How to Soundproof an Open Doorway: The Complete Guide

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Do you cringe every time noise travels freely through an open doorway in your home?

Soundproofing an open doorway can provide a simple and affordable solution to increase privacy, eliminate distractions, and contain sound in designated rooms.

In this article, let’s dive into everything you need to know about soundproofing open doorways using various materials and techniques.

Why Soundproof an Open Doorway

An impactful visual illustrates the significance of soundproofing an open doorway. On one side, noise, conversations, and external disturbances permeate freely, while on the other side, a soundproofed doorway creates a serene, private space. This image encapsulates the transformative impact of soundproofing, highlighting the benefits of increased privacy, reduced distractions, and enhanced home theater sound quality.

Open doorways allow noise to easily transfer from one room to another. This lack of acoustic isolation can lead to several issues that are best avoided by soundproofing the doorway.

Soundproofing an open doorway helps increase privacy, reduce distractions, and improve the sound quality of home theaters.

With an open doorway, conversations, music, TV sounds, and other noise can be clearly heard in adjoining rooms. This lack of privacy is an issue for many homeowners.

Soundproofing the doorway helps block sound transmission between rooms, increasing privacy. This allows family members to engage in activities without disturbing others nearby.

Open doorways also allow external distractions to permeate throughout the home. Sounds from barking dogs, traffic, construction, and more can disrupt activities like work and study.

Soundproofing eliminates this issue by dampening outside noise.

For home theater enthusiasts, open doorways degrade the sound quality. The open spaces allow sound to escape the theater room instead of being contained.

Soundproofing contains and absorbs the sound, improving acoustic performance.

Overall, soundproofing an open doorway is recommended to increase privacy, eliminate distractions, and optimize home theaters. The various methods outlined below help achieve these goals in any home.

Using Acoustic Dividers and Curtains

A visually pleasing scene depicts an acoustic curtain gracefully covering an open doorway, showcasing its full-length extension for optimal sound absorption. The dense, layered fabric symbolizes the effectiveness of this soundproofing solution. This image conveys the ease of installation and the ability to open or close the doorway when needed, while highlighting the cost-effectiveness of acoustic dividers and curtains in creating a quieter living space.

Acoustic dividers and soundproof curtains are effective and affordable options for soundproofing open doorways. When installed properly, they absorb sound instead of allowing it to transmit through the opening.

To maximize sound absorption, specialized acoustic dividers and curtains made from dense materials should be selected.

Curtains with multiple layered fabric or noise-dampening inserts work best. The divider or curtain must be sized to fully cover the entire doorway from top to bottom for optimal performance.

Install ceiling-mounted dividers to span the full width of the doorway when extended. Ensure the dividers make full contact with the floor when closed to seal the opening.

For standard curtains, overlap the doorway opening by at least 6 inches on all sides and use a robust curtain rod weighted to keep the fabric in place.

The main benefits of using dividers/curtains are ease of installation, ability to open/close the doorway when needed, and cost-effectiveness.

However, the level of soundproofing is moderate and excess ambient noise can still be detected. Also, the doorway is blocked when closed.

DIY Door Plugs and Makeshift Doors

A visually creative representation displays a DIY door plug and makeshift door, both crafted from common household materials. The snugly fitted door plug, wrapped in fabric or carpet, effectively seals the doorway, while the makeshift door, constructed from plywood and padded for sound dampening, is ready to provide a cost-effective soundproof barrier. This image highlights the ingenuity and low-cost appeal of DIY soundproofing solutions for homeowners seeking effective noise reduction.

For a low-cost soundproofing option, homeowners can create DIY door plugs or makeshift doors for the doorway using common household items.

With some simple tools and materials, an effective noise blocker can be fabricated.

Door plugs can be made by wrapping rigid foam insulation with fabric or carpet, sizing it slightly larger than the doorway.

Insert the plug to completely cover the opening. Apply weatherstripping around the edges to help further seal gaps.

Makeshift doors can be constructed from plywood or other rigid boards covered with padding for sound dampening. Hinge the door and add door sweeps to the bottom to fully close off the doorway when shut.

Proper measurement is key to ensure the door plug or makeshift door fit snugly into the opening without gaps. Use shims if needed to create a tight friction fit.

The padding material should be at least 2 inches thick to adequately absorb sound. denser materials like mass-loaded vinyl or MLV work even better.

The benefits of DIY solutions are the very low cost and ability to fully soundproof the doorway.

However, they are permanent installations without the flexibility of opening the doorway quickly. Professional installation may be needed for the best performance.

