How to Reduce Echo in a Room with Hardwood Floors: 6 Simple Ways

Written by Michael Harris
Last updated

Are you looking for a way to reduce echo in your room with hardwood floors? They may be beautiful, but they can also be really annoying and can easily become a bit of an echo chamber.

To help, in this post we’re going to give you our complete guide on how to reduce echo in a room with hardwood floors so that you can enjoy your lovely floors again. Let’s get started.

1. Cover the Floor with Rugs

The first thing to do when looking to reduce echo in a room with hardwood floors is to put down rugs.

Hardwood floors are notorious for causing echo and so putting as much soft material in the room as you can go a long way to cutting down on that echo.

Some other websites will suggest putting carpets over your lovely hardwood floors but what would the point in that be?

Rugs will help absorb or deaden some of the sound coming back off of the floor, especially if they’re thicker and heavier rugs. The general rule is, the thicker and larger the rug, the better and the more it will help to reduce echo.

There’s no need to go mad but just make sure that you at least cover some of the floor.

You also don’t need them to be there permanently. You can put down some rugs, or even cheap moving blankets temporarily to help reduce echo if you’re recording in the room.

2. Cover the Windows with Soundproof Curtains

Next on the list is to look to soundproof the windows. But, you don’t have to go through the trouble of completely soundproofing your windows.

All you need to do is get a good, thick set of soundproof curtains as these should do the trick when it comes to reducing echo in a room with hardwood floors.

By hanging a soft, heavy material over the glass you’ll not only be helping to block out some of the outside noise but also be cutting down on some of the sound coming back as an echo.

There are lots of different types of curtains available so it can be hard to know which ones will prevent echo.

If you’re unsure, we’d recommend these ones here from Nicetown that are relatively inexpensive and designed specially to absorbing echo.

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If you’re on a very tight budget you can even just hang thick blankets over your windows too as this will help to absorb some of the sound.

3. Fill the Room with Furniture

Another easy way to reduce echo in a room with hardwood floors is to fill the room with as much furniture as you can. Again, this isn’t really anything to do with soundproofing as it’s just a way of filling the space so there are fewer open areas and flat, hard surfaces for sound waves to bounce off of as an echo.

The best types of furniture for this job are large, soft heavy items like bookcases, sofas, chairs, cabinets, or even pictures as these will absorb lots of the sound as they’re made from thick hard materials. Put them right against the walls as well if you can to help reduce echo even further. 

Combine this tip with soundproof curtains and some nice rugs and you’ll be going a long way to lowering the amount of echo in your room.

4. Install Acoustic Foam Panels

After you’ve looked at the floors, windows, and furniture, it’s time to look to the walls. Sounds produce will bounce off your hardwood floors and on top of any other hard surfaces so if we can soundproof the walls, it’ll really go a long way to cutting down on all that echo.

The cheapest and easiest option, in this case, is to put up some acoustic foam panels on the walls. These are simple squares of foam with grooves and dents in them that help to both absorb the sound and prevent it from bouncing around the room as an echo.

Just work your way around the room and put them up against the wall where there’s empty space

5. Hang up Thick Moving Blankets on the Walls and Ceiling

If you want something more temporary than putting up acoustic foam panels then you might want to try hanging up some thick moving blankets on the wall.

They’re a bit thinner and don’t do as much absorbing but they’re also cheaper than foam panels, are reusable, especially if you plan on having them for more than one occasion in the room.

If you can, we’d also recommend putting them up on the ceiling too as this will have the same effect as the walls and floor on echo.

6. Use a Microphone Isolation Booth

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If you’re wanting to reduce the echo so that you can record vocals or a podcast using a microphone then as well as the tips discussed above we’d also recommend getting a microphone isolation booth.

Microphone isolation booths essentially create a soundproof space around your microphone to prevent any sound from bouncing around the room.

They can get quite pricey but we’d recommend getting one if your budget allows for it as otherwise you’ll have to make do with what other techniques can offer in terms of reducing echo and that might not be effective enough or give off a professional appearance.

What Causes an Echo in a Room?

There are a lot of things that can cause echo in a room and the type of flooring you have is just one of them.

Echo occurs when sound waves are reflected off surfaces such as walls, ceilings, or floors and return all at once rather than gradually.

This usually isn’t too much of an issue in smaller rooms or ones with carpet unless there are lots of hard reflective surfaces but as soon as you start adding big open spaces then things can really get out of hand.

This can be very annoying, especially if you’re trying to do any kind of recording in the room as the sound will bounce back to the microphones and cause an echo and feedback.

What absorbs sound in a room?

The best materials for absorbing sound is are thick, soft, heavy dense ones. You can try using heavy rugs, thick curtains, or even soft furnishings. If you have the money to spend on acoustic foam panels then they’ll do the trick nicely too.

What’s most important when it comes to reducing echo in a room with hardwood floors is damping down all of those hard surfaces so that there aren’t any big open areas and flat planes that sound can bounce off of as an echo.

Cover as many items in the room with blankets to help reduce the echo and absorb more sound.

Summing Up

As you can see, there are lots of different techniques you can use to reduce echo in a room with hardwood floors, some of which are relatively simple and cheap while others will cost you a bit more money and time

Having said that, the most effective way is always going to be covering as much of the floor as possible with rugs, blankets, or carpets. When it comes to eliminating echo, the less hard, flat surfaces there are in the room, the better.

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About The Author

Hey I'm Michael and I run this website. I'm a professional voiceover artist and in my search to create a silent studio I've become obsessed with soundproofing and things being quiet. Thanks for visiting and if you have any question get in touch.