Would you like to have a designated workplace where you feel collected, calm, and comfortable? It would be best to have a comfortable chair, a leveled surface, and adequate lighting. But most importantly, you need to soundproof your home office for a good session of concentrated work.
But do you know what soundproofing is all about? Soundproofing is the technique of making a space impervious to sound waves passing through it.
Soundproofing prevents external noises from entering an area and prevents interior noises from departing. Although it is difficult to avoid all sound waves from entering or leaving a room, a substantial level of noise reduction is possible.
Soundproofing can be divided into two categories: reduction and absorption. Noise from outside your house requires sound reduction, which minimizes the amount of noise that enters your home. By absorbing noises emitted inside your house, sound absorption minimizes echo.
Keep reading to know more about soundproofing your home office.
Why do you Need to Soundproof a Home Office?
The work-at-home revolution is finally here, and it has been a long time coming. COVID-19 has only accelerated the move to working from home. You may have neglected noise issues while setting up your home office.
Distractions, stress, and your health may all be affected by traffic noise, how noisy your neighbors are, and even interruptions from your family members.
The sources of noise within your house, such as a dog barking or a partner on a conference call, are significantly more pleasant to our ears and hearts than traffic or construction outside.
However, soundproofing your workspace from unwanted disturbances is essential. Soundproofing with noise reduction materials, fortunately, is simple and inexpensive!
Soundproofing Home Office Walls
Look around the room for any air leaks. Sound travels through the air, and caulk and weatherstripping will solve most problems. Adding wall insulation is usually a good idea.
There are acoustic wallpapers in the market that can insulate your space from low to mid-level frequencies to some extent. They are made up of numerous layers of wallpaper wrapped around a sound-dampening layer of foam or latex. It has also been proven that textured wallpaper reduces sound reflections from bare walls.
There are several elegant sound-blocking office dividers to select from, and they are not only suitable for open-plan offices. Placing them against the walls helps to minimize noise from adjacent rooms.
If your noise problem is not going away on its own, acoustic wall panels or wall tiles can be the answer. Wall cladding made of cork or other sound-absorbing materials might be used to produce a soundproof space.
This permanent but more expensive alternative will reduce noise to levels close to those seen in recording studios, so there is no need to look into it if you do not want a fully soundproof space.
The issue with a space is not often that it gathers up noise from other places but echoes sound back to itself.
The lack of things taking up space in a big or sparsely furnished room can cause sounds to ricochet throughout the room, magnifying even minor noises and making everything loud.
This difficulty is easily solved by filling the area with things that absorb echoed sound better. Furniture, especially when placed near to or on the walls themselves, might help to lessen the nature of the echo.
Outside noise will not be entirely prevented from entering the room, but reverberations will be reduced.
Soundproofing Home Office Floor
Make use of an area rug. It not only makes your workstation seem sophisticated, but it also helps to soundproof your home office. Thick piles or soft shag carpets may reduce the majority of reverberations caused by sound.
Adding dense materials to your workplaces, such as carpets, soft furniture, wall art, or even acoustic panels, helps block noise from intruding from the rest of your house.
Alternatively, you can have a large floor mat outside your home office to drown out the sounds.
Carpet pads are available in various textures, sizes, and, most crucially, thicknesses. A thin carpet padding will handle the problem of providing comfort to your feet, but it is not likely to absorb much noise.
Sound-absorbing carpet pads are thick and mainly composed of rubber. The wider the carpet pad, the better. A thicker pad provides more durability and noise reduction.
The best flooring for noise reduction includes carpet, laminate flooring, cork flooring, engineered wood, and vinyl flooring. These will help to reduce floor noise.
However, to be more professional, use glue instead of nails to adhere your flooring to the underlayment before installing the final flooring. It helps to reduce sound with even the least amount of effort.
Soundproofing Home Office Door
Create a discrete workplace with a fully closed door as a starting point. After that, you will be able to pinpoint the sound source. The noise source is critical in determining whether sound absorption inside the workplace or sound reduction outside the office should be your priority.
A professional carpenter might install an additional strip of wood around your doors to plug any gaps that let the sound from the corridor in. Consider using a decorative wooden panel to close the gap under the door if there is one.
Apply a layer of sound-absorbing paint on it. Inquire about sound-absorbing interior paint possibilities at your local hardware shop. Select the one that matches the color of your current doors as closely as possible.
To use it, follow the guidelines on the container. It will be put on similarly to regular paint but may appear a little thicker. External noise can be reduced by about 30 percent with a layer of sound-absorbing paint.
Thanks to the color, noises within the room will not be carried outside. You need to remove the door from its hinges and paint it multiple times outdoors.
Small sounds are also kept from soaring through the air between your office door and the floor using door snakes and door sweeps.
The door gasket fills the space between the door and the door frame. Door gaskets are permanently attached to the sides and top of the jamb to produce a robust and long-lasting seal.
