Soundproofing a room might be your top priority when building your home or renovating your apartment space.
But what about soundproofing a door? Would you have ever thought of how doors can impact the noise level in your home?
Soundproofing a door can significantly help dampen the noise.
You can use various materials when soundproofing a door. Using a door sweep, door gaskets, DIY soundproofing material, and even glue sealants are ways you can use for your door soundproofing project.
Before we get into how to soundproof a door, let’s discuss the importance of door soundproofing.
Why Soundproofing Your Door Is Important
You probably don’t realize it, but doors create one of the biggest openings inside your home. Every time you open a door, you generate sound. Every time you close your door, any gap in the door frame generates sound too. The worst is hearing a door slam.
Soundproof rooms are, without question, an important step to take. You need to take into account all the sound waves that bounce across the room along with the amount of noise pollution inside your home.
What about waking up in the middle of the night to sneak into the kitchen without getting caught? How would you do that with a noisy door? That’s one way of looking at it.
So really, why soundproof a door aside from knowing it reduces sound? Because when you soundproof a door, you can also use acoustic treatment for your room to prevent any echo or reverberation. Echo reverberations are one of the worst noises to hear especially when there are a ton of people in the room because this largely increases the effect.
Soundproofing your door might not completely erase all the noise, but it will significantly reduce any lingering echo ringing effect playing on a loop in your ears. Other benefits include thermal insulation and air quality improvement in a soundproof room.
There are self-insulating materials that add a better layer of insulation; therefore providing better temperature regulation and keeping out any pollutants for a comfortable, noise-free place.
Now you’re probably wondering: What are the best ways to soundproof a door?
There are 11 best ways to keep your doors soundproof and steered clear of any sound irritating to hear whether it’s during the day or at night.
11 Useful Ways To Soundproof Your Door
If you plan to undertake this door soundproofing project, know these 11 ways all carry specific and unique methods that you can segregate as a budget option, DIY method, expensive option, and even temporary solutions. Some methods might make a better soundproof door, but you can pair two methods as a way to achieve the soundproof door suited to your needs.
1. Seal All Cracks and Gaps
Type of Option: Inexpensive; budget
The first thing to do is to check for any gaps or cracks by turning off the light on the opposite side of the door to see if any light passes through.
Not all door sweeps and enough weathering strips can cover all the cracks and gaps that stand in your door. For the best soundproof door solution, even sealing the smallest gap can help reduce sound effectively.
This is where using a sealant for your doors comes in handy. Although not just any ordinary sealant. To soundproof your door, you’ll need a specific sealant. One example is the Green Glue sealant, which I recommend because it is also self-insulating. Some of you may refer to sealants as acoustic caulk.
Using an acoustic caulk or sealant on your doors will help control sound significantly, instantly dries, and it’s cheap as well. Apart from applying it on your doors, acoustic caulk is a great solution for drywall as well and contributes to improved soundproofing.
For more instruction on how to apply acoustic caulk or sealant, here is a video that will help you:
Sealant for Edges: A great and cheap solution for sealing edges is to use sound-isolating padding tape. The material is similar to a weathering strip or gasket but what’s amazing about them is they break off the sound path.
Sound-isolating padding tape is used normally in wallboard installation but because they also reduce noise transfer through walls and door frame gaps, this self-adhesive tape is a great option to add as a complementary solution.
2. Use a Door Gasket
Type of Option: Budget
To seal additional cracks and gaps, use a door gasket to prevent any further sound from entering the room.
Door gaskets are also typically used for car doors to prevent moisture or air from seeping inside the cabin; however, using a door gasket on a door is also another effective way to seal any gaps and dampen sound.
Look for vinyl door gaskets for the maximum effect of reducing sound. They might cost a little more, but they don’t cost nearly as much as installing a solid core door.
Apart from acting as a soundproof material, door gaskets also block light and moisture from entering the room. Installing a door gasket is easy and simple to do.
You can choose between an adjustable or non-adjustable door gasket. Preferably, an adjustable door gasket is the better option to give you more ease when sealing any unchecked gap around the door.
One thing to remember when using door gaskets to reduce sound or make your door soundproof is to use an automatic door bottom to tackle any gap found at the bottom of your door frame.
Here’s how to install one at home:
3. Use Weatherstripping Tape
Type of Option: Inexpensive; budget
If attaching door gaskets still doesn’t work, the next two options can help you seal effectively while keeping your budget in check.
