It is an annoyance most of us experience throughout our lifetimes. A loud neighbor that blasts his TV set at the loudest volume, heavy traffic next to your home, people on the floor above you stomping their feet like tap dancers. Thankfully, there are many ways to do some cheap and effective DIY soundproofing in the walls of your home.
In this article, we will understand how to tackle a noise issue at home with some soundproofing knowledge. We will also focus on the cheap ways in which you can bring calm and quiet back to your home, and show you some great products to help you out in your project. Let’s get started!
Best affordable ways to soundproof a wall
Mass loaded vinyl
Acoustic foam panels
How to soundproof walls: cheaply and effectively in 2020
There isn’t a need to worry when you have the tools of knowledge at your disposal. If you are looking to soundproof your walls cheaply and effectively, you have several options that can sometimes be enough to get rid of any noise issue. Here are some great ways to soundproof your home on a tight budget.
1) Use mass loaded vinyl
The value and quality of this material tend to exceed expectations, and we consider it should be looked into by anyone looking to soundproof a wall.
This noise-canceling wonder material can effectively dissipate any incoming impact noise and block other airborne sources.
It can be easily installed on any wall and is super affordable for what it is able to achieve. The only downside is that it is a heavy material, so you’ll need some muscle to work with it efficiently. But then again, if it would be lighter, it wouldn’t be as effective.
We recommend the highly-rated MLV by Trademark Soundproofing.
2) Acoustic foam tiles
Installing them is an easy task, they are lightweight and easy to cut, but unlike foam mats, these have special grooves and indentations to help them dissipate impact noise vibrations.
Soundproofing an entire room with these can get a bit expensive, but their foamy structure makes them a fitting and affordable contender.
The best-rated foam tiles in 2020 are IZO All Supply.
3) Foam mats
Foam mats are great temperature and noise insulants.
They are lightweight, easy to cut, and some of them come with a special adhesive material already attached to their back.
It’s as easy as that, simply place some foam mats on the weak spots of your walls and you’re all set.
Foam mat by Uxcell is one of the best options in 2020.
4) Install a drywall
This is the most labor-intensive and expensive solution in this list, but don’t get fooled, it is still way cheaper than using more specialized and professional methods and materials.
It simply consists of mounting an extra layer of drywall on a weak point in your structure. It may require some muscle, paint, propper sound-canceling materials, and correct and stable placement.
Placing drywall in your home can be a great DIY project for soundproofing walls, and if you are up to the task all you’ll need is some dedication and a couple of extra hands.
5) Fill up cracks and holes with green glue
It makes it the perfect sound deadening material to stick some drywall or subflooring in your home.
It’s also very effective in sealing any cracks or holes in the wall. It’s perfect as a finishing seal for drywall mounting, or simply as a hole and crack filler on walls with sub-par structures or damage.
Green Glue Company is an excellent option.
6) Use some weatherstrip tape
This isn’t only a very affordable option, it is also incredibly convenient and easy to work with.
To do this, we recommend using a special soundproof tape known as weatherstrip tape. It’s also perfect for covering the areas where airborne noise can freely travel through. The tape can be applied to gaps under doors or around windows.
7) Soundproof curtains
This is a very affordable and ingenious solution to soundproofing the windows in your room, especially if the source of the noise that’s causing you a disturbance is coming from outside.
We have selected a great microfiber and noise-canceling curtain that has an excellent price-quality relationship.
8) Relocate your furniture
Sometimes the noise levels in your room can be remedied with some simple furniture relocation. Airborne noise can be greatly reduced by diminishing the echo in the room with some obstacles for the sound waves traveling merrily on the air.
This can be achieved simply by adding a few pieces of furniture to an empty room. Impact noise can be reduced by moving heavy objects close to the walls where the source of the noise is, like moving a bookshelf to a spot in the wall where the noise is coming from.
How to start soundproofing walls
This is usually the hardest part of working in something new. Fear of failure or learning can very well stop us from looking for solutions. It may look like a daunting task at first glance, but in reality, soundproofing your walls in a cheap and effective way is actually much easier than you think.
All you need is a bit of knowledge of the materials, and some understanding of how sound works. This way you can equip yourself with the theoretical and practical knowledge to help you start this process smoothly.
Look for the source of the noise
When you first begin thinking about doing some DIY soundproofing to your walls you must first understand where the source of the noise is. There are different situations that have different solutions.
It all depends if the noise comes from inside or outside the house. It’s also good to known weather the noise is airborne or impact, sometimes it’s both.
Look out for the source, like human voices, a rumbling washing machine, or an enthusiastic neighbor learning a new instrument. All this info can help you approach the solution efficiently and affordably.
Pay attention to weak points
The first thing to do is to pay attention to the weak points in your wall. By weak points, we mean where the noise is loudest and can easily be pinpointed as a source.
Start by finding each and every source of noise that requires deadening to elevate your comfort. Once you have them located, you can start looking for a way to adequately deal with every source of noise in an affordable manner.
What is the difference between impact and airborne noise
Airborne noise is soundwaves that travel through the air. They are not powerful enough to penetrate most objects or surfaces. When you are listening to someone speak on an adjacent room, or your neighbor attempting to reach the crescendo of the song, you are most likely hearing airborne noise.
In terms of soundproofing and reducing airborne noise, there are many easy and affordable solutions that can help you.
Impact noise is the sound you hear when 2 objects collide with one another. Collisions generate sound that is carried by air in the form of airborne noise, and structural vibrations that travel through objects called impact sound.
Impact sound is a bit harder to soundproof because it can travel through structures. Footsteps are a very common example of this, we’ve all felt the vibrating thump or clacking noise coming through the structure of our walls. Dealing with impact noise requires the use of more specialized materials.
Can you hear airborne and impact sound at the same time
You can most definitely hear them both at the same time. Any source of noise that carries with it some form of physical vibration, like a percussion instrument, also transmits vast amounts of airborne noise.
If you can hear it and feel it, you are likely to deal with both of them. Thankfully, there are some great ways to cheaply soundproof your room against any source of the noise.
There you have it – the best cheap ways to soundproof a wall in 2020. We learned about the importance of understanding the source of the noise, and how looking for the weak points in the walls can help us approach the soundproofing experience more smoothly.
We also learned about the impact and airborne noise, and the different solutions one can apply to each of them. There are many ways one can deaden any annoying noise in an efficient and affordable way.
Remember that if there is noise coming from loud music with deep and vibrating bass, you can use some heavy-duty mass loaded vinyl. Acoustic foam panels are also a great and versatile option, they provide a bit more impact noise reduction than standard foam mats.
However, using lightweight and easy to mount foam mats in the weak points of your wall will reduce the noise coming from adjacent rooms.
If all else fails and you still want quality soundproofing in your walls for a cheap price, look no further than installing drywall. Don’t forget that using a sealant and soundproof material.