HomeArticleHow to Soundproof a Room Cheaply With 20 DIY Tips

How to Soundproof a Room Cheaply With 20 DIY Tips




How to Soundproof a Room Cheaply
How to Soundproof a Room Cheaply

Soundproofing your home can be one of the most important skills you will ever learn. It’s a fairly easy and affordable hobby, with many inexpensive products available to reduce noise. We want to explain in this article how to soundproof a room cheaply. Anyone can make their way to a quieter home.

Noise pollution is a severe problem that will only worsen as urban areas become more densely populated. Even now, you are likely hearing a mixture of rumbling vehicles, barking dogs, and people’s conversations.

Additionally, the intensity of the noise is not a factor — it is the continuous nature of the noise that is the issue. Prolonged noise exposure can impair your ability to concentrate, sleep, and even process emotions. So what are some of the main ways we have of dealing with this issue?

4 Main Principles How to Soundproof a Room Cheaply

There are four main principles you can use when soundproofing a room: making sure the walls are airtight and dense, sealing any cracks, increasing the mass of the walls, and adding insulation.

As far as decoupling goes, this is simply the process of separating the drywall from the interior construction of the building. This will go a long way in preventing impact noise.

Last but not least, you can use soft materials to absorb sound waves before they reach the surfaces inside the room.

Decouple the Surfaces

If you’re not familiar with decoupling, you might want to avoid solutions that use this principle. But it’s not as complicated as you might think, it’s one of how to soundproof a room cheaply.

To reduce the amount of noise that can travel between different surfaces, it is necessary to soundproof the rooms in your home. This typically involves adding extra insulation to the walls, ceilings, and floors to prevent vibrations from passing between objects and causing noise.

The decoupling of walls should help to reduce the problems caused by impact noise, which is most often the result of low frequencies. Unlike high frequencies, which are more likely to bounce off of objects, bass sounds vibrate through them.

Without a decoupling solution, low-frequency sounds will continue to shake the internal structure of the building. Resilient channels are just one way to minimize the point of transmission between drywall and the wooden studs underneath it.

Stop the noise from leaking by sealing the gaps.

Sealing a room can significantly reduce the amount of outside noise that enters. But, you are likely not interested in creating an anechoic chamber.

Despite this, taking measures to fill any cracks in the walls and weatherstrip the doors and windows can significantly improve your soundproofing project.

If you want to improve the sound quality in your room, the first thing you should do is eliminate any areas where air can flow freely in and out. This will help to prevent sound from escaping and reduce noise from outside sources.

Be sure to check all doors and windows leading into the room, as well as the surrounding walls, for any signs of damage.

More Mass to Block the Sound

Making the walls of a room thicker with dense, heavy materials can make it more difficult for noise to enter. In other words, it is more difficult to move a heavy object than a light one. Therefore, adding mass to the walls of the room being soundproofed after sealing it will make it more effective.

If you choose to take the DIY route, you will likely achieve this goal by stacking layers of materials on top of each other. For example, you could add bulk to a wall by placing a bookshelf over it and filling it with thick volumes.

If you’re looking for a more professional soundproofing solution, there are a variety of specialized products on the market. Adding mass to the inside of the wall via insulation is also an effective way to reduce noise transfer.

Use the Sound to Absorb Soft Materials

Once you’ve ensured that no external sounds can penetrate the room, you’ll need to focus on the noise levels within. Usually, sound waves bounce freely off of any reflective surfaces in a room, such as walls, floors, ceilings, and wooden furniture.

If you want to avoid hearing an echo, you’ll need to pad surfaces with absorbent materials.

Sound waves can be absorbed by soft, porous materials, causing them to lose energy. There are many professional acoustic products available to help absorb noise, including acoustic foam and fabric panels. Even everyday objects such as paintings, tapestries, and other fabrics can have a similar effect.

If you’re looking for an inexpensive way to soundproof a room, the easiest thing to do is to use items you already have around.

How to Soundproof a Room 20 Cheap Methods

Now that you are familiar with the basics of soundproofing, it is time to explore some practical ways to reduce noise in a room. Begin with the simplest and least intrusive solutions, then move on to the DIY methods.