Using weatherstripping tape is a common soundproof method you can easily install around the door. They don’t cost much and the installation process for weathering tape can take as a little as 10 minutes to finish.
Although normally used for windows, weatherstrips are effective door soundproofing materials to use as well.
If you have a wobbling door, weatherstripping tape is the most effective option to seal and block noise effectively.
There are many types of weatherstrips available; however, using a self-adhesive weatherstripping tape is a must-have. Some even come with a door sweep, perfect for sealing any gap at the bottom of the door.
Before you install your weatherstrip, make sure to clean the door frame area that will come in contact with the strip. This area also has to be dry for effective soundproofing.
Simply peel off a small section of the weatherstrip and use the exposed self-adhesive surface to paste it inside the door frame from the top corner.
Fully sealing the tape will involve closing the door where it can make contact with the door frame and squish the tape to form an airtight seal without any sound leaks.
4. Attach a Door Sweep
Type of Option: Budget
Using a door sweep will cover any large gaps, seal them, and minimize any incoming sound.
Door sweeps also prevent bugs from entering at the bottom of the door, which is handy for keeping small irritating pests and bugs away.
Door sweeps given the name sweep are not meant to sweep the floor in case you were wondering. A door sweep should be slightly above any carpet, rug, or flooring material when installed.
Most materials used for a door sweep are neoprene, nylon brush, and silicone. These are all budget options you can find for a door sweep in varying lengths and sizes.
To install a door sweep, it’s as simple as surface mounting them at the bottom of the door and screwed in for a tight seal. Paired with a weathering strip, a door sweep is an inexpensive option you can use to block any sound, especially in covering large gaps.
Alternative Option: If you’ve tried a door sweep in the past and didn’t soundproof your door, the alternative is to use automatic door bottoms.
Although more expensive, automatic door bottoms provide a better seal, therefore, providing a better soundproof door.
An automatic door bottom is bulkier and heavier than a door sweep, but what stands out with an automatic door bottom is its adjustable feature and the rod piece that acts as a button.
This button will press against the door frame upon closing the door, which causes the seal to drop and close any gap at the bottom of your door.
To see more of what an automatic door bottom looks like and how it is installed, you can take a look at the video link below:
5. Use A Soundproofing Blanket
Type of option: Expensive
This might ask you to spend more, but this will also last you several years.
Soundproofing blankets have built-in fiberglass fibers with sound-absorbing properties, so you won’t hear any echo from the other side of the room. Normally, a soundproofing blanket is used for acoustic treatment so recording studios, for example, benefit from this too.
How an applied Soundproofing Blanket looks like:
Look for Soundproofing blankets that use industrial velcro for easy application like the one shown above.
Not all soundproofing blankets are effective for soundproofing your doors. One option is Audimute’s double phased quilted fiberglass blanket.
Think of it like foam panels except it’s twice as effective. The double phased quilted fiberglass material is dense enough to block sound and for a better seal, use industrial velcro when upon installation.
This is a rather expensive option though. But it will last you several years and it’s also highly versatile you can use them as any other soundproofing solution for your home. They’re also easy to remove and put back in place.
Alternative Option: Moving blankets are a cheaper alternative and they’re also pretty thick so it’s an effective way to reduce sound.
They’re also effective sound blockers and easy to install. You can compare moving blankets and soundproofing blankets like foam panels and fiberglass panels.
Foam panels are cheaper and a far simpler option to reduce sound, but not as effective as fiberglass panels. Foam panels are also more technical in appearance compared to fiberglass panels.
All this is similar to moving blankets compared to soundproofing blankets.
What is worth noting is how moving blankets are a perfect option if you’re living in an apartment and you can’t add any permanent renovations because your landlord won’t allow you to.
6. Use Soundproofing Pads
Type of Option: Budget
A soundproofing pad works like a door sweep, but it’s not a permanent solution to block sound.
Installing a soundproofing pad on your doors is easy thanks to its velcro material. What makes a soundproofing pad different from door sweeps is you can install them on both the bottom and top parts of your doors.
You might have seen a soundproofing pad once or twice since they’re also the same material used in construction sites and act as sound barriers.
Considering construction sites are extensively loud, we can say soundproofing pads are even more effective in a quieter place such as your room, for your walls, or your doors.
