Adding sliding doors to your home is a great idea. Sliding doors are simple to operate, let in a lot of natural light, provide beautiful vistas, and save space because they don’t require as much space to swing open and closed as hinged doors do. Sliding doors, despite their advantages, have a big drawback: they are poor sound barriers. And here you’re asking yourself, “How to soundproof a sliding glass door?”. The gaps between sliding doors, which are made primarily of glass and have gaps where they overlap, allow a lot of outside noise into your home, as well as allow inside sounds to escape.
I’ll be concentrating on both indoor and outdoor sliding glass doors. People are attempting to soundproof their sliding glass doors because this is a much higher area for sound pollution than wood doors, which can be soundproofed by simply purchasing a thicker and tougher door.
As a result, you may discover that your home is filled with unpleasant noises and that your privacy has been compromised. There are a few options for soundproofing sliding doors (albeit, doing so is a bit more challenging than soundproofing traditional hinged doors).
I’ll also go through some other options for soundproof a sliding glass door. A sliding door is far more difficult to soundproof than a standard swinging door.
Continue reading for more information on how to make soundproof a sliding glass door.
Table of Contents
Sliding Door Soundproofing Basics
When compared to their regular equivalents, sliding doors are generally inadequate at shielding sound. Unwanted noise enters the home through apertures on either side of a sliding door in this way. As previously stated, flanking is the sound transmission around a certain partition, such as gaps around doors or holes in a wall. Sliding doors frequently have a lower STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating than normal doors, and soundproof sliding doors are virtually nonexistent, prompting many customers to seek soundproofing options after installation. Fortunately, there are various soundproofing alternatives for sliding doors.
Understanding the Sound Rating of Sliding Doors
There are a variety of sound management approaches, each of which is heavily influenced by the nature of the particular noise problem. The process of removing sound energy from a room is known as sound absorption. Rooms with softer materials absorb more noise than rooms with hard tiled surfaces. When it comes to soundproofing a door, the same approach applies.
The flow of sound across a medium is referred to as transmission. Sound transmission prevention through sliding doors, apertures, and gaps necessitates the use of specialist sound-absorbing and sound-blocking devices. When sound collides with a structure, such as a door, vibrations are transmitted into the structure. These vibrations cause air particles on the other side of the door to vibrate, causing even more vibrations.
Increasing the damping and stiffness of the door by adding mass is one of the most effective techniques to increase the door’s resistance to sound waves. Mass does an excellent job of suppressing low-frequency sounds. MDF is a great example of a material that provides mass without being cumbersome for the door.
Sound Transmission Loss (STL)
Sound transmission loss is a measure of the door’s ability to suppress noise. Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is the most common STL test, which indicates how well a door can isolate sound. The decibel value is determined by measuring sound pressure at a specific frequency at both the source and receiving rooms. The NRC is either as a single number or as a curve that shows the door’s performance across a wide frequency range.
Calculating the TL involves averaging sound pressure levels over a period of time. There is an adjustment for the acoustic reverberation time of the receiving room as well as the length of the partition separating the two rooms. The transmission loss of the door is the corrected difference between the two spaces.
The better the noise reduction, the greater the transmission loss.
Sound Transmission Loss (STC)
The transmission loss can be determined using a wide range of frequencies. This makes comparing the performance of various doors in decreasing sound transmission difficult. The Sound Transmission Loss (STC) rating, often known as the Sound Reduction Index, offers a better comparison (SRI)
Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings address this issue by assigning a single value to the door’s noise-blocking efficiency. The STC rating indicates how much noise can be reduced between the source and the receiving room.
The ASTM E413 Classification Standard for Rating Sound Insulation provides a guideline for calculating the STC rating, which is based on a weighted average of Transmission Loss (TL) values measured over 16 frequencies. STC ratings are based on comparing the decibel levels that successfully reach the receiving room to a reference source in the test chamber.
The chart below shows how different varieties of glass are rated, as well as how other building envelopes compare. Simply said, the greater the rating, the higher the quality of the goods. Hope this chart helps you with how to soundproof a sliding glass door.
|Glass Product Type and Thickness||STC|
|¼” Monolithic Glass||31||29|
|½” Monolithic Glass||36||33|
|¼” Glass + ½” Air + ¼” Glass IGU||35||28|
|¼” Glass / 0.030″ PVB / ¼” Glass Laminate||38||34|
|1/8″ Glass / 0.030″ PVB / 1/8″ Glass + ½” Air + ¼” Glass IGU||39||31|
|1/8″ / 0.030″ PVB / 1/8″ + ½” Air + 1/8″ / 0.030″ PVB / 1/8″ IGU||42||33|
|½” Gypsum board (both sides) screwed to 3-5/8″ metal studs||36|
|6″ Lightweight concrete block, two coats of paint each side||46|
|4″ Hollow lightweight masonry block, plastered on both sides||48|
|8″ Dense concrete block wall, two coats of paint each side||52|
|Double layer of gypsum wall board, both sides, 3-5/8″ metal studs, 3″ sound attenuation||54|
Soundproofing sliding doors is simple and inexpensive.
