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Soundproofing a Room

Whether it's a barking dog, a loud washing machine or a teenager with a drum kit, unwanted noises can seriously interfere with your piece-of-mind. Here's the low-down on soundproofing those problem rooms.

The magic carpet trick

Soft surfaces absorb sound, and hard ones reflect it. Lay some carpet, hang up some curtains, or decorate your walls with rugs or wall hangings to reduce the racket that escapes your room.

Soundproofing a room

Seal out the sound

Sound travels through air, so any draughts or air leaks in your room are also sound leaks.

Use a door snake to block the gap under your door. Seal any cracks in walls or around windows. If you have a lot of cracks, you might want to consult a plasterer.

Soundproofing your walls

Serious soundproofing requires serious construction work, but if you're a DIY expert, it's possible to do this at home.

First, remove the plasterboard from one side of the walls to be soundproofed. Choose the side that offers the best working space.

Pack the space inside the wall with acoustic insulation. This is a type of insulation designed especially to block noise. Acoustic insulation can be made of fibreglass, polyester, rockwool or glasswool and comes in batt or blanket form.

Rehang the plasterboard and voila - your walls are sound-resistant.

If you don't want to remove all your walls, cut small holes in the plasterboard near the ceiling and use an insulation blower to fill the wall with acoustic insulation. Then patch and refinish the plaster around the holes.

Soundproofing the roof

For complete soundproofing, you should install acoustic insulation in your ceiling as well as walls.

Soundproofing wall coverings

Another alternative is to hang manufactured soundproofing wall coverings over your existing walls. These are available from home improvement centres as rolls or panels, and can be painted to match your homes decor.

For a professional soundproofing job, consult a qualified building contractor.

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