French doors have become quite famous among homeowners nowadays. Considering how they enhance the style and aesthetics of any place, their popularity is justified. If you have decided to install french doors in your home, you also need to remember that they aren’t soundproof.
Now, you obviously wouldn’t want your house to be filled with unwanted outside sounds and noises. If you badly want a french door for your house but also want to prevent noises from entering your space, you have come to the right place.
In this guide, we have talked about the various ways in which you can soundproof a french door and prevent outside noises from entering! Therefore, without any further delay, let’s dive into the details!
Can French Doors Be Soundproof?
Considering the design based on which french doors are built, they aren’t soundproof. But, with the right methods, french doors can be made soundproof.
If you have noticed the design of french doors, you must have seen that two pairs of doors swing outwards or inwards from the center. Now, due to this style, there remains a tiny gap in the center where two parts of the door meet. No matter how negligible or tiny the gap is, it’s an invitation to noises.
That’s why people who have french doors at their home must soundproof the doors manually by using the right methods.
How to Soundproof French Doors?
The most effective way to increase their sound-reduction qualities is to increase their mass and seal all gaps and holes. However, there are other options one can opt for, for instance, installing a more advanced form of a french door. Overall, the methods to soundproof french doors are easy and cost-effective. Let’s go through each one of them in detail below.
Seal all Existing Gaps and Leaks Between the Door Frame and The Door
Have you noticed the portion where the door frame meets the door? Those areas are quite thin and even a few millimeters gap is enough to let unwanted sounds and noises enter the room.
You need to remember that even if you hang curtains and blankets to add mass to the french door, it wouldn’t be effective if there are holes and gaps. Noise would still be able to pass through those gaps. Therefore, the first step towards soundproofing french doors would be to eliminate these gaps and holes.
How would ensure there’s no existing gap? Close the door and see if there’s any gap around the hinges. If you find any space, seal it using dense foam tape. This will reduce the noise to a great extent.
If you are wondering how to seal, using high-density, self-adhesive foam tapes would be the best option.
Did you know that even if the existing gaps, leaks, and holes are equal to 1%, it can be a gateway for about 50% of outside noise? Therefore, unless you seal these tiny little gaps, no other soundproofing method would be effective. Sealing these gaps would work as a thermal insulating and sound insulating step. To seal gaps in a stepwise method, do as directed below.
- Insulate the Door Frame First
Most doors have a gap between the wall and the jamb. Most homeowners don’t pay attention to this gap. This gap remains uninsulated, allowing unwanted noises and sounds to enter your room. Fill the gap using suitable soundproofing material like fiberglass or rock wool. After you install the casing, seal it to the jamb and the wall using caulking.
- Weatherstrip the Frame
This is the next step you must follow. Use a suitable weather stripping material and apply it on both sides of the doorstop. Don’t forget to apply it on top of the frame. To make sure the weatherstripping material sticks to the door stop firmly, use a mixture of water and vinegar or alcohol to provide good adhesion.
- Fill the Center Gap
Different types of french doors work on different mechanisms. Some have a ball catch to keep both sides of the door close. In some models, one side of the door comes with flush bolts while the other side has a door handle used to close it. No matter how your french door works, there is sure to be a gap in between the two parts of the door. You can apply weatherstrip to close it or call a professional to find out other solutions to this issue.
After you seal the gaps, follow the next methods to increase sound-reduction inside your home space.
Cover the Bottom Part of the Door
Besides the small gaps and holes, there also exists a considerable gap under the door. There might not be any gap but it’s worth checking out. It’s important because a large amount of noise can enter even through the tiniest of gaps.
If you notice a considerable gap under the door, you can fix this in simple steps. All that you need is a cheap door sweep. For best results, use a silicone door sweep as it’s really cost-effective and self-adhesive.
The best part is that you don’t require additional tools to install the door sweep. Simply stick it to the bottom of the door and your job is done. If the sweep gets detached from the door, you can use screws and nails to attach it firmly to the door.
This door sweep will not only prevent noise from entering the room but also prevent bugs. If you reside in an area where spiders and scorpions are notorious, this option is most recommended.
Now, if the floor is uneven, installing the door sweep can be problematic. It can prevent the door from opening and closing correctly. In such situations, installing an automatic door bottom would be an ideal option. Wondering how this automatic door bottom works? These use advanced mechanisms and can recognize when is the door being closed and opener. They cover the gap whenever the door is closed.
This option is expensive. It requires more resources and professionals for proper installation. But, if the floor is extremely uneven and door sweeps aren’t working, installing an automatic door bottom is a practical option. It’s certainly expensive but definitely worthy.
