting the pub to cut volume after 11 p.m.. Perhaps also move when you can to prevent future health issues.

  • PennyV

    Martin, if I was you, I would follow the suggestions made by Guest regarding asking your landlord for help and moving ASAP. However, in the meantime I would also go ahead and do some soundproofing myself. At least make sure there’s a thick carpet on the floor, the doors and windows are properly sealed and put solid objects like book cases or tapestries by/on the walls. You might also want to follow some of the suggestions that were given in this article regarding the furnishings of your apartment.

  • http://www.facebook.com/TheGuyGirlsLoveToIgnore Jarred Kohler

    I hope she’s learned more about soundproofing after this article was published :| First of all, there is no such thing as soundproofing paint; this is a lie promulgated by manufacturers and marketers to sell product. Soundproofing is a function of proper framing and building design. There is only one product for wall and ceiling construction that I know of that is actually effective beyond resilient channel/ hat channel+ shock absorbing clips, and that is damping glue, such as greenglue or quietglue pro that go in between layers of drywall (which she didn’t even mention). These damping glues are perfect for post construction; just add a second layer of drywall+ glue. This is the most effective post construction sound isolation technique I know of, and I’ve been researching noise abatement for several months now.

  • rikki

    Our house has a thin small closet door that houses a simple pump. It constantly runs off n on and its in a bedroom. How can I sound proof this more so my son can sleep? The opposite side of that wall is a bathroom. We are renting, but can make minor changes. Thanks for ur help.

  • PennyV

    Rikki, you might try using a soundproofing acoustic blanket for the pump, as well as use a thicker door on the closet. Depending on the type of pump and the amount of space available for air and heat circulation, you may be able to use foam around the pump to help make it quieter when it’s running.

  • donna

    i have a 2 story and the water runs up from downstairs thru the wall to the upstairs bathroom and has a loud tornado like whooshing noise when turning the shower on its ridiculous my bedroom wall is connected to the hall bath and it wakes us up its soooo loud not exaggerating, will the cork on both the downstairs wall and then up in the bedroom deaden this noise????

  • PennyV

    Donna, I don’t know if corking both the downstairs wall and the bedroom would be of much help or not. Before I went through the expense of trying to soundproof against the noise, I would try to fix the shower and pipes so that it didn’t make such a loud noise to begin with. If the sound is as bad as you say it is, then there may be a plumbing issue that needs to be resolved before it causes damage to your home. The whooshing sound could be due to air in the pipes, leaky pipes, or the hot water heater may need a check valve installed. The pipes may also need to be more securely fastened to the wall if they are rattling. Insulating the pipes more may also help reduce the noise level.

  • http://www.facebook.com/michaelkopichanski Michael Kopichanski

    i have a problem where the house i am living in is made vary porly were it was made in the 60s has slum land lord and made the walls out of ply wood sheets now the thing is that my room mate likes sound for sleep me i hear all noise when i sleep so what i would like to know is what can i use to make the walls sound proof an no reno be done on the house since i dont own it .. can i use foam ??? blankets ?? what materials can i use that is cheap and can remove tv sound living room noise ???? thank you any suggestions will do
    if you ca email me the answer if i dont get this reply or lose the web site that would be nice
    mcurtis54@hotmail.com

  • PennyV

    Michel, you could possibly reduce some of the sounds by covering the walls with layers of old newspapers or cotton batting, or some type of cloth. And then hang a heavy drape, thick curtains, or a wall carpet over the layers of material. Or you could try fastening egg cartons to the wall and then covering them with some type of thick material. You might also try to just add more mass to the walls by screwing another sheet of plywood to the wall. You could also move large, heavy furniture next to the wall, such as a tall bookcase. We’ve been talking about soundproofing a room in this thread: http://thehousingforum.com/forum/exterior-home-improvement/i-need-some-'sound'-advice-on-whether-or-not-this-is-necessary-(acoustics)/. You may find some good ideas from reading ideas from other members.

  • Sylvia

    we bought an apartment, and we miss to see that our bedroom is situated above the Big freezer for the whole building, not until we move recently we notice how noisy it is especially during night. I’m thinking to soundproof our bedroom. What is best to do?

  • PennyV

    Sylvia, about the only thing you can do is to make sure you use thick, well-padded carpeting on the floor and try to keep any air vents closed when they’re not in use. You can further soundproof the bedroom by hanging thick fabric wall hangings and using thick fabric paneled curtains over the windows. It also helps to put foam inserts in the light switch plates and wall socket covers. You can also reduce the noise level by placing fabric chairs in the corners and heavy furniture, such as a bookcase full of books along the walls. Good luck!