If you’re a light sleeper, any kind of noise will make you wake up during the night. Perhaps you also meditate in your bedroom or use it to finish up on your work projects or read a book.
Or maybe you share your home with really loud people and just want some peace and quiet once in a while.
Regardless of the underlying reason, soundproofing your bedroom door can make your life better. Here are 4 easy steps you can follow to do it correctly:
1. Cover the door frame with weatherstripping tape
Self-adhesive weatherstripping tape (link to Amazon) is commonly used to block out wind, but it’s also great for soundproofing.
The way you use it is by covering the door frame, so that when you close the door it will create a seal. By doing so, you will eliminate the cracks between the door and the door frame through which sound can pass easily.
While weatherstripping tape is a really cheap and effective solution, an even better one is a door gasket. It looks more professional and creates an even tighter seal than the tape. With both choices the application is the same.
2. Attach a door sweep to the door
Covering all the cracks surrounding the door is really important for soundproofing. The most significant crack that has to be covered is the one between the door and the floor. You can do this by attaching a door sweep on the bottom of the door. You might need to do some trimming to get it to the right size.
If you want your doors to look more fancy, you can use an automatic door sweep that opens and closes by itself. This door sweep retracts the seal when the door is closed, and closes it when you’re opening the door.
This is a good option if you have an uneven floor, so that the door sweep doesn’t drag on the floor. while also leaving parts of the gap uncovered.
Here are my top 5 door sweep recommendations, basic and automatics included. I’m confident it will help you make a better and more affordable choice.
3. Add mass to the door with soundproofing material
Now that we’ve covered the cracks, we need to shift our focus to the door itself. Most inside doors used in houses and apartments are hollow. Unlike the thick front door that separates your home from the outside world, the inside door is a mere illusion.
It’s hollow, so sounds can pass through it very easily. In fact, an inside door can act as a sound amplifier due to this very reason. Try to knock on it and see how loud it is. Then try to knock on your front door. You’ll immediately notice the difference.
So in order to soundproof the bedroom door, you need to increase the mass by adding an additional barrier. There are many ways you can do this, but these are the best ones:
#1 Tack a thick moving blanket on the door
Some moving blankets are pretty heavy and thick, and they block noise really well. The installation requires tacking, nailing or screwing the moving blanket on the door. If you want to improve the effectiveness even further, add an additional blanket to double the barrier.
With one blanket you shouldn’t have any problems. But adding more than one may be too heavy for the door hinges. Just something to be careful about when adding any additional weight to the door. If the hinges are not strong enough, you may need to replace them. But like I said, one blanket is typically fine.
The heaviest moving blanket available is this supreme mover blanket. And that’s the only reason I’m recommending it over other moving blankets, because it’s the only feature that matters in terms of noise reduction.
#2 Install a curtain rod and hang noise-reducing curtains
This is another very easy solution. Now, don’t expect complete soundproofing from a noise-reducing curtain. But you can expect a significant reduction of noise, thermal insulation and improved acoustic in the room.
While they’re typically hanged in front of glass doors and windows, you can hang them in front of any door to reduce the noise.
These are my top 5 recommended noise-reducing curtains. In the article, I also shared a short and simple tip for DOUBLING noise reduction if you decide to use them.
3# Cover the door with THICK acoustic panels
For some reason acoustic panels are getting a bad reputation in the soundproofing community. People say that they DON’T SOUNDPROOF, but only reduce echo.
This is true for some acoustic panels, but not all of them. It really depends on what material they’re made of, and how thick they are. Fiberglass and vinyl are obviously more effective at blocking noise than foam.
So that’s what I’m suggesting here. If you’re going to use acoustic panels for soundproofing, use the dense and thick panels that are designed exactly for soundproofing.
These fireproof, dense panels are the best option for soundproofing. I recommend using them on doors or walls to reduce a wide spectrum of noise frequencies.
One way to install acoustic panels on a door is by attaching one-two damage free hanging strips on each panel and then sticking it on the door. Or by using screws or nails. The third option is to use a general spray adhesive.
