It can be tough to keep your private conversations, well… private. This is especially true if your doors aren’t soundproofed. With thin doors, anyone who passes by your home can listen in on the private moments of your life. This can cause all sorts of sensitive information to leak out.
If you hate talking in a hushed tone just to keep your conversation private, then perhaps it’s time to get soundproofing. With these types of doors, all your private conversations and activities will stay perfectly confidential.
In this handy guide, we’re going to take a look at some of the best ways to keep sounds from escaping through your doors.
Why Is It Important to Soundproof a Door?
To create a completely private space, you need to soundproof much more than just your doors. Your windows, sliding doors, and ceiling may also need acoustic treatments.
That said, your doors are the perfect place to start because this is where most of the sound escapes from. The door is usually the biggest gap in a wall which means most noise can easily escape through an open door, and even when your doors are closed, there’s usually a gap below and around the door that allows acoustical waves to escape.
Installing a soundproof door or soundproofing your doors has many benefits. Here’s a quick look at some of the top benefits of soundproofing your doors:
Eliminates Door Noises
Doors can be pretty loud. People love to slam doors when they feel excited or get angry. They can also make very loud noises when they are blown shut by the wind. Soundproofing can reduce noises like slamming or creaking.
No one on the outside can listen in on your private conversations if sound cannot escape. The private information you discuss with family members, colleagues, or business associates will stay private.
You can make as much noise inside your home or building as you like when you have soundproofing. With acoustic treatments, you can turn up the volume on your home entertainment system as much as you like, party all night with loud music, or you can practice playing music without disturbing anyone else.
The tools used to soundproof your home also insulates these spaces. Insulation keeps interior spaces cooler during summertime and warmer during wintertime. This can reduce your need for artificial heating. When you can get by without using the air-conditioner, you can save a lot of money on energy.
Improved Interior Comfort
With acoustic treatments for a soundproof door, you can create an ideal interior environment. You can run a humidifier to increase the humidity inside, get a dehumidifier to create a drier interior environment, or invest in an air purification system for your home. The interior air will stay at the ideal level for much longer when your doors are properly sealed.
Reduced Street Noises
People who work from home or who work night shifts often struggle to get enough sleep. Barking dogs, crying children, honking traffic, arguing neighbors, and engine noises can be very loud, especially when you’re trying to take a nap.
Acoustic treatments don’t just trap sound inside. It also keeps sounds from entering your home. The entire interior space will be much quieter.
The Basics of Sound Transmission
Before we get into how you can achieve a soundproof door, you need to understand that there are different levels of soundproofing. Not all doors are equally soundproof.
Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings are used to measure the acoustical performance of products. These ratings can be used to determine the values of doors, walls, ceilings, and windows. The higher the STC value of a product is, the more inaudible sounds become.
Here’s a quick look at common STC values:
- STC 25 – At this value, you can clearly understand normal speech from outside a door.
- STC 30 – At this value, you can understand loud speech but not normal speech.
- STC 35 – At this value, you can’t understand loud speech but it’s audible.
- STC 41 – At this value, loud speech sounds like a low murmur.
The Best Ways to Achieve a Soundproof Door
There are lots of things you can do to soundproof your door or reduce the intensity of noises you hear coming through the door. Here’s a quick look at some of the best techniques to try.
Get a Solid Core Door
This is one of the best and easiest ways to soundproof your doors.
Doors are made from all sorts of materials. Affordable doors are usually made from two sheets of thin paneling. They sometimes have honeycomb cardboard layers inside. These hollow core doors are not ideal for your home exteriors because they are easy to break through. Hollow core doors are often used inside buildings in offices.
Hollow core doors are not soundproof at all. These doors have an STC rating of 15 – 20. You can tell whether you have a hollow core door by knocking on it. If you hear an echo inside, the door is hollow on the inside.
Solid core doors are made from solid wood sheets or slabs. A solid core mineral wood door has an STC rating of 28 – 30 without using any other acoustic materials. They are much heavier and also a lot more expensive than hollow core doors. Investing in solid core doors will also increase your home security because these doors are much harder to break into.
You can also consider a honeycomb hollow core door that is made of metal. These doors have a higher STC rating of 32 – 36. They’re more soundproof than solid wood doors. However, metal doors are often avoided because they can be very loud when they’re banged shut.
Install Soundproof Wedges on Your Door
This is a good solution for those who cannot afford a solid core door. Instead of replacing your door with a soundproof door, you can make it more soundproof by installing soundproof wedges or acoustic foam panels on the door. These panels are used to soundproof walls, but they can be just as functional for your door.
These wedges are made of cell foams that block out sounds. They come in tile form and can be cut into smaller sizes.
To use these wedges, you need to connect the different tiles to each other by using soundproofing tape. Keep connecting panels until you have enough to cover the back of your door. Cut off the remaining edges and glue the panels to your door.
You can also buy soundproof foams in rolls or sheets. Sheets or rolls can be a better option because you won’t have to connect the pieces with tape. Your door won’t have a very good look but you’ll no longer be able to hear street noises and loud voices outside the door will be muffled.
Install a Door Sweep
A door sweep can help enhance your STC ratings no matter what type of door you have. This is a very easy and quick way to soundproof your door.
All doors, and especially interior doors, have a large gap underneath the door. This gap is created so the door can be opened and shut easily without getting caught on a carpet or rug, but sounds can easily travel through these gaps.
There are quite a few different types of door sweeps on the market. Here’s a quick look at the main types:
Dust sweep: These sweeps have bristles that sweep away dirt when you open the door. The bristles also keep dust out of your home but aren’t very good at blocking sound.
Storm sweep: These sweeps are great for blocking out stormwater or for keeping insects out of your home. They’re better at blocking out sound but not ideal.
Soundproof sweep: These sweeps will keep dust, water, and insects out of your home. They’re also great for soundproofing because they have thick padding that blocks out noises. These sweeps usually slide in underneath the door and have padded sides on both sides of the door.
Door sweeps will also help insulate your home. No chilly air can blow into your home during wintertime and all that cozy hot air will stay trapped inside.
Weatherstrips are designed to keep wind, dust, and rain out of your home, but these strips can also be functional for soundproofing your doors. These strips can also be installed in windows.
They’re usually sold in rolls and have a squishy or spongy feel to them. This elastic product compresses when you shut the door to create a seal, but you can still close your door with ease because the strip is soft and flexible.
Any type of weatherstrips will work great for soundproofing your doors. They’re self-adhesive so you can install them with ease.
To install these strips, you need to properly clean your entire door frame and your door edges. Now peel off a section of the strip and stick it inside the door frame. Be careful to install the strip in the area where the door makes contact with the frame when it’s closed.
When these strips are in place all sounds will be muted. Your home will also be insulated and protected from insects.
Get a Vinyl Door Gasket
Vinyl door gaskets look a lot like weatherstrip. They’re made from different materials and they’re more expensive.
These door gaskets are usually installed to keep water and moisture out of a building and can also be used to seal the gaps around the door so cold air or light can’t get into the building.
These gaskets are sold in rolls with an adhesive side. The installation process is a lot like weatherstrip’s installation.
You need to clean the surface properly. Check to identify the area where the door is closest to the door frame. Your door gasket should be applied in this region.
Once installed, your doors will be more insulated and will have a higher soundproofing level.
Install Sound Isolation Padding Tape
This tape is a good alternative to weatherstripping or door gaskets and can even be used to seal off gaps or cracks that might still be present after installing a weatherstrip or a door gasket. These tapes are designed to break sound waves to create a soundproof door.
Sound isolation padding tape is quite affordable. There are also many different types available on the market. The tape is usually very thin compared to door gaskets but they’re often sold in wider rolls. You can also get tiny plaster-like strips that can be used to cover small holes in your weatherstrip or door gaskets.
You can also get this tape if the openings around your door are very slim. Get a thick padded tape and stick it inside your door where the door makes contact with your frame.
Seal the Cracks and Gaps
Once you have a weatherstrip or door gasket in place, you need to check for gaps or cracks. A lot of sounds can escape through these cracks.
Cracks are very common in older homes or homes with older doors. These doors are often more worn down. The foundation of older homes might have also shifted to create gaps.
To check for small holes you can turn on the lights inside and step out of the room at night. You should be able to identify cracks or gaps in your gasket or weatherstrip because the light will shine through these gaps.
All gaps should be sealed off properly. You can seal off these tiny gaps by using a soundproofing sealant. Some noise-proofing sealants will fit nicely in a caulking gun so you can apply them easily.
Add a large amount of noise proofing sealant to cracks alongside your door frame. When the sealant dries off completely, you can conceal it by painting it.
Hang a Soundproof Blanket
A soundproof blanket can be a quick temporary solution. This is also a good option for tenants that aren’t allowed to modify their homes or apartments.
Acoustic absorbing blankets are a good solution for music rooms. They also absorb some of the echoes in the room which can improve your sound quality while you’re practicing your music or recording.
There are quite a few different types of soundproof blankets that you can buy. Some of these blankets are very affordable.
Soundproof blankets are made with built-in fiberglass fibers. These fiberglass fibers are terrific sound absorbers. Some of these blankets are also designed with fittings or grommets so you can easily hang them over a door.
While these blankets are a good temporary solution, they’re not ideal for permanent use and don’t look very nice in front of your door. It can also be annoying to get in and out of your home with a blanket hanging in your way. Attaching the blanket around your door frame so all sounds will be blocked out is another potentially challenging aspect of this method.
Get a Soundproofing Door Kit
Soundproofing door kits are usually sold as a full set. You can buy single-sided soundproofing that only comes on one side of the door, or you can get double-sided sets that include enough paneling for both sides of the door.
These sets usually include soundproofing foam that has sticky tabs so you can glue them to the door. The sets can also include foam weather strips that you apply inside the door frame, and they may even include a door sweep.
When you buy a set, you should make sure that the set includes everything you need. Some sets may only include soundproofing foam for your door. Without weatherstrips to seal your door edges and a door sweep, a lot of sounds will still get through the door.
The only issue with these kits is that it can sometimes be hard to keep your doors clean. Normal wood or metal doors can easily be wiped clean using a wet cloth. The foam surface of soundproofing foam can capture a lot of dust and dirt and will be hard to remove for cleaning.
Get a Door Seal Kit
Door seal kits can also be a good option if you want to reduce noise levels without changing the look of your door.
There are quite a few different types of door seal kits available on the market. These kits usually include various materials that are needed for creating a full seal around your solid core door. They often contain a door jamb, door bottoms, and a threshold. These kits usually come with lots of instructions to help you install the kit.
A soundproof door can be a true blessing to have if you’re working from home or if you want to enhance your personal safety. We hope that this guide helped you find a good and affordable soundproofing solution so you can improve your home life.
Be sure to have a look at some of our other soundproofing guides for more advice on how to soundproof other parts of your home or building!