If you want to know how to make a room soundproof:
Use draught excluders or weather-stripping tape to close up gaps around doors or windows.
Increase the amount of fabric wherever possible: hang blankets, install carpeting, get curtains.
If you’re really serious about soundproofing, install acoustic ceiling tiles and wall panels.
Replace single glazing with double glazing.
Loud traffic or blaring music can make it hard to focus and impossible to sleep. Here’s how to soundproof a room from noisy neighbours, or any other noise that’s giving you trouble.
One simple, no-cost DIY soundproofing technique is to reposition your soft furnishings. A comfortable sofa or armchair against a wall, for example, can help to reduce noise coming through that wall.
DIY soundproofing: tips on low-investment noise reduction
Noise reduction doesn’t have to be a huge, expensive endeavour. Here are a few relatively inexpensive things you can do. These are particularly useful if you’re renting or living in student accommodation and you’re limited in the actions you can take, although you may want to get written permission from your landlord before using weather-stripping tape or other adhesives.
Draught excluders don’t just keep out cold air; they’ll also muffle unwanted noise that tries to come through the crack below your door.
Weather-stripping tape can be used to seal gaps between the door or window and the frame, preventing noise and draughts from entering.
If noise is coming through a specific wall, you can reduce it slightly by hanging fabric on that wall. You don’t necessarily have to invest in a huge tapestry, although you can if you like; just hanging up a blanket will help.
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How to make a room soundproof: bigger steps
If you’ve taken small steps and you’re still having noise issues, here’s how to soundproof your home more seriously.
Some of these steps involve installing fabric, and you may want to be cautious about this if you’re soundproofing a bathroom. If your bathroom has carpets or curtains, you’ll want it to be extremely well-ventilated to prevent mould; take a look at our guidance on how to remove mould from carpets if you have trouble. Installing fabric should be fine if you’re wondering how to soundproof a bedroom or study, though.
Soft surfaces absorb noise. The more soft surfaces you have in a room, the more they’ll mitigate noise issues. If you have hard floors, install carpet. If you can’t or don’t want to have wall-to-wall carpets, even a rug will help to muffle noise.
Both blinds and heavy ceiling-to-floor curtains can help to reduce the amount of noise coming through the windows. You don’t have to pick one or the other; if you already have blinds, you can double up on noise protection by installing curtains as well.
Acoustic ceiling tiles or wall panels can help to absorb noise and reduce echo. You shouldn’t paint these — it’ll make them less effective — so make sure you choose ones you like the look of.
If you have single-glazed windows, replacing them with double glazing will make a big difference to both noise and heat insulation. For other heat-saving tips, we have articles on how to keep warm in winter.
With these tips on how to soundproof a room, you should be able to create a quieter, calmer environment for work or sleep. Good luck!