If none of the above solutions work for you, there are a few professional approaches you can take. But before we get to those, let’s go through some of the more affordable ways to soundproof a room.

Rearrange the furniture

One of the easiest ways to change the way sound is perceived in a room is to rearrange the furniture. If you want to reduce the amount of noise coming from your neighbors, try pushing bulky furniture and shelves against the thin shared wall.

Furniture can also affect how sound is reflected inside a room.

There are several ways to achieve soundproofing in your home, and using furniture is just one option. If you’re looking to reduce echo and create a more peaceful environment, consider using softer materials and textures to absorb sound. With a little trial and error, you can find the perfect solution for your space.

If you have a firm leather sofa, you might want to consider getting a softer fabric. This will help you to enjoy your furniture for years to come. After all, softer objects are better at absorbing frequencies than firmer ones.

Material affects how sound waves travel- while they might bounce off of leather or wood, softer surfaces like spongy furniture will absorb the sound.

Place rugs or carpets on the floor

One of the worst things you can do for your acoustic experience is to leave the floor of the room you’re soundproofing bare.

If the sound of your footsteps is bothersome, just wait until your downstairs neighbors start complaining! Luckily, the issue can be resolved simply by laying down some rugs or carpets.

Covering a large surface with carpeting can help to reduce the impact of noise caused by your footfall. You may want to consider installing wall-to-wall carpeting for more comprehensive coverage.

If you’re looking for ways to soundproof your floor, you could focus on areas that get the most foot traffic. This could help to reduce noise in your home or office. There are a variety of other ways to soundproof your floor, so be sure to explore all your options to find the best solution for your needs.

Ideally, the rug or carpet you choose should also be thicker. This will make the solution more effective. You could even stack several rugs on top of each other if you want a bohemian look.

If you’re struggling to find a thick rug, you can always pair a thin one with a thicker underlay.

Add an Underlay Rug

Rug underlays provide a variety of benefits including impact and noise reduction, insulation, and added safety for small children.

If you choose to implement this solution, you will need to order an underlay that is slightly smaller than the carpet you want to put it under. Of course, if you get a mat that does not have finished edges, you can also trim it down yourself.

Although this underlay has beveled edges, it would be more difficult to alter than a simple memory foam mat. The result would not be very attractive; however, it will be placed under your carpet.

You wouldn’t even need to use products that are designed for this specific purpose. Any foam, fabric, or rubber material would suffice. In addition, this is a solution that would also work in rooms with fully carpeted floors.

Although lifting and restretching the carpet is not a quick project, it is something that anyone can do with some guidance.

Use Floor Mats

There are many different types of floor mats available on the market, each with its specific purpose. For example, some floor mats can be used as carpet underlays, while others are designed for use in gyms or as protection for flooring beneath a treadmill.

Floor mats come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including the standard yoga mat dimensions. If you want to cover a large or irregularly shaped area, you can use an interlocking EVA foam mat.

If you only have yoga mats on hand, you can lay them side by side to create a makeshift rug underlay.

Install Underlayment Floor

Underlayment is a layer of material, usually foam, cork, rubber, or felt, that is placed between your flooring and the subfloor. This material can help to soften and stabilize the floor, as well as increase its density, which can help to reduce noise transmission.

Installing floor underlayment is not a spontaneous process like laying down rugs, floor mats, and rug underlays. You will need to lift your flooring and put it back again after unrolling your underlayment underneath.

You could also use this as an opportunity to update your flooring.

Depending on the top layer of the floor, you will have different types of floor underlayment to choose from. A common type of flooring underlayment is the foam-based variety. These kinds of products usually have built-in plastic barriers, making them water-resistant.

If you’re concerned about your flooring, you can always use rubber underlayment. It’s effective for wooden floorboards, tile, and carpeting, but won’t work well with vinyl flooring.

If you’re not worried about waterproofing, cork or felt underlayments are good options for soundproofing. Keep in mind though that they’re more susceptible to mold and mildew. To prevent that, you might need to use a separate vapor barrier.

