Noise pollution can significantly impact our well-being, especially in our homes. Doorways are often the primary source of unwanted noise, but there’s good news: soundproofing a door can be easier than you might think.
This comprehensive guide covers several effective ways to soundproof a door, ensuring you can enjoy a more peaceful and comfortable living space. Ready to take control of your home’s acoustics? Let’s begin.
How to Soundproof a Door
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With more than 7 years of experience in soundproofing different spaces, I’ve meticulously tested and refined various methods. I can confidently present 18 DIY door soundproofing techniques that have proven effective.
To give you a sense of the effectiveness of each method, represented below are the expected gains in STC values. STC or Sound Transmission class is a measure of soundproofing. The higher the STC, the better the soundproofing of a room or space. You can read my detailed guide on STC.
As you can see filling the hollow door with sand is the most effective option but far less practical in most cases as compared to installing a solid core door or mass loaded vinyl.
|STC Gain Range
|Average STC Gain
|Install a Solid Core Door
|Fill the Door with Sand
|Add Mass Loaded Vinyl
|Install Soundproofing Composite Material
|Apply Dense, Heavy Mass Foam Tiles
|Add Acoustic Door Panels
|Place a Fiberboard Over Your Door
|Adjust the Door Frame to Fit Properly and Minimize Gaps
|Seal Gaps with Acoustic Sealant
|Use Gap Foam
|Install Acoustic Door Thresholds
|Place a Door Sweep When It’s Closed
|Meeting Stiles for Double Doors
|Place a Soundproof Blanket Over the Door
|Hang Soundproof Curtains
|Add a Rug or Carpet
|Purchase a Soundproofing Kit
Assessing your unique circumstances and selecting an appropriate mix of soundproofing strategies is vital to achieving your desired outcomes.
1. Install a Solid Core Door
Hollow-core doors, also known as hollow core door, are common in many homes but can easily transmit sound.
Replacing them with a solid core door or solid wood doors can significantly improve sound absorption and insulation, providing up to 37% increased sound absorption and a noise reduction of 50+ dB.
Installing a solid core interior door involves the following steps:
Measure your existing door.
Cut out hinge locations on the new door.
Attach the door to the frame with the appropriate hardware.
For maximum soundproofing, consider installing cam hinges, which lift the door when opened and drop it into a secure seal when closed.
2. Fill the Door with Sand
Filling a hollow door with sand is a cost-effective way to increase its mass and improve soundproofing. To do this, remove the door from its frame, fill the hollow core with sand using a funnel, and reattach it to the frame.
Bear in mind that this method could be untidy and lengthy, and the additional weight of a sand-filled door might increase the difficulty of opening and closing it.
3. Add Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a soundproofing material made from salts, sands, and small metal particles, designed to reduce unwanted noise.
Applying MLV to your door involves measuring the door, cutting the vinyl to size, and attaching it to the door with construction adhesive. The increased density and mass provided by the MLV can effectively reduce noise transmission.
MLV is available on Amazon.
4. Install Soundproofing Composite Material
Soundproofing composite materials combine sound absorption and noise barrier properties, offering an effective solution for door soundproofing. Examples include foam composites and absorber-barrier composites.
To install a soundproofing composite material, measure the door, cut the material to size, attach it to the door with adhesive or screws, and seal any air gaps or seams with acoustic sealant.
5. Apply Dense, Heavy Mass Foam Tiles
Dense, heavy mass foam tiles are an effective way to enhance door soundproofing. These high-density foam tiles can be attached to the door using screws, staples, or glue, ensuring they remain securely in place.
The added mass and density provided by the foam tiles help to absorb sound and reduce noise transmission.
6. Add Acoustic Door Panels
Acoustic door panels are an effective solution for reducing in-room noise and improving overall door soundproofing. These panels can be attached to the door to reduce sound transmission and enhance soundproofing.
It’s important to note that an acoustic door panel is more effective at dampening in-room noise than blocking exterior sound. Check out this video:
7. Place a Fiberboard Over Your Door
Adding a fiberboard over your door can increase its mass and improve soundproofing. To install a fiberboard, measure the door, cut the fiberboard to size, and attach it to the door using screws or nails.
This economical method can lessen noise transmission while improving your door’s overall soundproofing.
8. Adjust the Door Frame to Fit Properly and Minimize Gaps
A snug fit between your door and its door jamb is vital for successful soundproofing. Adjust the door frame by using a screwdriver to loosen or tighten the screws, thereby minimizing gaps.
Once the frame is adjusted, inspect the frame for any remaining gaps and fill them with acoustic sealant for further sound reduction.
9. Seal Gaps with Acoustic Sealant
Sealing door gaps with acoustic sealant can provide sound protection and enhance soundproofing. Here’s how to do it:
Clean the area around the gap or crack that needs to be sealed.
Apply the sealant using a caulking gun.
Let it dry completely before testing the soundproofing.
Applying acoustic sealant correctly can notably decrease noise transmission. The OSI Pro-Series SC-175 Acoustical Sound Sealant is a water-based sealant specifically designed to inhibit the transmission of sound waves, bonding securely to a wide range of materials, including metal, wood, and drywall.
10. Use Gap Foam
Gap foam is an expanding foam sealant used to fill, seal, and insulate gaps and cracks in your door frame, enhancing soundproofing. By filling any crevices or openings in the frame, gap foam can help decrease the amount of sound that can pass through.
