In recent times many of us have been forced to work from home. For many this can be an amazing experience, afterall you see your family more, there is no commute to the office and you can feel a little more relaxed!
However it can often be a testing time for many. If you find that you have lots of important calls to take or need to concentrate whilst filling out that complicated spreadsheet, any noises around the home may be a menace.
With children running around playing and the television on in the other room you may find that your productivity declines.
If this is the case you may need to look at soundproofing your home office.
Soundproofing a home office is affordable, but you have to be smart about it. I’ve provided the steps to soundproof a home office cost-effectively in this guide. But before we begin, you need to know the difference between sound blocking and sound deadening.
Sound Blocking a Home Office vs. Sound Deadening a Home Office
Sound blocking products require density to be effective, but they can prevent sound from entering the room.
This is why sound blocking an existing home office is not as easy as building a home and making it soundproof. When building a house, you can use a soundboard or sound blocking drywall to keep sound from entering the room.
Sound deadening products are another option that people often resort to when they want to keep their office quieter.
However, these products can cost a fortune and will only prevent sound from echoing around the room. Sound deadening products will not prevent outside sound from entering the room.
By the way I wrote an awesome guide that will go in depth on the differences between soundproofing and sound absorbing.
Now you know the difference between sound blocking and sound deadening. Here are the steps to follow to soundproof your home office cost-effectively:
• Plug All Of The Holes
Imagine that you are in a room that is made of thick bricks and is totally enclosed and there is someone talking outside the room. The chances are that you would not be able to hear them talking. This would be a different story if there was a small hole in the wall. Sound will go through any hole, no matter how small, and it will feel like there’s no wall there at all.
Because of this the first thing we need to do is block every hole in your office, of which the largest is the office door however we will talk about soundproofing the door itself later in the guide.
The other notable holes which we will look at first are the windows in your home office and the air vent if you have one.
To cut the sound from outside you may need to upgrade any windows which are single glazed. Instead opt for new double or even triple glazed windows. You can install this for just a few hundred dollars.
Another important job is to check around the windows for any missing putty or leaks. If air can get through it so can sound!
Fill any holes that you find with window putty or decorators caulk dependant upon where you find the hole.
For the air vent, you can either create a sound maze or block the vent completely but remember that if you block the vent you may find it can get a little warm and stuffy in your office.
• Soundproof the Door
The door is undoubtedly the largest hole in your home office and the main entry point for noise. Soundproofing doors can be done in many ways.
The cheapest and fastest way to soundproof your door is by getting an adhesive weather strip to place beneath the door. This product is adhesive, and as such, you can quickly unwrap and stick it to the door jam.
Your door will be useless at blocking sound waves if there’s a crack under it, but with this product, you can stop sound from entering your office through the door.
The good thing about a draft blocking weather strip is that they are very inexpensive and are so simple to install. This one from Amazon is one that I would highly recommend.
You can soundproof a home office door with a carpet under it just as easily by using a draft stopper. This will glide over the carpet and act as a soundproofing agent. Therefore, you’ll use the door sweep under the door and the adhesive strip around the door jam and at the top of the door.
Another thing you might want to consider is replacing the door with a solid-core door. It is a bit more costly to install a solid core door but is a great way to reduce sound transfer between 2 rooms.
To know if your door has a solid-core, knock on it.
If you have a solid core door it will make a chunky solud sound instead of a hollow noise. In most homes, only the exterior doors have a solid-core, and interior doors usually have a hollow-core, which will not help with soundproofing.
Buying and installing a solid-core door is affordable, but you will still need the adhesive weather strip.
If you understandably do not want to pay for a full new door there is a much cheaper option.
You can also use a soundproofing blanket if you don’t want to buy a whole door. This method is as effective as the solid-core door, and it will cost a fraction of the price.
If you are interested in trying a soundproof blanket to cover your door I find this one on Amazon to be pretty cost effective for the job it does.
• Preventing Any Structural Sound
You should find that by following the steps we have already run through your home office will already be pretty soundproof to external noises.
However if you still have sound troubles after following the steps then the chances are that you have a structural soundproofing issue.
To remedy this isolation techniques are a very effective way to prevent structural sound. It involves separating wall layers to dampen vibrations and other sounds.
Unless you are really good at DIY I would really recommend that you employ the help of a handyman to construct another layer of drywall on your office walls.
This will push the room in by an inch and reduce sound, especially structural sound and low frequencies like traffic.
Your handyman would need to install sound clips and sound channels between the drywall layers to help further reduce the transfer of sound waves between the wall
• Preventing Echo Within the Room
This is the last thing you can do to drop the sound level in your home office but believe it or not it is one of the most important!
First of you need to check if you do have an echo problem in your home office, luckily this is really sime to diagnose. All you need to do is shout anything that comes to mind. Do you hear it echoing, is the sound ricocheting around the room.
The problem is most home offices have one purpose and as such the only furniture we have in there is usually a desk and swivel chair.
Do you remember walking into your home for the first time when it was not furnished? You may remember just how loud everything sound and the huge amounts of echo?
To reduce the echo in your home office and make it more soundproof you should add extra furnishing.
Try some of the steps below which will all effectively reduce internal sounds in a home office:
- Hang soundproof curtains over bare windows.
- Place some prints or artwork on the walls.
- Add a plush rug to a tiled, laminate or hardwood floor.
- Try adding soundproof wallpaper which is amazing at reducing echo and damping sound.
- If you have any spare furniture such as an old sofa add it to your office.
- Try using soundproof foam panels on the wall behind and infront of you.
The aim is to add thick and soft material around your room to reduce echo. This works by breaking up and absorbing the sound waves which in turn stops them fro. Rebounding as an echo.
Times have changed, and working from home has become a completely normal thing. You won’t have to travel a distance to get to your office. However, you need to ensure that your workspace at home is conducive enough.
With these steps, you can rest assured that you will have a quiet and peaceful home office. It’d be nice to go into your office, shut the door and enjoy the privacy. You’ll be able to focus more on your work like you were in your actual place of work.
Best of luck as you soundproof your home office.
Hi I’m Andy and stood with me is my beautiful wife!
I started Soundproof Designs as a way to share my soundproofing knowledge with the world.
My hopes are that after reading the guides and tips you will get the peace and quiet you need in your home or office.
To find out why I believe I can help your find soundproof peace in your home check out the about page.