How to soundproof a room on a budget

Do you like to pump out loud music sometimes? Perhaps you enjoy watching movies or playing video games with surround sound for total immersion, or maybe you just want to work from home in peace. Whatever the case, if you have thin walls, loud housemates or nosy neighbours, soundproofing your room will help you create your own bubble.

Noise complaints aren’t uncommon after all. The latest England Noise Survey found that councils receive an average of 149 complaints for every 10,000 people. But while you might think you’d need a pop star’s budget to help you keep the noise down, it’s possible to soundproof on a budget too.

The theory is simple. Noise reflects off hard surfaces like walls, floors and ceilings, so using softer, denser materials around a room can help absorb sound. Read practical tips for turning that theory into practice below.


Soundproofing your walls

You can use acoustic panels, foam or even large pieces of furniture to soundproof your walls, whether permanent or non-permanent.

Acoustic panels are typically boards or fabrics that you can hang to either reduce noise bouncing off hard surfaces in your room or block external noise from entering. Acoustic foam meanwhile is available in spongy pads that range in thickness and shape, working to absorb sound vibrations.

If you’re prepared for heavier work, acoustic plasterboard can be an effective sound deterrent. Or a super budget-friendly option is placing large bookcases, wardrobes or cabinets close to walls but not quite touching. If they’re tall and thick enough, they can limit sound vibrations and reduce sound transmission effectively.


Soundproofing your door

Your door is a clear opening for internal or external noise, but there are various ways you can soundproof it or at least reduce sound transmission.

Hanging heavy blackout curtains over a door is one option that can also help to reduce drafts and heat loss. Similarly, a draft stopper placed at the bottom of a door can also help to limit disturbances.


Other soundproofing solutions to consider

There are many other areas you can focus on to achieve more a complete soundproofed effect, such as:

  • Installing clear inserts or heavy soundproofing curtains to windows, which are helpful for improving sleep
  • Using a thick carpet, large rug or runners to absorb the sound of traffic and muffle other internal noises
  • Installing non-permanent fabrics or permanent ceiling clouds to absorb sound waves travelling upwards
  • Adding large pieces of upholstered furniture such as sofas, benches and chairs to absorb and dampen noise, aided by thick pillows and throws

Could one or more of these solutions help you soundproof your room? When used in combination, they should help you stay the right side of permitted noise levels or block out intruding external noise effectively.

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