There are so many ways to make your home soundproof. You could caulk the gaps around your windows, move your furniture to better locations, and string a blanket over your windows. However, there’s only so much you can do with things you already have in your home.
Sooner or later, you’ll have to go shopping, but what should you buy to reduce noise in your home? Remember that when altering your home, you change its appearance and value. Here are some ideas that you should look out for.
Noise reduction curtains
The first thing worth mentioning is that smooth surfaces amplify the sound in your room and contribute to the creation of the echo. So, what is the smoothest surface in any room? Go on, look around for a bit; we’ll wait… That’s right, the windows.
So, the simplest way to handle this issue is to cover the windows with a curtain but not all curtains are made the same. Heavy curtains are the best. Aside from helping you control sunlight, their texture will absorb most sound waves. This keeps the room quieter and prevents noise from entering or exiting the room.
Still, not even all heavy curtains are made the same. Ideally, you want special noise-reduction curtains. This way, you get the optimal acoustics in the room in the simplest, cleanest, most straightforward manner possible.
2. Window inserts
Replacing your windows would undoubtedly improve the acoustic structure of your home. That being said, this is probably the most expensive way for you to do so. Why not go for window inserts instead? This is a simpler, cheaper, and quicker way to make any room soundproof.
Aside from just making the place quieter, these inserts can also improve the energy efficiency in your home. This means they get to pay themselves off both financially and in quality of life improvement.
Keep in mind that if you’re living in a home that’s deemed historically protected, you won’t be able to replace them either way. So, why not just go for inserts as the best option that’s available?
3. Acoustic foam
One of the best materials for sound absorption is acoustic foam. This is hardly a revolutionary technology since people have used it in recording studios and home theaters for years. In a way, it’s an ideal material for creating special soundproof areas in residential homes.
This material has incredibly sound-absorbent properties, so you want to add them to your walls to create a quieter environment. This foam is what acoustic panels are made from. However, this is not the only design out there. For instance, if you double down on this idea, you could get an acoustic ceiling cloud.
Most commonly, these are applied to walls in panels, but acoustic foam cutouts are incredibly effective for filling gaps or tailoring covers for some of the more sensitive areas. Using them around windows or doors can be pretty helpful.
Still, since acoustic panels are the most common form, let’s talk a bit about them.
4. Acoustic panels
If you want to go a step further and make your home soundproof, consider installing acoustic panels on the walls.
In the past, they were a rare sight; however, since we live in a podcast culture, chances are that 90% of people are looking at these panels regularly. In other words, people have grown accustomed to seeing panels on the walls, even if it’s not a private studio we’re talking about.
Most importantly, these panels are incredibly simple to install, and they’re so effective at reducing noise. Sure, it’s an investment but, in reality, it’s a one-time investment that you’ll just have to power through.
5. Heavy furniture
You don’t need a degree in acoustics to know that an empty room has the most echo. Every furniture piece in a room is an additional barrier. It adds density and mass to your room, which enables it to dampen sound waves. Sound waves travel through the room and try to bounce off smooth surfaces like walls and windows. Bookshelves, cabinets, and sofas prevent them from doing so.
Sound waves do not travel as easily through solid objects. Most of them are absorbed, and only some manage to bypass it. This is why you hear sounds much harder when there’s a barrier between you and the source of the sound.
Remember that while soundproofing is important, this is not the only objective of furnishing the place. So, even though you want to make the layout with better acoustics, you cannot just randomly put a stacked bookshelf in the middle of the room. Furniture installation is difficult, and you may even hire someone for the job. In that case, you need to be extra careful.
6. Carpets and blanket
While it seems intuitive that noise travels linearly, it doesn’t mean it hits surfaces in a straight line. The truth is that sound waves bounce off every surface in your home, which is why blankets help reduce the noise, even if they’re not stretched across the wall. However, hanging them on the wall could prove to be quite helpful.
Another helpful addition is carpets. They will help the same way as blankets but add two more perks. First, they’ll reduce the noise produced by footsteps. Second, in a multiple-level home, it will make footstep noise lower for the people in the rooms below.
Apart from this, both carpets and blankets have a practical purpose. This means you have a reason to buy them even outside soundproofing the place. They make the place cozier, even warmer. According to some estimates, a good carpet can raise the temperature in the room by as much as 2 degrees, which is far from negligible.
Keeping the noise out (or in, depending on your perspective) is a great opportunity to improve your home. The above-listed six purchases can increase efficiency, but you don’t have to get everything from the list. Audit your acoustical situation and figure out your budget. Then, proceed to get what you need for this project. Remember that some improvements on the list require professional installation, while others are simple as DIY.