There’s always a few sounds that you notice every time you’re in your apartment. There’s probably a squeak that pops up when you open the door, your neighbors are too loud, or maybe it sounds like people are stomping around above you. No matter what noise it is, one thing is true, you want to soundproof your apartment door so that the noise is kept outside.
How to Soundproof an Apartment door? To soundproof an apartment door, use weatherstripping to seal any gaps, install a door sweep to block the bottom gap, add a soundproofing blanket or panel to the door, and use a solid-core door. Also use acoustic caulk to fill any remaining gaps and add a soundproof curtain over the door.
There are many different methods of soundproofing an apartment door and each one has its own pros and cons. The best method will depend on where you live, the materials available to you, and how much money you have to spend.
How to Soundproof an Apartment Door
Soundproofing an apartment door involves installing insulation, adding weatherstripping or using sound-deadening materials like cork tiles or rubber gaskets. Additionally, use rubber or foam door sweeps as they are designed to absorb sound by providing a cushioning barrier between the door and the floor.
Here are the most effective ways to reduce the amount of noise coming through your apartment door:
1. Install Weatherstripping
The first thing that you should consider to soundproof your apartment door is weatherstripping. Weatherstripping is a piece of rubber that goes around the door and creates an air seal.
It will help keep out sound from traveling through the door and into your home. The best part about this option is that it is very easy to install and won’t cost much money at all.
Here are the steps to install weather stripping correctly:
Step 1: Measure the length of door
To begin, measure the length of your door. Make sure to include the width of the door frame in your measurement. Don’t forget to measure both top and bottom of the frame.
Step 2: Cut weather strip to size
Then, use a sharp knife or utility knife to cut the weatherstripping to size. You can use a pencil to mark a line for cutting so that you don’t accidentally cut too much material off.
If you have any sharp edges after cutting, sand them down with fine sandpaper and blow away any dust.
Step 3: Install weather stripping
Weatherstripping comes with adhesive on one side. Peel off the protective covering to reveal this sticky surface.
Carefully stick the weatherstripping along the top of your door frame, starting at one end and working around until you’ve covered every part of your frame that touches when shut.
Step 4: Double check
Make sure the weatherstripping is straight and then press it firmly onto the door frame. Use a level to make sure it’s straight.
If necessary, use a putty knife or other tool to smooth out any air bubbles that appear between the weatherstripping and the door frame.
2. Install Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is a type of soundproofing material that can be applied to the inside or outside of any door. It’s also known as vinyl barrier and is often used in conjunction with other soundproofing methods.
MLV can help block out noise from outside and inside the home, so it’s an effective solution for doors that open into a noisy hallway or other room.
This material is easy to install and adds almost no weight or bulkiness to your door frame. It acts as a barrier against sound waves, muffling them before they reach you inside your apartment.
Note: Although it isn’t pretty to look at, this method will definitely keep noise from the outside from coming in.
Here are five easy steps to install MLV on the door:
Step 1: Measure the door
Measure the width and height of your door. Measure the distance from the top of the door to the bottom, and also measure how far apart each side is.
Once you have all of these measurements, they’ll be used to determine how much material you’ll need to purchase.
Step 2: Cut MLV to size
To cut the MLV, you’ll use a straight edge and utility knife. Just like cutting paper, you’ll line up your ruler with the short edge of your MLV and cut along it.
Step 3: Clean the surface
Clean the surface of your door with a clean cloth and a mild soap and water solution. Make sure to remove any soap residue with a damp cloth. Avoid using abrasive cleaners or scouring pads, as well as solvents or harsh chemicals.
Step 4: Apply adhesive to door
Applying adhesive to the door is a crucial step in this process. Make sure that the adhesive is applied evenly and smoothly, as it will be very visible after installation.
The easiest way to apply adhesive is with a trowel. Simply spread the adhesive in an even layer over the entire surface of your door.
Step 5: Install MLV on door
With the MLV in place, you can begin pressing it down with a roller. To get the adhesive to stick properly, use a heat gun to melt it as you press the fabric onto your door.
If there are any bubbles in the vinyl, use a squeegee to remove them before they have time to harden and become permanent.
3. Add a Door Gasket
You can reduce noise in your apartment by adding a door gasket. A door gasket is a foam strip that you install around the frame of your door to seal out drafts and provide an airtight seal.
A door gasket is typically made of rubber or foam and fits into the gap between the door and its frame. When properly installed, a door gasket helps prevent outside noise from coming in and reduces the amount of sound that escapes from inside your apartment.
Here, how you can add a door gasket to the apartment door:
Step 1: Door measurements
Use a ruler or tape measure to determine the height of the door, from top to bottom. Your foam gasket should be cut to match that measurement exactly; if it’s too long or short, you may find it doesn’t fit correctly when placed on your door.
