I remember going to my grandparent’s house and seeing that the cellar was covered in egg cartons. The entire ceiling and walls where covered with them.
I used to think that this was a viable soundproofing option since so many people used it, so years later I decided to do some research and to get a good answer.
First of all, let’s take a look at what soundproofing means, since many people confuse it with sound treatment.
Difference between Soundproofing and Sound Treatment
Soundproofing refers to a way of insulation in order to obstruct the passage of sound. In other words; don’t let the sound in or out.
Sound treatment refers to the use of sound-absorbing materials in order to reduce echo and reverberation in the room. In other words; Don’t let the sound bounce all over the room.
Are egg cartons a viable soundproofing method?
Egg cartons don’t block the sound, which means that any external noise will still be able to enter the room.
If you are trying to soundproof a room, which means that you want to keep unwanted noises outside, then egg cartons will not work.
Can Egg cartons work for sound treatment purposes?
This, again, is a myth, but I understand why someone would ask this question.
When you look at acoustic foam you will see why most people thing that egg cartons can work as a soundproofing and sound treatment method, since they share very similar shapes.
However, they do absorb some sound but only at the 650Hz mark. Any lower or higher than that and they don’t seem to absorb anything, which doesn’t really work for acoustic purposes.
To answer the question, no, they don’t work for sound treatment purposes either since they only absorb some sound at a specific and narrow frequency range.
What other materials can be used instead of egg cartons?
The first one that comes to mind is acoustic foam, but any kind of acoustic panel will work.
Acoustic foam panels like these ones even look like egg cartons, but they are designed from a soundproofing material, which means that they will actually be effective and absorb the soundwaves.
These panels are super cheap, you could get dozens of them and cover up the entirety of the room.
In order to absorb the lower frequencies you are going to need some bass traps, since the regular acoustic panels don’t absorb any of those frequencies.
Contrary to regular acoustic panels, you won’t need as many bass traps, if you get a pack of four you should be settled.
Acoustic Panels DIY
If you don’t have the budget to purchase all of the acoustic foam panels, you could actually build them yourself.
All you will need are some pieces of wood for the frames and a lot of old towels.
These could literally end up costing about $2 for each one and what’s even more amazing is that they work just as good as the acoustic foam panels, if not better.
I found this fantastic video by DIY Perks on YouTube where he teaches you how to make them, so make sure to check it out.
Even though installing acoustic foam can do wonders for any room, if you truly want to reduce outside noise then you will have to seal every crack and every hole you can find, otherwise sound will always find a way in.
Even the smallest crack will allow a lot of noise to enter the room, so make this a priority.
Here’s a quick step by step guide; Links to the full guides included.
Soundproof the Door
Full Guide on how to soundproof a door.
- Use Acoustic Caulk to seal all the gaps you can find between the frame of the door and the wall.
- Adhere weatherstripping tape to the frame to completely seal the door once it’s shut. This is simple to do since weatherstripping tape comes with an adhesive side.
- Install a door sweep in order to seal the gap left between the door and the floor.
Soundproof the Windows
Full Guide on how to soundproof a window.
- Check that the glazing putty is in good condition, otherwise replace it.
- Adhere weatherstripping tape to the entirety of the frame of the window, this will form an air-tight seal once it’s closed.
- Consider installing double-pane windows.
Hanging soundproofing curtains both on the windows and the doors can really help keep the noises at bay.
Get some Soundproofing Curtains
If there is one quick soundproofing method that actually works quite well, then it’s installing soundproofing curtains.
Curtains are one thing that should never miss in a room, so why not get soundproofing ones, since they are extremely affordable.
Why are they such a good investment?
They are effective, super affordable, easy to install and they even help with the décor of the room.
Note: Even though soundproofing curtains help with keeping unwanted noises from entering the room, you should really consider installing a weatherstrip both to your doors and windows first.
The combination of both methods is highly effective.
Consider acoustic blankets
Acoustic blankets are one of my favorite soundproofing items because of their versatility.
You can hang them from the doors, windows, walls, even on the ceiling.
The great thing about them is that they are dirt cheap, a pack of twelve should cost you well under $100.
Extra layer of drywall
Even though this might be a lot of work and more expensive than the other steps in this guide, it really does work.
Vibrations generated by sound reverberate, which means that they will be able to travel through the walls unhindered.
Installing extra layers of drywall will help keep the noises at bay. Just make sure to use acoustic caulk between the drywall sheets in order to get a proper seal.
After this you can add a layer of soundproofing paint and you’re done.
Use Soundproofing Paint
This is a simple one since it only requires for you to go to a local hardware store and purchase some acoustic paint.
Simply choose the one you like and apply it to the wall or even to the door. Just in case, make sure to read the instructions first.
This method, believe it or not, is very effective and it can reduce noise by up to 20%.
Recommendation: Apply several coats of paint.
Egg cartons are no suitable material for soundproofing since they offer no outside insulation at all.
Using Egg cartons as a Sound Treatment method can “work” just a little bit, since they only absorb a specific frequency range.
Plus, since they are very thin there is no chance that they will ever be able to properly absorb sound like other materials.
One other thing to take into consideration is that they can be a fire hazard.