Apartment living isn’t easy, especially if you’re, for instance, a pet owner with pets agitated by outside noise or if you work from home and want no distractions.
First, the apartment isn’t yours. Second, you may not feel comfortable to complain or deal with noisy apartment neighbors. The bottom line is that most apartments have shared walls, and you typically do not get to select who will be your neighbor.
Figuring out how to adjust to apartment living can certainly be difficult, but soundproofing your apartment may be something that can help make it a little less stressful. Knowing this, one of the most important things you can do is soundproof an apartment door.
So how do you soundproof an apartment door?
This article focuses on approaches you can employ to soundproof an apartment door. The approaches vary from permanent, semi-permanent, and temporary solutions.
How to Soundproof an Apartment Door
In apartments, dealing with background noise can be a regular occurrence. With that said, your complaints a lot of the time only get you so far.
Did you know that your door is the main pathway of noise? No matter how you soundproof an apartment, your efforts will be a waste if you don’t pay attention to the door.
Below are different approaches to soundproofing an apartment door and limiting the door letting noise in:
Use Drapes or a Heavy Curtain
You can employ curtains on your doors just like your windows. Select the heaviest option you can because successful soundproofing is accomplished by using heavy and dense materials. A thicker fabric helps absorb the sound energy that enters through the door, turning it into a soundproof door.
For the best results, we recommend that you select soundproof curtains from stores such as AcoustiDoor™. It’s a retractable curtain with industrial hangers and grommets included. Unlike normal curtains, AcoustiDoor™ doesn’t only absorb sound, but they also deflect it from your room. The curtains also stand out for their thermal credibility. They’re designed with insulating properties that reduce the room’s cooling and heating costs.
Place a curtain rod on the door and hang the curtain or drape that flows to the floor. The installation of the curtains involves having the curtain rods above your door frame. The rods should be fixed on your door frame such that they don’t leave any gaps.
You can nail the hangers on the walls above your door with minimal impact. They are, therefore, perfect for you if you live in a rental apartment.
Employ a Soundproof Blanket
At night, when it’s time to go to sleep, it’s not unusual to hear annoying sounds from your apartment. This may cause you to pull your soundproof blanket over your face in an effort to help you fall asleep.
We usually find comfort under the soundproof blankets because they’re thick enough to block sound. In the same way, you can soundproof an apartment door by covering it with blankets.
We recommend that you select the heaviest and thickest blankets available on the market. Ensure you cover the whole door and employ tacks to pin the blankets up.
Install Acoustic Panels
Even though you can’t control what the outside offers you to hear, there are clearly some ways that you can control the amount of sound you are able to hear inside your apartment.
Another option is to install, to your door, acoustic panels. This can drastically limit the sound bounce that enters and echoes in your apartment.
In some instances, no matter if you buy a condo or rent an apartment, metal doors are used. The best acoustic panel to use in this case, in our opinion, is the Quiet Door™ Acoustic Panels. These panels are designed to reduce both noise transfer and echo. We highly recommend these panels since they not only work, they are also very easy to install. You don’t need any special tool since its fabric cover and adhesive side only uses velcro.
Use Foam Tiles
Another easy temporary solution is the application of interlocking mat and foam tiles. Foam tiles are readily available in most stores, so they are not hard to locate and purchase.
You can attach foam tiles to your door using adhesive velcro. After mounting the foam tiles, expect a sound reduction.
Applying foam tiles on the door is similar to laying them on the floor. With that said, when installing them on a door you have to attach them securely to prevent them from falling off.
Have Rugs in the Entryway of Your Door
One of the easiest ways to achieve soundproofing is laying rugs directly under your door. This ensures that sound is absorbed in the front, and it also adds character to your entryway.
With the rugs, you can remove them easily when you want to move-out of an apartment, or you could simply leave them there.
Weatherstripping the Door
If you’re feeling air leaks around the perimeter of the apartment door, then there is a gap in the door jamb. If there are in fact weatherproofing strips already installed, there is a high chance they’re worn out.
Weatherstripping has many benefits, including having a proven record to successfully block noise from the outside. It is also a great way to save energy in an apartment.
Change out old, if necessary, and install new weatherstripping around the door’s perimeter, such as Adhesive Insulation Soundproofing Foam Tape. This is a multi-functional foam tape that is highly adjustable and flexible, depending on your needs.
Test the door after installing it and inspect if there are more gaps to seal. Each time you close or open the door, a push on the self-adhesive should make it more.
If you seek a complete seal, employ a door seal like Sound Proof Weather Stripping Door. It’s an all-in-one weatherstrip that comes with a door sweep. Using this weatherstrip guarantees you a reduction in noise from the outside, along with protection from dirt or bugs.
