15+ Natural Sound-Absorbing Materials for Workshop Noise Reduction

soundproofing a woodworking shop

Have you ever been in a room or workshop with too much noise? You can’t concentrate on your woodwork, and the sound of people talking is overpowering.

If you’re looking for a way to reduce the amount of noise in your woodworking workshop environment, you may consider using natural sound-absorbing materials like wood.

Thanks to its porous structure, wood is an excellent material with natural sound-absorbing properties to capture sound in a noisy room.

When used wisely, these materials can help to reduce echoes and reverberation, making your environment more peaceful and quiet.

In the blog post below, I have mentioned many other low-frequency sound absorption materials and methods to help you reduce unwelcoming sound in your area.

Keep reading to learn more about some of the best natural sound-absorbing materials that can help reduce workshop noise.

Different Types of Natural Sound Dampening Materials

Sound waves are a type of energy that travels through the air, or any other medium, as a vibration of pressure waves.

When these waves reach the ear, they cause the eardrum to vibrate, which the brain interprets as sound.

Various types of natural sound-absorbing materials available on the market can be used for sound absorption to reduce noise pollution.

Some materials are more effective than others, and some have unique benefits that make them well-suited for specific applications.

Here is a list of some of the best natural sound-absorbing materials for workshop noise reduction:

1- Wood

Cork and Dense Boards (OSB, Acoustic Plywood, Particle Board, MDF, FireBoard) are all excellent wood materials for absorbing sound in your home basement workshop.

When these materials are used in thicknesses of 1” or more, they can effectively reduce noise. You can use them in a variety of ways, including:

  • Making DIY sound absorption panels
  • Hanging them on walls
  • Building furniture and soundproofing floors
  • Making soundproof doors and window frames
  • Acoustic fencing for external usage
  • Industrial acoustic soundproof panels
  • Louvers, window blinds, slats, or shutters
  • Soundproof office partitions and dividers

Wood furniture, in general, can be used to reduce noise in various settings.

When used correctly as an acoustical material, wood-based materials can significantly help to reduce the amount of sound transmitted through the air.

2- Plants

Another practical and eco-friendly method is to use plants. Trees, shrubs, and climbers can absorb sound waves, significantly reducing noise levels.

In addition, these plants can also help to improve air quality and provide shade and shelter for wildlife.

For the best results, it is important to choose the right plant for the right location.

Evergreens are particularly effective at absorbing sound waves, so they are ideal for busy roadsides or near airports.

Deciduous trees are less effective at absorbing sound but provide more shade and shelter. Shrubs and climbers are best suited for smaller spaces such as courtyards or balconies.

Using plants to reduce noise pollution can create a more peaceful and tranquil environment for everyone to enjoy.

3- Cotton

Cotton is another natural fiber that is often used as insulation. It is also an excellent sound absorber. Cotton is especially effective at absorbing mid-frequency sounds.

Cotton can be used in several ways to improve the acoustic environment in a room.

For example, cotton batting can be used to line walls and ceilings or placed behind speakers to absorb sound.

Cotton fabric can also be hung from the ceiling or draped over furniture to help absorb sounds. In addition, cotton rugs and carpets can help to muffle noise.

Using cotton in these ways makes it possible to create a quieter and more serene environment.

4- Wool

Wool is a natural fiber that is often used as insulation. It is also an excellent sound absorber. Wool is especially effective at absorbing low-frequency sounds.

You can use wool in a variety of different forms, such as Rockwool insulation and wool batting.

While mineral wool is more commonly used, sheep’s wool can also be used for sound absorption.

5- Fiberglass

Fiberglass is a versatile material used for various purposes, including soundproofing.

Fiberglass can help significantly reduce noise levels in your woodworking shop, home, or office when used correctly.

The key to using fiberglass for soundproofing is to create a barrier between the noise source and the area you want to keep quiet.

This can be done by mounting fiberglass panels on walls or ceilings or by sealing gaps and cracks with fiberglass insulation.

In addition, fiberglass is an effective material for absorbing noise and can also be used to line cabinets and cupboards.

Taking advantage of its unique properties allows you to use fiberglass to create a peaceful oasis in even the noisiest of environments.

6- Cork & Bamboo

Cork and bamboo are other excellent natural soundproofing materials due to their unique physical properties.

