soundproofing a door

Soundproofing a Door: The Definitive DIY Tips & Tricks Guide

Sound can be a major problem is many apartments. You want peace and quiet, but you can"t help but overhear the neighbor"s conversation or the cars and children outside. Doors that are pointed out near a busy street or hallway can let a lot of unwanted sound sneak into your living space, which can disturb the tranquility that you"re looking for.

So you"re looking to learn how to soundproof a door? The good news is that it"s possible to soundproof your door while adding other little accessories along the way that will keep the sound from bouncing around the place and getting to your living room or bedroom. With a little DIY knowledge and very little spending, you can reclaim the peace that you want.

Talking to Landlord First

This problem mostly affects apartment renters for various reasons, so it"s important to ask your landlord about what you can and cannot do. The doors used in apartments are often cheap and sometimes hollow, which lets in more sound than other doors. Also, you tend to live around a busier area and around more people when you get an apartment, so there"s more noise to block.

Before doing any of these steps, be sure to consult your landlord. Quieting your atmosphere is important, but you shouldn"t get kicked out or penalized over it.

Materials

When it comes to the door itself, you"ll mostly want to focus on foam, gaskets and drapes. These will seal the door and add a buffer that will deflect any incoming noise. Not only that, but these thick materials make it difficult for the sound waves to travel, hence blocking you from a significant amount of unwanted noise.

For the accessories, you can focus on rugs and other furniture pieces that will also help in deflecting the noise. They won"t block the noise from the door itself, but it will keep the noise from traveling too far into your apartment.

Soundproofing the Door

First, let"s focus on the perimeter of the door. Sound is able to get in because this area typically isn"t well sealed and it"s flimsy compared to the rest of the door. You can use closed-cell foam tape around the door frame to create a buffer. There are also removable gaskets that you can install along the top and bottom of the door itself that are easy to put on and take off. This creates a shield that will reinforce the door. The only problem, aside from having to use screws, is that this will make the door harder to open and close, so be prepared to be a little more forceful when leaving and entering your apartment or home.

If that isn"t enough, then you have to cover the door with something thicker. Sound absorbing foam will work wonders in this regard. Order a 1/2 inch sheet of medium to firm density, cut it to the size of your door and attach it with wood screws. Be sure to use washers to keep the screws in place or they will sink into the foam after a period of time.

You can also attach a drape directly in front of the door. This might sound like a little much, but it adds one last buffer against the noise. A sliding drape can be used when you"re going to sleep or just want a little less noise, and the rail is easy to install and remove.

To keep noise from traveling, focus on using small rugs around your living space. For example, a rug right in front of the door will absorb more sound than you expect. Use a few to keep sound from bouncing around and getting to your ears. You can also place some furniture, like a bookshelf, along your hallway to absorb even more sound. You have to make a maze that the sound cannot get through to reclaim your sense of privacy and peace.

If you are still getting too much noise, then you may want to soundproof other areas of your living space where the sound might be getting in front, such as certain walls and windows.

Conclusion

Soundproofing a door might require a few weird steps, like installing thick foam or drapes around your door, but they are effective and will definitely keep sound from bothering you. Just be sure to ask your landlord first. If he or she is unwilling to allow you to make these changes, then request a thicker door or ask the landlord for recommended tips that they will allow you to do.