Last updated on September 7, 2021
The bedroom should be the coziest place in a house. It serves as a place for rest and relaxation – a retreat after a long and tiring day’s work.
One factor often overlooked when laying out a bedroom is how audibly sensitive it is. Soundproofing a bedroom from outside noise ensures that no sound gets out and that no noise can get in.
In this guide, we’ll be going over techniques on how you can soundproof your bedroom to eliminate ruckus and increase peace, intimacy, and privacy.
The best solution on how to soundproof a bedroom is to add additional layers of plasterboard.
However, there are many more things you can do to have more peace in your room at night time!
Health benefits of soundproofing your bedroom
Reduces stress levels. Silence helps people to relax. Soundproofing the bedroom means that it can effectively cancel out external sources of noise that might otherwise trigger negative responses that would cause cortisol levels to rise.
Boost concentration and focus. Studies show that when there’s less stimulus to distract the brain, it enhances focus as there are fewer things that it needs to react to and process.
Soundproofing your bedroom gets rid of unwanted noise, allowing you to fully utilize the cognitive prowess of the brain.
Improves sleep. The brain still processes sounds even as we sleep. That’s why we immediately get up if there are any loud sounds despite how deeply we were already sleeping.
When a room is soundproof, the brain can be less attentive, allowing us to sleep better.
Reduces the risk of hypertension. While some sound is part of life, excessive loudness and noise pollution cause the body to release hormones that increase stress and eventually lead to the development of serious illnesses .
A soundproof bedroom reduces this likelihood by at least mitigating our otherwise constant exposure to all kinds of sound.
Reduces the risk of auditory problems. Over the years, studies have shown that prolonged exposure to sound levels above 70 decibels (dB) may start to damage hearing.
It doesn’t help if you also work in a relatively noisy environment such as a construction yard.
With a soundproof room, you help your ears have a break from the constant stream of noise in day-to-day living.
Parts to fully soundproof a room
Here are the parts involved in soundproofing a bedroom DIY:
- Windows. Since sound (noise) travels via vibrations in the air, it’s only second nature that you soundproof windows first since they function as your gates or borders to the outside world.
- Doors. Doors have small crevices since they need to swing open and close. Soundproofing doors is a good idea to further minimize the amount and level of noise that already regularly goes through them.
- Ceiling. Especially in multi-story homes where ceilings are a bit thinner and more hollow between floors, soundproofing reduces echo and decreases noise penetration from the floor above.
- Walls. Walls suffer the same issue with noise as ceilings – they’re usually thin and hollow, thus amplifying vibration and resonance. Soundproofing walls means that you won’t hear whatever it is on the other side and vice versa.
- Floors. Floors can creak and amplify the sound of footsteps in the room below. Soundproofing floors can help get rid of these nuisances and allow you and others to move more quietly around.
Things that improve soundproofing
Here are the materials that can help you when you already know how to completely soundproof a bedroom.
- Sound insulation – wool-like material meant to fit in between studs, or floor joists to prevent sound waves from passing through .
- Acoustic foam (studio foam) – sound-absorbent cladding material (I.E can substitute egg cartons).
- Acoustic panels/boards – decorative versions of acoustic foam.
- Acoustic fabrics – special fabrics that mitigate sounds such as curtains and blankets.
- Acoustic coatings – usually rubber-like material (Mass Loaded Vinyl, MLV) used as underlayment in various applications.
- Architectural soundproofing design – specially oriented structural designs meant to either reflect, absorb, or dissipate sound.
How to soundproof bedroom windows?
1. Sealing windows
- Check the overall condition of the window and the surrounding frame. Make sure there are no damages.
- Get either acoustic foam or sealant.
- Identify any gaps in the window. Use the foam or sealant to fill in those gaps.
- Measure window dimensions and properly install insulation material, such as insulation tape, along the base and sills.
- Install acoustic foam or panels on the wall surrounding the window.
2. Using acoustic curtains
- Measure your windows to obtain a reference length for the curtain rod. Add at least 2 inches to each end.
- Select an appropriate rod and installation kit corresponding to your measures.
- Mark, where you’ll be installing the brackets and follow the installation instructions, is included.
- Fasten into place and install the rod. Check that it’s secure.
- Insert the curtains/blinds into the rod and test.
