If you want your recording studio to be more professional, you’ll need to soundproof the doors. It’s a good idea to take this step when you have a home recording studio. Your space will have lower sound transmission when you take the time to do this.
You can soundproof your recording studio doors by choosing a solid wood door and applying soundproof glue and wood to it. Then, you need to fill the frame with weatherstripping. Lastly, seal the door and use acoustic foam. This process creates a more substantial sound barrier.
There’s a lot more to know before starting this project, so I’ve explained all the steps in detail in this guide to create an effective soundproofed door for your studio. To get a better idea of what you need to do, keep reading.
- 1 1. Choose a Solid Fireproof Door
- 2 2. Prepare the Wood Sheet
- 3 3. Apply Soundproof Glue
- 4 4. Combine the Wood and the Door
- 5 5. Fill in the Gaps
- 6 6. Finish With Acoustic Foam
- 7 DIY Soundproof Doors vs. Store Bought
- 8 Do I Need To Soundproof Studio Doors?
- 9 How Do I Soundproof My Doors For Cheap?
- 10 Final Thoughts
- 11 References
1. Choose a Solid Fireproof Door
If you’re starting from scratch with this project, you’ll need to ensure you get a door that is rated for fire safety. Additionally, you should check the door’s soundproofing rating and choose one with a high sound transmission class (STC) rating to ensure your final result is as soundproofed as possible.
Additionally, if you’re working in a studio that already has a solid door, you can consider replacing it with a better one.
No matter whether you’re replacing your door or starting from the ground up, you should buy a wooden door with a completely flat surface. Avoid doors with grooves, windows, and designs as they make applying glue and wood sheets harder than it needs to be. This sort of door will make completing the next step much easier.
Overall, you’ll first want to consider what door you’re using for your studio. You might not need to replace it, although a solid-core door will offer greater soundproofing.
Why You Shouldn’t Use a Hollow Door
While hollow doors are a cheaper option, they aren’t suited for recording studios because they don’t block much sound. Simply upgrading to a solid wood door will provide you with significantly more sound insulation.
Additionally, it’s much harder to soundproof a hollow door than a solid one. There are too many gaps in the door that allow sound through. Even if you follow all of the steps in this guide, if you have a hollow door, you won’t get as much soundproofing as you need for a professional recording studio.
Some DIYers will suggest you fill your hollow door with expanding foam for more soundproofing, but I don’t recommend it. Not only is it an extra and unnecessary step, but there’s also the fact that most doors aren’t genuinely hollow and contain many honeycomb-shaped pockets inside for support. Expanding foam cannot enter these shapes easily.
That means you won’t get efficient soundproofing, even if you try to make the door solid using foam. Instead, starting with a solid wood door gives you the best results.
2. Prepare the Wood Sheet
You will need a sheet of wood that’s about ½ inch (1.27 cm) thick. Make sure you measure your door before you buy so you get the right size. You’ll need to cut the wood to the exact size of the door since you’ll be gluing it over top of it in the next step.
It doesn’t need to be expensive wood, and even plywood will work well here. After all, you don’t need to worry about how it looks because you won’t be able to see it when you’re finished with the door.
Once you have your sheet, take the wood and drill out a hole the same size as the door knob or handle. Your wood sheet should fit over the door perfectly. The fewer gaps there are, the better the sound insulation, so you’ll want to spend time perfecting the plank’s shape.
3. Apply Soundproof Glue
Next, you’ll need to work on making the door more soundproof. It’s best to start by removing the door from its hinges and taking off the doorknob for now.
You’ll need noise-proofing glue and a piece of wood cut to the same size as your door. Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound (available on Amazon.com) is the perfect choice for this project. It drastically dampens the sound and is very easy to apply. You can even order it as a single tube or in a three-pack, depending on how much you need.
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Make sure you’re applying the glue to the side that faces into the studio, then follow these steps to set it up:
- Start by tapping the glue bottle on a hard surface to force the liquid away from the top.
- Cut the tube tip off using a utility knife and screw the nozzle onto the container.
- Cut a small hole into the end of the nozzle.
- Insert the glue into a 28 oz caulk gun for easier application.
You can use the caulk gun’s trigger to apply the glue to the door. Start by squeezing a long line around the door’s perimeter, then fill the rest of the space with the glue. You want it to be covered as much as possible. I recommend using two containers of soundproof glue for the best results.
If you don’t have experience with a caulk gun, this short YouTube video explains how:
How Effective Is Soundproof Glue?
Soundproof glue can be highly effective. You create a robust dampening effect when putting the glue between the wood sheet and door. So, when sound passes through the dampening setup, it comes out on the other side as heat instead of noise.
In particular, Green Glue can reduce noise by up to 90% using this dampening system, making it highly effective for recording studios.
However, you have your choice of soundproofing products, and Green Glue is just one of the most popular ones. Green Glue is an acoustic caulk; you can find many options online if you want to use something different.
Overall, soundproofing glue is highly effective at reducing noise transfer through many surfaces.
4. Combine the Wood and the Door
Before the glue sets, you’ll need to place the wood on the door. Do your best to make sure the wood and door align well, then take some clamps and place them around the edges to ensure the two objects stay in place. Clamps also keep some pressure on the wood, ensuring it binds well with the door.
Your soundproofing glue will likely take at least two days to dry, so don’t touch the door in the meantime. The longer it has to cure, the better the sound isolation. If you don’t need to install the studio door just yet, try to give it a few extra days to cure.
When using Green Glue, you’ll want to know that it can take up to 30 days to cure completely. Many acoustic adhesives take about this long, so it’s not abnormal. After a few days of drying time, you can remove the clamps and reattach the door to its hinges. As the Green Glue cures over the next month, you’ll notice better sound dampening from the door.
Though this step may seem very simple, you will need to ensure that everything aligns correctly. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to make adjustments before the glue cures. After it hardens, it will be impossible to move the wood into the correct place.
5. Fill in the Gaps
Next, you’ll want to check for gaps around the door’s perimeter. These areas can leak a lot of sounds, so you’ll need to take care of them next.
Start with adding soundproof rubber along the longer sides of the door, following the weatherstripping on the top and bottom. Since this can be a tight fit, you’ll want to ensure you have enough room first.
You can also install a door gasket to enhance the soundproofing. It’s more expensive, but this option will provide more soundproofing than weatherstrips alone. Gaskets attach to the door and create a very reliable seal that should last you years.
Essentially, you want to create a strong seal with the door. You can quickly test what areas need additional soundproofing by turning the light on in the studio and stepping outside. If you see the light leaking through the door’s cracks, you’ll need to fill those gaps with a soundproofing rubber.
6. Finish With Acoustic Foam
Lastly, you’ll want to finish the studio side of the door with acoustic foam. Doing so makes the door look nicer and more professional while blocking some sound. You can use any leftover soundproofing glue that you have to connect it. However, some foam comes with an adhesive backing already.
These types of foam are simple to cut and install on the door, and you can use the same process as installing them on your studio walls. However, you will need to cut a hole in the foam for the door handle before gluing it in place. You won’t want to touch the door until it dries completely after applying the foam, so you should cut the hole for the handle out first.
Once the foam is in place, you’ll have a more professional-looking door. There are many different kinds of foam you can use, so you’ll have your pick of the options. In general, the thicker the foam, the more sound dampening it offers. You’ll want the thickest foam your budget allows to reduce noise leaking as much as possible.
This step isn’t always necessary if you use a thick enough piece of wood on the door. However, many like how it looks and want to cover up cheaper-looking wood planks.
DIY Soundproof Doors vs. Store Bought
Many people prefer to make soundproof doors instead of buying them unless they work at a professional recording company. If you spend enough time on the door, you can add a lot of soundproofing and get close results to store-bought doors.
That said, pre-made soundproofing doors are more convenient and save you a lot of time. However, they are also significantly costlier. A single door could cost several thousand dollars, and that’s before you even have the company install it for you. That’s why many people prefer to soundproof the door with their own materials.
Overall, professional, premade soundproof doors provide outstanding noise dampening features—that’s what the company made them for, after all. But, these doors are usually too expensive to fit most people’s budgets unless they’re purchasing the door for professional use.
Do I Need To Soundproof Studio Doors?
Some studios already come with completely soundproof studio doors. However, if you’re creating a studio from the ground up, you’ll want to add more dampening features. Otherwise, you won’t get the soundproofing you need from the door alone.
Doors can leak a lot of noise into the studio and out. By adding more soundproofing, you won’t get random noise in your recordings and will have a more private space to create.
You’ll want to think of soundproofing your studio doors as a requirement. If you soundproof the rest of the studio, the noise will remain somewhat noticeable until you take care of the doors.
How Do I Soundproof My Doors For Cheap?
If the above process is too expensive for your budget, increasing the soundproofing on your door is still possible without breaking the bank. You’ll have to use an alternate method for this, and the results are often not as effective – but they’re good enough for non-professional use.
You can soundproof your doors cheaply with weatherstripping tape. Apply the tape wherever you can see the light through the door. Then, apply a draft stopper. If you have the budget for soundproof glue, you can use that between the wall and door frame.
If you’re creating a simple DIY studio at home, you can still get great soundproofing results on a tighter budget. Doors let sound in through their gaps, so you’ll want to focus on filling those areas with noise-blocking materials.
Overall, you can soundproof your studio doors in plenty of ways – some are simply much cheaper than others.
And that’s how you can soundproof your recording studio doors! Doors can be a weak point for leaking sound, so making these changes can significantly improve the quality of any recordings you make. This soundproofing DIY project can take a lot of time and effort – but trust me, the results are worth it.