Whether you're living in a busy city, an apartment building, or with your family, a noisy environment will be one of your problems if you don't soundproof your interior doors.
This is because noise penetrates quickly to these types of doors since they are lighter, plus, they have a hollow core.
So, how can you effectively soundproof your interior door? To be honest, it's not that complicated as you think.
Here are a few steps that you can follow to soundproof your interior door effectively:
- Close the gaps with the use of a weatherstripping tape or a door sweep.
- Thicken the interior door by using a few materials that have noise-reducing capacities.
- Block off the source by placing some materials around the door to reduce the level of sound reflection and absorption.
Easy, right? However, knowing what you need to do is not enough. You also need to know how to do it. So, let's get to the step-by-step process on how to soundproof interior door.
10 Steps to Soundproof Doors Effectively
There are two reasons why noise passes through an interior door quickly.
- There is leakage or gaps from the door frame.
- The door is too thin. Often they are just made with two layers of wood with a hollow core inside.
To soundproof the door effectively, you need to address these two most significant issues by closing the gaps and thickening the door.
So, follow the steps below to soundproof your interior door effectively
Materials that you will need
1: Weatherstripping tape
a great material you can use to seal small gaps in the door frame that cause noise leakage.
2: Door sweep
plastic or rubber that you can use to seal the big from between the bottom of the door and the floor.
3: Soundproofing blanket
effective sound barrier that reduces noise and absorbs sound.
4: Acoustic panel
special board made of soundproofing materials that are commonly used in studios.
5: Soundproofing curtain
helps in dying out sounds quickly within the room.
6: Soundproof paint
also called the deadening paint that helps reduce noise by absorbing it.
7: Mass Loaded Vinyl
used to add mass on your doors to help with soundproofing.
8: Solid Wood Doors
replacing hollow doors with solid ones can effectively soundproof your room.
9: Acoustic rugs
can be placed on either side of your door to absorb echoes.
10: Decorative sound panels
Also the same as sound panels but are great for aesthetics and have noise-absorbing capacity too.
As you can see, the materials listed above are available even at your local store. This is how easy it is to do these yourself.
Now, let's take a look at how we can use these materials to soundproof an interior door.
1. Use a Weatherstripping Tape For Closing The Gaps On your Door
To close the small gaps in the door frame, you can use a weatherstripping tape.
This is like a foam that has an adhesive side that will stick to any surface.
The foam part will compact and compress to fill the gaps without making it difficult for you to open or close the door.
Installing this is not a hard task:
- Measure the lengths you need around the frame.
- Cut off a tape of the same length.
- Wash the door frame thoroughly with soap and water.
- Dry the door frame.
- Place the weatherstripping tape by removing the adhesive part and sticking it to the door frame.
This method effectively closes the gaps and will reduce a little bit of noise coming from outside your room.
2. Use a Door Sweep
Of course, sealing the small gaps in the door frame is not enough.
If you can observe the door, the most significant gap you will see is between the bottom of the door and the floor. You need to close this too.
For this, you can use door sweeps, especially if the gap is wide.
However, I highly recommend that if you're using door sweeps, make sure that it's versatile.
You can choose a door sweep that is dense and soft to allow smooth opening and closing of the door.
There are two kinds of door sweeps that you can use: rubber door seals, and draft stopper.
The first option you can use as a door sweep is the rubber door seals. They are very effective at blocking sounds.
The only issue is the noise they produce when the rubber squeaks against wooden floors, and an additional noise is something that we don't want.
Another option you can use is the draft stopper. These are stuffed fabric inserts that you can slide underneath your doors.
Generally, they are the quieter version of the rubber door seals. Not to mention that you can even DIY by using towels, blankets, or even clothes to achieve similar results.
Other than reducing noise, door sweeps can also reduce thermal leak and prevent bugs or insects from infesting your room — another great reason why you should install one.
3. Hang Soundproofing Blankets On Door
Soundproofing blankets, also known as moving blankets or acoustic blankets, are well known for their sound-absorbing capability.
If you haven't seen a soundproofing blanket yet, they are incredibly thick, and placing them on your interior door will generally reduce noise coming to your room.
The best advantage of using soundproofing blankets is that they are straightforward to install. Sometimes, all you have to do is hang them onto hooks at the back of your door. Plus, removing them requires minimal effort.
Generally, the idea is: the thicker the blanket, the lesser the noise can penetrate.
If you think one soundproofing blanket is not enough, you can add another layer. This will improve the door's soundproofing capabilities.
The disadvantage though of using soundproofing blankets is they have very low aesthetic appeal.
If this is quite a concern for you, then I suggest using this in rooms that don't require much attention, such as laundry areas.
4. acoustic panels on the door
Another great way to soundproof your interior door is by using acoustic panels.
We use these panels frequently for soundproofing studios. The idea behind it is almost the same with the soundproofing blankets, and that is thickening the door so less noise can penetrate.
There are two types of acoustic panels that you can check: foam panels and fiberglass panels.
Both are great in soundproofing doors, but if you want a highly effective noise-blocker, then fiberglass panels are the way to go.
