Well, hello, our dear old window.
We meet once again.
The fresh air, light, and sound of nature are always welcome in our home. EXCEPT when you’re surrounded by the EXACT OPPOSITE of beautiful sound!
If lack of quiet space is the ONLY thing stopping you from enjoying the weekend, then the solution is to make a soundproof window plug.
If you follow these steps correctly, then you should end up with soundproof windows and a more peaceful space!
What are Soundproof Window Plugs?
Soundproof window plugs block light and air from passing through. But don’t worry, soundproof window plugs can be made temporary, as well as permanently!
Just as the name suggests, it is a plug.
But not just any plug.
Instead of blocking water like a sink plug, a window plug is designed to absorb, block, or reflect any sound. It even BLOCKS light and air.
If window inserts are constructed properly, it should create a tight seal on the window opening, which can trap low-frequency noise.
Not only does a window plug block and absorb sound, but it also improves sound quality in the room, making it great for creating a home studio.
How Window Plugs Work
- Firstly, a window plug is designed to be the EXACT SIZE to seal the edges around the window to block sound waves and light from passing through. You attach it to the window frame.
- A window plug can be a temporary or permanent fixture.
- The mass and density of the window plug are what reflect sound from passing through windows.
- A window plug made of many thin layers that make it function as a sound barrier.
- Besides the materials, there is also a layer of dead air between the window plug and the glass window, helping to insulate air and block the sound transmission.
Why Would I Want a Window Plug?
The purpose of a window plug is to be soundproof. So if you’re looking for a way to BLOCK ANY NOISE POLLUTION from entering your room, a soundproof window plug is a great option.
A soundproof window plug can also stop fresh air from entering through the window, so it can keep you warm if the weather outside is cold.
If nature eludes you the entire week, feel free to open the windows for a few hours, then close it again for some peace and quiet.
For Recording Studios
Maybe you want to create a home recording studio, and you need to cover an existing window to completely soundproof a room.
IN THAT CASE…
A window plug would help your room have a smooth response to low frequencies, perfect for recording!
To Keep Noisy Neighbors Away
Or maybe you just don’t want to hear your noisy neighbors or vice versa.
Not only is a window plug good for blocking sound, but it also blocks natural light.
Say you work the night shift, and you need to sleep in the daytime, but the brightness and the sound of your neighbors’ kids playing keep you up.
Instead of complaining and being that grumpy neighbor, you can just add a window plug. That way, you can get a good day’s sleep.
How to Make Soundproof Window Plugs?
1. Measure the Window
Make sure you have the right dimensions for your window plug.
To do this, you just use a retractable tape measure to measure the inner window cavity instead of measuring the window frame itself.
Measure the width and height of your whole window and take note of it so you don’t forget.
We will need these windows measurements to get the correct fit for your plug.
If you have larger windows than usual (or if you’re planning to do this for one large window in your home), getting the measurements right will ensure you have enough materials to work with for your window plug.
2. Prepare What You Need
Before you start to assemble the window plug, you will need to prepare your materials for the window plug.
As with any D.I.Y. project, you will need certain materials. Here is a list of what you’ll need.
- Half-inch thick OSB or MDF board.
- Any strong adhesive. You can use something like spray glue or super glue.
- Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) or any rubber material.
- Matt insulation or acoustic foam panels. You can even use a thin neoprene mat or foam mat. Take note if your window frame is thinner, you may want to go for acoustic foam. However, matt insulation are slightly more soundproof.
- Something that can be used as handles
- Utility knife
- Staple gun
- Drill and screws
- If you want to permanently seal your windows, get soundproofing glue like Green Glue. (you can get it here)
Why Do You Need These Materials?
OSB (Oriented Strand Board) is much lighter than MDF (Medium Density Fiberboard). While OSB would stay more easily on the window without fasteners, MDF is better at insulating.
It would be best to combine it with mass loaded vinyl before adding the insulation foam. Alternatively, you could use a rubber soundproof mat in place of mass-loaded vinyl or as an addition to make it more soundproof.
Green glue is a sound dampening glue that can be applied around the edges of the window plug to make it more soundproof. However, this would cause it to be a permanent fixture.
Besides the materials mentioned above, you can get things that will make the plug more aesthetically pleasing.
This could be anything from paint to print fabric to wallpaper. You could even use glitter and sequins to decorate the outer MDF board if that’s your style.
Imagine glitter in place of windows. Now that’s cool.
MAKE SURE to Precut Your Materials
The purpose of a soundproof window plug is to block outdoor noise and light from your interior window, so make sure you get the measurements just right. Why? Because the size of your window plug SHOULD FIT well inside the window cavity.
This is probably the most challenging part of the project since you need to get the measurements correct to fit well in the window space.
IF YOU DON’T…
Then it wouldn’t be as soundproof, right?
One way you can do this well with little effort is to bring the measurements to a hardware store and have them cut the wooden board for you. This ensures it inserts perfectly in your interior window sill.
But if you have a workshop at home and are used to cutting wood, then by all means, do it yourself.
PRO TIP: Make sure it fits your windows just right. We suggest you make it a little larger and then shave it down as needed.
Once the wooden board is cut, it should be easy to trim the other materials to size with a utility knife or scissors, using the board as a guide.
These materials would be the mass-loaded vinyl and foam panels or their alternatives.
3. Assemble the Plug
After everything is precut, you just need to glue and screw everything together to make your window plug!
But in what order do we assemble it? Just follow these steps:
- Place the wooden board or MDF down, pretty side facing the floor.
