You've installed a beautiful glass door with a great view, but you now have a very specific problem you need to deal with.
A glass door itself is a poor sound barrier.
Can you fix this problem without replacing the glass door itself and losing its benefits? Better yet, is there a way you can avoid it altogether?
Don't panic; we have a solution just for you.
While you can easily soundproof a glass door by blocking it entirely, other steps can be taken to preserve the aesthetics of the glass door.
Whichever method you choose to soundproof your door, this article will help you to make the best choice for your door so that you can learn how to soundproof it on your own.
Before we dive into the nine best ways to soundproof a glass door, you’ll first need to determine where the sound is leaking from.
Where is the Sound Leaking From?
Sound is generally transmitted as waves through the air. This kind of sound is called airborne sound. Examples include airplane sounds, road noise, sirens, music speech, and operational sounds from machines.
When sound waves come in contact with a glass surface, the waves are transmitted as vibrations depending on how thick and dense the glass is. Airborne sound is the most common sound that a glass door lets in.
Structure-borne sounds occur when an object comes in contact with a glass structure.
For instance, a person knocking on your door will generate a structure-based sound. It should be noted that this kind of sound can travel through the structure as vibrations, which are emitted as noise in other rooms.
To effectively soundproof your glass door, you need to determine where the sound is coming from.
Is it traveling through the glass because the glass is too thin? Is it traveling through the air as soundwaves, entering your apartment through cracks and spaces around your door frame? Or is the sound traveling through structures in contact with your home?
Understanding this phenomenon is crucial because the sound causing disturbances could be structure-borne and may not be transmitted through the glass but to other structures in your apartment.
The best way to be sure what type of sound is leaking through the door is to examine the door itself and its surrounding structures thoroughly. Check the vibration of your door and other structures around the door to see if the sound is airborne or impact sound.
Sometimes you may not need to soundproof your glass door if the sound disturbing you is not transmitted through the glass but open spaces or other structures.
How To Soundproof a Glass Door?
Compared to other doors, glass is the most challenging type of door to soundproof.
You can easily make wood thicker for solid doors or install insulation like soundproof foam for hollow doors without compromising the appeal of the wooden door.
For glass, increasing the mass of glass defeats the purpose of having a glass door. So, how do you soundproof glass doors?
Soundproofing glass doors is all about increasing the density of the door in some way to remove unwanted noise.
Soundproofing methods generally range from initially making the doorway airtight to reducing the vibrations caused by airborne and impact noise.
Depending on how sound is leaking into your home, here are the best ways to soundproof your door so that you can reduce sound transmission.
9 Best Ways to Reduce Sound Transmission
1. Seal All Tiny Spaces With Silicon-Based Adhesive
Soundproofing requires you to block all incoming sound either by sound absorption or sound deflection.
However, even if you install the most effective soundproof material, gaps between your door and the frame will reduce its effectiveness.
Sound can still travel through those small spaces. Use a soundproof silicon-based adhesive to seal gaps between the door and the frame.
The process is called caulking, and you can find some of the most positively reviewed adhesives here.
2. Use a Door Sweep for Bottom Spaces
Many doors, especially internal doors without frames, have spaces underneath. These spaces allow sound, dirt, dust, and even bugs to crawl through.
The best way to seal this space without any other additional configuration is to install a door sweep. A well-made door sweep can cover this space effectively and seal your room from sound traveling through the airspace.
You can purchase door sweeps in different colors, sizes, and configurations to fit any space and match your home's aesthetics.
Installing door sweeps might require you to drill threads into the door for screws, but that's as complex as it gets.
3. Seal the Edges of Your Glass Door with Weatherstrip
Weatherstrip is usually used primarily for front and back doors because they are used to prevent water and other extreme weather effects from entering your home. But it is often overlooked for glass doors inside your house.
However, weatherstrip is also very effective in sealing air leaks that often carry sound waves.
If you can't use caulk or soundproof silicon-based adhesive to seal the edges of your glass door, the next solution to consider is a brush weatherstrip. They are affordable, effective, and simple to install.
4. Install a Soundproof Door Blanket
Soundproof door blankets are not the most aesthetically pleasing idea on this list, but they can be very effective. Soundproof blankets are very durable and highly resistant to sound transmission.
