Whether you're living in the city or the suburbs, soundproofing your apartment door can have several benefits, including reducing the disturbing sounds of passing cars, foot traffic, and even keeping loud noises from escaping your apartment. Soundproofing your apartment door doesn't have to be an expensive, complex project. Here, we'll discuss a few easy and convenient ways to do it.
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Here are some of the best ways to soundproof an apartment door:
- Install Foam Tiles
- Paint the Door With Sound-Absorbing Paint
- Use Soundproof Wallpaper
- Install Door Jamb Seals
- Use Cam Lift Hinges
- Weatherproof The Front Door
- Use Soft Fabrics and Textiles
- Install Acoustic Foam
- Hang A Thick Under-rug Pad
- Use Weatherstripping Tape
- Hang Soundproofing Curtains
- Use Sound Dampening Blankets
- Use Automatic Door Bottoms
- Install Acoustical Door Thresholds
- Hang Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
- Use Door Seal Kits
- Apply Acoustical Caulk
As you can see, there are quite a few options available to help minimize the sounds coming into or escaping from an apartment through the front door (or a back door). Let's take a closer look at how to implement these methods.
How To Soundproof An Apartment Door?
First, it can be helpful to decide what your budget will be before determining the best method for soundproofing your front door. It also helps to choose the method that will require the easiest application for you; specifically, that is, if you plan to do this DIY project on your own.
Install Foam Tiles
Probably one of the easiest solutions is simply placing foam tiles on the inside of the door (the part facing the inside of the apartment). These can be purchased as individual tiles or in the form of interlocking mats. You can find them online or at several home shopping or fitness stores (i.e., yoga mats). Adhesive velcro can be used to adhere the mats to the door, and you won't need any additional tools, except for a pair of scissors to trim the mats to the length of the door.
Paint The Door With Sound-Absorbing Paint
If your apartment building allows it, you can apply sound-deadening paint to help soundproof your front door. While this paint may not offer the level of sound dampening that other methods may, the heavy-bodied paint can effectively reduce the transmission of many sounds. For its application, you'd only need a paint roller brush (or regular paintbrush), a can of soundproofing paint, and a roller tray.
Use Sound-proof Wallpaper
Soundproofing wallpaper is a great option if you aren't able to paint your apartment door. This wallpaper type tends to be fairly thicker than regular wallpaper and is typically made of either latex or rubber. Soundproofing wallpaper is another method that offers light soundproofing, but again, is fairly effective at minimizing noise.
To apply it, you only need to remove the paper backing to expose the wallpaper's adhesive side and adhere it to the door. You can also keep the backing on and simply nail the paper to the door using half-inch nails. However, the nails will only work on wood doors, and you might not want to leave behind nail holes if you are renting.
Use Door Jamb Seals
These types of acoustical seals use sound-absorbing rubber gaskets (usually made of neoprene) to create a tight seal at the base of the door after it's closed. They can work effectively on front doors or back doors and can also be placed at either the top or the side of the door jamb. Installing them doesn't take much other than an electric screwdriver and a stepping stool if you're installing it on the top jamb.
Use Cam Lift Hinges
Cam hinges are a great option for sealing up the corners of the door, and they work-though they offer only minimal sound-blocking benefits. They can be purchased for just a few bucks, and their sealing characteristics can run along the entire perimeter of the door, lowering and lifting the door with the swing. The hinges are mostly made with stainless steel and can be used for doors with either right or left-based hinges. They can be installed within a matter of minutes using a screwdriver.
Weatherproof The Front Door
Completely weatherproofing the front door is a great way to help keep noises minimal. Even small mumbles coming from the building hallway can be minimized using weatherproofing. You can install weatherproofing strips and sweeps at the foot of the door, on either side, and at the top of the door jamb.
When installing bottom door sweeps, it's best to use a commercial-grade floor sweep consisting of a thick rubber strip. The rubber material density works as a great noise blocker and is also useful for keeping out drafts, bugs, and dust that may blow in from the hallway or outdoors.
Use Soft Fabrics and Textiles
You may have all of the soundproofing materials that you need in your apartment already. If you have any bed comforters, throws, rugs, or any other soft textiles, you can simply hang one on the back of the front door. You can also use any throw pillows that you have in storage or any hoodies are heavy sweaters that you no longer wear (or that you don't mind getting a few small nail holes in).
The easiest way to install these fabrics is to simply nail them to the back of the door or the top of the door frame using small half-inch nails. If you have a steel door, you will need to either hang them from the top of the door frame or the wall above the door.
Install Acoustic Foam
Another reliable soundproofing kind of thing you can use is acoustic foam. Acoustic foam can come and a variety of colors, densities, and a range of prices (which includes budget-friendly options). The foam works by absorbing most of the noises leaving or coming into the room (depending on how dense they are). It is also effective at reducing the amount of echo in the room. Installation can be completed within a matter of minutes and can be done by either nailing it to the door or using any self-adhesive that they may come with (or velcro strips).
