How much does it cost to soundproof a room: Smart ways to save money
We all enjoy our peace and quiet when we come home.
No noise, no distractions. But if you’re reading this article, then, chances are something has come between you and that relaxing quiet.
Maybe your neighbor sits on his porch outside your window, talking constantly on his cellphone. Someone in the kitchen suddenly enjoys using loud appliances. The TV in the next room is distracting.
Can anything be done about this? If so, how much would it cost?
That’s what I was thinking before I started doing my research. I was wondering the same things you might be.
What’s involved? How handy do I need to be? I did not want to spend a fortune.
I could do it myself as long as it was affordable. I had a noisy neighbor, a family bedroom above me and a noisy kitchen next to me. So, I needed a few solutions.
Below I will go through the primary options for soundproofing a room and the costs.
Each of these strategies are relatively affordable, and you can do them all at once, or in stages. Your options vary quite a bit. The cost of materials, carpeting etc. varies widely.
But if you’re reading this article, it’s probably safe to say that you do not want to spend a fortune. So, I will stick to more budget-friendly options.
First, I’m going to discuss what you can do even if you’re not handy. Most of the strategies are fairly simple and relatively speaking, on the less expensive side.
Then I will get into the heavier side of things, the more costly strategies.
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Contents: Skip to section
There are several aspects of a room to consider:
These are the primary soundproofing options. Below lets take each in turn.
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Depending on where your room is, the flooring might be contributing quite a bit a sound. You might want the noises upstairs to be quieter; you might want general foot traffic in your room to sound lighter.
Obviously, the easiest thing to do would be to buy a throw rug or put down fully carpeting.
Budget required: $20 to $200 depending on size of the room
Related: Floor soundproofing in 5 easy steps
Throw rugs vary widely in price. But you can get good thick rug to help absorb the sound of anyone walking around the room. (Or consider putting it in the room above if you’re getting lots of footfall sounds.)
A throw rug will also absorb ambient sound, making the room seem slightly quieter in general. If your room feels “echoey” or does not have much furniture, a large thick rug can help make it feel quieter.
Putting down basic carpeting or a throw carpet may not be enough, depending on what is under the carpet. This layering is designed to go under the carpet and truly absorb your footsteps or anything else. The carpet and padding will go a long way towards absorbing general noise as well.
This particular padding has a textured rubber backing, which holds it in place in against the base floor. It is dense and will absorb sounds, and will even catch food spills and pet accidents if they seep through the carpet.
You will need to carefully tear up any of the carpeting in place, with plans to place it back down once you have this padding in place. Be sure to cut carefully to ensure you can reposition the carpet properly.
What if you don’t have carpeting? Not everyone has carpets and you may be considering or already have hardwood floors.
Whether you have hard wood or laminate floors, they can be very loud. Drop anything on it—keys, pocket change—anything it will leave your ears practically ringing.
However, you still have options. Just as you laid an impact cushion below the carpeting, you can do the same with the hardwood flooring.
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Be sure to get the best underlayment for your floor-type. The underlayment will reduce reflective sound and sound transmission to the room below – so if the room above you, this could still help.
This underlayment is designed with a peel and stick tape for easy installation. Measure, place, remove tape, and seal the pieces together with it.
This will dampen noise, but it will also act as a moisture barrier if the room is on the ground level.
Walls echo any sound that you have in the room, unless they’re covered with something, and they transmit sound from the next room or exterior.
Luckily, you have a number options.
There are three things you can do with walls to cut down on noise in your home.
First, you can paint them to help cut back on sound coming through them, secondly you can hang panels on them, which will absorb sound in the room, and third you can use full on wall panels that are more like wallpaper than hanging panels.
Budget required: $30 to $300 per wall depending on size of wall
Related: Does soundproof wallpaper work?
Full-wall panels or soundproof wallpaper
These can be used to cover your entire wall and sometimes are called soundproof wallpaper. You can paint these if you wish so they match your décor.
They will absorb and deflect sound within the room, but will also dampen sound coming through the wall to some degree.
- You will need to measure your wall space and purchase enough to match.
- If you want to pain them, you should do that first before hanging.
- You will need strong adhesive. The Green glue mentioned below in “ceilings” would do the trick, but any strong household adhesive would work.
Decorative 3D wall panels
These decorative panels are very popular on Amazon and provide a wealth of instructions and resources for a medium price. There are other manufacturers if you do not like their designs.
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These foam panels are an “Amazon’s Choice” product, with 1800 ratings.
Originally designed for recording studios to block and absorb ambient sound, dampen sounds, and reduce echo– they can be used in the home as well.
Great for spot treating sound on walls in your bedroom, halls, or office.
These work best in corners if you have two facing each other, they create a “pocket” of absorption.
They can be hung or adhered to the wall.
But because they are foam, remember they might be hard to peel off.
Studio diffuser panels
I am including this to show that there are many types of acoustic panels, and you are not stuck with black rubber as your only option.
These and others will look good in your family room, kitchen or anywhere else.
I had done some research on soundproof paint before I started writing this article, and I must say the effect is better than I expected.
This is thick paint specifically designed to absorb and deaden sound. This will prevent “conversation-level” sound coming through your walls, so low television, traffic, or general low noise will be cut back. This paint will also absorb noise within the room and cut down on general echo.
- Just know that this paint is very thick, so a gallon does not go as “far” as a gallon of regular paint.