3. Investing in acoustic/ double or triple-glazed windows
Installation can be done by professionals.
What’s more important is the idea of opting for double or triple-glazed windows from the start, especially if you know that the area outside is particularly loud or busy like a road.
Triple-glazed windows offer even higher noise reduction than double-glazed ones. Thanks to an additional layer of air which further deadens outside noise.
4. Make window plugs
You can fit these inside your window frame before sleeping, and remove them when the sun rises.
Materials needed: MDF or OSB board, adhesive, acoustic coating or similar material, acoustic foams and panels, utility knife, fastener tool (staple gun, impact driver, etc.), fasteners, power drill, material for handles.
- Measure the window dimensions and that of the window hole.
- Double-check the top and bottom measures for symmetry. Also, fix window edges if the window isn’t level with the surrounding wall.
- Ready the supplies and precut your boards and acoustic materials.
- Assemble the plug. Follow your measurements and the window layout. Place adhesives as evenly and as close to the edges as possible.
- With the board frameset, line the corners with acoustic foam, then use an acoustic board or panel as the centerpiece.
- Attach the handles.
How to soundproof bedroom doors?
1. Install a door sweep
- Determine what kind of door sweep you like better (U-shaped vs. metal strip). U-shape sweeps are removable and better for metallic doors, while metal strip sweeps are universal and harder to remove (Make sure there is a fiber brush that seals to the contour of the floor’s surface.)
- Measure the door width and cut the sweep the same length.
- Drill pilot holes (mainly for fastened metal strips). If your door-bottom fits with a U-shaped sweep, then simply slide it into place.
- Fasten and secure into place.
2. Add mass to the door
- Measure the dimensions of your door.
- Seal of the edges and any excess gaps in the door frame with acoustic tape. Weatherstripping tape also works fine; the door should compress against it when it is shut.
- Add door sweeps to either the top or bottom of the door; or both.
- Choose which material you’ll use as an extra layer (MLV, MDF, or acoustic coating/insulation).
- Line it up with your measurements and smooth out the edges. Coat the soundproofing material in an acoustic compound such as Green Glue and add it onto the door panel.
- Make sure it’s installed lying flush against the door with no gaps in between. Apply fasteners into place as needed.
- Apply a finish coating if desired.
Note: Inspect to check that your doors are shutting correctly to ensure that there is no catching .
How to soundproof bedroom ceilings?
- Determine if you want to soundproof the entire ceiling or just parts of it.
- Get the total dimensions of the ceiling.
- Identify which soundproofing material you want to use or are capable of working with – some are more difficult to acquire and install than others.
- For insulation, you’ll have to remove the ceiling lining to get to the joists. Once exposed, fill in the spaces between the studs with insulation.
- Alternatively, you can also make use of separating the linings from the framing to reduce vibrations by building a suspended ceiling on hangers attached through rubber damping washers.
- Finish off by adding mass by placing acoustic panels near noise sources or by symmetrically lining the ceiling space with ceiling clouds. Or laying carpet or additional layers of underlay on the floor above.
How to soundproof bedroom walls?
1. Install drapes
- Plan the layout of where you’d like the acoustic drapes (curtains) to hang. Make adjustments so that they’re as close as can be to the nearest window/s. This way, they won’t appear weird or out-of-place.
- With suitable spots in mind, measure and mark out the lengths. For windows, extend the measurements of the edges of the window hole by up to 5 inches on each side.
- Follow the guide for installing acoustic curtains.
2. Install extra layers of drywall
- Measure the dimensions of your wall. Use a stud finder to get stud locations and mark them out.
- Get new drywall sheets, enough for at least 1 or even 2 more layers for each wall.
- Pick a corner then vertically position the 1st sheet of drywall on the ceiling. Screw it into the ceiling joists.
- Fasten with ⅝-inch drywall screws every 8 inches.
- Cut around ceiling outlets as needed with a multi-tool and a drywall cutting bit.
- Measure and mark the 2nd sheet and cut to length. Line it up against the 1st layer at a 90° angle.
- Score along one end of the sheet with a pencil then later with a sharp knife.
- Snap along the line to get rid of excess and fasten as you did with layer 1.
- Continue this method for lining all walls.
- Use sound acoustic silicon on the bottom and top edges. And between each sheet, if it is not the top layer. (Otherwise, it will get in the way of the plaster).
