What is the cheapest way to soundproof a room? This is a common question I get from my readers. In this post, I will be sharing the cheapest ways you can reduce the outside noise that is entering your room.
If you are living in an apartment located in urban areas, noise is one of the challenges you’ll be facing every day.
The common sources of noise are the noisy neighbors, traffic, and the noisy kids next door. Living in this type of environment would force you to find ways to soundproof your room.
However, soundproofing a room can be challenging are expensive in most cases. But if you really want to free yourself from the disturbing noises around you, spending money is inevitable.
But I have good news for you. You don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to do the soundproofing project. There are the cheapest ways to soundproof a room.
And more importantly, you don’t have to destroy the current beauty of the wall to achieve your soundproofing goal. This is critical especially when you are living in a rented apartment.
All you need to do is to choose the right product to carry out the soundproofing project. Below is the list of products you can install to reduce the outside noise entering your room.
Before starting the project, you should be aware that the success in soundproofing endeavor stems from understanding why the room receives noise.
There are critical details you need to understand before you can effectively soundproof your room. You should remember the following:
- The source of the Noise
- The Noise Passage
- Echo Point
Understanding this technical information will help you effectively reduce the sound in your room. Let’s discuss each.
Table of Contents
1. The Source of the Noise
Identifying the type of noise, you want to reduce is critical for your soundproofing success. This is because the type of material you’ll be using corresponds to the severity. If you are living nearby subways or major highways where the source of the noise is the trains and large trucks passing by, it may require thicker and more effective materials.
Dealing with a noisy neighbor, on the other hand, may require different materials. It also depends on whether or not you live in your own house or you are renting an apartment. The latter constrains you from implementing major changes on the walls or ceiling.
2. The Noise Passage
Before you can effectively soundproof a room, you need to determine where exactly the noise is entering. In most cases, the noise entry points are the weak spots of the room. It could be your door, window, ceiling, wall, etc.
In most apartments, condos, duplexes, the shared wall is the main entrance of the noise. The sound comes from the noisy neighbors or band practice.
3. Echo Point
The echo point is the part of the room where the sound hits and bounces back. Oftentimes, the sound ricochets at the exact same angle. If you can identify the spot, you can easily avoid the echo by implementing a simple soundproofing technique.
Identifying these three important points in your room makes it easier for you to implement the soundproofing techniques you want to go with. Below I will be sharing with you some of the cheap soundproofing ways you can do for your room.
Cheapest Ways to Soundproof a Room
As mentioned, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to soundproof a room. In fact, you can use your existing furniture to block the outside noise.
What you just need is a little sprinkle of creativity and determination. Look around and see if you can find household materials that could absorb or block sound. Use them as your line of defense against the disturbing noise.
Below are some of the simple and cheapest ways to soundproof a room using available household materials.
1. Hang Curtains on Windows
Curtains are not only great for decoration purposes but also great defenses against outside noise. In fact, there are companies that produce soundproofing curtains to dampen sound.
You don’t have to buy a new curtain. You can use the existing ones. If you are using this material though, you should pick the thick and wider curtains for the windows.
This is because the thicker the curtain the more powerful it will be to protect the room from outside noise.
Using the wider curtain is more effective than using the smaller one. The wider the curtain the more pleats you do out of it which in turn provide better noise protection.
This technique can be the cheapest way to soundproof a room. But if you want to achieve a more successful outcome, you may want to buy soundproof curtains. It costs you money but the result is guaranteed.
2. Add Rugs
If curtains are perfect for windows, the rugs can also be perfect for floor soundproofing. This is effective especially if you are living in an apartment where you have lower neighbors.
If you apply rugs, choose the thick and wide. This is another cheap way to soundproof a room. You can buy these materials cheaply. Or, if you have existing ones, much better. All you have to do to lay them on the floor and you are good to go.
3. Place Furniture
Furniture is also a great way to dampen sound. It is better if it is upholstered. Placing upholstered furniture in areas where sound enters not only block the sound but also prevents the noise from bouncing back and forth.
To attain better and more successful results, you can add thick blankets to the furniture. The blankets enhance the dampening effect of the materials resulting in better outcomes.
How to Soundproof a Room for Free?
If you have a limited budget, you might be wondering how to soundproof a room for free. And there is, in fact, a free way to soundproof a room. The ultimate way to do this is to use blankets.
I am sure you have blankets at home. Although these materials are not designed for soundproofing, they can be used for soundproofing projects in your room.
