DIY : How to Soundproof an Apartment Door – Comprehensive Soundproofing Solutions – Medium

When trying to soundproof their apartments, many people do not
understand how much noise comes into an apartment through its doors.
Whether it is an outer door, made of solid material, or an inner door, it
still may let in noise. The outer door is supposed to stop street and traffic
noise from entering your apartment and an inner door that separates a
room from the rest of your apartment should stop noise, as well. A lot of the remedies we will be talking about, will work for
either type of door.

Here is what we will be discussing:

  • Sealing the gaps and spaces.
  • Using weather-stripping tape
  • Door gaskets
  • Automatic door bottoms
  • Soundproofing blankets
  • Door sweeps
  • Soundproofing paint
  • Green Glue and MLV
  • Soundproofing curtains
  • Foam and rubber tiles

1. Sealing the Gaps and Spaces

First, start by applying caulking in any gaps, holes, or cracks you see around
your door jambs. It is very likely that these cracks and gaps contribute to
letting sound waves pass through from the outside of the door. If you are
using insulating caulking, it will also help insulate your apartment from the
heat and cold. We recommend using Great Stuff Big Gap Filler for smaller gaps of less than 1 inch, or a similar product.

2. Weather Stripping Tape

You have probably seen this self-adhesive foam tape used around windows
and doors for insulation, in the past; but it will help make a real difference
in stopping noise from coming in from around your doors. This self-
adhesive, weather-stripping seal, is one of our favorites: Duck Brand Self-
Adhesive Weather-stripping Seal comes in 3/8 inch, 3/16 inch by 30 feet. 
Another product similar to this is the soundproof weather stripping door
kit. This self adhesive tape will help soundproof the door from
outside noise, and keep bugs and insects from entering.

3. Door Gaskets

Although, they may cost a little more door gaskets help to block out
sunshine, noise, and moisture they work similarly to weather-stripping
tapes but are thicker and usually are installed on the top and bottoms of
doors. Try this Magnetic and Compression Door Gasket Seal Set.

4. Automatic Door Bottoms

Devices like the TMS Automatic Door Bottom are designed to provide a tight and strong seal for reliable soundproofing. They are rated for both fire and smoke. The door bottom is fitted with a solid neoprene bulb, which has a drop of about an inch. The interior door bottom is filled with rubber for more sound protection. A flat spring mechanism is activated upon opening and closing the door. The seal is raised when the door is open, and drops when the door is closed. This motion ensure a smooth drop without a drag, even on an uneven surface. Many times these devices are used in hotels and condos because of their high-end appearance and great performance.

5. Soundproofing Blankets

There are many advantages to using soundproof blankets they are readily
available, easy to install, and are affordable and you can put them up when
you need them and take them down when you don’t. Even though they may not be the most attractive thing to hang it in your apartment, they are usually hung from hooks, so you can easily take them down and hide them when needed.

The Cheap Moving Boxes Deluxe Moving Blankets we have mentioned in
another article, are one of our favorites. The pricing and great reviews make it a good value.

Keep in mind that like anything used for soundproofing, blankets will not absorb or reflect 100% of the noise in your apartment but they will help to muffle and reduce the sound to a less noticeable level.

6. Door Sweeps

Door sweeps are simply designed devices that attach to the bottom of your
door and simply close the gap between the floor and the door. If you
decide to try this device, you will need to attach it by drilling a few holes in
the bottom of the door and using screws to fasten the sweep onto the
bottom of your door.

The M-D Building Products Sweep is a commercial grade triple flange sweep
if its doors up to 36 inched wide seals gaps up to ¾ in between the bottom
of the door in the floor and protects year-round against drafts, moisture,
dusk, and insects, and helps to block sound from entering your apartment.

7. Soundproofing Paint

Some things, you cannot do in an apartment. If you are renting, always
check with your landlord and get their permission in writing before beginning
any D.I.Y. soundproofing project or be prepared to pay after moving out.

There are many types of coatings to use on the doors of your apartment to
cut down noise. These paints are easy to apply with a brush, roller, or
sprayer. Acousti-coat is a heavy-bodied, water-based, flat latex paint that is
resilient and excellent at dampening high-pitch sounds. Noise reduction according to the company in the 500 Hertz mid-frequency of the human voice is reduced by 30%. It is filled with thermal cells which have vacuum centers to reduce sound transmission. The soft pigment fillers absorb sound and prevent it from bouncing off the surface. It is also inexpensive, and can be used on exterior surfaces such as: primed drywall ceilings, walls plaster metal, and wood.

8. Green Glue and MLV

Green Glue Noise Proofing Compound is highly effective and simple to apply. It is also probably one of the most affordable soundproofing products on
the market today.

It can be applied to either side of your door and if one coat is not enough, you can apply two or three to reduce the sound even more. You simply apply it with a standard large size caulking gun.

Third party acoustical tests demonstrated an STC rating of 56 while using it in a standard stud wall with common drywall. It reduces both impact and airborne noise. You can buy it in a case of 6/12 tubes or even in a 5 gallon bucket. You can buy one tube for $24.99 at Amazon.

In addition to Green Glue, some people choose to also use a mass loaded vinyl (MLV). This is used to add another sound reducing layer to their doors, walls, ceilings, and floors. TMS brand loaded vinyl is a professional’s choice, and it is a bestseller. It contains a heavy mass and minimal thickness, making it a material of choice when it comes to blocking sound. It also has no order so it can be used in apartments, classrooms, medical facilities, condos, and more. It is more than 1/8 in thick, so you can simply add a layer of MLV over the Green Glue which will hold it in place.

9. Soundproofing Curtains

Many people choose to buy soundproofing curtains to block out sunlight, as well as noise, moisture and bugs. These can sometimes be decorative, and can be used for many different types of doors. They’re made for sliding glass doors, French doors, and your outer and inner apartment doors. Simply install a curtain rod assembly and hang the heavy curtains.

Here are three popular choices you might consider buying:

1. Nicetown Thermal Insulated Blackout Curtains
2. Moondream Soundproofing Curtains

10. Foam and Rubber Tiles

Our last suggestion is one of the best methods on the list to reduce noise
coming in or out from an apartment door. There are many different kinds of tiles that can be used for soundproofing, but foam and rubber tiles are the best in our opinion. As we have mentioned previously, there are many manufacturers that make these products, with a variety of choices.

Foamily makes a great acoustic panel that comes in a 12 pack. They are studio grade foam wedges that are used in recording studios, control rooms, offices, home studios, entertainment theaters, and more.

There are also some tiles like this one, that are made of rubber and interlock like puzzle pieces. These are usually seen in gyms and daycares because of the ability to protect people when they fall. You can quite easily apply them to the interior surface of a door using an adhesive compound or green glue.

Well there you go how to soundproof an apartment door. Thank you for
following. Please leave your questions and comments below, and we will
respond when possible.

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