Everybody needs silence and tranquility at some point, which is hard to guarantee when your living or office space is shared or close to other people. Being able to block disruptive outside noises and prevent your own sounds from disturbing the peace is therefore highly welcome. Soundproofing your door is a highly effective way to lower the transference of noises in a room or house because a substantial amount of noise gets in and escapes through the doors.
Not sure where to get started? This article is a comprehensive door soundproofing guide with simple DIY methods that can be easily implemented by the occupant or a hired professional. We have highlighted the loopholes through which noise transfers so that the solutions are logical to make it easy to pick the most effective ones. You should have no trouble implementing these door soundproofing options with only basic tools and a desire to keep noises at bay.
How Is Sound Transmitted Through a Door?
To successfully block sound transmission, you need to identify its path so you can deploy sufficient barriers. There are common door weaknesses that can be addressed by soundproofing for noise reduction:
- Spaces at the bottom of the door
- Gaps between the door and its frame
- Cracks in the wall around the door frame
- A low-density hollow core
Our door soundproofing solutions will tackle these weaknesses in the same order.
Spaces at the Bottom of the Door
Sound transmits through the vibration of air molecules, so any air passing through the door could carry noise, and the space should be sealed airtight.
Acoustic Door Thresholds
These are a sort of acoustic blanket. They go beneath the door to seal the gap and prevent unwanted noise from filtering in underneath the door. Because they are smack in the way, people often kick them as walk through the door, and they may become loose and less effective against noise. When this happens you need to replace the threshold.
Take the measurements of the area it needs to fill so that when you purchase a replacement door threshold it fits snugly. You can even cut your threshold and install it once you have the dimensions. Remove the existing threshold and weatherstripping tape and vacuum or wipe the floor before installing the new one. This ensures there are no gaps under it, and you can even glue it to the floor to avoid nailing it and damaging the floor. They are easily stained or painted to blend with the floor or door trim.
A small space is usually left between the door and the threshold, so ensure the door doesn’t get stuck on it as it closes. The door sweep ensures no transmission of sound happens through this gap. It also covers the gap between the door and the floor when there is no threshold. Besides air and noise, it also prevents moisture, dust, and insects from accessing the room and protects the door from the elements.
It is usually a strip of metal that secures a door seal made of materials like silicone, rubber, or neoprene and sometimes a nylon brush. The metal strip mounts at the bottom of the door and the sweep completely seals the gap when the door is closed. The brush sweep comes in handy when dealing with a sliding door because its bristles bend as you slide the door, so they are not ripped off.
Clean the bottom of the door before fixing them. You can nail them in or use an adhesive to stick them on.
Holikme door sweep
This sweeper has been specially structured to block and absorb sounds, reducing the overall intensity. Its strong adhesive will hold for long periods and survive harsh conditions.
Use Draft Stoppers
These are also referred to as draft blockers or draft dodgers. They are a different version of door sweeps made from fabric and designed to be malleable. They are deployed at the base of drafty doors and windows to create a barrier between the inside of your home and chilly drafts and are great short-term protection from the cold wind. They either sit in front of the door, attach to it, or slide under it. They significantly reduce noise transmission as much as their main role is heat retention.
MAGZO door draft stopper
This soundproofing draft stopper can be cleaned quickly in the washing machine and is easy to deploy and remove as the need arises. It has 2 hanging loops for storage when not in use that also secure it to the door. The polyester wadding is enhanced with glass beads to make it heavier, so it absorbs as well as blocks sound
You can make draft stoppers using easily available materials like cotton or polyester fabric swatches and old pillowcases. The material you use to fill the fabric tube should be malleable, small enough to wedge into place, and heavy enough to stay put. Rice, sand, and popcorn kernels are popular because they are less easily separated than breathable lightweight filters.
One perk of making it yourself is that you can customize the size of the draft stopper to fit your door exactly, reducing wastage.
Gaps Between the Door and Its Frame
These allowances exist so that the door can close and open easily without binding to the frame. They also allow air and sound through, and you should address this without hindering the door’s opening and closing.
This term refers to the process of creating an airtight seal between the door frame or casing and the door. Weatherstripping kits come in various forms and shapes and can be bought from stores. The most common are tubular gaskets formed from rubber or vinyl, which are cut to the dimensions of the door and then attached to the door jambs using nails, tacks, or staples. Quite a number are self-adhesive, which makes them even easier to install.
Use a brush weatherstrip for sliding doors because the bristles will bend when you slide the door. It should be self-adhesive so you can easily install it at the bottom facing downwards.
TamBee self-adhesive pile weatherstrip
This is our selection for this category of door soundproofing material. It is easy to install because it is self-adhesive, flexible, and cuts effortlessly with regular scissors. The thick, lush hairs enhance its sealing capacity, making it great for soundproofing.
Look for and tighten any loose hinges before you start weatherstripping. The problem might be the old door is not in harmony with the frame, creating gaps. Remove any existing weatherstrip before installing the new one.
