The man cave is a place of retreat, and somewhere the men of the house can head to when they need some space from the outside world.
Although they’re made to be havens of relaxation, things can get pretty boisterous in there, and for the other members of the household, it might not be the best time while you’re entertaining in yours.
Whether you’re playing a video game or cheering on the football, it’s easy to get the decibels high when you’re hanging out in a man cave.
Rather than having to keep things quiet and ruin the fun times, there are some great ways to soundproof your space, including making DIY acoustic panels.
How do you make DIY acoustic panels and what materials are best?
Soft, porous materials like cloth and fabric are best for insulating acoustics and absorbing loud noises, and there are plenty of good options to choose from.
If you’ve always wanted to reduce the ruckus from your man cave and be able to enjoy yourself to the full extend, you might want to consider putting together some of these simply acoustic panels.
With our help, you’ll be able to absorb the noise output and have fun in your sacred space without worrying about who you’re bothering at home.
- 1 Does Your Mancave Need Soundproofing?
- 2 What Are Acoustic Panels?
- 3 How to Make Your Own Acoustic Panels
- 4 Other Easy Ways to Soundproof a Man Cave
- 5 Related Questions
Does Your Mancave Need Soundproofing?
There’s a lot that happens inside a man cave, and if you’ve ever stepped foot in one you know just how noisy they can be. Although it’s great having our own space to entertain and unwind in, we still need to be mindful of others we’re sharing the house with, so it’s always smart to soundproof.
Acoustic panels and other soundproofing designs are not only good for reducing our sound output but preventing other sounds form coming in as well.
You might have a neighbor who’s always using their power tools or a keen musician in the household who likes to practice their instrument with the volume way up, so sound absorption can help.
If you’re someone who prefers to relax quietly in your man cave, it’s still ideal to have some form of sound insulation. This helps you make the most of your alone time but ensures if you ever want to turn the volume up and invite some friends around, nobody will hear the antics going on inside.
What Are Acoustic Panels?
Acoustic panels are popular choices for people wanting to improve the sound quality in the room, but also absorb how much noise they’re putting out.
For man caves and other areas in shared spaces, they make sure you’re not disturbing others, and they’re easy enough to install.
An acoustic panel is a device designed to absorb sound, and it does so by trapping the acoustical energy emitting from something and stopping it from reflecting off somewhere else.
These panels are favored by musicians as they can help improve the sound without a recording studio, and they reduce the reverberation levels in a room, which leads to noise reduction.
An acoustic panel can cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to purchase, but if you want a way to cut noise from your man cave, you can easily make some for a fraction of this cost.
With a few carefully placed acoustic panels around the room, you’ll make it more enjoyable to watch movies and listen to music inside, plus reduce some of the disturbance for those who aren’t allowed in.
How to Make Your Own Acoustic Panels
Purchasing acoustic panels can easily cost hundreds of dollars, but with a few of the right tools and a selection of sound-absorbing materials, you can make some for yourself. There are three parts to this process, including:
- The core material that does the acoustical work
- A wooden frame that the fabric sticks to
- A decorative fabric cover that’s acoustically transparent
Finding the Core
To choose a suitable core material that’s going to absorb sound, you’ll need one that’s at least two inches thick, has a density of 3lbs to 8lbs per cubic foot, is unfaced, and has dense insulation.
For this project, we’ll use corning fiberglass that costs roughly $3 per square foot, making it one of the more affordable options.
Making a Wood Frame
Each panel will require its own wood frame, so depending on how many panels you plan to make and the size, this will differ. Choose a 2” deep furring strip of your chosen wood, and for each panel frame, you’ll need two pieces cut to 49-3/8” and two more to 24”.
Spray the perimeter of each piece of your fiberglass with adhesive and then position it in line with the frame you’ve made so that it’s lightly compressed. On each corner, pre-drill a pilot hole, fill it with wood glue and then screw the two parts together. Leave to dry overnight before moving on.
