We all wished at some point that we could have worked from home.
With the current state of the world, this wish is now a reality for many.
Working from home is great for several reasons.
First, you avoid the long morning and afternoon commute; goodbye to the days of being stuck in traffic.
Second, you don’t always have to wear stuffy formal clothing and can work in your PJs.
Last but not least, you are no longer confined to an office cubicle where your coworkers chattering annoys you.
If you do have to return to the office, you can read our guide on how to soundproof office cubicles.
But as good as this all sounds there is one major downside to working from home and that is dealing with noise.
So how do you tackle the noise problem and focus on your work?
A soundproof home office is what you need.
Let us take a look at how to soundproof an office.
- 10 Best ways to a Soundproof Home Office
- Types of noises to block with office soundproofing
- Sound deadening vs soundproofing an office space
10 Best ways to a Soundproof Home Office
1. Soundproofing office walls
Before you attempt to soundproof your home office, inspect the walls for holes.
Even the tiniest of holes will allow noise to seep into the room.
Additionally, check your ceiling for holes and seal those as well.
This may take a little time but trust me, it makes a huge difference.
You can use several different materials to block the holes like fiberglass batt insulation.
Fiberglass batt insulation seems to work great and create an effective office sound barrier.
For more on soundproofing office walls, see how to soundproof a wall.
- Sound absorber
- R-value: 30
Owens Corning fiberglass doubles as a sound-absorbing material but is mainly used for heat insulation.
With an R-value of 30, watch as your energy bill significantly reduces.
This makes Owens Corning a great value for money as you get double the benefits with just one product.
Owens Corning fiberglass is Green Gold Certified and meets their standards for indoor air quality.
It is formaldehyde-free and is safe to use indoors.
With less dust than other fiberglass products, working with the Owens Corning fiberglass is less messy with excellent stiffness and recovery characteristics.
2. Soundproofing office doors
Most doors used in homes have a hollow interior which allows sounds to pass through easily.
So to fully block any sound from entering you will need to soundproof your office door.
Doors have gaps around it and a gap at the bottom, sealing these gaps will give you soundproof office doors.
Check out this post for additional information on how to soundproof a door.
Two products you can use are weatherstripping tape around the door and a draft stopper to seal the gap at the bottom of the door.
- Soundproofing tape
- NBR+PVC foam material
- Flame retardant
This premium open cell tape is made from non-toxic and durable NBR+PVC foam material.
The foam seal tape is not only soundproof but moisture proof, shockproof and dustproof.
With all these benefits, use this foam seal tape in any room in your home since it comes in a roll measuring 13 ft.
The tape itself is ½ x ¼ and can fit into the tiny spaces around your door to seal the little gaps.
With a strong waterproof self adhesive backing, installing the foam seal tape is simple.
- Blocks noise
- Water resistant microfleece material
With the ability to block sounds, the Twin Draft Guard Extreme can work on both windows and doors.
It features a durable microfleece material that repels water and moisture which covers the customisable foam within.
Easily cut the foam to size and cover it back up with the hook and loop closure on the cover.
The draft guard has a double sided design to block sound and insulate from heat loss better.
All you need to do is slide it under your door and you’re done.
3. Soundproof air vents
In order to soundproof a room properly, you need to make sure that all holes are fully covered.
One of the most overlooked places is the air vents even though they may be the biggest holes in your walls and an ideal source for noise transmission.
You can either choose to block the vent with expanding foam or some other material.
But this can prove to be a problem since the air vent is there for a reason and that is allowing the air to flow so that rooms stay hot or cold.
You can take the other approach and create a sound maze.
This takes a bit more time but it will reduce the amount of noise coming through and still allow air to pass freely.
You can make a maze inside the vent space using thin strips of wood with acoustic foam taped to it.
- Sound dampening
- EPOM material
- Excellent adhesion
The SIlverstone SF01 is made up of a EPOM foam material designed to dampen sounds.
They come in a pack of 2 with each measuring 21-Inch x 15-Inch 4mm thick.
Thick enough to offer some pretty decent noise reduction, the pads feature an adhesive backing that can withstand high temperatures.
They are easy to cut and install.
4. Soundproof windows
If your home office has a window that is next to a busy street or noisy neighbours then you are going to have to soundproof that window.
You can opt to reeplace your existing window with a soundproof window featuring double panes.
This can also be an expensive fix so what are some cheaper alternatives?
You can use the weatherstripping tape or the Twin Draft Guard door stopper we mentioned above or get some soundproofing curtains.
- Sound insulation
- 3 layer design
- Easy to install and maintain
RYB Home soundproof curtain is made up of three layers to provide excellent sound insulation when you need it most.
The detachable middle layer is a felt fabric liner that absorbs and dampens sounds to create a peaceful environment.
Non-toxic and formaldehyde free, the RYB Home curtain blocks out light, UV rays and keeps insulates against heat or cold loss.
Installation is fairly easy while maintaining the curtain is as easy as removing the middle layer and throwing the remaining 2 layers in the washer and running a gentle cycle.
5. Work on the floor
If you have a hardwood flooring or any other type of hard surface flooring, chances are that it will allow sounds to bounce off of it creating a ton of ruckus.
To fix this issue, you will need to take steps to reduce as much of that hard surface area.
Depending on where your office is, you can try either of 2 ways.
You can place some soft rugs inside the room and a few on the outside.
