Is Cardboard Soundproofing Worth Of Your Efforts?

Cardboard Soundproofing

Building or renovating a new space can be an incredibly exciting prospect. But it can also be quite daunting. One of the many choices you’ll have to make is what kind of materials to use for soundproofing. Cardboard is a cheap and easy option, but is it worth your time and effort?

According to the report of Wikipedia, Cardboard soundproofing has a Noise Reduction Coefficient of 0.05-0.15 for high frequencies and 0.04-0.09 for low frequencies.

That means that a wall made of cardboard will reduce low-frequency noise by only 20% to 50%.

Cardboard is an old, but still effective solution. It is widely used in soundproofing studios and stages. However, it can be rather tricky to use it for interior walls because they need to be held vertically so there’s no way the flimsy material could support itself.

That’s why should you use it as the best soundproofing material or not? Is it worth your time and energy? Is there are some other soundproofing materials? That’s why you need to read this article.

What Is Cardboard Soundproofing & How Does It Work

There are a lot of myths about cardboard soundproofing. Actually, sound effects every material from which a wall is made. 

In this case, the wall will attenuate or amplify certain frequencies. For example, if you want to build a home theater and need to make it feel as if the actors were right there with you, you’ll have to use special panels that will absorb low frequencies.

If, on the other hand, you want to keep sound from leaving your property, you might want to consider using specialized materials that will reflect high frequencies. 

Cardboard is basically a big piece of paper with flaps. It’s not built for durability or stability.

However, if you use it correctly and reinforce its structure with some extra materials like plywood. You might just have the perfect solution for your soundproofing needs.

Some Cardboard Soundproofing Projects

Here are some of the cardboard soundproofing projects. That you can use to take inspiration from it.

1. Cardboard Acoustic Panels

The most practical use of Cardboard for soundproofing is with Cardboard Acoustic Panels. Cardboard soundproofing panels are very popular among musicians, especially guitar players. 

Cardboard acoustic panels will help to eliminate the reverb time in your room and your guitar sound will be much more clear.

The Wall of Sound studio is a small music studio located in the basement of an old house. The building itself is quite sturdy but there was one major problem with it: the concrete walls bounce every noise back so when you play something loud enough, all the neighbors can hear it. 

If you’re playing drums or recording vocals, this can be incredibly frustrating. They turned to Cardboard Acoustic Panels to solve their problems. 

2. Soundproof Cardboard Box (School Project)

Soundproofing cardboard box is a popular middle and high school project. Usually, students use this material to soundproof other things. So that they can achieve the optimal sound quality.

This is a great project if you like to learn about the basics of acoustics and soundproofing materials. While there are a few variations to the design, this is basically what you’ll need: a big cardboard box, some egg cartons, and a hot glue gun.

Students use egg cartons because they’re light but very good at absorbing sound waves. You might not think of it when building or decorating your home but simply adding some egg cartons inside the cardboard box will improve the acoustics.

3. Cardboard Soundproof Room

Reading, studying, or practicing musical instruments can be interrupted by the noise coming from other rooms in your house. If you are trying to keep the noise down, it’s time to try building a cardboard soundproof room.

However,  there are some things you need to consider when trying to build a soundproof cardboard room. For example, cardboard isn’t very durable and it will be easily damaged if people bump into it or drag heavy objects across the walls. 

You’ll also need to keep in mind that cardboard itself has no noise-blocking properties so you’ll have to use other materials like egg cartons (which are also an excellent soundproofing material) or acoustic foam.

Tips For DIY Cardboard Soundproofing Projects

Here are some tips for the DIY Cardboard Soundproofing Projects you need to consider:

  • Choose Thickness Wisely: This is not the place to save money. If you go with thinner cardboard, you aren’t going to get as much sound reduction as thicker cardboard will provide. Thicker = Better
  • Use Hot Glue: Glue is an underrated tool in home renovations and if used correctly, it can have a very big impact on how well your project works. For example, if you’re trying to make acoustic panels and want the best results, use hot glue. It’s not expensive and it will hold your cardboard together like nothing else.
  • Reinforce Corners: The corners of your cardboard pieces (if you’re using several) create some serious weak spots that need reinforcing with some extra glue or with duct tape.
  • Cut Out Holes For Speaker Ports: If you are trying to soundproof your room with cardboard boxes, don’t forget to make a speaker hole too! You can put some foam or egg cartons inside the box.
  • Use Egg Cartons Or Foam To Soundproof The Room: Cardboard alone is not enough. You need to use egg cartons or acoustic foam if you want to soundproof the room.

How To Install Soundproof Cardboard In Your Home

Here is the step-by-step process to install soundproof cardboard in your house. Follow the step and you will get the best results.

Step 1st: Measure And Cut Your Cardboard Pieces

The first thing you need to do is measure and cut your cardboard pieces. If you’re trying to soundproof a room, use egg cartons as the primary sound insulator.

They consist of thousands of little foam cells that absorb sound waves very well. You can easily glue them to the walls and ceiling with hot glue.

Step 2nd: Apply Damping Material

Do you know what a sound wave is? A sound wave is basically a pressure that moves from one point to another through the air or some other medium.

The speed of this movement depends on several factors like the type of material, its stiffness, density, etc. 

In drywall, sound waves move easily through the tiny gaps between the panels. In order to prevent this from happening, you need to apply some damping material that will fill up those spaces and make them more rigid.

Step 3rd: Glue Your Pieces Together

This may not be as simple as it seems. While a glue gun is a good option, hot-gluing your pieces together will have a much better effect on soundproofing.

