Did you know that noise can easily come through a closed door?
It’s proven that we need to do more than just shut the door in order to prevent the sound from getting in or out.
For a basic interior door, this isn’t really a surprise since they usually have gaps around the frame and at the bottom. Now, you’re probably wondering what about other types and is there something you can do.
You can soundproof your door in several different ways to make sure they have better sound isolation. However, there are different types and in most cases; each requires a different method of soundproofing.
Different types of doors
- These are the most basic and lightweight doors you can get. They are the most commonly used type because of the affordability. The structure resembles honeycomb and features veneer or fiberboard shell. They aren’t soundproof at all as you’ve probably discovered.
- These have a core made of composite material. They are the best for soundproofing thanks to their density and weight.
- These are made of different natural wood elements and are quite heavy. They do provide some level of soundproofing but still not better than solid core.
Possible problem areas
The first thing you should do after determining the kind of door you have is figuring out the problem areas. Bedroom, hallway and all other doors have each their own problem areas, so it’s crucial you identify them right of the bat.
Though we’ll discuss issues that each type of door has, these are the two that you might come across:
- if your doors have even the smallest window, it’s where the sound will pass through. Windows are rarely ever soundproof, so you’ll have to do something to improve the area. One thing you can do is add another sheet of glass to it. The two layers have air in between which works as isolation. Another option is to cover the window with something like an acoustic curtain or a mat.
- though this is a bit obvious, most people tend to forget it. These aren’t fixated and have gaps all around them so the sound can easily go in and out through them. Having these pet flaps making overall door soundproofing harder than it normally is. You could cover them with a soundproof material at times when you need to and know your pet won’t use them.
There are also French, as well as sliding, and glass doors that you can also soundproof. Continue reading to learn how to soundproof everything from interior, as well as garage, studio and hallways doors with ease.
How to soundproof a door (the 4 best ways)
Don’t worry, we’ll cover HOW to actually soundproof a door in the section below. First, let’s consider the different types of things you can use and the various methods for soundproofing doors..
1: Fiberglass panels
Soundproof fiberglass panels are made specifically for this purpose like soundproofing blankets and rugs. They are similar but heavier and pricier.
These have grommets on all sides which helps them be a bit more versatile. You can hang them on most doors. The panels work as a sound barrier and are very useful in preventing the sound from entering the room.
Another perk is that these don’t just reflect the noise that comes back as an echo. These actually absorb sounds, which makes them an excellent solution for studios. The only downside is that they don’t look that aesthetically pleasing.
2: Foam panels
These are the panels you can see in a recording studio. They are made of acoustic foam that’s actually made from polyurethane-derived materials, meaning they’re GREAT at absorbing sound. They’re most commonly sold like the one shown below:
The installation isn’t as hard, but there are a few things you should remember. Gluing these to the wall or door is a mistake people often make. You want to use a divider regardless of the area you’re working on.
Glue will most certainly damage the surface. Plus, if you just glue the foam to the surface, it will be close to impossible to take it off later. It’s highly likely that you’ll take off chunks of the door/wall, too.
Use a divider such as cardboard, for example. Glue the foam panels to cardboard and then hang it onto your walls with some high bonding strips. The best thing is that you won’t even need many strips.
This can be both cheap and expensive depending on the kind of foam you go for. Overall, it’s a good way of absorbing the noise and making your room somewhat quieter.
Have you ever heard of soundproof paint? If not, that’s probably because there are somewhat hard to find at stores. It might also be tricky to find a matching color as it doesn’t come in many options. A common brand is the one shown below:
Nonetheless, it’s a hassle-free way of eliminating medium pitch noises. You’ll be able to block out singing, conversation, TV noise, and other similar sounds. However, you’ll still hear dogs barking and cars passing by, so it’s not recommended for the hallway.
These are interesting and don’t look half as bad as fiberglass panels. You can find them at music supply or hardware stores.
The installation is easy as these are usually interlocking and can be attached with glue, staples or screws. It’s up to you how you’ll attach them but keep in mind they have to be set firmly and tightly. A loose application could cause them to fall off or create even more noise.
Overall, they are highly effective though not the cheapest solution. Attaching rubber flooring tiles would be more affordable but not as effective. Also, be careful what you use to attract the foam tiles because some methods might damage the door.
MORE MATERIALS: We have a huge list of the best soundproofing materials which covers more than the ones we’ve just mentioned.
Types of doors and how to soundproof them
Each door needs a different approach. You can’t just do ONE thing to soundproof ANY door, so we’ve broken this down into specific types of door that you want to soundproof and how to do it.
How to soundproof Interior doors
Soundproofing your bedroom, kitchen or apartment door is quite simple, and you won’t have to tear anything down. This is great if you live in a dorm, or you’re renting an apartment or house. There are three simple steps you can apply if you don’t want to damage any surfaces.