Alternatively, you can also consider using Door Gasket. Door Gaskets are a metal version of weatherstrips. They, therefore, form a permanent solution to gaps in the door jamb.
Paint the Entire Door Using Sound Absorbing Paint
Many soundproofing enthusiasts and professionals argue over the effectiveness of sound-deadening paint. For your information, soundproof paint is a thick flat latex paint with a higher density than standard paints.
A good example of such paint is Acoustic Coat–Sound Deadening Paint, which is available in most stores.
It’s a water-based, heavy-bodied paint that limits the sound waves transmission and, at the same time, offers a highly-reflective heat barrier on your painted surface. The application of such paint is straightforward, just like conventional paint; all you need is a brush.
Painted doors are also visually appealing apart from possessing the ability to block noise.
Attach Door Sweeps
The space between your floor and door is probably the biggest gap in your whole apartment. With that said, the space is critical since it ensures the door doesn’t scrape your floor.
Even after applying a door gasket or weatherstrip, you need to use a door sweep to complete the sealing process. The sound won’t pass under your apartment door with the door sweep seal installed.
Apart from blocking noise, the door also won’t allow any other energy forms in or out, which is how to save money while living in an apartment. Dust and bugs will also be blocked from entering too.
Two types of door sweeps are used: metal strips that nail, staple, or screw to the door bottom, and u-shaped door sweeps that slide under steel or aluminum doors.
You can also install soundproof pads, which are similar to door sweeps. They have the same materials used in construction site noise barriers, such as sound insulating felt, EPDM rubber, iron power, and polyester wool, for absorbing sound effectively.
Use an Automatic Door Bottom
An ADB (Automatic Door Bottom) is a sealant that can cover the gap between the floor and door. It’s more modern than a door sweep.
Since an ADB is automatic, it’s bulkier compared to a door sweep. Whenever you close your apartment door, a plunger or small button-like is pushed. This results in a rubber seal dropping to close the gap. The seal is usually inside the ADB’s body when the door is open.
Hang a MLV (Mass Loaded Vinyl) Barrier on the Door
Mass Loaded Vinyl increases the door surface mass, thus, leading to less annoying noise transfer. MLV contains added mass by metal particles, making them ideal for blocking sound from outside.
It works almost the same way as an acoustic panel, but instead of using tiny ticks, construction adhesives are employed. To install them, cut the sheet into the size of the apartment door part you want to cover. Stick the MLV on and allow it to dry with the paste. Even though it’ll take more time for the construction adhesive to dry, it’s more sturdy.
This permanent solution will require you to get permission from the landlord or property manager, but expect a major increase in noise blocking if you are allowed to install it.
Caulk Gaps in Your Apartment Door or Door Frame Using Green Glue Sealant
Even the tiniest hole or slightest crack could be your number one enemy. You need to seal these as soon as possible using green glue sealant. With that said, applying a green glue sealant is a permanent solution that you can’t undo.
The best approach to check for gaps is to turn off all the lights inside your apartment and shine a flashlight on the other side of the closed door. Any place you see light creeping through needs to be sealed.
Convert a Hollow Door with a Solid Door
You need to understand that most doors are hollow core doors, especially if you’re new to soundproofing. To achieve the ultimate in soundproofing, we recommend that you have solid doors instead of hollow doors.
With that said, when you start looking for apartments, the type of apartment door typically is not near the top of the wants/needs list . You’re unlikely to do a knock test while apartment hunting.
We recommend that you soundproof an apartment door by converting hollow core doors into solid core doors. To achieve this, you’ll require a can of insulation spray foam.
Begin by drilling several holes that are just big enough for the insulation foam spray can’s nozzle to fit in. Spray the insulation spray foam inside while plugging each hole using tape. Start from the bottom of your door and work your way up, and let the foam solidify and expand.
Spray at least every 12-inches until you get to the top of your door. Remember to remove the knob and lock mechanism while applying foam to avoid messing with its function.
This permanent solution will require you to get permission from the landlord or property manager, but we promise the end result is totally worth the hassle.
Replace a Hollow Door with a New Solid Door
As we have highlighted earlier, a solid door offers the best option for soundproofing. The biggest challenge here isn’t the cost of replacing your door, but getting the landlord’s approval to make changes.
Solid core doors happen to be heavier and more dense than hollow doors. Different manufacturers offer these doors, from the more affordable MDF to hardwoods.
Normally, an average solid core door for soundproofing has a thickness of ½-inch-thick particleboard.
Apartment living comes with different challenges, including, at times, unwanted noise.
As far as soundproofing is concerned, your door is the weakest link, so we recommend that you start with it before any other part of the apartment.
Utilize the above suggestions for optimal sound absorption in your apartment. Please note that it will cost you money to purchase materials or pay a professional to help you out, but a more comfortable living experience is ultimately the desired result.