Hang A Thick Under-rug Pad
Rugs and carpets make for great sound-muffling materials. Any thick rug with a rubber backing can be used to hang on the back of the door to dampen the sounds coming into the apartment. You can also place a density rug pad beneath the rug to help boost its soundproofing capabilities. If you have hardwood or tile floors, it can also be helpful to lay them down a few feet in front of the door to minimize echoing.
Use Weatherstripping Tape
Weatherstripping tape can be used for other areas of the door as well--not just on the perimeters. You would need to calculate the total square footage of your door, as weatherstripping tape tends to run fairly thin (usually just a few inches wide). It typically comes with a paper backing, which can be removed to expose the adhesive on the back. Installing weatherstripping on the back of the wall door can be done in anywhere from 10 to 15-minutes. The only tool you'd need is a pair of shears to cut the stripping.
Hang Soundproofing Curtains
Heavy-duty soundproofing curtains can also help to reduce the level of outside noise that enters your apartment. Most acoustic curtains will weigh anywhere from 10 to 14-pounds and will lay flat against the back of your door. You can install them by hanging nails from the top of your door frame and hang in there from their grommets. These curtains can also be used on any windows that you have on the side of your front door.
Install Sound Dampening Blankets
Sound dampening blankets are curtain-sized sheets made from dense fabrics that are commonly used in music studios and recording rooms. They are known for absorbing close to 90% of sound waves that make contact with the pleated sheets. Typically available with grommets, these panels can be easily hung from the door frame or nailed to the door's back (if it is made of wood).
Sound dampening blankets are usually made from either fiberglass or other recycled non-toxic materials. Be prepared to use a bit of elbow grease when installing them, as these blankets can be a bit weighty. Typically one or two blankets will suffice to cover the back of the door for effective sound absorption.
Use Automatic Door Bottoms
Automatic door bottoms can also help to seal the bottom of the door for noticeable sound reduction. The door bottoms are activated after the door is closed and use a neoprene insert to seal the areas between the bottom of the door and the floor. You can also attach these to the top of the door frame as well. When engaged, the bottoms create a plunger-like mechanism to drop the seal to the floor--which makes for a relatively tight door seal. They can be installed within minutes using a screwdriver.
Install Acoustical Door Thresholds
Acoustical door thresholds (or saddles) are commonly used in convention centers, concert halls, auditoriums, and home theaters. They consist of a fitted bulb made from neoprene to seal the bottom of the door. The thresholds can be purchased for under $100 either online or in most home improvement stores, and they also act as effective draft stoppers. You can usually install these yourself within minutes using a small screwdriver, depending on the model that you purchase.
Hang Mass-Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Another popular sound-dampening material is mass-loaded vinyl or MLV, and it's widely used in the music industry and in homes built with soundproofing in mind. Mass-loaded vinyl is a very dense vinyl sheet that can be purchased in rolls at most home improvement stores or acoustic shops.
This will typically be a more expensive option but maybe worth considering if you are looking for maximum effectiveness. The material is known to minimize up to 90% of noise upon contact. It's available in varying densities and can be attached to the door using nails or velcro (it is commonly installed in flooring).
Does soundproofing a door work?
Yes, soundproofing a door can be effective as doors typically aren't insulated, unlike the walls adjacent to them, which provide sound dampening qualities. However, if the insulation and drywall used for the walls are fairly thin, insulating the door alone may not be as effective as insulating the entire wall.
What materials can block sound?
Some of the most common sound blocking and dampening materials include:
- Mass-loaded vinyl
- Soundproofing foam (made from latex)
- Thick metal sheets
- Acoustical foam
- Laminated glass
How do you make a door shut quieter?
More often than not, doors that close loudly do so because of the aerodynamics of their environment (i.e., cross breezes), the weight of the door frame, or badly installed hinges. The most effective ways of alleviating this include installing felt pads at the door's closure, rebalancing the hinges, or installing a pneumatic door closer.
How do you quiet a loud doorknob?
The best way to quiet a loud squeaky doorknob is to simply lubricate it with a little WD-40, as the squeak is usually made from dry metals rubbing together on the inside of the knob.
Does putting a towel under the door block sound?
Putting a towel beneath the door would be a fairly effective way of blocking sounds coming through the bottom of the door opening only (not the door itself). The thicker the towel, the better.
Do solid doors reduce noise?
Yes, the denser or more solid a door's material is, the better its ability to block or damp and sound will be.
Wrapping Things Up
Soundproofing a door can be done easily and within a matter of minutes, depending on the method you choose. Before you go, be sure to check out our other posts: