There has been a steady increase in the adaptation of “Work From Home” since the lockdown. As technology advances, it is easier for people to execute their jobs effectively from their homes.
One of the challenges faced when working from home is noise, which can come from outside (cars and people) and inside (your kids, roommate, or from the next room through the air duct); therefore, soundproofing your home office is paramount.
How to Stay Focused in Your Home Office
You will be calmer, more focused, and ready to carry out your job in a dedicated workspace. To set up a home office that will make you more productive, the basic things you need are comfortable chairs, good lighting for meetings, and a flat surface. Ultimately, it should be possible to soundproof the space.
Required Materials For Soundproofing a Home Office
The work is always easier when you have your materials available before starting. Here’s a list of the materials you will need.
- Door sweep
- Solid-core door
- 3/4 in. rigid insulation
- Construction glue
- 3/4-in. screws
- 5/8-in. drywall
- Foam insulation
- Resilient channel
- Vinyl weatherstripping
- Acoustic board
- 1 x 2 in. furring strips
Required Tools For Soundproofing a Home Office
It is important that you gather the tools for the project. Ensure they are ready before starting because they will save you time.
- Circular Saw
- Caulk Gun
- Dust Mask
- Utility Knife
- Tape Measure
- Screw Gun
How to Soundproof My Workspace Fast?
You don’t need to evict the kids or your roommate to solve the noise issue. The common way to solve the noise problem is to block the places sound penetrates through. Take these solutions accordingly.
1. Install a solid-core door
Though hollow-core doors are commonly found in today’s houses due to their affordability, solid-core doors are better at soundproofing than hollow-core doors. Solid-core doors with vinyl weatherstripping and a bottom sweep and threshold seal will ensure no sound enters the room through the doors.
2. Caulk around ductwork and electrical boxes
There may be crevices and cracks on your drywall around the ductwork and electrical boxes. Identify the openings and caulk them to restrict noise from entering your workspace.
- Add a Layer of Acoustic Board
- Adding a layer of acoustic board over the existing interior walls is a bigger project. It requires:
- The moving or extending of electrical boxes
- The addition of jamb extensions to doors
- The removal and installation of baseboards and casings.
Glue a layer of the acoustic board and attach another layer of drywall to the existing interior walls for additional protection from noise from the outside.
3. Soundproof Your Ceiling
The activities upstairs may be the cause of the noise, so nail 1×2 furring strips over 3/4 inch in rigid insulation in between the ceiling.
- Ensure the strips run perpendicular to the joists
- and install resilient channels to the furring strips using a screw with 3/4 inch screws.
- From the resilient channel, hang 5/8 inch drywall using 1-1/4 inch drywall screws
- Tape, sand, and then paint the ceiling
Note that the heating registers and electrical boxes need to be moved downward or extended. Learn how to soundproof the basement ceiling if you have a basement in your house.
4. Soundproof Stud Space
The noise may be from a stud space that serves as an air return. Install a layer of acoustic board and drywall inside the stud space. This will effectively minimize the return air flow by 1/3.
Note, ensure your heating system is safe by consulting a heating contractor.
5. Install Rigid Foam Insulation Board or Fiberglass Insulation Batts
Tear open the walls and install fiberglass batts or foam insulation around and behind the electrical boxes and ductwork.
6. Seal all Wall and Ceiling Holes
Any gap in walls or ceiling will let in noise, so endeavor to fill any hole, no matter how tiny it is, with fiberglass insulation batts, whether termite exit holes, drilled holes, recessed lighting holes, or cable holes.
7. Soundproof The Floor
The noise may be coming from the basement or neighbors downstairs. You have to soundproof the floor by loose-laying an acoustic board on the floor and covering it with a carpet or rug. The carpet or rug absorbs sound waves so that they will reduce the sound coming in through the floor.
Don’t Fall For This “HACKS”
Most times, soundproofing hacks don’t work; therefore, it’s better to stay away from them. Below is a list of “hacks” that are better stayed away from.
Soundproof Paint: This might be effective if you want to block very low-frequency sounds. But, for example, if your baby is crying next door, it won’t do much.
Egg cartons: These are not for acoustic solutions. They are best staying in the recycling bin.
Rugs and Carpets: These are best used for reducing echo in your room. However, do not block the noise coming in from your neighbor.
Soundproof Curtains: These will control the reverberation but will not get rid of the sound.
Working from home allows us to make money from home and also be close to our family, but noise sometimes can be so disturbing, and we need to soundproof our workspace. Soundproofing your home office is not rocket science.
Follow this DIY guide for soundproofing a home office. You will highly reduce or eliminate the noise coming into your home workspace.