Having a room without a door may seem unusual, but it does happen. Maybe you are still renovating the room, so it is temporarily doorless, or the room was initially designed to be a common space, a home library, or a playroom. If installing an actual door on the doorway is not an option, there are ways to make it soundproof so you can still enjoy some privacy.
Here’s how to soundproof a room without a door:
- Hang sound-blocking or acoustic curtains and blankets.
- Use acoustic room dividers.
- Use acoustic panels.
- Put up a barrier with available furniture.
- Use a white noise machine.
- Build a makeshift door
In this article, we will talk about what sound-blocking materials you can use to soundproof a doorless room and how to use them. We will also give you some ideas on what household items can be used to soundproof a door so you can save on costs.
Hang Sound-Blocking or Acoustic Curtains and Blankets
Sound-blocking curtains and blankets don’t entirely cancel the sound, but they can effectively muffle or dampen a bulk of the noise inside the room. And they are a budget-friendly and easy-to-install option, too. Compared to ordinary curtains and blankets, acoustic ones are much thicker, heavier, and more tightly woven.
Get a curtain or blanket that is big enough to cover the whole length and width of your doorway. Hang it from the top and make sure that it reaches the floor. If you think that it is not thick enough to block off the noise, you can put up one or two more layers of curtains or blankets. The more density or, the more fabric comes in the path of sound, the more diffused the sound gets.
You can install these acoustic curtains using a ceiling mount curtain bracket (a curtain rod won’t be as effective for soundproofing). Compared to regular wall brackets, a ceiling mount will take the curtain closer to the ceiling and will, therefore, leave as little space or gap for sound to pass through. If you have blankets and don’t want to make holes on them or don’t want to install brackets, you can put them up using good old duct tape.
How To Pick Sound-Blocking Curtains or Blankets
Soundproof curtains and blankets are made of different materials. But keep in mind that thicker fabrics are better at absorbing and dampening sound. So when choosing yours, go for materials with extra fibers, such as velvet, suede, or polyester. Thermaweave, thermal insulated curtains, and thermal layer curtains are ideal as they cover all air gaps and help with sound absorption.
It would also be better to double or triple the layers of curtains or blankets that you are using.
Use Acoustic Room Dividers
You can get a room divider or partition to keep people from seeing what’s inside the room in the absence of a door. But if you want a partition that also helps dampen and absorb sound, get an acoustic divider. Those accordion-style folding screens won’t work.
You need to manage your expectations, though, because acoustic dividers can’t block off outside noises. They can, however, dampen or muffle the sound inside the room and reduce echoes.
There are dividers specifically designed to provide a higher level of privacy and reduce ambient noise to prevent eavesdropping in shared spaces, such as offices. Ideally, these dividers should fill up space from ceiling to floor and leave no room for the sound to pass through. In this case, the divider should cover the entire door frame.
However, most of the stand-up noise-reducing acoustic wall dividers, such as this ReFocus Raw Freestanding Acoustic Room Divider (available on Amazon.com), you can readily buy from office, and home furnishing stores leave gaps over and under them. So the one thing you can do to fix the problem is to fill up or cover the gaps with pillows, cushions, rolled-up blankets, and other soft furnishings.
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Use Acoustic Panels
You can get an ordinary curtain, blanket, or room divider for your doorway and just cover it with acoustic panels to make it soundproof. You can also attach these panels to your walls. They are effective at muffling sounds inside the room.
There are cheap acoustic square panels made of foam or high-density polyester fiber, and you can get them in packs of 12. Some panels are more stylish and have a layer of laminated MDF over the foam. These panels can easily be installed on surfaces using double-sided tape or adhesive.
Put Up a Barrier With Available Furniture
If you don’t want to spend any money soundproofing a room without a door, especially if it’s just a temporary setup, you can get creative with furniture and other items you have lying around at home. You can use folding tables, shelves, mattresses, sofa, couch cushions, and cots to barricade your doorway.
Mattresses are big enough to cover your doorway, and they are also flat and thick enough to have a sound-absorbing quality. Moreover, you can easily move them around if you wish to go in and out of the room. These make mattresses the perfect barrier and makeshift door.
Cushions are also great, but they are usually not large enough to cover the entire length and width of your doorway. You may need to put two or more of these cushions together.
Tables, shelves, and other wooden or plastic furniture pieces may be more tricky to use as a barrier for your doorway. They are not always big enough to cover the entire area, and they might leave gaps here and there. What’s more, they are not exactly soundproof, so you may need to cover them with blankets, cushions, and pillows to absorb noise. They may also be hard to move every time you enter and leave the room.
You might find other stuff around your house that you could use to make your own soundproof doorway barrier.
White Noise Machine
While yes, a white noise machine does not exactly block out noise, it can be useful in helping you focus when shutting distracting clatter out of your space is not an option. For the same reason, white noise machines are also a useful option if you’re trying to fall asleep.
In fact, white noise has proven to be particularly effective in settings such as hospitals, which are not only loud but full of light and other distractions. A 2017 study showed that a white noise machine is capable of reducing the time it takes for patients to fall asleep by nearly 40%.
Build a Makeshift Door
Looking for more ideas on how to block a doorway without a door? If you have some time and basic carpentry skills, then you can easily cover your open doorway.
There are several options available for building your own door, including installing a sliding barn door, an accordion door, a double door, and a sliding glass door (this is most ideal in the case of an exterior door).
You can also close a door with drywall if you’re looking for a DIY project.
What Household Items Can You Use To Soundproof a Door?
You can use household items to soundproof a door, like throw pillows, sleeping bags, yoga mats, playmats or puzzle foams, egg trays, rugs or carpets, packing peanuts, and Styrofoam. Soft materials like pillows, blankets, rugs, and sleeping bags will absorb or muffle the sound.
You can put blankets and sleeping bags up on your doorway by using double-sided tape, hot glue, pins or thumbtacks, and even strings. Of course, you will need to use the best method to put them up with consideration of their weight and how much you would be fine with your door having pinholes or having hot glue stains.
Items made of foam also make great makeshift soundproof materials. You can put up a yoga mat or some interlocking puzzle mats, or you can glue packing peanuts close together on your door or first on a big sheet of cardboard or paper.
Egg cartons can also effectively block and absorb sound, thanks to their pyramid shape that keeps sound waves from directly interacting with your flat surfaces.
Can You Soundproof an Open Room?
So, what if you’re trying to soundproof a room that is not only doorless but completely open concept? Is it possible? While hanging blankets and other noise-deadening household items are not an option in this case, many of the above soundproofing methods will still be effective in an open room, and particularly acoustic room dividers.
It’s important to remember when soundproofing an open room that large areas of glass will make sound travel, as noise will bounce off large windows and glass doors. Curtains of any kind are a great option to help deaden this noise.
Putting a makeshift barrier for a room without a door is easy if you want to keep everything out of sight. But to make it soundproof requires more creativity. You’ll need materials that absorb or block noise, like thick fabric and foam. Making sure that you cover all the gaps where sound could pass through is also essential.
Soundproofing a doorless room doesn’t have to be expensive, though. You can use items you can find around the house, like pillows, blankets, foam mats, and egg cartons. Going DIY may not be a nice sight, but it will save you money.
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