Unlike traditional insulation materials such as fiberglass or rock wool, cork is composed of millions of tiny cells filled with air.

This gives cork a very high-density yet porous structure that is effective at absorbing and dissipating sound waves.

Bamboo also has porous fibers, which enable it to absorb the sound of different frequencies by trapping the air between the fibers of solid material.

Cork and bamboo can be used in various ways to soundproof a room, such as lining walls, floors, ceilings, or doors.

It can also make DIY acoustic panels placed in strategic positions around the room.

In addition, these are naturally fire-resistant and environmentally friendly materials, making them a safe and sustainable choice for soundproofing your workshop and home.

7- Soundproof Drywall or Plasterboard

As anyone who has ever lived in an apartment knows, sound travels. Whether it’s your neighbor’s music blaring at 3 a.m. or the constant sound of traffic, noise pollution can be a serious issue.

One way to combat excessive noise is to use soundproof drywall or plasterboard.

This type of material is designed to block out sound, and it can be a great way to improve the acoustics in your shop and home.

When using soundproof drywall, it’s important to apply it carefully and evenly.

Otherwise, you may find that it doesn’t provide the level of sound protection that you were hoping for.

With a little effort, however, you can use soundproof drywall to create a quiet oasis amid a noisy world.

8- Sound Absorbing Egg Cartons

Who knew that egg cartons could be so versatile?

Not only are they great for transporting and storing eggs, but it turns out that they can also be used for sound absorption.

Egg cartons are made from a lightweight and airy material, making them ideal for absorbing sound waves.

When placed on walls or ceilings as an acoustic panel material, egg cartons can help to reduce echo and limit the amount of noise that travels between rooms.

So next time you find yourself with a surplus of egg cartons, don’t toss them in the recycling bin – put them to good use by using them as sound absorbers. You might just find that your workshop is a lot quieter as a result.

9- Soundproof Floor Underlay, Floor Mats, and Carpets

These are all great materials to be used for sound-blocking and reducing woodworking noise complaints.

Floor underlayment like felt, in general, is among the most popular options and can be used equally well for laminate floors, hardwood, and engineered wood.

It can be placed over the subflooring before you install your final flooring.

The main purpose of them is to act as a barrier against impact noise like walking or dropping something.

Rubbery mats, carpets, rugs, or foams are usually made from recycled tires, which makes them pretty good at absorbing sound.

Carpets are often used in offices, and they’re also a good idea if you have kids or pets at home (where you practice woodworking) because they help to protect your flooring and make it last longer.

10- Green Glue

Green glue is a viscous adhesive used to improve the soundproofing properties of walls, ceilings, and floors.

Green glue can help significantly reduce noise levels by absorbing and dissipating sound waves when applied between two layers of drywall.

In addition, green glue is environmentally friendly, non-toxic, and easy to apply.

While it may not be the most attractive soundproofing solution, green glue is an effective way to reduce noise levels in your home and workshop.

11- Mass-Loaded Vinyl

Mass-loaded vinyl is a type of flexible vinyl that is designed for soundproofing.

This material is very dense and heavy, which makes it effective at blocking and absorbing sound.

Mass-loaded vinyl can soundproof a room in various ways, such as lining walls, floors, ceilings, or doors.

In addition, mass-loaded vinyl is an environmentally friendly material that is non-toxic and easy to apply.

While it may not be the most attractive soundproofing solution, mass-loaded vinyl is an effective way to reduce noise levels in your home.

12- Soundproof Sprays & Paints

Soundproofing your woodworking space in your home or office can be a tricky business.

You want to ensure that you have enough insulation to deaden the noise from outside, but you don’t want your shop to feel like a tomb.

That’s where soundproof sprays and paints come in. These products block out the sound without making your space feel too closed off.

Soundproof sprays and paints work by absorbing the sound waves that travel through the air.

This helps to reduce the overall noise level in your area, making it more comfortable for you and your family.

13- Acoustic Plaster, Putty, Caulk & Sealants

Sound can travel through the tiniest spaces, so it’s critical to completely seal off a space for optimal results.

This is where sealant products like plasters, caulk, and putty sealers come into effect.

Not only will they fill small gaps, cracks, and screw holes, but they also act as an extra layer of defense against noise by filling up spaces in a room.

