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Here’s how to create a sound proof room for your home office to feel professional – on a budget you can afford.
Sound is a real hurdle for those of us who work from home, and an often overlooked factor while setting up an office at home.
Working from home is a convenient option for many women. You get to work from the comfort of your home and at the same time stay closer to your family, but this can also mean a lot of distractions and disturbance pouring in from the household and the neighbourhood as well.
Creating a sound proof room for your home office is thus a good option for fixing these problems. Soundproofing is nothing but building a mass between your home office and the other areas, whether you work from a room, hallway or even a basement. If you feel all the unwanted sound is giving you nightmares when you are at work or attending the most important calls with your clients, then it’s worth investing some money in creating a peaceful, work friendly, and sound proof room for your home office.
You can hire a professional and get the work done if you have extra money to spend or if you are on a budget crunch, you can go the DIY way. Most of the materials can be found at the local hardware store or you could do a web search for soundproof materials and even consider ordering them online if that is cheaper.
Here are a few budget friendly ideas on how to create a sound proof room for your home office.
Compared to the rest of the room, walls can be time consuming. If you plan to improve on existing walls then you need to build a basic wall frame made of wood and attach it to the surface using studs or hooks. Fill in the frame with a damping compound which is sold in the market as a noise proofing glue or viscoelastic adhesive. Its function is to convert sound energy into heat, thus giving an insulating effect and reducing the amount of sound.
If there are any cracks in between the adhesive and the drywall they need to be sealed with acoustic caulk or acoustic sealant as these can undermine your soundproofing. If possible, look for fire resistant caulk as it can prevent fire from spreading all over the walls and provide extra safety in case of fire.
Give a finishing touch by covering it with a soundproof fabric that matches your decor. The idea simply is to create layers of hard and soft material that deadens the sound.
If this does not seem enough, mounting wedged acoustic panels on them is another option.
They are good at absorbing any frequency of sound. These are available in a variety of colours and styles catering to your tastes and preferences. Most of them come with an adhesive peel and can be easily glued to any kind of walls and ceilings. They provide a good dampening to the amount of sound, help you focus on work and keep your ears happy.
If you have a high budget and are ready to shell out extra cash, then try speciality soundproof tiles. They are worth the money.
Doors let in a lot of noise into the room from the rest of the house. Unlike the hard core main door, inside doors are mostly made of lesser quality wood and tend to be thinner. They are cost effective but the downside is that they provide very poor sound proofing. They leave a gap even when closed tightly and sounds vibrate right through them.
If budget permits, remove the existing door and install an office-like solid soundproof door or build an exterior on the existing door.
For this you can buy soundproof patches, easily available at any hardware store, fix or patch them symmetrically using a glue. Once done, seal the edges with viscoelastic adhesive to give a neat finished look. Fill in any small gaps between the door jamb and the wall with foam insulation and cover with a decorative moulding.
It’s up to your preference whether to make it colourful or to stick to nude shades. Finish it off by installing a door sweep. This covers the gap at the base of the door. It comes as a rubber loop or in a dense brush form. The rubber loop works best in keeping the noise away.
Normally floors are the last to be soundproofed or at times even left without any work. But sound waves do travel through floors in most of the homes, depends on the type of flooring again. The hard laminated ones tend to resonate more. So this extra effort will ensure that you are not disturbing anyone in the rooms below and vice versa.
Generally carpets are the most preferred option for a sound proof room. But it is advisable to cover the floor with soundproof mats before spreading the carpets just to provide an extra resistance to sound.
It is worth soundproofing your ceiling if you have rooms above yours and are constantly bugged by the noise from above. You could follow almost the same procedure as used for the walls but the idea here is to create an airtight effect by using foam insulation for the tight stuffing instead of the viscoelastic compound as heavy concrete ceilings do not benefit much from the stuffy damp layers.
Another option could be installing acoustic ceiling tiles. These can always be an easy and effective option keeping in mind the cost of course. There are tiles available in the market which provide noise reduction up to eighty percent.
When it comes to soundproofing, fabric plays a good role in limiting the echo. Rooms with less fabric like curtains and carpets resonate more. So consider creating a sound proof room with thicker curtains instead of blinds or shades as they resist sound inside out.
If you opt for the heavier sound curtains make sure to adjust your lighting accordingly as the thicker ones give a comparatively darker setting to the room. These can be more than just decoratives. Wall to wall curtains also work well.
Furniture for that matter has the same effect as fabric and does makes a big difference to the sound bouncing in the room. You can place large bookshelves on the already soundproofed walls to obstruct more of the sound depending on your necessity, though. If you have extra furniture other than your working table like big chairs or a couch consider placing them against the walls as their mass and fabric can help absorb sound around and make your room a peaceful place to retire for work.
Eliminating noisy distractions and embarrassing sounds can make you come across as more professional, besides enabling you to concentrate better. So spare some extra money for a sound proof room to work in, to ensure greater productivity and improved work flow.
Top image via Pixabay
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