Let’s agree on two things before you start to soundproof interior doors.
One, the doors of a room is one of the media through which noise gets into the house.
Two, most interior doors are made of the hollow core that could not serve as sound insulators.
While this is true, when it comes to the argument about hollow core doors vs. solid core doors, it is still cost-friendly to choose the former as interior doors. The cost of fixing the many interior doors will reduce drastically.
However, this decision will lead to sound penetrating through the materials of the door. Also, if the door isn’t fixed correctly, the sound would come in through the bottom of the door or through the spaces around the frame.
Now, what do you do if you want calmness, a bit of solitude, in your room?
Maybe your room is very private, and your neighbors are loud people; they enjoy loud music, and when they walk in the exterior lobby, their footsteps force you to wake up.
If you have already soundproofed the walls and ceiling and windows and leave out the doors, your job is 70 percent complete. Then you need a fix.
And here’s the deal.
You can soundproof your interior doors, (those hollow core doors with spaces around the frame) in five simple steps.
Is it that easy?
Yes, easier than replacing the doors with solid woods.
Let’s get started
Why Should You have Sound Blocking Doors?
➥ They allow some privacy
Noise will not come into the room when you need to calm down or sleep, or you want to read your favorite novels.
And when you want to play songs and lock your door to sleep, you can simply do that without Mrs Intruder banging the door to tell you to lower the volume.
The sound will not get to the exterior and disturb others. This literally means you will not be enjoying at the expense of others. They might not even know what you are up to.
➥ They make it easy to work from home
Those who work at home understand the importance of a favorable working environment.
If your office is located at home where there are other occupants, then soundproofing the interior door will save you many headaches. Soundproofing your doors will encourage concentration and enhance productivity.
➥ They allow you to enjoy quality sounds
So you want to enjoy good music sounds like an artist. If the door is not soundproofed, the noise from outside can mix with the sound and reduce the quality you hear.
In this point, sound blocking doors are very important.
So soundproofing makes you enjoy pure sounds, and it lets you enjoy your practice.
5 Best Ways to Soundproof Interior Doors
When you are thinking of how to soundproof internal doors, you should also think of how to soundproof door bottom.
There is usually a little space at the bottom of most doors which can permit sound to get into the interior of a room. It would help if you did both.
Before you start soundproofing the interior door, you should first identify followings.
What type of door is it? Hollow core door vs. solid core door
If the door is made of solid (strong, usually denser woods), it will be easier to soundproof them: they aren’t that penetrable to sound.
However, if the door is made to have a hollow core, i.e., there is space between the two layers that cover the front and back of the door; you might need to do more.
In this article, I will talk specifically on how to deal with the hollow core doors. The methods work for both in case you have solid core doors.
Are there other spaces you need to attend to?
These include cracks on the door and the bottom of the door. Cracks are quite easy to locate. Close the door and check all the areas around the frame to see if there is a gap. Gaps are the link for noise to get inside and outside of the room.
In case you aren’t sure if there is a gap after you lock the door, off the light inside your room and close your windows. Now see if rays of the sun from outside are getting inside through the door frame.
Let’s get started!
01. Start with Sealing or Covering the Door Bottom
If a little gap can allow light inside, it can also allow sound. Use any of these materials to seal the space:
➦A weatherstripping tape: The door should have one, but if not, you could get one. Weatherstripping tape is made with materials that absorb sounds, and they come with adhesives, which make them easy to apply.
➦A door gasket: This is another material that absorbs sound when they are applied at the header or jambs of the door. Door gaskets are costlier and can block both light and moisture along with the sound.
If the gap at the bottom of the door is too broad, consider using a door sweep as described in the next step.
02. Install a Soor Sweep
First, what is a door sweep?
It is made of rubber or plastic and then fixed to aluminum. It is used to cover the space at the bottom of the door, and it does more work than preventing sound from getting inside.
Earlier, in step one; I have suggested using some materials to seal the space at the bottom of your door. However, when you use a door sweep, you are not just soundproofing; the result is just more than you bargained for.
The door sweep will cover the space and prevent moisture from air conditioner from escaping the room. This is a good thing because when the humidity is retained, the amount of energy required to cool the room will be minimal, unlike when the moisture escapes and fresh ones have to be generated.
That’s not all.
Another advantage is that it keeps insects and dust out of the room which it is used.
The disadvantage of installing a door sweep
They are challenging to fix. They are not like the gasket or the weatherstripping tapes or the acoustic blankets. After purchasing the sweep, you will find a fastener on them which you have to drill and screw into the door. That doesn’t sound easy at all.
How to install a door sweep ( the challenge accepted)
- Loose the screw on the door sweep if there is one before.
- If there isn’t an old one, drill holes for the screws.
- Cut the new door sweep and ensure it is the same length as the door.
- Place the door sweep on the bottom, and open and close the door without fuse.
- Now screw the sweep tight.
03. Hanging Acoustic Blankets
We have talked about this process in my other post. You can read it here.