Step 4th: Add Egg Cartons Or Foam

This is where egg cartons come in handy as you can glue them to cardboard panels or any other type of building material for that matter. They are not expensive and they’re easy to install – just peel off the paper, apply glue to your desired spot, and stick them in place.

Step 5th: Apply An Acoustic Sealant Over The Egg Cartons

This will keep the sound waves from passing through any seams between different pieces of cardboard and egg cartons. Better yet, you can use acoustic foam for this purpose too.

Step 6th: Paint Over The Cardboard Panels

Painting over the panels will make them look nice and also cover up any seams that may decrease the soundproofing effect.

Step 7th: Apply Two Coats Of Paint

Don’t be cheap, use two coats to cover up any traces of the seams because once the tape loses its stickiness, there’s not much you can do about it.

Step 8th: Add Hooks To Hang Curtains

If you want to make your cardboard room functional too, why not install hooks to hang curtains? That way, you can either close the curtain or remove it completely if needed.

Step 9th: Install A Door Seal To Soundproof The Entrance

If you’re trying to soundproof a room, don’t forget the door! Installing an entrance seal will make sure that any sound waves that may get in won’t be able to enter freely.

This may sound complicated but you can easily do this in your own garage or backyard if you have a bit of spare time and a desire to learn. Compared to other types of soundproof building materials, cardboard is relatively cheap and easy to use.

Downsides Of Cardboard Soundproofing

As a cheap way to soundproof a room, you can’t really go wrong with cardboard. But it still has some serious downsides that you should consider before deciding if it’s the right choice for your space.

As a cheap way to soundproof a room, you can’t really go wrong with cardboard. But it still has some serious downsides that you should consider before deciding if it’s the right choice for your space.

  • Inconvenient: It is inconvenient to assemble your boxes. You have to cut them into the right size then glue them together with a hot-glue gun or tape.
  • Noise Reduction: It may not provide the noise reduction you are looking for. The Egg Carton method will reduce some noise. But
  • Porous: It is porous so it will allow some noise in, especially when the weather changes. Some of this noise may come through your heating system or chimney.
  • Sound Absorption: Cardboard is not a highly absorbent material. While egg cartons and acoustic foam can make it slightly better, you should really consider alternative soundproofing materials if you want to do the job right.
  • Environmental: Your cardboard panels may be harmful to the environment as they may contain toxic chemicals used in their production.

Other Soundproofing Materials

Here are some other soundproofing materials you can use in your house. These materials also can replace the cardboard.

1. Soundproof Panels

Soundproof panels are the traditional choice for home soundproofing. They are very similar to drywall, except they have a specially designed core which gives them their high noise reduction qualities.

While not suitable for DIY projects, you can find many ready-made acoustic panel systems online or at your local hardware store.

2. Acoustic Curtains

If you choose uPVC windows in your house, it is better to use acoustic curtains as the soundproof material on them. This will give you maximum noise reduction and also allow some light through while keeping your privacy protected. 

3. Soundproof Tiles

Soundproof tiles are a sound-absorbing material commonly used in the home. They are available as adhesive panels or can be tiled directly onto your room’s walls or ceiling.

You can use them independently to cover up any sound leaks or apply them over other soundproofing materials like acoustic curtains and insulation for maximum noise reduction.

4. Soundproof Blanket 

Soundproof blanket is the sound blocking sheet. That is made of acoustically transparent fabric. The absorption performance can reach NRC 0.85 in the frequency range of 500 to 4000 Hz, even more than 700Hz.

It can be used for all kinds of doors, including the sliding door and so on. At the same time, it has excellent airtightness performance.

5. Foam Sheets 

It is the common soundproof material for windows. It can be used directly to cover up windows or doors, especially when you don’t want to remove them permanently or just need a temporary solution.

You can also find some foam sheets with high noise reduction quality that are specially designed for this purpose.

Wrap Up On Is Cardboard Soundproofing Worth Of Your Efforts

To sum it up, it is much easier to install cardboard in your room instead of doing other soundproofing jobs.

It can be used in various ways; therefore, you may find it very helpful in your house. But take into account the downsides before you start working with it so you don’t face any unpleasant surprises later on.

If you want to improve the soundproofing in your house, cardboard is not your best choice. You need to add other soundproofing material to it in order to get the best results.

Here are some materials you can use instead of cardboard in your house: soundproof panels, acoustic curtains, soundproof tiles, and foam sheets.

Please feel free to discuss below how cardboard could help with Soundproofing? Did I miss something important? Let me know if there’s anything else you’d like to know.

FAQ: Is Cardboard Soundproofing Worth Of Your Efforts

Here are some frequently asked questions that you should know if you are facing the same problem.

Q1. Can cardboard absorb sound waves?

Ans: Sound waves can’t be absorbed by a single material. According to acoustic experts, it is the combination of several materials that helps absorb sound. Cardboard panels are thin and cannot reduce all types of noise from going into your room.

Q2. What kind of noise reduction can you expect from using cardboard?

Ans: Cardboard panels are a DIY soundproofing material. They will help reduce noise. But when it comes to providing complete soundproofing they are not as useful.

Q3. What are some of the biggest challenges people face when trying to soundproof a room with cardboard?

Ans: Some of the biggest challenges that people face when trying to soundproof their room with cardboard are:
1. Cardboard has no real value in terms of reducing noise.
2. Cardboard is also lightweight and not suitable for permanent installation.
3. Cardboard panels are flimsy and can fall off very easily if moved around frequently.

Cardboard Soundproofing

Hey, I am Kirtish Vyas a YouTuber and believer in making life peaceful, a couple of years back I started soundproofing my house, bedroom, studio, and Car to reduce the unwanted noise, and the same experience I am sharing on SoundProofidea. Read More

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