You can improvise your weatherstripping material and use readily available items like tubular silicon, vinyl, or rubber to achieve the same effect. Corner pads and felt rolls are also great for sealing the gaps between the door and the frame. Your weatherstrip should compress when you close the door, forming an airtight seal between it and the frame.
Cracks in the Wall Around the Door Frame
You may find that you can still feel air currents around the door even after sealing all the gaps. This might result from cracks or spaces between the door frame and the wall. Gaps form due to aging and weather. Sometimes they are there from the onset, depending on how the door is constructed. They may seem negligible, but a tiny 1% gap can let in or out 50% of the noise. Effective soundproofing involves sealing every single gap that might allow sound into the room, including these gaps.
We highly recommend this specialized sealant for soundproofing because it is flexible and easily adjusts to the natural shifting of the wall. It is also easier to apply than standard caulk and can be blended in with the color of the wall to retain its aesthetic appeal.
They come in tubes with sharp ends, making it easy to aim for specific cracks or holes.
Sashco Big Stretch High-Performance Elastic Sealant
This highly elastic sealant doesn’t dry hard and crack as most caulks, it can stretch up to 500% of its original size and has powerful adhesive properties. It will stick, twist and bend, sustaining insulation through temperature changes, earthquakes, and massive winds.
A Low-Density Hollow Core
A hollow core wood door has a low sound transmission class(STC) rating, and it represents a significant portion of the wall. It lowers the wall’s STC considerably, despite the thickness of the wall, and it allows sound through, regardless of your soundproofing efforts. The impact is much lower if you had a dense solid core door instead with the same dimensions.
Anything that adds mass or makes the door thicker provides an additional barrier for sound to go through. There are several ways of doing this in soundproofing that you can explore.
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
These are densely packed vinyl rolls that can be cut to fit the size of the door in question and other surfaces like windows. They absorb sound waves and reduce vibrations and, by extension, the intensity of the sound. They are adept at cutting down rumbly low frequency sounds like your base speaker. You can get them in varying thickness levels, and there are even fire-resistant and odorless versions of them.
These are sound-blocking panels you hang over the door frame to reduce noise transmission between different rooms. They block sound and reduce echo and are a great boost if you have hollow core doors. They are easy to install and remove and are a great place to start before you consider swapping the door for a solid core alternative.
These heavy, sound-absorbing materials cover the door and muffle the sound. There are many options to choose from, and you can easily cut them to size. They are not the most attractive solution, especially if you have glass doors, but they get the work done. They come in handy for children’s rooms and offices were cutting down on noise is more important than aesthetics.
An acoustic curtain on the door explicitly blocks out light and, more importantly, sound. Ensure it is so long it touches the floor; otherwise, a gap between the curtain and the floor will compromise its soundproofing ability. They need to be attached to the door, and removing them is not easy, making them a tad cumbersome and not viable for glass doors.
Some manufacturers will claim to produce acoustic curtains while, in essence, they just absorb echo due to the thickness of their material. Some acoustic curtains, on the other hand, are lined with MLV, which has a high STC rating.
Excellent acoustic curtains also seal around the perimeters of windows and doors to prevent.
Bonus Benefits of Sealing the Door
Door soundproofing comes with many associated benefits that are worth mentioning while on the subject:
Better Air Quality
Sealing keeps pollen and dust out of the room, meaning the air you breathe will be free of possible allergens. It also keeps pesky insects away and prevents the transmission of smoke in case there is a fire.
Lower Utility Bills
Sealing air leaks enables you to save from 10 to 20% on heating and cooling bills as the insulating door will help retain the heat in the room in cold winters and keep the heat out on hot summer days.
The airtight doors also keep humidity at bay, ensuring you don’t have to deal with mold and mildew and your electronics stay dapper.
The sealing reduces drafts and facilitates the consistency of ambient temperature in the room or house. Combined with the quality of air and the absence of bugs, you will greatly improve your comfort.
Door Soundproofing Guide Summary
Start by establishing your soundproofing needs for the space in consideration; Do you need to regulate the noises and tone them down to a reasonable level? Maybe you require the complete silence of a recording studio where any foreign noise has a significant effect on the quality of production. Perhaps you are more concerned about protecting your neighbors from your noisy activities.
Then you need to determine how sound is getting into and out of the space so that you can employ targeted methods for maximum efficiency. You may be required to combine several strategies to reduce the noise sufficiently. The bottom line is to seal all possible air transmission spaces and to thicken or increase the density of the door.
The optimum door soundproofing procedures take into account the reasons why you need to soundproof, the source of the noise, the existing structures, and the extent to which you can or are allowed to modify them. Your budget and financial resources will also dictate how far you can go to achieve your desired soundproof level. The cost of the project is hinged on the intensity of the work that has to be done and how much of what is required is already at your disposal.