Hang a Noise Blocking Curtain
You would be spoilt with choices while selecting a sound-blocking curtain for your French door. The curtains come in different varieties, made from different fabrics and colors. Usually, these noise blocking curtains are large-sized one or two-panel ones that are specially made to be hungover french doors and windows. While buying these curtains, make sure to check the measurements and confirm whether the curtain covers the enter french window and door.
Needless to say, to hand these curtains, you first have to install a rod on top. If you reside in a high traffic area to block maximum noise you are recommended to install a double curtain rod. You must be wondering why so? These types of rods allow people to hang two curtains together, increasing noise reduction as a result.
For even better results, people can hang these noise-blocking curtains on both sides of the french doors. However, sometimes too many curtains might be annoying for the people of the house. Therefore, placing a good quality curtain on one side of the french door would be fine.
Hang a Thick Moving Blanket
Oftentimes people think curtains and moving blankets are the same. Yes ,they are similar but not entirely the same. Some of the moving blankets have grommets that allow people to hang them on rods or hooks using anchors. People can also glue these blankets to any surface if found necessary.
Obviously, the thickness of this blanket determines its effectiveness. The thicker it is, the better noise-reduction would it offer. Using these blankets on french doors is quite easy. Just like curtains, hang them from the curtain rod.
But, if you are considering the aesthetics of your place, hanging noise-reduction curtains would definitely be a better idea. There’s not much difference in the market price of curtains and blankets. So, most people opt for curtains usually.
However, if you are willing to explore this noise-reduction option as well, you must buy a thick, heavy blanket.
Lubricate the Handles and Hinges of the Door
Do you hear your french door making weird squeaking noises when you open or close it? Perhaps the hinges need to be lubricated. Use any machine oil for this purpose and lubricate the hinges immediately to fix the issue. Using gun oil also works for this purpose.
However, if you don’t have any kind of machine oil home and you have to fix the issue immediately, use any oil. It can be hair oils or vegetable oils or anything else. Pour a sufficient amount of oil on the hinges. Using vaseline can also fix the problem. We recommend using machine oils because they are more effective in lubricating the hinges and are cleaner too. Also, their effect is long-lasting.
Don’t Forget to Soundproof the Air Vents
Do you have air vents anywhere around the French door? If you have and you don’t soundproof the vents, soundproofing the door alone would be futile. There wouldn’t be any reduction in noise levels in your home unless you close the vents. The vents situated above the door are a huge gateway for sounds and noises to enter your room. Neglecting the air vents would render every solution ineffective.
So, how would you soundproof the vents? Don’t worry. We got you covered. The best way to cover the vents is to remove them entirely and fill the gap using drywall. As we all know, drywall is an effective sound-absorbing material that’s often used by homeowners to soundproof ceilings, walls, and floors. Installing drywall would give you evident sound-reduction results inside your house.
Now, some homeowners intend the keep the vents functional while also reducing the amount of noise passing through the vents into the house. If that’s what you too want, you can create a sound maze.
Wondering how would you do that? Simply glue some pieces of wood inside the empty spaces of the vent. Consequently, the sound waves would bounce against the wood surfaces before they can travel through it to the other side. The moment those sound waves bounce against the wood, their intensity and speed gets considerably reduced. As a result, when those waves enter the room, they have already become faint.
Install a Double-Glazed French Door
French doors are now available in better models and designs. The latest double-glazed french doors are an excellent model to consider. They are great at blocking noise due to their advanced design. However, despite buying such an advanced model, tiny gaps would still exist. You need to fill them to ensure no outside noise enters the house.
The major advantage of installing a double-glazed french door is that no longer do you have to hang soundproof curtains or blankets. However, if anyone wishes to add them for better thermal and noise insulation, one can certainly do that.
If you are opting for this option, know that it’s a labor-intensive method. It’s costly as well, though the investment is worth it. Firstly, you have to buy a new model of French door. Secondly, you have to get it customized so that the door fits the already existing door frame of your house.
As effective as this option seems to be if you don’t have a sufficient budget to hire workers and resources, this isn’t the most convenient option for you.
As you can see, increasing the mass and sealing all gaps and vents are effective measures to soundproof french doors. These are proven methods that a lot of people have implemented only to enjoy a severe reduction in the noise levels inside the rooms. But to ensure all your steps are useful, first, you ought to locate the tiny, negligible holes, gaps, and cracks located around the doors.
The steps mentioned above are mostly affordable, except a few. Installing the latest double-glazed french door is costly.
Also installing the automatic door bottom would cost you a huge amount of money. However, the right soundproofing method depends on the region you reside in, how noisy the area is, and lastly your budget.
Even if you exclude the expensive noise-reduction solutions, implementing the other soundproofing methods together would certainly allow you to enjoy quiet and peaceful living conditions.