Use Vinyl Mass Load

Image Copyright: Insulation Easy Australia

Mass-loaded vinyl is an effective soundproofing material that can be used in a variety of ways. The material is designed to be denser than other types of natural or synthetic rubber.

The material used in the construction of the wall should be effective at blocking airborne sounds and absorbing impact noise.

MLV can be used for soundproofing indoors and out. For example, you can use it as a carpet underlay or install it under your flooring instead of underlayment. Similarly, you can put it over or under drywall to soundproof walls or ceilings.

Additionally, the material can also help improve the effectiveness of room divider curtains, which we will discuss in more detail later.

Vinyl’s flexibility makes it ideal for working around ducts and pipes. It is also moisture-resistant, making it a good choice for waterproofing.

There are a variety of installation methods for MLV, depending on where it will be used. For example, if installing it inside a wall, you would nail it to the studs. In other cases, using glue would be more appropriate. It all depends on the intended use of the vinyl.

Hang Paintings or Tapestries up

Acoustically-treated paintings and tapestries are an effective and inexpensive way to improve the sound quality of your walls, without having to invest in professional acoustic products. They can also be used to conceal less attractive soundproofing solutions, like MLV sheets applied over drywall.

Despite their poor blocking properties, they can soften sounds inside a room.

However, if you use paintings and tapestries in conjunction with mass-loaded vinyl, their acoustic properties will be negated. The success you would achieve from using that combination would come solely from the MLV, with the fabric toppers serving only as decoration.

Despite this, if you were to hang paintings and tapestries on a flat wall, they would have an impact on the acoustic properties of the room. An empty room amplifies sound as it bounces off of hard surfaces.

Carpets and rugs help to reduce noise levels by absorbing sound waves and preventing them from bouncing against hard surfaces. This is especially beneficial in rooms with high ceilings or hardwood floors, as it can help to reduce echo and minimize impact noise transfer.

Hanging paintings and tapestries on the walls or even ceilings can have a similar effect of breaking up the flatness of a wall and leaving a smaller surface for sound waves to bounce off of.

Use Tape to Weatherstrip

As you are aware, windows can be very difficult to soundproof. If the weatherstripping seal between your window and the window frame has worn off, you may hear noise coming in from the outside, even when the windows are shut.

Fortunately, the issue can be resolved by scraping off the existing weatherstripping and applying the new tape.

Weatherstripping products can deteriorate over time, so you may need to replace them at some point. If you’re unsure whether your weatherstripping needs to be replaced, close your windows and see if you can feel any air passing through.

You could use a lighter to check for drafts around the perimeter of the window. The flame will flicker when it comes into contact with a weak spot.

If you find any, you will need to remove the existing rubber and clean the area thoroughly before applying the new tape. You will not need to get the same product as the one you already have on the window.

This weatherstripping tape has a hollow core that allows it to create a seal, while other weatherstripping products are made of foam rubber and do not have this feature.

After sealing the windows, check if any of the doors that lead into the room require a similar treatment. Most interior doors don’t have a built-in seal, so adding one should block noise as well as cold air from entering.

Acoustic Caulk

If you can still feel a breeze coming through the sides of your windows after applying the new weatherstripping tape, there may be cracks in the surrounding walls. These cracks can be caused by poor window installation or they may form over time. However, they can be fixed with acoustic caulk.

If you want to check for cracks around windows or doors, you can do a flame test. Once you find cracks, apply the acoustic caulk in the same way you would any other type of caulk. You will need to get a caulking gun that matches the size of your caulk bottle.

After you apply the sealant, you’ll need to push it into any cracks with a gloved finger. Once it dries, it should be flexible enough to prevent new cracks from forming.

Even though some areas of the wall are more vulnerable to fissures, cracks may still appear in other areas. You may find some cracks in the middle of the wall if you applied too many layers of paint over the years.

You should check for cracks around the windows and doors, and if you have any leftover caulk, look around the corners of the room as well.

