There can be many reasons why you may want to soundproof your home. Perhaps you might be interested in soundproofing just one room to turn into a home cinema or music rehearsal space.
Maybe you want to soundproof the entire house to block out noisy neighbours, excessive traffic noise or even planes and trains, should you live near an airport or rail track.
The cost of soundproofing is often the first concern of any homeowner, but you needn’t be deterred by the prospect. There are many options when it comes to soundproofing, and you can tailor them to your budget by determining what the best soundproofing solutions for your home are.
The Big Question: How much does soundproofing cost?
From a general overview of all soundproofing cost options across multiple soundproofing professionals, the average cost to soundproof is around £2000 per room and can take 2-4 days to install. While that sounds like a lot, bear in mind that includes the cost of labour (£300-£500 per day).
This cost is as well as all of your building materials used. This is also assuming you have your soundproofing installed by professionals, but even taking that into account leaves a massive amount of variable factors unaccounted for. Before you even think of hiring a professional, you should take the time to consider your many options.
Things to consider before installing soundproofing
The first two questions are simple; what and why are you soundproofing? If you’re dealing with noisy neighbours through the wall, then a simple soundproof panelling affixed to your connected wall could be enough.
It’s a lesser cost than sound proofing ceilings and floors and should achieve peace and quiet. This type of insulation always works well if you’re living in a busy city with lots of external noise.
Soundproofing London homes are common from the amount of constant noise in proximity. Soundproof London properties tend to be worth more as well since the cost to soundproof is already factored into the house price.
However, if you’re looking to create a completely soundproof room so you can hammer a drum kit with your band, that’s likely to require a lot more than just a few panels. With louder sounds, part of the problem comes from vibrations through the floor that carries the sound through connected structures.
This can require soundproofing the floor with dense insulation materials to absorb those vibrations. A stud wall is one of the most effective wall soundproofing measures against this. However, it’s a much bigger installation job.
The same goes for stopping sound vibrations coming into your house. If you live near a train track and want to block out the noise of passing trains, it’s likely you will need complete home insulation to combat the vibrations sent through the ground from the track to your house.
Soundproofing ceilings are done in a similar way to floors and stud walls. A secondary frame is built on top of the existing ceiling and padded with sound and vibration-absorbing materials. We highly recommend hiring a professional for either, as they both require extensive alteration to your home.
While it’s possible to install soundproofing by yourself, you should not attempt it unless you’re confident you know what you’re doing and have the appropriate tools to use and resources at your disposal. If not, you may risk causing damage to your home, or not achieving the level of soundproofing you were hoping for.
Knowing about the structure of your home or the areas you want to soundproof is extremely important as it can affect the difficulty and scale of the soundproofing job. This is another reason why we recommend seeking out a professional as they should be able to recommend what the best type of sound insulation is for your home.
Is your house made from brick or panelling? Are your windows double glazed? Are there any holes or gaps in your house’s structure? These are just some of the issues you need to consider when choosing a soundproofing option.
The more you spend on soundproofing, the better results you will get. However, consider all of your options as you needn’t always go for the most expensive option if cheaper alternatives are available to you.
Installing Soundproofing by yourself
It is possible to install some of the more straightforward soundproofing measures on your own so long as you’re competent with a bit of DIY. This can save you a lot of money in labour but ask yourself whether the money saved is worth a potential loss in soundproofing quality. Always use your tools and materials for the job companies intended them for.
Basic Soundproof installation
One of the most simple and cost effective methods of soundproofing is to line your room with noise-cancelling panels. There are several soundproof panelling types available with varying degrees of insulation and cost.
Pro Sound’s Soundboard range offers a wide selection of insulation boards and materials that you can easily affix to your walls with an adhesive or a few screws.
Installing a stud wall, soundproof floor or ceiling is a much more complex affair. Those with good wood joining skills should only attempt this. It requires building a timber frame across the entire floor, wall, or ceiling, filling the cavities with dense soundproofing materials.
Then more wooden panelling is laid on top and secured into place. Additional sound mats can then be affixed on top for additional insulation. This method is useful for combatting what’s referred to as ‘impact noise,’ which is noise carried physically through structures by vibration. While this gives some of the very best in noise reduction, it comes at a higher cost with more materials used.
Airborne noise (which is exactly what it sounds like; sound waves carried through air) may not require investing in a full stud wall insulation. If you’re trying to reduce your airborne noise from getting out, you can first look at sound dampening.
Dampening is different from insulation, as it helps to minimise the amount of sound bouncing off flat surfaces within a space. This method is particularly useful when building a rehearsal space for bands as the dampening reduces sound echo.
There is an old myth behind dampening that says you should stick egg cartons to your walls, and the irregular shape will absorb the sound waves, helping to reduce the sound. First, allow us to clarify that this does not work.
While the science of absorbing sound waves is accurate, cardboard egg cartons are not dense enough to stop sound from escaping. Instead, you can purchase foam panels that have the same egg carton shape but also provide enhanced noise absorption.
Soundproofing installation checklist
- Why do you want to soundproof your home? Are you keeping noise out or keeping noise in?
- What is your home built of? Do you need to add to your walls and floor or build a new one entirely?
- How loud is the noise you want to block?
Is the noise coming through vibrations and impact sound (trains, drum kit, home cinema), or is the sound airborne? (planes, traffic, general outside noise).
- What is your cost?
- Are you wanting to reduce the sound or eradicate it?
The more of these questions you can answer, the better idea you’ll have about which soundproofing treatment is right for you. Bringing these answers to a soundproofing professional should help you find a soundproof cost that works for you.
What can I do if I don’t have much of a budget?
Every little can help when it comes to soundproofing. While stud walls and dense materials can usually cancel out noise entirely, something as simple as laying a thicker carpet can sometimes help reduce vibrations escaping.
If there are any gaps in the structure of your home, plugging them with a filler may help. Many low budget music rehearsal rooms simply carpet their walls as a means of providing basic insulation and dampening.
What is the best soundproofing method?
It largely depends on the structure of your home. Generally, foam panels and stud walls tend to some of the most popular and effective methods, but it doesn’t apply to every environment.
It’s best to seek the advice of a professional soundproofing company for an accurate evaluation of your needs. They should also be able to give you an accurate soundproofing cost quote.
What if my noisy neighbours live above me and not next door?
You can try using foam panels to gain your peace and quiet, but it’s likely that you may need proper cavity soundproofing. The majority of upstairs noise comes from impact sound travelling through the structure and, as such, probably won’t be cancelled out by a few panels. It’s best to consult a professional for which materials to use.