How to Make a Big Room Quiet
Large rooms are often like echo chambers, and the noise inside of them can e quite distracting. Fortunately, there are several ways to reduce this noise.
When it comes to eliminating sound in a large room, your two options are to either block the noise or absorb it. You can block sounds that come in from outside the room, preventing those noises from ever reaching inside the space. Sounds within the room can be absorbed so that sound waves are captured by the materials they come in contact with rather than bouncing off them. Both options have have a tremendous amount of impact on the amount of noise in the room, but absorbing sound may be a better option for renters who may not be able to make some of the changes sound blocking requires. Whether your room is wide or very tall, the same sound-deadening principles apply.
Fill In Holes
The same cracks and gaps that let cold air into your home or apartment will also let in outside noises. The rule is that a 1 percent gap transmits 50 percent of a sound. Try caulking around windows and repairing wall cracks to reduce the amount of noise in your room. It's cheap, easy and effective.
Replace Your Windows
Although they cost about 10 percent more than double-paned windows, triple-paned windows are much better at keeping noise out. You can install acoustic window seals instead, but once you've done so, your windows will no longer open. Triple-pane windows allow you to get the same noise protection without limiting the windows' function.
Get New Doors
Replacing hollow-core doors with solid-core doors blocks a significant amount of noise. A solid door cost about $200 as of 2013, but they are well worth the investment.
Pocket doors create a space inside the wall that cannot be insulated or filled in. Depending on what you are using the room for, it may be better to move the activity to a different room than contend with the lack of soundproofing a pocket door creates.
Hang Acoustic Tiles
Fabric is an effective way to absorb sound, and hanging it on the walls works well but isn't always the most attractive option. Work around this by purchasing fabric-covered acoustic tiles and hanging them on your wall. They are available in many colors, so you can create an attractive and functional sound absorber. Some companies even make art prints on acoustic panels to add beauty and function to your walls.
Check Out Flooring Options
Adding wall-to-wall carpet to a large room is the most immediate and impactful way to reduce noise pollution. Cork flooring is also an excellent sound absorption material, and the air space beneath floating hardwood floors also helps to deaden sounds. If changing the flooring isn't an option, bring in an area rug to help with the noise without permanently altering the room.
Sound waves will be absorbed by soft surfaces and bounce off hard ones, so adding thick drapes, throw pillows and overstuffed furniture to a large room will help make it quieter. Get rid of as many hard surfaces as you can and swap them out for softer pieces; you'll be amazed at the difference.
Apply a Coat of Paint
You can reduce the amount of sound bouncing off your walls by 30 percent with acoustic paint. This special paint contains sound-absorbing fillers and resins as well as tiny hollow ceramic spheres to reduce the amount of echo in the room. This option is terrific on ceilings, which can be difficult to soundproof using other methods.
Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.