How Much Does it Cost to Soundproof a Room?
There’s always a stark difference in sound quality before and after soundproofing a room. That difference is what often separates professional recordings from amateurs. This makes soundproofing an important task for anyone looking to go pro.
Regardless of the materials you decide to go with, the basics of soundproofing a room are usually the same. However, the amount of work and cost of materials will vary based on the total square footage of the room.
In this article, we will dive into soundproofing costs, as well as the different nuances that could affect your total expenses.
So, how much does it cost to soundproof a room?
Generally, soundproofing a room will cost between $1,000 and $2,500 for the fresh materials. You will need to pay for the materials, which vary based on their characteristics and the volume you will need to cover your room. There are also labor and equipment costs that you should consider.
Some of the topics that this post covers will include:
- Breaking Down the Cost of Soundproofing:
- Wall Soundproofing
- Ceiling Soundproofing
- Window Soundproofing
- Door Soundproofing
- Floor Soundproofing
- Tips to Consider When Soundproofing a Room
- The Cheapest Ways to Soundproof Your Room
Breaking Down the Cost of Soundproofing
There are two reasons for soundproofing - to keep noise out, and to trap the sound being produced. Depending on the places noise filters into your room, you may need to take a slightly different approach to soundproofing.
To that end, here are the most common places to soundproof, the various materials that you can use, and their general cost estimates:
The walls are arguably the most soundproofed part of the house. They are also the most challenging to soundproof, so it's only fitting that we get to them first. You can generally find several ways to soundproof your walls. Some of the most popular options available to you include:
Mass-loaded vinyl is one of the most popular sound-blocking materials. It blocks both impact-caused and airborne noise, and it also addresses disturbances like buzzing and vibrations.
You might need to combine mass-loaded vinyl to block noise effectively, but this material is pretty much all you need.
Mass-loaded vinyl is pretty easy to find. You can get enough mass-loaded vinyl to cover up to 36 square feet for about $150. All in all, the material should cost between $100 and $200 for an average room. Note that this might not be the case for yours.
You can either apply mass-loaded vinyl on the wall's surface or inside the walls. Either way, its considerable thickness will be enough to prevent the entrance of noise. If you can combine it with other materials, the better for you.
Mineral Wool Batts
Also known as Rockwool batts, these work well with other soundproofing materials as well. Their effectiveness comes from their density and thickness, and they're usually inserted between your wall joists to improve the latter's density.
Mineral wool batts are about the same price as mass-loaded vinyl, with the average cost being between $50 and $150, based on the room size.
Acoustic panels are especially popular for their use in reducing echoes. They come in different materials, including:
- Foam panels: These are ideal for reducing echoes. They are thick and dense, and they are the pens you usually see in studios. A pack of 12 panels usually goes for less than $20.
- Fiberglass panels: These panels also work for overly loud noises. They are easy to install and are better for dealing with noise than foam panels. A pack of 12 fiberglass panels costs about $70. While they might be more expensive, they definitely give you enough bang for your buck.
When it comes to fiberglass panels, you will need no less than four to soundproof a room entirely. Numbers might be even higher when you consider the size of your room. So, you should be prepared to spend no less than $100, based on the type of panel you choose.
Most buildings usually have drywall installed. While it is an essential wall component, it also has the added benefit of possibly helping with noise pollution. There are generally two types of drywall - regular and soundproof drywall.
Regular drywall works great as an added layer of defense, allowing it to block incoming noise easily. On average, regular drywall that measures 12 by 12 inches should cost about $600.
On the flip side, soundproof drywall works even better than the regular version when blocking noise. This type of drywall was specifically designed to address noise pollution, so you know it works even better. With additional materials built into it, this type of drywall costs between $1,000 and $1,200 for a 12 by 12 measurement.
The process of soundproofing your ceiling is similar to that of soundproofing your walls. So, the most popular material options available to you are acoustic panels and mass-loaded vinyl.
While the material prices don't differ, there are differences in soundproofing methods for walls and ceilings. Due to gravity, soundproofing ceilings is a tad more challenging. Most of the materials are pretty heavy, so you might need some help installing them in your ceiling.
Still, you should be fine if you have a neighbor or a friend who can help you around.
Window soundproofing is another area where you have multiple options as far as materials go. These options were built specially to help with the task, and they are relatively affordable. They include:
Soundproof curtains are perhaps the best way to insulate your windows from unwanted external noise. They are thick and specially designed to protect against airborne noise.
When purchasing these, it is recommended that you get options that come with eyelets. These curtains are much easier to install, and while they are a tad more expensive, you will find that this convenience in installation is worth the extra cost.
Soundproof curtains generally cost about $25. However, note that you will need to also get curtain rods, which vary based on size. On average, the rods should cost about $20.
A window plug is a temporary or permanent structure inserted inside a window and which sits beside it. These plugs prevent noise from entering the space. They improve a window's Sound Transmission Class (STC) - the rating used to indicate how well an element can mitigate airborne noise.
