Wondering how you can soundproof your home without breaking a buck? You’ve come to the right place!
We’ve made a COMPLETE GUIDE for all the DIY soundproofing materials you can use to reduce noise in your home.
Soundproofing your home doesn’t need to be THAT complicated and expensive!
We’ll share with you all the tools and products you can use for DIY soundproofing solutions.
Not only that!
There’s also a quick guide on the different soundproofing methods you can apply to make sure you’re doing all the right things for your DIY projects at home.
Get ready to take some notes to make your home a peaceful sanctuary!
Cheap DIY Home Soundproofing Materials for Rooms, Windows, Walls, Doors, and Ceilings
1. Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a rubber damper sound barrier. It’s very effective for noise reduction without taking up too much space.
These are mostly used in soundproofing walls, ceilings, and floors since it’s very flexible and easy to apply like wallpaper.
These MLV sheets are made out of high-density material, making them great for deflecting sound.
This soundproofing material comes in different sizes, and you can cut it in any shape too!
Very convenient to use for various spaces at home.
A few things to note about mass loaded vinyl:
- You can use caulk or sealant glue to keep it in place.
- When you stick them, make sure there are no air gaps! Air gaps will result in sound leaking.
- May be high-density, but it can tear if it’s pulled too much.
2. Acoustic Caulk and Sealants
If the source of noise problems is from tiny cracks and gaps, acoustic caulk or sealant is the thing that you need!
Green Glue is the perfect damping compound for soundproofing.
It’s dense and flexible enough to fit through small spaces.
- These are perfect for sealing cracks in surrounding walls or tiny gaps from doors and windows.
- Besides sealing cracks and gaps, you can also use it to secure weatherstripping and MLV sheets in place!
- It’s also used to stick a drywall sandwich together.
These acoustic sealants are applied with a caulking gun, making it easy to reach crevices, corners, and deep cracks.
Once it’s set, it should prevent cracks from forming in the same area.
It’s the most effective DIY soundproofing solution for dealing with sound leaks through cracks and gaps.
Though it’s hard to get your hands on them due to their limited availability, there are other Green Glue caulking alternatives that have the same quality but are cheaper and easier to find.
3. Weatherstripping and Door Seals
Weatherstripping is done to prevent drafts and moisture from getting through door gaps.
Besides that, it’s also an effective soundproofing method.
A weathering strip is a door seal attached at the bottom to cover the door gap. This is also known as a soundproof door sweep.
It makes closed doors tightly compressed, watertight, airtight, and sound-tight.
Do note that these get worn out and are meant to be replaced periodically.
How to Make Your Own Weathering Strip or Door Seal
If you can’t buy a weathering strip immediately, here’s how you can make your own with foam:
- Remove the old weathering strip along with the door sweep.
- Clean the area with soap and water. Make sure to remove ALL of the residues.
- Take note of the dimensions of your door and cut the foam according to the measurements.
- Install the foam with adhesives or nails.
This method is mostly used with doors, but you can also do weatherstripping for window gaps as well.
4. Window Plug
If you live in an area with rampant noise pollution, you might want to consider getting your windows plugged.
Window plugs are soundproofing panels that completely block light, air and can prevent a single sound wave from entering.
How Do Window Plugs Work?
- A window plug is meant to have the same exact size as the window you want to cover. Its edges must seal the corners of the window frame.
- This creates a tight seal that blocks sound waves from getting in and out.
- You have the option for it to either be a temporary or permanent fix when you DIY this method.
If you’re used to doing a lot of DIY soundproofing projects at home, this is a method you can definitely do in a jiffy!
This is proven to be one of the most effective DIY soundproofing solutions.
Similar to the first four soundproofing methods, the intent is to add mass and density to existing structures.
The goal is to make the walls heavier, stronger, and more airtight.
There are several ways to do this, but the most common technique is the Green Glue sandwich.
How to Do a Green Glue Sandwich
- Strip your walls completely first.
- Layer Green Glue on one section and on the new drywall.
- Let it dry until it turns into a tacky texture.
- Stick the new drywall and press it into the wall until it dries.
Using an acoustic caulk will secure the joint around each sheet. This is so that it will effectively absorb and deaden sound.
Remember, we want to keep it airtight and sealed!
