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Soundproofing a room: Planning for peace and quiet

Soundproofing a room has many benefits. Whether it's to help block out external noise or make the internal environment more amicable, there are many compelling reasons for soundproofing rooms. We explain how and provide plenty of tips for achieving great results on a budget.

Soundproofing a room is important not only for your sanity but for privacy. It’s one of the crucial elements for creating a comfortable living space.

Sound travels, so without proper soundproofing, those private conversations you have within your own home could be overheard by your neighbours. Likewise, what’s going on in their property – be it a loud stereo, the sound of slamming doors, or a barking dog – can be heard within yours.

Then there’s the outside noise. Without adequate sound insulation, your peace at home may be disrupted by the sound of traffic, sirens, and honking horns.

In this post, we’ll share what you need to know about soundproofing a room to help block noise from both entering and leaving a room, enhancing your overall home environment.

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Finding what to soundproof in your room

Before you can ‘diagnose’ the correct method of soundproofing, you need to determine whether the noise pollution you want to irradicate is airborne noise pollution or impact noise.

  • Typically, noise from conversations, music, and TV are classed as ‘airborne’ (noise travelling through the air)
  • Disturbances caused by footsteps, slamming doors, or moving furniture tend to be ‘impact vibrations’ (noise travelling through other objects)

Common ways for how to make a room soundproof

Once you’ve figured out what’s causing the noise, you can select the most suitable soundproofing method. Three of the most common options include:

  • Blocking the noise by adding a mass to a wall or floor
  • Dampening the sound vibrations
  • Absorbing the sound using soft furnishings

With your detective work complete, you can move forward with your soundproofing project.

Soundproofing for walls

One of the key areas homeowners look to soundproof is the walls.

Acoustic insulation slabs, acoustic roll, and acoustic plasterboard are all popular options for soundproofing walls against airborne noise.

Installing a damping compound in between the layers of a wall, or wall panels can help to dampen the sound vibrations too.

If the noise from adjoining walls is becoming too much to bear, cavity wall insulation could be the best solution for you.

Find an expert to help with your soundproofing needs

Just add your postcode to our search box below to find a soundproofing expert in your local area.

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Soundproofing for floors

Anyone who’s lived in a flat or apartment will understand the need for quality soundproofing in the ceiling and floor.

Furniture being moved across the floor in the apartment above, or music travelling up from the flat below can become irritatingly intrusive.

Speak with a specialist soundproofer to discuss the possibility of installing soundproof insulation in the space between the floor and the ceiling. It’s often possible to install a suspended floor, filled with insulation.

Similarly, acoustic panel boards can be attached to the ceiling, or a dropped ceiling can be created, filling the cavity with insulation.

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Soundproofing windows

If you live near a busy road, traffic noise can be a real problem.

Soundproofing your windows can help to reduce this considerably. Some methods of doing so include:

  • Noise-reducing glazing – specialist glass that disrupts soundwaves
  • Secondary glazing – although not all windows are suitable
  • Window inserts – similar to secondary glazing, typically of a lesser quality
  • Window film – a cost-effective solution, but you may lose the clarity of the glass
  • Shutters and window dressings – sound-dampening curtains and blinds can help to reduce traffic noise

Find out more about the different types of noise pollution and how to soundproof the various parts of a room – ceiling, door, and floor – in our soundproofing guide.

How to soundproof a room cheaply

If you have existing walls to soundproof and want cheaper, non-invasive solutions, we have a number of suggestions.

Four ways to soundproof a room cheaply

  • Seal gaps and cracks. Plug any gaps around windows, doors, and vents with caulk or an acoustic sealant
  • Strategic furniture placement. Position large, heavy furniture such as the sofa, wardrobe, or bookshelves full of books against the wall that needs soundproofing
  • Change your window dressings. Invest in affordable sound-dampening curtains or have window shutters installed
  • Add soft furnishings. Invest in rugs, cushions, throws, and wall hangings to help absorb the sound

Do you need planning permission for wall soundproofing?

When it comes to soundproofing your property, the UK requires no legal approval or permission prior to installation.

However, as part of the current Building Regulations (Part E), all new buildings and refurbishments in England must meet a rough guide target of 45 decibels for airborne noise resistance.

The regulations look at two aspects:

  • E1 – soundproofing from noise from adjoining buildings
  • E2 – soundproofing within the home itself

All new dwellings will now need to pass pre-completion sound testing (PCT) to determine whether the soundproofing is adequate. The results of this testing are then communicated to Building Control.

How much does it cost to soundproof a room?

The hourly rates for soundproofing a room will vary, but as a guide, you can expect to pay around £35 to £40 per hour, or about £300 per day – based on a two-person team with local tradespeople.

Read our in-depth guide for further information on the various methods of soundproofing a room and the costs involved.

Find an expert to soundproof your rooms

The best and most effective way to soundproof a room is to call in the experts. You can be sure of a job well done, alleviating your noise pollution issues once and for all.

To find an experienced and reliable tradesperson, simply enter your postcode below to see who comes highly recommended in your area.

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