It is actually possible to soundproof your garage for under $1000 and still come away successful in your efforts. Here you will find detailed guidance on how to effectively soundproof your garage for under $1000.
How can I soundproof my garage for under $1000? You can soundproof your garage for under $1000 by using a variety of soundproofing acoustic foams, insulating materials, curtains, and caulk. One of the most effective ways to soundproof your garage is to use the room-within-a-room method. This method can actually be done in a way that doesn’t break the bank.
Below you will find more details on the ways that you can soundproof your garage for $1000. This guide seeks to help you weigh all your options to decide which approach will be most effective for your circumstances.
Build A Room Within Your Garage
One simple, affordable and yet effective way to soundproof your garage is to build a room within your garage.[Source] This is one of the more affordable methods as you will only need is 2 layers of drywall and a layer of insulation. The walls can be framed using wooden pallets that you may be able to get as surplus from warehouses and stores for a low price or free if you are lucky.
If you can’t locate wood pallets for a low price, you can also seek out cheap framing options that should still be relatively affordable, such as light structural lumber. Pine, spruce, and fir all qualify as light structural lumbers.
To achieve maximum isolation, you would construct a double wall system. This may not be realistic for your budget, though, as you still need to do something about windows and doors.
Thus, more affordable options still within the realm of the “room-within-a-room” method include single wall options such as:
- Installing staggered wall studs
- A wall equipped with soundproofing clips and channel
Staggered Wall Studs
Staggering wall studs increases the air gap between the two sides of a wall so that they are no longer touching. Air gaps between walls have a sound deadening effect. In a staggered-stud completion, the base and top of the walls are 2×6 inch boards, necessary to accommodate for extra separation between wall studs.
Then you will install the wall studs in an alternating pattern until you reach the end of each wall face where you will install a 2×2 inch wall stud on each side to allow for drywall to be nailed onto both sides of the wall. You can find specific instructions on wall stud spacing here.
You are encouraged to install some type of soundproofing fiberglass insulation or foam insulation blocks within the wall itself, in order to enhance the sound deadening capability of the wall. Affordable soundproofing insulation options for a $1000 project budget include Rockwool Acoustic Mineral Wool, an affordable option for small to medium-sized rooms.
Another affordable way to soundproof your garage is to install acoustic foam egg such as this studio sound insulation pad manufactured by Wengwei. The surface of this material closely resembles an egg box, hence the “acoustic foam egg” name. Each foam panel has dimensions of 24×48 inches and is 2 inches thick.
Acoustic foam can dampen noise to a great extent. It is effective enough as a soundproofing agent to cause a noticeable difference, even if it is only installed between the panels of a door shutter. Check out our article on Best Acoustic Foam Panels here.
Start off your soundproofing efforts at a low cost by applying an acoustic caulk such as the type found online here. Apply the specially-formulated caulk to the perimeters of walls and ceilings and around windows, doors, and other voids. The caulk offers an advantage over foam or any other such rigid barrier in that it will be able to adjust to the settling of the building.
You may be luckily surprised at how well the caulk is at soundproofing your garage. The magnitude of noise traveling through voids at windows and doors is quite significant. Some studies show that 90% of noise comes through windows rather than walls.
This would suggest that much of your attention should be diverted to windows, doors, and the voids around them when it comes to coming up with a process for soundproofing your garage. Your walls may actually not need that much work to become more soundproof. When operating on a tight budget, to begin with, you certainly do not want to overspend on unnecessary wall upgrades.
Soundproof Doors and Windows
Since doors and windows represent the primary stopgap for noise traveling to and from your garage, you are encouraged to invest in a door or window that will not undermine all that work you did try to soundproof your walls.
One way to achieve greater soundproofing with your windows is to install extra framed windows in the space, provided that you have enough room to do so. You are also encouraged to explore the option of adding double pane windows, such as this Double Pane Tempered Glass Vertical Slider.
You may not have any windows in your garage, but you likely do have at least one door that is either connected to the interior of the house or the exterior of the garage. Installing a heavy door that seals tightly when closed should be a priority of yours.[Related Articles: Discover 5 Proven Ways to Soundproof Interior Doors]
Soundproofing Your Garage Door
Perhaps the biggest challenge to adequately soundproofing your garage is soundproofing your garage door. You can max out your soundproofing efforts with the walls, windows, and doors and still come away disappointed because the garage door undermines those soundproofing efforts.
One of the more affordable and practical ways to soundproof your garage door is to add some type of insulation against the interior side of the garage door.
When you are looking for insulation, you want to make sure that you select a type that is compatible with its intended use and will not present a safety hazard. Insulation may work great as a soundproofing material, but too much of it can become a fire hazard.
One type of insulation that is commonly utilized for this purpose is R9 foil insulation, such as this U.S. Energy Products NASATEK R9 Garage Insulation Kit. This foil insulation kit includes glue for easy insulation. Aluminum foil comes with the potential not only to block out sound, but also to regulate the interior temperature of the garage.
Acoustic Melamine Foam is specifically designed for these purposes. Although it comes in at a slightly higher price than the aluminum foil, it should be significantly more effective at soundproofing. The soundproofing abilities of this material are well-known, with multiple studies, such as this one, mentioning the soundproofing abilities of melamine foam.
Since the foam does have the potential to be a significant part of your $1000 budget, you will need to find a creative way to make the most of your supply. This should not be too difficult, since even covering just the garage door alone will dampen the sound to a significant degree.
Melamine foam is known for being lightweight and easy to handle. It is also resistant to rapid temperature changes, combining sound absorption and thermal properties to a significantly greater degree than the aluminum foil can.
