Living in an apartment is not easy especially if you work from home who needs no distractions or pet owners whose pets are easily agitated by outside sound or a person who is just not fond of noise.
First of all, the property is not yours. Second, you are in no position to choose who will be your neighbors or complain to noisy flatmates.
Learning how to soundproof apartment is the option you got, more specific soundproof apartment door- the ultimate entrance of noise.
In this post, you'll be able to widen your choices on how to soundproof an apartment door even if you are a renter. Options will be from temporary, semi-permanent to permanent.
15 Ways To soundproof an apartment door
On a daily basis, you are probably one rentee who suffers noisy background and complains a lot but only in your head.
Do you know that doors are the biggest pathway of noise? No matter how much soundproofing you do but if you don't pay attention to your door, your effort is a waste.
For renters, say the short-term tenants, temporary ways to soundproof a door are as follows:
1: Hang a heavy curtain or drapes on your door
This is not a punch line or sort. Yes, you can use curtains over doors as if it's your window. Choose the heaviest you have since soundproofing is about the dense and heavy materials.
Install a curtain rod over your door and hang a drape or curtain that will flow until the floor. The thick fabric will absorb the sound that enters the door.
For an easy job, you can use the soundproofing curtain available in stores like AcoustiDoor™. It is a retractable curtain for doors with grommets and industrial hangers included.
The hangers can be nailed on walls above the door but the impact is minimal making it ideal for those who rent.
Unlike ordinary curtains, AcoustiDoor™ does not only absorb sound but deflect it from your living space.
Another feature is its thermal credibility. It has insulating properties that lower the room's heating or cooling costs.
Just like how you can choose the design of the curtain you'll use, AcoustiDoor™ offers a variety of colors you can choose upon.
2: Use a soundproof blanket to cover your door
During nights that you are about to sleep and hear weird sounds, you probably got scared and hid under a blanket.
No need to deny, it's not unusual! We find comfort under it because most of the blankets are thick, thus it can block sound.
Similarly, you can cover your door with a blanket to soundproof apartment door.
In the same manner, you picked the curtain, choose the thickest and heaviest of all your blanket. Cover your door and use some tacks to pin it.
A more reliable blanket to block noise is the soundproof one made especially for this purpose. Sure-Max 4 Moving & Packing Blankets is a cheap market-ready option.
Lay it over and over to increase the thickness and ability to absorb sound.
Prepared for a "not-so-cheap" option? Check out Singer Safety Double Faced Quilted Fiberglass Panel.
This is already thick on its own. It is double-faced, so expect sound-absorbing and blocking at once.
Read Next: How To Soundproof A Room With Blankets?
3: Install Acoustic panels on doors
You CANNOT control what the outside offers you to hear but you CAN always choose what to hear or not.
Reduce bounce of the sound that entered and echoes inside by the use of acoustic panels attached to the door instead of walls only.
In some cases, condominiums and apartments use metal doors. Either way, no matter how fancy it could be, hallway noises are not forgivable to others.
The panel perfect for these doors is the Quiet Door™ Acoustic Panels.
It reduces noise transfer and has a dual function to reduce echo as well. An advantage of apartment peeps is the ease of installation for this acoustic panel.
No special tool is required because of its adhesive side and the fabric cover only uses Velcro.
4: Foam tiles are not just for kids
Second to the easiest temporary solution is the use of foam tiles or interlocking mat. You do not need a kid at home to have this because it is very available in stores.
Attach this in your door by using an adhesive velcro. Mount this and expect a fair sound reduction.
The procedure of using foam tiles is the same as you would lay this on your floor except that you have to secure attaching these or it may fall off once you use the door.
5: Arrange furniture to your advantage
This solution is not very recommendable to an apartment with a small space. Chances are, you only have one door and that's for your entrance and exit.
But for a quick fix where you need an instant quiet place, you can try to move your sofa or a closet full of clothes. Obviously, this will block your way.
Just rearrange your furniture back to its place when it is time for you to go out and you will use the door.
6: Place a rug in the entryway
If this is not the simplest soundproofing attempt, then I don't know what is. Indeed the easiest of all is just laying a rug directly under your door.
It is also not a bad idea to lay another one in front of your door. Sound will be absorbed in front and the ones that entered will be as well. Not to mention, it doesn't hurt eyes too.
Renters who believe they are staying longer than necessary may opt for more than a temporary but semi-permanent solution. Meaning, you can remove it in time or just leave it if you decide to leave
7: Weatherstripping on door
Feel air leaking on the perimeter of your apartment's door? It is probably because of a gap in your door jamb. If you have old strips, it is probably worn out already.
