Working in a home office is convenient and trouble free. You don’t have to get ready to go to your office and you don’t have to travel to your office and not get bored while stuck in traffic congestion.
For these added benefits, people’s workplace is shifting from typical office to home offices. Now many people prefer a home office as they may have children to take care of or they don’t want to waste time in the traffic and can get their work done from home.
However, there are also some downfalls of having a home office and one of the most neglected and important factors for having low productivity is the noise around you. Sounds can be a great distraction and you will lose focus during working. However, you can easily soundproof your home office with spending some money and time which will increase your productivity. So to make your life more productive and easy, I will discuss top 7 ways to soundproof a home office.
Top 7 ways to soundproof a home office:
- Fill up any holes
- Install weatherstripping tape
- Install a door sweep
- Add drywall
- Add Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) to the walls combined with soundproof panels
- Soundproof the window
- Soundproof your ceiling
1.Fill up any holes:
If you are working at your home office and you cannot focus due to the noise coming from the children playing in the next room, then one of the main reason of noise coming in is the home office is those holes.
If we take a close look, we will find many holes and gaps in walls, door or windows. Even a tiny hole can transmit airborne noise from one room to another. Mainly doors, edges of the door and windows have cracks and holes.
For doors and windows, first, find the gaps or cracks and the caulk them with sealant. One of my recommended sealants is GE Silicone 2+ Window & Door Caulk. This is a great sealant as it is 100% silicone and 100% weatherproof and waterproof, and freezeproof and sunproof. As this is a shrink proof and crack proof, this sealant can permanently keep gaps sealed. Check out GE Silicone 2+ Window & Door Caulk on Amazon.
For small gaps in the walls, you can use Sashco Big Stretch Acrylic Latex High Performance Caulking Sealant. This is a great home improvement sealant because this sealant is waterproof and permanent. Moreover, this caulk is paintable, so after filling the cracks in the walls, you can paint over this sealant to match the color of the wall. Check out Sashco Big Stretch Acrylic Latex High Performance Caulking Sealant on Amazon.
2.Install weatherstripping tape:
Doors and windows are one of the main reason why unwanted sounds come into your room because most of the doors that are installed in our house are hollow core door. If you wish to spend money, then you can buy a solid core door. That will help a lot to block the sound. However, you also need to install weatherstripping tape on the edge of the door to soundproof your home office.
Along with keeping out the rain, dust, and wind from passing through the window and the door, weatherstripping tape is also great to block the noise to pass through. They are also pretty affordable and easy to install.
33Ft Long Insulation Weatherproof Doors And Windows Soundproofing Seal Strip Collision Avoidance Rubber Self-Adhesive Weatherstrip is one of the best affordable adhesive strips. This is a multi-purpose windproof, waterproof and non-toxic weatherstripping tape and this tape is also very easy to install. Check out these weatherstrip on Amazon.
3.Install a door sweep:
Most of the doors in the house have small gaps between the door and the floor. Airborne noise can easily pass through this gaps. If your home office’s door has this gap then you need to do something about it to make your office soundproof. That’s when a door sweep comes in handy.
A door sweep seals the gap between the floor and the bottom of the door. Installing door sweep needs some drilling and screwing, however, they are not hard to install. Along with keeping the pests and dust out of the room, door sweeps also do a great job blocking the sound.
My recommended door sweep is M-D Building Products 5090 Triple Fin Door Sweep. This door sweep has slotted holes for easy adjustment and fasteners are also included. This door sweep is 36-inches long. However, if you only need a door sweep less than 36-inch, then you can easily cut this door sweep to your preferred size with a hacksaw. Check out M-D Building Products 5090 Triple Fin Door Sweep on Amazon.
Nowadays the walls of our houses are very thin and that’s why you can easily hear someone talking in the next room. To make the walls of your home office such that less noise transmits through it, you need to add drywall to the walls.
You can buy drywall at your local hardware stores. If you have a very thin wall and you have a good budget, then installing a thick and double layer drywall will be very much effective. The thickness of drywall ranges from 1/4″ to 5/8″ and the most popular thickness is the 1/2″
Before installing the drywall, remove any kind of pin, screws or any sharp items from the existing wall that may interfere to keep the drywall flat. Also, fill up any holes in the wall. You also need to carefully measure the size of the wall and cut the drywall according to the measurement.
After all of these, you can either add the drywall by screwing or by mudding and taping. I personally prefer drilling and screwing because it is much easier and simpler than mudding and taping. There are also lots of tools available to help you with your installation. Click here to check the drywall tools.
There are people who don’t like to add drywall to their existing walls because adding drywall will eliminate the looks and aesthetics of the walls. However, if you have no problem adding drywall and as you are using your room for home office, I highly recommend to add drywall to have a better soundproofed room.
