Last updated: May 11, 2020 at 19:57 pm
Living during a pandemic, most of us are forced to work from home to stay safe from COVID-19. There are several merits and demerits to working from home. While not having to make the daily commute has its benefits, working from home can be distracting. This is especially if you have too many people or kids in your house, making it hard to focus on your work. One of the biggest challenges for home workers is to keep the noise from the outside at bay. To make your work-from-home experience a little more peaceful, here are seven office soundproofing methods.
7 Steps to Successfully Soundproof Your Home Office
1. Seal Holes in the Wall
Walls are great at blocking sound, but if your wall has holes, it is useless for blocking noise. If your workspace has walls with even tiniest of holes, a lot of noise can come in. Inside you home office, inspect the ceiling and walls for any holes or cracks.
If you find any holes, fill them using sound-absorbing material like fiberglass batt insulation.
Look for spaces or cracks in drywall that may be around duct work and electrical boxes. You are likely to find cracks and spaces in these areas. Caulk these openings to prevent any noise from coming into your personal workspace.
We suggest that you also check the walls of the living room or children’s room where the most noise is likely to come for. Repair the holes and cracks in the walls of other noisy areas of your home if you can. This doubles the soundproofing because it blocks all the sounds before they reach your workspace.
2. Soundproof the Door
Doors used in homes are usually hollow, and so it is easy for noise to pass through them. Soundproofing your door is a great way to minimize the noise from outside. Although soundproofing your door can be a little challenging, there are several ways to do it.
You can replace your door with one that has a solid core if you have no trouble expanding your budget. Installing a solid core door is expensive, but it absorbs maximum sound. This is the best way to soundproof a door.
However, if you are on a tight budget, a soundproofing weather-strip can work well enough. Purchase a soundproofing weather-strip and attach it to your door jam. The weather-strip comes with an adhesive, so you will be done in a couple of minutes.
Another affordable option is to use a soundproof door blanket. Get a soundproofing blanket and place it behind your door. This is also very effective to block most of the noise.
3. Soundproof the Air Vents
When soundproofing your home office, you would think of working on walls, doors, and ceiling. What you may leave behind are the air vents in your room. Neglecting the air vents when soundproofing your room is a big mistake.
Air vents are the largest holes through which noise passes through to your working den. There are several ways to prevent air vents from carrying noise into your office. You can insulate the air vent with sound-absorbing material or expanding foam. Alternatively, you can build a sound maze into the vent if it isn’t inconvenient for you.
All these methods will reduce the amount of noise while retaining the airflow into the room.
4. Soundproof your Ceiling
If you’re experiencing noise thanks to your upstairs neighbors, you need to soundproof the ceiling of your room. One way to soundproof your ceiling is to use furring strips. You will need to nail half an inch of furring strips over three quarter inch insulation on the ceiling. This is going to be an extensive job as you will need to tape, sand, and paint your ceiling afterward.
You may want to use acoustic ceiling panels instead of furring strips for better results. But make sure this option fits your budget as acoustic panels are expensive.
Or, you can attach drywall to the ceiling to make it resistant to the sound passing through it. Drywall has materials with sound-absorbing features.
5. Soundproof your Floor
If the noise is coming from below, soundproofing your floor is necessary. If you have wooden floors or other hard surfaces, it produces an echo. Any sound in your home office is echoed back, which might interrupt your flow of work.
To prevent this, you can add soft rugs to the floor. Such surfaces absorb noise and contribute towards maintaining a quieter home office. Another idea is to use rugs outside your home office. This will help block the noise before it comes into your home office room.
You can also use an acoustic board to prevent noise. Lay an acoustic board on the floor and then, add a carpet as an extra absorbing layer to block noise and create an aesthetic look.
6. Soundproof your Windows
If you live on a busy street or have loud neighbors, it’s necessary that your windows are impermeable to the outside noise. If you are on a budget, installing soundproof curtains can greatly help. Outdoor soundproof curtains are highly effective in blocking most of the noise from outside so that you can work peacefully.
The pricier option is to install soundproof windows. These are double-paned windows that are separated by a spacer.
7. Sound Absorbing Wall Paints and Foams
Sound absorbing paints on your wall can significantly reduce the noise coming in your home office. Some companies make paint that can reduce noise by up to 30 to 40 percent. If you have sealed all the holes and opening in your wall and still complain of noise, it’s time to repaint.
You can also get acoustic wall foam soundproof of your walls. Acoustic foam on the walls works the same as acoustic panels do underneath the carpet. These foams increase the air resistance, and so reduce the amplitude of the sound waves. You can get acoustic wall foam at budget-friendly prices.
Working from home needs a lot of discipline and peace of mind. If you are living in a house full of activities, it is important that you soundproof your home office. Take the above steps to soundproof your workspace and stay focused and productive.