Whether you’re looking to keep outside noises from leaking into a room or the one making noise and trying to keep it from leaking into the rest of your home, learning how to soundproof a door is a lesson you’ll need to learn.
Learning how to soundproof a door may seem like it requires some serious acoustical engineering. Fortunately, that isn’t the case, and by the time you’re finished with this guide, you should feel confident in your ability to soundproof your door.
What You’ll Need
Soundproofing a door is one of those projects that you can go nuts with if you want. It can be as simple as installing some rigid foam insulation or mass-loaded vinyl to the back of the door. Or, you can go the extra mile and add door sweeps, weatherstripping, and other soundproofing materials.
The most important materials are listed here at the top, the stuff towards the bottom you can forgo if you’re only looking to lightly soundproof the door.
- Long nail
- Utility knife
- Caulking gun
- Rigid foam insulation, MDF or mass-loaded vinyl sheet
- Hole saw
- Green glue
- Acoustical caulk (standard wood caulk works too in a pinch)
- Door gasket
- Door sweep
Step I: Removing the Door & Hardware
The first thing you’ll need to do to get this project started is to remove your door.
Use your hammer and a long nail to bang the hinge pins up and out of the hinges. Once the hinge pins are most of the way out of the hinge, you should be able to pull them out with your hands. Then, you can pull up on the door and remove it from the frame.
Next, use a screwdriver to remove the lockset from the door.
Step II: Soundproofing the Door
Depending on how crazy you want to get with this project, you can use either rigid foam insulation, a sheet of MDF or a mass-loaded vinyl sheet. The later of which will provide the most comprehensive soundproofing, and you can find it at music and home theater stores.
Regardless of which material you choose, you’re going to want to attach it to the door using green glue. Green glue is a visco-elastic glue that’s used in soundproofing applications because it does a much better job of dampening sound than tacking or gluing the material to the door would.
Of course, if you’re looking for a less permanent solution, you can attach the material to the door using heavy duty double stick tape, or tacks.
Use a caulking gun to apply a healthy amount of green glue over the entire surface of the door. Then, attach the foam, MDF or mass-loaded vinyl to the door and allow it to dry.
Step III: Trimming the Soundproofing
To complete your basic soundproofing job, you’ll need to trim the material around the edges of the door and make a hole in the material to accommodate the lockset.
If you went with rigid insulation or mass-loaded vinyl, you can use a utility knife to trim around the perimeter of the door. If you went with MDF, use a saw to trim the excess material.
Make sure that the material you’ve added to the door is trimmed flush, or the door won’t close properly. Use a hole saw to cut the circle in the material for the lockset.
Step IV: Re-hang the Door
Carry the door back to the door frame, and put the door back on the hinges. Use your hammer to bang the hinge pins back through each hinge.
Make sure that the door can open and close easily. If it isn’t, you’ll have to identify where the door is catching and trim the material back to allow the door to close.
Step V (optional): Apply More Soundproofing
At this point, you can either call it a day or apply some additional soundproofing. You may want to pause the job at this point and see if the soundproofing you’ve done thus far is ample. If not, there are a few simple things you can do to further soundproof the door.
If you’re applying additional soundproofing, start with the top and bottom of the door. Use your hammer to tack a door gasket above the door, and then tack a door sweep on to the bottom of your door. Use your utility knife to trim the gasket and door sweep if necessary.
Finally, close the door and check for any leaks along the sides of the door, you can fill these with acoustic caulk (or regular wood caulk) to further soundproof the door. At this point, your door should be very well soundproofed, and you won’t have to worry about sound leaking into or out of your room.
Learning how to soundproof a door is a critical lesson for anyone dealing with a loud environment. It can also be helpful if you are responsible for the loud noise, and you’re trying to keep it from leaking out into your home.
With a few simple tools and some patience and ingenuity, you’ll be able to effectively soundproof your door in no time by following the tips above.