How to Soundproof a Garage Workshop

To many people, a garage is the designated space for their cars and leftover moving boxes.  To other people, it screams a garage workshop. 

A place for men to store all their tools, from hand tools to power tools to machines and extra parts.  The main problem with turning your garage into a workshop is the noise. 

I’m pretty sure your neighbors would be pretty irritated if they had to constantly hear loud air tools, buzz-saws, and drills all day long as you work on your many different projects. 

If you want to know how to soundproof a garage workshop, then you first need to know what needs to be soundproofed.

In order to properly soundproof your garage workshop, you have to make sure every inch of your garage is sealed and insulated to keep the noise from echoing and traveling beyond your garage.

This is no easy task, but if you persevere through the headaches and hard work, then you will reap the benefits of a quiet garage. 

These are the best ideas I have found after searching through many different forums and websites.  All these ideas were from people that have garage workshops themselves, and some of these tips are super useful. 

Like in all soundproofing, it’s always best to try and incorporate as many methods as possible for the best results.

Insulate and Soundproof the Garage Door

The garage door is one of the main areas that you need to soundproof in order to keep excess noise from escaping out into your driveway. 

The first thing you need to do is make sure the insulation strip at the bottom of your garage door is intact. 

Over time the insulation strip at the bottom can get worn out of fall off completely. 

This will usually expose a small area at the bottom of your garage door, which makes it easy for sound to escape.

This weather stripping rubber seal from amazon works great for sealing the bottom of many garage doors.

Once you have completely sealed the bottom, it’s time to reinforce the actual garage door itself.  Adding thickness is one of the best ways to keep sound in one place. 

The cheapest way to do this is to use something thick like these moving blankets.  Moving blankets are a cheap and cost-effective way to add some density to your garage door.

There are many different ways to install them onto your garage door.  I personally think the best way to do this is with some heavy-duty clamps

You can simply clamp them to your garage door.  Not only is this easy to install, but you can also remove them pretty quickly so you can keep your garage door fully functional.

Soundproof the Door Leading into Your Home

The next step is to soundproof the door that leads from your garage into your home. 

The good thing about this door is that it is usually already made of solid wood, unlike most other doors in a home. 

If you go around your home and check all the doors, you will most likely run into hollow doors. 

Hollow doors are usually used for the bathroom and bedrooms. 

Since almost all garage doors are dense and solid, the only thing you need to do is make sure you seal all the cracks and crevices.

The best way to do this is to use weather stripping insulation.  This weather stripping insulation works for both doors and windows. 

This particular insulation has a self-adhesive backing which makes installation pretty easy.  All you need to do is wrap it on the inside of your door’s frame, cut it, and stick it on. 

What this insulation does is create an air-tight seal to keep noise, dirt, and debris from going to the other side.

If your garage door has a gap at the bottom, known as the door sweep, then you will need to make sure that this is filled as well. 

This door sweep is cheap and easy to install.  Simply peel the backing off and stick it to the bottom of your door to effectively cover the sweep. 

It is required that you both seal your door with weather stripping as well as cover the door sweep. 

After both of these steps are complete, your door should be fully sealed.  Failing to do either one of these two steps will hinder all your efforts useless because the sound will be escaping one way or another.

If for some reason, the door leading into your home is not solid wood, you will need to address this. 

The cheapest way to do this is to hang moving blankets on the door like you would with the garage. 

A more permanent fix, but more expensive, is to change out the door completely to a solid wooden door.

For a full tutorial on how to soundproof a door, you can check out my article here.

Soundproof and Seal All Windows

The window is probably the easiest part of your whole garage.  Some garages don’t have windows, so if yours doesn’t, then this step does not apply to you. 

The first thing you want to do is use weather stripping material around your entire window. 

This is a similar approach to sealing your garage door.  Some windows are not properly sealed, which can actually cause a lot of noise to pass through easily.

I actually had this exact problem with the windows in my living room.  It was almost as if I had no window at all. 

I could hear passing cars down the street as well as conversations down below.  I had to fully seal the windows in order to resolve this issue. 

Again, if your garage lacks windows, then you can completely skip this step altogether.

Once you have the window fully sealed, you also have the option to make a window plug.  A window plug is simply a plug you place on your window to help prevent any sound from passing through. 

I go over in much greater detail all the options for soundproofing a window, including how to make a window plug, in my article here.


