Can a rug actually help to soundproof a room?
The short answer is yes, rugs help dampen vibrations thus helping reduce sound transfer to some extent.
We recommend getting something like this one:
The best possible type of rug for sound dampening is a wool rug as the open fuzzy nature of the wool helps to trap sound.
However, there are plenty of other good choices too just make sure that whichever rug you get is open-cut and fuzzy (i.e has lots of fibres to deaden sound with). Also the more area the rug covers the more effective it will be.
Strictly speaking, rugs are best used for sound insulation rather than soundproofing, this means they are ideal for rooms such as recording studios because they absorb ambient sound...this especially will be particularly noticeable if you record directly above the rug with your microphone pointing into the floor.
When it comes to soundproofing (preventing sound coming into or going out of your room) rugs are very limited in what they can do. They can dampen vibrations and take the edge off the noise, but don’t expect a rug to turn a previously noisy room into an oasis of calm, especially if you are still blasting the tunes out at the same volume!
If you’re looking for a good quality soundproof rug to help insulate and dampen sound then what you need is a thick rug with lots of frays, ideal it should be what is know as a ‘cut pile’ and should have a fuzzy top, something like a wool rug is ideal, avoid flat rugs (they’re useless).
If you already have a great looking rug that you are very fond of but it does help soundproof your home then you should consider a soundproof rug pad.
These are foam pads which sit underneath your rug to absorb sound, they are effectively a kind of soundproof rug underlay.
They are great at dampening footfall noise and they will help improve the acoustic ambience of your room to an extent. However, because they are covered by your flat rug they are not as effective as a thick wool rug would be because their open pores are covered so they cant trap sound as effectively.
Hard floors benefit most from rugs. Wood, tiles, cement, marble; all of these materials reflect sounds inside your home raising the noise levels significantly.
Walking over these can be very noisy, particularly if you are wearing heeled shoes.
Placing your rugs on a hard floor is the best way to get the most soundproofing impact out of them.
If you have a problem with ambient noise in your room then it is likely you have a lot of flat hard surfaces which reflect sound easily. To reduce ambient noise effectively you should get a big rug, the bigger the better, and place it in the most open part of the room (this is where most noise will reflect off the floor).
The acoustic difference can be very significant, particularly if the rug is placed in a heavily trafficked area, even if your rug is not heavily trafficked a good thick rug with lots of frays placed in a room with lots of flat surfaces can make a big difference to the general acoustic ambience as it will help deaden ambient sounds.
Realistically a rug made of wool could reduce ambient noise by up to 40%.
Football noise can be almost completely eradicated (up to 100%) however this is dependent on how thick a rug you use. If you lay a rug down and footfall noise still disturbs your downstairs neighbors then add another rug until people can walk over it in silence.
When choosing a rug design and style are obviously important as you need them to fit into your interior and enhance it, so don’t worry too much if the rugs we recommended below do not work for you, the main things to be aware of is that the rug has open fibres and that it isn’t too flat.
Real wool rugs are the best at improving acoustics by dampening ambient noise and, providing you get a thick one, they are great at dampening footfall noise too. This particular rug is 2.5 inches thick so it is brilliant for dealing with both types of sound.
Made from New Zealand washed wool it provides an extremely soft feel underfoot which is very comfortable (and superb at sound dampening). New Zealand wool is very high-quality wool, in fact, it is the same stuff they use to make woollen sweaters so you can be confident that you are buying a quality product.
It is available in the following sizes (remember to cover as much floor as possible for optimal sound dampening):
Caring for this rug is quick and easy, simply give it an occasional shake to remove dirt and fluff.
It is also a good idea to get it professionally cleaned once every two years or so to keep it lasting long into the future.
Be aware this rug is likely to shed for a couple of weeks after purchase - this is normal while the fibers are settling down.
Looking to get your whole floor carpeted? Read our article on Soundproof carpets for some ideas on how to get the best soundproofing results.
It is a shag rug meaning it has a deep pile which is perfect for improving acoustics.
This particular rug comes in burgundy, grey, white, white and grey, black and purple colors and is available in both circular and rectangular forms in the following sizes:
The Paco shag pile rug is a good synthetic rug for sound dampening, it is made from polyester which actually has great sound dampening qualities due to its open-pore material which helps to trap sound and muffle it. It is also very soft which helps dampen footfall noise.
This particular rug is available in the following colors anthracite, beige, grey, rose, turquoise and white.
There are a number of different sizes listed below. As we have mentioned before, cover as much open floor as you can to get the most noticeable sound improvements, the bigger the rug the better.
This rug is a handwoven power-loomed piece which is made to be extremely durable. It is made from a high-density acrylic pile which is thick (3 inches thick in fact) and ideal for dampening sound and softening ambient noise.
Made by Safavieh, a company who have been making rugs for over 100 years, you can be sure that this rug will last for years.
It is available in champagne, silver, taupe and pearl colors.
It comes in a huge range of 20 different sizes from 2-foot x 3 foot (60cm x 90cm) all the way up to a huge 10-foot x 14 foot (305cm x 427cm).