Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Facundo
There are a lot of reasons to soundproof a garage, whether you are doing it to be able to practice with your band, or if you are using it as a workshop either for your job or for a hobby, you might upset your neighbors and even your own family if you can’t keep the noises down.
Not only is soundproofing your garage important to keep your neighbors and family happy, but it’s also a great feeling when you can decide to practice, work, etc. even late at night knowing that no one will be disturbed.
There are a lot of things you can do to improve the sound insulation of your garage and in this article, I will be listing all of them.
Some of them will be essential, while some others will simply be extra steps to further enhance the soundproofing.
Either way, if you follow all of the steps, then the results you’ll get will be excellent.
How to Soundproof a Garage
The two most important places to insulate are the doors and the windows using a weatherstrip and acoustic caulk to seal the gaps, then you can use acoustic blankets and install anti-vibration materials to further reduce the noise.
Adding mass to the main garage door is also worth doing since it will keep outside noises from getting in.
Before I mention every way to soundproof the garage, I think that there are some important concepts to go over which are important and that may get overlooked sometimes.
Soundproofing vs Sound Absorption
Soundproofing is the process of isolating or blocking the sound, not allowing it to enter or to leave a room.
To do this you will need to use materials that are designed to not let sound through, like mass loaded vinyl, drywall, etc.
Sound Absorption relies on materials that are good at absorbing sound, such as acoustic panels, acoustic blankets, etc. to reduce the echo inside of a room.
Sound absorption, while not being great at soundproofing, will still help with it, which is why you might want to use it in conjunction with sound-blocking materials to achieve the best results.
In addition to this, there are different types of noises and these need to be treated differently.
Different Types of Noises
There are two types of sound that you should know about for the purposes of this article;
Air-Borne Noise: These are the sounds that travel through the air, and if there are and gaps or cracks between the walls, doors, windows, etc. this kind of noise will have a very easy time getting in or out.
Examples of air-borne noises are; TV, people talking, music playing, the noise your garage tools make, etc.
Structural Noise: These types of sounds are created when an object hits another one and the vibrations generated travel through said objects like walls, ceilings, floors, etc.
Examples of structure-borne noise are; Footsteps, objects hitting the floor, machinery that vibrates against the floor or against the work table, etc.
How to Eliminate them?
For Air-Borne Noise you mainly need to stop it from leaking out, which means sealing every gap and crack you can find.
For Structural Noise you need to absorb the vibrations that are being allowed to spread through the structures of the garage using anti-vibration materials, adding mass (like installing drywall), etc.
Start with the Garage Doors
Soundproofing is all about sealing every single gap or crack where sound might be allowed to get in- or out, since no matter how small the gap, it will still be able to get through. Soundproofing a door can be done in about 15 minutes and for very cheap, and the results will be very noticeable.
One tip to check if the door is properly sealed is to have someone stand on the other side of the door (with the door closed) using a flashlight to light all around the frame. You, from the other side of the door, shouldn’t see any light get through if it’s sealed properly.
If you can see certain spots where light comes through, work on those until they are sealed.
Steps to soundproofing a door;
- Weatherstrip the door: Weatherstripping tape is by far the best tool to create an air-right seal between the door and the frame.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: While not as important, acoustic caulk can help you seal off any gaps that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.
- Install a Door Sweep: A door sweep will cover up the gap left open between the floor and the door.
While doing these things should already provide a drastic improvement, if you want to soundproof the door even further then read my post on how to properly soundproof a door.
Important Note: Some Garages might have Sliding Doors, and the way to soundproof those is quite different, so here’s a guide on how to soundproof those.
If your Garage has a door that swings up, these may have to be treated a bit differently:
Add mass to the Doors that Swing Up
You should check if the doors are thick and capable of blocking sound or if a material should be added to them to add some mass which will then block the sound.
To add mass to these types of doors I’d recommend using acrylic or fiberglass welding blankets and adhering them to the door.
Here’s a video where you can see how it’s done:
The next step is to take care of the windows, and soundproofing them is almost as important as soundproofing the door.
Soundproof the Garage Windows
Glass isn’t particularly known for its insulation capabilities, which means that windows are definitely a place that you will need to work on to soundproof the garage, especially if they are somehow connected to the rest of the house, which isn’t that normal but I’ve seen it happen.
The process of soundproofing the windows is almost identical to the one of the doors, but if you want a full guide on how to do it, then here is my guide on how to soundproof windows.
Steps to Soundproofing a Window
- Use a Weatherstrip: The same concept applies here; attach the weatherstrip to the frame and this should create an air-tight seal when closing the window.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: If there’s a small gap between the frame and the wall, which tends to happen on older windows, use caulk to seal them.
- Install Acoustic Curtains: Hanging good-quality acoustic curtains will absorb some of the sound.
- Use Moving Blankets: Moving blankets are great sound absorbers and they are easy to install.
- Consider Installing a Window Plug: Cut a piece of thick acoustic foam just slightly bigger than the size of the frame and push it into the frame.
There is a lot more to it and if you really want to soundproof your windows properly, check out the post I linked earlier, but as long as you weatherstrip the windows and cover them up with a really thick material, you should be set.
Soundproof your Garage Walls
Soundproofing your Garage’s walls will be quite more challenging and expensive than dealing with the doors and windows, but here are the steps you should follow:
Add an Extra layer of Drywall
While it may be quite expensive and time-consuming to add drywall to your existing walls in order to add another barrier that sound would need to go through, it might be the best way to really deal with the sound issues in some cases.
