Instructables

How can I quickly soundproof a room, or at least lower the decibel level experienced outside of the room?

I need to soundproof a room for cheap -- under $50 dollars perferably. Are there any easy ways to sound proof the room? I've heard that the old style of egg cartons can be used to soundproof, is it possible to use those?

Yup. Egg cartons will absorb sound. I tried them for a school science project back in the early 90s, and they worked best when stuffed with a deadening insulation like old newspaper. Of course, a wall covered with a couple inches of paper is a fire hazard and will likely even void the insurance coverage on your home/apartment. That, and it can be pretty hard to get a big load of these things quickly. They work ok, but they don't work as well as you'd think. Other DIY techniques like the one here http://www.instructables.com/id/Soundproof-Your-Garage-Walls-Using-My-Cleat-Meth/ work better.

For a temporary setup, you could hang a bunch of heavy blankets (at least a few layers thick) on the walls and over the doors/windows. Of course, this will cost much more than $50 if you don't already have the blankets, but you can often rent moving blankets from U-Haul. I'd also suggest tying to make your own "blankets" out of cheap insulation and extra-large trash bags or something.

For a permanent set up, a floating wall like the one I linked is best. Depending on where you live, drywall as described may be cheaper or sheets of styrofoam may be cheaper and if you do that you can go for thinner insulation. Just remember that styrofoam needs to be taped or glued so make sure to include that in the cost when you're shopping around.
AuralArch3 months ago

I know this is WAY too late for the OP- but for anyone whose search may lead them here... There's a CRUCIAL element to effective soundproofing that wasn't mentioned at all.

And that is: making the room/space AIRTIGHT. Sound travels best through the air- even small holes, cracks & crevasses. It is astonishing how much you can reduce the level of sound coming from a room by sealing it up around the door(s), window(s) & etc. Use weather stripping foam, caulk- whatever you have or can get. If it were feasible to create a second airtight insulating buffer/layer 'deadzone' that would probably almost kill all sound transfer. Except for the bass...

Blankets, mats, egg cartons, pillows & stuff like that will help with higher & mid-range frequencies. But bass- especially loud bass- is the hardest to deal with. Basically it requires more mass & density to absorb or block- a LOT more. And that's where things start to get expensive.

aginnsz10 months ago

Could you please be more specific about your situation: Are you getting noise complaints? Where do they come from (apt above, apt below or adjacent apt(s)? What is the source of the sound (stereo, footsteps, snoring....)? Etc...

Without more information, it is impossible to give you any advice. For instance, if you're getting noise complaints from the apt right above you, none of the answers below will work, and you will ruin your walls for nothing.

parallux11 months ago
The egg cartons and other sound absorption techniques work, but that won't stop the sound from getting in in the first place. I've been working in the acoustic industry for a number of years, and we only suggest sound absorption products for people that want to improve speech intelligibility or resonance within the residence. To keep noise out in the first place, you need a dense material that will add mass between the noise source and yourself. I suggest a soundproof curtain or door if the noise is coming through those openings (which it often does). Residential Acoustics has these @ http://residential-acoustics.com/product/acousticurtain/ and there are a number of other sites that offer similar products (Soundproof cow, acoustical solutions, etc.)
kastrosama3 years ago
a good thing to look out for is any festivals that attract a young crowd, most of them are littered with tents, sleeping bags and sleeping mats at the end, collect loads of sleeping mats and use them to layer your walls.
Hippykidz3 years ago
Egg crates are the way togo. Try going to your local fast food joint. One that serves breakfast they go through tons of the things and I am sure would be willing to hold for you for regular pick up.
ronchi844 years ago
If it is a small room, got to wal-mart in the camping section and get rolls of camp mat.  it costs about $3 a roll and comes in about a 7' x 3' piece.  it will be close to $50 for a small room.  just ran some figures, it will cost about $20 a wall for a 14' x 14' room with 8' cielling  so a little less than $80 minus mounting supplies
acidbass5 years ago
guardian fox is right but what we do in my church since we go to a very small one we put carpet all over the walls
Egg cartons would help but you would need a lot of them. Acoustic foam is pricey. Carpeting and foam padding on the wall would probably give you the most bang for the buck. Try thrift stores or Craigslist . Don't forget the door!!! Other than that. Styrofoam panels cardboard (refrigerator boxes flattened on the walls) Moving blankets
A_of_s_t (author)  professor20055 years ago
For cardboard, would I just tack it onto the existing wall? Or would I hang it from the ceiling?
I'm on the blanket band wagon. I think that would be the quickest thing and you likely have them on hand. If it's temporary, borrow friends blankets
orksecurity5 years ago
Just be careful not to create a fire hazard. Remember that the Station fire (see Wikipedia if you don't remember it) was largely a matter of inappropriate soundproofing that caught too easily and burned too rapidly.
Burf5 years ago
If you're seeking a temporary solution, hanging blankets or quilts on the walls will help. If you are taking tuba lessons, you'll need to go with something more permanent. Remember soft things, fabrics, expanded polyurethane foam and other insulating materials will work. Bringing it in for under $50, that's gonna require some recycling skills.