Using the blankets, you can do the following:
1. Prepare the perfect blankets for the project
If you choose blankets for your soundproofing project, make sure that you choose the thicker ones. Thicker blankets also have more mass which means the greater and better effect in deadening sound.
Then you need to determine your very soundproofing goal. Choose between containing the sound or blocking it from outside.
If you want to confine the sound inside the room, you need to place blankets on all sides of the room.
However, if you want to block the sound, place the blankets on areas where outside noise enters. In this case, you need to specifically identify those weak areas of the wall, window, or door.
2. Hang the Blankets on the Wall
The final process is to affix the blankets to the wall. You do this by using screws, nails, or tacks. The tools may vary depending on the thickness and mass of the blankets you are using.
There are other ways you can do this. You don’t have to follow the instructions I shared here as long as you come up with the same result you’ll be okay.
You can also use bookshelves to maximize the sound dampening effect. Bookshelves are not designed for soundproofing purposes. But they can absolutely help achieve your soundproofing goal.
Better Ways to Soundproof a Room
Although the freeways to soundproof a room are effective, they may not work all the time, especially when dealing with bigger noise problems.
If you are living in an apartment with noisy neighbors or adjacent band-practice room, blankets might not be enough for the noise. This means that you need more powerful soundproofing materials.
However, more effective materials may cost you money. But if you are that serious to make your room quieter, then you may force to spend money.
If you are in that situation, I can give you tips in terms of what materials to use and how to use them.
The following techniques are more effective ways to soundproof a room. But again, unlike using the free materials, the following soundproofing materials that I will be introducing below are not free.
However, you can ensure that the materials will work no matter what type of noise source you are dealing with.
Here are the materials you can use for more effective room soundproofing:
1. Acoustic Panels
One of the most common soundproofing materials being used in most soundproofing projects are acoustic panels (click here to see these materials on Amazon). Using acoustic panels ensures a high chance of blocking outside noise from entering the room.
The good news about these materials is that they are easy to install. You can just hang them on the wall or the areas of the wall where the sound enters.
However, depending on the size and other features, using acoustic panels can be pricey. But worth it.
There are affordable acoustic panels though that you can buy. You can buy inexpensive acoustic panels on Amazon.
Acoustic panels are lightweight and come with different color choices to complement the interior design and color of the room.
If you have a huge area on the wall that you want to cover, you can use the larger acoustical panels (check these materials on Amazon). Unlike the smaller ones, larger acoustic panels need bigger and more durable hardware to install.
What I like about larger acoustic panels is that you can do some tricks and give an artistic touch to your project. As long as you place the panels in the right place, you achieve the same result.
2. Soundproof Foams
Another great way to soundproof a room is to use soundproof foams (click here to see cheaper soundproofing foam on Amazon). These materials are cheaper compared to acoustic panels. But lower price does not compromise effectiveness.
That said, if properly implemented, you can achieve the same result. Like acoustic panels, soundproof foams offer a variety of color choices you can choose to complement with the existing design of the room.
With these materials, creativity is really the limit. If implemented correctly, you can have an aesthetically astonishing soundproofed room with such a low budget.
3. Get a Sound Booth
If you want a quick relief to the disturbing outside noise, then a sound booth is the ultimate solution. The sound booth is one of the best soundproofing materials for any soundproofing project.
The only drawback is that this material is pricey. The price can range from a hundred dollars to a couple of thousands. There is a great example of a sound booth you can try (click here to see this material on Amazon).
Soundproof booth also works very well for recording studious. In fact, this material is designed for that purpose. But again, this may only possible if you have enough budget.
4. Use a White Noise Machine
Soundproofing is feasible if you are living in your own house or in an apartment for a long period of time. But if you are staying in the place temporarily then soundproofing may not worth it.
In this situation, the previous soundproofing techniques may not work. But don’t worry there is something you can do to make your room quieter. You can have the alternative techniques which are as effective as the previous ones.
The best option in situations like this is the use of White Noise Machine (click here to see this material on Amazon). This machine will fill your room with relaxing and soothing music that can drown the outside noise.
There are many types of white noise machines that produce different types of sound. All you need to do is to choose the best white noise machine that can provide what you need.
White noise machines cannot totally eliminate the disturbing outside noise. But they are great in helping you gain healthy sleep or focus.
Depending on the strategies you are using for your soundproofing project, the amount you need to spend can be greatly varied. For a lesser type of noise problem, the free soundproofing strategies I shared above can be enough.
However, in some cases, especially for more severe noise problems, using free materials may not be possible. In such a case, you might be forced to buy soundproofing materials for better results.
How Much Does It Cost to Soundproof a Room?
As mentioned, the cost of soundproofing a room can be varied from one project to another. It generally depends on the severity of the problems you are dealing with and the type of materials you’ll be using.
That said, I cannot give you a definite amount. However, based on my experience, a decent soundproofing project could cost between around $175 to $275 for materials. This does not include professional labor. If you hire someone to do it for you, then the price can be a little bit higher.
The cost can more or less than what I estimated here. What I found is that the more creative you are the less the expenses you’ll accumulate.
For smaller room soundproofing projects, I recommend that you do it yourself (if you can). But of course, hiring professionals is always a great option especially if you have enough budget.
If you have a bigger project, hiring an expert to do the project for you can be a good idea. If you totally outsource the whole process, you might be spending around $1,000 to $2,500. Of course, this is just a rough estimate.
If you are dealing with bigger projects, I suggest that you have a professional compute the possible expenses before you jump in. This is to make sure that you buy the correct product or prepare the correct amount of money needed for the project completion.
The quality of the soundproofing products also determines the overall expenses. The better the quality the higher the price. In my experience, choosing the pricey materials is a great movie (if you can afford). This is because costly soundproofing materials often provide better results.
Best Room Soundproofing Materials
There are a variety of materials you can use to soundproof a room. They come in different brands and qualities. It is your job to identify what is perfect for your soundproofing needs.
Again, there are hundreds of factors that could determine the price of each type of material. I can’t tell you which of them you should be using for your soundproofing project.
I leave the decision making to you. Below are the effective materials you can use to soundproof a room:
Wall Panels – these materials are easy to install and effective in blocking the outside noise from entering the room. Wall panels are great, especially when dealing with an apartment, home, and business-building walls.
Carpet – is an effective material to prevent the sound from bouncing back and forth of the room. This is also perfect if you are blocking the noise below the floor. If you are living in an apartment with noisy neighbors living below your unit, this is a great solution.
New window – is the best option if you cannot fix the problem with the old windows. This happens when the house is old. Old windows are not good at blocking the outside noise. If windows are impossible to fix, replace it with the new one.
Wall Paint – is another great way to plug the holes on the wall of the room. Those small holes if left untreated become the passage of the outside noise. Wall paint is a great material to block the outside noise.
Soundproof Curtains – these materials are not only effective in decorating the interior design of the room but also increase the defense system against the outside noise. You can hang soundproof curtains on the windows and walls and other weak areas in the room.
Blanket Insulation – is another great soundproofing material for an effective and successful sound deadening goal. You can easily hang blanket insulation on the wall to prevent the outside noise from entering your room.
Acoustic Underlayments – are great materials if you are blocking the noise from downstairs. If you have noisy neighbors living downstairs, these materials are an effective weapon to eliminate the disturbing noise. Acoustic underlayments are also great in preventing the sound from bouncing back and forth.
Acoustic Slab – is effective if you want to confine the sound in your room. But aside from containing the sound, you can also use this material to block the outside noise.
Foam Panels – are some of the most common soundproofing materials being used by professionals. This is because these materials are designed for soundproofing projects in recording studios and in regular rooms.
The mentioned materials are just some of the most effective weapons against noise. However, I cannot tell you which of these materials are perfect for your soundproofing project. So take the time to examine the problem so that you will be able to figure out the needed materials.
Soundproofing a room can have many benefits. Aside from making the room quiet, you can have your privacy protected. This is important especially when you’re living with guests.
What are the advantages of soundproofing a room?
Of course, the greatest benefit of having a soundproofed room is tranquility. If the room is quiet, you won’t be disturbed in your sleep, study, or relaxation.
Aside from this, the soundproofed room improves privacy. You will not be worried about being heard outside when playing loud music in your room. In like manner, you won’t hear the loud band from your neighbor that irritates you.
What are the advantages of soundproofing a room?
The biggest challenge when soundproofing a room is the cost. Whether you like it or not, if the problem is severe, you will be forced to spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars for a single soundproofing project.
If not done properly, soundproofing can be dangerous. There are instances where the electrical wires were cut during the process. It can lead to a fire if it remained unnoticed.
Lastly, if you are living in a room that is perfectly soundproofed, you won’t hear what is happening outside. You won’t know if the vicinity is already in a dangerous situation.
To learn more about soundproofing, feel free to read my Soundproofing Guide.