There are many other uses for acoustic caulk, not just soundproofing. It can also be used for installing MLV or creating window plugs, like any other adhesive. But for larger projects, such as creating a drywall sandwich, you’ll want to get a damping compound like Green Glue.

Use Blinds that are Thicker

After you have sealed the window tightly, you may need to address any issues with the glass itself. Even if there are no cracks, you may need to cover the glass to avoid reflections. Window blinds can be a great solution for this.

Now, you shouldn’t expect regular metal blinds to reduce the noise inside the room. Metal is a reflective material, so aluminum blinds won’t be effective in this situation. The irregular shape of the metal blinds may act as a diffuser, but it won’t make a significant difference.

However, this only marginally improves the situation compared to having a flat glass pane there.

The best way to improve the acoustics in a room and prevent outdoor noise from coming in through the window is to use blinds made from thicker materials like rubber, vinyl, or blinds with collapsible air pockets.

Once you begin searching for these types of products, you will find many options to choose from.

If your goal is to prevent blinds from making noise as they sway against the glass, get ones made of soft materials. Paper and fabric blinds are almost entirely silent.

Wooden ones certainly make more noise as they graze the glass, but the sound is far more pleasant than the clanging of metal.

Cover the Windows With Soundproof Curtains

Soundproof curtains are an excellent option for improving acoustics and blocking outside noise from coming in through the windows. The thick, densely woven fabric absorbs most sound waves that come into contact with it, providing superior soundproofing results.

These curtains are highly effective at light blocking.

To get the most out of this method, choose curtains that are larger than the window you’re covering. The curtain rod should be a few inches above the window and just slightly wider than the window frame.

The curtains should be wide enough to cover the bottom of the window and then some.

The extra fabric around the window frame will help to trap any noise and light that enters the room through the window. Moreover, having the curtains be wider than the curtain rod will ensure that the fabric isn’t taut enough to reflect sound waves instead of diffusing and absorbing them.

The only potential issue you might face with soundproof curtains is that most of them have different colored sides. The less attractive side is usually black and is designed to face the glass.

If you prefer privacy while inside your home, room divider curtains may be a better option than black fabric. This way, people outside will not be able to see through your windows.

Construct a Window Plug

The windows are the most vulnerable area in terms of noise. The glass itself can be an additional source of noise if you live on a busy street. The passing vehicles can make it vibrate in its frame.

The good news is that window plugs can address both of these problems at the same time.

They’re easy to make, too. Just glue layers of MLV and acoustic foam to a sheet of wood according to your windows’ size. After you put these items together, finish the project by screwing at least two handles to the back side of the inserts.

You can slide the plugs into the window frame whenever you want the additional soundproofing effect.

As long as the insert is the correct size, it should be effective in blocking out most external sounds.

If you’re looking to improve the acoustics inside the room in addition to blocking out the noise, you should cover the plugged windows with curtains or a free-standing fabric panel.

Use Room Divider Curtains to Make the Space Smaller and Less Resonant

Room divider curtains typically have the same color fabric on both sides of the panel, making them attractive from either viewing point.

You could use them to divide your room into smaller sections, as well as to cover the windows – if you don’t want the outward-facing side to be black.

Room divider curtains are thicker than your regular drapes, making them ideal for blocking out sound. Many of them are made of two or three layers of fabric, which also makes them great for DIY projects involving MLV.

If you want to improve the soundproofing of a curtain, you could cut it open and insert a piece of MLV material. Then, sew the curtain back up.

As I have previously mentioned, these products could be used to split up a room. On a practical level, this would be an excellent way to separate the sleeping area in an open-concept space or simply conceal a messy part of a room.

The heavy fabric would effectively reduce the total surface area sound waves could bounce off of, absorbing and diffusing any noise that would have normally reverberated through space.

The only issue you might face is finding an installation solution that fits the room you’re working on. Traditional curtain rods might not be suitable as they’re designed to hold curtains above windows. You may need to choose a tension rod or ceiling track instead.

In either case, you will need to ensure that the curtains extend to the floor. For best results, allow the fabric to pool on the ground to prevent sounds from escaping through the bottom gap.