Drywall will act as an additional barrier, and this reduces the amount of noise that is allowed to leave or enter the garage drastically, and as far as soundproofing goes, installing materials that block sound instead of absorbing it, like acoustic panels would, is the best way to do it.
One additional thing you might consider doing is adding this soundproofing compound to the back of the drywall to block sound even further.
Install Mass Loaded Vinyl
If you don’t feel like going through all the hassle of installing the drywall, then this step might be the one for you.
Note: Mass Loaded Vinyl only comes in black, which means that you would need to get some fabric to cover it up and make it look nice or find some ways to paint over it, unless you don’t mind the black look, which isn’t too bad for a garage.
First you will need to purchase some Mass Loaded Vinyl, this one on Amazon is a great choice and also a very affordable one.
Installing mass loaded vinyl on the walls is no easy task since it’s pretty heavy, you may need the assistance of another person.
Take the edge of the MLV and using screws attach it to the corner of the wall first, right against the ceiling, making sure to not leave any gaps between the ceiling and the MLV.
Then just continue screwing it onto the wall.
You should also be applying the same Green glue Noiseproofing Compound I mentioned earlier on the back of the MLV to further increase sound insulation.
Once the MLV has been installed, you should apply Acoustic caulk between the different Vinyl sheets to seal those gaps.
Combine the Drywall with the Mass Loaded Vinyl
If your walls are very thin, then it might be a good idea to combine the two methods since this will ensure the best insulation possible.
First install the MLV and then the drywall on top of it.
The Noiseproofing Compound and the Acoustic Caulk should still be used both on the MLV and the Dywall.
Soundproof the Electrical Outlets
You might be wondering why I’m even mentioning this, since one wouldn’t immediately think of outlets being the culprit of poor sound insulation, but they definitely can let noises in- or out of the garage, and without much difficulty either.
The good news is that they are very easy to insulate, and this is affordable to do as well!
Steps to Soundproofing an Electrical Outlet
- Use an Outlet Seal: These rubber seals go between the plate and the electrical box and will prevent both sound and air-drafts.
- Acoustic Putty: Acoustic Putty can be used to soundproof odd shapes, such as electrical boxes.
- Use Acoustic Caulk: You could also use acoustic caulk between the plate and the electrical box/wall to create a righter seal.
Another alternative would be to get a weatherproof electrical outlet cover, and since you’re installing them in a garage, it’s not like they will ruin the aesthetics.
Lastly, if you need a full guide on how to soundproof walls, here’s the one I wrote!
Soundproof the Floor
Even though this might seem pointless for the simple fact that there is no one living under your garage, installing soundproofing materials on the floor, especially the ones that are able to absorb vibration, can reduce the the overall amount of structural noise that is allowed to travel through the house.
And this is actually quite easy to solve;
Install Anti-vibration pads and anti-vibration mats
Installing anti-vibration pads or anti-vibration mats under the equipment or the work table, will help prevent the vibrations they generate from spreading to other structures.
If you’re building a rehearsal room in your garage, for example, then installing anti-vibration mats under the drum kit and amplifiers will reduce these vibrations and, in turn, the noise.
If you’re building a rehearsal room and want to know all the steps you need to take to soundproof it, then read this guide on that topic!
Install interlocking Floor Mats
I consider this to be the easiest way to soundproof a floor, especially for anyone who doesn’t want to spend any money since interlocking floor mats are extremely affordable.
To install them, I’d recommend that you place one down in the corner of the room first and then work from there.
You could get these ones on Amazon since they are super affordable and actually work quite well.
Just make sure to get enough to cover the entirety of the room’s floor.
Install a Floor Underlayment
Floor Underlayment is usually installed under laminate flooring, but you could even install it under the interlocking floor mats or under carpeting.
One of the best underlayments for soundproofing purposes is the Floorlot Shop Underlayment which is 3mm thick, giving it the best soundproofing potential.
To install, simply roll it out from wall to wall and adhere it to the floor.
Soundproof the ceiling
The best way in my opinion, but which requires a lot of construction work, is to install Drywall, just like I suggested for the walls, but this time on the ceiling.
This will take a lot of time and effort, but it’s certainly a good option.
Another option would be to install a dropped ceiling since it’s the only way to deal with structure-borne noise.
Of course, both of these would require a huge investment of both time and money, which isn’t ideal!
The only option available, which doesn’t require you to hire someone and spend a fortune, is to get some of these BA Series 9 panels and install them on the Ceiling yourself.
This will be way cheaper and also take a lot less time, but it’s certainly not as effective.
Get some Acoustic Blankets
I already mentioned that soundproofing curtains could be worth purchasing because they can reduce the amount of sound that is allowed to leave the garage.
But you can also use acoustic blankets which are way more affordable and can be used to do a lot of different things.
Acoustic blankets are extremely versatile and they are also super affordable!
You could use them to cover the door or the windows, to further soundproof them.
Another option would be to hang them from the walls and the ceiling which will absorb a lot of the noise generated inside the garage.
You could even use them in a similar way to the anti-vibration pads I mentioned, by placing them under the work table, etc.
Related: I wrote an entire article on why acoustic blankets work and which ones I recommend the most.
Soundproofing your garage may be no easy task, but if you’re driving your family and neighbors crazy, then it might be time you do it.
Start with the door, then soundproof the windows.
If this isn’t enough move on to the walls. Maybe install some acoustic blankets before installing the drywall or the Mass Loaded Vinyl, and see what happens.
If you follow most of the steps in this guide, you should notice a dramatic noise reduction.
I hope you have a wonderful day!