Tired of hearing all the noise in your house? This expert advice shows you how to minimize the noise that travels through your home’s doors. It will show you how to find the best doors for blocking sound. Includes best sound reducing materials, sealing around a door, and other noise control measures.

Doors play an integral role in controlling the movement of sound through a house. They are typically the thinnest barrier in a wall and, when it comes to blocking sound or reducing noise, they don’t benefit from the thicker—sometimes insulated—construction of walls.

Here we’ll looking at the best doors for blocking sound and techniques for reducing noise.

Electric guitar leaning against a blue wall.
Get household noise under control. gtrfrkbob | MorgueFile

Buy Solid Doors to Block Sound

A typical interior door has a hollow core—inner cardboard honeycomb cores surrounded by a softwood frame. The door’s surfaces are faced with very thin wood veneers. Between the thin surfaces and the air-filled core, not much is there to block the movement of sound because they’re built like drums.

Solid-core exterior or interior doors block noise more effectively because of their density. Manufacturers sell many types, ranging from expensive hardwood to more affordable Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF).

Diagram of a wooden solid-core door including internal parts.

A solid-core door helps block the transference of sound by eliminating the drum-like construction of a hollow-core door.

Though most interior doors are 1 3/8-inch thick, exterior doors are typically 1 3/4-inch thick. The thicker the door, the better it reduces noise transfer.

Doors made specifically for blocking sound typically utilize 1/2-inch-thick particle board sound board, an interior layer of lead, and integral interlocking thresholds and sweeps.

Use Weatherstripping to Seal Out Noise

Of course, it doesn’t matter how the door is built if it’s open, right? Similarly, if gaps exist around the edges or between the bottom of the door and the floor, sound will sneak around the door from one room to the next.

Diagram showing various types of door weatherstripping, including vinyl, adhesive-backed, and felt.
Door Weatherstripping Types ©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

So the door should fit the jamb tightly, and weatherstripping should seal around its edges. Rubber or vinyl bulb door weatherstripping and a door-bottom weatherstripping sweep do a good job of sealing around the perimeter of a door to block noise.

Cut-away illustration of a wooden bottom door rail including a threshold seal.
Threshold interlocks with bottom of door to seal out noise. Don Vandervort, HomeTips © 1997 to 2022 | HomeTips


If you need a door sweep that doesn’t drag along the floor, investigate an automatic door sweep that seals the bottom of the door only when the door is closed.

You can buy recording-studio-grade door noise-reducing materials online as an acoustic door seal kit.


Understand Ratings for Better Sound Blocking Doors

Sound-blocking materials are rated by an STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating. If you were to replace a hollow-core interior door that has an STC of less than 20 with a solid-core door that is properly weatherstripped, what would be the result?

A boy playing a small tuba trumpet.
You’re going to need very high STC class doors—and more—to handle this! © Kornilovdream | Dreamstime.com

According to the National Wood Window and Door Association, “If you did all of this, you could probably end up with an STC rating of 34 to 36.” This would block low speech, but not loud speech or other noise.

To block loud speech, a door needs an STC rating of from 40 to 50. For excellent noise blocking, you’ll need a door with an STC of from 50 to 60 and gaskets to block noise from traveling through gaps. For more about STC ratings, please see Soundproofing Walls & Ceilings.

Cut Down Noise By Positioning Doors Properly

When planning for new doors and windows, also consider where sound travels. If possible, stagger doors along a hallway and arrange their swing so that they don’t bounce sound into adjoining rooms.

Choose hinged doors; avoid sliding, bi-fold, and pocket doors that not only make noise themselves but also don’t seal as well as the swinging type.

To keep a hinged door from squeaking, all you need to do is spray the hinges with a little WD-40 or penetrating oil.

Man’s hand spraying a can of WD-40 lubricant on a door hinge.
Silence a squeaky door by lubricating the hinge with WD-40 or penetrating oil. ©Don Vandervort, HomeTips

8 Soundproofing Secrets for a Quieter Home
Soundproofing Your Walls and Ceilings
How to Insulate Existing Walls
Interior Doors Buying Guide

Featured Resource: Find a Soundproofing Contractor to Make Your Home Quieter

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About Don Vandervort
Don Vandervort has developed his expertise for more than 30 years, as Building Editor for Sunset Books, Senior Editor at Home Magazine, author of more than 30 home improvement books, and writer of countless magazine articles. He appeared for 3 seasons on HGTV’s “The Fix,” and served as MSN’s home expert for several years. Don founded HomeTips in 1996. Read more about Don Vandervort