Soundproof Door

How to Soundproof a Door

How to Soundproof a Door

You want to soundproof a door. We get it! Doors are natural weak points in a wall for sound, all because we want to have places to walk through! The reason doors are weak points allowing sound through is simple, they either are not dense enough to block sound or they are not well sealed enough and sound goes around the door (or both!).

Interior doors. Exterior doors. Residential doors. Office doors. It doesn't matter! They all follow the same soundproofing rules. And we know you're looking for a fix. The good news for you is that we've developed a full suite of solutions to soundproof ANY door. Keep reading to get an overview of what matters when soundproofing a door as well as solutions that can hit any level of soundproofing on the full spectrum of budgets. Or if you'd prefer, you can reach out to a Second Skin soundproofing professional, and we can help you with your project!

You want to soundproof a door. We get it! Doors are natural weak points in a wall for sound, all because we want to have places to walk through! The reason doors are weak points allowing sound through is simple, they either are not dense enough to block sound or they are not well sealed enough and sound goes around the door (or both!).

Interior doors. Exterior doors. Residential doors. Office doors. It doesn't matter! They all follow the same soundproofing rules. And we know you're looking for a fix. The good news for you is that we've developed a full suite of solutions to soundproof ANY door. Keep reading to get an overview of what matters when soundproofing a door as well as solutions that can hit any level of soundproofing on the full spectrum of budgets. Or if you'd prefer, you can reach out to a Second Skin soundproofing professional, and we can help you with your project!

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Popular Door Soundproofing Materials

Sound Lock™ Soundproof Door
Sound Lock™ Door Seal Kit

Sound Lock™ Gasket Seal Kit

The Parts of a Door

Depending on the structure, sometimes even a closed door won’t do much to block noise from getting into or traveling around your home. If you’re newly looking into soundproofing your home, stay awhile and listen! If you’re rolling your eyes that we’re about to describe the parts of a door, go ahead and skip to the next section. We won’t hold it against you. :)

A Quick reference guide for the parts of a door

Door Frame: The door frame is the foundation surrounding and supporting the other parts of the door. The door frame is made up of three more specific parts: the sill, head, and jamb.

Sill: The door sill is the lowest part of the door frame, running horizontally and resting on the floor.

Head: Opposite the door sill is the head, running horizontally across the top of the door frame.

Jamb: The two door jambs are the tall sides, running vertically along the door frame.

Panel: The panel is what most people think of when they hear the word “door”. This is typically the large, solid rectangle that swings open and closed. Even small gaps between the panel and any part of the door frame are easy access for unwanted sound.

Vision Panel: A vision panel is a term used for windows within or around a door. Utilized to let light in, these can be small designs/openings or can take up nearly the entire panel itself.

Threshold: The threshold is the connection from the door sill to the floor of the room. These are usually decorative and fit the aesthetic of your home rather than provide practical benefit.

Door Sweep: Typically found on doors headed outside, a door sweep can cover the threshold, forming a seal between the door sill and the frame. The sweep is a piece of weatherstripping found along the bottom of your door, and when properly sealed, can be a soundproof door sweep that helps your house’s weather resistance, energy efficiency, and noise prevention. For the best noise reduction throught the door sweep, we recommend our Sound Lock Bottom Seal!

Door Gaskets: These aren’t found on every door and may be an unfamiliar term, but gasketing is a key part of soundproofing. Door gaskets are metal extrusions mounted to the frame of the door with the actual “gasket” being rubber or brush used to seal gaps along the perimeter of the door jambs and head of the door frame. A gasket is useful for both sound and heat insulation. We have gasket tape and our Sound Lock Gasket Seal Kit to seal and soundproof this area!

Hinge: A door’s hinges are the joints that are utilized to open and close the door panel.

Astragal: If you want to soundproof a double door to enter your home, the astragal refers to the vertical piece running from sill to head between the two panels.

Louver: An optional piece that's not very common. We honestly wouldn't mention it if it weren't such a HUGE problem for soundproofing. A louver is a shutter with horizontal slats often built into the door panel. These are typically adjustable ventilation systems used to allow light or air in. We only mention them because they’re terrible for soundproofing.


