Laundry rooms are a noisy neccessity in most homes.
One of the problems with laundry rooms is that they create a lot of noise. If you have a young family you will need to do more washing than ever before but you will also value silence more than ever before when you are trying to get your kids to sleep!
It’s the laundry room catch 22.
Whether you have a family or not a noisy laundry room can be very irritating, it can ruin your evenings, ruin your sleep, ruin your films and ruin peaceful dinner times.
Thankfully there are many things you can do to reduce the impact of the noise coming from your washing machine.
The one thing that we highly recommend you do is to soundproof your laundry room door.
Most internal doors will be hollow because there is no need for most of them to be particularly strong or soundproof. Unfortunately these types of doors will usually have a maximum Sound Transmission Class rating of 20 which is very poor and will block next to no sound at all.
This means that doors are often the primary place which sound leaks through in most rooms. Soundproofing your door will have a significant impact on the amount of noise coming from your washing machine and it won’t break the bank..in fact your laundry room door can be effectively soundproofed for less than $35!
To turn your laundry room door from a noise hole into an almost impenetrable sound barrier follow these steps:
1) Install Weather Stripping On Your Laundry Room Door Frame – $5
Weather stripping is a very simple concept designed primarily to keep wind and rain out of external doors and windows.
However it can also be used very effectively on internal doors to minimise sound transfer through the door.
- 2 Packs. Packaged with 4 seals. You can divided it to single seal for narrow edge. This weather strip can seal gap of 4-6mm. Enough for...
It does this in two ways:
- It seals the gap between the door and the frame. Even the tightest of fitting doors doesn’t seal perfectly shut, every door will have a small gap which some air can travel through, this allows airborne sound to travel through your washing room door.Adding weather stripping seals the gap and prevents airborne sound (such as your washing machine rattling) from sneaking through the gap around your door.
- Weather stripping also helps muffle impact noise. Impact noise is noise which is caused by vibrations travelling through hard surfaces such as your floor, walls or door.Washing machines cause a lot of vibrations and these vibration can often be amplified by a loose fitting door.Using weather stripping will dampen these vibrations before they reach your door and will thereby minimise sound transfer from your laundry room.
Decent weather stripping can be bought for around $5 or £3.50.
2) Install An Acoustic Door Threshold Or Door Sweep – $9
Okay so you’ve dealt with the sides or your door using the weather stripping but there is still a gap at the bottom of your door which sound can easily leak through.
Most washing machines are sat on the floor so the gap underneath your door is a primary area of concern as both airborne and impact sound will leak directly from your washer through the door gap with nothing to stop them.
Fortunately there is a simple and cheap solution to this problem: get a door sweep.
A door sweep is exactly what it sounds like – a brush style attachment which is fixed to the bottom of your door.
When buying a door sweep the key thing is to ensure that the bristles are as thick and dense as possible this will prevent airborne sound travelling through and will also dampen impact sound from your washer.
It it also crucial to ensure that when the sweep is fitted it does touch the floor, and ‘sweep it’ as the door is opened and closed. If there is a small gap between the bristles and the floor then it will be completely ineffective and a waste of money.
Some door sweeps come with a rubber strip instead of bristles, these are just as effective as bristles but again be sure that the rubber does sweep the floor and that it does fully cover the gap beneath your door.
A good quality door sweep can be bought for less than $9 or £7.
3) Attach Panels To Your Door – $20
So you’ve added weather stripping and a door sweep to your door, hopefully by now you should notice some significant difference to the acoustics of your home when the washing machine is on…
..sure you can still hear it but the sound of your washing machine sounds less like someone drilling a hole in your skull and is instead more of a background noise..
..but your laundry room door can still be further soundproofed especially if it is hollow.
Hollow doors have very little density and therefore may reveberate when vibrations hit them causing the sound to be amplified a bit like a drum.
Some people suggest that you fill your hollow door with insulation foam to make your door denser however this is usually a messy and futile operation which isn’t suitable for many (or any) doors because most hollow doors have an internal carboard lattice inside them dividing up the door.
This will make it more or less impossible to correctly fill the door with foam of any variety.
Instead to add density to your door you should attach solid panels to the door.
These don’t need to be anything special, MDF panels cut to size will do the trick, they might not look pretty (but who needs a pretty laundry room door?) but they add loads of weight to your door which will deflect airborne sound.
Enough MDF to cover a door can be bought for $20 / £15 or less in most hardwear stores.
So there you have it, your laundry room door should now be a much better sound barrier for a total cost of $34 (£27ish for any British readers).
4) Alternative Ways To Reduce Noise From Your Laundry Room
By now hopefully your laundry room door should be performing much better, however if your washing machine is still shattering the peace in your home then there are still a coupld of options available:
Buy A New Door
Swapping your ill fitting hollow door for a well fitting solid door can help, however make sure you get it professionally fitted otherwise it will still have big gaps around and beneath the door and will make no difference to the acoustics.
Even if you do get a new door we still recommend using weather stripping and a door sweep.
Put An Anti Vibration Pad Under Your Washing Machines
Washing machines make a lot of noise because they move a lot. This creates big vibrations which cause the noise.
Anti vibration pads are large rubber mats, a bit like gym mats, which can be placed beneath your washing machine to deaden the vibrations.
They won’t reduce airborne noise but a lot of the sound from washing machines is impact noise which travels through walls and floorboards so an anti vibration pad can make a big difference.