Everyone wants a roommate. Having roommates cuts down on costs and makes living in the city way more manageable. We all complain about our bad ones—but it can be hard to be a good roommate. Make it easy by soundproofing your door.
There are tons of perks to block sound from your door. Practicing an instrument? Trying to play games at night? Keeping your home gym’s volume down? Or are your roommates the noisy ones? The reasons why are endless—and so are the perks.
If you want to stay conscious about the people you live with, you have to stop noise from leaving your room. Sometimes it’s as simple as a closed door. Or maybe your door is letting noise out and spread to the rest of the apartment.
You have some options. It can be hard to soundproof an apartment door, but we’ll make it easy. Some options cost more like getting a new solid core door, or it can be as simple as a thick rug.
It all depends on how classy you want it to be. A soundproof door doesn’t have to be expensive!
If you want some options, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’re going to discuss plenty of ways to soundproof your room. Solutions will vary from simple trips to Target to replacing your door with a new solid door entirely. These tips can help you make your apartment room truly yours.
1. Know Your Room
Soundproofing a room is easier if we know where the sound is coming from. Acoustics seem complicated, but it’s much more simple than it seems.
Sound goes through the air easily. Solids slow it down considerably. That’s it.
If you hear a lot of sound between rooms, there might be some empty space. This might seem like an obvious answer but close your door first. Now look at it. Where are the air gaps?
For most interior doors, the gaps are going to be on the bottom and around the entire door. To soundproof it, you want an airtight seal, or anything close to it.
So when it comes down to it, you can block sound in two easy ways.
It’s your choice: do you want to absorb the sound by adding mass, or cover all of the gaps between you and the sound?
It’s that simple. More stuff between your ears and the sound, the less sound you will hear.
2. Use a rug or moving blanket
Everyone has a rug lying around. You can turn that rug into the savior of your ears. Because all we have to do is block the gaps letting noise through the door, we block the large gap on the bottom.
Find the biggest rug you have. Put it underneath your door frame. Done.
Open it in and out and see if it can make a good seal. Remember, you’re trying to block as much of the gap as possible.
A big positive about rugs is that they are excellent for wood floors. Not only are they providing mass, but they offer absorption as well. That makes them doubly good at keeping the sound from crossing your door.
Some of us city hoppers make moving easy by using moving blankets. They’re mostly for wrapping up your fragile items and protecting your furniture. But why let them gather dust in your closet?
Get out your moving blankets if you have them. Dig them out from the bottom of your closet and put them at the bottom of your door. A more savvy installer could use them as soundproofing curtains. They also make soundproof blankets. A Soundproof blanket is a great way to block noise.
Hang a curtain rod above your door and cover it with curtains. That’s another layer to soak up the sound before it gets to you.
3. Use a door gasket
This is going to take a little more work than just a rug. You’re going to have to take your door off the frame, and get your door gasket ready.
Door gaskets are fantastic for blocking sound. They are mainly used to seal gaps in your door’s perimeters at the top and bottom. When you seal the gaps around your door, the sound waves have nowhere to go. That means they can’t get in.
They look nice but take some effort.
You’ve seen door gaskets before. There are two types: weatherstripping and stop-mounted gaskets.
Weatherstripping is the easier to apply of the two. It’s essentially sticky rubber that you peel and stick to the door frame. When you close your door, it seals up the top and sides. Easy sleeping from there on out.
Stop mounted gaskets are much more professional and add some trim to your door frame. Have you ever seen a metal gray frame around the door? That’s a gasket.
There are a few types:
These sorts of seals are mostly for fire safety and keeping out dust. This is a perfect option for someone in need for both.
Magnetic seals are more for fire safety and weather proofing, adding a physical wall between your door and the outside.
Rubber gaskets are more up your alley for soundproofing. They create reliable seals that block out lights, moisture, leaks, and sound.
If you go all out, your gasket might actually stop fires too. Soundproofing your room might save your possessions from a fire down the line. Double win!
4. Add a door sweep
Some of us are savvy at design but not as much for changing up a door frame. That’s fine, there’s a less tool heavy option! Adding a door sweep can cover the gap on the bottom of your door.
Door sweeps are typically a piece of dense rubber attached to metal. The rubber can move across the door easily—making a door sweep a little more effective than a rug—but will block the noise when it’s closed.
They might seem complicated, but don’t be scared. Installation is a few easy steps of measuring your door and the door frame then screwing a few spots into place. Use a level to make sure it’s lined up well and viola, soundproofing.
This is one of the easiest and best looking options. Unfortunately, it also requires screws in your door which might muck up your lease. Text your landlord or take a look through your contract before going through with a door sweep.
5. Add mass loaded vinyl to your door
Recall the two ways of soundproofing: covering the gaps and adding mass. If you already have covered all of your gaps and you’re still having problems, you can always add mass.
What’s between you and the noise? The door and your walls. If the sounds are too loud, you might have a hollow core door. They do not block sound very well, because there is air on the interior.
Maybe you can’t replace your door, but you can still add mass to it. With some work, mass loaded vinyl can actually be installed inside of your door to put it on the inside—so you don’t have to stare at vinyl mucking up your room design. Once inside, the sheets can work their magic.
If you can’t crack open your door to apply vinyl, you can still apply it on the outside. It doesn’t look very chic, but some people might be able to make it work. Consider hiding it with a full body mirror.
6. Replace your door with a heavier option
Most doors in low-mid quality apartments are hollow doors. They're cheaper and easier to buy. But if you can get solid doors, it can dampen the noise significantly.
However—before you think about replacing your door, check your lease or talk to your landlord.
If there is something faulty with the door, you might be able to even get this option for free. If you own your place or your landlord is okay with replacements, this is a fantastic option.
Sound has a hard time going through mass. Getting solid core doors makes it much heavier and can dampen the sound much better. Metal doors can do more, bouncing sound back out in an opposite direction. Be careful with metal, though. Some fire codes don’t allow metal doors.
Finding a door replacement can be easy. Look up companies like Jeld Wen who focus on making good quality products. They even release acoustic ratings that can help you make your decisions.
This is the most expensive option but it is the least noticeable. Every door frame needs a door. Nobody is going to know you tossed out something hollow because it couldn’t block out sound! If you’re trying to be respectful and not raise any fights, a door might be your best bet.
Try These Soundproofing Solutions
And that does it for how to soundproof your apartment door. Sometimes these options aren’t enough and you should look into different prospects. Adding a carpet to your flooring or only where the noise is might make a huge difference, but those are much more long-term solutions.
Blocking noise is difficult when you’re living in an apartment. It’s difficult, but it’s worth it. Once you pick your option, remember that many nights of sound sleeping are ahead of you!