While there’s no denying the benefits of having a washing machine and dryer in your home, there is one major downside: the noise.
Washing machines can create a great deal of noise. While it’s agitating and spinning, the machine vibrates and sends loud banging sounds throughout the house.
The dryer can add to the noise level, too; especially when you’re drying garments that feature zippers, buttons, and snaps, or bulky items, like sneakers. Installing a door on your laundry room can help to minimize some of the noise, but usually, it doesn’t create enough of a barrier to completely soundproof the space.
Types of Noise
The goal of soundproofing a laundry room is obvious: to stop the noise that your washing machine and dryer create from traveling throughout the rest of your home. To successfully soundproof the space, you need to combat two types of noise: impact and airborne.
Impact noise refers to the structure-borne sounds; that is, noises that occur when one object makes an impact with another object, and the impact generates and transmits sounds through other structures.
The structural vibration that is caused when two items impact with one another causes the sound to radiate from adjacent surfaces; for example, in a laundry room, a washing machine creates impact noise when it’s agitating.
Airborne noise, as the name suggests, refers to noise that is transmitted through the air via sound waves. When sound waves travel through the air and reaches a structural element, they hit the element and cause a vibration, which travels through the structure and radiates out through the other side.
Common examples of airborne noise include televisions, radios, and talking. Airborne noise can come from a laundry room, too; for example, when your washing machine is in the spin cycle or when lots of buttons and zippers are rolling around in the dryer, the sound travels through the air to other parts of your home.
Soundproofing a Laundry Room
To successfully soundproof a laundry room, you need to stifle both impact and airborne noise. There are several ways that you can do both, and below are some useful techniques that can help reduce the noises that come out of your laundry room.
Vibration Damping Pads
A lot of the noise generated by a laundry room is structural and comes from the vibrations that the washing machine creates. As the machine agitates and spins, it produces vibrations that travel through the floor and walls, that are then transmitted through other structural elements that reverberate throughout your home.
Installing vibration damping (also known as “anti-vibration”) pads is an easy and effective way to eliminate this unwanted structural noise. These pads are usually constructed of thick, durable rubber and contain sound absorbing material.
Place vibration damping pads underneath the washing machine, as well as the dryer, to absorb the structural noise that the machines transmit through the floor. You can also attach the pads to the walls that surround the machines for even more noise prevention.
When purchasing anti-vibration pads, the thicker the better. We also recommend opting for moisture-resistant pads. If any water, laundry detergent, fabric softener, or other fluids drip onto the mats, you can simply wipe it up.
Soundproof the Doors
Doors feature gaps, and those gaps allow airborne noise to travel out of your laundry room and into the rest of your home. Therefore, to eliminate unwanted noise, you should soundproof the doors.
There are several ways that you can seal up the air gaps in your laundry room doors and prevent the transmission of airborne noise. Some options include:
The easiest solution is to hang soundproofing blankets on either the interior or exterior of the doors, or on both sides. These blankets are thick and made of durable materials that absorb sound.
Measure your doors to ensure you buy appropriately sized blankets. If you can’t find blankets that will fit the exact dimensions of your doors, you can alter them so that they will cover the surface.
Secure the blankets to the door with glue or nails; or, if you want to be able to remove them, install a curtain rod above the door and suspend the blanket from the rod.
Sound Barrier Insulation
You can also apply sound barrier insulation to the door. This insulation is usually made of vinyl material that blocks airborne noise. Measure the door, cut the insulation to size, and use nails or adhesive to secure it in place. Do note, however, that sound barrier insulation, while effective, does tend to be a bit pricey.
Weather Stripping Tape
Believe it or not, weather stripping tape can effectively soundproof a laundry room door. While yes, the objective of this tape is to prevent the heat transfer and block drafts, it can also block out unwanted noise.
Apply the tape to any gaps along your door; for example, along the top of the door, and if your door is slatted, apply the tape between the slats.
A Door Sweep
Door sweeps are designed to cover the gap between the bottom of a door and the floor. Use a door sweep that can be nailed to the bottom of the door, or even easier, use a door sweep that can simply be slipped underneath the door and doesn’t have to be attached.
Soundproof the Windows
If your laundry room has windows, soundproof them to prevent the transfer of unwanted noise. To do so, simply hang soundproofing curtains.
These curtains are made of thick material that both blocks and absorbs noise, thereby preventing the transmission of airborne sounds. Make sure to measure your windows and purchase curtains that are appropriately sized.
Invest in New Appliances
If you can afford to, consider upgrading your washing machine and dryer. Newer models are designed to run much more quietly; plus, they are a lot more efficient, offer more features, can wash a lot better, and can even help to reduce your utility bills and minimize your carbon footprint.
While you’ll likely need to use other soundproofing techniques to successfully reduce the noise coming out of your laundry room, investing in new machines can certainly help to keep things noticeably quieter.
By applying a combination of the above-mentioned techniques, you can effectively eliminate the banging, thumping, knocking, and other unwanted noises that are coming from your laundry room. Start enjoying peace and quiet while your clothing is being cleaned.