But do note that you have to be cautious of all the electrical wiring and outlets you’re going to come across with this type of DIY soundproofing.
Drywall is accessible and affordable everywhere, but you also might want to consider using QuietRock for this as well.
Check out our Comparison Review Between Drywall and QuietRock for more information on which is better for your situation!
6. Rearranging Furniture & Adding Wall Hangings
If you’re not too keen on doing DIY handy-manny projects, you could always resort to rearranging your heavy household items.
This is one of the easiest ways to soundproof a room.
The placement of your furniture can affect the movement of the sound waves. Dense furniture can break them up and let the sound energy fade away quickly.
The best part? You don’t need to spend money on this DIY project!
Again, the intent is to add mass to the space.
- Cabinets and dressers placed near the door can block and absorb noise coming from the gaps of the door frames.
- A couch or shelves placed against the wall can act as sound dampeners and absorb the vibrations.
- Hanging up tapestries and paintings act as another layer to keep sound waves from seeping through the walls.
Just make do with what you have at home and place them strategically. Easy soundproofing!
7. Carpets, Rugs, and Underlayments
We’ve talked about soundproofing walls and ceilings. But what about floors?
One of the easiest ways to soundproof the floors of your house is to use thick rugs and soundproofing carpets.
The thick material will absorb the impact noise from each step.
They are excellent vibration dampeners that can prevent noise from traveling through the ground.
It’s a temporary fix that’s perfect for those living in apartment or condo units.
If you want to take a few extra steps, you can also install a floor underlayment!
Floor underlayment goes in between your floor and the subfloor.
Doing this soundproofing project will require you to lift your hardwood floors and re-install them again after placing your underlayment.
You can use these materials for this process:
- Mass Loaded Vinyl
These are high-density materials that can stabilize and soften your floor areas. Perfect for soundproofing a room!
8. Curtains and Blinds
Too lazy to do all of that handy-manny building effort? No worries!
These blackout curtains are thick and heavy enough to block any background noise coming from your doors and windows.
How is it possible?
Well, as discussed earlier, sound waves are produced via vibrations. But when sound waves hit a solid and dense material, it gets absorbed.
This leads to the noise being muffled.
These curtains and blinds don’t necessarily 100% block sound. Rather, they reduce noise by absorbing parts of the sound waves before it gets to enter through the window frame.
Besides hanging them by the window frame, you can soundproof a room or a house by hanging them in front of a door as well.
They also work as great space dividers for more privacy in a shared room!
Now, if you think the other soundproofing solutions are still quite pricey, you can use sound absorbing blankets in soundproofing a room.
They are way cheaper than any other soundproofing product, BUT you have to choose carefully.
You must find the right blanket material that’s dense and thick enough to absorb a good amount of noise.
In a soundproofing project, you must choose either a heavy-duty soundproof blanket or a moving blanket.
If you want a surefire way to completely block sounds from seeping through the window, door, or wall, you can use it alongside other soundproofing products.
You can use these blankets in various areas of your homes! You can use them to:
- Cover your windows and doors
- Add a layer on your floor
- Attach them to your wall
- Pin them on the ceiling
10. DIY Acoustic Panels
Acoustic foam panels are usually used in professional recording studios to keep the music contained in the room.
Music professionals swear by it as the foam material absorbs the echo and noise problem in a recording studio.
Acoustic foam panels can be quite expensive, and some can also be affordable, but you could always DIY your own acoustic panels!
It’s an easier way of DIY soundproofing since you won’t need to take down any wall or seal the frame of windows and doors.
You just get the measurement of the existing drywalls of your rooms and build your DIY foam panels according to it.
Just be sure to choose the right product that can effectively absorb vibrations.
Once you finish building the acoustic panels, you can just stick them up to your wall to keep sounds from bouncing off the empty areas.
If you want to make sure you don’t damage your walls when putting them up, you can take a look at our Guide to Hanging Acoustic Foam Panels Without Damaging Your Walls.
11. Cork Soundproofing
If you’re still looking for a cheaper way to solve your noise problem, using cork for soundproofing is THE NEXT BEST thing.
Its soundproofing abilities are almost as effective as rubber.
Compared to other products, cork is fire and water-resistant. It’s also easy to clean as it is resistant to dust, rot, and insects.
