You work night shifts and arrive home early in the morning each day. Just at the moment you tuck into bed for a good sleep, everyone else in your area is just waking up. Cars on the street, parents walking kids to school, neighbours cooking breakfast and banging doors.
If you work nights, you’ll know precisely how frustrating this all can be and how easily it can disrupt your sleep cycle.
Needless to say, a lack of deep sleep can lead to all sorts of health problems including:
- High blood pressure
- Reduced sex drive
- Issues with concentration
- Impaired judgement
- Weight gain
Reducing the amount of noise entering the room where you sleep is the best way to ensure you enter into a deep, long sleep cycle and feel fresh and alert when you wake up.
Those of you that have never worked shifts or nights may not be able to appreciate how difficult it is to get a good sleep during the day.
While there are plenty of specialist firms that can soundproof an entire room, the cost is usually very high.
We carried out research in 2018 and found that room soundproofing can easily run into thousands of pounds.
With that in mind, we’ve created a 10-step guide to soundproofing your sleep room – on a shoestring budget.
Not every item in our list will apply to you but even fitting just a few of these can make a huge difference to the amount of noise you’ll hear.
10 Steps to Soundproofing On a Shoestring Budget
1) Fit Secondary Glazing
Secondary glazing is usually installed on the inside of an existing window and there should be a fairly wide gap between the secondary glass and the original window – several inches is ideal.
It’s this air gap that helps to reduce the noise levels entering the home.
We also suggest the inner, secondary window has glass that is thicker than the glass in the original window and it should be fitted with acoustic laminate.
Should you wish to delve into this topic further, you will find plenty of information online about the benefits of acoustic glass laminate.
2) Install Triple Glazing
While a secondary window is the preferred option, it’s not always possible, so consider a new triple glazed unit as an alternative.
You don’t need to upgrade every window in the entire home, just the window in the bedroom you sleep. The extra thickness of the unit and extra panel of glass with a thick laminated surface will block direct and indirect noises.
While a standard triple glazed window is only slightly better than a double glazed one, you can change the thickness of the glass panels and choose a product with sound-blocking laminate.
You can check prices from local window installers here and ask about sound-blocking products they offer.
3) Install Window Shutters
Window shutters are extremely popular in mainland Europe, they provide additional security benefits, block out light and also reduce the amount of noise entering the room.
Typically installed to the outside of the property, and secured to either side of the window, they are manufactured from either Upvc plastic, metal or timber.
Once closed, they help to block out light and sound, helping you get a good sleep.
Window shutters are an excellent addition to secondary windows, triple glazed units and acoustic curtains.
4) Try Acoustic Curtains
Sound blocking acoustic curtains can be up to 10mm thick and this includes 8mm of soundproofing material. That is enough to reduce direct noise by up to 15 decibels.
Even a 4mm acoustic curtain can block up to 5 decibels of direct noise and don’t forget; these curtains are also excellent at blocking light too.
5) Cavity Wall Insulation
This is an easy win.
Cavity wall insulation doesn’t just keep heat inside the home, it also keeps noise out.
The entire process only takes a couple of hours and there are even grants available from energy suppliers to reduce the cost.
See how much it typically costs to install cavity wall insulation here.
6) Loft Insulation
You might be surprised at how much noise travels into a home via a typical roof and loft.
The average home has very little sound-blocking material between a typical bedroom and the area outside of a roof – often just tiles, underfelt, some thin insulation and regular plasterboard.
Topping up your loft insulation to the recommended minimum thickness of 270mm is cheap, easy and quick. Many homeowners even do this work themselves.
7) Install an Extra Layer of Plasterboard
Regular plasterboard isn’t very good at blocking sound.
An extra layer, fixed directly to the original, will help somewhat.
For best results, use a thicker plasterboard, preferably one that is backed with insulation or soundproofing material.
There are many acoustic plasterboard products on the market, most range from 12mm thickness up to 50mm.
In general, the thicker the better, especially if it’s lined with soundproof material.
8) Floor Insulation Underlays and Mats
Whether the noise is travelling up from a room below or down via a room above, floor soundproofing is the way to go.
The cheapest option is to install a layer of acoustic underlay.
Prices start from £3.50 per sq metre but this is at the low end of the quality scale. A 3mm rubber backed underlay cost around £7 per sq metre (supply only prices).
For maximum effect, lay 15mm dedicated floor installation rubber tiles under the existing carpet/flooring. These cost around £33 per sq metre for supply only.
Underlays are very good at blocking impact noises such as walking on wooden flooring and items dropping onto the floor.
This site contains specifics for the SoundMat – one of the best flooring products you can buy.
9) Fill the Floor Joists With Sheep’s Wool
If sound is travelling via the floor or ceiling, consider filling the void in the ceiling or floor with sheep’s wool.
Sheep wool is the preferred material as it has great thermal and sound blocking properties but is also breathable, this means it won’t cause condensation. Your room can still breathe so any moisture such as that from your breathing at night, can still escape.
While sheep’s wool won’t block impact noises, it will reduce the amount of regular noise such as talking and television noise.
This site lists all the benefits of sheep wool, including soundproofing qualities.
10) Door Seals
Even internal doors can let in a serious amount of disturbing noise.
In fact, the bedroom door is the weakest part of the room, thinner than the walls and often hollow with little more than two layers of thin wood.
Rubber door frame seals and draft excluders not only keep out the cold, they also reduce the amount of noise coming into the room.
Amazon sells several draft excluders and door seals to fit most doors.
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We hope you found our insights into soundproofing to be informative.
If you don’t want to do this work yourself, let one of our trusted and rated partners supply you with a competitive quote.
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