Cheap Soundproofing Tips - 4 Areas to Consider for Soundproofing

Looking to do some soundproofing but don't want to break the bank? This blog will give you some cheap soundproofing tips to help you get a good result without spending big bucks.

Cheap Soundproofing Tips

Cheap Soundproofing Tips - 4 Areas to Consider for Soundproofing
Soundproofing is a great idea for a lot of reasons. Whether you have noisy neighbors or want to make a lot of noise yourself, soundproofing will help to reduce noise to an acceptable level. The only downside is that soundproofing can be an expensive endeavor. If you are looking to do some soundproofing on a budget, here are some cheap soundproofing options to consider.

For the sake of simplicity, I will assume that your house is already built and any soundproofing you are doing will be over the existing structures in your house or shed or whatever you are planning on soundproofing. If you are still in the planning stage, then you are in luck because it is going to be cheaper and easier to soundproof things when you are building compared to doing it after the fact, but this post is not for you. 

There are 4 areas you need to consider when you are soundproofing: the walls, the ceiling, the floor and windows. Each of these areas can be made more resistant to sound transmission, but the methods you use will vary slightly. 

Wall soundproofing

The cheapest way to soundproof a wall is to add another layer of drywall to the existing wall. This works best if the second later is offset so that the seams in the drywall don’t line up.  If you don’t need major sound reduction, then this in itself may be sufficient for your needs. Extra sound reductions can be made by creating a staggered-stud wall, a double stud wall or by using a damping compound such as green glue. This can greatly improve the STC ( a measure of sound reduction) but at greater expense. 

It is also important to make sure that any gaps in the wall are sealed with acoustical caulk. Even a small gap can cause a big loss in sound reduction.

Ceiling Soundproofing

As with soundproofing your walls, increasing the sound proofing of your ceiling can be cheaply done by adding another layer of drywall, preferably with an acoustic dampening material in between. This is the cheapest and simplest method, but if you want more sound dampening then you will need to do a bit more work.

To thoroughly soundproof your ceiling, you need to remove the current ceiling to expose the wooden struts. Then you fill in the spaces between the struts with soundproofing insulation, such as rock wool or mineral wool. 

This can be covered with a dense material such as mass loaded vinyl, which is then sealed with acoustical caulk. Finally, you can cover this with a layer of drywall (preferably using isolation clips), followed by a layer of acoustic dampening material and another layer of drywall. 

Floor Soundproofing

A cheap way to improve the soundproofing of your floor is to lay down a layer of mass loaded vinyl underneath the flooring. This is easiest if your floors are carpet or floating floorboards. 

Window Soundproofing

Soundproofing your windows can be achieved by adding a second pane of glass to your current windows. If these have an airtight seal then the layer of dead air between the two panes will act as an excellent sound dampener.  

If adding a second pane of glass is not feasible then you could consider cutting acoustic foam to fit as a plug in your windows. This will block sound as well as light, so this method is probably best where you don’t want to be able to see out of your windows. 

Conclusion

Like most things in life, soundproofing is a job where you get what you pay for. In general, the more you spend on quality materials for your soundproofing project, the better the results will be. Even so, you would be surprised at how much sound is blocked by a simple double layer of drywall. This could decrease the loudness of transmitted sounds by 6dB. Add in some acoustic dampening material and you could see a sound reduction of 10dB or more compared to a regular layer of drywall.  10dB might not sound like much on paper, but a 10dB reduction in loudness equals a 50% reduction in perceived sound. That is a lot!

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