Sliding glass doors are wonderful accessories to have at anyone’s home. There are many advantages to having one at home, including the increased influx of natural lighting to the rooms and offer an amazing view of the exterior, and doesn’t require the swinging space like a normal door and hence providing much more open space and contributing to ergonomics of the entire room.
But, like every good thing, it is not without any drawbacks, the main being the poor soundproofing qualities. Sliding glass doors are primarily made of glass, which is terrible at sound blocking and has gaps where the panels overlap. This makes sliding doors bad sound insulators and requires soundproofing to keep the ambiance of the room.
In this article, we’ll be looking into some of the best ways for soundproofing sliding glass doors. These methods are specially curated for maximum efficiency and cost-effectiveness.
How to Soundproof a Sliding Door?
Some glass doors may be good sound insulators, but most are not. There are many things to consider while soundproofing a sliding glass door. Unlike normal doors, sliding glass doors are thinner and thus require more mass to block out the external noises. But we can’t place heavy soundproofing materials on sliding glass doors as they can’t sustain much weight.
Also, most soundproofing solutions are opaque, and some may be unpleasant to look at. Such items can’t be placed permanently on top or in front of a sliding glass door as it defeats the purpose of a sliding glass door if you can’t get the view of the outside. Let’s look at some of the soundproofing solutions one can adopt to soundproof sliding glass doors.
Use A Weather-Stripping Brush
The main thing to consider while soundproofing anything is to fill in all the cracks and gaps. These gaps can act as a medium for external noise to come in and disturb your calm and quiet. You can determine whether you have air gaps in between is by asking a friend to hold a blow dryer on the other side of the door and pass it through every corner of the door while you hold your hand on the opposite side. If you feel the wind at any point, you know there’s an intrusion, and these might be the primary reason why external sounds are so poorly insulated.
It is imperative to seal all air gaps in such doors when the door is closed. For sliding glass doors, a weather-stripping brush is perfect for filling in the gaps between the panels, and it creates an air-tight seal between the glass panels and the frame.
Weather-stripping brushes can bend according to the movement of the sliding glass door panels, thereby creating minimum friction as you open them. This makes weather-stripping brushes long-lasting and immune to wear and tears.
Alternatively, you can use weather-stripping tapes for non-moving parts of the glass door. Applying weather-stripping brush/tape doesn’t require much professional skill and can be done without much experience. Make sure to completely cover all gaps using the hack mentioned above.
Use Acoustic Caulk
Cracks and gaps between the door and the frame can form after a few years of installing a glass door. Acoustic caulk is very useful in covering minor cracks and gaps between the wall and the frame. Moreover, acoustical caulk is easy to apply and can be done without any professional expertise or skill.
In most cases, you are bound to receive excellent results with a bit of investment, such as acoustic caulk or weather-stripping brushes. These solutions have very high-cost effectiveness. However, they do not soundproof the sliding door but take care of the inefficiency around the sliding door that may contribute to the lack of sound insulation.
Door sweeps are primarily meant to cover the gaps between the door frame and the floor. Door sweeps are available in different sizes and shapes and can be brought online. Door sweeps contain soundproofing materials and can be obtained by looking at the specifications and the STC rating (Sound Transmission Class) of the material used inside.
They are thin enough that the sliding door can still perform its function without scraping against it while sliding and is inexpensive, low maintenance, easy to install, etc. They are bendable, machine washable, and even keep out the bugs, insects, and whatnot that may crawl through the gap under the door.
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Hang Soundproofing Curtains
Soundproofing curtains are a particular type of curtains made of soundproofing materials with a Sound Transmission Class Rating of at least 26. These cling closely to the glass pane, unlike regular curtains, to block incoming and outgoing noise from other sources.
The installation of soundproofing curtains is more or less the same as that of ordinary curtains. The quality of soundproofing depends on the material used in the curtain. Nowadays, they are available in many designs to select one that suits the aesthetics and the ambiance of your room.
It is vital to select soundproofing curtains that extend beyond the sliding door for effective soundproofing. Otherwise, sound can easily enter through the uncovered parts of the door.
Soundproofing curtains won’t be enough to completely soundproof your sliding glass door, but they will make the sound fade much faster. This enables one to have a quiet ambiance immediately near the sliding doors, making it peaceful. It also helps to reduce the echo of the room.
They also help block out the sunlight and keep the room cool in the daytime, if needed. They prevent heat transfer, block out hot air from reaching the interiors, and dissipate sound in heat energy. You could always open the blinds to let the sunlight in and hence does not compromise the functionality or utility of a sliding glass door.
