How much does it cost to soundproof a room?
Whether you need to reduce the volume of noise outside of the home, or whether you require the elimination of sound occurring within the structure (such as a shared wall in an apartment or condominium complex) there will be a few ways that effective soundproofing can be done.
For example, the homeowner converting a large living area into a home theater will usually hire a contractor to enhance exterior walls with framing, a bottom plate, and alternating studs that provide an excellent sound barrier. This is something that would cost $40 to $50 per hour in labor expenses alone. For the purpose of this discussion we will consider the options and estimated costs for soundproofing a single room in the home. This room will measure 20'x12' and will have two windows and a single door. This is a project that can be either a DIY or a professionally contracted one, and cost variations will be quite significant due to the hourly charges for labor.
Generally, the typical soundproofing costs will include:
- Walls and ceiling - a homeowner could use everything from carpeting to paneling to dampen noise from the outside. They recommend using textured materials in order to further reduce sound transfer. A single sheet of 4'x8' textured wall paneling suitable for the project would cost roughly $33, and the project would require 504 square feet for the walls along with another 240 square feet for the ceiling, translating to 25 panels or $825;
- Windows - if the windows in the home are out of date and not well sealed they will allow a great deal of sound to enter the room. This might be through exterior noise or through air flow around the seals and either way it will be a good idea to also replace them in order to create a soundproof environment. The cost for the average replacement window will be between $300 and $700, but energy efficient models will also come with financial rebates; and
- The Floor - if the flooring is already carpeted the amount of sound absorbed by this material will be substantial, but if it is covered in another material such as wood, tile, or linoleum 1 there may be the need to cover this with padding 2 and carpeting in order to eliminate sounds created by vibrations and adjoining homes or rooms. A high-quality carpet and pad will usually average around $19 to $40 a square yard installed, meaning that the room described would require around $1080 for carpeting.
Additional considerations and costs
- Textured paint - one great way to reduce the costs of a soundproofing project such as the one described here is to rely on textured paints to serve as sound absorbers. For example, a heavily textured ceiling treatment may provide almost as much sound absorption as sheets of acoustic paneling, but will come in at only a fraction of the total costs; and
- Hangings - it is important to also remember the benefits of hanging heavy drapes or fabric panels over windows and exterior walls in order to help limit the amount of noise coming into a room from the outdoors.