With your newfound status as a door dictionary, your friends and family are sure to be blown away! Maybe you should skip movie night and teach everyone how to label a door instead. Your family will love it.

Overview of Door Soundproofing

Let’s stop a second and imagine that sound waves are a river and your door is a dam trying to slow it down. A poorly soundproofed door is like a leaking crack in the dam. It may not be completely broken, but water will continue to rush through until something is done to fix it. In scientific and sound-related terms, this is due to the door’s low STC rating. You may be thinking “what in the world is an STC rating anyway?” Here’s the basics:

Sound Transmission Class (or STC) is used to measure how much sound a partition (wall, door, soundproof ceiling, car door, etc.) is able to stop in a lab. It’s not perfect, but it’s a good indicator for how well a material or construction blocks noise. Higher STC rating = more noise blocked. Fair warning, STC rating is going to come up again.

The STC rating of a structure is heavily impacted by its weakest point, no matter how strong the soundproofing is around it. Think about how much louder it is on the road when you crack your window. A lightweight or inadequately sealed door does the very same even if surrounded by thick, insulated walls.  

types of doors best for soundproofing

How Much do Weak Points Matter?

The image below shows just how impactful a weak point can be. A solid brick wall is dense and effective at blocking sound. If a noise is 100 dB on one side of the wall, it’ll be 50 dB on the other side. On the other hand, glass is not a good noise barrier. 100 dB on one side of a glass wall will be reduced to 80 dB on the other. Now, let’s turn 1/8 of the brick wall into glass. The result is that 100 dB is only reduced to 71 dB on the other side. The overall effectiveness of the wall is pulled WAY down. That's why

dB transmission loss through a wall

This is often what happens with a door. Even though the door is a small percentage of the wall, if it’s poorly constructed or installed – you have a MASSIVE problem for soundproofing. A room with a shoddily installed door is like a high school with no adults — loud and in need of help.

As the weakest link for letting sound in, there are two major things to consider to effectively soundproof a door: the mass of the door and whether there are any gaps between the door panel and frame. That’s it. That’s all you need to solve.

Mass is Key for Soundproof Doors

If you want to block sound, you’re looking for mass and density. The typical wall in your house has an STC rating of about 32. Some types of doors are much lower. Why does that matter? Well... remember the last section on weak points being very important?

To give you a quick idea of how bad of a weak point some types of doors can be, check out the table below.

Type of Door STC Rating
Louvered Door (25% open)
Hollow core door with 1/4" air gap
Solid core door with 1/8" glass vision panel, gaskets, and drop seal
Solid core door with gaskets and drop seal
  • Louvered Door: Your typical louvered door is about 25% open. You’re done before you even start. Might as well leave the door open… Come on in!
  • Door with a Vision Panel: Standard glass is a weak point, reducing the door’s Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating. But you can have glass if you want it! Just make sure to use thicker glass (1/4”+) or double paned glass for the window.
  • Hollow Core Door: Typically used as bedroom doors or any other in-home entryways, these hollow doors are made of fiberboard or laminated wood and (true to their name) are mostly empty inside. These hollow doors are lightweight, easy to install, and aren’t super expensive. On the downside, hollow core doors are fragile and do little to stop sound from passing through. For information on how to soundproof a hollow door, read our article on the topic.
  • Solid Core Door: These doors are significantly heavier, made up of a combination of solid wood and wood byproducts, and are usually used to partition your home or apartment from the outdoors. They’re more expensive but thanks to their density, wooden core solid doors are able to do a better job of blocking out noise. For an STC rating of 24, a solid doors will be about 1 ¾” thick and 4.5 lb / sq ft. Read our guide on soundproofing a solid core door.

Check out this video that gives a great demonstration on the density of these different types of doors!

Solving Air Gaps to Soundproof a Door

Air gaps are the enemy and must be eliminated. Sorry, but I feel the need to say that again. NO AIR GAPS. If you have any gaps, you have what us soundproofing folks call a “sound leak”. A sound leak means that it doesn’t matter how awesome your wall or door construction is. You are capped out at how well you can block sound, because you have an air gap that's still allowing noise right on through.

