If there’s one thing that can cause extreme noise in the entire house, it’s the washing machine. It vibrates and creates obnoxious noise that resonates throughout the house.
In order to block it, the best thing you can do is soundproof the laundry room door. I’ll share a few very effective and affordable ways to do that:
1. Use Washing Machine Pads
Besides soundproofing the laundry room door, you should also get washing machine pads (a link to Amazon). They exist for a good reason – if your machine is sitting on the floor without any dense material in between, it will cause a lot of racket.
These pads from Amazon do a great job at reducing vibrations and preventing the machine from “walking” on the floor. If you have a dryer as well, I recommend getting two sets of these. They’re pretty cheap, and get rid of the “impact noise” to a large extent.
Another item you can use are hand towels. Fold them and place them underneath the machine. Hand towels won’t do as good of a job as the anti-vibration pads, but they will still help.
The other half of the remaining noise can be solved by soundproofing the laundry room door.
2. Add mass to the door
Interior doors are usually pretty thin, which means that any stronger sound can pass through them easily. Soundproofing usually involves increasing mass, and that’s true in this case as well.
Since the washer produces both airborne and impact noise, you’ll have to install a material that can block both. The material needs to be heavy AND flexible. In this case, soundproofing foam panels won’t do any good. Neither will regular moving blankets.
Instead, you’ll have to use either fiberglass, mass loaded vinyl or get a thick, solid-core door. Since a new soundproof door is a pretty expensive investment (at least $300 for good custom-made door), I’ll expand on the first two methods that are much more affordable.
#1 Cover the door with Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
MLV is my favorite soundproofing material, because it can be used for so many different projects. Whether you’re soundproofing a door, wall, a vehicle, an engine compartment or making a soundproof box, MLV can come in handy. It’s a dense but flexible material, so it blocks airborne noise and impact (vibration) noise as well. This is a rare combination which makes it a great choice for a laundry room door.
To install MLV, first cut it to the size of your door with a large knife. Then cut the inside so that it doesn’t impede on the door handle. Now you have multiple options to install it on the door. You can use a screw gun on each corner, or a hammer and nails, or a regular spray adhesive. All three options are perfectly fine.
And that’s it. You’ll notice a huge reduction in noise the next time your loud washing machine is at work. I can’t promise complete soundproofing because it depends on how thin the door actually is. But it will make a difference either way.
Also, if you want to further soundproof the door, you can apply MLV on both sides of the door.
This is the best Mass Loaded Vinyl, and I’ve personally ordered from this manufacturer a couple of times. It has only a slight industrial smell which goes away after 2-3 days and the quality is REALLY good. That’s not always the case when ordering real soundproofing material.
After you’ve done this, you’ll still need to cover some gaps in the door, which I’ll explain later.
#2 Install fiberglass panels
A solid alternative to MLV is fiberglass. It’s also effective against low and high frequency sound and is used in walls and for surface installation.
The best fiberglass product for doors are fiberglass acoustic panels. These panels are heavier and have a higher NRC rating than standard foam panels. But they also cost more, so it goes with the territory.
I suggest getting these panels if you’re interested in doing this. To install them you can nail or screw them to the door. Or use a spray adhesive on the back side and then stick each one on the door.
A cleaner installation method is to use damage-free hanging strips. These hanging strips are used to hang paintings and other heavy objects, so using 1-2 on the back side of each panel is good enough.
I prefer hanging strips over the other methods because they won’t leave any marks on the door and if you want to remove the panels in the future it makes the job much easier.
What about replacing the door?
You can go to Home Depot or a similar store and order a new custom door that is thicker than the current one.
But I don’t really advise this option because it’s more expensive and the success rate is not really high.
Since doors don’t have a standard size, you’ll need to measure everything perfectly in order to get the door to fit in the frame. Even if everything does fit in, you’ll still spend at least $300 and may need to add some soundproofing material on top, especially if any gaps are present.
So it’s more affordable (and a lot easier) to soundproof the current door. The only benefit of replacing the door is to get a cleaner look.
If you had a hollow exterior door it could be worth it. But no one really cares about how their laundry room looks. At least not that much.
So it’s not something I would suggest, but I wanted to mention it since it’s a common question.
3. Cover the bottom of the door
Any open space around the door needs to be sealed to block noise. There are two common gaps found in these areas. First is the gap under the door. The second are the small gaps between the door and the door frame.
For the bottom gap, I recommend attaching a door sweep to the bottom portion of the door. This is very easy to do if you use a basic door sweep. It often doesn’t require any tools because they’re self-adhesive. All you need to do is cut it to the exact width of the door with a knife and then stick it to the door. These are my top 5 door sweep recommendations.
This will make a noticeable difference, especially if you perform the previous two steps as well.
But you still need to take care of the gaps in the door frame. These few millimeter gaps can be effectively sealed by applying cheap weatherstripping tape on the door frame. Simply add one or two layers of tape until the area is sealed when you close the door.
Both of these methods can be used on other doors and windows to seal any gaps you can find. This will not only block noise, but also improve thermal insulation in your home and prevent small bugs from crawling inside.
So those are the best ways to soundproof a laundry room door and get rid of the noises made by your washing machine and dryer!
If you’re interested in soundproofing other areas of a laundry room or other rooms, check out these popular articles: