Soundproofing a kitchen may make your family’s life a lot more pleasant, especially if you live in small apartment where everyone around can hear what’s going on inside the kitchen.
Some noises like the ones coming from the sink, or even the range hoods can be quite frustrating, but luckily, they can be reduced!
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.
Now, let’s get into the guide.
How to Soundproof a Kitchen
The most important steps to soundproofing a kitchen is to insulate the doors and the windows using a weatherstrip and installing a door sweep.
In 99% of cases, this should solve the problem, but if more soundproofing needs to be done, consider installing acoustic curtains on the windows and doors.
While starting with the doors and windows might be the best way to go about it since it’s where most of the unwanted sounds are allowed to get out of the kitchen, there are many other alternatives to insulate it even further, like installing drywall, using sound deadening mats to soundproof the sink, and more.
1. Start by Soundproofing the Kitchen Door
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 kitchen 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 kitchens might have Sliding Doors, and the way to soundproof those is quite different, so here’s a guide on how to soundproof those.
2. Soundproof the Kitchen 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 kitchen, 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, 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.
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.
In my window soundproofing guide you’ll see that I recommend using window plugs or window inserts, but I wouldn’t recommend them in this case since kitchens need to be ventilated and these plugs would need to be removed and re-installed every time.
Curtains are just easier.
3. Soundproof the Kitchen Walls
If the walls are poorly insulated, maybe because when the house was built they didn’t pay too much attention to this, then you may have to do something about it yourself.
This step I would only recommend you do if you know what you’re doing, or if you hire a professional. But just know that it could end up costing a fortune.
Add an Extra layer of Drywall
While it may be quite expensive and time-consuming to add some 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 kitchen 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.
Note: Use acoustic caulk to seal the gaps left between the sheets of drywall.
4. 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 kitchen, and without much difficulty either.
The good news is that they are very easy to insulate, and affordable also!
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, but this could interfere with the aesthetics of the kitchen.
5. Soundproof the Exhaust- or Hood Fan
Kitchen exhaust- or hood fans can be loud, and since you typically keep them running for a while after being done cooking, it can be frustrating having to listen to it while you’re having lunch/dinner.
Fans are usually loud, but the reason you can hear them in other places of your home is mostly because of the vibration that they generate are allowed to spread through the structures of your home with ease.
The way to address this issue is by installing rubber-like materials that come in contact with the fan’s motor in order to absorb those vibrations and stop them from spreading.
Sorbothane is the anti-vibration material I’d recommend for this task.
Note: Pay special attention not to cover any holes on the fan’s motor since it could overheat and break.
Steps to soundproofing the Kitchen fan;
Note: It might be a safe idea to cut the power to do this.
- Step 1: Remove the Fan from the wall.
- Step 2: Cover the housing with Sorbothane without covering any ventilation holes.
- Step 3: Re-install the fan.
As far as Hood fans go, the best way to deal with this issue would be to replace the motor with one that’s naturally quieter or to get a less powerful one.
But I wouldn’t recommend taking it apart and installing anti-vibration materials here.
6. Consider installing Acoustic Curtains
While not as versatile as acoustic blankets, acoustic curtains have the advantage of dressing the room and letting you close them when you need to, and then open them back up again once you open the window for ventilation.
Here’s an entire post where I talk about soundproofing curtains, if they work, which ones to get, etc.
7. Soundproof a Kitchen Sink
Soundproofing the kitchen sink might seem pointless to some of you, but this is only if you ever had to deal with good quality sinks.
The more affordable stainless-steel sinks can be noisy.
Here’s how to solve the issue;
You can use a regular sound deadening mat that comes with an adhesive backing, and it’s what I’d recommend using the most since you don’t need to use any extra glue, or you could get any other sound absorbing- or vibration absorbing material, such as mass loaded vinyl, and using spray glue to adhere it to the bottom of the sink.
Steps to soundproofing a Bathroom Sink;
- Cut the sound deadening mat into pieces that will fit on the bottom side of the sink.
- Cover as much surface as possible.
Here’s a video where you can hear the difference of one with insulation, and one without;
If you’re looking for a quick way to reduce some of the kitchen sink’s noise, then you should consider investing in some rubberized undercoating spray.
If sprayed on the underside of the sink it will help reduce unwanted noise by absorbing them.
Sure, this method might not be as effective as the other two, but it’s certainly easier and more affordable.
8. Consider investing in a new Range Hood
Range hoods are essential to any kitchen, especially if the windows aren’t set up in such a way that you can get a good air-draft going.
I’ve been looking for ways to reduce the noise my range hood makes but had little to no success with it.
If the noise from your range hood itself is too annoying, then I’d recommend that you purchase a new one that’s designed to work as quietly as possible.
The Broan 424204 ADA Capable Under-Cabinet Range Hood is one of the quietest range hoods on the market and it’s designed for small to medium sized kitchens.
Soundproofing a kitchen requires a couple materials and some handiwork, but you should be able to completely soundproof it in a matter of hours.
Start with the door and see if it’s enough, if it isn’t then just continue with the other steps as described.
I hope this information was useful
If you know of other ways to soundproof a kitchen that I didn’t mention, please let me know in the comments below!
Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Facundo