It’s perfect whether you’re soundproofing a room, a bathroom, or a humid area.
You can definitely use it when doing your DIY soundproofing panels.
Besides being put up on walls, you can definitely use it to soundproof ceilings and floors as well.
You can use it as an underlayment to lessen the amount of impact noise. Or you could use it underneath carpets to add more mass to the floor.
Here’s a video on how you can install cork panels in your flooring:
Though, soundproofing a room this way isn’t much recommended for pet owners. Pets might chew or damage the cork panels with their nails.
12. Rockwool and Fiberglass Insulation
If you want to go the extra mile to soundproof your walls, you might want to consider these two materials!
Rockwool insulation gives your room a wool-like soundproofing.
It’s made out of rocks and minerals, making it a very dense substance that can block sounds from getting through the drywall.
On the other hand, fiberglass material can soundproof a room the same way. It’s just made out of a different material.
Fiberglass is made out of tiny glass fiber particles and plastic.
While rockwool can completely block sound, fiberglass absorbs sound.
- Rockwool: Used in more professional settings where you expect a large amount of noise pollution.
- Fiberglass: More apt for a noise problem at home.
If you’re unsure which one to use, you can read our comprehensive comparison between rockwool and fiberglass.
In this process, you’re going to have to reconstruct your walls.
These two substances are supposed to be put up behind drywall to add more mass to it and make it more solid.
The more dense your housemate’s room walls are, the less sound will be heard from each other.
13. Soundproof Paint
Planning to remodel and redesign? Take this as an opportunity to soundproof a room with soundproof paint!
Unlike regular wall paint, soundproof paint has a thicker consistency.
It has a mix of sound-absorbing substances like latex, ceramic, microspheres, and fillers.
They don’t completely eradicate noise pollution. But they do solve the noise issues by securing the sound leaks that pass through walls.
It works similarly to rubber by providing a wall with thermal insulation.
You can combine different processes with this to maximize your room soundproofing.
You can go through this soundproof paint guide for a more in-depth look.
14. Soundproof Wallpaper
If you’re not up to painting your wall, you could always use one of these soundproof wallpapers.
These are acoustic wallpapers specially made to contain or prevent sound from entering your room.
These wallpapers have multiple layers that soften the wall to dampen any sound that bounces in the room.
It functions similar to soundproof paint — you just apply it to your wall in a different way.
And if you want extra security, making your room fully free from any type of noise pollution, you can secure them onto the drywall with an acoustic sealant.
15. DIY Sound Diffuser
Another way you can soundproof your room is to use sound diffusers, and you can actually make your own DIY sound diffusers if you’re up for the task.
They don’t necessarily block or absorb sound like some of the previous methods. But rather, they spread the sound waves more evenly across the room.
These sound diffusers distort the direction of the sound waves making them more evenly distributed.
This type of room structure adds mass with a certain pattern that prevents echoes.
Egg Carton Soundproofing
One popular way of doing this type of soundproofing is to use egg cartons.
Egg crates provide a distinct round shape that effectively distorts sound in a room. It gives a flat wall a shape that separates some of the sound waves.
Do note that this egg carton soundproofing method is not effective for sound deadening; it only diffuses it.
Making Your Own Sound Diffusers
Like what we mentioned, you could also make your own sound diffusers — and this is what we recommend rather than using egg cartons.
Wood would be your primary material for this method because wood doesn’t actually absorb sound. It just reflects the sound to evenly distribute it around the room, which is exactly what you’re looking for to diffuse sound waves.
So if you want to lessen an echo of a room, you can instead have your door and window frames be made of wood!
16. Resilient Channel
One more method you can resort to is decoupling.
What exactly is it?
Decoupling provides a space in your room walls as a trap for noise.
It’s somewhat a form of sound diffusing. But rather than distributing the sound waves back into a room, decoupling traps the sound before it can enter the room.
The most common product used for this method are resilient channels.
These are thin metal bars that are drilled in between walls. They provide an air cavity between the stud and the drywall, allowing sound to be trapped in.
Resilient channels are mostly used to soundproof entire buildings and houses.
17. Hat Channel
You could also opt to use a hat channel instead. It’s still one form of decoupling, just with a different product.
Hat channels tend to be more stable than resilient ones because of their structure.