These products are easy to apply and can be found at most hardware stores.

You can find them in various forms, including dispensing tubes, buckets, and cans – making them easy to apply per your personal preferences.

14- Acoustic Glass for Soundproofing Windows

If you’re looking for a way to reduce the noise in your small apartment, acoustic glass for soundproofing windows is another easy and effective solution.

Acoustic glass is a soundproofing material made up of two layers of glass with a layer of sound-absorbing material in between.

To make it more effective, you can also use an accounting window film made up of vinyl film with an adhesive backing.

It’s applied to the window like a sticker and helps block out noise by reflecting sound waves away from the window.

Overall, the system helps reduce the amount of noise that can travel through the glass, making your apartment more peaceful and quiet.

If you live in a noisy area or have loud neighbors, acoustic glass can help you get the peace you need.

15- Soundproof Curtains, Blankets & Furnishings

Soundproof curtains are a great way to reduce noise in your workshop, home, or office.

These curtains are made from a heavy-duty material designed to reflect sound waves away from the window.

In addition, soundproof curtains are often lined with a layer of acoustic foam or other sound-absorbing material.

This helps to further reduce the amount of noise that can travel through the curtain, making your space more peaceful and quiet.

If you’re looking for a more attractive option, many soundproof blankets and furnishings are available.

These products absorb sound, making your woodworking workshop and apartment more peaceful and serene.

16- Acoustic Hangers, Mounts & Resilient Channels

Acoustic hangers, mounts, and resilient channels are materials used to reduce sound transmission in buildings. They are often used in conjunction with each other to create a complete soundproofing system.

Acoustic hangers are used to suspend ceilings and panels from the structure of the building. Mounts are used to attaching these ceilings and panels to the walls.

Resilient channels are installed between the ceiling joists and wall studs to decouple them and prevent vibration transfer.

When all three materials are used together, they can effectively reduce sound transmission and create a more peaceful environment.

For much better results, you can even use acoustic ceiling tiles that are made to block out noise.

They are easy to install and provide an attractive finish to any room.

types of natural sound dampening materials

Types of Sound Absorbers for Workshop Noise

Within a space, sound-absorbing materials use their acoustic characteristics rather than their bulk to absorb echo.

Scientifically speaking, there can be three main types of sound absorbers which include:

  • Porous absorbers
  • Membrane (panel) absorbers
  • Resonance absorbers

While each of these types of sound absorbers works uniquely, they all serve the same purpose – to reduce the amount of noise within a space.

1- Porous Absorbers

Porous absorbers are made up of tiny pores or holes that help to trap air and sound waves.

One of the most popular materials used for porous absorbers is fiberglass, which is lightweight and easy to work with.

Other materials used for porous absorbers include:

  • Cotton
  • Hemp
  • Polyester
  • PVC foam

When sound waves hit a porous absorber, the air within the pores is set into vibration.

This causes the sound waves to lose energy and be absorbed by the material. Porous absorbers are most effective at absorbing low and mid-frequency sounds.

They are often used in recording studios, offices, and other environments where noise reduction is important.

2- Membrane (Panel) Absorbers

Membrane or panel absorbers comprise a thin sheet of material stretched over a frame. The most common type of membrane absorber is the acoustic panel.

Acoustic panels are used in a variety of settings, including:

  • Offices
  • Recording studios
  • Home theaters
  • Schools

When sound waves hit a membrane absorber, the thin sheet of material vibrates. This vibration causes the sound waves to lose energy and be absorbed by the material.

Membrane absorbers are most effective at absorbing mid-frequency sounds.

They are often used in workshop environments where noise reduction is essential because of the usage of power tools.

3- Resonance Absorbers

Resonance absorbers are made up of a material tuned to absorb a specific frequency range.

The most common type of resonance absorber is the bass trap. Bass traps are used in a variety of settings, including:

  • Recording studios
  • Home theaters
  • Schools

When sound waves hit a resonance absorber, the material vibrates. This vibration causes the sound waves to lose energy and be absorbed by the material.

Resonance absorbers are most effective at absorbing low-frequency sounds. They are often used in environments where noise reduction is essential.

Is There a Wallpaper for Blocking Sound in Workshops?

Soundproof wallpaper may also be the answer if you’re looking for a natural way to reduce noise in your woodworking workshop in a small apartment.