Sound Leak (% of Total Surface Area) Max Transmission Loss by the Barrier
1% sound leak
20 dB
0.1% sound leak
30 dB
0.01% sound leak
40 dB
reducing air gaps improves door soundproofing

There’s a quick and easy way to check and see how big your gaps are around the door. Turn off the lights and see where light enters. If you see light, you have gaps and your door could be sealed better. Use a different door or gasketing and door sweeps to ensure everything is airtight.

Acoustic Caulk Combines Well with a Soundproof Door

Just like you can have sound leaks in a door, you can also have them in a wall. When deciding how to soundproof a wall, a small investment in some acoustic caulk can pay big dividends. With a thorough inspection of a room, you may find open creases around your windows frames, door frames, molding, baseboards, electrical outlets, light switches, air ducts, cable jacks, etc. that are letting sound in.

Sealing these leaks is relatively cheap, and absolutely instrumental to a quiet room. Most people are suprised at the difference that a little acoustical sealant can make. So when you're soundproofing a door, it's best to also evaluate your living area, make a list of what needs to be sealed, and use acoustic caulk to close up any unnecessary gaps.

Pro Soundproofing Tip

Be sure not to confuse sound absorption with sound blocking. Sound absorption, which acoustic panels are great for, will reduce echoes and reverberations inside a room, but will do nothing to block out noise from outside. Purchasing acoustic panels or sound absorbing foam to soundproof your door is a huge no-no and a giant waste your money.

How to Soundproof a Door

There are a lot of ways to soundproof a door, so we want to take you through all of them, from the most effective soundproofing measures that will have you performing like a professional recording studio, to the door soundproofing techniques that will knock off a few decibels at most. From most effective to the least, here is what we recommend for soundproof a door:

  1. Gold Medal: Sound Lock Soundproof Door - Professional Recording Studio Door
  2. Silver Medal: Solid Core Door + Sound Lock Door Seal Kit
  3. Bronze Medal: Upgrade to a Solid Core Door
  4. Honorable Mention: Using DIY methods like weatherstripping, sound blankets or mass loaded vinyl

Option #1: Replace the Door with a Sound Lock Soundproof Door

This is the A+ solution. Pull the bad door out and start over. An acoustic door is specifically designed to have an extremely high STC rating and block noise. It’s definitely the most expensive option, but installing a new, soundproof door is a surefire way to knock out the noise. You can do it yourself, but you will need at least 1 friend to get the door in place because these babies are heavy. Or hire a contractor and enjoy a cold beer while he or she installs it. You do you. A true soundproof door can have an STC rating of well over 50 and is the most effective way to mute a room from outside commotion. Our Sound Lock Soundproof Door features up to a 56 STC rating. These doors are great for commercial and industrial uses, and are great soundproof recording studio doors.

Option #2: Switch to Solid Core and Seal Gaps with a Sound Lock Door Seal Kit

A door seal soundproofing kit does exactly as their name implies and can be a great way to keep sound out by sealing up air gaps. Door seal kits are both cost-effective and wallet-friendly. With just a few tools to install the kit, but the end results are worth it.

Before ordering a Sound Lock door seal kit, measure the size of your door to make sure the kit you get fits appropriately. If you have a double door you want to secure, look into kits with astragal seals to fill the gap between the two doors.

Option #3: Switch to Solid Core from a Hollow Core Door

You can also take the more moderate step of replacing a hollow-core door with solid wood doors. This is often done with interior doors in a house that are just a little too flimsy. Your new solid-core solid wood doors will perform best if you combine it with a door seal kit.

Additional DIY Door Soundproofing Methods (Get Creative!)

If you’ve plugged the air gaps and are closed shut to the idea of a doorway overhaul (IT’S A DOOR JOKE!), there are several other ways to help turn the volume down. Each of these solutions has its drawbacks, but may be a good fit depending on your situation.

Weatherstripping: a cheap and modestly effective technique known for keeping out the cold and lowering energy costs. Adding rubber seal weatherstripping can also help block out sound, maybe cutting noise on the other side of the door by as much as 2-3 decibels. The results on’t blow you away, but 15% less noise is 15% less noise. Weatherstripping also may not be a long term fix, because issues with durability and adhesion come into play over time.