Installing a Solid Core Door

A visually impactful scene illustrates the installation of a solid core door, highlighting its dense construction for superior soundproofing. The image showcases the meticulous fitting of the door into the frame, with shims ensuring an airtight seal. The transformation captures the essence of upgrading to a higher level of soundproofing through the installation of a solid core or wood door, emphasizing the commitment to a quieter living space.

For optimal soundproofing, consider replacing an existing hollow core door with a new solid core or solid wood door.

Their dense construction blocks significantly more sound than a standard lightweight hollow door.

Solid core doors are filled with wood blocks, particleboard, or foam to create a noise-dampening inner structure.

Solid wood doors are constructed from thick planks of dense hardwoods for the same effect. Choose a door at least 1 3⁄4 inches thick for the best results.

Install the new door into the existing frame if it fits properly. Use shims to adjust for any minor gaps at the sides or top.

Make sure the door seals tightly against the door frame on all sides when closed. If needed, trim the bottom of the door to avoid scrapping the floor.

Proper installation is key to prevent sound leaks. Gaps should be filled with acoustic caulk and adjustable door sweeps added to the bottom.

High density weatherstripping attached to the door or frame also improves acoustic isolation when closed.

Replacing the existing door with a solid core or wood door provides the highest level of soundproofing. However, it is one of the more expensive and labor intensive options.

Professional expertise may be required for installation to achieve the proper air tight seal.

Strategic Use of Rugs and Bookshelves

An artfully arranged space comes to life in the image, featuring a strategically placed area rug just outside an open doorway and bookshelves positioned on either side. The dense pile of the rug absorbs airborne sound, while the bookshelves create an acoustic maze that scatters and diffuses noise. This visual representation highlights the decorative and functional use of rugs and bookshelves for noise reduction, showcasing their ability to enhance both aesthetics and acoustics in a living space.

Rugs and bookshelves can also help dampen noise coming through an open doorway when strategically placed. Area rugs provide padded flooring that absorbs sound in the open space.

Bookshelves act as acoustic barriers that help break up and diffuse noise.

Area rugs with thick, dense pile placed just outside the doorway absorb airborne sound as it enters the room. The rug needs to cover the entrance area adequately to be effective.

Bookshelves should be positioned perpendicular to and on either side of the open doorway to create an acoustic maze that scatters sound.

The rug and bookshelves will not completely soundproof the doorway, but do provide noise reduction. This is a more decorative approach that avoids permanent installation or major construction.

Carefully planned placement is needed to optimize the sound dampening capabilities.

Proper rug size and bookshelf depth are key factors for the best results. The rug should extend at least 5 feet out from the doorway and bookshelves should be at least 8 inches deep. The denser and heavier the rug and shelves, the more sound absorption they will provide.

Hanging Soundproof Blankets

The image depicts a doorway enveloped in soundproof blankets, strategically installed for optimal noise reduction. The dense material, slightly overlapping and secured with durable tape, forms a visual barrier against sound transmission. This illustration showcases the utilitarian effectiveness of soundproof blankets, offering a flexible and removable solution for reducing noise around doorways. The installation process is captured, emphasizing the commitment to achieving complete coverage for significant noise reduction.

Soundproof blankets are dense, thin pads designed to absorb noise when hung on walls or ceilings. They can be installed around a doorway to dampen noise transmission through the opening.

Effective products are made using material layers like mass loaded vinyl or fiberglass.

Start by measuring the doorway area to determine the number and size of blankets needed to cover it completely.

Use heavy-duty mounting tape or hot glue to attach the top edge of the blankets around the doorway. Blankets should be slightly overlapping rather than butted up against each other for the best seal.

Floor-to-ceiling installation provides the highest level of noise blocking for most standard doorways.

However, partial installation is an option for situations where the doorway needs to be accessible at times. In that case, position the blankets as low as possible on the opening.

The key is ensuring complete coverage to prevent sound leaks. Use a durable tape like duct tape to seal all edges and seams between adjoining blankets.

Dangling portions can be secured with weights or additional tape if needed. Proper installation results in significant noise reduction.

Soundproof blankets are an effective solution that avoids permanent changes to the doorway. They can be removed or repositioned as needed.

However, the appearance is utilitarian and installation can be tedious to achieve full coverage on all sides. Professional guidance is recommended when soundproofing an entire room.


In conclusion, soundproofing an open doorway is an effective way to increase acoustic isolation between rooms. The method used depends on budget, installation requirements, and flexibility needs.

Acoustic curtains provide a reversible option, while solid doors and soundproof blankets deliver higher noise reduction through semi-permanent installations.

With some simple DIY projects or professional guidance, it is possible to significantly reduce unwanted noise transfer through open doorways in any home.


Dominic is the chief editor of the Burton Acoustix blog which writes about acoustics and soundproofing to help readers with their queries and questions they might have with regard to improving any sound or noise issues that they faced in their life.