Having sliding glass doors in a studio is a great way to prevent external sound from affecting your studio’s audio experience. However, using the wrong type of sliding glass door or not soundproofing it could cause sound leakages.
You can soundproof a sliding glass door by using insulation spray, acoustic caulk, or a weatherstripping material to cover internal and external holes. You can also install a sound absorption sheet, blackout curtains, and mass-loaded vinyl to the door.
This guide will take you through different ways to soundproof your studio’s sliding glass doors. I’ll also give you tips on choosing the best soundproof sliding door, so you can enjoy your studio’s audio without disruptions.
- 1 1. Use Spray Foam To Cover Insulation Gaps
- 2 2. Cover Holes in the Drywall With Acoustic Caulking
- 3 3. Use a Weatherstripping Material
- 4 4. Install a Sound Absorption Sheet
- 5 5. Install Honeycomb Blinds or Blackout Curtains
- 6 6. Attach Mass Loaded Vinyl to the Door
- 7 7. Install Glazing on the Sliding Glass Door
- 8 8. Get a Soundproof Sliding Door
- 9 Final Thoughts
- 10 References
1. Use Spray Foam To Cover Insulation Gaps
The first thing you’ll need to do when soundproofing your sliding glass doors is to look for gaps in the insulation. Most of the air gaps are between the drywall and trim, so ensure there are no internal gaps in these areas.
You can use foam spray to cover these gaps but be careful not to apply too much as it may damage the glass. If your door already has a good layer of drywall and trim, simply use the insulation spray over this layer. If the previous layer is in good condition, you may only need to spray the cracked parts or have air gaps.
If you’re soundproofing an older door, you’ll first have to remove any old insulation before adding a fresh layer of foam spray. To do this, you’ll have to remove the door’s casing. Be very gentle when doing so. If you’re unsure how to remove the door’s casing, watch the following video for an easy demonstration.
Once the casing and old insulation is completely removed, you can use the insulation spray to cover the gap. Spray from the bottom up and wait for the insulation spray to dry completely before installing a new layer of the casing.
Besides soundproofing your doors, installing a new layer of insulation can keep the studio warmer in the winter and prevent energy loss if you’re using an air cooler in the summer.
This is one of the easiest ways to soundproof your sliding glass doors, but it’s usually better for covering internal gaps. To cover up the external gaps, you’ll have to use acoustic caulking or weatherstripping material.
2. Cover Holes in the Drywall With Acoustic Caulking
Even the smallest holes in the drywall around the sliding glass door will cause sound to leak through. Once you’ve installed insulation, you can cover external gaps in the drywall with acoustic caulking. Acoustic caulk is soundproof and can be used to cover up smaller gaps.
Caulking usually lasts a few years and can be repaired, but it’s best to replace the caulking. To do this, you’ll have to remove the old caulking thoroughly and take care not to damage the drywall or insulation. While you can re-caulk glass doors yourself, having a professional do it for you is much better.
When caulking a sliding glass door, use a caulking rope and install the caulk in a uniform line along the glass. You don’t have to caulk the entire glass door if only certain parts are damaged, but it’s better to do so. However, when caulking certain parts of the door, make sure you’re using the same type of caulk that was previously applied.
Once you install a new layer of caulk, inspect the door carefully to ensure there aren’t any holes or gaps. Also, make sure all cracked areas are covered up as they can also leak sound.
3. Use a Weatherstripping Material
You may have to replace the weatherstripping if you can hear most sounds from a distance, even when the studio’s sliding doors are closed. This will help reduce the sound from the bottom and top parts of the sliding door and can be ideal for covering up small gaps.
Before installing new weatherstripping, inspect the existing weatherstripping and look for any cracks or signs of damage. If there’s nothing wrong, then there’s no need to replace it.
If you choose to replace the weatherstripping, make sure it’s soundproof grade. Before doing the installation, first, lift the door from the frame. Depending on the size of the sliding door, you’ll need a professional to help you with this. Once the door is removed, clean the top and bottom parts thoroughly, as accumulated dirt can damage the weatherstripping.
While most doors may have self-adhesive felt weatherstripping, this isn’t ideal for sliding glass doors. The best weatherstripping for sliding glass doors is foam tape. It’s also self-adhesive and doesn’t get damaged every year or two like most other types.
Depending on the type of weather stripping you’ve installed, you could also install a plastic sheet as an additional layer of insulation. However, you’ll need a professional to install insulation along with weatherstripping.
4. Install a Sound Absorption Sheet
Installing sound absorption sheets is another effective way to soundproof glass sliding doors. These sheets are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. You can also find them in different color shades to match your studio’s design.
Different sound absorption sheets have different installation instructions, but most require you to install them between metal grommets in the wall over the sliding door. Even though sound absorption sheets are light, you’ll still need to install wall anchors to support them.
The only downside of sound absorption sheets is that they are unsightly and can affect a room’s appearance. However, this shouldn’t be an issue if you need one for your personal studio. Another problem with sound absorption sheets is that they block out the light but considering that most studios have their own lighting system, it’s nothing to worry about.
