How to Soundproof a Garage: Cheaply (UK)

garage soundproofing

Last updated: May 12, 2022 at 8:51 am

Garages are incredibly useful for a whole range of tasks, but often these tasks can be quite noisy and subsequently can lead to a range of complaints from neighbours, housemates, and other people nearby.

To combat these complaints, you can soundproof your garage easily, and relatively inexpensively by focusing on weak points like the door, walls and ceiling.

What Noise Are You Trying to Combat?

There are generally two types of noise that come from a garage: airborne noise and impact noise. Airborne noises are those which travel through the air, escaping through gaps in the wall or through thin drywall etc., essentially airborne noise travels through anything that doesn’t absorb the soundwaves. The other noise often created in a garage; impact noise can be harder to combat. It is caused by things physically moving or impacting each other, like doors, footfall and moving furniture.

Depending on what type of noise and the cause of the noise in your garage, you may need or choose to install different soundproofing.

How to Soundproof a Garage

1. Soundproof Any Windows

Glass typically is much less dense than a wall, and as such airborne soundwaves can easily travel through the material. There are also often gaps in the sealing, meaning that there is nothing stopping the sound from escaping. To combat any noise escaping from your windows, there are a few things that you can do.

Blinds and Curtains

First, you can install soundproof blinds or curtains. These are made of thick material known as wool serge. It is a thick, soundproof material manufactured for that exact purpose.

These curtains will allow you to still let light into the garage when needed, but when pulled closed will help to substantially reduce noise. If you’re using your garage for band practice, however, this might not be sufficient soundproofing.

Seal or Plug

Another option is to brick up your windows. You can do this inexpensively, as most garage windows are not particularly large. You will not be able to do this if your garage windows are flush with the wall, as the bricks must have something to sit on like a windowsill.

Alternatively, if you don’t want to use bricks, you could build a custom acoustic plug for your windows. This involves using wooden board and insulation batts or acoustic foam and creating a perfectly sized plug for your window. This is completely removable and affordable and is often the method of choice for many people.

You should also ensure that your weatherstripping sealant on your windows is in good condition to ensure maximum soundproofing.

2. Soundproof the Garage Door

Garage doors are large, moving parts and so are often created to be relatively lightweight. This allows you to move the door easier. However, it also allows more noise to escape. To soundproof your garage door, you can do a couple of things.

If you have the means, you could remove the door and replace it with a normal door and wall. This also assumes that you are not using your garage to store a vehicle, but it provides a much more soundproof environment than a garage door.

Acoustic Blankets

Otherwise, you can purchase moving blankets or acoustic blankets to cover the garage door. These are made from fibreglass, a brilliant noise-reducing material, and can help to reduce noise by giving the soundwaves another layer to pass through to escape.

This is ideal for garages being used for things like a man cave, games room or even some workshops. If you’re using your garage for band practice, a heavy-duty workshop, or you’re likely to create a lot of impact noise, then acoustic blankets are unlikely to solve your problems.

Seal the Door

Regardless of what noise is coming from your garage, one important step to take in your soundproofing journey is resealing the door. It ensures that there are fewer gaps for the sound to escape, and when used in hand with other sound-reducing methods can be beneficial.

It will also help to improve the temperature of your garage by reducing any drafts.

Soundproof Panels

The third way to soundproof your garage door is to install soundproof (or acoustic) panels on the back of the door. These can be glued on with something like green glue. This would be the most effective way, but also the most costly.

3. Soundproof the Ceiling

If your garage has a room or property above it, this step is even more important. Often, ceilings are thinner than we anticipate, meaning that much of the sound we make travels through them and into upstairs neighbours’ homes.

To prevent this and to make sure you stay on your neighbours’ good side, it is recommended that you soundproof the ceiling. You can do so by installing soundproof tiles or foam panels. These foam panels deaden the sound, stopping it in its tracks rather than letting the sound echo through the room and travel through the ceiling.

4. Soundproof the Floor

This is one of the best ways to combat impact noise, especially that caused by moving furniture and footfall – soundproofing the floor is relatively easy and inexpensive and can really help to reduce the impact of whatever you fancy using your garage for on your neighbours.

All you need to do to soundproof your garage floor is to find the thickest carpet you can get your hands on and lay it down on all the floor. Even better, layer a few different carpets and/or rugs to best absorb all the noise.

5. Build a Room Inside a Room

A pricier, slightly more difficult way to soundproof your garage that is almost entirely noise-proof is to create a room inside a room. This involves building and creating four drywall stud walls about a few inches from the external walls of your garage.

This helps to provide more layers for the noise to travel through, and if you insulate the new walls as well as the gap between the new walls and your garage walls you can safely ensure that very little, if any, noise will escape.

You could easily have band practice in a garage with a room inside a room and not need to bat an eyelid about how loud you were being. Pair this with other soundproofing techniques for the absolute best noise reduction!

6. Alter Your Garage

Aside from building a room within a room, you can also alter your pre-existing garage walls to improve the soundproofing abilities of the space. These methods would also work on the room inside a room method, too.

To soundproof your garage, you can stagger the studs in your wall. This helps to decouple the studs, which reduces the number of contact points within the wall, ultimately reducing sound transfer. This is the same way that a room inside a room soundproofs your garage and is one of the most efficient and effective ways of reducing the noise coming from your garage.

Alternatively, you could install resilient channels or sound isolation clips which both also work to encourage decoupling. All three methods involve less expertise than crafting a room inside a room but are still incredibly effective methods when looking to soundproof your garage.

Why Should I Soundproof My Garage?

If you are regularly using your garage for noisy activities, be that drilling, woodwork, dancing, drumming or even just watching the latest football games with your mates on a weekly basis, soundproofing is important.

Not only does it stop you from being heard by strangers outside, but it can also prevent uncomfortable tension from growing between yourself and your neighbours. When this grows, the tension can eventually lead to you getting an official complaint against you, which can cause a lot of hassle and frustration.

Many of the methods of sound cancelling also have other benefits, too. Adding carpet to your garage, for example, will make the space feel more homely and cosy. It will also help to protect your feet from anything untoward on your garage floor, especially if you are often in their barefoot!

Both carpet and insulation are also great for improving the temperature of the room, helping to keep out any cool air and keeping in any heat, making your band practice, woodwork or whatever else much more enjoyable.

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About the Author: AJ

AJ is a self-confessed soundproofing nut. He has written full-time on Quiet Living for the past 3 years, and has a wealth of knowledge about living a quieter life, soundproofing and fixing loud noises.

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