Simple Ways to Soundproof Interior Doors
Exterior and interior doors are different in a way, and it is crucial to understand their differences to soundproof your home. Interior doors are unlike exterior doors, which are known for their rigidity. Interior doors, in most cases, come with a hollow core.
With that, we can conclude that exterior doors are massive and quite heavier than interior doors. That means interior doors are not as good as exterior doors as far as soundproofing power is concerned. Interior doors are a lot easier for vibration and noise to penetrate, which means they require more soundproofing than exterior doors.
An apartment with interior doors all over can be highly noisy. Noise and vibration are a lot easier to pass through as if there are no doors at all. Replacing doors can be a little costly, but soundproofing basics discussed in this article are effective alternatives for keeping a home noise-free.
Here is a list of materials needed for soundproofing interior doors:
Use Acoustic Panels
Acoustic panels are an effective way to add soundproofing to a noisy interior door. Acoustic panels are categorized into fiberglass and foam panels. Fiberglass panels are quite impressive in blocking the noise, whereas foam panels are highly effective in reducing the echo.
I, therefore, recommend fiberglass acoustic panels. However, both of them can be used for echo reduction and blocking the noise. Though fiberglass acoustic panels are a little costly, they are more effective in reducing noise and echo than foam panels.
Fiberglass acoustic panels can also improve the curb appeal of a room. They are also available in different colors and designs to fit any house. Fiberglass panels are also good thermal insulators, moistureproof, and shockproof, meaning that homeowners can benefit from the reduction of noise and other things as well.
Fiberglass acoustic panels are, however, a bit tricky to install, especially if they are not self-adhesive. You can utilize command strips or use green glue to attach them to the door properly. Attaching one or two strips on the back of an interior door can reduce the echo and the noise significantly.
Whether you use green glue or command strips, the panels will get attached to the doors. However, the difference will show up later when detaching the panels. It will be easier to detach panels that were attached using strips than those attached with green glue.
Both fiberglass and foam panels are somewhat cheap, but be sure to measure your door before placing an order. You better buy a large panel and cut it later than a small one that won’t fit your door.
Covering the Gaps and Sealing Holes and Cracks
Any open space can cause noise and allow sounds to pass through an interior door. When exterior doors can allow noise through, imagine what an interior door with open gaps and holes can do. Unlike regular doors, internal doors are full of cracks, meaning you can’t use the methods used on exterior doors to seal their holes and gaps.
Do not despair as there are many effective methods for sealing and covering holes on an interior door. For example, you can fill gaps in the door frame using weatherstripping tape. However, what follows is the process of soundproofing the space between the floor and the door.
Some soundproofing methods can’t be applied to interior doors that need to slide. However, you can use an adjustable door sweep when there is a big gap between the door and the floor. I have never liked door sweeps when it comes to soundproofing interior doors, but aim for the versatile door sweep if you decide to go this route.
Self-adhesive door sweeps are easier to install by yourself. Here are a few pros of having an interior door soundproofed with a door sweep.
- Noise reduction
- Preventing insects and bugs from infesting your room
- Reduced thermal leak
The only con of soundproofing an interior door with a door sweep is that it might make it difficult for a door to slide.
Invest in Solid Sliding Doors
The material and thickness of an interior door matter a lot. Sliding doors are, in most cases, made of hollow wood or glass, but homeowners can improvise their doors with some solid wood. The price is the only concern here.
Solid wood can be quite a significant investment for some people. With an average cost of around $300, solid wood can be a significant investment compared to other soundproofing alternatives. Other soundproofing methods, acoustic panels included, can make your budget at least ten times lower than installing solid wood.
Hollow doors are the most excellent sound amplifiers due to their lightweight. However, homeowners will undoubtedly notice the difference when they decide to replace their hollow doors with solid doors. Solid doors are thicker than hollow ones, and instead of amplifying sound, they dampen any vibration or noise passing through them. These doors are the most excellent soundproofing option for anyone willing to invest some extra dollars on their soundproofing project.
Hang Soundproofing Curtains
Perhaps you are not a fan of hanging curtains on the door. But why not consider that if it can help reduce the echo and noise in your room. I don’t see any problem with hanging beautiful curtains with different colors and designs on interior doors.
Soundproofing curtains are effective in blocking noise and reducing echo in a room. However, curtains require a bit more effort, but their benefits are worthwhile. With the thickness that soundproofing curtains offer, the echo and noise in a room are likely to reduce drastically.
Soundproofing curtains are often used for soundproofing windows, but they can as well be used on interior doors. But you must first install curtain rods on interior doors to realize the effectiveness of soundproofing curtains.
Your curtains should cover an interior door entirely for them to reduce the noise and the echo. Soundproofing curtains are a useful alternative for reducing airborne noise, but their effectiveness depends on the level of noise.
Soundproofing curtains can only help reduce medium-to-high sound frequencies. You can’t rely on them for low sound frequencies.
Have you ever imagined hanging a blanket on your interior doors? Yes, that can be applied as a soundproofing method. I was at first sarcastic about soundproofing blankets, but I later realized that they are an effective way to reduce the echo and block noise.