However if you are below a noisy room, you can lay down a sound deadening mat in the room above your office.
For more on soundproofing floors, read up on how to soundproof a floor.
- Thick pile for better sound control
- 100% polyester
The nuLoom shag rug is made from 100% durable polyester with a soft and fluffy texture.
It features a thick pile that allows for better sound control and provides a soft surface that kills echoes.
The rug is available in three colors and can be cleaned by spot treating stains and regular vacuuming.
- Sound deadener
- Water and moisture proof
The Uxcell sound deadener mat is made from Muffler Cotton that works as a great sound deadening material.
This lightweight mat is easy to cut, handle and install.
It is both water and moisture proof so there are no worries if you use it in a laundry room to help reduce the sounds from reaching you down in your office.
6. Preventing echoes
As I mentioned before, hard surfaces like flooring can cause sounds to bounce off of it which creates a ton of annoying sounds,
One of those sounds may be an irritating echo.
You can lay down some soft plush rug on the floor as we stated above.
Another area that is a hard surface that allows sound waves to reverberate and create an echo are walls.
You can either use acoustic foam panels or hang some artwork on your walls to absorb sounds.
- Sound dampening
- Smoulder resistant
- Easy to install
The Foamily acoustic panels are made from smoulder resistant foam.
They offer professional acoustic control and sound dampening properties.
They minimise the amount of waves, reverb and flutter echoes in your small or medium-sized home office.
You can install the foam panels by using command strips so in the event you want to remove them, they won’t cause damage to the wall.
7. Soundproof the ceiling
The ceiling is yet another place that people hardly focus on when soundproofing.
Soundproofing ceilings can be tricky and expensive if you really want to kill any noise coming from the room above.
However, you can place some of the acoustic foam panels we mentioned before on the ceiling.
Although they may not be the best thing to look at, they can be quite effective at reducing noise.
8. Use sound absorbing paint
Although the whole idea sounds ludacris, sound absorbing paint exists.
Sound absorbing paint adds an additional layer of sound absorption to your walls.
Some manufacturers even make soundproofing paint that can reduce sounds up to 30%.
- Dampens sounds
- Environmentally friendly
- Easy to apply
Acousti Coat paint is a water-based latex paint made with sound absorbing filler and ceramic microspheres.
This combination reduces sound transmission by absorbing the sounds and restricts its from bouncing off the hard surface of the wall.
Use the Acousti Coat sound deadneing paint on primed surfaces such as walls and ceilings and reduce as much as 30% of sounds.
This soundproofing pain can be applied like normal paint with a roller or brush.
If you have a large area to cover, it can be applied with a Hopper spray gun instead.
9. Use a white noise machine
White noise machines are primarily used to sleep you sleep but surprisingly they work well in this instance.
While it does not block out sound, it covers up the annoying sounds so that you can focus.
You can find these machines almost everywhere online ranging from some very affordable otiopns to some very expensive ones.
You do not need an expensive white noise machine, just one that produces sounds loud enough to cover the noise.
You can even use your phone and download an app that has white noises, stick you headphones in and the only noise you hear is the white noise.
10. Preventing structural sounds
Let’s say your office is above your garage then the opening and closing of the garage door will send vibrations straight to your office.
This happens more in cases where the garage door is mounted onto the ceiling.
The sounds and vibrations will travel through the studs and go right to your office.
To tackle this issue is by using isolation techniques.
Isolation techniques involves seperating the layers so that sounds can be dampened as they travel through the different layers.
You can hire someone to install extra layers of drywall in your office or do it yourself.
Although it will take up a bit of room if you do this on all four walls, the space lost won’t be anything too big to make it noticeable.
However the sound deadening effect will be tremendous.
Types of noises to block with office soundproofing
Office soundproofing involves blocking two main types of noises.
Knowing what these two types of noises are will allow you to better undertand the steps you need to take to block out unwanted sounds.
Airborne noises as the name suggests travels through the air.
A few examples are people talking, audio from the tv or dogs barking.
This type of noise occurs when sound waves travel through the air and bounces off a hard solid surface.
This causes it to vibrate which results in the annoying sound you hear.
To tackle airborne sounds, it is best to apply the techniques of acoustic absorption.
Treating areas such as walls, ceilings and floors will decrease the amount of that reflects back into the air when hitting a surface in your office.
Structure borne noises travel through the structure of the buliding and are also known as impact noises.
A few examples of this type of noise are footsteps above you or something slamming into an adjacent wall.
The impact of a sound results in a vibration which produces sound waves.
Let’s say a ball hitting a wall will have those soundwaves travelling through the structure to you.
Reducing this type of noise is a bit harder than airborne sounds since they may require changes in the structure of the building like adding extra layers of walls.
However, using carpets and padding may help to break up the sound waves and reduce the amount of sounds you hear.
Sound deadening vs soundproofing an office space
There always seems to be a mix up with sound deadning and soundproofing.
This is because the terms are used interchangeably but they have very different meanings.
So how does sound deadening differ from soundproofing an office space?
Sound deadning products help to reduce the amount of noise that filters into your office.
They can only do so much but they will not fully block all sounds from entering your home office
If you are looking for dead silence then you will need to look for ways to soundproof your office.
To soundproof your office fully can be a difficult feat if the home is already built.
It is much easier to soundproof a house that is yet to be built than an existing one.
But implementing the ways we mentioned above should block out almost all sounds from traveling to you in your home office.