How to Soundproof a Hollow Door
Looking for how to soundproof a hollow door?. Well, I have seen many people ask this same question. Back in college, I had to deal with a hollow door in my apartment.
You can imagine how it felt. Sometimes when I am studying or just resting in bed the noise from the other rooms distracts me.
So, I had to look for ways to make my door soundproof, just to have my peace of mind. Because the apartment was a rented one, I couldn’t even change the door- not that I could afford a solid or semi-solid door.
As a person who likes fixing things and problems around me, I took it upon myself to look for ways to at least reduce the noise that passes through my door.
In the process, I found a lot of door soundproof DIY ideas to make my door more noise blocking.
Before I get into the ideas lets look at the type of doors we have and their noise blocking capability.
Type of Doors
There about three main types of doors you will find in homes and apartments. They are; the hollow core door, the solid wood doors, and the solid core doors.
The hollow core doors are the ones you mostly find in homes or apartments. The reason being that these doors are the least expensive and restate owners are always looking to recoup their investment as fast as possible. Hence, they use the cheapest products that can do the work for them.
hollow doors are light and as the name suggests, their core is hollow only filled with air. This makes them very prone to noise. Noise can easily pass through them because they have less mass.
The solid wood doors are constructed by combining natural wood elements. They are usually good looking and are able to reduce noise to a certain level but not necessarily provide complete soundproof.
However, solid wood doors are better than hollow core doors.
Solid core doors are made of solid core composite material. Their core is denser and heavier than the solid wood doors, therefore, they offer the best soundproofing solution for any room doorway.
Now that you have an idea of the type of doors, let’s look at how to soundproof hollow door to make it more soundproof.
Some DIY Ways to Soundproof Hollow Core Doors
To soundproof a hollow door, you need to add some extra mass to the door that can dampen the sound waves before they pass through the door. Or, you can use noise-blocking materials to block the noise.
But it is not possible to completely soundproof a hollow door easily because of its nature.
But with a combination of noise reduction methods, you can greatly reduce the noise.
Here are some ways to soundproof a hollow door.
Add Extra Mass to the Core of the Hollow Door
There many soundproof materials in the market that can dampen noise. however, the most effective ones I have found that worked well for the hollow door are the mass loaded vinyl mat and the soundproof foam.
Vinyl mats are very effective at reducing impact noise, especially vibrational noise. although they are slightly expensive, they are more effective at blocking noise.
These mats are quite dense and do not come with self-adhesive. you will need to nail, staple or glue it to where ever you are using it for it to stay in place.
For the purpose of putting it on the door core, you can use soundproof glue to hold.
The soundproof foams are more cost-effective and great at reducing airborne noise. E.g is hearing people talking in the TV room or the neighbor shouting.
Some of these acoustic foams have self-adhesive on them. This way you don’t have to get extra glue for them. With the adhesive backing, you simply install it by placing the adhesive side to stick to the other panel of the door.
Steps to Playing the Extra Mass in the Hollow Core Door
Here are the steps to take to add the extra mass to the hollow door core.
Remove the door from the frame and set the door on support to hold it firm
This is done to ensure the door doesn’t move while you are working on it. You can even place it on a flat floor.
2. Upgrade the door hinges
The extra mass you are adding will make the door heavier. Ensure that the hinges can support the extra weight. If the current ones are too small, then you need to get better hinges.
3. Using a utility knife and working from a corner, cut the skin off the one side of the door carefully.
The hollow door has two wood panels that aren’t very strong. Your arm is to remove one of the panels in order to place the extra mass, like the mass loaded vinyl mat or the foam.
4. Set the Mass loaded vinyl mat or the acoustic foam into the door hollow core.
To set the vinyl mat, apply the soundproofing glue on the door panel and place the mat on it. the glue is also a sound-absorbing material and will improve the soundproofing.
If you are using the self-adhesive soundproofing foam, you can just stick it to the panel, you can still add the soundproof glue to fill the extra space.
5. Set the previously removed panel back on and realign properly.
After applying green glue, carefully place the removed panel back into its proper position. Let the glue dry out and ensure that there are no spaces between the door and the frame.
6. Reinstall the hinges and re-hang the door
Put the hinges of the door back or if you have upgraded, replace them. After that, just hang the door back on the door frame on the wall.
Now, you have succeeded in adding the extra soundproof material to make the hollow door more soundproof and denser.
