It’s safe to assume people want some peace and quiet inside their home offices. Just think about it! Rare are those who like to work in a noisy environment. Okay, construction workers don’t really have a lot of choices there. Still, most work-from-home jobs require a minimum level of distractions.
What about another modest assumption? There’s a fair chance you’d want to create an enjoyable atmosphere in your home office. If that’s correct then you’re at the right address. In the text below, we’ll show you 6 fantastic ideas on how to soundproof your home office on a budget.
Start with the door! Use some acoustic caulk or weatherstripping tape to fill the gaps. Next up, deal with the windows. Among other things, noise-canceling curtains are a good solution. Also, add some thick rugs to the floor and an extra level of drywall to the walls. Finally, handle air vents and electrical outlets with special care.
Wondering if there’s more to it? If so, feel free to keep on reading!
Table of Contents
What is soundproofing?
First things first, let’s provide a quick definition of the term we’ll use a lot today. Soundproofing equals sealing every single gap where sound might go through. The dimensions of the gap don’t really matter. Even the tiniest hole through which the air can get in or out needs to be shut.
Alright, that should settle it. Let’s check out those soundproofing solutions for your home office!
#1 Soundproof the home office door
This can be done in about 15 minutes, so don’t worry! It won’t take much of your time. Also, it’s a pretty cheap process! Otherwise, it wouldn’t belong on this list.
Check for cracks
So, how does one check for holes/cracks in an office door?
One of your friends (or your partner) can help you out with this one. It’s best you wait until the evening. The person helping you will have to stand on the other side of the door. Needless to mention: the door has to be closed. Anyway, your “sidekick” will have to point a flashlight towards the door. You, from the other side, shouldn’t be able to see any light coming through.
Now, if you do see some light coming from the other side, it means you’ll have to get to work. So, how’s it done?
Soundproofing the home office door 101
Here are the things you’ll want to do in order to soundproof your office door:
- Obtain weatherstripping tape in your local hardware store. You’ll use it to form an air-tight seal between the door and the frame. It’s the no.1 solution for eliminating the space through which sound can go through.
- Add a door sweep. This way you’ll fill the gap between the floor and your home office door.
- Use acoustic caulk to fill any holes that might’ve formed between the frame and the wall.
These materials aren’t costly and you’ll find them in any well-supplied hardware store. Of course, you can also check out the online offer.
#2 Next up: home office windows
As you might know, glass isn’t what you’d call a great insulator. It means you’ll have to pay special attention to the windows of your home office. Also, this is a very important step in some cases. For instance, if you’ve got an office window connected to the rest of your place. It sounds a bit unusual, but some folks have this kind of a setup inside their homes.
Soundproofing the home office windows 101
The process is basically the same as the one we described above. Use your weatherstripping tape or acoustic caulk once again. Still, there are some additions when it comes to soundproofing windows:
- Try hanging acoustic curtains. These will absorb some of the sounds.
- Moving blankets are also known as great sound-absorbers.
- Lastly, try using acoustic putty. You can mold it into any shape you want.
Acoustic curtains are your best bet. They’re both practical and aesthetically pleasing.
#3 Get on the floor and let the good times roll
Okay, we’re not gonna talk about the funky classic. Maybe we’ll cover that one in some future articles. Instead, let’s check out ways you can soundproof your home office floor.
Soundproofing your home office floor 101
You’ve got a couple of options here:
- Interlocking floor mats. These, however, don’t block all of the sound coming in. Still, you’ll make sure the sounds you make rarely leave your office room.
- If you’ve got the chance, add a floor underlayment. These are well-known for absorbing vibrations.
- Add carpet padding. By doing this, you’ll ensure a noise-free home office.
- Put think rugs on “strategic points”. For example, under your chair.
There’s no need to mention all of these solutions are fantastic for noise absorption. Still, interlocking floor mats and/or thick rugs might be your best bet. They’re very cheap, yet they do wonders.
#4 What about the walls?
Soundproofing your walls might be the most important part of the whole process. Let’s see what are your options.
Adding an additional layer of drywall
Now, this mightn’t be the cheapest option out there. Also, it’s quite time-consuming. Still, sometimes it can be your best weapon in the battle against noise. Why’s that so? Here’s your answer:
- it provides you with an extra barrier against noise.
- drywall stops vibrations from advancing through the structures of your home.
- it will also cancel out airborne sounds and block structural noises.
Also, consider adding Green Glue to the back of the drywall for maximum insulation.
Consider attaching acoustic blankets to your walls. In other words: cover the problematic spots from where the noise’s coming from. This won’t be as effective as an extra layer of drywall, but still. You’ll definitely notice a difference.
Big canvas paintings
You can also decorate your walls with big canvas paintings. Not only will it reduce noise pollution, but it will make your office look great. As you already know, a little bit of art never hurt anyone.
#5 Soundproofing electrical outlets
Electrical outlets, really? To be honest, they’re not that suspicious at first sight. But, they’re pretty infamous for enabling a hidden path for sound to find its way into your office. Anyway, good news! They’re also very easy to insulate (and for a cheap price, too)!
How does one do it?
Okay, so here’s what you can use to soundproof electrical outlets:
- Rubber outlet seal. Use this to seal the space between the plate and the electrical box. This will block both sound and air drafts.
- Acoustic putty. As we already said, you can mold it into any shape you want. That makes it great for soundproofing electrical outlets.
- Acoustic caulk. This one’s also great for eliminating free space between the plate and the wall or electrical box.
Lastly, you might want to try adding a weatherproof electrical outlet cover. If it doesn’t ruin the aesthetic of your home office.
#6 Air vents, finally
Air vents are synonymous with bad sound insulation. That’s why they need to be handled with proper care. Here are the steps you’ll need to take:
- Put sound-absorbing materials right in front of the air vents. For instance, you can use an acoustic blanket. This is the simplest option.
- Create a sound maze inside the air vent. Use noise-canceling foam for this. The sound will have a hard time traveling to your home office.
- Completely block the air vent. If you don’t care about it, shut it off. Your first option is to stuff the vent with sound-absorbing material. Afterward, you’d want to add a layer of drywall. Your second option might be the Gap Filler you’ll easily find in online stores. It will expand and block the noises.
Bonus tip: Install a white noise app
Last but surely not least, there’s a solution that involves installing a white noise app. There’s a whole lot of these applications and you won’t have any trouble finding them. Play them on your phone or computer when you’re trying to focus. These soothing sounds will block the ones disturbing your peace.
6 Ideas on how to soundproof your home office on a budget – a summary
As you’re used to seeing, here at Shoppanel, we’ll do a quick summary before we finish today’s article. So, what are the steps to creating yourself a soundproof home office on a budget:
- Start with the door! By using acoustic calk, weatherstripping tape, or door sweeps, you’ll be just fine!
- Move on to the windows! Try hanging acoustic blankets, noise-canceling curtains, or moving blankets.
- Get down on the floor! Add some thick rugs or interlocking floor mats.
- Pay close attention to the walls! Adding an extra level of drywall might be the best solution here.
- Electrical outlets, also! Acoustic putty works wonders here since you can shape it however you want.
- Finally, deal with air vents! If you want, you can completely block them with a drywall or Gap Filler.
Oh, and don’t forget to download a white noise app. You’ll thank us later!