Hang fiberglass Blankets In-front of the Sliding Glass Door
While you can always rely on soundproofing curtains, you can opt for fiberglass blankets if you’re serious about soundproofing. Fiberglass is one of the most extensively used soundproofing materials out there.
An added advantage to fiberglass blankets is that it blocks acoustic sounds and blocks out or reduce impact noise. Impact noise has a physical form as vibrations, so regular soundproofing materials can’t block it out. You may have experienced impact noise during the working of washing machines or when there’s construction nearby.
The blanket installation is similar to that of ordinary curtains and can be hung on a curtain rod. One may use hooks for easier and faster installation and removal of the blankets.
However, the main drawback of fiberglass blankets is that it is visually unpleasant to see. It can ruin the ambiance of your home.
Replace Glass Panels with Laminated Glass
The main reason for sound to come through your sliding glass door is the glass panel which, in itself, is a bad insulator of sound. Moreover, sliding glass doors often come with thin, ineffective glass doors, which doesn’t help the cause. It is recommended to replace the glass panels with laminated glass. Laminated glass also provides security to the home as it is very tough to break compared to normal glass doors.
Laminated glass panels are perfect for blocking out both airborne and impact noise. But, it is costly and can cost you between $500 and $1000. Installation of laminated glass panels will require a set of professional hands and add to the cost.
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Use Thick Blinds In-front of Your Sliding Glass Door
Another alternative to soundproofing curtains or an addition to it is thick blinds. Thick blinds can supplement your existing soundproofing solutions for sliding glass doors. They are modern and provide the functionalities of security and soundproofing. They also look classy and can add to the aesthetics of the room. However, it is to be noted that thick blinds are not standalone soundproofing solutions.
Thick blinds that can be pulled up or down will not compromise the utility but add a layer of protection and a sound barrier for incoming and outgoing noise.
Buy A Soundproof Sliding Glass Door
If you are ready to invest more in the soundproofing project dedicatedly, you can go for a soundproof sliding glass door which takes away the need for adding extra accessories to soundproof your glass door. This is a more expensive option and will cost about $1300 to $1400. It depends on the size of the sliding glass door you need, the quality of the material used, and the construction costs.
There are many benefits to choosing a professionally constructed soundproof sliding glass door, including upgraded soundproofing quality. But don’t expect them to block out every type of noise. A normal soundproof sliding glass door will provide up to 75% to 95% soundproofing properties.
Add A Second Sliding Glass Door
Have you ever wondered how sliding glass doors in hotels close to noisy areas like airports offer an amazingly high level of sound blocking from external sources? The answer is there’s not just one. Installing multiple panes of glass in front of or behind the existing pane with a little room for air to block out impact noise is an amazing way to soundproof your sliding glass door. The double-pane or triple-pane creates a compounding effect to the existing pane and provides a lot more noise reduction and a sense of security to the owner.
An added advantage is that you can almost eliminate cold drafts coming your way using the multiple pane glass doors. With multiple panes, you could easily achieve 75% to 95% noise reduction in normal scenarios. These can act as standalone solutions and don’t require curtains or blankets to cover them up as they are specifically designed to block sounds with high efficiency.
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Sliding glass doors are amazing accessories to any home. But in many cases, it proves to be a problem when it comes to sound insulation. This is primarily due to the presence of the thin glass door. It restricts many normally used soundproofing solutions because of the nature and purpose of the sliding glass door. We can’t permanently place any soundproofing solutions that are opaque or inherently ugly in front of the sliding glass door because it defeats the purpose of the glass panels.
Moreover, the principle of soundproofing revolves around adding more mass to areas to make them soundproof. But, this is also not applicable to soundproofing sliding glass doors as they are light and can’t withstand as much weight as normal doors.
In this article, we have discussed many ways to soundproof sliding glass doors. Following one or more steps are sure to guarantee you a very high level of soundproofing, even though 100% soundproofing is not achievable. For better results, you can combine many of the solutions mentioned here, such as the soundproofing curtains and the thick blinds.
You can select the appropriate methods for the level of soundproofing you want to achieve in your home. You can see that door sweeps, acoustic caulk, etc., cost very little, but solutions such as laminated glass and multiple glass panes can cost quite a lot. You have to make an informed decision from the presented facts considering the need, your budget, and the time you can invest in soundproofing your sliding glass door.