Besides creating a sound trap, it provides structural support to the roof.
Here’s an in-depth comparison between hat channels and resilient channels to help you decide.
18. Staggered Stud Wall
In order to do decoupling, you first need to have a staggered stud wall.
A wall mostly has a wooden frame that has 2×4 studs lined up. These then provide a straight path for sound waves to travel through.
Another way to do decoupling is to provide a zigzag path in the wall frame.
This creates a sound maze within your walls so they won’t end up directly passing through.
You won’t necessarily need to add some extra furnishings or products.
You just need to build a little sound maze within your walls. Amazing, right?
How Do Soundproofing Materials Work?
With all the DIY soundproofing options we shared, how will you know which one you should really use?
We can divide them into three different categories: soundproofing, sound absorbing, and sound diffusing/decoupling.
1. Soundproofing Materials
Soundproofing aims to completely DEADEN sound.
These are dense and stuffed with mass. They can completely keep sound vibrations from starting.
A soundproofing material can secure gaps, cracks, and holes to keep things in place to prevent loose movements.
Some use these for windows, doors, floors, and walls.
In the list that we shared, these count under this category:
- MLV Sheets
- Acoustic Caulk and Sealant
- Weatherstripping and Door Seals
- Window Plugs
There are other affordable soundproofing materials you can use besides these.
2. Sound Absorbing Materials
Soundproofing aims to BLOCK sound transmission while sound absorbing aims to REDUCE echoes.
These are items that can improve the sound quality within a room.
Examples in this list would be:
- Home Furniture
- Carpets, Rugs, Underlayments
- Curtains and Blinds
- Acoustic Panels
- Cork Panels
- Rockwool and Fiberglass
- Soundproof Paint
- Soundproof Wallpaper
These products provide extra mass in a room that helps in reducing reverberations.
Rather than completely blocking sound, these only absorb some of it to muffle down the noise.
There are more sound absorbing products you can use if you can afford to spend some more.
3. Sound Diffusing/Decoupling Materials
As mentioned earlier, sound diffusing or sound decoupling works mostly to REDIRECT a sound wave with the goal of evenly distributing sound in a space.
This is mostly done on walls, as seen in our list:
- DIY Sound Diffusers
- Resilient Channels
- Hat Channels
- Staggered Stud Wall
They’re very effective and cheap. Although, they take a lot of time and energy to get done.
How Does Sound Work?
In considering which method to use, we have to know how sound travels and works.
Sound can travel through the gaps of doors and windows, but how do they really start?
Types of Noise
There are two different types of sounds that can travel through your space.
These are impact noise and airborne noise.
So what’s the difference?
1. Impact Noise
Impact noise, as its name implies, is sound waves produced by any object or action colliding on the floor or the wall.
It’s also commonly known as footfall noise.
Sounds of footsteps, moving furniture, or a fallen item are common examples of this.
The vibrations produced from the event penetrates through the floors or the walls onto the room next door.
If you’re aiming to block this type of noise, you have to dampen and add layers around the surfaces of your room.
2. Airborne Noise
Airborne noise, on the other hand, is sound waves transmitted upwards through the air.
Examples of these would be people chattering, television static, or a flushing toilet.
A quick way to address this noise is to simply seal all cracks and gaps where sound can leak through.
When deciding on which material you’re supposed to use to soundproof a room, you have to check the STC ratings of these products.
STC or Sound Transmission Class ratings determine an item’s ability to reduce the transmission of sound.
The higher the STC rating a product has, the better it is in soundproofing.
Although this rating only measures the ability to reduce sound energy that travels through the air.
So STC ratings do not account for structure-borne noise and can only measure sounds in common frequencies.
You can choose to calculate the STC rating of your DIY project to see if it’s going to be effective for your space.
Soundproofing your home doesn’t need to be a pain for your wallet!
You could always DIY your way through with various cheap and accessible products. You just have to sprinkle a dash of creativity onto it!
There are DIY options you can breeze through if you’re already pretty handy with home repairs. But if not, there will always be easier alternatives.
ALTHOUGH, we still recommend asking for a professional’s guidance.
Either way, we hope this guide gave you everything you needed to know about DIY soundproofing.
Now go on your merry way and provide some peace and quiet for your home!