This type of wallpaper is made with a special material that helps to block sound waves, making it an effective tool for reducing noise pollution.

While it’s not perfect, soundproof wallpaper can significantly affect the level of noise in your home. Here’s how to use it:

Step 1. Start by measuring the area you want to cover.

Soundproof wallpaper is available in rolls, so you’ll need to know how much you need before shopping.

Step 2. Next, select the type of wallpaper you want.

There are several different types of soundproof wallpaper on the market, so take some time to compare options and choose the one that best suits your needs.

Step 3. Once you’ve decided on the type of wallpaper you want, it’s time to install it.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure the wallpaper is installed correctly.

Step 4. Once the wallpaper is installed, enjoy the peace it provides.

Soundproof wallpaper can make a big difference in reducing noise pollution in your woodworking workshop or home.

How Good is Woodworking Noise-Canceling Headphone?

Woodworking noise-canceling headphones are a type of personal protective equipment that is worn to protect the ears from loud noises.

They are typically made of soft, pliable materials that mold to the shape of the head, and they have an attached cord that goes over the head and down the back.

The headphones work by blocking or canceling noise levels exceeding 85 decibels. This protects the wearer’s hearing from damage caused by loud noises in the workshops.

In addition, the headphones can also help to reduce distractions and increase focus while working.

As a result, they are an essential piece of equipment for anyone who works with power tools or other noise-producing devices.

When buying, it’s essential to look for a few key features to get the most out of your woodworking noise-canceling headphones.

First, look for a pair that has a comfortable fit. The last thing you want is for the headphones to be too loose or too tight, as this can cause discomfort while wearing them.

Second, make sure that the headphones have good sound quality. This means that they should be able to block out noise without distortion.

Third, you must look for durable headphones that can withstand being dropped or stepped on.

And lastly, choose a pair of headphones with a money-back satisfaction guarantee so that you can return them if you’re not happy with them.

Can You Use Coconut Husk for Acoustic Isolation in Woodworking Shops?

You might be surprised to learn that you can use coconut husk for acoustic isolation. They can be used to line walls or ceilings to reduce noise levels.

Coconut husks are porous materials with fibrous qualities, making them excellent for absorbing sound.

The material is easy to buy if you want it unprocessed. In addition, coconut husks are environmentally friendly and biodegradable, so you can feel good about using them in your green home.

Husks are also relatively inexpensive, so they are a great option if you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to improve the acoustics in your woodworking workshop and home.

The only drawback with coconut husks is their lightweight, which makes them challenging to place around a noisy room.

To get noticeable results, you may need a considerable amount of husk. Plus, it will require compression to make it dense.

Overall, if you’re looking for a natural and safer way to reduce noise levels, consider using highly functional coconut husks for acoustic isolation.


Sound absorption vs. blocking – what’s the difference?

The main difference between sound absorption and sound blocking is that sound-absorption materials are designed to absorb sound, while sound-blocking materials are designed to reflect or deflect sound.

Sound absorption materials are typically used with other soundproofing materials to create a complete system, while sound-blocking materials can be used alone.

What are the best natural soundproofing materials for walls?

Various materials can be used for interior walls, including soundproofing paint, acoustical insulation, and soundproof wallpaper.

However, mass-loaded vinyl is a much more popular option for exterior walls in your woodworking shop.

Besides that, limiting the number of hanging tools on your walls is good if you have them in your garage.

Do not hang all of them in one place, as they can cause noise whenever you pick them up for work.

What is the best technique to use for under-table sound absorption?

If you’re looking for under-table sound absorption in your woodworking shop, the best option is to use acoustic panels.

Acoustic panels are designed to absorb sound and can be placed underneath tables or desks to help reduce noise levels.

Another option for noise-proofing is to use a sound-dampening rug. These rugs are made with materials that help to reduce noise, making them an effective tool for under-table sound absorption.

Final Thoughts

There are a variety of natural sound-absorbing materials on the market, and the best option for your noise-free workshop will depend on your specific needs.

If you’re looking for a natural and environmentally friendly option, coconut husks are an excellent choice.

For a more budget-friendly option, fiberglass insulation is a great choice. And, for the best overall soundproofing, mass-loaded vinyl is the way to go.

No matter which material you choose, follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully to ensure optimal results.

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