Working in a loud home office can be very frustrating. It can distract you from your work, interrupt your online meetings, and disturb your working rhythm. Fortunately, there are plenty of easy ways you can improve your home office with cheap and affordable soundproofing materials that will surely keep the noise away.
Don’t you have any experience soundproofing your home? No worries! Below you’ll find the easiest materials to use and install in your home office, along with some other accessories that can make your home office a more productive place to work in.
First thing first, you have to find out where the noise is coming from.
If your home office is in a closed room, you might want to check out a few things to find out which type of soundproofing materials you will need.
Here are the most common causes of noise in a home office:
Hollow walls tend to let the noise pass through from surrounding rooms. If your office has hollow walls, you may need to get sound-absorbing materials that you can stick to your walls.
Tip: Knock on your walls to find out which spots are hollow and which are solid.
Depending on what type of door you have, you may experience noise passing through the gaps in your doorway. Having a hollow door can also be a cause for noise getting into the room.
Some windows have great sound-blocking features, while most have normal or even a lack of sound-blocking abilities.
For windows that cannot block out traffic sounds or other loud noises coming from the outside, your best bet for a piece of silence would be window films.
If your walls, doors, and windows are not the problem, the noise could be coming from the electronics in your office.
Always double-check your sockets to make sure everything is plugged in safely. Also, check for malfunctioning devices that could be the cause of any ticking, scratching, or other mechanical noises.
Once you have identified the source of the noise from your home office, you can now move forward to finding the best soundproofing materials.
Here are some things that you can get from the local hardware store that you can install in your home office DIY style:
1. Door Sweep
One of the simplest solutions for noises getting through your office home doorway is a door sweep. You can get a door sweep from your local hardware store, mall, or superstore.
When you get a door sweep, always make sure to measure your door first to avoid getting the wrong length. It would also be great to measure the gap beneath your door, so you can get a door sweep that seals the gap well.
If you notice drafts coming from your windows, doors, or walls, this could mean that noise can pass through those air drafts as well.
When it comes to small holes or gaps between windows, doors, or walls, the best material you can use is a sealant.
You can get a sealant from your favorite hardware store, or you can also get them online. When you buy a sealant, make sure to get something that will stick to the material you’re trying to seal.
3. Sound Deadener Mats
There are different types of deadener mats that can help you absorb sound vibrations that cause noise. This can be easily ordered online or bought at a Walmart, Costco, or any hardware store.
If you want the best results, you should look for an MLV or Mass Loaded Vinyl mat. It is designed with thick materials that absorb sound.
Tip: You can get large sheets of MLV mats and cut it out in different shapes and sizes that you need to cover up surfaces in your home office.
4. Window Soundproofing Film
If your home office has a window facing the street, you might want to invest in window soundproofing film.
Window soundproofing film is very easy to use and is the go-to soundproofing material if you want to prevent traffic or outside noise from passing through your windows.
Another great thing about soundproofing film is how easy it is to install. You just have to cut out the right size and then stick it onto your windows.
5. Acoustic Panels
Acoustic Panels are great soundproofing materials for home offices with hollow walls. You can add acoustic panels to your walls with heavy-duty double-sided tape or a bunch of screws for better support.
However, acoustic panels may be a bit harder to come by. Not all hardware stores have them, but you can easily order them online.
6. Sound Absorbing Wall Paint
First time hearing about sound-absorbing wall paint? Well, you’re not the only one. Sound-absorbing wall pain is probably the least known material for soundproofing but is also one of the most innovative soundproofing solutions out there.
This type of paint may be harder to find in hardware stores but are widely available online. You can order one right now and have it shipped to your home without a sweat.
Next Read: Cheapest Ways to Soundproof a Room that Actually Work
Sound-absorbing wall paint works by using a soft pigment that wobbles around and absorbs noise when sound vibrations hit it.
Sometimes squeaky floors or hardwood floors make it impossible to have a quiet time at work, especially when people are always walking in and out of your office.
One of the most practical and affordable ways to solve a noisy floor problem is through carpeting. Order a plush carpet online and lay it on your floor to make your floor soundproof in an instant.
8. Soundproofing Curtains or Blankets
Another type of soundproofing material that works well for home offices is soundproofing curtains and blankets.
Soundproofing curtains and blankets are designed with thick pieces of cloth that are able to absorb sound vibrations, preventing noise from passing through them.
Tip: Get soundproofing curtains or blankets with an STC rating to make sure that you’re getting quality soundproofing curtains and blankets that can reduce up to 80% of noise.
Now that you are well aware of the cheap and affordable soundproofing DIY materials you can get for your home office, let’s quickly get into other pieces of noise-reducing accessories that you can use as well.
Sometimes, soundproofing isn’t enough to drown out the distracting noises reaching your office. For those instances, the next best thing you can try is using one or maybe two kinds of noise-reducing accessories.
Here are some noise-reducing tools and techniques that you can use in your home office for a better working environment.
1. White Noise Machine
A white noise machine is basically this small speaker that plays you all sorts of music to drown out unwanted noise.
You can choose to play songs, nature sounds, calming music, and so much more. You can even set specific times for the white noise machine to play and stop its music.
2. Noise-Cancelling Headphones
When you don’t have enough space or time to try installing different soundproofing materials for your home office, you can always try to drown every noise out with a quality pair of noise-canceling headphones.
If you decide to get a pair of noise-canceling headphones, you might want to check out brands like Sony, Bang, and Olufsen, Apple, or Samsung.
They all make great noise-canceling Bluetooth headphones that don’t only help you tune into your own world but are also great productivity tools for all those online meetings.
3. Interior Design
The way your home office is laid out can also affect how noise passes through your space. You can try decorating your office with sound-absorbing materials like decorative curtains, carpeting, and paneling.
When it comes to interior design, you can also try creating a cozy space to make the entire room more sound-absorbent. Remember, when the space is wide and open, sound vibrations can echo and be more noticeable.
You’re almost set!
You now know about the different soundproofing materials as well as noise-reducing accessories and techniques you can try out in your home office.
To help you avoid confusion, let’s quickly determine the difference between sound-deadening and sound-blocking materials.
Sound-blocking materials used for soundproofing are materials that completely block sound from coming into a room. For example, sealants make for great sound blockers since they seal noise entry points, completely preventing sound vibrations from getting inside the room.
Sound-deadening materials, on the other hand, do not block noise, it only reduces noise. A great example of sound-deadening materials would be soundproofing curtains and carpeting. These materials can reduce noise by up to 80%.
Remember, the key to keeping your home office peaceful and quiet is making sure that there are no gaps, holes, or hollow areas in your windows, walls, doors, and floors. Using appropriate soundproofing materials for these can help you reduce noise by up to 80%.
Make sure you use the right kind of materials for every type of surface you will cover to ensure that your soundproofing solutions will last long and work 100%.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.