Next is to seal the door gaps.
2. Soundproof the Door Frame
There are always gaps in the door jamb that can reduce your soundproofing effort. To seal them, you can you a weatherstripping tape to seal them or this door weatherstripping jamb kit. It comes in three pieces. One for the top and two for the sides.
If you also prefer to use the weatherstripping tape, you can get the self-adhesive type. That way you just need to peel the plastic and stick it to the frame.
This will block all the gaps between the frame and the door.
3. Install a Door sweep or Door Draft Stopper
Take care of the biggest gap in the door. That is the gap between the door under and the floor. This area can let in or out a lot of noise if not taken care of.
The best way to do so is to install a door sweep or place a door draft stopper. The door sweep will require some time to install.
First, you need to drill holes for the screws and install it on. But if you want an easy option, then you can get the self-adhesive door draft stopper for either one side or both sides of the door.
Both of these two products not only block noise from passing through this gap but also prevent insects and other small creatures from entering the room. They are also energy savers.
Below are more soundproofing methods to add to the door.
4. Use Soundproof blanket for Door
To reinforce your soundproofing efforts, you can hang a soundproof blanket on the door. Soundproof blankets are good sound absorbers.
Although some might find the material not aesthetically appealing, they are actually good at absorbing impact noise.
To install a soundproof blanket for door, you need to get one that will cover the entire door from top to bottom.
5. Use Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains are not that effective on their own. But when combined with other soundproofing techniques, they often work well.
These curtains are often used on windows. however, they can be used on the door and wall as well if you find them suitable.
Soundproof curtains are more visually appealing than the soundproof blankets. most of these curtains come in different colors, thickness, and sizes for you to choose from.
For better soundproof results, get curtains that are thicker and can cover the entire door. Color-wise, you choose whatever color you like that compliments your room decor.
These soundproof curtains are also blackout curtains. Most can block out lights to curtain level. With regard to their price, they don’t cost that much. I use this soundproof curtain and its very good.
6. Install Acoustic Foam for Door
These foams panels are cost-effective and work efficiently at noise reduction especially, airborne noise. you can get them of varying dimensions, thickness, and colors.
Depending on which color you like you can select. Some are self-adhesive and you simply attach to the door. but some are not and that might require you to get glue to help you stick it to the door.
You can attach the panels to the back of your door using Command Strips, glue or screws. It is essential to point out that different foam panels feature different noise-dampening levels. Thicker ones will work better for soundproofing a hollow door.
7. Place a Door Rug
You may decide to place a rug near the doorway to reduce the amount of sound from the other side.
Using rugs as sound absorbers not only dampens the sound but also adds to the visual appeal of a room.
Rugs, especially heavy ones, absorb echoes and therefore, help in reducing the impact of sound.
However, rugs may not be as efficient as other soundproofing doors methods.
After all, you’d want to try out and do your best to eliminate even the smallest noise coming from the outside of the door – so you don’t have to invest a lot more money into sound reducing door.
To increase the efficiency of using rugs, you may place some on either side of the doorway. This ensures that the noise that bounces off the doorway is greatly reduced.
8. Change Your Door to Solid Core Door
Not willing to try out these soundproofing techniques mentioned above?. Well, if you have some money, you can invest in a solid core door.
With a solid core door, you will be able to soundproof bedroom door, soundproof internal door, and even the external door.
These doors are made of high-grade soundproof materials that completely absorb or dampen the noise.
Final Thoughts on Soundproofing Hollow Doors
Hollow doors can be a pain in the ass especially if you living in and an apartment or a house with lots of kids.
It can seem almost like you don’t even have a door sometimes. The most annoying part is that it seems like everywhere you go, you always encounter them. Homeowners use them to cut down costs.
So, it’s up to you to find ways to make them work for you.
with these above mentioned DIY techniques, you can greatly reduce the door noise. if you are staying in a rented property and altering the door too much could result in losing your security, then you have to go easy on the door.
Implement the methods that won’t affect the door much. Like the acoustic foam, curtain, blanket, door draft stopper and other non-invasive methods.
With regard to the cost, this project won’t cost you much. What is involved is getting the materials and the rests, you can do them yourself.
However, if you decide to involve a professional or purchase a solid core door, be willing to spend more.
home projects can be exciting to embark on, just don’t go overboard.