Insulate and Soundproof Any Exposed or Unfinished Walls

Some garages will have unfinished walls.  If your garage has unfinished walls, then you would highly benefit from sealing them off. 

The best way to do this is to add drywall to the exposed walls. 

Before adding the drywall you want to make sure to fill in the exposed area with some sort of gap filler to help insulate and block out noise. 

This gap filler from amazon works great since it is cheap and able to cover large areas effortlessly.

An alternative to using a gap filler is to install rolls of insulation.  This process is a lot more time-consuming and may be more expensive in the long run, depending on how many rolls you need to purchase. 

Although it takes more elbow grease to install insulation rolls, the finished product will be awesome. 

The insulation will help keep unwanted noise from traveling in or outside the walls.  It will also help keep heat or cold in more effectively.

Once you have taken care of the insulation, you will then need to install the drywall panels.  You will first need to do some simple measurements of your wall to see how much drywall you will need. 

It’s best to purchase medium-sized panels to make them easier to install.  Just make sure the panels always end at a stud. 

In order to install the drywall panels effectively, you need to make sure you know where all the studs are in your wall. 

Once the drywall panel is placed, go ahead and screw the drywall panels onto the studs. 

The easiest way to do this is with a power drill.  Use a Phillips head attachment and drill the screws right into the studs.

Here is an in-depth video showing how to insulate and install the drywall on your unfinished walls.

Use Interlocking Tiles on Your Garage Floor

Don’t forget about your garage floor!  Most garage floors are made of cement.  Cement is very bad when it comes to noise dissipation. 

Cement or hard floors in a garage actually work against you and will help increase echoes and reverberations in your garage. 

This will be very prominent when you are using high-powered air tools or compressors.  The noise these machines make will just echo everywhere if you leave your garage floor the way it is.

So what’s the best way to help eliminate the echoing from hard floors in a garage?  One of the best ways to do this is to install floor tiles. 

These interlocking floor tiles are heavy duty and will give your garage floor a more nice workshop look which is what we are going for.  Installation is very easy.  You need to buy enough floor tiles to cover your entire garage floor.

They are thick and dense, which will help absorb shock and sound much better than concrete. 

As an added bonus, these tiles will also help protect your garage floor from cracks or breaks if you were to drop heavy tools.

Use Resilient Channels on Unfinished Walls

This is a more expensive way to finish your garage’s walls.  What exactly is a decoupled wall?  A decoupled wall is when you install resilient channels on each of your exposed walls. 

A resilient channel is a fancy name for a small piece of metal that is used as a bracket.  This bracket is used as a place to install the drywall panels on. 

These brackets are created in such a way as to decouple the drywall from the area where the resilient channel is used on.

Instead of installing the drywall directly onto the studs of your wall, you will be installed the drywall on the resilient channels instead. 

This helps reduce vibration noise immensely.  This is the most effective way to soundproof your unfinished garage wall.  If you know how to use a tape measure, then you can easily install these channels. 

The channels are installed the same way as the method I described up above.  You will first need to insulate the exposed walls and then install the resilient channels right onto the studs.

In order to completely install resilient channels on all of your garage’s walls, you would need anywhere from 18-24 resilient channels. 

The costs can be upwards of $600 dollars and will also take a lot of work to complete, but the finished product can be well worth the money and time spent.

Here is a useful video I found on how to soundproof a wall using resilient channels.

Consider Investing in a Quiet Air Compressor for Power Tools

This would most likely be the last step you take when soundproofing your workshop.  The loudest tools in a workshop are air tools, hands down. 

The best way to reduce the amount of noise from your air tools is to have a quiet air compressor.

This air compressor from amazon is specifically designed to run at very quiet levels. 

Air tools are loud enough as it is, so using a quiet air compressor can immensely help with the amount of noise generated while you are using air tools.

Final Thoughts

Converting your garage into a soundproof workshop is no easy task.  There are many different areas you will need to tackle to make this work effectively. 

If you are on a tight budget, then I recommend starting with the cheapest areas first, which would most likely be the garage doors and windows. 

Once you have completed those steps, you can then move on to the more expensive areas like the floor and walls.  If you decide to dive head in with this project, make sure to finish it to the very end.

For soundproofing to be effective, it is best to make sure you don’t leave any area untouched. 

Make sure you do the doors, the walls, the floor, the windows, and any other area in your garage that may be leaking noise in or out.