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soundproofing insulation

(image: Eileen M. Kane)

Soundproofing a room is about maximizing sound inside of it and minimizing noise outside of it. But, where do you start with a soundproof room? Read on!

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You’ve got a great home theater set up and the family loves it — except for when someone’s trying to sleep and the sound is vibrating through the walls. Maybe you’ve got a music room, and are presented with the same problem. Or, maybe you’re thinking of setting up a room for meditation, and want to shut out the noise of the house to help you focus.

Soundproofing is your solution, and to tackle your problem, you’ve got several DIY soundproofing options. You can take the decibel level down a little simply by adding more textiles to the room, but if you want significant improvement, you’ll have to spend a little more time and money on your soundproofing.

Use carpeting (even on the walls)

If you need a quick DIY solution to soundproofing your theater and aren’t as concerned with the visual look of your room, putting carpeting on the walls is one solution that will take less time and money than some of the others.

Specifically you want carpeting and a special sound-reducing underlay to go beneath it, both of which will dampen sound. This isn’t the most attractive option, but you can hang tapestries or curtains over the carpeting to give your home theater a cool bohemian look.

Get acoustic panels

Buying enough acoustic panels to cover significant portions of your walls and ceiling won’t be cheap, but it will be cheaper and easier than ripping out your drywall to put sound reducing material inside the walls.

Acoustic panels come in different colors, and some of them even have prints on them. Like carpeting, they aren’t the most attractive option for your home theater. Consider doing a uniform dark color; when the lights are down and the movie is going, you won’t even notice the walls. Or start a fun project and make your own acoustic panels.

home theater

Add insulation

Getting inside your drywall to soundproof is going to give you a very substantial noise-deadening result, but it’s time-consuming, expensive, and the kind of project only a seasoned DIY-er will want to take on.

Your home theater may need the extra help ripping out your drywall will provide. Put insulation inside the walls, and then use a hat track to support the drywall, which will keep the studs from vibrating. Finally, you can use Green Glue on the drywall itself to further dampen the sound.

Remember the doors

Your home theater probably doesn’t have windows, but the gaps around your doors convey sound throughout the rest of the house. For starters, you want your theater to have a solid door, not a hollow one.

Then get acoustic door sealer, which comes in an adhesive strip and is available at your hardware store. Or you could roll up an old towel and stick it in the bottom of the door. It’s not visually attractive, but it does work to dampen sound.

Each space is unique

Each space you’re looking to soundproof is going to be unique, including where the space itself is situated in the house. Thinking about the very basics is a great place to start.

Think about wall coverage, and about the suitability of the doors you’ve got in place. Think about windows and their value against the soundproofing projects that will require them to be covered or altered. And of course, seek out expert advice of some sound system retailers. If anyone knows about maximizing sound, and eliminating extraneous noise, it’s them!

Either way, enjoy your room, and may others who aren’t in it enjoy the silence!

 

 

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Cate Morgan-Harlow

Cate Morgan-Harlow is an all arounder, writing about how-to, DIY, and design with gusto. She is a shadowy figure with a mysterious past.