Properly soundproofing a room involves many components, with floors being among the most important. But can you use rugs to soundproof your floor?
In this article, we will discuss how to use rugs for soundproofing purposes, what you should look for in a soundproofing rug, and which options are best for you.
Soundproofing a Floor With Rugs
The more sound waves can bounce off the walls and floors of a space with ease, the more they’re able to echo and cause the sounds you hear. That’s a gross oversimplification of how sound waves and acoustics work, but it works for our purposes. You thus want to make sure that the floors of your home can absorb sound as best as possible and soft, fluffy rugs are great at doing that.
The other big factor in soundproofing for our purposes is adding more mass or layers. It is thus important to locate points of entrance through which sound may travel through the floor and find ways of making them thicker.
What to Look for in Soundproof Rugs
You’ll want to keep these principles in mind when it comes to achieving this with soundproof rugs.
Slick, hard surfaces are excellent in many cases for allowing soundwaves to bounce off with ease (think of bathrooms with their smooth walls and floors) so these are the first things to go. If you were hoping to soundproof a room while keeping your tiling or hardwood flooring, sorry, that’s probably not going to work, as if anything they’ll allow for more echoes. What’s more, they’re typically not great choices for obscuring and sealing up door cracks or other places through which external sound may enter.
Of course, you’re here to look for “rugs,” so the question remains, which are best at blocking sound?
One answer is rugs that have shaggy fuzzy surfaces. By contrast, completely flat rugs claiming to be “soundproof” probably aren’t. As we’ll see with the list below, rugs come in all shapes and sizes and have different kinds of shag surfaces, and accounting for these differences can be key in making sure that you’re striking the best balance toward soundproofing a room and preserving your interior décor.
Speaking of interiors, you’ll also want to make sure that it’s as insulated from external noise as possible with rugs that can seal cracks and dampen sound that might otherwise filter through. That means finding rugs that can be strategically placed near and under cracks beneath doors, for example.
Best Soundproofing Rugs and Rug Pads on the Market
With those factors established, let’s take a look at some of the best soundproofing rugs on the market.
1. Rug Pad USA 0.5-Inch Cushioned Memory Foam Rug Pad
One of the most notable aspects of this rug choice is the memory foam. Just as it can be used to conform to the shape of your body when you lie in bed, giving you a customizable comfortable night’s sleep, the same goes for this rug. You can slide it in anywhere and it will conform to the shape of the crack beneath the door or any furniture placed on top of it.
This foam surface does a good job of absorbing sound as well. It is a high-end model, and is priced as such. What’s more, this is one of the thickest rugs on this list, which is another good factor when trying to soundproof your home with a rug. The thicker the rug, the better the chance that it will be able to absorb sound waves.
Now, you’re probably not going to rip up your preexisting flooring just to soundproof your space, which means that you’re going to need to look for rugs that can soundproof your space even with this flooring. One of the great benefits of this option is that even while it is soft on top, its depth and thickness gives it a sturdiness that makes it quite durable and can likewise absorb soundwaves well.
Whether you have stone floors, hardwood flooring, tiling, or any number of other hard flooring options, these rugs can be a great sound-cancelling option for enhancing a quiet space.
2. Gorilla Grip 0.25-Inch Felt and Rubber Rug Pad
One of the better known names in the industry, Gorilla Grip has been around for a while, and this felt and rubber combination is worthy of that status. Despite the fact that this option has a big-time name attached to it, this choice is actually half the price of the memory foam listed above.
This is another felt and rubber rug pad, and the texture is very pleasing to the touch. It also features some black and white designs, which can be great if you’re looking to imbue your space with a touch of minimalism. In addition to their soundproofing capabilities, these felt and rubber pads are also anti-slip in nature, which is a nice added touch.
It is worth noting that the fabric here isn’t quite as durable as are options from other manufacturers. What’s more, to avoid staining, you’ll want to avoid using this floor pad in conjunction with lacquered floors, natural stone, acrylic surfaces, or carpeting.
3. Rug Pad USA 0.25-Inch Felt and Rubber Rug Pad
Here we have another example of a felt and rubber rug pad combo. It is a little more basic than the other options on this list, boasting no such designs and instead offering a more straightforward approach in plain gray. It is a bit thinner than other models, but that thinness is reflected in its more affordable price.
