Sound isn’t something that comes up often when it comes to designing and renovating a home. We usually focus on aesthetics, but it’s an essential element – especially when we live and work in the same place.

Letting the noise of traffic disturb your sleep or letting neighbors complain about the TV volume while you watch Netflix late at night are not looking forward to situations.

For this reason, it is important to plan for soundproofing and room acoustics – especially if you live near a busy street or in a dense residential area. According to Edric Hwang, co-founder of the acoustically oriented design studio Ehka F., there is a difference between the two.

“Soundproofing refers to preventing sound from moving from one room to another, like road works noise when you are indoors,” he said.

“Acoustics, on the other hand, refers to the amount of reverberation or echo that can be heard in a room when speaking or playing music.”

Both are equally important during rest and working hours.

“When you are in a room with adequate acoustic treatment, rather than being distant and echo-like, your voice will be clearer and easier for others to focus on during a conference call,” added Hwang.

Fortunately, it is easy to improve the sound in your home when you plan ahead and use the right materials.


Replace hollow core doors or add gaskets

Can you still hear the TV even though the door is closed?

Standard Housing Board doors have a hollow core that allows vibration and therefore noise. You can fix this by replacing them with solid core doors, which cost anywhere from $ 1,200 to $ 1,800 depending on the size.

For an instant, more cost-effective solution, adding top and bottom seals to existing doors can block out unwanted noise. Invest in aluminum as rubber and foam are less effective.

Replace normal windows with soundproofed ones

Replacements can start at $ 2,400 per window, but are a good investment if you live next to a busy road or railroad line. Who can ask a price for a good night’s sleep?

According to Hwang, many window manufacturers approved by HDB can offer soundproofing solutions.


Use home textiles or acoustic panels

Attenuating or reducing the resonance in a room can be as simple as adding a thick carpet or curtains, as these are good at absorbing or dampening the sound.

In areas with higher noise levels, you may need sound absorbing panels like Ikea’s Oddlaug. It’s also possible to get custom panels valued at between $ 220 and $ 450 per panel from companies like Ehka F. These can be easily attached to walls with minimal or no renovation.

Opt for wooden floors

Mr. Hwang said, “As a rule of thumb, wood floors are usually less reverberant and reverberant than concrete or tile floors.”

He recommends hiring contractors who specialize in acoustics so that your home is effectively treated and soundproofed, as the materials and skills required are different from those used in a standard renovation.

This article was first published in Home & Decor Singapore (