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HOW TO SOUNDPROOF DORM ROOMS AND COLLEGE RESIDENCES
Those of us who have experienced a college dorm room, understand truly how much actually takes place in such a confined living space. A dorm room or sometimes campus apartments will have one or two common areas– rooms —where you’re spending time with friends, eating or just hanging out which tends to be noisy. And (if you’re lucky) your own room – the space where you go to take a break and sleep that you want private and quiet. For college student’s life is about being on a budget, so how do you soundproof your dorm when you’re sharing walls on the cheap.
Most of the dorm rooms on or off campus are small and minimally furnished with only a few essentials like bed and desk. This alone makes it easy for noise to reverberate off bare surfaces, such as hard floors and blank walls. Noise coming in from the outside or echoing within a small bare living space can cause a terrific annoyance. Here are some quick and easy tips to soundproof a room that fit everyone’s budget.
Tip 1: Create White Noise
Perhaps the cheapest and fastest way to create a peaceful environment is to create your own white noise to distract you from other unpleasant and intrusive sounds. A good place to start looking is a local thrift store for a used fan or humidifier to provide static noise that will drown out external sound. You can play music softly in the background or consider purchasing a small sound masking machine to control what you hear. There are also apps on most smart phones that can play an array of white noise or background sounds.
While adding white noise makes outside noises less distracting and annoying, it does not actually block the sound.
Tip 2: Soundproof Your Dorm Windows to Block Outside Sounds and Noises
Chances are there is noise also entering through the windows from the streets as well. That is why it is vital to think about covering your window and blocking those outside sounds and noises. Consider investing in soundproofing curtains, not only do they act as a sound barrier, but products like our AcoustiCurtain block up to 90% of noises and blackout 100% of light—the perfect combination for creating the optimal sleep sanctuary. Whether it’s for a late night, a mid-day nap or a weekend of studying, sound blocking curtains are easy to install and is a quick cost-effective solution to quieting any dorm or apartment room.
Tip 3: Get Rugs & Decorate the Walls with Sound Absorption Materials
NOTE: Adding absorptive surfaces may lower the dBA level in your room by 3-5 points, but will not make a significant impact if your windows and doors are not fully sealed.
A bare floor creates sound with the shuffling of feet and heels while also echoing and doing nothing to absorb sound waves within a dorm room. Cover the floor with a rug or a carpet (the thicker the better). Not only will it mitigate sounds in the shared rooms, it looks better and more comfortable when engaging in group activities (board games anyone?). This also works well in areas dedicated to personal space.
Covering the walls with tapestries or large framed images don’t just look good, they help absorb and reduce outside noises. They key is to ‘thicken’ the walls by hanging foam or fabric covered cork boards instead of posters or other items that have no sound absorption benefits.
We hope you find this information useful. Feel free to contact Residential Acoustics about soundproofing a room or dorm if you have any questions. Our team is always happy to help!