How to Soundproof a Room

By Jay White

February 11, 2015   •   Fact checked by Dumb Little Man

Soundproofing a room can be done for many reasons. Depending on the level of soundproofing, it can be done to allow for a loud activity like a tap dance class or music class to be in business without disturbing their neighbors, or just to keep the sound of a teenager’s music or tenant’s loud shoes from affecting other rooms nearby. Depending on whether the construction is new or there needs to be a retrofit, there are several ways that soundproofing can be done.

How soundproofing works:
Stopping sound can happen in multiple ways. There are four basic concepts that can help keep sound from transferring into other rooms. These include:
<li>Decoupling: Sound waves transfer from one room to another more clearly when the wall is one single attached unit. By detaching the wall portions, it keeps the sound from being as loud outside.</li>
<li>Absorption: Hollow walls will echo more than full ones, because sound travels better through empty air.</li>
<li>Adding Mass: The heavier the wall, the less that sound will travel through it.</li>
<li>Damping: Preventing vibration will prevent the sound from transmitting.</li>

New Construction and Remodels: Major Soundproofing
If you are looking to do a true heavy-duty soundproofing, the best way to begin is during the point of construction or remodel. There are several things that can be done at this stage. Here are some of the big choices:
<li>Install a sound-resistant underlayment beneath flooring. This is especially true when you have someone living or working beneath this room. Softer flooring like carpeting and thick carpet padding will help as well.</li>
<li>Soundproofing wall panels: These are hung on the side of walls- these are often foam or fabric coated, designed to keep sound from echoing. Ceiling padding can be attached like wall paneling. Extra layers of insulation between walls can also be used, but this often requires making walls extra thick.</li>
<li>Soundproof glass is another option that can be used in your windows.</li>

Upgrades in a Finished Room
There are a number of wall coatings that can be added to finished rooms to help make them extra soundproofed. One option is an extra layer of drywall on the outside of the walls. The second option is to add sound deadening board and drywall to the walls. An even more soundproof option is mass-loaded vinyl and drywall. There are a few extra options that you can add. Green glue causes damping, and absorbs the sound vibrations.

Jay White

I started Dumb Little Man many years ago so great authors, writers and bloggers could share their life "hacks" and tips for success with everyone. I hope you find something you like!

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