This economical method simplifies the enhancement of door soundproofing.
11. Install Acoustic Door Thresholds
Installing acoustic door thresholds can help block sound from entering your room through the bottom of the door. These thresholds are designed to reduce sound transfer between rooms and can be attached to the bottom of the door frame using screws.
Acoustic door thresholds, by forming a barrier at the door’s base, can significantly diminish noise transmission.
12. Place a Door Sweep When It’s Closed
Placing a door sweep when the door is closed creates an airtight seal, preventing sound from entering or leaving the room. The best
To install a door sweep, measure the gap between the bottom of the door and the threshold, cut the door sweep to the appropriate size, and secure it to the bottom of the door.
This simple solution can significantly reduce blocking noise transmission. Check out my favorite door sweeps.
13. Meeting Stiles for Double Doors
To seal gaps and improve soundproofing for most exterior doors, especially double doors, install meeting stiles (also known as astragals). These stiles form a seal between the pair of double doors, impeding the passage of light, sound, and drafts.
Meeting stiles, through sealing the gaps between double doors, can assist in boosting soundproofing and minimizing noise transfer.
Applying weatherstripping around the bedroom door frame and door trim creates an airtight seal, reducing noise transmission and improving overall door soundproofing.
This is especially important for exterior doors, as they are more exposed to the elements. Weatherstripping can also help block drafts, keep out insects, and enhance energy efficiency.
Weatherstripping, by sealing openings like doors and windows, plays a key role in preserving a tranquil and comfortable living space.
15. Place a Soundproof Blanket Over the Door (Temporary Solution)
For a temporary noise reduction solution, consider hanging a soundproof blanket over the door. Soundproof blankets are designed to absorb sound and reduce noise, acting as a sound barrier to block or dampen sound waves.
Although capable of dampening sound, this solution should not hinder door access and is better suited as a temporary measure.
16. Hang Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains can be an effective solution for door soundproofing, absorbing sound and reducing noise transmission. These curtains are constructed from heavy materials and can be hung over the door to create a substantial barrier for sound.
While soundproof curtains can provide a significant sound barrier, they may not be suitable for blocking out extremely loud noises.
17. Add a Rug or Carpet
Adding a rug or carpet in front of the door can help absorb sound and reduce noise transmission. Rugs and carpets with thicker, denser fibers are most effective for soundproofing, as they can absorb more sound.
To properly install a rug or carpet in front of the door, measure the area, cut the rug or carpet to size, and secure it to the floor with adhesive or double-sided tape.
18. Purchase a Soundproofing Kit
A soundproofing kit is a comprehensive solution for door soundproofing, containing various materials and tools to help reduce noise transfer between rooms or from outside sources. These kits typically include items such as:
Other sound-absorbing materials
Purchasing a soundproofing kit allows you to achieve effective door soundproofing, tailored to your unique needs.
Soundproofing Metal and Glass Doors
Soundproofing metal and glass doors requires unique approaches due to their construction materials. Metal doors, particularly those with hollow interiors, can facilitate sound transmission, while glass doors require adding mass or sealing gaps to reduce noise transmission.
For metal interior doors, filling the hollow interior with soundproofing materials such as mass loaded vinyl or acoustic foam tiles can significantly improve their performance as soundproof doors.
For glass doors, consider the following soundproofing solutions:
Adding mass to the glass
Sealing any cracks around the door
Replacing existing glass with acoustic glazing
Investing in specialist soundproof glass doors
Tailoring your soundproofing solutions to metal and glass doors can effectively lessen noise transmission and enhance overall soundproofing doors performance.
Cost Considerations for Door Soundproofing
Door soundproofing costs can vary depending on the materials used, the installation method, and the size of the area being soundproofed.
DIY solutions such as weatherstripping, soundproof door sweeps, and soundproof curtains can be affordable, while professional installations and materials like solid core doors or acoustic glazing can be more expensive.
When budgeting for door soundproofing, consider your specific needs and preferences to determine the most cost-effective solution for your situation.
In conclusion, effective door soundproofing can greatly improve your quality of life by reducing noise transmission and creating a more comfortable living environment.
With numerous soundproofing solutions available, ranging from simple DIY methods to professional installations, there’s a solution for every need and budget.
By customizing your soundproofing solutions and performing regular maintenance checks, you can ensure optimal performance and continued noise reduction. So, take charge of your home’s acoustics and transform your living space into a peaceful, quiet haven.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you soundproof a door on a budget?
On a budget, the most common way to soundproof a door is to use as many blankets or other materials as possible. This may not be the most effective method, but it is easy and can offer temporary solutions.
Does putting a towel under the door work for noise?
Putting a towel under the door is an effective way of soundproofing, as it helps to block noise from entering or leaving the room and can also absorb sound within the room. This simple and inexpensive solution can be used in any room, and is especially useful for those who live in noisy areas or need to keep sound from escaping a room.
What are the primary considerations for soundproofing a door?
Increasing the mass of the door and sealing the gaps are essential considerations when soundproofing a door.
How can I soundproof my door for free?
For a free, temporary solution to soundproof your door, you can use as many blankets as possible. This isn’t the most effective method, but it is easy and it can help reduce noise.