Materials commonly used for soundproofing pads are sound insulating felt, PVC, EDPM rubber, and polyester wool.
To apply a soundproofing pad on your doors, apply the pad with a downward pressure to prevent any gaps or cracks left open.
Two factors that matter when buying a soundproofing pad:
When choosing a soundproofing pad, the two factors that matter are thickness and NRC (noise reduction coefficient).
Soundproofing pads have different thickness levels so go for pads with higher thickness levels at least two inches thick.
A one-inch thick soundproofing pad might work for lighter frequencies, but this should only matter to you depending on the available space you have on your doors.
If you have little space accommodation, a slimmer or thinner option might work best for you.
The NRC or noise reduction coefficient is another way to improve the soundproofing quality for your home. A higher NRC rating will reduce more sound waves and thus, better soundproofing for your doors. You can easily find the NRC rating in the product description label of whichever brand you buy.
If you’re wondering if the size of a soundproofing pad reduces sound waves, it doesn’t. The size of a soundproofing pad doesn’t have any effect on reducing sound whatsoever.
7. Install Soundproof Curtains or Drapes
Type of Option: DIY; ranges from budget to expensive
Using drapes or a soundproof curtain can also be a temporary way to reduce sound at home.
You can easily hang them on top of the door without any complications and even opt for a DIY solution using drapes or old curtains rather than buy a new one.
What you should take note when using soundproof curtains is to make sure they provide full coverage otherwise the sound will easily pass through.
If you don’t have access to any curtains or drapes, one way to effectively solve this is to use any thick material you have at home as a quick fix or temporary solution before purchasing a new curtain.
Soundproof curtains are more expensive than regular curtains, but using them as coverage for your doors will also provide a slight shade and even a bit of style for your home.
Here is an example of these curtains in action:
8. Use a Rug
Type of Option: DIY, budget
DIY solutions can also help your soundproofing project. Think of these solutions as complementary soundproofing items you can use to boost noise reduction.
Using DIY is also inexpensive, at no cost, and it’s hassle-free.
A rug doesn’t work charms like the rest of its soundproofing buddies but it does an excellent DIY trick to seal any bottom door gap. There are a ton of DIY rug options. What’s worth noting is how effective rugs are at dampening sound on wooden floors.
In addition, rugs are a resourceful item you can find in any home and use as a temporary fix for soundproofing your door.
Other options include a carpet and even old blankets draped over the door.
There’s no need to worry about blankets looking messy on the surface of your door.
After all, if you really want to block off any irritating noise you hear coming from the opposite side of your door, an old thick blanket does the trick extremely well.
9. Install Insulation DIY
Type of Option: DIY
This type of soundproofing shouldn’t cost you a dime.
The two types of insulation I’ll be referring to are styrofoam and cardboard.
Styrofoam is a perfect and zero-cost solution for installing a better soundproofing effect on hollow-core doors. Because a hollow-core door is naturally weak against blocking noise, using styrofoam can easily fill the hollowness of the door and therefore reduce any echo effect or sound coming through.
Installing styrofoam is as easy as using glue to allow it to stick inside. You can also find styrofoam lying around just about anywhere. If you’ve made any recent large packages like a television set, for example, you’ll have access to a lot of styrofoam you can easily cut and use for soundproofing. Just be sure you cut it down to the right door specifications.
As for cardboard, you can lay them flat against the door and while they aren’t the most effective solutions, they are still reliable DIY temporary fixes you can easily get your hands on.
You can stack two or three pieces of cardboard and glue them together for a stronger effect, although cardboard isn’t as visually appealing to look at stuck to your door.
A runner-up option would be egg cartons. A lot of people use egg cartons to dampen noise but in reality, they don’t do well to block noise as effectively as the other DIY options mentioned.
I wouldn’t recommend using egg cartons as a soundproofing solution. If you decide to, however, you can glue an egg carton to a piece of cardboard to double the effect.
10. Use Soundproof Paint
Type of Option: Ranges from budget to expensive depending on the paint brand
For widespread help, acoustic paint leaves a solid impression for your door, bedroom, and home.
There’s a lot of chatter going around whether using soundproofing paint is effective at reducing noise.
If we take a closer look at the chemical composition of soundproofing paint, you’ll see that they’re made of a viscoelastic compound that dampens noise and are good solutions for controlling noise pollution in an environment.
The versatility of soundproofing paint allows you to use it both for the interior and exterior of a home.
However, one way to use soundproofing/acoustic paint is to focus on critical areas in your home that trap sound easier. Large spaces are harder to trap noise in because sound bounces off more and creates a higher echo effect.
Your room, for example, might trap noise much better than it does in the living room. For this reason, using acoustic paint in this area first is one tip to remember when soundproofing your home.
Although acoustic paint can protect you from any irritating echo reverberates, it’s only limited to reducing noise from conversation chatter or loud neighbor noise.
Sound in the levels of heavy traffic such as car honks, engine revving, and dog barks are not levels acoustic paint is capable of reducing.
To give a more technical definition of how acoustic paint controls noise pollution at home, one layer of soundproofing paint can reduce noise between 2 to 4 decibels.
Since the standard application of acoustic paint is three layers, you’re looking at 6 to 12 decibels reduced by using acoustic paint on your walls, doors, and different areas around your home.
To learn more about soundproofing paint, this video can help you understand more:
11. Install A Solid Core Door
Type of Option: Expensive
If all else fails, you can install a solid core door.
It’s the most expensive option on this list, but it’s guaranteed to reduce noise significantly.
A solid core door blocks sound the best thanks to the solid material and thick layer construction. Compared to a hollow-core door, you’ll find that solid core doors are rare to see in any home.
Most solid core doors you see are usually the main door, back door, or both of a home.
This is one of the easiest ways to install a soundproof door for your home, but at a high cost.
A hollow-core door, which is what you find in most homes, is made of thin layers of wood that sound can easily penetrate through and produce echoes every time someone knocks.
A solid core door is the complete opposite seeing as how it reduces sound effectively; although, it still may be susceptible to door slams or light swings when opening and closing since a solid core door is twice as heavy as a hollow-core door.
To remedy this solution, you can install a door seal kit.
The door jamb seals all the air gaps in a solid core door and can even work for a hollow-core door, but then you’ll also need to add a soundproof blanket to reach the same level of sound reduction for a solid core door.
Here’s a quick video of how to install a door seal kit:
Additional Solutions to Soundproofing Your Door
Don’t just limit yourself to one way.
Even if you have 11 different ways to soundproof your door, get crafty with how you can use each option in pairs or even in threes.
For example, using a combination of DIY solutions can prove an even stronger overall effect than a budget solution.
Using old curtains or blankets along with installing styrofoam in your hollow-core door can reduce noise twofold. And as a finishing touch, why not add cardboard to triple the noise dampening.
Another could be pairing a weathering strip with Green Glue sealant as budget options to compensate spending heavily on a solid core door.
Weathering strips are excellent door frame sealants while an acoustic caulk is perfect for closing small to mid-sized gaps or cracks that weathering strips can’t close. Finally, install a door sweep to add the last finish for closing the bottom door gap and for keeping any insects away too.
Think of these options collectively, not as individual solutions
There are many ways to use the list provided here and although some might prove weaker in sound dampening than others, it’s always better to think of how you can benefit from the collective sum rather than its individual parts.
The best solution to soundproofing a door is installing a solid core door along with an automatic door bottom and extra acoustic caulk to ensure maximum soundproofing.
As expensive as this sounds, you’ll also be investing in years of minimal irritating noises, good thermal insulation for your room, and fewer pollutants to worry about.
Also, expensive options offer strong reliability and credibility on their end. Not that budget options aren’t reliable solutions either.
It’s just that quality materials can go a long way to give you more benefits long-term. In this case, for your doors.
That being said, be sure to add acoustic paint to all your doors. Using acoustic paint alone can turn your room’s decibels down by 6 to 12 decibels. Imagine what would happen if you paired that with the other solutions mentioned here.
For many ways on how to soundproof a door, 11 is a lot to cover for a single household item.
It all depends on how much you’re willing to spend and how much noise you really want to block out, whether it’s for your bedroom, living space, or home.
A bonus tip to soundproofing is also re-arranging your furniture specifically closer to the walls or windows to reduce noise. The larger the mass of your furniture, the better and stronger the effects will be. This works especially for large bookshelves in a room.
Remember to use different combinations when soundproofing your door. This is a neat trick that will help you successfully soundproof your doors even on first attempts.
Hope you enjoyed this article and found many effective ways to soundproof your door!
If you’re looking for a complete soundproofing experience, you can take a look at How to Soundproof a Room.