How to Soundproof a Home Office: 10 Simple Ways That Work
Working from home gives you a freedom and flexibility you don’t have in a traditional office setting. You can be your own boss and set your own hours without anyone hovering over your shoulder.
However, any noises can be a huge distraction that pull you from your work. In order to get as much work done as possible while you’re at home, you should be able to block out as much noise as humanely possible. When I started working from home, the single biggest productivity challenge I faced was all of the noise in my home office.
From kids, pets, and everyday noise, I couldn’t block it out. This was the point I decided to soundproof my office. The outcome was amazing, and I wanted to give you a short guide to try it for yourself.
The best thing about my soundproofing guide is that it’s relatively cost-effective and it’s not a huge project to tackle. Take how much noise surrounds you and how much you want to block out when you start to soundproof your home office. We’ll go over the basic steps you can take to turn your home office in a noise-free haven for working.
We’re going to include the following materials in the article that you can use to soundproof your office. They are:
10 Steps You Can Take to Soundproof Your Home Office
As I mentioned, you can use whichever steps you like to soundproof your office. I’ll also link you to the products I used to get great results and the quiet I needed to complete my work.
1. Soundproof the Door
Most interior doors are hollow, and noise can pass through them much easier than it can a solid door. It makes sense that your doorway into your office allows a lot of noise to permeate straight through and distract you. One of the first steps you take is soundproofing the door.
For a budget-friendly fix, adding a soundproofing weatherstrip can work well. Simply but it and put it in your door jam. Since it comes with an adhesive, adding it to your door is as simple as slicking it were you want it and pressing it on.
Weatherstrips work to prevent water and rain from entering your home, and they usually incorporate fiberglass into their design that works to block noise. If it doesn’t block enough noise, you can move onto your next option.
Finally, two more expensive and time-consuming options are either installing a second door or switching out your hollow door for a solid option. Both of these options give you more soundproofing capabilities into your office. You can go to your local home improvement store and pick out your door.
2. Seal Any Holes
Even the smallest holes in your office walls will let a surprising amount of sound through. Look for any holes in your home office’s ceilings and walls and seal them. Depending on the house, this may take you some time.
There are dozens of materials you can use to seal these holes, but fiberglass batt insulation works well. This insulation creates a barrier that absorbs vibration from the vibration’s source to any adjacent areas. In turn, this reduces the noise transmission from one area to another area in your office.
3. Soundproof Your Windows
If you have windows in your home office, they can let noise through. This is a large problem if you live in a busy city or right next to loud neighbors. Just like you soundproof your doors, you have expensive and budget-friendly options available to try.
The less expensive option is to buy thicker soundproofing curtains. However, these curtains will have to fit your windows from the ceiling to the floor to provide an adequate sound barrier. There are several colors and patterns available to fit almost any decor.
The more expensive option is to have professionals come in and replace your windows with a custom-fit soundproof window. These types of windows have double panes of glass separated by a space to trap and block sound.
4. Soundproof Your Air Vents
Many people make the big mistake of overlooking the air vents in their homes when they start soundproofing rooms. Your air vents are usually some of the biggest holes in your walls, and this allows for a lot of noise to pass through them.
There are a few ways you can soundproof your air vents. You can block your air vent with expanding foam to stop the noise from filtering through. However, this will also block any airflow.
A second option that doesn’t block the airflow but reduces the noise is to build a sound maze into the air vent itself. You’ll take four pieces of sound blocking foam and alternate their position in a zig-zag patterns just inside the vent around an inch apart. Make sure they’re slightly shorter than the vent’s width so they don’t completely block the vent.
5. Prevent Echos
Echos are a source of noise many people don’t think about, but they can be a very real distraction. Reducing the amount of echos won’t necessarily make your room quieter, but it will lower the noise levels of any sounds that enter your office.
You can test for echos by making a loud noise or yelling and listen for an echo afterward. If you can hear one, you need to take steps to reduce it. Fortunately, taking care of your echos is relatively quick and easy.
6. Soundproof Your Floors
A big source of noise in your office office could be you flooring. This is especially true if you have hard flooring like wood or tile because hard flooring increases echos. It reflects sound waves, and any noises that happen in your office reflect off the floor.
Adding some soft carpets or rugs both inside and outside of your office will help to dampen the sounds and echos. For noise that comes underneath your flooring, you can stop it by installing an acoustic board under your carpeting. This board reduces the intensity of the sounds coming up through the floor.
7. Use Wall Foam and Sound Absorbing Paint
8. Soundproof Your Ceilings
This is an entirely optional step you can try if you’re still hearing a lot of noise after trying other soundproofing methods. This is a more labor-intensive project that involves attaching drywall to the ceiling by using a frame. Your drywall is known as a wallboard, and it has several sound-absorbing layers that also increase the board’s resistance to fire.
Another option is to buy acoustic ceiling panels that come made out of materials designed to absorb sounds. You can find them in several different colours and textures to match your existing decor. However, it may be best to pull a professional in for help with this step because it’s much more involved.
9. Stopping Structural Sound
Structural sound is noise that travels through the walls into your home office. For example, if your office is above the laundry room, you’ll hear noise from the washer and dryer running. Fixing structural sound involves incorporating isolation techniques.
You want to separate your wall’s layers to dampen any vibrations as they come through the walls. You’ll install a second layer of drywall that will push the room’s dimensions in slightly. The second layer of drywall will give you a noticeable change in the amount of noise that travels through it.
Also, make sure that you choose quiet or silent options when you pick out your office equipment. If you have an adjustable desk, make sure that it comes with a silent motor so it doesn’t add to the noise levels in your office.
10. Buy a White Noise Machine
As a last ditch effort if you can’t do a lot about the noise in your office, consider buying a white noise machine. This machine produces sounds that can and will drown out all other noises to leave you with a distraction-free work environment. You have both expensive or budget-friendly options available.
What’s even better, you can move your white noise machine to other areas of your home like your nursery or kid’s room. They’re lightweight, durable, and very easy to pick up and move.
The Difference Between Sound Deadening and Sound Blocking
Before you soundproof your home office, it’s important that you know the difference between sound deadening and sound blocking. This will help you manage your expectations better. Many people think of soundproofing, and they immediately think of getting the foam walls to put up against their office’s walls.
As I touched on, this method is only effective at preventing echos in your office. As a result of this, these walls will quiet the noises inside the room while not being as effective for outside noises.
This is why you want to focus on the windows, doors, holes, and gaps in your office to prevent noises from getting inside in the first place. Sound deadening is minimizing sounds inside the office while sound blocking stops noises from coming into your office.
Working from home gives you a greater degree of flexibility, but it requires more discipline. The more noise you experience, the higher your chances of distraction is. If you live in a loud environment with children, pets, or noise neighbors, you may want to consider soundproofing your home office.
I tried a few options before I achieved the soundproofing results I needed to be able to focus on my work. You can take as many steps as you need to get a home office that is as soundproof as possible. Take the steps above and enjoy a quiet, suitable work environment.