Sliding glass doors are a popular choice for back gardens and patios. They are particularly good at letting natural light into living areas. While there are expectations, when it comes to soundproofing, many sliding glass doors do a poor job of blocking outside noise.
If you struggle to balance the joys of a sliding glass door with the frustrations of noise pollution in the house, then there are a few steps you can take to soundproof your sliding glass door.
Soundproofing a sliding door is easier than it sounds. You won’t typically need to have anything installed by a professional, and many of the tools needed are affordable and can be found at your local hardware store.
First, we’ll explore two different kinds of sounds that you may be experiencing, and then we’ll finally dive into how to soundproof sliding glass doors.
Types of sounds that come through
If you’ve noticed that you’ve been experiencing a lot of unwanted noise in your apartment or house recently, then you may have some soundproofing issues that need to be addressed.
It’s common for sound to make its way into the house through both the air and the structure of the house. Typically the latter is only experienced if you live in a terraced house or apartment, but can still be experienced if you live with housemates or a large family.
Airborne noise is any sound that travels through the air.
Car horns, music, TVs and animal noises are some of the most common culprits. You’ll usually find that these sounds travel through air gaps between the frame and sliding doors.
Soundwaves that travel through the air can also travel through sliding glass doors. While the door will block out some of the soundwaves, it may not block all of them. This is when some extra steps need to be taken.
Structure-born noise or impact noise are sounds that travel through the structure of the building. This can be the sound of a noisy neighbour walking in the apartment above you or the sound of something falling on the ground in a room nearby – both are examples of impact noise.
In both cases, the noise transfers through the structure of the building, creating a vibration that you can hear.
Knowing what kind of noise you’re dealing with will help you know which method of soundproofing to use on your sliding glass door.
8 Techniques to soundproof sliding glass doors
There are loads of soundproofing methods that are tried and tested and will help you keep your sliding glass door from letting in outside noise. While most will not require a professional, you may find that DIY options leave you with residual outside sounds. If this is the case, then taking the professional route may be the next best option for you.
We’ll begin by looking into DIY options, and then explore the professional route to soundproof sliding doors.
1. Seal All the Cracks
The first thing you start with is sealing any small cracks that may be letting sound in around the door frame.
To test if you have any cracks in your door frame, open a window in the house. Now gently feel around the edges of the door and door frame. If you can feel a cold air draft, then you have some cracks to seal!
The idea is to create an air-tight seal around the door frame. This will keep airborne noise from making its way through the gaps of your sliding doors. While this can be a time-consuming project, it’s easily done at home and is relatively cost-effective considering the pay-out.
There are two ways you can seal the cracks in your door:
You can find caulk at any local hardware store. Acoustic caulk is used to seal up any small cracks where the door frame connects to the wall.
Weatherstripping tape is used to create a seal on the inside of the door, where it closes. This typically creates a better seal than without and can keep bugs and dust from entering your space.
2. Door Sweep for Noise Reduction
Another great soundproofing technique is to install a door sweep or a brush sweep on the bottom of your door. This is typically done when there is a gap between the bottom of the door and the tracks. The door sweep will act as insulation, keeping noise from going under the door and making its way into your home.
If this sounds up your street, our Exceed doors come with internal and external brushes already installed.
3. Sliding Door Seals
A sliding door seal is designed to stop noise coming through or under the door. It’s typically installed within the sliding mechanism or around the edges of the door to fill any air gaps and keep noise from travelling through and into your home.
4. Soundproof Curtains
Curtains are a hidden treasure for soundproofing. Adding any extra layers to the door will help to block any extra sound waves.
You can easily find soundproof curtains that cover your sliding doors at any homeware store. Ideally, hanging the curtains so that they reach the floor and cover the edges of your door will provide the most soundproofing.
Soundproof curtains not only help to block out unwanted noise, but then can also act as great insulators for your space in the wintertime, or as blackout curtains in the summertime.
5. Soundproof blanket
Using a soundproof blanket is a great temporary and cost-effective way to block out any unwanted sounds. As a fair warning, while this option works, it isn’t the prettiest.
Using the same curtain rod you used for your soundproof curtains, hang the blanket so that it covers the entirety of the door and reaches the floor. You’re going to want to make sure that you cover the glass on the door so that just the wall is visible.
For an added layer of protection, tape the edges of the blanket to the wall around the door. This will ensure that no gaps are letting sound through.
6. Glazed Sliding Doors
Installing glazed sliding doors will have to be done by a licensed professional, but is one of the best ways to keep any additional sound out of your living space. Adding double or triple glazing to the glass will improve the soundproofing that much more.
7. Buy a soundproof sliding glass door
This is another option that involves enlisting the help of a professional but is a foolproof way to soundproof your sliding door.
There are many types of sliding doors, and installing a soundproof sliding glass door comes with many benefits. The laminated glass will not only soundproof your sliding doors, but it will also add an extra layer of security to your house.
Burglars will typically look for a glass entrance to break into a house, and laminated glass is especially difficult to break.
8. Add a second sliding glass door
As is mentioned many times above, any extra layers will improve the soundproofing around your door. Adding another sliding door in front of or behind the original will add to the noise reduction and improve the security of your home.
This technique is great for removing unwanted noises as well as drafts.
How much does a soundproof sliding door cost?
A soundproof sliding glass door is a great way to begin your soundproofing journey.
These door prices can range from £1,000 to £4,000 pounds depending on the size of the door and the materials used. But with this price range, you’ll be blocking out 70-90% of the sound outside.
Beginning with a soundproof sliding glass door, and adding extra soundproofing methods on top (double/triple glazing, curtains, weatherstripping, and door seals) can turn your home into the quiet relaxing space you’ve always wanted it to be.
How do I stop traffic noise on my balcony?
Noise from cars and pedestrians on the street can be a distracting annoyance in your space. To prevent noise from making its way through the door, you can follow steps that include:
- Installing new weatherstripping
- Caulking the edges of the door to close small cracks
- Add glazing to your glass door (double or triple glazing for extra effect)
- Add a door sweep
- Use soundproof curtains
If you’re still left with traffic noise creeping into your space, then it may be time to replace your door with a more soundproof option.
Does thicker glass reduce noise?
Yes. Thicker glass creates a stronger barrier between you and the noise outside. This will make it less likely for the noise to make its way into your living area. You can artificially increase the thickness of the glass by installing plastic panels on either side or adding glazing to the glass.
How do I stop my wind whistling through a sliding glass door?
If you notice that the draft coming through your sliding door is creating an unpleasant whistling noise, then there are a few solutions you can use.
Re-caulking the doorframe will fill any small cracks that have formed in the old caulk. Old caulk often dries, cracks, and tears with time, which can allow air to flow through, causing a whistling noise.
Weatherstripping tape can be added to the door to fill any gaps between the door and it’s doorframe.
Final Thoughts and the best way to soundproof a sliding door
There are loads of soundproofing options to choose from, some are more reliable than others. No soundproofing method will completely cut all the noise out, so the ideal way to soundproof sliding glass doors is to begin with a soundproof door itself, and add as many soundproofing methods on top as you can!
If you’d like to learn more about sliding glass doors and how to maintain them, check out a few of our other articles here.