Step 2: Drill holes in door gasket
To ensure that your door gasket will be properly secured to your door frame, you’ll first want to drill holes in it. There are two things to keep in mind when doing this:
- Make sure the holes are not too close to the edge of your door frame, as they might not offer enough support for the gasket and could cause damage if you’re trying to remove it later on.
- Make sure they aren’t too far away from either side of your door frame, or else there won’t be enough space for screws and nuts to secure them properly.
Step 3: Apply sealant
Now that you have your gasket in place and secured, it’s time to put a bead of silicone around the inside of your door frame. Silicone is an excellent sealant for this area because it is flexible, waterproof and durable.
Step 4: Seam door gasket
Seam your door gasket in place by pressing down on the gasket with either a credit card or seaming tool, working your way around the perimeter of the door.
This will ensure that air cannot pass through gaps in between the door and its frame, thereby creating a complete seal.
Step 5: Be patient
The silicone will be tacky when it comes out of the bucket. You have to wait until it is completely dry and hard before you can open or close the door without any issues.
If you don’t give yourself enough time and rush through this process, you risk pulling off some of your freshly applied gasket.
4. Attach a Door sweep
The easiest thing you can do to soundproof the apartment door is to add a door sweep. This is a small piece of rubber or foam that goes under the bottom of the door, and it reduces the amount of sound that comes in and out of your room. You can buy them at any hardware store or home improvement store.
A door sweep can be made of metal, rubber or foam. The most common type is made from flexible foam that fits over one side of the door. This type is easy to install, but it won’t last as long as metal or rubber versions because it will eventually wear out after repeated use.
Attach the door sweep by following the steps below:
- Step 1: Measure the width of your doorway to determine which size sweep you need.
- Step 2: Drill holes in the wall where you want to mount the sweep, then use a screwdriver to secure it in place with screws or nails.
5. Use Quilted Fiberglass Panel
Fiberglass insulation has been used to soundproof rooms for decades. It’s effective because fiberglass is an excellent sound barrier. It absorbs and reflects sound waves, making them unable to travel through the material.
Quilted fiberglass panels are similar to standard fiberglass insulation but have an extra layer of fabric between each layer of insulation, giving them extra strength and durability.
The quilting pattern breaks up sound waves and reduces the amount of noise coming through the door.
Quilted FIberglass Panels are readily available at most home improvement stores and they are pretty easy to install:
Step 1: Cut the panel too fit the door (Optional)
You need to cut this panel to fit your door (if it is not custom size) so there will be some work involved. But this process is easy if you have a table saw or circular saw with a fine tooth blade on it.
The trickiest part may be cutting around the jamb (the part where the door meets the wall). Use a utility knife for this step but make sure that you wear safety glasses and gloves while doing it.
Step 2: Caulk around the panel
Once your panel fits snuggly into place on both sides of your door frame, you’ll want to caulk around all four edges so that there are no gaps between your frame and the new insulation material.
This will help prevent air leaks from occurring as well as prevent any moisture from getting through any cracks.
6. Use Acoustic Panels (Quilted Fiberglass Panel alternative)
If you don’t have the quilted fiberglass panels on hand or you don’t want to use them for any reason, acoustic panels are a great alternative.
Acoustic panels are large, flat sheets of soundproofing material that can be cut to fit any size door.
They’re made from materials like fiberglass, mineral wool or polyester and they have a large number of tiny holes in them. These holes are what make them effective at absorbing sound.
When you close the door, the acoustic panels help to deaden the sound coming through your apartment door.
This makes it much harder for you to hear what’s going on in other rooms and outside your apartment. The best part is that acoustic panels are fairly inexpensive and easy to install.
The only downside of using acoustic panels is that they tend to look unattractive when installed on doors in your home. If aesthetics are important to you, you may want to consider other options instead.
These panels can be installed on both sides of the door, or just one. Follow the steps to do it correctly:
Step 1: Cut the panel to size (Optional)
The first thing you will need to do is cut the panel down to size (if not pre-cut). Use a utility knife and make sure that you have sturdy supports under it so that it does not slip when you are cutting it.
You should leave about 2 inches extra for each side of the panel so that you can attach it with screws or nails.
Step 2: Stick to the door
Use some glue or double-sided tape to stick them into place. Once this has dried up, use screws or nails to attach them directly into the frame of your apartment door.
7. Sound Absorbing Paint
One of the easiest ways to soundproof an apartment door is with sound absorbing paint. Sound absorbing paint works by absorbing the sound waves that pass through it.
This reduces the amount of noise that gets into your home and keeps the area more peaceful for you and your family.
The paint comes in different colors, so you can choose the one that matches your decor best. It also comes in several different finishes, including matte, satin and gloss.
