If you live in an apartment with noisy or loud roommates and your apartment is quite small and allows different types of noises to creep into your room, then you can eliminate or minimize the noise quite easily by sound proofing your door. And yes, you can do it on your own.
You can do plenty of things to soundproof your door to block and absorb loud and unwanted sounds. If you cannot stop the source of the noise, the least you can do is block it. A door is a weak link in any soundproofing project. And we know that purchasing an acoustically rated sound door will easily cost you thousands of dollars. In the following guide, we will show how you can easily produce a top-quality sound rated door, without spending a fortune.
Reinforce the Door Panel
A door panel lets in sound waves which can penetrate it quite easily, especially if the door panel is of a hollow type. Measure the size of your door and purchase a piece of wood that is about the same size. We recommend smooth MDF wood with a thickness of half an inch as it will route and paint nicely. However, if the final look is not a pressing concern, you may use drywall instead. The purpose of this step is to add mass to the door. It will also make it easier for you to apply layers of green glue between the openings.
Now apply one or two tubes of a compound called green glue damping (easily available at hardware stores) at the back of your MDF and fasten the door to the MDF tightly and sandwich the green glue.
Install the Handles
You can install the handles by drilling a hole carefully through your MDF wood; however, if you are looking for impeccable sound control, we suggest you use a dummy handle that has a 'ball and catch' kind of latch for eliminating all penetrations through your door. Green glue is an elastic compound which will dampen vibrations and prevent sound waves from penetrating through your door panel.
On the other hand, if you need just a temporary boost to the door, just screw or nail a piece of Loaded Vinyl to the door. When you reinforce the door, it is time to fill all the gaps around your door’s perimeter.
Apply Soundproofing Rubber
The gap between your wall framing and door frame is an enormous sound leak around the door, even if covered by molding. You can fill this gap with a closed and dense cell sponge (like neoprene soundproof rubber). After the application of soundproof rubber, fill in the remaining corner, and other small gaps with acoustical caulk then install the molding.
Apply a Door Gasket
Now seal the gap between your door and door frame carefully along the top and sides. An economical way to seal the gap is to use a piece of self-adhesive weather-stripping. You might have noticed that regular weather-stripping easily falls apart over the course of time. Therefore, use top-quality silicone weather-stripping that has special compression properties that will provide you a long-lasting seal.
However, there is a better option, and it uses door gaskets. Because a door gasket attaches to your door’s frame, it will guarantee a true seal all the time. As a door is seldom flush and square and tends to shift and warp, we recommend you use an adjustable gasket or a heavy duty gasket which will allow you the luxury of adjusting the seal with just the twist of your screwdriver. Although they are expensive, they will produce superb results that will last many years into the future. You can apply the door gasket to the header (top) and two jambs (sides) of your door.
Apply a Door Bottom
The last step is to seal the gap at the bottom of your door. Bear in mind that a traditional rubber sweep will not provide an adequate seal. You may face a dilemma here. In case you seal your door tightly to the floor, you may have issues opening and closing your door. In contrast, if you have not sealed it tightly to the floor you may fail to have an adequate seal.
Also, most floor and doors are not perfectly square; so, when your door swings you may notice the door’s front edge coming very close to your floor which can make door sweep installation while ensuring a good seal, almost impossible.
An ideal solution to get out of this dilemma is using an automatic piece of door bottom. You can mount this ingenious piece flush with your door’s bottom, which will drop the seal when your door will close and automatically lift it when your door opens. You will get the best seal if you install a semi-mortised or mortised application to your automatic door bottom. Given that usually mortised applications are not feasible, a surface-mounted door bottom will work well, they only need a little trimming and fiddling to achieve the perfect fit. Apart from soundproofing the gaps, door bottoms have the added benefit of keeping out light and draft infiltration which is very common.
An automatic door bottom uses a well-concealed flat spring mechanism. When you close your door, a plunger at the sides of your door bottom will compress tightly against your door frame, activating the mechanism. On activation, the spring mechanism lowers a neoprene seal that will compress against the surface of the floor to seal the gap tightly. The seal will drop first from the side of the hinge to ensure a constant and smooth motion and prevent drag. It will automatically retract when you open the door.
Your door is now soundproof. There are many reasons for soundproofing your doors. It can block and reduce the unwanted noises from pedestrians, traffic, loudspeakers and various other external sources from entering your home, which will allow you to control acoustics and limit noise-related frustrations.
Your home should be designed to offer you a tranquil retreat from outside world, and applying soundproofing is an effective means of achieving this. Soundproofing your door will minimize the transmission of noise and prevent sound leakage, allowing you to crank up your television volume a bit more or install your favorite surround sound system without having to worry about annoying your neighbors.
Also, external allergens and pollutants will find it hard to get in as a result of the new and improved seals and glass panes that you can use to soundproof the doors. This feature is especially important for people who are sensitive to the quality of air or those who are susceptible to seasonal allergies. In indoor environments where people want to maintain the quality of air meticulously at high standards, soundproofing is very important because mostly air leakages happen due to thin doors and windows. Always keep in mind that walls are not your biggest problem in normal circumstances.