All options will work equally well, but the cleanest option are the hanging strips because they won’t produce any damage on the door if you want to remove the panels for any reason in the future.
4# Install Mass Loaded Vinyl in the hollow door or on the surface
It’s no secret that Mass Loaded Vinyl is my favorite soundproofing material of all time.
Why is that? Well because it’s extremely effective against BOTH airborne noise and impact noise. In other words, it works well for sound transmitted through air and by vibrations from low frequencies like drum bass.
In case of a door, there are two ways you can use it:
First is by removing the door from the hinges, taking off the door panel to reveal the hollow part and then inserting MLV inside the hollow part to fill it up. Next, use a spray adhesive (or some other glue, but this is more convenient) to make it stick permanently. Then you would place the panel back and put the door back on the hinges. Done!
The second option is to install the MLV directly on the doors surface, just like you would do with acoustic panels. First cut the MLV to the required size and then use either screws, nails or a spray adhesive to install it.
While it doesn’t look nice (it’s just a black surface), you can paint it with latex paint or cover it with some other fabric. The important thing is that it works really well, even better than the other options mentioned here.
The reason I’m placing it last on this list is because people are accustomed to using it inside the walls (on the studs), so it’s not all that common. But there’s no reason not to be smarter and reap the benefits.
This is the Mass Loaded Vinyl that I’ve personally used in the past. I recommend it because of the proven quality (as you can see by the customer reviews) and because it gives off only a mild industrial smell that dissipates after 2-3 days. This is not always the case with MLV from other sources.
How to install soundproofing material around the door handle/knob?
Well, you’ll need to cut the surrounding panel(s) so that they don’t ruin the functionality of the door handle. A sharp bread knife can easily cut through acoustic panels. In case of MLV it’s better to use a regular sharp knife or scissors.
In case of a moving blanket it’s best to use scissors. This is perfectly normal and done all the time for soundproofing projects.
4. Reduce echo in the doorway
The noises that are coming from the other side of the door into your bedroom might be amplified by an empty doorway. If you don’t have any rugs or furniture in that area, the sounds will bounce off and produce more noise than it has to.
So you can reduce the strength of the noise before it gets to your bedroom by making small additions to the doorway. The easiest way to do this is to place a thick rug on the floor. A rug will soak up some of the noise and reduce sound reverberation.
If your doorway is large enough, adding bookshelves (filled with books) or other large furniture will also help for the same reason. And by following this logic, you could apply soundproof foam panels on the walls in the doorway as well.
The question is, should you do this? It really depends on how large the doorway is and how much the noise bothers you. It’s just an idea, but every situation is different so you’ll have to judge it for yourself.
An alternative – replace the door
I’ll throw this option in here as well, even though it’s a lot of work and pretty expensive. But it’s certainly an option. You could replace your door with a new, solid-core door.
A solid-core door is the one you probably have as the front door of your house or apartment. It’s thick and it doesn’t have as many gaps.
The reason why this is not the ultimate go-to option is because solid-core doors are expensive, usually between $250-$500 if you want solid quality. And you don’t want to go cheap with this one, because then it won’t make much of a difference.
Aside from the expenses, you also need to get the measures perfect. There is no standard door size, so in order for the door to fit properly, it’s vital that you get the measures correctly.
It’s necessary to get the measures, order a custom-sized door at a local place that makes them (like Home Depot), and you need to install them or get someone else to do it for you. AND, if the measures end up being slightly off, it can take even more time, money and effort.
So it’s easy to see why people prefer to soundproof their current doors instead of replacing them entirely.
If you want to reduce the noise coming into your bedroom from other parts of your home, soundproofing the bedroom door will probably be enough.
And perhaps you don’t need to implement all of the steps that I’ve outlined above. It really depends on how much noise you’re dealing with. So you’ll need to figure that one out for yourself.
If I just moved to a new home and had a noise problem in my bedroom, I would seal the gaps with tape and a solid door sweep and probably cover the door with Mass Loaded Vinyl.