French doors are a gorgeous addition to any home, but you worry they might not block much noise. Maybe your kids are super loud, and you don't want to cause a scandal with the neighbors. Maybe it's your neighbors making the noise! Is there a way to soundproof French doors? We've done some research and have some things for you to try.
There are many different methods to try when soundproofing your French doors. Sometimes the effectiveness depends on your budget. Even with a limited budget, there are steps to employ that won't break the bank. Some methods to soundproof French doors are:
- Use noise-blocking curtains
- Block the bottom part of the door
- Seal gaps around the door
- Install double-glazed glass
Now that we've listed some options for sealing off the noise let's discuss the logistics of each option. Read on to get all the details and discuss the caveats of each.
Hanging heavy, noise-blocking curtains is a quick solution to your noise problem that won't break the bank.
Ensure the type of curtains you purchase are made specifically with blocking noise in mind. Lightweight curtains, such as linen or silk, aren't going to block sound. Noise-blocking curtains come in a variety of options and colors, so no need to sacrifice style.
To hang curtains over your French door, you'll first need to decide if you want to hang the curtains from the wall above the door or doors or if you want to hang them from the ceiling. With either option, you choose, ensure they are hung, so they cover the entirety of the door, including any cracks between the door and its frame. You have the option of hanging them from the door itself to cover the glass panes; however, this won't aid in blocking noise from filtering through the cracks in the door.
Read our post, "How to Hang Curtains from a Ceiling," to learn more about installing curtains.
Though this a cost-efficient and potentially stylish option to soundproof your french doors, some might not want to deal with curtains on a frequently used entrance or exit. If you've got a lovely view, you might not want to block that either. Let's move on to other options!
To find out more about curtains and absorbing sound, read, "Do Curtains Absorb Sound?"
Blocking the Bottom of Your Door(s)
The space at the base of your door is the primary culprit for letting noise pollution in and out of your house or room. The best way to circumvent this sound leak is with an easy-to-install door sweep!
Door sweeps adhere to the bottom of your door, effectively sealing the gap from the weather and unwanted noise. They also keep out pests. These work with all budgets and are easy to apply. They have a pre-applied adhesive; all you have to do is level and stick.
Another option for the crack at the bottom of the door is an Automatic Door Bottom. This is a gadget installed at the bottom of the door that automatically retracts and drops a seal blocking the crack. The mechanism has a plunger triggered when opening and closing the door, which prompts the seal to either withdraw or seal. This option is slightly more expensive than a door sweep, but if you're worried about a door sweep damaging your floor, it is a great option.
Sealing Gaps Around the Door(s)
Most doors are installed with weather-stripping around the frame. Inspect your door or doors. If you don't see weather stripping or yours is worn out, this could be the cause of excess noise getting in and out. Weather-stripping is inexpensive and easy to install.
As with the sealing strip listed above, most weather-stripping comes with an adhesive backing. Just apply evenly around the door frame, between doors, or under the door to add some additional soundproofing.
Install Double-Glazed Glass
Installing double-glazed glass is the most expensive of all our options. French doors are made of light-weight materials that tend to allow sound through easily, so ensuring the glass is double-glazed before installation can prevent a lot of noise pollution down the line.
Double-glazed means there are two panes of glass with a pocket of air in between. The air itself between the two panes of glass works as a natural sound barrier. Because more glass equals more expense, get ready to pay out more for these types of doors.
Are Glass Doors Soundproof?
Glass doors are not soundproof on their own. Glass tends to allow more sound than most other building materials. Double-glazed (or double-paned) glass is the closest to soundproof glass you will get, and even that isn't completely soundproof.
Sound sneaks into or out of your home through glass windows and cracks. Many of the methods mentioned above can be applied to windows as well.
What Kind of Doors are Best for Soundproofing?
The best types of doors for soundproofing are made of heavy hardwood. If your goal is soundproofing, ensure the door you are purchasing is made of solid wood and not wood paneling. A solid wood door is going to be one of the most expensive doors you can buy, so consider your budget as well as other soundproofing options you can apply toward a less expensive door.
How Can You Reduce Noise Between Rooms?
To reduce noise between rooms, the methods detailed above can be used on any door. Consider all the following options:
- Add door sweeps and weather stripping around the door frame.
- Heavy curtains can be hung from the ceiling and cover the walls. If curtains aren't your thing, you can hang a beautiful tapestry to help prevent outside noise.
- You can generate some white noise to drown outside noises using an electric fan (such as a box or oscillating fan) or a space heater.
- If you don't have carpet, consider adding an area rug to hard surfaces that might generate loud sounds when people or pets walk across them.
- Do you love books? A lovely wooden bookshelf filled with books is a very effective noise dampener.
- Any furniture or pillows placed against the wall will create a barrier to absorb sound. Consider adding a loveseat or easy chair against that blank wall space.
- Consider installing acoustic panels on the walls, though this might not work with your room design.
Which is Better: In-Swing or Out-Swing French Doors?
Whether your doors swing out or in is really a matter of personal preference.
Most doors swing in, though this isn't necessarily the best option. Doors that swing in do tend to be less secure, as forcible entry is made easier by a door that swings inward (think someone kicking in or using an object to force their way into your home). Outswing doors also give you more interior space and don't limit what you can and can't place around the door.
The primary advantage of inswing doors is that they are more popular, so you are more likely to find the style and color you want since manufacturers make an abundance of them to meet demand. Inswing doors also have hinges inside your home, which doesn't allow for burglars to remove the hinges to break in.
You can have the beauty of French doors and also keep the noise down. You do not have to sacrifice style for silence. Ensure you follow the steps above when purchasing or soundproofing your French doors, and rest well, knowing nothing can interrupt your peace and quiet!