How to soundproof a sliding glass door


Soundproofing a sliding glass door is more difficult than soundproofing a regular door. There are two main problems to take into consideration:

  1. Standard glass doors are thinner than wooden doors. Which means that they require more soundproofing material to block the noise.
  2. Since they’re sliding doors, placing thick soundproofing material on them is not a good idea. Both due to additional weight and also because it would look ugly if you covered a glass door with acoustic panels or similar material.

But there are 5 soundproofing methods you can use that work great even for sliding glass doors:

1. Hang noise-blocking curtains in front of the door

These large, thick curtains are great for soundproofing glass surfaces such as windows and sliding doors. On top of sound insulation, they add thermal insulation as well. In other words, it prevents heat from coming through during summer, and blocks the chilly air in winter.

The installation process is the same as with any ordinary curtain. You need to install a curtain rod (or pole, however you prefer to call it) above the door and then hang the curtain on it so that it covers the entire door.

When buying noise-blocking curtains for a door (and I advise this in general), always get larger ones that can cover the entire length of the door. The bigger the curtains are, the more noise reduction they’ll provide.

Some other features to take into consideration are the quality of the material and color. You’ll know that the curtains work well for blocking noise if they’re heavy. Also make sure that you pick the right color to match your walls and overall design.

These are the most popular noise-blocking curtains on Amazon with 4000+ customer reviews. They have all of these positive features that I mentioned here, and there are 15 colors to choose from. You can also get a curtain rod on Amazon that matches the size of the gourmets of these curtains for easy installation.

It’s important that the curtains are both wide and long enough to cover the entire door. If they’re not, the sound will still pass through the uncovered parts of the door. This one package contains two panels that are 42 inch wide and 84 inch long. If that’s not enough to cover your door, you can do two things – buy one more package, or get bigger curtains instead.

These wide one panel curtains are often used in front of sliding glass doors due to their size and thickness. There are 7 colors and 9 different sizes to choose from and they’re much wider than the previous ones. This is the curtain rod that fits the gourmet size of these curtains.

The curtain rod doesn’t have to be perfect. As long as you can hang the curtains on it, it’s fine. But it’s easier to pull them on a rod that is closer to the size of the gourmets (the holes in the curtain).

If you want to DOUBLE the noise-reduction, you can hang 2 noise-reducing curtains on the same door. Two layers will always block noise better than one. In order to do this, you’ll need a double curtain rod (here’s an affordable one). Then simply purchase two curtains and hang them together. It works!

2. Hang a fiberglass blanket

While noise-blocking curtains are a solid option, you might want to take your door soundproofing a step further. Fiberglass is one of the best soundproofing materials out there. It’s used for soundproofing vehicles, walls, doors and even loud areas like night clubs.

Why is it so widely used? Most of all because it’s excellent for blocking impact noise. That’s the sound made by vibrations, like those from washing machines, drum bass etc. So if you’re not only troubled by airborne noise (people talking, traffic noise etc.) but also by impact noise, fiberglass blanket is the best option

This Singer fiberglass blanket is very popular for soundproofing doors. It’s 4 feet wide and 8 feet high. So it should be large enough to cover most sliding glass doors. Make sure to measure your door before buying.

You can hang this blanket easily on one of the curtain rods mentioned above. Or you can use hooks with anchors for even faster hanging and removal when you don’t want it to block the sunlight from your door.

One downside of this blanket is that it’s ugly. For example, I wouldn’t keep it in my living room or kitchen permanently. But if you use hooks to hang it, it takes 10 seconds to hang and remove whenever you want. Also, you probably won’t care how it looks while it’s blocking the noise when you’re sleeping.

3. Hang a thick winter blanket

Basically, any thick and heavy material will reduce noise to some extent. Even a thick winter blanket will make some difference. So if you’re looking for a quick solution, it can help. But don’t expect too much from this method, especially against impact noise.

It’s also not a long-term solution. Just like the fiberglass blanket you probably won’t want this blanket to hang on your door throughout the day, if you have guests coming over etc.

And on top of that, a thick winter blanket will collect dust, so there’s some maintenance required as well. So overall, it’s an okay temporary fix. But I still suggest using one of the other methods mentioned here for better results.

A better soundproofing option are moving blankets. These blankets can be pretty thick and heavy and that’s exactly what you should look for in order to block noise.

This is the heaviest moving blanket and it looks pretty good as well, so if you find this option appealing I’d definitely go with that one.

4. Replace your door with a laminated glass sliding door

Replacing your thin and ineffective glass door with a laminated glass door can really help with noise reduction. It also increases safety of your home. It’s really hard to break through laminated glass, so those nasty burglars will think twice. Or they’ll use another entrance point. But that’s irrelevant. For getting rid of both airborne and impact noise, laminated glass is pretty effective.

On the flip side, it’s the most expensive option on this list. A quality door like that can cost anywhere between $500 to $1000, depending on the size and the manufacturer. You’d also probably need to hire a professional to install it which raises the price further.

But if you have the cash and the motivation to do it, by all means go for it. It’s the “cleanest” noise-blocking solution for this situation. Google your area plus “laminated glass sliding door” (town or state) and see what pops up.

5. Find and seal all the gaps

Any gaps between the door and the door frame are an open invitation to noises to pop through. First close the door.  Then check out if there are any gaps present. You’ll want to cover them by taping the door frame with weatherstripping tape where the gaps are. Do this until you get a perfect seal when you close the door. You can do the same thing on your windows as well.

Another effective door upgrade is a door sweep. A door sweep will block any gaps at the bottom. There are many different door sweeps available. But one that works well, is cheap, and doesn’t require any complicated installation is a silicone door sweep that has an adhesive on one side. Just stick it to the bottom of the door and you’re good to go.

Conclusion

For average noise your best option is to use noise-blocking curtains. For heavier sound I’d go with a fiberglass blanket instead. In both cases, covering any door gaps you find will also help.

And if you want a permanent noise fix that won’t block the light coming through the door, a laminated glass door is the top choice. If you’re in a tough financial situation, using thick winter blankets, moving blankets or anything like that to add density to the area can also help to some degree.

 

Peter Bone

Soundproof expert and a staunch opponent of noise. This website is a free source of information on how to 'keep it down a notch'. I update the content regularly to keep up with advancements in the soundproofing industry.

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