The only problem, however, is that fiberglass panels cost more than the foam ones.
Mainly because they offer more than just noise reduction, they are also shockproof, moisture-proof, and excellent thermal insulators. Plus, they are more aesthetically appealing.
You should note, though, that these panels are a bit tricky to install.
There are self-adhesive options in the market, but if what you're getting doesn't offer that, then you can use green glue or command strips to stick them to your door.
So, if you have the budget and you want the best, then opt for fiberglass panels. Just remember to measure your doors first before ordering your panels.
5. Hanging Soundproofing Curtains on Interior Door
If we have soundproofing blankets, then we also have soundproofing curtains.
Usually, we use these curtains to soundproof windows, but they do very well for interior doors too.
Mainly, what you need to do is install a curtain rod and an eyelet curtain.
Then you can smoothly hang the soundproofing curtains on the rod through those eyelets.
Make sure though that the curtains are big enough to cover the doors completely.
Also, note that soundproofing curtains works best for airborne noises, and it depends on the level of sound as well.
So when you're buying a soundproof curtain, make sure to check if your curtain can effectively handle medium-to-high frequencies.
Soundproofing curtains, however, are not so good against low-frequency noises.
6. Paint your Interior Door with Soundproofing Paint
Soundproofing paint is another great alternative that you can use to soundproof your interior door.
Unlike regular paint, the main ingredient in soundproofing paints is latex.
This provides a rubbery, and soundproofing effect once it dries. It is also denser, which helps in noise reduction.
Do note that this method could not stand alone as it is not a foolproof solution.
It is, however, a great supplement to other methods, which will make your soundproofing more effective.
This is because this paint is only useful in blocking off medium-pitch noises, and not excellent in blocking of high and low-pitched sounds.
Also, don't expect that soundproofing paint will improve your door aesthetics.
There are not a lot of color options for this paint, plus it appears chunky when applied.
So, don't expect that your interior door will look pretty if you're planning to use this.
It is, however, an inexpensive alternative to improve soundproofing capabilities.
7. Using Mass Loaded Vinyl
An excellent option for acoustic panels is a mass-loaded vinyl. Just a heads up! They are more on the expensive side, but it's very effective in keeping the noise out of your room.
You can get this material from your local store. But, make sure you measure the size of your door beforehand. Once done, cut the same size into your vinyl. Then, place it over your door using glue or some adhesives.
8. Swapping to Solid Wood Doors
As we've repeatedly mentioned, the thickness and materials of the door influence its soundproofing capabilities.
So even if your interior door has a hollow core, you can improvise by purchasing some solid wood door.
When it comes to effectiveness in soundproofing, this is the best option.
The only downside, however, is that it costs a lot, considering that there are more affordable options.
But, if you have a bigger budget, then we highly recommend this option, mainly because it's worth the investment.
These doors effectively block noise because they generally have a higher density.
Prices can also range based on this. The higher the density, the more expensive it is as well.
But if you're going for this route, make sure you understand the ratings too.
Sound-blocking materials are often rated based on the Sound Transmission Class (STC).
The higher the rating, the more effective the product is in blocking noise.
Typically, a material with an STC rating of 25 will allow you to hear normal speech outside, while a material with an STC rating of 50 won't let you hear loud instruments loudly.
A typical hollow door has an STC rating of 20 to 25. This is the reason why you can easily hear conversations outside, especially if you have a big family.
A solid wood door, however, has an STC rating of 55 to 60, and this is the best soundproofing door you need.
9. Using Acoustic Rugs over the door
Placing acoustic rugs by your doorway is a great way to reduce the amount of noise from the other side of your sliding door.
They are excellent sound absorbers and will help as a supplement to your other soundproofing efforts.
If you're opting to use acoustic rugs, go for the heavier ones as it's able to absorb echoes better. Thus, reducing the impact of sound.
To increase its effectiveness, you can place acoustic rugs on either side of the door.
This will ensure that the noise bounces off the doorway and reduces noise better.
Also, take note that this is not a stand-alone soundproofing trick. You should complement it with other soundproofing techniques. The difference it makes might be minimal, but it's noticeable.
It also comes in many designs and styles, which will serve as a great addition to your room's whole visual appeal.
10. Using Decorative Soundproof Panels
Putting up decorative soundproof panels, such as large canvas paintings, is a great and beautiful way to reduce noise coming through your interior door.
Again, this technique is only a supplement to the other techniques mentioned above.
You can hang these around your room or near the door, and you'll notice some considerable changes.
Wrapping it Up!
There you have it! Soundproofing doesn't have to be hard or complicated. Sometimes, all you need is your creativity and a few soundproofing materials to make this work.
Plus, you don't only get to reduce noise, you can also beautify your room or even improve the efficiency of your AC.
Another thing to remember, if you can't lessen the noise by using one method, then why not use a combination of two or three ways? For example, you can use acoustic panels and a soundproofing curtain at the same time.
Or a combination of a soundproofing blanket and a soundproofing curtain.
This way, you can increase the noise-reducing capabilities. Remember, the more layers, the better. It's up to you how you will let your creativity work.
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.