Unless you’re living in a totally secluded area, at some point you’ll need to deal with some noise outside your home—whether that’s from neighbors, construction projects down the street, or just the normal hustle-and-bustle of daily life.
Thanks in part to the popularity of open floor plans, larger-than-life entertainment systems, and home construction trends, today’s homes can be a little noisy. And it may be noisier still in the summer, as people open windows and doors to get fresh air and save on air conditioning.
Are earplugs the answer? Not necessarily. Keep reading and learn how to soundproof the rooms in your home and create a quiet sanctuary when you want it most.
Curtains are one of the easiest options when it comes to creating a soundproof home. Plus, they’re relatively inexpensive! Blackout curtains are the best choice because they are thick and can pull double-duty to keep the room cool. However, keep in mind they won’t provide a totally soundproof experience.
But they can help reduce the outside noise a bit. Curtains will help reduce the echo of noise coming through your walls and windows, dampening the sound waves as they reverberate through the room.
For the most effective sound-dampening curtains, select a thick polyester, suede, or velvet material. Make sure to measure adequately so that the curtains cover plenty of space surrounding the windows and can create a seal around the sides. You may also want to double-up the layers for even more protection.
Note: large furniture and thick carpeting can also have the same effect. If you’ve ever moved into a new home and wondered why the large rooms were so loud and echo-y, that’s why! Filling in the room gives sound waves more to bounce off of.
Create Your Own “Noise Machine”
Want to shut out the loud music blaring from your neighbor’s condo? Add your own noise to the mix!
While we don’t recommend starting a battle of “who can be the loudest,” if you have central air conditioning, consider that your house-wide noise machine. This will allow you to close your windows and offers a constant “hum” that helps to drown out external noise.
Seal the Gaps
In the same way that sealing gaps helps weatherproof your windows and doors, it will also help keep noise out of your home. Weatherstrips are easy to install, but sealing with a polyurethane or latex caulk along the edges is the most effective strategy. Even the smallest holes and gaps can let noise in! Don’t forget about your chimney, also: adding a cap will seal that opening up and cut off noises from sneaking in.
Apply Special Paint and/or Wallpaper
Yet another easy DIY project to try is adding specially formulated acoustic paint or acoustic wallpaper to the room. Acoustic paint is made with sound-absorbing resins and fillers, while acoustic wallpaper adds a layer of foam backing to help disrupt sound waves as they travel through the room. While these two options aren’t known to be the best for soundproofing, they’re cheap and easy, and can be completed within a weekend or two for a quick fix until you can invest in a more long-term solution for your home.
Consider Acoustic Elements & Insulation
If you’ve ever been in a professional recording studio or looked at the walls in an orchestral hall, you may have noticed sound-absorbing materials lining the walls. Following the same principals can be very effective for soundproofing the rooms in your home.
There are a few ways to achieve this. The first is with sound-blocking foam, an effective option if you want to prevent noise from going through thin walls. Sound-insulating foam can be placed inside the wall construction—so while it’s not a DIY project, it’s one that can make a big difference if outside noise is really bothering you.
Acoustic tiles are another option and can be placed DIY-style throughout the room. Typically used in recording studios and office spaces, acoustic tiles run the gamut from purely functional to more decorative and artsy for a unique look.
Finally, adding extra insulation to the inside of your walls will also help, if needed. You can hire a professional to blow fiberglass or cellulose insulation into existing walls or even add a second layer of drywall to make your walls heavier and thicker.
Invest in Soundproof Glass
Finally, incorporating soundproof glass windows and doors throughout your home can reduce noise while also giving your home a spacious, open feel. This will be a totally different feel compared to what you’ll get if you’re lining your walls with acoustic tiles, or closing the room in with sound-dampening blackout curtains.
There are a few ways that glass can dampen sound. Thicker glass types help block out sound waves, requiring a larger decibel to penetrate through. Reducing the gaps around the glass will also help, as it helps seal everything in. Finally, you can choose a laminated or acoustic glass, which features two glass panes and a layer of plastic in between that helps to muffle sounds.
Design Your Home with Cover Glass
The best part about designing your home with soundproof glass is the added flexibility you’ll get. Cover Glass windows systems are unlike any other product in the market—with no frames around our sliding glass doors, we specialize in creating an “open concept” swing door system that freely slides and stacks at a 90˚ angle on the side. You can easily transform your spaces and create a more open, livable home, but you can also close everything if you want to take a break from noisy neighbors or other sounds.
Our beautiful frameless windows offer other benefits, as well. Your home will be more energy-efficient, it will be protected from UV rays due to the low-E construction, and you may even see the value of your home go up.