Change or put a weatherstrip on your door's perimeter using a weatherstrip like Adhesive Insulation Soundproofing Foam Tape.
It is a multi-functional foam tape that is highly flexible and adjustable depending on your needs.
You can test your door after installing this and check if there's any more gap to seal.
Every time you open and close the door, a push in the adhesive will stick it more.
For a complete seal, use a door seal kit like Sound Proof Weather Stripping Door. It is an all-in-one weatherstripping that includes door sweep as well.
You are guaranteed of outside noise reduction and protection from bugs or dirt entering your apartment.
Alternative to Weatherstrips, Door Gasket
Upgrade from Weatherstrips? Actually, there is. Door Gasket is the metal version of weather strips. As you can imagine, this is a permanent solution to the gap in your door jamb.
In the same manner as the strip alternative, door gaskets reduce noise by sealing the gaps in the perimeter of the door.
8: Paint your door with sound-absorbing paint
Many soundproofing enthusiasts argue over the effectivity of sound-deadening paint.
To better visualize it, soundproof paints are thick latex paint which is relatively denser than standard ones.
To end the questionable existence of such, Acoustic Coat - Sound Deadening Paint is an example available in stores.
It is a heavy-bodied, water-based paint, flat latex paint that reduces the transmission of sound and also provides a highly reflective heat barrier to the painted surface.
Application is very easy just like conventional paint, use brush.
Usually, renters have no problem applying this because it's an option that owners easily allow. After all, painted doors are.pleasing to the eyes.
9: Attach door sweep
The biggest gap there is in a door is the space it has between the floor. It is an important gap though because it ensures that a door doesn't scrape the floor.
Although some doors have a threshold, a gap is inevitable.
For complete sealing after weatherstrips or door gasket, you have to use a door sweep.
Door sweeps are a long strip of metal that has seals in close contact to the floor or threshold.
With its seal of gaps, the sound will have no passage under to inside of your apartment
Besides sound, another form of energy (thermal) is neither allowed in nor out. Bugs and dust are also in control.
In general, there are two types of door sweeps: U-shaped sweeps slide under aluminum or steel doors and Metal strips that screw, nail or staple to door bottom
10: Use Automatic Door Bottom
A little more modern than a door sweep, Automatic Door Bottom (ADB) is also a sealant of the few-centimeter gap between door and floor.
These are bulkier than door sweep because of it being "automatic". A small button-like or a plunger in the ADB is depressed whenever the door is closed.
As a result, a rubber seal is dropped closing the gap. When the door is open, the seal is inside its body.
Next numbers are permanent solutions you can try it IF AND ONLY IF you had the permission of your proprietor to alter the door construction or door itself.
11: Hang a mass loaded vinyl (MLV) barrier
The idea of using a mass loaded vinyl or MLV works almost similar to using acoustic panels. However, instead of tiny tacks, construction adhesive must be used instead.
It takes time for this kind of paste too dry but this is more sturdy.that's why it safe to consider attaching it a permanent solution.
MLVs are good at blocking outside noise because as the name implies it has added mass by metal particles in the sheets.
To install it, cut the sheet into the area of the door to be covered. Stick it and let dry with the paste.
A great reduction in noise is expected.
12: Caulk up any gaps with Green Glue Sealant
Even the slightest crack or tiniest hole on your door can be your enemy. Seal it immediately with a green glue sealant.
It works wonders converting the sound energy to heat. Just know that as long as there's airflow, this can be a medium for sound to travel inside your apartment so make sure you seal it all.
This is a permanent remedy because you know you cannot undo this. But do not worry too much of visual effect, it's not eye-catching.
13: Solidify hollow door
You thought it's not possible? Not surprising though. Not many are talking about turning a hollow core door to a solid one.
If you're new to soundproofing, please be informed that most doors are the hollow type. And in the quest to soundproof door, it is best to have solid doors.
But in reality, hollow core doors are more often used in houses, what more in apartments? Business, hello? Sadly, you cannot choose the door you'll have.
It is unlikely that you perform the knock test during your search for a new room.
Soundproof apartment door by turning your hollow door into a solid core. All you need is a can of insulation spray foam.
Start by drilling a few holes. The size should be of the can's hole or nozzle. Begin from the bottom of the door upwards.
Spray the foam inside plugging each hole with tape. Allow the foam to expand and solidify.
Spray some more every 12 inches until you reach the top of the door. Better remove the lock mechanisms and knob during the application of foam to avoid messing up with its function.
This process should be worth the hassle.