Heavy Curtains Can Help with Soundproofing
Heavy curtains can actually help your soundproofing efforts immensely. There has been quite a bit of research performed on developing soundproofing curtains. Researchers at the University of South Florida were able to develop a curtain that combines sound absorption and reflection to minimize the sound coming through a workspace.
If you happen to have a window in your garage you likely find it as a bit of an unusual inconvenience. Garages are typically used as studios or workshops for the reason that they have fewer elements to worry about soundproofing than other rooms in the house.
You can dampen the sound at garage windows by hanging up a curtain such as the Nicetown Microfiber Noise Reducing Window Curtains. These curtains also serve the purpose of regulating the interior temperature of the garage via a triple weave fabric. You may even want to buy these curtains for the other rooms in your house.[Related Article: 5 Best Sound Deadening Curtains For Your House]
Soundproofing Ceilings and Floors
Don’t underestimate the importance of also soundproofing the ceilings and floor of your garage. This is because heavy materials, including poured concrete, have the ability to reflect sound.
Wood floors, in particular, require some type of soundproofing material if you are looking to regulate the travel of sound within the enclosure. If your garage space is not very large, it is practical to install anti-vibration isolation pads such as these ones. The rubber and cork floor mat is excellent for isolating the sound and are sturdy enough for heavy equipment.
You can also find floor mats that you can easily roll out such as this insulation mat for soundproofing made out of fiberglass material. It is a more affordable option for soundproofing your floor than the rubber and floor mat tires, but it is not as thick. The floor mat has a water-resistant glue at the bottom for easy attachment.
Soundproofing ceilings are approximately ten times more difficult than soundproofing floors, according to Basic Home Studio Design by Paul White. This is because it is difficult to find a soundproofing surface that will adhere to the ceiling without falling down.
You could construct some kind of a false ceiling underneath the true ceiling for the purpose of further dampening the sound the room. This approach will likely require you to hire a contractor for safety reasons. If you are operating on a $1000 budget, you may consider skipping any attempt to soundproof the ceiling and still come away successful in your efforts.
If your garage is unfinished, then it will be simple to drape a type of soundproofing barrier over the wall studs. It is recommended that you mark wall stud locations on the floor so that you will know where they are if you end up using multiple layers of soundproofing materials.[Source]
One of the most popular soundproofing materials for walls is the Sounds late Vinyl MLV Soundproofing Barrier. This barrier can easily be rolled out and nailed to the wall studs. It’s flexible structure also makes it easier to maneuver.
MLV stands for mass loaded vinyl. This type of material is well-known for being an excellent sound dampening by preventing sound energy from being converted into vibration energy. This means that the MLV soundproofing barriers will effectively keep sound from escaping your garage, making your neighbors happy.
Understanding STC Ratings & Basic Science Behind Soundproofing
Selecting a soundproofing system for your garage that is both affordable and effective does require some basic knowledge of the science behind soundproofing an interior space. Adding any type of soundproofing material to a partition will increase the STC rating of a material.
The STC rating of a material is the Sound Transmission Class rating of that material, defined as the magnitude of how well a building partition alters the travel of sound. The integer in the rating corresponds to how much the sound is reduced from one side of the wall to the other, in decibels.
If a material has an STC rating of 40 than you should be able to measure a sound amplitude (or volume) of 80 decibels in one side of the wall and an amplitude of 40 decibels on the other side. Unfortunately, the frequency of the sound being emitted does affect the degree to which you will be able to alter the perceived noise level.
Low-frequency sounds are more difficult to reduce than high-frequency noises. Common sources of low-frequency noise can include pieces of workshop equipment such as air compressors, ventilation units, and other air movement machinery. Diesel machinery and some types of loudspeakers also emit low-frequency noises.
A change of 5 in the STC rating corresponds to a 10 decibels change in volume. This magnitude of change in volume is clearly noticeable to the human ear. You may even be able to notice a change with an STC rating of 3 if your hearing is good enough.
Place Soundproofing Stripping Under Doors
One affordable solution for soundproofing your garage involves applying soundproofing weather stripping around doors in your garage. Doors represent a great challenge to soundproofing efforts by potentially cutting the STC rating of any wall in half, according to researchers at the University Of North Texas.
You can reduce this effect by placing weather stripping underneath the doors so that there is less of a channel there for sound to travel through. Popular options include Magzo Window Weather Stripping Seals. This is a high-density weather seal that will also serve to regulate temperature, making your garage significantly more comfortable.
You would probably be surprised at how effective this material is. It presents itself as an excellent stopgap against an overlooked channel of noise pollution in your garage. You will be able to avoid having to pay to replace that annoying door in your garage. You will also be able to enjoy the convenience of having extra doors in your garage, all while not having to pay the price when it comes to acoustics.
Adding Any Type of Insulation Will Be an Improvement
Even if you cannot afford to soundproof your garage to the degree seen in a professional setting, you will still be able to notice a difference. This is to say that you shouldn’t scrap your soundproofing plans, just because you have set your budget at $1000.
Even the more affordable methods for soundproofing your garage will be effective:
- Installation insulation increases the STC rating by approximately 4-6 decibels
- Doubling the mass of any barrier will increase its STC rating by about 5 decibels
- This is typically accomplished via the addition of materials such as gypsum boards or acoustic foam panels
- Adding an air space of 3 inches within a partition will increase the STC rating by approximately 6 decibels
One of the most common misperceptions is that you must use a professional soundproofing service to successfully soundproof your garage. As you have seen in this article, there are a large variety of DIY soundproofing endeavors that can actually be quite successful. A great example comes from the research done at the University of North Texas, where it was found that you could make your garage much more soundproof just by filling air gaps underneath doors.