If adding a lot of soundproofing measures to your door sounds like a lot of work, consider installing an acoustic door panel.
These panels are a step up from attaching a sheet of plywood to your door, but they are not as pricey as high-end soundproofing blankets made of fiberglass. They are available in various materials, ranging from the most common – foam to solid wood.
They efficiently soundproof your door by reducing the volume of sound waves that travel through them. You may either tack them to the door or use adhesive strips to prevent hurting it.
Soundproofing Home Office Windows
The best sound-absorbing materials are used to create window inserts, and they add a layer of protection between you and the noise.
Acrylic is used over the glass because it absorbs sound better. To form a seal in your window frame, the acrylic is encircled by compression tubing. It creates a dead air space between the acrylic panel and the window, which helps to keep noise out of your room.
Sound-blocking drapes minimize noise as well, although not as well as window inserts, and they also make your home office quite gloomy. Natural light improves our mood, relieves stress, and boosts our productivity.
Adding window inserts to your window is similar to adding a second pane of glass but with superior sound-absorbing materials and a more significant distance between them.
Furthermore, you may take it down at any moment without causing any damage to your window frames.
Heavy curtains made of thick fabrics like velvet or wool may significantly reduce noise levels in a space. Thick materials absorb sound from within the area while also blocking sounds from outside. Roman blinds with a canvas backing can provide two times the acoustic control.
Soundproofing Home Office Ceiling
It provides a better effect than absorbing vibration from the ceiling below by absorbing impact noise at the source before it enters the building structure.
If you are bothered by noise from above and cannot install soundproofing to the above floor, which would be the ideal solution, soundproofing the ceiling or putting sound insulation on your roof is the next best thing.
You can add mass to the ceiling to block the airborne noise, and acoustic plasterboard can help achieve this. Particular forms of mass block different sound frequencies better than others, therefore employing a mix of high mass materials rather than more of the same would produce a better outcome.
Because of the density of the material, it offers additional cushioning beneath the flooring and generates an extra layer of insulation to prevent conditioned air leakage.
Vibration dampening is a technique for reducing vibration and preventing it from traveling through a building from above. Isolation clips systems can help with this.
Sound absorption prevents sound from resonating and intensifying in closed spaces, such as between joists. The drum effect is another name for this. Including a high-performing sound absorption material, such as Acoustic Mineral Wool, can mitigate this impact.
Soundproof drywall should be used instead of standard and regular drywall. This form of drywall is thicker than the standard drywall used in ceiling construction, and as a result, it is more effective at soundproofing.
Consider adding another layer of drywall to your current drywall ceiling if you do not want to replace it. Adding a layer of drywall can help absorb airborne and impact noise further, reducing sound waves passing through your ceiling assembly from the area above you.
There are four primary methods to soundproof your home office.
Damping: Getting rid of vibrational energy before it builds up and produces sound waves from a building.
Decoupling: It creates a barrier between two buildings in direct touch with one other to prevent sound transmission.
Filling Gaps: Filling air spaces in a structure to prevent sound waves from effortlessly passing through.
Indoor Plants: Noise reduction is a lesser-known advantage of indoor plants. Plants with rough bark and significant, fleshy leaves are more effective in absorbing noise in the home.
Cork Pin Up Board: Cork is well-known as a natural soundproofing material because of its cellular structure’s capacity to absorb sound. Adding a cork pin-up board to the room can assist scatter and deadening sound waves.
Plan Book Shelves: If you have noisy neighbors, you may construct a library along the whole length of the shared wall, which will effectively block the sound coming in from their home to yours.
White Noise: A little white noise might sometimes be all you need to block out background chaos and concentrate on the task at hand. You can work while watching a YouTube video with rain sounds or installing an indoor waterfall with recirculating water. With the sound of bubbling water, you can mask out other noises and create the relaxing work atmosphere you desire.
We know working from home takes a great deal of self-control, and the distraction might be rather bothersome when your living environment is loud. Hence, follow the above tips, and you will be just fine.
Soundproofing, it is said, is linked directly to productivity, as is creative thinking and mental health. Your home office is likely to be your dedicated work area for the time being. You can’t control your noisy neighbors.
But what you do have power over how you design your workspace. By managing your space wisely, you can incorporate elements in your home office that will ensure a quiet ambiance.
Learning how to soundproof a home office gives you more control over your surroundings and allows you to work in a healthier setting.
With less noise and a concentrated mindset, you will feel like being your own boss and working with passion. However, there is always a possibility of going back to our typical offices.
In that case, you still need to read the situation and understand whether you are ready to make significant changes to your home office.
Anthony Laird is an interior designer and decorator with many years of experience. He is passionate about helping people make the most of their living space. Leveraging his many years of experience, Anthony Laird teaches people how to create the most inspiring interior spaces. With the increasing rate of home offices across the world, Anthony Laird now uses LichtenCraig to help more people design home offices that suit their personality and increase productivity.