5.Add Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) to the walls combined with soundproof panels:
Top ways to soundproof a home office will be incomplete without mentioning this method. Adding dry walls will block some of the noise passing through the walls, however, if you want to make your home office pin-drop silent, then you should consider adding a mass loaded vinyl and soundproof panels. Although you need to give more effort and more time in adding a mass loaded vinyl and a soundproof panel, however, this method doesn’t need any renovation.
Mass loaded vinyl is great for blocking airborne noises and soundproof panels are great for absorbing the noise. If you have echoes in your home office, then the soundproof panels will absorb the echo and reduce or eliminate the echo noise.
Combining mass loaded vinyl with the soundproof panel and then adding it to the walls will give you one of the most ultimate soundproof home offices. However, they are very expensive.
One of the best MLV is the TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4′ X 25′ 100 Square Feet 1 Lb MLV Acoustic Barrier. Although this is quite expensive, however, this is a great sound barrier with 1/8″ thickness and 27 STC rating. Check out TMS Mass Loaded Vinyl 4′ X 25′ 100 Square Feet 1 Lb MLV Acoustic Barrier on Amazon.
My recommended acoustic panel is 12 Pack- Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Wedges 1″ X 12″ X 12″ from Mybecca. This includes 12 packs of panels, each panel is 1-inch thick and the dimension of each panel is 1 square feet. The best part is that this panel comes in various color, so you can pick the one that goes with the aesthetic of your home office. Check the price of these acoustic panels.
First, add the mass loaded vinyl to your drywall or your wall using staples or heavy sticky glue. Then on top of the MLV, add the soundproof acoustic panel using either adhesive strips or nails and hammer. If you plan to add 2 layers of drywall, then it is better to add the mass loaded vinyl between the layer of drywall and then add the soundproof panel on top of the two-layer drywall.
6. Soundproof the window:
The main source of external noise to come into your home office is the window. If your home office has windows and you live near a busy road, then you should definitely soundproof them to have a quiet workplace where you can focus on the work.
If the glass of your window is thin and your home office has a single pane window, then consider replacing them with thick and double pane windows to soundproof them. Each glass in the double pane window is separated by a spacer of 14mm to 20mm which not only dampens the noise, it also blocks the heat from the outside to enter the room and makes the room more energy efficient.
You should be able to buy a decent soundproof double pane window for around 100 dollars in your local hardware store. Although this may sound expensive for some people, however, trust me this thing is really helpful to soundproof your home office.
You should also consider installing a soundproof curtain to further block the noise from entering your home office. Soundproof curtains are made of materials that can absorb noise and they are not your regular curtains. My recommended soundproof curtain is the NICETOWN Blackout Curtains Panels. Check these out on Amazon.
The package contains 2 curtains and each curtain is 52″ wide x 84″ long. The material of this curtain is amazing and besides soundproofing, they are also thermal insulated, energy efficient, fade-resistant and block light from entering the room. They have an elegant design and you have got a wide array of colors to choose from. Most importantly, they are very affordable.
7. Soundproof your ceiling:
If you have people living above the floor of your home office and you are disturbed by the impact noise coming from the neighbor’s kids playing or your neighbor using the washing machine, then you should consider soundproofing your home office’s ceiling.
Soundproofing a ceiling needs a little work and construction, so you should consider a weekend project for this. If your ceiling has drywall installed already, then the first thing you should do is remove them. After that, fill any holes in the ceiling to reduce the airborne noise.
The next step should be installing batt between the joist of the ceiling. Batts are great to reduce airborne noise like music, singing and screaming to enter your home office. After extensive research, I found that Roxul Safe n Sound is one of the best and affordable batt for the ceiling. Check the price of Roxul Safe n Sound on Amazon.
After carefully installing the batts, install resilient channel under the joist. Resilient channels are a great absorber of sound waves (vibration) and they will reduce impact noise. My recommended resilient channel is RC-1 One Legged Resilient Channel 8′ Lengths – Box of 32 (25 Gauge). So after installing the resilient channel put back the drywall and you will have a soundproof ceiling. Check out RC-1 One Legged Resilient Channel 8′ Lengths – Box of 32 (25 Gauge) on Amazon.
However, many people don’t want to take on the extra hassle of removing the drywall and install batt and resilient channel. So is there any way to soundproof a home office ceiling without removing the drywall? Yes, there is a way!
You should install a soundproof acoustic panel in your ceiling. However, finding an acoustic panel for the ceiling is very difficult. So to my best knowledge, I found ATS Acoustic Panel one of the best soundproof acoustic panels for the ceiling.
Here is a quick video of how to install the acoustic panel on the ceiling.
A home office makes life easy. However, the distracting increase in sound pollution makes us lose focus and reduces our productivity. Now that you know the top 7 ways to soundproof your home office, you can easily block those distracting noises.
You can follow a few of my suggested steps depending on your home office environment and soundproof your home office. Although following all the steps will give you the ultimate soundproof home office, however, you have to spend thousands of dollars which is not logical.
Working at home is awesome and peaceful. I hope this article has been helpful to you and best of luck with your project to soundproof your home office.