Install a Door Sweep

No matter how much effort you put into soundproofing a room, it will all be for nothing unless you address the gap underneath the door. One way to do that would be to install a door sweep by nailing or gluing one onto the bottom of the door.

Most door sweeps are made of a combination of rubber and metal or plastic. You can also find door sweeps that are entirely made of rubber. These door sweeps are usually self-adhesive. However, if you cannot find a self-adhesive door sweep, most door sweeps will come with a bag of nails or screws that you can use to attach the door sweep to your door.

Remember to place the flat metal or plastic part against the door and the flexible rubber bit on the floor before driving in the first nail.

The ideal situation would be for the rubber to drag on the floor a bit when you move the door. This will create the final seal needed to soundproof the room. It will make the door harder to move.

There are automatic door sweeps that lift as you move the door and lower when the door is closed.

Make a Draft Stopper DIY

If you want to close the gap under your door without using nails or adhesive, you could make a draft stopper. Draft stoppers are just two stuffed fabric tubes connected by a flat channel that slides under the door.

If the fabric sleeve is shifting as you move the door, you can secure it with Velcro tape.

There are many ways to make a draft stopper, such as filling stockings with rice or stuffing an old pillowcase with fabric scraps. You could use fabric glue to make the basic shape of the tubes, or you could break out the sewing machine. The choice is completely up to you.

If you want your draft stopper to be more effective, try making one tube longer than the other. Keep that tube on the side of the door that swings out, as shown in this video.

If you’re looking for an easy way to keep your home warm this winter, consider purchasing a draft stopper. You can find many different types of draft stoppers online, but be sure to choose one that will provide enough insulation for your needs. Most draft stoppers are filled with lightweight foam, but you may want to consider using a heavier filling for added warmth.

Block the Air Vent

If you are planning to fortify your walls, it is important to check for any gaps or openings that could allow airflow. If you have an open-air vent, there are several ways to seal it off without damaging the ventilation system.

It is important to ensure that the air vent in question is not too important to the overall airflow of the room. Blocking it could potentially disrupt the airflow. If the room you are soundproofing has windows, you can safely block the vent.

If you’re looking to hide your vent, you could always cover it with furniture. Even if you block it using one of the aforementioned methods, you could still hide the potentially unsightly result with a well-placed bookcase or armchair.

Instead of soundproofing the vent with curtains or blankets, you can try installing a sound baffle.

Place Stuffed Egg Cartons on the Walls and Ceilings

If you’re looking for a way to reduce noise in your home, egg cartons can be a cheap and easy option. By scattering them around the walls of a room, they can help to diffuse sound and make the space feel quieter. It’s important to note that they won’t completely block out noise, so if you’re looking for complete silence, this may not be the best solution.

At the very least, the pyramid shape of the egg cartons should prevent sound waves from bouncing off the flat walls directly. If that’s the only thing you’re trying to prevent — this method should do the trick.

You can add mass to this solution, apply MLV, or even just plain rubber to the wall before taking on your egg cartons. Additionally, you could fill one side of the carton to make it thicker. I suggest a mixture of paper and fabric scraps fused with glue, starch, or wallpaper paste.

If you’re looking for professional acoustic solutions, you can stick with those.

Hang Soundproof Blankets Over the Walls and Doors

Soundproof blankets are an effective way to improve the acoustic properties of a room. They can be attached to walls, or doors, or used as curtains to help reduce noise levels.

If you want to increase the effectiveness of this method, you will choose a heavier blanket.

Audio engineers frequently use moving blankets to block out sound. These blankets are usually denser and more durable than regular quilts, making them ideal for this purpose. Such products are often very affordable, considering the amount of noise they can block.

However, soundproofing curtains are not always the most aesthetically pleasing option, so keep that in mind when making your selection.

Attach Acoustic Tiles to the Walls and Ceiling

Acoustic tiles have been relied on by audio recording specialists for decades to create cleaner recordings. They work by absorbing excess frequencies that are bouncing around inside the room, which prevents them from being picked up by the microphone. Best of all, they’re easy to set up!