They are made from several layers of soundproof material, including fiberglass, to ensure that sound is reflected or absorbed by the fabric.
The only downside is that they don't look good when you have guests over. Luckily you don't have to settle for soundproof blankets all the time.
Hanging a soundproof blanket can get a bit complicated if you are doing it yourself.
Most soundproof blankets come with a grommet already installed, so you can use a curtain rod to hang the soundproof blanket above the door, which makes it easier to slide it off. The other option is to install hooks into the frame above the entrance to hang the soundproof blanket when you need it.
If you purchase one with a grommet, you can hang them in place when you need to eliminate extra noise, and you can easily remove them when you have guests over.
And if you don't use the door that often, you can install it permanently and roll it up with clips when you have to use the door.
5. Install Soundproof Curtains for Sliding Glass Doors
If you are dealing with sliding glass doors, installing soundproof curtains might be the best option. They are inexpensive and will make your room more appealing and comfortable.
You might already have curtains behind your glass door, but they might not be doing much against the sound. Soundproof curtains are made from a thick and dense material that absorbs any airborne sound transmitted through the glass door.
Although they won't eliminate all the sound, especially in high frequencies, you would notice a significant difference depending on how thick the curtain is.
You can also make MLV curtains. More on that here.
You also won't have any trouble picking something that matches the appearance of your home since there is such a variety to choose from.
The only constraint is that you have to cover the glass door entirely to be effective, usually from the top of the ceiling to the floor. But you can quickly move the curtain aside when you want natural lighting and a view of the outdoors.
6. Increase the Mass with An Acoustic Grade Blind
Soundproof curtains are great, but you can increase the effectiveness if you use them with an acoustic-grade blind. This will increase the layers of sound-absorbing and reflecting material between your glass door and your room, significantly reducing the transmitted sound.
This combination of materials is the best option to keep costs low and still considerably limit the sound your glass door is letting in.
You can also use an acoustic grade blind alone, but although it is cheaper, they are also less effective than a soundproof curtain.
The remaining options on this list are also very effective, but they are more expensive and can sometimes be more time-consuming.
7. Consider Adding a Transparent MLV
Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV) is a thick, heavy, and dense material used as a sound barrier. It is very effective in blocking and reflecting sound but is very heavy, so it is used as a permanent tool for dampening sound.
If you can get your hands on transparent mass-loaded vinyl and install it as an additional layer to your glass door, you can almost completely soundproof your door.
You may need to hire someone for the installation for the best results because the MLV would be permanently attached to your door frame.
Also, you can install the MLV on the front and back of your glass door if you want to keep out different frequencies of transmitted sound.
8. Add A Laminated Second Glass Door
Another way to keep the benefits of a glass door is to install a second glass door either in front of or behind the existing glass door.
The idea is to create air space between the first glass door and the second, which serves as an intermediate insulator to airborne sound. Laminated glass is more resistant to sound, so it reduces the transmitted sound.
Although this option is expensive and often time-consuming, it can adequately reduce the sound without any need to add a less than aesthetically pleasing barrier in front of the glass.
9. Install a Laminated, Double, or Triple-Pane Door
Apart from being the most expensive option, triple pane laminated doors are also the most effective against noise.
The concept is similar to that of installing a second door. Three thick glass is separated with air spaces filled with inert gas, like argon, and installed into a single frame for the triple pane.
A double-pane uses two thick glasses with a single air space filled with inert gas.
Visually it looks just like a single pane glass door, but a closer look will reveal the thickness and insulative properties of the door.
Of course, you would have to remove your existing door to install a triple or double pane door. If you want to avoid noise disturbances from day one, a triple pane soundproof glass door is the best option.
Triple pane glass also increases the insulative properties of the door. It provides better insulation year-round than a regular glass door because of the space between the individual glass panes.
Conclusion: How to Soundproof a Glass Door
You have many options to choose from if you want to decrease sound transmission through your glass door.
You have all of the information you need regarding soundproofing glass doors.
Many options here do not require you to make any structural changes to your glass door or replace it.
If you want to change your glass door completely, remember that installing a laminated or triple-pane glass door is the best decision if your budget will allow for it.
If you are on a tighter budget, the best option is to combine an acoustic grade blind and a soundproof curtain.
For best results, always make sure your glass door is tightly fit to the frame and that there are no gaps, open spaces, or cracks.