Soundproof blankets: a more expensive option, soundproof door blankets are designed to attach to the frame around any door to help block sound and act as soundproof curtains. Make sure to get a soundproof blanket wit a high STC rating (25+) and use reclosable fasteners to seal the edges of the blanket to the wall or door frame. If you have air gaps around the soundproof blanket, you’re going to get minimal results, even from an expensive blanket that’s very dense. For more on this, check out soundproof blanket for door guide

Mass loaded vinyl: this dense sound-blocking material can be used a couple of ways to soundproof your door. While you shouldn’t use MLV plug air gaps below a door, the heavy vinyl material can increase the density of a hollow, lightweight door. Attaching the vinyl to the back of the door will add some much-needed mass, increasing its ability to block noise. Just make sure the door's gaps are properly sealed as well because those will still be a weak point.  

Another way to use mass loaded vinyl to soundproof a door is to add metal framing around the door and use industrial strength magnets to completely seal an entryway with MLV. This is an extremely effective way of completely soundproof a door, because you close up air gaps and add mass for noise blocking. The problem is you’ve removed the door’s “doorness”. Very hard to walk in and out. This solution can be great for an Airbnb rental space, a room for hobbies, or any door you don’t plan to use often. If you are curious on how to soundproof a front door, you can read our guide on the subject for more information.

In the video below, we use MLV to create some privacy in an Airbnb rental. The Mega Zorbe hydrophobic melamine foam is combined with the MLV to absorb echos and reduce reverberations built up between the door and the MLV - increasing the barrier's overall effectiveness. Again... it's a bit unconventional, but it'll solve your soundproofing problem!

Frequently Asked Questions on Soundproofing a Door

Are heavier doors more soundproof?

As a general rule, heavier and more dense doors are better at blocking sound. Hollow core doors are much lighter than solid core doors and less effective at reducing noise. Sound can still flank through openings in or around a heavy door, as total weight is not the only factor that determines how soundproof something is.

Can you soundproof an existing door?

Yes, you can absolutely improve the sound reduction of your door without having to completely replace it. The best way to soundproof an existing door is if you have a solid core door is and seal around the perimeter of the door using our Sound Lock Door Seal Kit. If you have a hollow core door, you will need to replace it with a solid core door for effective door soundproofing.

What door is best for soundproofing?

The Sound Lock Soundproof Door is the best option for an interior soundproof door. With an attractive, wood finish and an STC rating of up to 56, this beefcake is as soundproof as they come. We combine our proprietary construction and an airtight to meet the highest specifications, ranging from recording studios to gun ranges. If you’re looking for “the best”, you’ve found it.

How to soundproof a hollow core door?

Sorry, but you can’t soundproof a hollow core door. There are a few methods to slightly improve the soundproofing performance, but the only way to get any serious noise reduction is to replace the hollow core door with a solid core door. Hollow core doors simply lack the density needed to effectively block noise.

Sound Lock Door Seal Kits: Cost-Effective Door Soundproofing that WORKS

The typical door can have up to 1 square foot of airspace around it. The Sound Lock Door Seal Kit is fully adjustable to seal off those air gaps below your door and around the entire perimeter. By adjusting the neoprene seal to the contours of your door, you can soundproof it without breaking the bank.  

  • Used to soundproof any solid-core door
  • Durable, adjustable, and customizable lengths
  • Neoprene rubber seals in anodized aluminum casing
  • Free shipping and made in the USA

Control Your Doors to Stop Unwanted Sound

Blocking out all the sounds that get into your home is a big soundproofing project to take on, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make a huge difference by filling air gaps and taking steps to soundproof entryways. Whether the noise you want to get rid of comes from inside or outside the house (or your garage door), soundproofing the right door(s) will help. Even if you decide you don’t want to go all-out, there are other soundproofing options like adding a little bit of targeted sealing and soundproofing that will allow you to actually sit back, relax, and enjoy the quiet.

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.800.679.8511