Generally, acoustic blankets (or the alternative moving blankets) are designed to reduce the level of noise in a space.
First, you will buy specially-made acoustic blankets or use moving blankets, depending on the amount you can afford. Then hang the blanket at the back of the door just like you will hang a curtain.
And, you are done.
This process is super easier. And if you are tired of using them, you will simply de-hang, (I mean, remove) them.
Disadvantages of hanging acoustic blankets
Well, most blankets aren’t as beautiful as the latest curtain with designs. They are just dull and look like a loser in terms of aesthetic. So putting them in your room will not be an encouraging choice if you are like most people who want aesthetics and quality sounds.
If you must use them, you might consider using in other rooms where aesthetic is not that important, your laundry, for example.
(You can always go for other options; we are just in the second step out of five.)
04. Soundproof with Panels (Acoustic Panels or Mass Loaded Vinyl)
➥ Using acoustic panels
Interior doors can be penetrable to sound, but with an acoustic panel attached, the door will resist sound. It is like creating a barrier on the surface of the door to prevent noise from getting inside.
This is how to go about.
First, you will need to buy an acoustic panel. They come in various forms and qualities which you have to choose a good one. Fiberglass soundproof blankets are quite expensive, but you can make do with acoustic foam panels.
read out full guideline on best Best Acoustic Foam Panels 2019
The latter are made of materials which reduce the air resistance and thus reduce the amount of sound (the amplitude of sound waves just decreases). The only shortcoming is that foams acoustic panels aren’t beautiful at all so you might want to look further for a beautiful and quality panel.
How can you actually use this?
After you have acquired the acoustic panel of your choice, you will attach them on the surface of the door. Try not to use nails as this will leave marks and damage the door. Instead, you could use staples or adhesives, depending on the acoustic panel.
➥ Using mass loaded viny
What is the real story?
The mass loaded vinyl is expensive and effective. (If you buy the cheaper ones, the effectiveness will reduce.) However, it serves the same purpose as the acoustic panels, preventing sound from entering.
To use it, get this thick material from your local store and cut it into the same size as the back of your door. Now place it over the door and glue it tightly with adhesives. Don’t use nails, but you can use staples.
05. Work on the Source
You know the door is just a walkway for sounds of passing through. To reduce the level of sound reflection and absorption around this opening, you can simply place some materials around it.
What material are you talking about?
➥ Use Acoustic Carpet (Rugs)
The materials of rugs will absorb echoes to an extent. Now if you place a couple around your door, one on either side, you will definitely and indirectly reduce the level of noise that comes in.
Using Acoustic Carpets alone will not give you the result you want; so use them (or any of the materials in this last step) as a compliment to other steps in the article. Rugs especially are very easy to use with no different tedious process than to buy them and put them on the floor.
However, ensure they are made of quality fabric like the polypropylene fiber, and ensure your choice is beautiful.
➥ Use Heavy Canvas Paintings (Decorative Sound Absorbing Panels)
Although in term of cost, your best option will be to use rugs, heavy canvas paintings (Decorative Sound Absorbing Panels) can work too. Hang them around the room or near the door and notice how things change.
Use Soundproof Curtains
They aren’t the typical curtains you use on the door. They are SOUNDPROOF curtains. If you are really concerned about the aesthetic of your room, then this is the best choice.
The soundproof curtains are available in various designs and colors that could match an existing room design and fit your favorite color perfectly. You will not only reduce the level of noise, but you will be adding to the beauty of your room.
You will buy them and fix them on your door like you will do with a typical curtain, using drapes and curtain rods.
Wanna find out the best Soundproof Curtains? Click Here
Well, the shortcoming is common to both the acoustic blankets and the soundproof curtains. They obstruct the exterior views. Maybe your door is made of glass, giving a clear view of your car parked outside at some feet from the perfectly trimmed lawn.
Once the curtain is up above the door, such a beautiful view is gone till you remove them or come out of the door.
Final Thoughts on Soundproofing Interior Doors
Now you can soundproof interior doors with this useful guide. You will have the privacy you deserve and prevent external noise.
In fact, some of the methods have double benefits: reduce noise and beautify the room or reduce noise and improve the efficiency of your AC.
You will need some understanding, to begin with. What type of doors? Also, what kind of problems do you want to fix? If there are cracks, you need to attend to it. If you are just sealing the space at the bottom, then you won’t cover the entire surface of the door with acoustic panels.
Everything has been explained.
As explained in the article, some creativity can come in the way. You can combine some of the steps to achieve a more significant reduction in the level of sound entering the space to build sound blocking doors.
For example, seal gaps with weatherstripping, attach acoustic panels and complete the process by placing rugs at either side of the door.
It’s all up to you. You are working towards the best result. And I hope to hear how you go about it.
Useful resources you might like :
- 5 Ideas on How to Quiet a Noisy Air Conditioner
- How to Soundproof a Room from Outside Noise
- DIY Acoustic Panels: Let’s Build Sound Absorbing Panel
- How to Reduce Blender Noise