Soundproofing paint is not a permanent solution for soundproofing a door. It will eventually wear off over time, but it does an excellent job of reducing the amount of sound that passes through the door in the short term.
Painting doors is an easy DIY project that won’t take more than an hour or two.
Step 1: Remove old paint
Using coarse grit sandpaper, remove the paint from your door by gently rubbing it in circles over your surface.
You should sand off any rough spots or splinters on the door using fine grit sandpaper.
This step is optional but it will give you a smooth, even surface to work with when applying the paint.
Step 2: Clean the surface
Clean the door surface. Use a paint thinner or tack cloth to wipe away any dirt or dust from the surface of your door. The more you can do before applying sound absorbing paint, the easier it will be to finish your project.
If you don’t have a tack cloth, you can use an old rag or paper towel in its place. Just make sure there’s no dirt left behind when you’re done.
Step 3: Apply acoustic primer
Apply the Acoustic latex primer, and allow it to dry completely. If there are any areas where the paint has seeped under the wood or around the trim, use a rag and some mineral spirits to wipe off any excess latex.
Step 4: Apply soundproof paint
Apply the sound absorbing paint directly over the primer with a roller or brush. Use a roller for large areas and a brush for small areas. Roll or brush on the paint, making sure to cover all of the surface completely.
Step 5: Allow paint to dry
Allow your sound absorbing paint to dry. Depending on the climate where you live, this will take anywhere from 1-3 days. You can speed up the drying process by using a hair dryer set to low heat with no air flow and holding it 12 inches away from the surface of the door.
8. Hang Drapes or a Heavy Curtain
The apartment door can be soundproofed by adding some sound insulation. There are many products that can be used for this purpose, but the simplest and most effective is a heavy curtain or drape.
This works because most of the sound coming through the door is actually the vibration of the door frame against the wall. The curtain or drape effectively absorbs this vibration and muffles it considerably.
Step 1: Take the measurements
Measure your door from side to side at its widest point and from top to bottom at its tallest point. Add 2″ to each measurement for extra material. For example, if your door measures 36″ wide by 80″ tall, you’ll need to purchase 38″ x 82″ drapes.
Step 2: Choose wisely
Choose drapes or heavy curtains made of thick fabric such as velvet or satin that are heavy enough not to blow around in the wind or flap noisily against one another when closed.
Step 3: Hang them
Hang your drapes from the top of the door frame using curtain hooks on each end of the rod.
9. Automatic door bottom
An automatic door bottom is a device that prevents the bottom of the door from slamming shut by using a spring mechanism.
Automatic door bottoms can be used on any type of door, including residential and commercial doors. This type of soundproofing device is designed to reduce noise from outside sources as well as from within the structure where it is installed.
It works by absorbing sound, which makes it ideal for use in apartment buildings and other residential properties where noise from neighbors can be an issue.
10. Replace the Hollow Door with a Solid Door
If your apartment door is hollow from inside then the best solution to soundproof it is to replace it.
Hollow doors are terrible for soundproofing because they have air gaps between the door frame and the door itself. This makes it easy for sound to travel through these gaps.
A solid door is better at muffling sounds than hollow-core doors because it has more mass. The more mass a material has, the more sound it absorbs.
Solid wood doors are usually made from hardwood plywood and have an outer layer of hardwood veneer. They cost more than hollow-core doors but they can be worth it if you’re concerned about soundproofing your home.
Why Soundproofing an Apartment Door Is Important?
Soundproofing an apartment door is important because it helps you to maintain a peaceful environment in your home. You don’t want to have to constantly hear what’s going on in the hallway or other apartments around you.
Here are some of the main benefits that you can get by soundproofing your apartment door:
You’ll be able to sleep better
If the person next door has loud parties every weekend, they’re probably keeping you up until 3am on Saturday nights. Soundproofing will keep out the noise so you can get some rest before work.
Your property value will increase
If you are renting out your apartment, the quality of soundproofing of the apartment can help boost the value of your property.
You’ll have peace and quiet in your home
If you live in a busy city, it can be hard to find some peace and quiet from time to time. A good soundproofing door can help keep outside noise out of your home so that you don’t have to worry about disturbances when you’re trying to get some rest.
DIY vs. Professional Installation: Which Option is Right for You?
Should you take on the project yourself or hire a professional? Let’s explore the pros and cons of DIY soundproofing methods versus hiring a professional, along with some practical tips and precautions for those who decide to go the DIY route.
Pros of DIY Soundproofing
- Cost Savings: One of the major advantages of DIY soundproofing is the potential cost savings. You can purchase materials and tools at a lower cost compared to hiring a professional, making it a more budget-friendly option.