- You will need to plan on applying several layers for maximum effect.
- Let each layer dry before applying the next.
Related: Does soundproof paint work?
Perhaps you have loud neighbors who throw parties, noisy traffic, or who have over-active children right near a window where you need peace and quiet.
There are several remedies for this, and is also one of the most budget friendly option.
Budget required: $30 onwards
Noise blocking film
These film are designed to add another layer of noise protection to your windows.
Because they have the ability to absorb and diffuse noise, this is a very effective method without replacing your existing curtains or blinds.
On top of that, they have the effect of blocking out heat as well, so it makes for a great addition to your windows.
The only drawback though is that most of them will either blur your window or make them darker.
Related: Noise blocking window film: do they work?
Noise reducing curtains
An Amazon’s Choice, these curtains have 4.5 stars and 14,000 ratings.
These curtains are designed to cut down on noise levels, insulate your windows, and block out light.
Three (potential benefits) in one.
Any curtain heavy enough to block out sound is going to block out light.
If you need a rod, you can consider this.
Related: Acoustic Partitions: how to choose the right one
This stripping tape is an Amazon’s Choice with 900 ratings.
You can use this to cut down on drafts and thermal leaks, but this will also cut down on any sounds making their way through tiny gaps around your windows.
Apply the stripping to any gaps around the windows borders.
Doors are one of the trouble spots that can be fixed relatively easily, as they are very often not built with the hardiest material, and can allow noise to pass through since they are often have lots of air pockets in them.
You can try out this step with a very low budget.
Budget required: $25
Related: How to soundproof an apartment door
Doors are usually hollow and transmit sound very easily.
There are gaps on all sides, particularly on the floor.
The easiest and cheapest option is to buy a large, very dense blanket that you can attached above it and let it hang against the door.
This is an Amazon’s Choice with 400 ratings.
You will need a rod to fix this on too.
This is an Amazon’s Choice door draft stopper with 2300 ratings.
Originally designed to cut down on door drafts, this product will also address the primary gap in the door, and the main location that sound leaks through – the floor to door gap.
You will need to measure properly to ensure it comes down to the floor without causing resistance when opening and closing.
Related: How to soundproof a sliding door
Can you soundproof a ceiling?
Well keep in mind if there is a lot of running around above you, there’s only so much you can do from your downstairs room.
The impact sounds of people running carry through the framing of the building, which you can’t prevent. But there are a couple things you can do to cut back on the noise significantly.
First, add a heavier rug or mat to the upstairs room.
Next, bear in mind that you can treat ceilings the same way you would treat walls.
Paint them with soundproof paint, and attach soundproofing panels to them.
The only trick of course is that you can’t “hang” them on the ceiling as you would on the wall with nails.
So, you will need to glue them, that is the best way. An acoustic caulk would do the trick of sticking them on.
Budget required: $100 onwards
Related: Cheapest way to soundproof a basement ceiling
This caulk will hold items in place, but it also has the added benefit of blocking noise itself, like the paint blocks noise.
If you’re working on your walls from scratch during construction – or if you want to tear into them to add insulation or soundproofing, you can consider these strategies. The budget required here varies greatly, but you can expect to start off with at least $300 to $500.
Mass loaded vinyl
This is an Amazon’s Choice with 130 ratings.
You can adhere this directly to the outside of the wall if you don’t want to take it down, and then wallpaper over it.
If you cut into the wall, you can attach it to the inner wall on the other side using adhesive and then the inner wall of drywall you’re about to put up.
This wool can be hung inside the wall.
Not only will it act as thermal insulation but it will also cut down on noise transfer through the walls.
These are extremely effective and used by many professionals to reduce noise transfer.
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You can also add a second drywall layer. This involves carefully gluing the outer drywall later to the currently standing one.
Take note this is a pretty big project, so do take some time to plan for it. Check out the video below for an understanding of how it works.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What other ways can I soundproof cheaply?
Your best bet in this case would be to choose one or two of the above strategies.
But if you want to be even less expensive, think about what you can do with the room without any special materials:
- Furniture: What can you add that has a lot of pillows? Love seat? Couch?
- Carpeting: Even if you don’t want to add full rug, a thick heavy throw rug will cut down on noise and echoes.
- Wall hangings: Paintings or art will help absorb any sound in the room.
- Bookshelves or anything else: An empty room is a noisy room because it echoes. Fill the space!
Can you completely soundproof a room?
Technically yes, but for the purposes of this article, no.
It requires special methods and materials and only recording studios and other similar types of designs approach “completely soundproof.”
And it definitely will not be cheap as you will need professionals to do the job.
Why would you need a complete soundproof room? Check out what happens to this guy after locking himself up in a complete soundproof room for 48 minutes.
Does soundproofing really make a difference?
Yes, you can cut noise up to 50% depending on the situation you are dealing with and the materials you install.
Any of the strategies discussed above can make a difference, especially so when they are combined.
How much does it cost to soundproof a room: Conclusion
You have many options when soundproofing a room.
You can choose very inexpensive strategies, such as furniture and rugs, or you can get as intense as cutting through your walls to add materials inside.
Hop over to Amazon to take a look at the options listed above.
How much did you soundproof your room for?
I sure hope that these methods helped you to figure out how much it cost to soundproof a room and save you a bunch of cold hard cash!