Is unwanted sound coming into your apartment through the door?. If this is the case continue reading this guide on how to soundproof an apartment door to help you block the noise.
A lot of noise can leak into your apartment through the door. It could be the neighbors talking on the doorway, the heavy footsteps of people passing and many more.
The doorway can one of the biggest culprits when it comes to noise and if not handled, any other soundproofing done in the room will be ineffective.
The unfortunate thing is most apartment doors are hollow and just can block noise on their own without extra mass reinforcement.
Soundproofing a door can be done in different ways and the best way of soundproofing an apartment door you do not own is to use temporary soundproofing techniques. These methods are non-invasive and can be removed anytime you want to remove them. There won’t be any damage done to the door.
Here are some ways to soundproof an apartment door.
How to Soundproof An Apartment Door
1. Use a Weatherstripping Tape
Do you know that famous tape you use for garage doors?. Well, it has a lot of uses. The first thing you should do is to look at the door frame and jump and see if there are any gaps in between.
The best way to check to see if there are gaps is to turn the room light off and with the assistance of another person with torchlight standing outside, you close the door and let the person lit the torch. This will allow you to see even the most tin gap in the door frame.
This is where the weatherstripping tape comes in. Using the tape, you seal around the door frame and jump to block out the sound through these areas. Why it is important to seal these gaps is that even the most tin gap can make a solid core door useless in looking sound.
This is because sound travels through air and any gap air can pass so can sound too.
There are different weatherstripping tapes you can find in the market. Some are made of rubber, others silicone, etc.I found this Keliiyo door weatherstripping tape to work well for me. It is a self-adhesive tape that you can use for doors and even windows.
This weatherstrip is spongy and very cheap and will allow the door to close tightly giving a great seal. It’s also self-adhesive which is a great feature that will make installing it a breeze.
The weatherstripping tape also prevents draft through the door frame. To install it, you need to clean the surface and cut the length of the tape, peel the adhesive cover-up and stick it on the surface.
2. Install a Door Rubber Sweep
Closing the bottom gap is equally as important. This gap is mostly the biggest in the door where a lot of noise and even insects and bugs can pass through into the room.
One of the ways you can block the sound is to install a door sweep. Door sweeps also come in different types, but you should try to avoid the ones made with plastic or with the ones with the brush bottom.
The plastic door sweeps don’t last much and the brush bottoms don’t serve well the purpose of blocking the noise you are trying to block. I recommend the rubber door sweeps.
The good thing about installing a door is that you can always take it with you when moving. You just need to fill the holes with caulk and the door will appear as if nothing ever happened.
Install a door sweep can take a little bit of time, you need to align the holes properly before you drill the holes.
Another alternative to door sweet is the Door draft stopper. If it is for the entrance of the apartment, you can use get the single-sided one or if for the interior door, you use the double-sided door draft stopper.
They not only stop the draft but also save you some energy bills.
3. Hang Soundproof Curtains or Drapes
The good thing about soundproof curtains is that you can use them on the window, the walls and the door. These types of curtains are usually denser and made of heavier material than your ordinary curtains.
Curtains come in different colors and lengths. You can choose one that will match or room decor.
when choosing soundproof curtains for the door, make sure to select the one that will cover the entire door from top to the floor. This makes it more effective at reflecting noise than a shorter one.
The thickness of the curtain or drape will help in absorbing some of the sounds that pass the door.
To install the curtain, you will need to hang it just with a rod just like how you do it for the windows.
Besides the benefit of noise reduction, sound deadening curtains also block out sunlight and they have thermal credibility. The insulating properties of these curtains help in lowering the room’s cooling and heating costs.
4. Hang Soundproof Blanket for Door
Soundproofing a door with a blanket can be done similarly to the curtains or you can get the one that fits the door size and use screws or stapler to fasten it to the door.
Soundproof blankets for doors are not very visually appealing compared to the curtains but they are much thicker and have more sound blocking abilities. They can block echoes and sounds more effectively.
The Blankets that are specifically designed for doors are a bit expensive but the good thing is they do the job well.
you can also choose to use a moving blanket. They are thick enough to block sound. You can hang it like the curtain.
5. Use Green Glue to Caulk Any Gap and Cracks
Are there gaps and cracks between the door frame and the wall?. The weatherstripping tape I mentioned above won’t be able to take care of these more effective than green glue. You can use any sealant besides green glue.
Green glue compound is specially made to soundproof holes, gaps, and cracks. This glue fills the hole up and blocks any air from passing through that area again.
The way the green glue work is that it converts the sound energy into heat energy when any sound tries to pass through it. Very effective sound dampening product.
This seal is permanent. But don’t worry because the glue is not that visible when you use it. It is mostly white anyway.
You will need a caulking gun to help you apply this glue effectively. You can also use it for different parts of the room where crack and gaps exist. Places like the ceiling, windows, and walls.