- Sense of Accomplishment and Customization: DIY projects offer a sense of accomplishment and customization, as you can choose specific materials and techniques that suit your preferences and needs. You have the flexibility to design and implement the soundproofing measures according to your own vision.
- Flexibility and Convenience: DIY methods allow you to work at your own pace and adjust the project based on your schedule and availability. You have the freedom to choose when and how to work on the project, making it more convenient for those with busy lifestyles.
Cons of DIY Soundproofing
- Lack of Expertise and Experience: DIY soundproofing methods may lack the expertise and experience of a professional, which could result in less effective results. Soundproofing requires a thorough understanding of different techniques and materials to ensure optimal performance.
- Safety Hazards: DIY projects may involve the use of tools, materials, and chemicals that can pose safety hazards. Improper use of tools or exposure to harmful materials can result in accidents or health risks, making it important to take necessary precautions and follow safety guidelines.
- Time and Effort: DIY soundproofing projects may require significant time and effort in terms of research, planning, and execution. It can be a labor-intensive process, and it’s important to be prepared for the time commitment and physical effort involved.
Tips and Precautions for DIY Soundproofing
- Research and Understand Different Techniques: Before starting a DIY soundproofing project, research and understand different techniques and materials available. Familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of each method and choose the one that suits your specific needs.
- Measure and Prepare Door Properly: Proper measurement and preparation are crucial for effective soundproofing. Measure the door accurately and prepare the surface properly by cleaning and filling any gaps or cracks.
- Follow Manufacturer Instructions: When using materials and tools, it’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. Improper installation or usage can result in subpar performance and reduced effectiveness of the soundproofing measures.
Benefits of Hiring a Professional
- Expertise and Experience: Hiring a professional for soundproofing ensures that you have access to their expertise and experience in identifying and addressing specific soundproofing needs. They can provide recommendations and solutions based on their knowledge and experience in the field.
- Efficient and Effective Installation: Professionals have access to specialized tools, materials, and techniques that may result in a more efficient and effective installation process. They can ensure that the soundproofing measures are installed correctly and provide optimal performance.
- Warranties or Guarantees: Many professionals offer warranties or guarantees for their work, providing peace of mind and assurance for the quality of the work. This can be beneficial in case of any issues or concerns that may arise after installation.
How Does Sound Travel Through a Door?
Before soundproofing an apartment door, it is also important to understand how the sound transmits through the door.
Sound travels through the air in the form of sound waves. When a sound wave hits an object, it causes the object to vibrate. The vibration moves through the object and causes other objects in the path of the sound wave to vibrate.
Airborne Sound Waves
Sounds that travel through the air around us rather than through solids like doors or walls or other solid objects around us.
Airborne sounds can travel farther than sounds that are reflected off surfaces because they don’t bounce off surfaces as much as reflected sounds do.
The sound waves passing through the gaps and cracks of an apartment door is Airborne noise.
Impact noise is the sound of a door being slammed shut, or a knock on a door. It travels through the air as pressure waves.
Sound travels through solids, liquids and gasses differently. Sound travels through solids more slowly than it does through liquids or gasses because substances like wood and metal are more dense than air.
The denser the substance, the more difficult it is for sound waves to pass through it. That’s why adding mass to the door is one of the most effective methods to soundproof it.
The best way to soundproof an apartment door is by adding insulation or a layer of foam between the two halves of the door. This helps prevent sound from passing through the gap between them when they are closed.
There are many ways to soundproof an apartment door. In fact, the most important thing is not to get overwhelmed by all the options and just pick one that works best for you.
Frequently Asked Questions (How to Soundproof an Apartment door)
What is the cheapest way to soundproof a door?
The cheapest way to soundproof a door is to use drapes or heavy curtains. This will muffle the sound that is coming from inside the room, but it won’t make the space completely quiet. Also add rubber gasket strips between your door and its frame to minimize the noise.
If you’re looking for something more permanent, you can use an acoustic door kit that comes with everything you need to install it yourself.
These kits include everything from foam gaskets to weather stripping and a template so you know exactly where everything needs to go on your door frame.
How can I soundproof my apartment to not hear my neighbors?
You can soundproof your apartment door by adding mass or absorbing material between the existing door and frame. This can be done by attaching mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) material to the back of the door or using foam strips or pads in between the two surfaces.
You can also use heavy-duty rubber seals around all sides of your door to reduce noise leakage. These seals come in many different sizes and colors so they can be used on any type of door or frame.
Can you soundproof the inside of a door?
Yes, you can soundproof the inside of a door by filling it with dense and soundproofing material such as acoustic foam. It will not completely eliminate all sounds coming through the door but it will significantly reduce them as it adds mass to the door.
However, solid wood doors are much better suited for use as soundproofing barriers because they do not have any empty space inside them that allows the sound waves to pass through it.