Soundproofing Your Garage For Late Night Activities
Soundproofing your garage is a great idea for innumerable reasons. Maybe you have a band that needs to do some practicing, maybe you’re setting up a torture chamber and you don’t want to freak out the neighbors, or maybe you just want a bit of privacy. Whatever the case, here is how to soundproof a garage effectively.
The first step is to decide what type of soundproofing you want to use. There are tons of options, but we recommend going all in. This means you need to soundproof the windows, you need to soundproof the garage door, and you need to soundproof the walls. You can even soundproof the floor of the garage, but that is a bit excessive.
Properly soundproofing your garage starts with understanding how sound moves. It slips through cracks extremely easily, and it moves through thin material like the cheap fibreglass of your garage door. This means you need to fill every crack, seal every gap, and make everything thicker and denser.
Starting with the windows, all you need to do is seal all the gaps. You don’t want sound leaking out through little cracks and crevices. This can easily be done with caulking and weather sealant. Be sure that you get the doors, the thin crack underneath the door, and anywhere else that noise might escape. This is the easiest and most affordable option.
The second thing you need to do is soundproof the giant garage door. That thing is thin, and if you’re banging on the drums or screaming along to your favorite song, everyone outside is going to hear you. This means you will need to insulate your garage door. There are proper materials that can be used for this, and it only takes a few minutes to install. Those giant rectangles of empty space on your garage door can quickly be filled with thick soundproofing insulation so that no more sound seeps through your door. This is cheap and easy.
A more expensive method is deadening the sound. This is going to involve installing acoustic foam panels that will turn your garage into a universe of its own. When sound waves hit acoustic foam, they are absorbed. They don’t bounce and they don’t fly through it, they get absorbed and vanish. This means vibration is minimized and there won’t be any echoes bouncing off the floor, walls, and ceiling. The only issue here is that foam panels can be a little expensive, and it looks kind of ridiculous when your garage walls are covered in spiky foam.
Some other simplistic methods involve soundproofing using deadening blankets. You can hang these all along your garage walls and on the garage door, and they will help dampen the sound waves. This is cheap and easy to do, but it kind of makes your garage look like a homeless shelter.
You can replace the garage door, you can add carpets to catch more of the sound, you can try putting acoustic foam only on the ceiling so it doesn’t look quite as ridiculous, and you can even build a small room inside your garage to do whatever kind of noisy stuff you’re in the mood for. At the end of the day, a mixture of all these methods is the best way to soundproof your garage once and for all.
What Material Can Block Sound?
Some materials block sound better than others. It’s all about mass and density. The reason you can hear everything going on in the other rooms of your house is because there is not enough insulation in the walls and the doors, and because nothing is sealed properly. Sound can travel easily through thin material, especially wood and drywall. The best soundproofing materials are going to be thick and dense to block and dampen sound.
A vinyl sound barrier works extremely well by adding mass to your floors, walls, and ceilings without adding a lot of bulk. A vinyl sound barrier is really thin, but it’s built out of a special material that adds mass to completely block sound. It works in the same way as soundproof blankets.
There are a lot of other great materials, such as soundproof caulking, resilient sound channels (though these are quite complicated and don’t actually block sound), soundproof drywall, etc. But the best soundproof materials, especially for a garage, are going to be soundproof foam panels and acoustic foam.
The reason foam works so well is that it’s dense and can absorb sound like a sponge. This is why it’s used inside music studios. The whole point in any soundproof material is that it stops the soundwaves from moving through the walls, ceilings, and floors. With special foam insulation, the sound is absorbed before it ever has a chance to escape.
What is the Best Way to Soundproof a Room?
If you’re trying to soundproof a room, like your bedroom or your living room, it’s all about stopping the sound from getting out. As we’ve already discussed, the vinyl sound barrier works great if you plaster it over the walls. But this looks ridiculous. You’d have to put wallpaper over it or somehow make it not look silly.
Of course, you need to seal all the windows and the doors. You can try to install a door sweep, so the sound won’t go out from under the door. But if you want to do something really basic without using a lot of supplies, just make your room as thick as possible. Sound curtains and thick blankets work amazingly to stop the sound from leaving. Bookcases, dressers, big pieces of furniture – all this stuff will stop sound waves from bouncing around and getting out of the room.
You can hang up a lot of clothing, you can try to add as many layers to the wall as possible, and if you can, add some soundproofing foam behind the pieces of furniture where they can’t be seen. But above all, seal that door! Almost all the sound that’s leaving your room is going through the door. Most doors are thin wood. Try to install a thicker door so that sound can’t travel through it.
Is it Worth Insulating the Garage?
Insulating your garage to make it soundproof is absolutely worth it. Insulation is cheap, it’s easy to install, and even if it’s a little ugly it doesn’t matter because it’s just your garage. With a little bit of work, you can effectively insulate the garage door, the floor by using carpets, and the walls by using insulation foam or sound-dampening blankets and curtains. If you want absolute privacy in your garage, it’s totally worth it to insulate.