This rug is made from recycled material, which is a nice touch if you are environmentally conscious. The pad is also on the softer and cushier side while still remaining firm enough to be a viable option for a soundproofing rug capable of absorbing sound in a given space.
One nice thing about this model is that it does a good job of sticking to the floored surface for which it is designed. Far too often people overlook the importance of making sure their rugs stay in place. These models actually do, as the undersides do a good job of clinging to smooth hard surfaces and ensuring that your rug doesn’t go slipping and sliding all over the place.
4. Calisa Block Printed Rug
If you are looking for a more artistic take on sound-blocking rugs, this is definitely one to consider. One of the nice things about this rug is that it is light enough that you can actually use it as a wall hanging. This can have the added benefit of adding sound-absorbing powers to another part of your décor. If you already have another rug in place to absorb sound that way, you can improve your ability to do so with wall hangings. On the other hand, you could also choose to use this as a traditional rug on the floor.
From a price standpoint, these woven rugs are available for as little as around $30 for smaller versions while larger ones can creep up on $100.
However you use it, the thick liner and patterned beauty of this option can be of huge benefit to your space’s décor as well as your space from a soundproofing prospective.
5. Super Area Rugs Hand-Woven Soft Wool Flokati Shag Rug
If you have a thing for craftier, more hand-woven options, this shag rug may well be the option for you. The hand-woven texture gives it a more authentic feeling, adding something fresh and new to your décor – and that’s in addition to its soundproofing capabilities.
This kind of shag rug is much closer to the ideal soundproofing option mentioned above. It is soft and has long shag fibers, which is ideal for absorbing sound. The rug itself is made from washed wool from New Zealand, adding some extra decorative flair to any room.
What’s more, this carpeting is thicker than many of the other options on this list at around two inches thick, increasing its sound absorbing capabilities even more.
6. Paco Home Shag Rug
This shag rug is a bit “tamer” than the more “wild and wooly” option above. Even so, it does a great job of dampening sound, and it comes in a wide range of sizes. It also comes in many different colors, including beige, anthracite, rose, grey, white, and turquoise. This makes it by far one of the more stylish options when it comes to home shag rugs being used for soundproofing.
7. Faux Sheepskin Shag Rug
Sheepskin is such a smooth, luxurious fabric, but let’s be honest – it can be quite expensive. On the other hand, this faux option offers a lot of that textural satisfaction.
This is another example of a rug that comes in many different shapes and sizes, so whether you’re looking for a rug that’s circular or rectangular, this shag rug can be a good fit. Moreover, it comes in a range of colors, from white and black to grey and burgundy, so no matter what your mood, there is a greater chance that you will find something to satiate your decorative tastes here.
Of course, that is secondary to a soundproofing rug’s ability to soak up and dampen sound, and this rug definitely succeeds in that category as well. Even though it is faux sheepskin, it is able to absorb sound just as real sheepskin or wool would.
8. Safavieh Venice Shag Rug
Last, but not least, we have this shag rug with its silvery accents and incredibly modern appearance. It is also available in taupe, pearl, and champagne, all colors speaking to its bespoke status. This rug features an acrylic plush pile, making it very soft and thus very able to absorb sound, to say nothing of how pleasing it is to the touch.
Safavieh has been making rugs for more than a century, so you can count on this rug for quality and longevity. Purchasing this rug today means having a soundproofing option for decades to come.
There are 20 different sizes available, but every option is an impressive three inches thick, which is great news for anyone looking to add some extra softness, thickness and, yes, soundproofing capability to their room.
Final Thoughts on Using Rugs for Soundproofing
As you can tell, there are a wide variety of different types of sound-absorbing rugs available, each with their own pros, cons, and décor considerations.
In terms of thickness, these rugs run the gamut from 0.25 inches thick to 3 inches thick. The thicker, the better, but it still isn’t all about thickness. You also want to take the materials used into consideration. For example, some of these options feature wool and are shaggier than others, which are a bit smoother and offer a felt and rubber combination.
You’ll naturally also want to consider how big the rug is and how it fits in with the rest of your room. Ideally, it should be able to fit right up against a door, helping to close up the space between its underside and the floor so as to avoid sound from slipping in.
The Safavieh, Calisa, Gorilla Grip, and Super Area Rugs all offer a fantastic blend of soundproofing and aesthetic and tactile charm.
There is a lot to balance when it comes to finding the perfect soundproofing rug, but with the right attention to detail, it can be done – and when done right, it can make a big difference.