14: Choose solid door
As discussed earlier, solid core doors are the best type of door for soundproofing.
Replacing your door is one of the most expensive options but its cost isn't the biggest issue here for renters but the property owner's approval.
Solid core doors are especially denser and heavier compared to the hollow ones. Manufacturers offer a variety of this from hardwoods to a more affordable MDF.
Typically, the thickness of an average solid core door for blocking sound has 1/2-inch-thick particleboard.
On Soundproofing Apartment Door
Without a doubt, living in an apartment has its own pros and cons. Independence: check! Set of problems like noise: check!
When it comes to soundproofing, the door of the apartment is the weakest link. It is the wisest to start with it before any part. Mix the suggestions above, there is no limit on how many options you try.
Just keep in mind that like any soundproofing technique, it will cost you more or less. The materials you will use will be store-bought. But what is money if you are aspiring for a greater good. Silence is sometimes everything.
Jessica is a Acoustical Engineer, currently based in the San Francisco Bay Area in California. After graduating from her degree in Master of Engineering degree in Acoustics from Solent University in 2014, Jessica worked for a few companies before She will be blogging about her past and current experiences in the studio and sharing her journey as she pursues her career goals. She enjoy the balance of work inside and out of the office, solving practical problems on a daily basis as every project is different and requires a different solution, the variety of work (sound insulation testing, background noise survey, mechanical plant commissioning, external plant assessment, plant room breakout assessments) and the mix of independent and team work.
1 thought on “14 Best Ways on how to soundproof an apartment door That Actually works!”
I have a strange, busybody neighbour right across from me. He’s a fairly young man (early to mid 30’s?), and he is constantly trying to eavesdrop on any conversation leaking from my apartment. I know 100% that he does this because I have a doorbell camera that turns on and records by motion detection. And my computer alerts me immediately. I have been having phone conversations or having a friend over, and I get a motion alert 3/4 of the time when there is conversation in my apartment. The motion is either him cracking his door open to hear into my apartment better, because he was probably pressing his ear against the inside of his door and wasn’t hearing enough of my business. The other thing he does is when he is coming in or out, he will find a reason to pause in-front of my door for 5 minutes and fumble for something ONLY IF CONVO IS GOING ON IN MY APT.
So I painstakingly installed soundproofing foam squares (like the ones you see in home YouTube studios) on the inside of my door, a rubber door gasket, AND a foam door sweep on the bottom of my door, but after ALL OF THIS, I tested it by having my friend read from a manual at normal voice level, and I could still hear him and could make out most of the words he was saying.
I am so frustrated.
After reading your article, I will try the soundproofing blanket, that I can roll up above my door- and I will leave up the soundproofing foam and unroll the blanket OVER the soundproofing that is already there.
It is a very violating feeling when you have caught an eavesdropper and know that they may be gossiping to the neighbours about what they hear (my co-op is extremely social). Because knowledge is power and people can edit what they heard to fit their own narrative.
I hop that the blanket ONTOP of what is already there will do the trick.
BTW, at the beginning I said that the neighbour is weird. What is weird is that:
1) a young man in the prime of his life cares THIS MUCH about what is going on in MY life!!! I mean, I am 46. And geez I never saw myself as particularly attractive. At his AGE he should have a full, robust, life of his own. I shouldn’t even show up on the edge of his radar. I didn’t really take any notice of anyone 10 years older than me until I was in my 40’s.
2) I trigger him to rage and he screams at me every time he sees me even though we have no background to speak of. Maybe he hates redheads?
3) Someone tried to break into my apartment about 10 months ago, judging by the damage to my door and door hardware when I got back one evening after being out for about 4 hours. So I installed the peephole camera/doorbell. Unfortunately it faces directly onto his apartment door, but I am not interested in others’ comings and goings as I DO have my own life, so if nothing has happened, I erase it without watching it every 2-3 months. Anyway, when I put mine up, he put one up (from the same company) on HIS door within 12 hours! And I have happened to notice that he wears a towel over his head and face EVERY TIME he appears in front of my camera. I only caught this from checking live feed from ‘motion detected’ notification. (Maybe that’s why he rages…because my camera angers him). But nowadays you are being filmed almost consistently every time you leave your house, so he needs to get things into perspective regarding my camera. And if he didn’t rage out every time he sees me, I could tell him that I don’t spend all day looking at my neighbour’s ins and outs.
Anyway, sorry, this became about more than soundproofing. But as for that, I would like to find a solution where I can be assured that eavesdroppers won’t be able to hear actual WORDS. Muffled voices – ok.