If you’re just seeking a little more peace and quiet in your life, the following suggestions may be all you need. Once you have all of the materials, you should be able to complete it in a single day.
Fixing the Gap
You can repair the weather-strip on your door sash if it does not seal properly. There’s a strong likelihood you’ll be able to find a generic weather-strip to do the job, such as T & B Self Adhesive Pile or Keliiyo EDPM foam. However, because there are so many different door manufacturers and weather-stripping, you may need to go to a specialty provider like All Glass Parts or Window Door Parts to get what you need.
Make sure to replace the weather-strip on the door frame’s head and sill as well. You must replace what is currently in place. It’s nearly impossible to find a door sweep that will operate in this situation. Because of the design, it normally does not allow the sash to slide, otherwise it will drag on the frame and wear out.
Closing the gap around the Door frame
Noise will pass through the spaces around the frame as well as through the glass and holes in your weather-strip.
Spray foam against the rear of the external trim or nailing fin (about 1 inch–1 1/2 inch thick) from the inside. Pull the Roxul apart and fill the cavity once the foam has peeled over (typically 30 minutes). Don’t cram it too tightly. To cover the paint lines, reinstall your casing or replace it with a new, broader casing. Between the door and the outer wall finish, caulk the exterior.
Remove any trim boards on the inside or outside of the door sill where the flooring meets the door. Fill any gaps found under the sill with foam. Replace the trim boards after applying a good bead of caulking if there is no gap. This is a great time to stock up on new items. Existing ones could be worn out or have broken while being removed. Before applying the external finish, all you’ll need is one more bead of caulking between the trim boards and the door sill.
Noise Reduction Door Sweep
Installing a tiny door sweep is another fantastic soundproof option for to seal the bottom crack of an internal sliding glass door. Our kitchen has a sliding glass door that leads to the laundry area. To cut down on noise from the washing and dryer, I added a sweep.
The door sweep that I used is the Energy Efficient Door Under Seal Door Noise Stopper & Soundproofing Door Weather Stripping from Amazon. The Energy Efficient Door Under Seal Door Noise Stopper & Soundproofing Door Weather Stripping from Amazon is the door sweep I used.
This door sweep may not be the greatest, but it’s the one I bought, and it works perfectly for me. This door sweep appealed to me because it is both thin and self-adhesive.
It’s thin enough to allow the door to go into its internal wall slot without scraping or snagging.
This door sweep is also quite affordable and a simple DIY soundproofing solution!
Use a certain type of weather stripping.
I discovered that certain types of weather strips would be ideal soundproof idea for an interior sliding glass door. All you have to do now is make sure the weather-strip isn’t very thick. The door will not glide as readily if the strip is too thick. If the weather-strip is too thin, the noise from the bottom of the door will pass through.
This self-adhesive weather-strip can be easily installed at the bottom of the sliding door facing down. As you open and close the door, the foam should glide smoothly on the floor.
As shown in the table above, doors with acoustical gasketing greatly reduce noise transmission, enhancing STC values.
Acoustic gasketing’s importance stems from a fundamental characteristic of sound: sound can pass through any opening with very little energy loss.
While the amount of noise going across a gap grows with the size of the gap, when a sound barrier is present, the gap size has no effect.
A small gap in your door will transmit the same amount of noise as a larger gap. For a better understanding, look at the graphic below.
As a result, a one-square-inch hole in a 100-square-foot gypsum or drywall partition will transmit as much noise as the entirety of the barrier.
Any untreated gaps and voids in your door will practically render your door useless due to this unique sound phenomenon (soundproof or standard). For example, adding 1/8 inch of clearance around a soundproof door with an STC rating of 52 reduces the rating to 21, resulting in very poor acoustic performance.
The seals around the jamb, sill, and head must be complete, airtight, and uninterrupted for an acoustic gasket to be installed.
For solid doors, use acoustic foam sheeting.
Hollow cores are commonly used in the construction of wood sliding doors. This is to assist the door in gliding more smoothly by reducing its weight. However, hollow-core doors allow a lot of sound to get through. If sealing all of the gaps didn’t provide enough protection, acoustic foam might be added to your door.
Acoustic foam sheeting or mats come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Occasionally, these sheets are available with glue-on surfaces, allowing the mats or foam to simply peel off and stick to the door. With the acoustic foam mats and skirting for the doors installed, your home should become quieter.