The first thing you should do is check if there’s any weather stripping attached to the frame. If there is, check what state it’s at and if it’s tightly sealed. You want to replace it if it’s not tightly around the frame because that’s where the sound will come through. Peel it off and replace it with a density foam tape (You can find all the materials we mentioned here).
This is easy to do by just taking off the adhesive liner off your tape and applying it to the frame. Everything should be tight and snug once you close the door.
The next thing you should do is check for the gap underneath. Most interior doors have this, and if yours do too, you’ll want one of the best soundproof sweeps. Never heard of these? They’re a high-density foam seal that presses against the floor blocking all sound from entering the room through this gap.
You should also check what kind of door you’re working with. If it’s hollow core, it’s probably going to transmit more sound than any other in which case you want to add some mass to it. Consider hanging or attaching something on the inside of the door. It can be foam padding, acoustic tiles, ape tape, or 3M commander strips.
How to soundproof Hallway doors
If there’s a lot of noise coming from the outside of your house, you should consider soundproofing your hallway doors. This is simple and in most cases quite affordable since you won’t have to do any tearing and building.
The first thing you want to do is check the state of your doors and whether they are damaged. If there are some cracks and holes, you should fix them because it’s where the sound is coming in from.
Big cracks and gaps are easy to spot, so you shouldn’t have any trouble with them. Smaller ones, however, take some time to find. Once you find the gaps, you can seal them with an insulating sealant. This will fill the cracks and holes to prevent any noise from entering through them. Plus, most sealants are paintable.
What if there aren’t any holes or cracks? In this case, think about adding weather stripping to the frame. Another thing you can do is add a soundproof blanket. These are made of fiberglass which is one of the best sound absorbents. Heavy models absorb almost all of the noise that comes from the outside.
The best thing is that these are easy to install. Though they don’t have much of an aesthetic appeal, soundproof blankets are easy to use as you can put them up or take them down whenever you want.
How to soundproof Garage doors
Most garage doors have almost nothing that provides any soundproofing. These are usually just thin sheets of metal and a pivoting frame, but soundproofing them is easy. The steps are somewhat the same but with more robust materials. By doing this, you reduce the sound by around 20%.
The first thing you want to do again is to apply some weather stripping to the bottom. Any doors, these included, should have a tight-sealing all around. You know how you can see the light through the sides of your garage door? Well, this is where the sound is going through as well. Make sure that you apply all stripping when the door is down.
How to soundproof Studio doors
If you want to build a studio in your home, you simply must soundproof the door to that room. The simplest thing you can do is put up one of those soundproofing blankets we talked about earlier. If you want to do a bit more, you should create tight sealing all around the frame.
In this case, you should get seals made of dense closed cell foam. These are highly effective and easy to apply. It’s also suggested you add mass to one side. You can add foam, tiles, panels, curtains or whatever else that suits you. Even the slightest addition can make a change, so go from there. Soundproofing curtains are also an option as well as moving blankets, and rugs.
How to soundproof Glass/French doors
Glass and French doors look beautiful in every home but are probably the worst when it comes to soundproofing. There are two ways to improve them a bit, with a significant difference in price. Surely, you can add some weather stripping, but since glass is thin and not soundproof at all, you’ll achieve very little with it.
The most cost-effective way to do this is to cover them with soundproof curtains. These are essentially heavy drapes that help dampen the sound that leaves and enters. There’s probably no other way to do this that’s equally as cheap.
Though this can’t eliminate all the noise, it will make somewhat of a difference.
You’ll still hear your dog barking and your noisy neighbor yelling but at a bit reduced level. However, curtains won’t eliminate low pitch noise like the one that comes from home appliances.
Still, putting curtains on a glass door takes away from their aesthetics. If curtains aren’t an option for you, you can get an add-on frame. The frame goes on over the glass door and creates a layer of air in between. However, you can only do this with basic glass doors. Upgrading French door with double-glazed or triple-pane glass would be too expensive.
As you can see, all doors are different. The soundproof level of each type is determined by the materials, location, and quality of installation. Even the most massive ones can transmit sound if they aren’t installed correctly.
Still, every type of door can be upgraded one way or another, so it’s just a matter of picking which method is the most convenient for you. Some options are more effective than others, while some are more expensive and take more time to do. Either way, there’s always room for improvement so make baby steps towards perfection.
Figure out what kind of doors you’re working with and what are the main problem areas. If possible, try to eliminate the cause of noise before you make any moves towards soundproofing.
If the noise is coming from a noisy kitchen appliance like a microwave, upgrade to a silent microwave and see if that helps.
- The best soundproofing tools and resources (A huge list of the best materials and useful links showing you how and where to get them all)
- How to soundproof a wall (A common problem people have is sound coming in through the walls, this tutorial shows you how to fix that!)
- How to soundproof any room easily (practical tips and tricks)