5. Install Honeycomb Blinds or Blackout Curtains
If you’ve made sure that there aren’t any gaps in the drywall and you’ve installed new weatherstripping, but the door isn’t completely soundproof, you can install honeycomb blinds or blackout curtains. Both are installed on the interior part of the sliding door and are effective at blocking out sound completely.
Blackout curtains are designed to be soundproof and can easily be installed with metal grommets. Simply install the curtain’s wall anchors and metal grommets and use them to hang the curtain. If you have blackout curtains that require a rod to install, you’ll need to call a professional handyman.
Blackout curtains block out sunlight and provide a barrier to external sounds. If you’ve already installed insulation on the sliding glass door, having a blackout curtain will provide a double barrier, making your studio completely soundproof.
Honeycomb blinds are slightly more difficult to install but are just as effective at making the room soundproof. They come in a honeycomb shape, are made from polyester, and can block out all the sun’s UV rays.
Both options are great if you have a glass sliding door that doesn’t have double-glazed or soundproof glass, and you don’t want to replace the glass. They’re also great for soundproofing glass in professional studios where you need to block out even the smallest sound.
6. Attach Mass Loaded Vinyl to the Door
Mass-loaded vinyl (MVL) is a great option to insulate thinner sliding glass doors that aren’t heavy enough to block out loud sounds. Even if you ensure that all cracks and gaps are sealed in these doors, you’ll still have trouble with loud sounds unless you treat the glass.
To treat the sliding glass door with MVL, you’ll need an MLV kit. MVL often comes in panels that are installed individually and then taped together. First, measure your door’s glass and get enough MVL to cover the whole door area. Try to get an MVL that’s suited to glass doors since it’s mostly made to insulate walls and ceilings.
The only downside of using MVL is that it’s unsightly and usually comes in black and gray shades. However, it can be painted, and you can cover it with a door cloth. The best solution is to get transparent MVL, which is ideal for sliding glass doors. While it’s slightly more expensive than regular MVL, you’ll also save on paint costs.
If you don’t want to install MVL panels that can be unsightly, get an MVL curtain that you can install over the entire glass door in one piece. If you’re struggling with external noises in your studio or want to block out low-frequency sounds, MVL is a great option since it has an STC rating of 27.
7. Install Glazing on the Sliding Glass Door
As long as there aren’t any air gaps around the sides of the sliding glass door, you shouldn’t have to worry about external sounds. If your door leaks sound despite being fully insulated, it’s usually because the glass isn’t soundproof.
One of the easiest ways to make a glass door soundproof is to glaze it. Glazing a sliding glass door can increase its durability, protect it from the sun’s UV rays and make it soundproof. It’s also a great way to make glass weatherproof, which can be helpful for insulating the room.
Follow these steps to install glazing on your existing glass door:
- Remove the glass from the casing and measure its exact dimensions. Double check the measurements since you don’t want to partially glaze the glass.
- Use silicone or any other applicator in the glazing kit and apply it along the edges of the glass.
- Insert the glazed glass pane into the aperture. Be extremely careful not to shatter the glass.
- Secure the beading and wait for the silicone to dry thoroughly.
- Use a blade to remove the excess silicone.
While there are other DIY ways to glaze your glass doors, it’s always best to have a professional do it for you. If you have thick unglazed glass on your sliding door, then glazing it may be cheaper. Otherwise, it’s much better to replace the glass with a double-glazed glass pane.
8. Get a Soundproof Sliding Door
If you don’t have time to soundproof your sliding doors, getting a soundproof or double-glazed sliding door will save time. Many different types of specialized soundproof sliding glass doors are available in the market, and most can reduce external noises by up to 75%, making your studio free from disruptions.
Always check these parameters when checking for a new soundproof sliding door:
- Always check the door’s STC rating first. An STC rating above 40 means the door will block out the loudest sounds. Some soundproof doors have an STC rating of over 70!
- Make sure the glass is double glazed. All soundproof glass doors should have at least two layers of glazing to prevent all sound frequencies. Double glazed glass is also more durable and weatherproof.
- Check the door’s UV rating. Most soundproof glass doors are also UV resistant.
If you don’t want to replace the existing door, you can always add another sliding door in the same doorway, but this will cost about the same as installing soundproof glass. Also, if you have double-glazed glass doors, you won’t need to add extra layers of insulation or use soundproof curtains since the glass will block most external sound.
Lastly, remember that installing a new soundproof studio door can cost several thousand dollars, but you can cut the costs drastically by only replacing the glass. So, if you have a sliding glass door with single-glazed glass, consider replacing the glass instead of getting a new door.
Soundproofing the sliding glass doors of your studio is essential if you want to get the best audio experience. Always clover up air gaps and cracks around the door before you consider replacing the glass or installing a new door.
You can also install soundproof curtains or shades, glaze the glass or install sound absorption sheets to make your studio soundproof. Treating the glass with MVL is also a great way to block out all external sounds.
If nothing else works, consider replacing the glass or the entire door with a double-glazed soundproof door.