The issue with acoustic foam or mats is that they can detract from the appearance of your doors and are difficult to clean.
Get Glass Door Acoustic Lamination
Acoustic film is another option for making a soundproof sliding door. This can be added to your existing glass doors to improve their soundproofing. If you don’t want to replace your glass doors, these laminated film sheets may be a decent alternative.
Because the acoustic film is available in rolls that can be cut to size, it can be installed on windows or any type of glass. Because the acoustic coating is clear and thin, it won’t interfere with the operation of your doors.
The acoustic film won’t completely soundproof your doors, but it will make the sounds coming from outside much quieter. With no acoustic film, the STC value of 1/4-inch glass is around 21. Normal sounds are audible and comprehensible through the glass in this case. Your STC ratings can be boosted to a value of 37 with a good acoustic film.
Curtains that are soundproof
You most likely already have a curtain in front of your sliding glass door leading outside, which will help soundproof some of the noise from outside.
You could alternatively replace it with a thicker, soundproof curtain designed to exclude light and, most crucially, noise.
Because no one wants to hang curtains permanently inside their home, this soundproofing solution would not work well for inside sliding doors. If that’s the case, you might as well replace the glass door with a wooden door.
Make sure that any curtain you choose is long enough to reach the floor. The soundproofing properties of the curtain will be reduced if there is a gap between the curtain and the floor.
Vinyl with a Lot of Content
If your sliding door isn’t thick enough, I strongly advise you to use mass-loaded vinyl to reinforce it. MLV will increase the mass and density of the door, making it more difficult for low-frequency sounds to get through.
The TMS Sound Proofing Padding, for example, is extremely effective in blocking sound and noise.
This MLV material has an STC rating of 27 despite its thin thickness of 1/8 inch, making it useful in blocking low-frequency noises like bass.
The Use of Soundproof Blankets
A soundproof blanket like the QBS soundproof blankets is a great place to start. The QBS-1 and QBS-2 models are available with an STC and NRC of 29/0.75 and 33/0.75, respectively.
These blankets not only prevent noise but also absorb echoes and reverberations in a room, resulting in better acoustic performance and excellent audio clarity.
You can reduce noise by wrapping soundproof blankets around the HVAC ductwork system. Outdoor noise reduction, machine enclosures, and workstation enclosures are all possible applications for these blankets.
Soundproofing by adding a second door
I’m not going to spend too much time on this because it seems stupid. You just can’t isolate a room by adding another door. Why not just replace the present unit with a new triple-glazed door if you’re going to pay the money and put up with the hassle of adding a second sliding patio door? Enough to keep out the noise with a door then you can do the same things I am explaining here.
Increase the thickness of the glass
When it comes to this style of door, the glass is frequently the weakest link. Unfortunately, there are just a few options for thickening glass without fully covering it.
You could, for example, use window film made of plastic. You’d need a lot of it, and there’s a chance you’d end up with a line in the glass where two pieces of film meet. Even so, if you obtain one with a pattern, the line will probably be less visible. You’d also get all the light you require, as well as something attractive to look at.
However, if you’re more concerned with functionality than with aesthetics, you may obtain translucent MLV and apply it to the glass. You might also consider installing another layer of glass if your glass is single-layer (which would be illegal). This, on the other hand, would be a job for a glazier.
Finally, you could make a window plug if you don’t mind blocking off light. Keep in mind that whatever you use to cover the glass must be thin enough for the top panel to glide over the bottom panel.
Replace Thin Glass Doors
Replace narrow glass doors with thicker glass panels with acoustic treatments to reduce loud noises.
Glass doors with acoustic film in the middle, such as double or triple-paned glass doors, are perfect. Two or three glass panels are pressed together with an acoustic layer in the middle to create these panels. The panels are thicker and effectively block out a lot of noise.
The STC value of double-pane glass varies based on the spacing between the panes. Double-paned glass with acoustic film can have this value increased to 32. Widening the spacing can increase the STC values to 37, although this isn’t advisable for sliding doors.
Finally, some thoughts
It’s more difficult to soundproof a sliding door than it is to soundproof a normal door. This is due to the fact that they do not open like conventional doors and have nearly impossible gaps to close.
To soundproof a room, it is necessary to use sound-blocking materials. However, if you want to just improve your room’s acoustic qualities, you should use sound-absorbing materials.
That is not the case with the majority of bloggers. Soundproof drapes, acoustic foam, and various moving blankets are all meant to reduce echoes and reverberation rather than prevent noise.
The worst part about moving blankets is that they don’t prevent noise and don’t absorb it very well.
If you’re serious about soundproofing your sliding door, use sound-blocking materials like mass-loaded vinyl or soundproof blankets. The best option is to invest in a new soundproof sliding door.