Are you hearing unwanted noises through your wall?
When I shifted to a new apartment, noisy neighbors was one of the problems I had to deal with.
Most of the noise was coming through the walls. So, I decided to soundproof it.
But, I was low on budget and needed an efficient way to do so.
After a few trial and error, I was able to reduce the noise dramatically. Here, I present you various techniques you can use to soundproof your wall even if you’re on a budget.
Step-by-Step Guide to Soundproof a Wall like a Pro (With No Damage)
Things You Will Need: At a Glance
1. Are There Any Weak Points in Your Wall?
If you can locate any weak points in your wall, try to soundproof them first.
Weak points are those spots which let most of the noise to pass through. It can be either an air vent between two rooms or cracks around doors and windows. If you are able to soundproof them, then you can eliminate most of the incoming noise easily.
For the partial gaps and cracks around a door frame/window frame, you can use a weatherstrip tape. These tapes are generally made of silicone, rubber or plastic. You can use these strips to insulate your window or door frame.
By putting a strip under your door, you can seal it for sound and bugs simultaneously. It will also reduce your energy bill by keeping the cool air inside the room, making your air conditioner work efficiently. The same goes for a heater.
If your window is letting in some sound, then soundproofing the window is a good start. You can use soundproofing blankets to hang over your window. Replacing the window with a multi-pane window can also do the trick.
If you have an above-door air vent, then you can put a soundproofing blanket over it. This will eliminate the sound coming through the vent and the door at the same time.
If you still find noise coming through the walls, then keep reading and use one of the below more-effective methods.
2. What Kind of Noise Are You Dealing With?
Before you begin soundproofing your wall, you need to understand what kind of noise is coming through the wall.
For understanding the nature of the sound, you have to know its source. According to the source, you can decide which type of soundproofing material to use. This will save you a lot of money by preventing you from using the wrong method for your problem.
There are two types of noises:
- Airborne noise: Are you hearing people speaking, or is it a muffled sound of the AC or TV? These noises travel through the air and are called airborne noise.
How to Block Airborne Noise
These sounds are easy to block. You can simply use an acoustic foam panel. These panels are made of polyester and block the background noise. They also eliminate the echo generating due to sound bouncing off the walls. These foam panels are mostly used in recording studios. So, you can be sure that they work effectively.
The guys over at Producer Hive have some great tips on the do’s and don’ts when it comes to positioning an acoustic foam panel.
- Impact noise: It’s the noise you hear because of something hitting the floor like a vibrating washing machine, footsteps, vacuum cleaner, etc.
How to Block Impact Noise
These noises are relatively tough to handle than airborne noise. You will need much stronger soundproofing material than a foam mat. You have an advantage here though. The good insulating materials for impact noise are much better in eliminating airborne noise.
The best way to do it is by applying vinyl mats on your wall. Vinyl mats are thick soundproofing panel. You can put them against the wall to reduce impact noise. The material is heavy and big in size. You should get a helping hand to complete this job.
3. Rearrange Your Furniture to Reduce Echo
If you are really low on budget, then start with rearranging the furniture.
Put bookshelves and closets in front of the noisy walls. The wall connecting the hallway and the wall facing the street must let in more sound.
An emptier room tends to generate more echo. Try to place your furniture in such a way that sound does not bounce off the plane wall surface directly.
If you have your chair or couch adjacent to the wall that lets in the noise, then relocate the furniture to the opposite side of the room. You can also place them in the middle of the room. The idea here is to distance yourself from the noisy wall.
If the source of noise is a TV or a washing machine, then place it away from the sharing wall.
So, just by having more furniture in your room and rearranging them should minimize the echo and some noise.
This method is good for a start, but don’t expect any miracles to happen. However, I recommend you pair this method with another method on this list for effective sound insulation.
4. Install a Drywall to Increase the Width of Your Wall
If you can don’t mind spending some bucks, putting some drywall on your existing wall is a great option.
This method requires some expertise and time. Installing new drywall will increase the width of your wall, avoiding excess sound to travel through.
Here’s how to install drywall to eliminate noise coming through the wall.
- Measure the dimensions of the wall you want to soundproof.
- Get the drywall of similar dimensions.
- Cut the drywall to exactly fit your wall.
- Put the green glue compound in any pre-existing cracks.
- Use the glue and spread it over drywall in a random pattern.
- Make sure to cover most areas of drywall when applying the glue.
- Fix the drywall over your existing wall.
- Use some screws to hold it permanently.
Remember, you have to cut the wall in proper dimension to avoid any gaps. Gaps may lead to leaking sound. Use the sealant caulk to fill up the gaps, if any.
5. Use Foam Mats to Insulate Your Wall
If you find installing a drywall a bit expensive then you should try putting up some foam mats.
These mats are made of rubber foam and are pretty light-weight. I used this foam mat to soundproof my wall. These mats are also a good thermal insulator. They prevent energy loss and help you save money on your energy bills.
Unlike other polyurethane foams, these mats do not release any odor. Therefore, you can put them in your living area without any worries.
You can use alcohol or petrol to clean them. They don’t react with petrol or oil.
These foam mats come with an adhesive surface for sticking it to the wall. This will help you save some time and money.
6. Use Acoustic Foam to Block Airborne Noise
If you’re looking to take your room soundproofing to an entirely new level, you can put a layer of acoustic foam over your wall.
By applying this acoustic foam you will block out most of the airborne noise. These foams are made to soundproof the recording studio walls.
It will absorb any echo and helps in dampening the sound coming through the walls.
The best way to use this foam is by combining it with one of the previous methods. Using multiple techniques together will result in better soundproofing.
If you are applying vinyl mats to reduce the impact noise, then by using the acoustic foam, you will also prevent airborne noise, providing a better sound defense mechanism against unwanted noise.
7. Use Heavy Moving Blankets as a Temporary Solution
If you are looking for a temporary solution then you can opt for using a moving blanket.
These blankets are used for wrapping furniture while moving. They are pretty dense and have a heavy structure.
These blankets have earned the name of soundproofing blankets in the DIY culture. Due to their dense structure, they behave as an excellent soundproofing material.
You can hang these blankets over your wall to get rid of echo and some airborne noise.
You can look for blankets with grommets. Grommets are those rings on a curtain we use to pass the curtain rod through. It will be easy to hang a blanket with grommets. You can also install a curtain rod on your wall to hang the blanket on it.
However, these blankets will leave some space between themselves and the wall. This will result in sound leakage.
Nailing the blanket on the wall will provide a much better result than hanging it. This will also result in a more permanent solution. I would not recommend nailing the blanket if you are looking for a temporary solution.
Easily Reduce Noise Coming Through the Existing Walls
Are you satisfied with the methods mentioned above?
Some of them are cheap and require you to combine more than one method together for better results. In my experience, it is always better to use multiple methods than relying on a single one to soundproof your room.
If you’ve any more questions, please drop them in the comments below.
I will be happy to get back to you!