A room of one's own... please.
July 7, 2008 8:15 PM   Subscribe

My friend recently moved into a new apartment where the two bedrooms are separated by french doors (with glass panes). What is the best way to soundproof this wall? Interested in both the cheapest and most soundproof solutions. Thanks!
posted by purplefiber to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Go to Ikea and get their extend-able curtain rods that have the rubber grips on both ends, then get some heavyweight cotton or canvas fabric, maybe enough to make two overlapping curtains to hang from a rod that can be hung on hooks on one side of the door. This will create a great semblance of privacy. Good luck!
posted by parmanparman at 8:27 PM on July 7, 2008

Hang carpet (remnants) by the barrelfull. Bushel? Whatever we use to measure lots of carpet. Anyway, yeah, hang lots of it.

This will largely prevent access between the rooms, but I'm assuming this is a matter of "I would prefer not to hear my roommate's nocturnal adventures with his very athletic and vocal girlfriend," or something along those lines, and so keeping the doors usable isn't an issue.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:27 PM on July 7, 2008

Honestly, I think there's very little we tenants (as non-builders) can do to make adjoining rooms truly soundproof. A lot depends on the roommates' mutual willingness to pretend not to hear anything. So create the appearance of privacy by hanging heavy fabric (or even sound-absorbing dense pile tapestries or carpet) on both sides of the door, or building a cheap filler wall flush with the real wall - even fabric stretched across might do - and pretending it's real.
posted by peachfuzz at 8:46 PM on July 7, 2008

One of the easiest solutions is to find or build a bookcase that fits snugly into the door frame and fill it with books. If you can put particle board or even plywood between the bookcase and the doors, even better. This will absorb a lot of sound, but I don't think there's any way of truly soundproofing in this situation.
posted by trip and a half at 8:51 PM on July 7, 2008

Echoing trip and a half, bookshelves are great soundproofing. Rather, the books are. Eight inches of paper (in the form of books) is probably better than anything else you could find.
posted by gyusan at 9:06 PM on July 7, 2008

In a similar situation, I've been using a big Expedit IKEA bookshelf, filled with books and all my other crap. It seems to work okay. Also, powerful, loud fans are good for covering up noise.
posted by unknowncommand at 9:42 PM on July 7, 2008

The bookcase idea is great. I would try my best to make the cabinet flush mounted with the doors and walls. that may require cutting notches for door knobs (try removing them first) and other hardware. Also you may have to elevate the case to clear any baseboard.

A tall dresser or wardrobe may work well too.

As for taking care of noise - a fan works great, but I personally love these Marpac white noise machines. Be warned though: once you start sleeping with white noise it's hard to sleep without it - you'll find yourself setting your clock radio in between stations when you're away from home or hassling your significant other to turn on a fan...
posted by wfrgms at 10:22 PM on July 7, 2008

I lived in an apartment with a similar set-up and never found a very good soundproofing method. I ended up covering my side of the door with a foam mattress pad, hung a fabric curtain over that, and then put a bookcase up against the door. Unfortunately, I could still hear everything on the other side of the door. I started sleeping with a fan on to create some white noise, and have been sleeping with that darn fan ever since.
posted by jrichards at 6:17 AM on July 8, 2008 [1 favorite]

Back up the bookcases with acoustic ceiling tiles. They are cheap and effective.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 6:35 AM on July 8, 2008

Sealing the air leaks in the door as if you were insulating against cold should be your first step.

What about some of thoes removable caulck products? "Dap Seal and peal" or something.
posted by bdc34 at 9:17 AM on July 8, 2008

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