I am wondering about soundproofing a room, don’t know where to start. What tips can you give on how to (cheaply) soundproof a 9x15 room?

Heavy Insulation helps.

I prefer noise cancelling head phones :slight_smile:

But for the real deal, you could just head out to Lowes or Home Depot and talk to the people there. Likey that they can point you in the right direction. If that doesn’t work, surf the web. I think there’s a thing called the do it yourself network.

fill the room with water :^)

are you talking about making a music studio? or trying to keep out noises from outside?

I need to keep noise in, so that it can’t be heard from outside.

Well…are you building this room?? Because we remodeled out basement, and had a room to put my drum set in. :slight_smile: We ended up putting heavy insulation in all the walls, and it’s done an amazing job of keeping the sound in.

-sorry for the repeat

How much work are you willing to do to the room? Carpet and padding on the floor helps. To stop noises from transfering through the walls it is best to frame out another wall in front of the existing wall. Don’t allow the two walls to touch (ie. don’t attach the new studs to the existing wall, only anchor it at the floor and ceiling) because it would be a direct path for sound to travel. You can just nail or screw it to the ceiling or floor, or if the floor is concrete use lead shields or redheads. Insulate between the walls and seal (caulk) any electrical boxes and such. Drywall (sheetrock) is a good sound barrier. Use this on the “new” wall. You can also put acoustical ceiling tiles up. If you do a suspended ceiling you could also roll out bats of insulation on top of it. If the existing wall is already drywall and you don’t want to frame another wall you could also add another layer of drywall on top of the current one (they actually do this in some apartments and condos) since drywall is dense and blocks sound. You’d have to extend the eletrical boxes but they sell the extensions at most home improvment stores. This won’t be as effective as a second wall but in some situations works reasonalbly well.

Perhaps you’ve already seen this, but. . . .

I forgot to also mention that even adding material to the walls will help. Hanging tapestry, rug, or material will absorb some of the sound. Plus adding material to the walls will make the room look like something from “Trading Spaces”. :slight_smile:

I’ve got a recording studio along with a friend of mine in a basement- and we were fortunate enough to be able to get help from a professional in wiring the walls up with sound jacks, and the works. But nonetheless, the main key was to keep the sound in there.

Other people have already said some great ways to do this, I just want to add the rest of what I know, if it hasn’t already been said: Use two doors in succession between the outside and the inside of the room, definitely take into account that the sound will travel through the ceiling, so acoustic panels are a great idea (already been said, i know). If you’re dealing with any glass windows, set two layers of glass in the pane, but do not sit them in parallel to eachother, put them at skewed angles, like / \ or \ / if you see what I mean. I’ve also found that mounting cloth on the walls (like thick carpet or a nice comforter) does a great job, and is something you don’t need to buy. Some acoustic foam panels can be quite expensive, because of their special material properties.

I love it how we can blast our amps at full force at 2 a.m. if we so desire, no worries about waking anyone!

Cheap easy things I have seen.

Place matress against walls.
Hang sheets from ceiling to floor in front of matress, makes the room look better and deadens sound some.
Hang a blanket from the ceiling like an upside down rug.
Mount noise making equipment - drums, speakers, jumping guitarists - on folded blankets or other ‘squishy’ material. This prevents sound from travling along the floor joists.

Sound is a wave, and moves best through a solid. It dosn’t like to move from soild to air and back to solid. So when you have the drum on some plywood floating on a few thick blankets, the sound dosn’t travel around your house nearly as much.

Read about the properties of sound in a physic book and you will prolly come up with some more ideas.


instead of buying those acoustic tiels and such, use egg cartons. the shape of the little “cones” is actually excellent for keeping sound in. You can use those on the ceiling, and then hang very heavy drapes on the walls and such.

Filter out what has already been printed here. The only way to contain sound is add mass between the source and everything else. The amount you want to spend and the area in which you work are the determining factors. If you want to play drums while everyone in your house sleeps, you are going to have to spend some money. If you just want to practice while everyone else is watching TV that will cost you less. Several books are availabe at the library, I recommend F. Alton Everest and his books on studio design.
You are dealing with two types of sound transmission. One is through the air and the other is structure borne. To kill the first, you need a lot of mass, double or triple drywall walls and ceiling, lead sheeting, sand filled block, concrete, etc. The second requires you to break the structure to eleiminate the path between what’s inside and what’s outside. The only way to do that is to build a room within a room. You start by floating a floor (isolators, rubber sheeting etc.) then build the walls and ceiling on the floating the floor. This is what most studios do. Everywhere that the structures must meet, there needs to be a flexible joint.
For a simple practice room in a basement, build the walls on the concrete floor but not touching any of the building. Use 2x6 studs on 16" centers for rigidity. Add a ceiling to the walls that does not touch the building. Two sheets of 1/2 - 5/8" drywall inside the room (walls and ceiling) and one sheet of drywall outside the room. Caulk the joints with the floor with butyl rubber so there is no air leaks. Do this for each layer and overlap drywall so there is no common joint. You can add insulation to the walls but it adds little to the transmission loss. (remember mass is what kills the transmission so even rigid fiberglass is only a pound or two per square foot compard to the weight of drywall.) Add a heavy, solid core door with rubber seals around the sides and top and a drop seal at the threshold. Any intrusion (air conditioning, electrical) must be sealed (caulk) and isolated as well. Make the duct a nice long run with a few bends, fully lined with fiberglass, so that no sounds travels out through the duct. Wide, short duct is better than square cross sections or round.
If you do the work yourself, you maybe looking at $500-$1000 in materials. Add absoption (foam, carpet, heavy drape) as you feel you need, to make the room comfortable to be in.

You might want to check out

It turns out that egg cartons aren’t that good after all.

At the little studio in school they have moving blankets on the walls. I don’t think they’ve ever done anything loud in there so I couldn’t tell you how well it works. But its an idea.

Hmm, this means my lair wasn’t soundproof at all! All my secret plans!