- Add your glue or adhesive onto the board. Spread it around with a piece of cardboard or some kind of tool until it covers the whole board. Bring the glue AS CLOSE TO THE EDGE as it can without spilling over.
- After the glue gets tacky, place the MLV or rubber on top of the MDF. Staple it down with your staple gun to make it more secure.
- The same way you glued on the previous layer, attach the foam on top. For foam, glue should be fine. But if you’re using insulation batts, use staples or screws to keep it down.
- Let the glue dry.
4. Attach Handles
Some people still like having natural light and fresh air enter their rooms, so if you still plan to use your windows for their intended purpose, ATTACH handles onto the MDF board to make it removable.
Once everything is dry, you can flip over the board and attach the handles.
You can use anything from classic kitchen handles, to knobs, to nylon straps. The end result? It’s almost as if you have an aesthetic cabinet in place.
Keep the handles the same height and AT LEAST 2 INCHES away from the edges. If the window is larger, make sure you can grab the handle comfortably with both hands at the same time.
The benefits of a handle include easy removal of the window plug, as well as an aesthetically appealing window for a charming touch to your home or room.
5. Add the Finishing Touches
Once you’re done with creating your functional DIY soundproof window plug, it’s time to DECORATE!
This can help to make your room a little more aesthetically pleasing. It can also distract you from the fact that you have no more windows.
- If you want this to be a permanent fixture, attach the plug onto the window with Green Glue on the sides and possibly plaster the wall so it looks like the window was never there.
- To add extra noise barriers, you may want to use weatherstripping tape around the window edges.
- As an alternative, you may want to paint or decorate the MDF board. This can be done even if you’re using the window plug as a removable fixture. It would be fun to paint a scenery so that it looks like you still have windows, but that’s just a suggestion.
- Another way to make it look like you still have windows is to hang a picture frame in front of the plug with the scenery in it! You can even choose one with mythical creatures, so you look like you live in a fairytale.
- We’ve seen some soundproof window plugs online that looked very stylish. And those that use foam as decoration also add a layer of noise protection, which is FANTASTIC!
6. Use the Window Plug
When you attach the plug to your window frame, leave some dead space between the glass and the foam. This is because air is a good insulator of sound.
If you managed to cut the materials to the correct size (so that it fits the wall cavity precisely), it should be able to block the low-frequency sounds from passing through.
Other Soundproofing Methods
So you’re looking for another way to soundproof your space?
Maybe you want to make your space really quiet for recording purposes, or maybe it really is THAT noisy outside! There are methods you can use on top of window plugs.
The benefits of these would be you get an even quieter space, which is a great solution if you’re planning to create a recording studio.
Soundproofing Your Wall
After getting a soundproof window, you can make your space quiet by soundproofing your wall.
Do this with the same concept of the window plugs, EXCEPT it’s crucial to use a dense, noise-absorbing material.
- If the area is big enough, you can install drywall in front of the existing wall to add a layer of air. This solution will help, as noise frequencies travel slower through the air.
- If you can’t install interior drywall, you can use acoustic foam mats. Just attach them to your interior wall with glue. You can also use this to reinforce the soundproofing of the drywall.
- Using the same concept as window plugs, you can also install the same materials, such as the MLV or rubber soundproof mat underneath the acoustic foam.
READ MORE: Soundproofing a Wall Cheaply and Effectively
Soundproofing Your Door
Soundproofing your door is the same concept as window plugs. You want to cover the gaps on the sides and reinforce the door itself by creating density.
TO CREATE DENSITY, just apply acoustic foam on the interior of the door. This will help create an extra barrier to prevent noise from going through.
Instead of a permanent or removable insert, you can use a soundproofing door sweep.
You can easily find soundproofing door sweeps online, and they can be removable or a permanent fixture.
The removable types are typically made of rubber, and it inserts right underneath the door. It’s the perfect convenient insert that saves you time and hassle.
The permanent type is made of materials such as metal and rubber. The metal material allows you to screw it onto the bottom of the door.
Soundproofing windows is essential because noise can easily pass through them. The same goes for doors. The benefits of soundproofing your door are tremendous if you want to achieve a noiseless space.
Soundproofing Your Floor
Soundproofing your floor is also one way to get the acoustics in your area just right.
Instead of using acoustic foam as a layer, use rubber mats or carpet padding. These are great solutions to absorb noise while still keeping it possible to walk on.
Filling Your Space With Noise Absorbent Things
One way you can soundproof any space is to fill it up with sound-absorbent materials.
Pillows, clothes, beanbags, and soft things absorb noise. So maybe you could make your recording space into a walk-in closet or add pillows or beanbags for sitting.
Other than acting as sound barriers, it also looks more homey and warm.
Time to Plug Your Windows
Just as a quick recap, it’s not that hard to make DIY window plugs. If you have multiple windows to plug, you might think it would be tiresome to make multiple window plugs.
But since window plugs are generally simple to make, it should be no problem.
All you need are the right materials, the proper dimensions to fit right in front of your window frame, and finally, just assemble it!
AND ONE MORE THING.
Remember: leave dead air space between the window plug and the frame and glass so that the air can act as an extra barrier.
If you’d like to, you can decorate your window plug with any material you like.
Other than window plugs, there are many methods of soundproofing. So if you want peace and quiet, then you can do a multitude of things.
Now that you know how to make soundproof window plugs, it’s time to soundproof your window!
MORE GUIDES ON SOUNDPROOFING MATERIALS: