If you don’t get enough sleep because of the loud noises you hear outside your room when you’re in bed, then it may be time to check out your interior door.
The interior door is a door that closes off rooms inside your house. It’s supposed to help give you peace and quiet, but this is typically not the case. This is because this type of door is usually made of lighter materials. Unlike the exterior door, which is your main entrance to the house, interior doors are not subjected to external factors, such as wind, rain, among other things, that can damage them easily. Interior doors have a hollow core, while exterior doors have a solid core.
But, don’t worry, all is not lost. Just know that there are actually 7 ways to soundproof your door.
Here are some of those soundproofing interior door tips that help minimize noise:
1. Use Blankets
Blankets can actually be a very good soundproofing material. In fact, there are blankets (acoustic blankets) that are sold in the market solely for that purpose. These acoustic blankets, sound blankets, and absorbed-barrier combination blankets can absorb and block sounds.
Further, the reason why these specialized blankets can help minimize noise is because of the material they’re made of. An acoustic blanket is typically made of woven fabric or any breathable material on the outside, while the inside, which performs the soundproofing function, is made of either one of these dense materials:
- Mineral wool: This is a fibrous material that resembles matted wool, and is most commonly used for thermal insulation. It can also be used for packing.
- Cellulose: This is a polymer raw material that’s also mainly used to produce paper and paperboard.
- Mass loaded vinyl: This is made of salts and metal particles, among other things. It is also called MLV
- Fiberglass: This is essentially plastic reinforced by glass fiber.
When you hang these specialized blankets by your door, they add an extra layer to the interior door, which means soundwaves from the outside will have to go through that extra layer.
Acoustic blankets are so effective that you typically get a noise reduction coefficient rating of between 0.7 to 0.8 with them. Note that an NRC rating of 1 means 100 percent absorption of sound. In percentage points, then, a good acoustic blanket absorbs around 80 percent of sound and reflects only 20 percent of that back. The result? Less noise in your room.
If your budget is not enough for these specialized blankets, since they can cost a little more than ordinary blankets, then use moving blankets – used when moving houses. You can even use ordinary blankets. Just hang that thick fabric over your interior door, and you’ll see the amazing results.
2. Use Soundproofing Curtains
Contrary to popular belief, soundproofing curtains are not only used for windows. They can actually perform that soundproofing function in doors as well. The noise reduction is possible because, just like blankets, the curtains provide an added layer for the soundwaves from outside the room to pass through before they get inside the room.
Based on this principle, soundproofing curtains, therefore, have to be made of heavy and thick material.
Below are some of the fabrics soundproofing curtains can be made of:
- Polyester: This is a type of plastic that’s made using fibers or polyester yarns.
- Suede: This refers to the material that typically constitutes the underside of the skin of the goat and lamb, among others.
- Velvet: This refers to the sleek, woven pile fabric that’s often used in the bride’s dresses as well.
- Cotton duck fabric: This refers to the plain-woven fabric that’s also typically used in painting canvases and sneakers.
The bigger the size of the soundproofing curtains, the better. This means they’ll be able to cover more space when hung by the interior door.
Further, the good thing about soundproofing curtains is that they’re flexible and can perform other functions as well. Soundproofing curtains used in interior doors can, among other things, also do the following:
Keep your room aesthetically pleasing: Soundproofing curtains come in different colors, sizes, and designs. You can choose which one you find the most appealing.
Prevent cold drafts from entering your room: The heavy fabric of the curtains makes this possible.
Give you added privacy: This is especially true if the interior door is made of glass.
Soundproofing curtains are also relatively cheaper to purchase than other soundproofing tools for your interior door.
3. Use Soundproofing Door Sweeps
There are times that the sounds you hear in your room are the result of soundwaves making their way inside through a small gap between the door bottom and the floor. When this happens, the best way to minimize noise inside your room is to seal this ⅛ of a gap.
Acoustic blankets and curtains may not be as effective in doing this since they were designed not to cover spaces, but to provide an added layer of material for soundwaves.
This is where door sweeps come in. Door sweeps are long strips of metal that are exactly in the shape of the gap formed between the bottom of the door and the floor. Because of this, door sweeps serve a great soundproofing function.
Door sweeps typically come in two types:
- The manual type: With this type of door sweep, it doesn’t matter if the door is open or closed. The door sweep stays in place to cover the space.
- The automatic type: This type of door sweep has a plunger mechanism that gets engaged when the door is closed, prompting the seal to drop and cover the gap.
Door sweeps don’t only serve a soundproofing function. Since they’re good physical barriers, they can prevent the following from entering your room:
- Drafts that can bring moist that causes molds and mildew: With soundproofing door sweeps, you don’t need to worry about getting mildew out of the carpet or the molds out of your wall.
- Dust and other particulates: You can maintain the cleanliness of your house with soundproofing door sweeps, as well.
4. Use Weather Strips
Those small spaces around your door when it is closed can also allow soundwaves to enter your room and disrupt peace and quiet there. Your best option then is to seal this contact area, too. For this, you can use weather strips, which are essentially thin strips of material that can be compressed into those small holes. They come in various types. Here are some of them:
- Foam tape: This is made of sponge, rubber, and other soft materials, and is ideal for irregular spaces.
- V-Strip: Also called tension seal, this is typically made of vinyl or metal. It is durable and is ideal when retrofitting old homes.
- Felt: This can be plain or reinforced by metal. This type of weather strip is very visible, and needs to be replaced every one to two years.
- Magnetic: This is good for steel doors. It is, however, expensive.
- Interlocking metal: This is the most durable. It, however, is expensive and is difficult to install.
The good thing about weather strips is that, like door sweeps, they serve functions other than soundproofing. This means that with that money you spend to buy those narrow strips to soundproof your interior door, you actually gain a lot more.
Here are only some of the other things weather strips can do for you:
They help keep electricity costs down. When weather strips cover the spaces around your door, they essentially prevent air leaks, which constitute about 30 to 40 percent of the cold and heat loss by a home. Weather strips help keep the warm air inside your room from escaping, something you want when it’s wintertime.
The result is that your heater wouldn’t have to work double-time to give you the heat that you need to survive the cold. In the same manner, when weather strips keep the unwanted warm air outside during the summertime, your air-conditioning units wouldn’t have to work as much to keep you cold.
They help keep your room clean. When weather strips cover those small spaces around your door, they also prevent the particulates which air usually brings from entering your room. Here are only some of the particulates weather strips can protect your room from:
When these particulates are kept from your room, your overall health is taken care of. These particulates can, after all, have ill effects on the human body. For instance, they can cause colds and coughs, and in the worst cases, asthma and allergic rhinitis attacks
By soundproofing your interior door, you can now have peace and quiet in your room. It’s actually not as difficult as it sounds. It’s only a matter of choosing which of the soundproofing tips you think is best for you, and then executing them with the help of experts, or even instructional videos you can access online.
Just take your time and do your research well. You will soon say goodbye to those sleepless nights.