Noise is an inevitable reality faced by homeowners everywhere. While some can easily ignore a boisterous romp, others balk at even the slightest bothersome drone.
When that noise comes from outside, such as cars driving by or neighbor’s kids playing, you can turn the volume up or shut the nearest window.
However, what can you do when that noise comes from within the house? What happens when a noisy ruckus breaks out when you are relaxing in your man cave watching the playoffs, playing Call of Duty, listening to your favorite records, or simply reading a book?
You have enough to deal with outside of your home. Your man cave is the refuge. It should be quiet
Nothing should ever disturb your hard-earned rest and relaxation. So, what do you do when faced with that problem? How do you protect your room?
The solution is simple enough.
Soundproof the living noise out of it!!!
Guide To Soundproofing Your Man Cave
Before we learn how to soundproof, there is good news and bad news.
The good news is that soundproofing a man cave is easier and far less expensive than you are likely thinking.
The bad news is that this project will require a bit of DIY know-how. So, if you are not the handyman type, start watching some Bob Villa videos right now.
Ok, now that the caveats are out of the way, let us start with the different ways to soundproof your room.
There is a notable contrast that must be drawn at the start, and we do this by establishing the difference between soundproofing and sound absorption.
Soundproofing is a process that consists of preparing a space to prevent external noise from entering. This process typically includes the use of insulating materials that block and absorb sound waves.
Sound absorption refers to the process of reducing the noise produced within a given space and preventing that noise from getting out. Absorption work is most often seen in conference rooms, restaurants, and other places where loud sources of noise are expected.
Man caves are the type of space that needs BOTH soundproofing work and a layer of sound absorption. After all, you don’t need to piss off the neighbors or have the missus yelling at you to keep it down every time the boys are over.
Soundproofing Your Man Cave Against External Noise
Most of the bothersome noise that will assault your ears will seep through the walls. You must add materials that absorb sound before it reaches your ears and adds barriers against external noise.
These are five steps to start soundproofing your man cave against external noise:
Step 1: Seal Any Windows With Adhesive Strips
A lot more noise than you think can seep in from the outside through a closed window, so if your room has windows, this is where you should start the soundproofing work.
Luckily, there are plastic or rubber adhesive strips that can be applied to the edges of your windows to create a sound-dampening seal.
This is the best solution if there are holes or cracks to seal, and installation is as easy as they come. Simply peel off the adhesive cover and apply it against the edge of the window.
The thick rubber material will also serve as cold weather insulation if you live in places where the temperature drops considerably.
Step 2: Use Window Curtains
By placing thick curtains made with sound absorptive materials, you can effectively block a considerable amount of noise. This option also allows you to play with color and the aesthetics of the room.
Installation is also easy, and you have the choice to open and close the curtains at any time, which allows you to modulate the amount of soundproofing and light.
Step 3: Use DIY Plugs Around The Windows
Blocking up the window is another option. If you have the Do-It-Yourself know-how, DIY plugs around the windows can be a viable soundproofing alternative.
Take some standard soundproofing foam and cut it into strips that are 1 to 2 inches thick, depending on the type of framing you have around your window.
Additional adhesive may be necessary to secure the foam strips tightly. This solution works much in the same way that the store-bought adhesive strips would, but it is substantially cheaper.
Step 4: Add Special Insulating Material Inside The Walls
This step-ups the complexity meter by a bit because it involves placing acoustic material inside the walls. Of course, if you do this while building or remodeling your man cave, it becomes substantially easier.
Nevertheless, this is one of the most effective means by which you can suppress the amount of external noise that enters your man cave because the entire surface area of the wall becomes a noise absorber.
The thicker the layer of acoustic material that you place, the better the quality of the soundproofing effect. The key here is to fill the pockets of air that are found inside walls.
To give you an idea about the effectiveness of insulating material for walls, we must quickly touch upon the Sound Transmission Class, or STC rating system, which measures the amount of sound that a wall can block from entering.
A standard interior house wall has an STC rating of around 15. With the right amount of insulating material, an adequately treated interior wall can reach STC ratings of over 50. At these levels of STC, even loud musical instruments would only be faintly heard.
Step 5: Place Acoustic Panels Along Your Walls
Panels are much easier to install than inside-the-wall insulation and are also very sound absorbent.
These work particularly well if you are looking to reduce echoes or faint external noise. The panels are very easy to install, are affordable and can be installed in minutes.
Moreover, they are available in a wide variety of colors and designs, which means that you can soundproof your man cave without sacrificing aesthetics.
Soundproof Your Man Cave Against Interior Noise
Maybe you can hear a distinct and annoying echo inside your man cave, or maybe your wife complains that you get too loud when your friends come over to watch the game. The point is that sometimes, you will need to soundproof your man cave to prevent noise from seeping back into the house.
Keep in mind that a lot of the sound generated inside your man cave will be absorbed by the furniture and carpet if you lay some down.
Treat Any Doors
Whether your man cave has one, two, or more doors leading in and out, you have to think of them as weak points in your soundproofing plan. In fact, most of the noise you generate will leak into the rest of the house through your doors.
Remember that doors are the thinnest section of a wall, and because they have hinges, there is always an open space through which noise escapes. Luckily, many of the same elements that you can use to soundproof windows can also be used to soundproof doors.
Simply focus on creating a tight seal around the door frame so that there are fewer empty spaces for noise to pass.
Believe it or not, a big part of soundproofing a room involves treating the ceiling with sound absorption materials.
This can be quite difficult to do correctly as the most effective materials require installing within the ceiling itself. This can only be adequately done with a full remodel. However, if you can’t or don’t want to do that, some options can be almost as effective.
Ceilings must be treated because they reverberate sound, making it bounce around the room, getting louder with each bounce. Proper ceiling treatment will help to quiet the room, thus reducing or completely eliminating any annoying echo.
This is also particularly important if you built your man cave in the basement, and you have people always walking about on the upper floors.
Soundproofing a floor requires some work, especially if you have hardwood floors, which are the least sound absorbent.
Hardwood looks really good, but if not installed with sound absorption in mind, it will cause a lot of echoes and generate a lot of noise.
Carpet is a much better option if you want to reduce noise. Even just throwing down an area rug will make a huge difference.
Soundproofing Quick Tips
If you are not ready to go through a full guide and are looking for a quick solution you can follow these tips
- Cover the floors first. This is the quickest and easiest way to start sound reduction in your room.
- Install a door sweep and make sure there are no gaps.
- Curtains do not have to be for just windows. Using a curtain on the wall will reduce a lot of sounds and it only takes about 10 minutes to put up.
- A curtain is also the best way to reduce noise through a door.
- If possible, organize your furniture in such a way that it minimizes unwanted sound.
- If your problem is sound coming in, consider a white noise machine. When it’s noisy around here I leave on running even when watching TV or listening to music.
The Sound Of Silence
With a little knowledge of DIY and some careful and solid planning, you can quickly soundproof your room without breaking your budget. If you are smart about it, you could even take the opportunity to redecorate or remodel at the same time.
There is a multitude of different soundproofing products on the market. Still, you can also use your furniture, and some thick curtains or carpeting to absorb much of the noise.
It only takes a little money and time to reduce or outright negate any noisy sounds that are disturbing your holy sanctum, your man cave.