To create your acoustic panel, you will need to acquire some foam tiles and either push pins or double-sided tape. acoustic tiles are not very heavy, so they should be able to stay affixed to the wall without any issue. If you would prefer a more permanent solution, you could glue the tiles to the wall instead.

If you later decide that you no longer want the tiles, you will need to scrape them off.

Hang Acoustic Panels on the Ceiling or Walls

If you’re looking for something more robust than foam tiles for your walls, acoustic fabric panels might be a good option. These panels, which are made of wood and wrapped in fabric, are filled with insulation, making them ideal for walls and ceilings.

However, because they are made of more durable material than foam tiles, the installation process may be more challenging.

Though they may appear to be high-end products, fabric panels are quite easy to make. To create a single panel, you will need an insulation batt and four planks that are approximately as wide as the batt is thick.

To make a rectangle, you will need two long and two short planks. Measure the sides of the insulation and cut the planks accordingly. Get a large piece of plywood for the back and a piece of fabric to cover it.

After you finish nailing and stapling everything together, your fabric panels will be ready for mounting. You can add some kind of hanging attachments like Z-clips or L-brackets as a final touch.

Please watch the short video below for more detailed instructions.

What to Expect from Cheap DIY Soundproofing?

You might be thinking that you could soundproof your home yourself, but you would be surprised at the results you could achieve by trying it yourself.

Even though not all of the methods mentioned above will be equally effective, many of them can significantly improve the acoustic environment of your home. Filling out the room you’re soundproofing with soft fabrics and furniture can help to absorb excess sound and improve the overall sound quality of the room.

In addition to sealing the doors and windows, taking the time to soundproof the room will also help to reduce the overall noise level.

Professional room soundproofing solution

As we have seen, there are several ways how to soundproof a room cheaply. However, there are also more advanced solutions available. Let’s take a look at some of these.

Add Another Layer of Drywall

To ensure that sound does not pass through a wall, mass needs to be added to it. This can be done by adding a layer of drywall on top of the existing drywall. There are various ways to do this, but the most common method is the Green Glue sandwich.

This method is the final step in a wall soundproofing project. You could make it work without removing the existing drywall.

To start, strip your walls and apply Green Glue to one section of drywall. After the Glue becomes tacky, lift the drywall vertically and press it into the wall.

You can push a bookshelf against the wet paint to dry it while you continue on your way.

Soundproof Windows

There is no way to soundproof a window with only one layer of glass. These kinds of windows are outdated and unnecessary. PVC windows are a much better option.

Wooden window frames may be thicker than light PVC ones, but modern windows are still better in many ways. They often have double- or triple-pane glass built into weather-stripped window frames, making them more energy-efficient and durable.

Thanks to the pointed acoustic caulk tip, you will know exactly how to make sure your new soundproof windows are set in your wall.

Switch to Solid-Core Doors

If you’re looking to soundproof a room, a hollow door is unfortunately not going to cut it. Your best bet would be to invest in a solid-core door, which will provide much better noise-canceling results.

If you’re willing to put in some work, you could try filling the inside of your hollow door with expanding foam. However, it would be much easier to just buy a new door if your budget can handle it.

Insulate the Walls from the Inside

To soundproof your walls thoroughly, you will need to start from the inside and work your way out. First, you will need to remove the existing drywall and assess the state of the insulation below.

You will then build the wall from scratch, starting with soundproof insulation and then topping that with MLV, resilient channels, and a Green Glue drywall sandwich.

If you conclude that your ceiling requires a similar treatment, you can repeat the process. You could even install a suspended ceiling using resilient channels, which will decouple the surface of the ceiling from the joists above.


If you are unable to implement any of the listed solutions about how to soundproof a room cheaply, there are other options available. Many people do not have enough blankets to waste on walls, which is completely understandable. Even if you have tried the methods mentioned, you may be looking to supplement them with other means.

There are many ways to reduce noise levels in your home. Adding additional layers of protection, such as acoustic panels or sound-dampening materials, can further reduce noise. But ultimately, you’ll have to decide which accessories you want to bring into your quiet haven to achieve the level of peace you desire.



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