Acoustic blankets, also known as moving blankets, are well-known for their ability to absorb sound. These are thick blankets that are designed for absorbing any sound on its way to an office or living room. Having a soundproofing blanket on your interior doors can at least cut the noise or solve your echo and noise problems completely.
Soundproof blankets are quite natural and logical. The more layers you have on your sliding doors, the more effective your door is in blocking noise. Adding an extra layer of soundproofing door on a sliding door can make it a lot hard for noise to pass through. One layer of a soundproofing blanket is usually enough, but you are free to add an extra layer if you can still hear noise from the outside.
Acoustic blankets or moving blankets are quite bigger than soundproofing curtains, but they are not as expensive as curtains. Amazon offers different types of moving blankets ranging from as low as $30-$40. Soundproofing blankets are an inexpensive solution to excessive echo and noise in a room. However, their effectiveness depends on the level of noise.
I frankly don’t like them, but there are some beautiful designs out there, so make a point of checking them out at Amazon. These blankets not only make a room more soundproof but also add to its overall appearance. You can as well use them as a solution to issues such as thermal leaks.
Place a Rug
One of the simplest and cost-effective ways to reduce noise from the other side is by placing a rug near the doorway. Placing a mat near the door dampens not only the sound but also improves the visual appearance of a room. Heavy rugs can absorb noise and echo, which makes them excellent material for reducing the impact of sound.
However, placing a rug near a sliding door may not be as effective in reducing the noise as other soundproofing techniques. You want to try out as much as you can to block the noise from the other side of the door without spending a fortune. Placing soundproofing rugs on either side of an interior door can increase the efficiency of this method.
Door sweep and weatherstripping could be working magic for you, but placing a couple of fluffy rugs on either side of a sliding door can further reduce the noise from outside. The difference may be quite minimal, but it is noticeable.
I suggest you check out at Amazon if you are interested in a rug for dampening sound. There are extra thick rugs that are made with durable and robust polypropylene fibers. At Amazon, you get to choose from a variety of designs and colors that fit your needs.
The advantage of using rugs as sound dampeners is that they require no installation process. You order a rug at Amazon and place it wherever you want. Using mats as the only soundproofing option may not be effective as far as cost and sound dampening is concerned. However, we can use it as reinforcement for other methods of soundproofing an interior door.
Mass Loaded Vinyl
It is a thick material that blocks sound transmitted through the air. Mass loaded vinyl could be a solution to anyone getting distracted by the noise while working in a home office. Like rugs, installing mass loaded vinyl does not require any special skills. All you need is to order a mass loaded vinyl at Amazon and cut it according to the size of your interior doors.
You can either use heavy adhesive or staples to attach mass loaded vinyl to your door. Add an extra layer of the mass loaded vinyl before attaching them to the door for better results. The only downside of using mass loaded vinyl as the only option for dampening sound is that it is quite expensive.
There are cheap mass loaded vinyl materials, but opting for an affordable option may not bear the desired results. Mass loaded vinyl materials are often black and can be a setback for a homeowner who dislikes the color.
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Install Door Gaskets on Your Interior Doors
Most homeowners are willing to spend a bit more to keep that annoying noise out of their home office. One way to achieve this is to install door gaskets instead of weatherstripping tapes on your interior doors. However, door gaskets are similar to weatherstripping tapes, except that they are used for sealing gaps at the header and the jambs of an interior door.
You can use door gaskets to not only block the sound but block light and moisture as well. I suggest you visit Amazon if you would like to try out these unique sound dampeners.
Dampen the Noise on the Outer Side
Doorways and hallways are just a path for sound and not the source of the noise. Dampening the noise on the outside of a home office should be one way to soundproof an interior door. You may decide to dampen excess sound using rugs, as we have discussed above.
Other materials that can help dampen the sound from the other side include using bookshelves and canvas paintings. But the main idea should be to fill the hallway or room to reduce the echo and reduce the noise. You should first identify the source of noise and look for ways to dampen the sound.
Let’s say you want to soundproof the doorway to a home office. The most cost-effective way to soundproof the door to your home office is to hang a couple of canvas paintings and install bookshelves in the hallway.
Doorways and windows can be a menace when it comes to sound transmission. However, the above soundproofing methods can make your interior doors less noisy. Just like soundproofing exterior doors, soundproofing interior doors can be both cheap and expensive.
I suggest the cheaper soundproofing options, such as placing a rug near the door and using weatherstripping tapes for people interested in dampening the noise to a decent level. However, it may be worthwhile to spend some money, time, and effort if you want to reduce the sound coming from your interior doors by a significant level.
Of course, the door panels should be the center of your attention, but never forget to install noise-canceling seals in between the frame and the door to reduce sound leaks. Either of these methods will help you reduce the amount of noise passing through your interior doors. However, the trick is to know the amount of noise you want to block and choosing the method that works for you without overstretching your budget.
I suggest you try at least two of the soundproof techniques discussed above to get the best results. Combing a couple of these methods could result in even better results.