However, window plugs also have a demerit - they block sunlight and air from entering the room as well. So, they work best as a temporary solution to noise pollution.
Depending on your window size, window plugs shouldn't cost more than $50.
Seal Window Gaps
The most common solution for soundproofing your windows is to seal the gaps in the windows themselves. Sometimes, you will find that even the smallest gaps can still let in a lot of noise. Sealing them will help cut down on it significantly.
Weatherstrip tape is a popular gap sealant. A sufficient amount of this material to work for an average-sized room should cost less than $20.
Soundproofing a door isn't so much of a taxing investment. With less than $100, you should be able to get it done quickly and effectively. The options available for door soundproofing include:
Moving blankets work exceptionally well due to their ability to absorb sound. With their thickness, they provide an additional layer of defense. As we know, when it comes to noise, it is better to have as many layers of defense as you can.
For moving blankets, you should be able to get one that measures 72 x 8 inches for about $40. note that they are a tad heavy, so you might need to get a rod on which you can hang them. That will cost extra.
All in all, moving blankets shouldn't run you more than $60 for a single door.
Just as it is with wall soundproofing, you can also get acoustic panels for your doors. These materials are versatile and can pretty much be put anywhere. Since you can choose between foam and fiberglass panels, you don't have much to worry about.
We already know the cost of these materials - about $20 for foam panels and $70 for fiberglass panels.
Weatherstrip and Door Sweep
Like windows, you could also decide to seal cracks and spaces in your doors to prevent the entrance of noise. So, weatherstrip tape is an exceptional choice as far as this solution is concerned.
The only problem with this plan is the bottom part of the door - the area between it and the floor. Since that part is critical to the door's functionality, you won't be able to seal it, and noise will still come in from there.
For the bottom part of your door, you could try using a silicone door sweep. It is flexible and effective, allowing you to open and close your door easily while providing an opportunity to reduce noise. It is also advantageous because it reduces thermal leaks and the entry of bugs.
Since it's pretty cheap, a silicone floor sweep is an ideal product for you.
Soundproofing your floors is relatively easy. You most likely won't have any noise emanating from the floor, so you should more or less be good with some thick carpeting. This option will help to reduce echo bouncing from the noise you create in your room.
Your carpet cost will depend on the area being covered, the thickness, and the type of carpet you choose.
What You Need to Know to Properly Soundproof Your Room
When it comes to soundproofing, you should do your best not to simply fly blindly. You want to optimize the process as much as possible to get the best results for the least cost. To that end, try to keep a lookout for the following:
The Noise's Origin
The first point you need to consider is where the majority of the noise comes from. Thankfully, this is pretty easy. The noise could be coming from outside (such as your neighbors or a nearby airport) or from the inside (a TV set, a home theater, etc.)
By finding this source, you can easily understand how best to act and move forward from there.
The Noise's Entry Point
You will also need to work out how the noise is traveling into your room. Understanding its entry point will be critical in understanding how to cut its flow if you want to block noise out.
Some of the common entry points include cracks in your doors, poorly-sealed windows, the base of your door, etc.
The Room's Reflection Point
Whenever sound hits a surface, it bounces off at the same angle where it hit. For instance, if someone is mowing a lawn close to your window, the sound travels straight through the window and keeps moving until it hits the far wall.
When you identify these reflection points, you could place some pieces of furniture strategically to break them. This way, you get to minimize the impact of sound in the home.
The Cheapest Ways to Soundproof Your Room
While soundproofing is relatively cheap, some makeshift ideas could help you save even more money on the process. Here are some that you could consider:
Rugs are excellent vibration dampeners. If you live in a residential building and have noisy neighbors, thick soundproofing rugs can help you block out noise from their TVs, stereos, and other sources.
While a rug will most likely not prevent you from hearing anything, it can go a long way in reducing harsh noises and vibrations.
If the noise gets into your room from the windows or the doors, weather stripping can be an effective solution for you. While weather stripping primarily focuses on preventing moisture from penetrating your room, it also has the benefit of blocking noise.
This process involves gluing a slim rubber tubing around your door frame. When you close your door, it creates a water-tight, air-tight, and noise-tight seal around the door. This way, the sound is unable to pass through, and you can enjoy your peace.
Blankets are beneficial when you urgently need some soundproofing. Once you find out where the noise comes from, you can muffle the source with some blankets. Hang blankets over the door or around the door frame to close any gaps, and you can do the same for your windows and walls.
Soundproofing becomes a necessity when different types of noise disturb your peace at home. However, there is no one-size-fits-all solution since noise can come from different sources and travel in various means.
So, it takes some decisive planning and careful execution to soundproof a room effectively. At the same time, you also want to ensure that you don't spend too much money on the process.
The breakdown above should give you a general idea of how much you will most likely spend on soundproofing. Keep in mind that you will need to also consider your room's size as this will have a significant implication on your total expenses.