How To Soundproof An Apartment Door (5 Ways To Do It!)
Apartment living can be fraught with issues. Noise is perhaps the greatest source of friction between apartment neighbors across the globe. Luckily, there are ways to soundproof your apartment door and many are relatively inexpensive.
To soundproof an apartment door, cover it with a soundproof blanket and seal any cracks leading out of the apartment. These include cracks along the side, top, and bottom of the door. If that isn’t sufficient, you can create a second wall or get a solid core door.
In this article, we will cover each step of soundproofing your apartment door. Try every step in succession until you have successfully blocked the noise. This will ensure that you don’t spend too much unnecessary time and effort if you don’t have to.
Before You Begin
Something you must understand before you try to soundproof your apartment door is that it will not be perfect. Completely soundproofing an apartment will not be possible with most peoples’ budgets and skillsets. However, you can cut the volume level significantly.
The reason why you can’t completely soundproof an apartment is that everything is connected. No matter what, sound will vibrate something in someone else’s apartment. In order to isolate a room entirely, you will have to build an apartment within an apartment.
The reason for this is that sound needs to dissipate. The thing that dissipates sound the most is air. Building a room within a room gives the sound enough air to completely die out. Of course, most apartment buildings will not allow you to do this.
Method 1: Use A Soundproof Blanket
One thing you can do to greatly reduce escaped sound is to use a soundproof blanket. Soundproof blankets are heavy, quilted sheets that are used for damping vibrations. They are also handy for moving should you find a more noise-friendly place.
When hanging a soundproof blanket, try to do it from the ceiling and not over the door itself. If you can leave some room between the blanket and the door, the sound will have more space to dissipate. This can greatly increase your chance of the soundproofing working.
The best part about soundproof blankets is that they are inexpensive. They are a great first step to figuring out your soundproofing possibilities. Add multiple layers of blankets for even better sound dissipation.
Method 2: Use A Door Sweep
One of the ways that sound escapes a room is underneath the door. Gaps under doors are responsible for a huge amount of noise leakage. Luckily, this gap can be covered up and filled by a door sweep.
Door sweeps are small strips of vinyl or rubber that are designed to fill in the space between the door and the floor. Their flexible material allows you to open and close the door freely without breaking the seal. They can be very helpful for blocking some sounds.
The downside to door sweeps is that if your door has gaps on all sides, they won’t solve your problem. Sometimes, doors do not fit perfectly and end up with small cracks in between the door and the jamb. This can contribute to even more sound escaping.
Method 3: Seal Up the Cracks
If this is the case for you, you will have to seal up the cracks. This can be done with weatherstripping usually used for keeping out cold air. As it turns out, it is also quite effective for keeping out sound.
To seal up the cracks in your door, apply the weather stripping to the jamb wherever you see gaps. The weatherstripping will help fill in those small but porous openings. You can apply it to both the jamb and the door if the gap is particularly large.
This, combined with a door sweep and soundproof blanket should do wonders to keep sound in. If you are still getting noise complaints, you can move on to the next steps. It is important to note, however, that these next steps require a little more construction.
Method 4: Create A Second Wall
Possibly the next best way to soundproof an apartment door besides building a room-within-a-room is creating a second wall. Starting from the ceiling to the floor create a sound lock between the new wall and your apartment door.
This can be done completely legitimately with framing and drywall or with mass loaded vinyl. Mass loaded vinyl is a material that is incredibly effective at absorbing sound waves. You can create a second wall with the mass loaded vinyl easily and fairly cheaply.
While permanent construction is one of the best options, it will not work for everybody. Not all apartment renters are going to be allowed to build a second wall. In this case, putting up a temporary, mass loaded vinyl wall could be a good solution.
Method 5: Get a New, Soundproof Door
Many doors in apartments are completely hollow with no hardwood core. This is more than likely due to meeting so many of them. Heavy doors are more likely to be found in single-family homes.
If your apartment door is hollow, a lot of soundproofing can be done by replacing it with a solid core door. Sound vibrates through the hollow door and uses it as a resonator. Think of your hollow apartment door as a gigantic acoustic guitar.
Always check with your property manager or landlord before replacing any doors. Oftentimes, if you offer to pay for a renovation, landlords will have no problem letting you do it. In the end, they end up with something better if you end up moving out.
Can You Fill A Hollow Door?
If you have a hollow door, the good news is that you can fill it. With spray foam insulation, you can seal up the gaps between the two sheets of your door. This is a fairly easy and inexpensive way to make your door more soundproof.
To fill in your hollow door, first drill holes in the top. Then you can spray the foam from the top into the hollow core of the door. Most hollow doors still have webbing and bracing inside, so you may have to drill holes in the bottom and fill it from there as well.
While filling a hollow door with foam insulation is a convenient and inexpensive fix, it won’t be as good as a new door. New solid core doors are incredibly heavy-duty and can stop a wide variety of vibration. Simply filling in the door with foam will not do the same thing.
Related Guide: How To Soundproof A Hollow Door
Does bubble wrap absorb sound?
As much as it seems like it would, bubble wrap does not absorb sound. Bubble wrap is smooth and flat which allows sound to bounce off it and reverberate. It does not have the same absorbent properties for sound as it does for our packages.
Does putting a towel under the door work for noise?
Putting a towel under your door can do a lot for mitigating the escape of sound. It operates on the same principle as the door sweep, but is not as permanent or convenient. The absorbent material of the towel will take on some of the vibrations of the sound waves.
What materials can block sound?
All kinds of materials are good at absorbing the vibrations of sound waves. The best materials are malleable and flexible to allow for the most absorption. Allowing a material to move around as much as possible will give it the best soundproofing qualities.
I am a writer and editor from The Bay Area, CA. When I'm not typing, I enjoy hiking, woodworking and gardening. I love sharing tips and discovering new trends in home improvement.
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