It’s important to soundproof your doors if you want to block out street noises, and it’s relatively easy to soundproof a normal door — but sliding doors are a whole different story. These doors are more challenging to soundproof because you don’t want to end up damaging your sliding door or hinder its ability to slide smoothly.
With overlapping sliding doors, it isn’t possible to add foam sheets or acoustic mats on top of your doors. The acoustic foam or mats can push the doors out of place when you try to slide them open.
Glass sliding doors are often larger because they’re used to create an open look and feel in homes. These huge doors offer much more room for sound to travel through. A thick wood sliding door provides much more acoustic restraint than a thin glass door.
Different Ways to Make a Soundproof Sliding Door
Despite all of these challenges, there are still quite a few things you can do to create a more silent interior environment.
Here’s a quick look at some of the best, easiest, and most affordable ways to soundproof your sliding doors:
Seal the Gaps
Sound waves are greatly muted when they travel through materials like wood and glass, but when there are gaps around your door, the sound waves can still get through. One of the first things you need to do is seal all the gaps.There are quite a few different ways to seal the gaps around the sliding door.
Install a Door Sweep
Sound can get through the gap underneath your sliding door. A door sweep can help you solve this problem.
A door sweep is also called a draft stopper because it helps to insulate your home. These devices are narrow barriers that are usually made of rubber, plastic, or brush-like bristles. The door sweep is installed at the base of the sliding door. This sweep makes contact with the floor and keeps insects, cold wind, and sound from entering.
Consider the type of door you have before you buy a door sweep. A brush sweep can be very handy for sliding doors that move in a tray at the base. The brush sweep will keep the area where your casters run nice and clean. A solid rubber sweep will, on the other hand, keep more sound out.
Sliding doors are especially prone to create a large gap between the door and the wall or the door and the frame. A weatherstrip can seal this gap between the door and the frame.
Weatherstrip is usually sold in long strips. These strips can be made of rubber or foam that will compress when the door presses against them. The strips usually have glue on one side so you can easily attach them to the frame.
Try to position your weatherstrip along the sides where your door is closest to the frame so you can block out sounds.
Cover Small Gaps with Acoustic Caulk
Acoustic caulk is ideal for covering small gaps that the weatherstrip or door sweep was unable to cover. To find small gaps, you should turn on the lights on the opposite side of the door. The lights on your side should be turned off. You should now see any gaps in the door clearly when the light shines through.
Add your acoustic caulk and be careful to fill all gaps. Acoustic caulk can be painted once dried.
Consider Acoustic Foam Sheeting For Solid Doors
Wood sliding doors are usually made with hollow cores. This is to help reduce the weight of the door so it can slide easily, but a lot of sounds can get through hollow core doors. If sealing all the gaps didn’t result in much protection, then you can consider adding acoustic foam to your door.
There are lots of different types of acoustic foam sheeting or mats available. These sheets are sometimes sold with glue-on surfaces so you can easily peel and stick the mats or foam to the door. When the acoustic foam mats and skirtings for the door sides are in place, your home should be a lot quieter.
The problem with acoustic foam or mats is usually that they can affect the aesthetics of your doors and they can be hard to clean.
Get Acoustic Lamination For Glass Doors
Another way of achieving a soundproof sliding door is with acoustic film. This can be installed on your existing glass doors to make them more soundproof. These sheets of laminated film can be a good option if you don’t want to replace your glass doors.
The acoustic film can be installed on windows or any type of glass because the film is sold in rolls that can be cut to size. The acoustic film is clear and very thin so it won’t affect the functionality of your doors.
The acoustic film won’t fully soundproof your doors, but the sounds you hear coming from the outside will be a lot quieter. The STC value of 1/4 inch glass with no acoustic film is about 21. This means that normal voices are audible and understandable through the glass. With quality acoustic film, your STC ratings can be raised up to an STC value of 37.
Replace Thin Glass Doors
To eliminate loud noises, you can replace thin glass doors with thicker glass panels that have acoustic treatments.
Double or even triple-pane glass doors with acoustic film in the middle are ideal. These panels are made by pressing two or three glass panels together with acoustic film in the middle. The panels are much thicker and block out a lot of sound.
Double panel glass has an STC value of 26, depending on the gap in the glass. This value can be raised to 32 if there’s acoustic film inside the double panel glass. If the gap is widened, the STC values can be raised up to 37, but this gap isn’t ideal for sliding doors.
To create a soundproof sliding door, it’s always best to start with the basics. Begin by closing all the gaps around your door. If this doesn’t make much difference then you should focus on layering your door. Solid doors can be layered by adding acoustic film or mats, while glass doors can be layered by adding acoustic film.
If your door still isn’t providing the soundproofing qualities you need then you might need to look into buying different door panels. Double or triple panel glass will block out much more sound than other soundproofing methods.
We hope that our guide helped you find a good solution for your sound problems. Be sure to have a look at some of our other guides where you can find out how to soundproof other features of your home.