6. Hang Mass Loaded Vinyl Mat
One of the popular soundproofing materials around and it is very versatile in use. This mat is made of thick yet flexible material that can block any type of noise. particularly effective at blocking impact noise.
if the door is too hollow and you which to add extra mass, you can use a mass loaded vinyl mat to increase the mass, make it thicker and denser.
This way, your door will be able to block a lot of sounds. You first need to get a size that fits your door and to hang it, you can either nail, staple or glue it to the door.
Vinyl mats are very effective at blocking noise and you can use it for soundproofing almost anything. Whether it is vibrations, footsteps, and even airborne noise.
The two ways of soundproofing at adding mass and isolation. So, by using the vinyl mat, you are adding extra mass to the door and you will increase is STC. The higher this number, the more noise blocking you get.
7. Install Acoustic Panels on the Door
Traditionally, we used to see these panels in recording studios. Today, you can see them in most homes. There are many different types of soundproof panels in the market.
You will find different colors, materials, shapes and even sizes to choose from. Their purpose is to reduce echoes and reverberations.
Soundproof panels are effective at reducing airborne noise and some of them can even reduce impact sounds. They also come at different prices, some are cheap and others are expensive.
If you wish to reduce the echoes that enter the apartment room through the door, then soundproof panels will work well for you.
I found this Burton acoustic soundproof panels to work great. With a density of 12.5 lb/ft3 (200kg/m3), this soundproofing panel has up to 85% NRC.To install them is simple. Attach these panels using 3M VHB Tapes.
It can be used for the walls, the door, and the ceiling to block sounds that will want to pass through these areas. just make sure it is suitable for your door size.
8. Plus a Door Rug Outside
Maybe placing a rug outside your door won’t be the most effective way to soundproof an apartment door. But will it make any difference?. Probably yes.
It is also not a bad idea to lay a door rug or mat in front of your door. Sound will be absorbed in front and the ones that entered will be as well. Not to mention, it doesn’t hurt eyes too.
This is not something that I permanent. Its a mat you can always remove anytime. Place it will be good at cleaning the under of your shoes before you enter your room anytime.
This way, your room will be clean at all times. Just get the nice thick one that will be visually appealing. Since this is going to be sitting right outside your entrance.
9. Use Soundproof Pad
This works similarly to the door sweep. The only difference is that you can also use it at the top of the door. It is a less permanent solution and will in some cases stop more noise from coming through the bottom of the door.
The soundproof pad can be positioned wherever the crack around the door letting noise come through. It is constructed using the same types of material used in construction site noise barriers, Polyester wool, sound-insulating felt, PVC, EPDM rubber and iron powder for optimal sound absorption.
However, one thing I don’t like about the soundproof pad is that you will have to reapply it every time the door opens and closes.
When you apply it to the door, make sure to apply it with a downward pressure to make sure there are no cracks along the floor. If there is any crack at all, its ability to reduce sound is greatly reduced.
10. Paint the Door with Soundproof Paint
Many people argue the effectiveness of using soundproof paint to reduce noise. Well, the effectiveness of soundproof paint lies in what type of noise and the intensity of the noise.
Soundproof paint is a heavy-bodied, water-based paint, flat latex paint that reduces the transmission of sound and also provides a highly reflective heat barrier to the painted surface.
As you can see it is relatively thicker than ordinary paint. It is effective at reducing mild noise but works best in conjunction with other soundproofing methods outlined here.
The application involves using a brush like any other paint. The more layers of coat you apply, the better the results.
If you are concern your landlord might have a problem. First, ask and I am pretty sure they will allow because it will give the door a better visual appeal. Every landlord wants renters to add value to their property anyway.
11. Rearrange the Furniture in Your Room
If you live in a smaller apartment and moving things around won’t be that easy. This method is not for you. However, if you have enough space to play around with room arrangement, this won’t be a bad idea as it will improve the acoustics of the room.
Placing nice thick rug pads on the floor, placing the sofas to the points of the echoes, and filling the room with nice stuff will help absorb sounds in the room. Empty rooms make the most noise.
It is a good idea not only to soundproof the door but the entire room. Here is my recent article on how to soundproof an apartment. In this article, I covered almost everywhere in the room that needs to be soundproofed including the walls, ceiling, doors, and the floor.
12. Change Hollow Door to Solid Core Door
solid core doors are the best at blocking noise but they are expensive. But if you have the budget and think it is the best option for you, why not. Invest in a solid core door and put the noise at bay.
You should, however, notify your landlord if you are renting before you change any door.
Solid core doors are especially denser, thicker, and heavier compared to the hollow ones. Manufacturers offer a variety of this from hardwoods to a more affordable MDF. They have the highest STC among doors.
Typically, the thickness of an average solid core door for blocking sound has 1/2-inch-thick particleboard.
On How to Soundproof an Apartment Door
when it comes to how to soundproof an apartment door, you can implement any of these temporary door soundproofing tips but if you have more money and want to eliminate the door noise, then you need to replace the door entirely with a solid core door.
But you will still have to seal any gaps and cracks in the frame and between the frame and the wall. When it comes to soundproofing an apartment, the door is one of the weakest spots you have to tackle.