It’s pretty tough to live with neighbors who are constantly attempting to break the sound barrier with their loud partying or music. There are quite a few different soundproofing solutions out there that can help you drown out all that noise. Many of these soundproofing methods are also effective for musicians or gaming enthusiasts who want to refrain from annoying others.
By now, you’ve probably heard about egg carton soundproofing from other people who claim that this is a simple soundproofing method that you can install all on your own. But, just how effective is this DIY method and how do you install egg cartons to create a soundproof barrier that can block sound waves? Read on to find out!
Is Egg Carton Soundproofing Effective?
Egg packaging might not seem like the most effective acoustic treatment, but it does offer some noise reduction properties. Here is a quick look at the results you can or can't expect from this budget soundproofing solution.
What Can Cardboard Egg Crates Do?
Egg cardboard packaging will help reduce any echoes and can even deaden some of the sounds you hear coming through your wall. These materials are effective because the cardboard fibers reduce the sound frequency impact. However, since it’s the cardboard fibers that are absorbing sound and not the crate design, it probably makes more sense to simply layer your walls with cardboard sheets. Cardboard sheets will give you a smooth finish, they can be painted, and, not to mention, you’ll save time from having to collect all those pesky egg crates!
What Can’t Cardboard Egg Crates Do?
Egg cartons for soundproofing are scientifically proven to be ineffective for soundproofing a room. The only real difference you’ll notice is echo reduction.
The unique shape of these cartons scatters sound waves, that way sounds don't bounce back to create an echo.
Echoes can interfere with recordings and can make music rooms challenging to play in. This is why we often see these cartons or textured foam sheets layered against the walls of recording studios!
With a layer of carton on your walls, you will not only be able to drown out a little bit of excess noise, but you’ll mostly experience a decrease in echoing and some structure-borne noises.
How to Use Egg Cartons to Soundproof a Room
You might want to give soundproofing with egg cartons a try to see the results for yourself. Or, perhaps you’re looking to reduce echoes, in which case this can be a very good upgrade to attempt. These wall treatments can be a cheap solution to upgrade the acoustic quality in a home recording studio or a home music studio. Here’s a quick look at the best steps for installing egg cartons on your walls.
Step 1 - Collect Your Products
You’ll need a lot of egg boxes to cover an entire wall. Bigger egg trays are preferred because they have a larger diameter. If you use smaller boxes, you’ll need to do a lot of patching to create a seal between the individual cartons. For reference, a large 30 egg tray is 280 x 280 millimeters in size and more than nine egg trays are needed to cover one square meter of wall.
Since you need so many cartons for soundproofing, it might be a good idea to collect trays from a local restaurant, bakery, or ask your neighbors!
Step 2 - Cleaning
Poultry and eggs can carry a lot of diseases and bacteria that can be hazardous to your health. You should always do a thorough check of all the trays in order to ensure that there are no smears of raw egg or shells leftover.
Step 3 - Attachment
Next, you will need to secure the egg cartons in place. This is the most challenging step, but there are quite a few different strategies you can use to keep the trays in place.
For solid surfaces, like concrete, drywall, and ceiling surfaces, it’s best to use an adhesive like green glue to make the trays stick in place. For wooden walls, you can use nails, staples, or pushpins to secure the cartons to the walls. Keep in mind that this will create little holes in your walls.
Make sure to cover the entire wall surface so you can block out as much sound as possible. It might also be a good idea to treat your windows because sounds can still get through these areas.
Enhance your Wall Efficiency
To enhance the efficiency of your egg tray wall, you can install pieces of fabric or foam in the tray cavities before adhering it to the wall. This method can help increase the density of your walls and will make the egg trays more effective.
Other Soundproofing Alternatives to Consider
While an egg carton wall is an affordable soundproofing solution, it won't offer much in efficiency. That being said, there are quite a few alternative soundproof treatments that are just as affordable. Not only are these alternatives easier to install, but they’re more effective and will look much better in the end.
Acoustic curtains help block out the noise coming through your windows or glass doors. These curtains are usually made from recycled polyester fibers that are spun into a thick velour or velvet fabric. There are four main types of soundproof curtains available on the market today.
- Unlined Curtains: Contain only a layer of polyester fiber fabric
- Duo Lined Fleece with Face Fabric: Can block out up to 7 decibels of sound
- 610 gms Vinyl Face Fabric: Known for blocking out up to 11 decibels
- 610 gms Vinyl Face Fabric with Duo Lining: Can block out over 10 decibels
The acoustic abilities of soundproof curtains largely depend on the type of material it’s made of and the number of linings it has.
Acoustic blinds are a good alternative to the curtains, but they can be a little pricey. These blinds can be manufactured from the same materials as soundproofing curtains, but they tend to offer more protection because the panels can be layered. Blind slats can be lined with acoustic foam or they can be manufactured from acoustic polyester fiber fabric. Some blinds are also manufactured with an air pocket in the middle to help absorb and distort any sounds coming through your windows.
Acoustic blinds can be made to fit any type of window and they’re often preferred for sliding doors.
Acoustic blankets are a good option if you’re looking for a temporary solution. These blankets are specifically manufactured from soundproofing materials and they come in a wide range of sizes and colors. These soundproofing blankets usually have rivet holes in the corners for you to hang them easily. While they can be hung in front of a door or window, many people also use them for soundproofing walls.
Soundproofing blankets might not be the best long-term wall treatment, but they do have several advantages over other soundproofing materials. What makes them a good temporary soundproofing method is their flexibility. Most soundproof blankets can even be machine washed for easy cleaning! On the other hand, it’s nearly impossible to clean walls with egg cartons.
Door Seal Gasket & Sweep Kits
Sounds can also get through your exterior doors by going through the materials or the space between the door and the wall or floor. To soundproof your doors, you will need to buy an acoustic door kit online. There are quite a few different types available on the market today. Some of these kits are bigger and include acoustic panels that you can adhere on your door, while others are smaller and only include the acoustic weather-strip and door sweep for the gaps.
If you have a solid wood door then a simple trimming and sweep kit will probably be effective. These kits usually include adhesive foam strips that you stick against the door edges or on the wall where the door makes contact. The acoustic door threshold is then installed underneath the door to close off those cracks under doors. These kits will also help insulate your home because they’ll keep chilly air from getting through the gaps or the crack underneath your door.
If you have a hollow core door then you should get the bigger kit that includes foam sheets. By attaching the acoustic panels to your door, you’ll enhance the acoustic qualities of your door and block out any excess noise.
Mineral wool is made from inorganic mineral materials except it looks a lot like matted sheep wool. It’s a soft material that can be layered all over a wall and inside ceilings. This type of material is often used inside timber walls to help insulate these walls and to create a sound barrier. These materials won't look good on the outside of the wall because it’ll be difficult to keep these fibers clean. However, this soundproofing technique can be a very good permanent solution for new constructions. These materials offer many benefits such as soundproofing, filtration, and thermal insulation.
Acoustic foam is a material that’s been scientifically engineered to absorb or distort soundwaves. It’s a cheaper alternative to mineral wool because it can be layered on top of the wall surface. These materials are usually sold in sheets, panels, or rolls and are extremely lightweight.
There are quite a few different types of acoustic foam panels available on the market today. Acoustical foam can differ in thickness, density, and can be manufactured from different materials to offer different acoustic abilities. Some soundproofing panels have an even surface while others are textured.
Textured panels with an egg tray design, pyramid design, or wedge design are helpful for sound deflection and they can help eliminate echoes. The angled surface distorts the sound waves to reduce the sound intensity and to keep these sounds from bouncing off your walls.
If you’re busy setting up a home studio then you might want to invest in a couple of anti-vibration pads. Wall and window insulation will work just fine for blocking out sound waves, but they won't have much of an effect on vibrations or any structure-borne noise caused by these vibrations.
Anti-vibration rubber mats can be placed underneath your speaker systems for sound absorption and to reduce vibrations created by sound energy. You can also consider installing these vibration pads on your walls if your music includes a lot of bass or drumming.
A lot of people also use these shock absorbing pads underneath their washing machines or tumble dryers to reduce the excess noise and to help keep their machines in place!
It can sometimes be hard to close off the small gaps between soundproofing materials. If you notice a lot of gaps in your materials then you should invest in a soundproofing sealant like green glue or acoustic silicone. These products have acoustic properties and will seal off the gaps so no sound waves can get through your acoustic materials.
White Noise Machines
White noise machines are digital devices that can be used to play all sorts of white noise tracks. These tracks can help drown out street noises while you sleep. A lot of people love to listen to these low-frequency noises because these sounds are known to relax your mind so you can enjoy a deeper sleep. White noise is also helpful for infants with colic or for those that struggle with insomnia.
These machines can be an affordable option to consider if you don't want to permanently alter your home.
Egg carton soundproofing might not be the best way to block out unwanted noise, but there are plenty of other more effective solutions out there that won't cost you much at all. It’s much better to spend a little bit extra on your soundproofing equipment when you consider all the health aspects and efficiency issues associated with egg trays.
We hope that you enjoyed this guide and our alternative recommendations. If you want to learn more about the many acoustic options we discussed in this guide, feel free to take a look at some of our other reviews. On Soundproofing Solutions we will guide you towards all the best acoustic products and solutions!