Choose a Fabric
The panel must be wrapped with an acoustically transparent piece of fabric, and to test this simply hold it to your mouth and exhale through it. If the material has minimal resistance, it’s okay to use, and this is usually the case with lighter fabrics.
Choose a sound transparent fabric that gives the appearance you want, as this will be wrapped around the panel and placed on the wall of the man cave. The panel shouldn’t be visible through the fabric, and the pattern shouldn’t be too busy as you’ll have to stretch it soon and line it up.
Cover the Panel
Lay out a 62” length of your chosen fabric on the floor, with the face of the fabric down on the ground.
Lay the framed panel on top of it so that the flat side is facing up. Wrap the fabric around the backside and apply staples to it on the wooden frame every three inches so it’s fastened securely.
Pull the fabric tightly along the other side and then staple on this edge as well, continuing with the three-inch intervals you made.
Repeat the previous steps now on the top and bottom edges while you keep the corners folded neatly. Spray any remaining fabric that’s hanging loose on the backside of the panel and leave it to dry.
Mounting the Panels
The final step is to mount your panels on the man cave walls so that they can start absorbing sound.
For the best placement, you should hang them as you would a heavy piece of art, so make sure you have the right screws and hangers for the job. Place them around on the walls so they’re evenly spaced for the best results.
Other Easy Ways to Soundproof a Man Cave
If you feel your man cave could benefit from even more soundproofing than your acoustic panels, you’re in luck.
There are loads of ways you can cheaply but effectively absorb the sound made in your man cave so that it’s not of a disturbance to anyone. Check out these simple ideas to keep things quiet when you’re having fun:
Block door gaps
Make your way around the doors in your man cave and block any visible gaps, with the biggest being the gap between the floor and the door. You can do this with a dense rubber door sweep or weather stripping made of foam or rubber placed around the entire edge of the door.
Block window gaps
If you’re worried about annoying the neighbors, you can make a big difference by soundproofing the windows.
You can purchase some simple acoustic caulk online and use it around the windows to prevent the vibrations from slipping out. Otherwise, the weather stripping you used for the doors can be just as helpful.
Choose furniture smartly
If you plan on making lots of noise, you can choose furniture that will allow you to do it without being a bother. Surprisingly enough, you can use softer fabric furniture to reduce sound, so avoid things like leather and other hard materials.
As well as making the room look nicer, curtains can be used to prevent sound coming in and going out. Choose a heavier fabric that’s still soft enough to absorb sound, and be grateful for the pesky sunlight they keep out as well.
Lay down a rug
Another tip that can improve the look of your man cave as well as how much sound it emits is laying down an area rug. A rug placed on the floor will prevent the transmission of sound and vibrations and improve the room’s acoustics.
For a bigger job that has a lot of noise impact, consider upgrading the insulation in your walls and ceilings. There are sound-absorbing insulation materials made for this very purpose that can dramatically reduce how much sound your man cave activities make.
DIY acoustic panels are just one way you can soundproof an area at home, and if you’re lucky enough to have a man cave, you’ll probably want to learn some more.
We’ve answered some commonly asked questions about how to soundproof for yourself at home, so check out these FAQs for more information.
Is Bubble Wrap Good for Sound Absorption?
Although bubble wrap is a helpful tool for keeping items protected, it’s not ideal for soundproofing a room. The makeup of bubble wrap means it has lots of air pockets and not a lot of mass, which aren’t ideal for absorbing sound.
Additionally, having to replace bubble wrap as it bursts and deflates would be far too much work and upkeep.
Can You Soundproof a Door?
If your main concern is sound traveling through the door of your man cave, you may be able to apply acoustic panels just to this area.
Other ways to prevent noise from traveling through the door could be to seal any cracks or holes underneath, apply weatherstripping tape to the door, and use door gaskets.
Does Putting a Towel Underneath a Door Stop Sound?
Towels have been used for years as a simple but effective way to stop sound and light from getting underneath a door crack. This method does work, although not as efficiently as acoustic panels, as it helps close the gap between the door and the floor where sound travels.