3. Soundproof wallpaper or fabric
There is such a thing as soundproof wallpaper, however, it doesn’t completely cancel out noise, unlike acoustic insulation or coating.
It does, however, break up sound to a degree to at least make an audible difference in terms of loudness. Installing soundproof wallpaper is much like installing regular wallpaper.
The most technical thing you’d need to do is to measure your walls to determine how much wallpaper you’d need.
Most soundproof wallpapers come in rolls of 10m.
When installing, always start at the edges and corners and work your way up from the bottom going up.
Use something completely flat to help lay the wallpaper and push out any air bubbles. The flatter the wallpaper, the better the sound-reduction and the better it will look.
4. Install acoustic absorption panels
- Determine how much wall area you wish to cover. Measure and mark as needed.
- Sand and clean the mounting surface.
- Use a level then draw out the reference lines.
- Place and screw into place and level brackets. Make sure each is symmetrically positioned and spaced. Alternatively, you can use Z-Clips.
- Clips the panels in place. For adhesive, proceed to step 6.
- Place adhesive behind the panel in an “X” shape as well as in 2-4-inch circles, 1 in each quadrant of the “X”.
- Apply and allow to cure and dry for about 24hrs.
- It’s better to install the acoustic panels in the room where sound is being made.
5. Seal any leaks on walls around edges and opening
Inspect the entirety of your walls. Look for cracks, holes, and gaps, especially along with the corners.
Fill in any damages to the wall face by using either wall compound or acoustic silicone, depending on your wall type and the size of the hole or damage.
After filling out all damage, smoothen the wall’s surface and, in the case of large repairs, apply a totally new coat of finish.
You can even top-coat walls with acoustic paint then add a secondary layer of regular-colored paint.
Lastly, fill in any gaps with a small bit of silicone or cut pieces of acoustic insulation to fill in cavities.
Perhaps you can even repurpose old rubber mats and linings.
How to soundproof bedroom floors?
1. Carpet and underlays
You can make use of thick carpets to help dampen sound and reduce noise, especially if there are rooms underneath.
You can either lay a large carpet to cover big sections of flooring or cover the entire floor itself by cutting custom-sized carpet.
Alternatively, follow the steps below to install additional layers of underlay under your carpet.
2 layers of underlay make the carpet more cushioned and comfortable while it will help reduce sound transmission from anyone walking.
Procedure to lay the underlay:
- Measure the floor area.
- Acquire an additional layer of underlay which is closest to the amount you need. Bigger is better as excess underlay is easier to remedy.
- Unroll and run the 1st sheet next to the longest wall in the room. Run the strip a little bit up the wall, or flush it to the wall if you already have skirting installed.
- If that was only your first layer of carpet underlay, lay down a second roll and start covering the floor again. Line it up against the 1st and overlap the joins.
- Repeat this process until you cover the entire floor and make sure that the underlayment is as flat as can be against the flooring.
- Remove all excess using a knife or razor.
2. An additional layer of top flooring on a cavity
- Identify what kind of material you’d like to use. Plywood is good due to its appearance and durability, but rubber and plastic materials are better at absorbing sound while also providing additional cushioning. You can actually use both, adding a new plywood floor on battens laid on rubber.
- Measure the floor area and identify how much of it you’d like to cover.
- Install new floor battens separated by the existing floor with rubber. Have a small gap separating it from the walls as well, that can be sealed with silicone.
- Acquire the appropriate amount of plywood cover material and begin laying it down. Always start at the corner that’s along the longest wall.
- Work your way down until you have the last strip. Recommended that you make your way from the 1st piece down along the shortest distance adjacent to the longest wall.
- Repeat the process until you’ve covered the desired area.
Not everything needs to be soundproofed. But if you want to build a 100% soundproof bedroom, it will take more time and effort.
In all honesty, besides having a music studio, library, or theater in your home, opting for soundproof rooms as opposed to just investing in noise-canceling earphones or earplugs can be quite the expense.
However, if you want to increase focus and mental clarity, or just generally want to improve your quality of sleep, then soundproofing the bedroom could be worth the work.
Besides having various benefits to health, soundproofing a room to make it quieter also makes for quite the renovation project, increasing both DIY’ers wellbeing and enjoyment.
And for the price of it from the beginning we recommend you install insulation to all internal walls on a new build.
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