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There are few sounds that can be as annoying, or disruptive, as a laundry room in an apartment or home. Whether it’s the clicking over from the wash cycle, the dryer rumbling at low frequencies, or the finishing buzzer, laundry room noise can wake you from a sleep, keep you from falling asleep and even prevent you from enjoying your favorite show. This article will discuss practical and easy ways to soundproof your laundry room.
Basics to Soundproofing a Laundry Room
We get this call every day – what are the best ways to soundproof my laundry room? While it seems like a simple, straight-forward question, there are a number of solutions depending on the type of laundry room noise you’re experiencing, as well as the design and layout of your home. Depending on the size of your doors and the location, here are o
ur best tips:
1. Move Laundry Machines Off the Wall
When you are looking to reduce the excess noise coming from your laundry room, you should check and see if the washer and dryer are right up against the wall. This is the first thing you should check and it comes with an easy fix.
Often-time the washer or dryer are pushed up against a wall, which is then rattling the structure itself (along with dishes and other fragile objects). When this happens, it’s really a simple fix to pull the machine off of the wall. Then, place a soft foam, or even a large sponge or other pliable object between the bottom of the machine and the wall, to prevent it from slipping back into its initial position later on.
If the laundry machines are pressed against the wall, then vibrational energy easily transfers and bypasses the doorway, which is the primary sound transmission path for most laundry room noise issues.
2. Install a Soundproof Curtain Over the Laundry Room Door
Most homes have walls with a decent amount of sound insulation. If unwanted sound is transferring between rooms in your home, chances are that the noise is coming in through gaps around your doors. Soundproofing the laundry room door is a simple and effective solution to your problem.
Sound Blocking Curtains are a cost-effective way to soundproof the laundry room door. By hanging the heavy-duty soundproof door panel over the door you are plugging any of the gaps around the perimeter of your door that are allowing sounds to sneak in.
Residential Acoustics developed the first STC-26 MLV soundproof curtains, which are completely light blocking and reduce 60-90% of sound transfer. By adding the dense material and also sealing off the weak points around the perimeter of the door, an AcoustiDoor can quiet everyday laundry room noises from the rest of your home.
3. Use MLV Barrier on the Inside of the Door
If your door is the only location where noise is escaping the laundry room, then consider installing mass loaded vinyl as an acoustic barrier on the inside of the laundry room door. Although this doesn’t look very appealing, it can be done in a single afternoon, and should only cost around $100 for the material.
When using this raw material, the application needs to be thorough, covering every square inch of the inside of the door panel, from the threshold to the top seams, and left to right across the door jambs.
Keep in mind that no matter how dense and acoustically sound the door itself may be, sound can still leak out from any gaps that may be around the door. We would recommend adding door weather-strips if you don’t have them already to seal up any gapping underneath the laundry room door.
NOTE: Do NOT install acoustic panels (fiberglass absorption panels) on the door. This is a misleading approach suggested by many panel manufacturers, and it will not effect the amount of sound passing through the doorway. Acoustic Panels are designed to reduce reverberation in a space (such as restaurants or clubhouses). When looking at soundproofing options to reduce the volume entering your space, consider only STC-rated products that reduce sound transmission.
Review: Steps to Soundproof Your Laundry Room
These are 3 most economical ways to soundproof a laundry room. Identify if it’s a vibration issue or airborne noise, and once you have, use our approach above to silence your laundry room for good! Get machines off the wall, and remove any rattling equipment or stored materials. Then, beef up the doorway by adding soundproof blankets and/or mass-loaded vinyl to minimize the sound passing through the door panel itself.