What would be the cheapest way to reduce echo in an empty room?

I'll be having an empty room in my apartment for perhaps a few months and right now, there's nothing I could put in there, except perhaps for some empty cardboard boxes.

The room has an open entrance to other rooms, so whenever someone is doing something in most other rooms (even not so noisy activities), this creates a surprisingly loud and actually really annoying echo that can be heard everywhere.

The room is about 23 feet long and 13 feet wide, the entrance is about 6 feet wide.

I wouldn't really want to try blocking the entrance, because you need to be able to go through that room to get to the balcony. There's also a lot of daylight coming through that open entrance, blocking it would make other rooms significantly darker.

Assuming I would put some cardboard boxes in there, where exactly should I put them for most efficiency?

What other, cheap options are there and how would I do it?

  • Craigslist, free section, upholstered furniture. Just be sure it won't need fumigation before hauling it away and putting in your no longer empty room. Curtains, rugs, cardboard boxes, tapestries all will help. As would very large stuffed animals - try your luck at the fair!
    – Ecnerwal
    Sep 4, 2016 at 2:25

2 Answers 2


Echo is normally caused by wood/ Assuming that is indeed what you have, I would try laying carpet in there such as a rug. Sheetrock/drywall doesnt cause echo and when we actually soundproof rooms, add sheetrock. add a 2 inch space and another layer of sheetrock. So again, I am assume you have a wood or laminate flooring.

  • Thanks for your answer. Well, it's actually a tiled floor. Also, I can't make any permanent changes to the floor (or anything else). I'm rather looking for a temporary solution. Would it help if I covered the tiled floor with rugs? I'm not sure if the walls or the floor is the main source of the echo.
    – tmh
    Sep 3, 2016 at 6:59
  • 1
    I apologize I forgot to mention tile is the same as wood.. Pretty silly of me being a master tile setter lol :P Yes rugs will work best. I assumed you either couldnt or didnt want to lay carpeting due to the only for a fews months mentioned. Sep 3, 2016 at 7:02

Apart from rugs on the floor, even opened out boxes will help with echoes from the walls. Better would be cork pinboards if you can find them both big and cheap.

Curtains also make a big difference - echoes off large pieces of glass are very strong and harsh.

Basically anything soft that breaks up the shape.

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