null

How to Soundproof a Window

How to Soundproof Windows

Author: Sturgeon Christie

Last Updated: May 20, 2024

Read Time: 9 Minutes

How to Soundproof Windows

Author:

Sturgeon Christie

Last Updated:

May 20, 2024

Read Time:

9 Minutes

Author: Sturgeon Christie

Updated: May 20, 2024

Read Time: 9 Minutes

When you're trying to rest and relax with what little time you get to yourself or even get work done in your office, a busy street or other outside noises can really derail that.

Soundproofing windows is one of the best things you can do for your home or office because windows are the most notorious for letting in those traffic noise and other outside disturbances.

We'll teach you everything you need to know about how to soundproof windows and what you'll need, so you can finally enjoy a good book or watch your favorite show—at least while the kids are in bed.

Before You Start Soundproofing a Window

The first step to fixing anything is to identify the problem. What’s causing your noise problem? Where is it coming from? A barrier is only as strong as its weakest point, and sound has a knack for finding the weak point. If you’re here, you believe your window is a weak point, and chances are — you’re right! Aside from doors, windows are the most common weak point letting sound into a space.

Glass does not have a lot of mass relative to the wall around it, and you need mass to block sound. If you have a brick wall that blocks 50 dB of sound and add a window that blocks 20 dB, the wall’s total performance is severely compromised. The math works out that a wall that is 7/8 bricks (50 dB) and 1/8 glass (20 dB) actually only blocks 29 dB. Because of this “weak point” problem, it’s actually quite easy to diagnose external noise in a residential or commercial building getting into a room. Are there windows? Yes? We need to soundproof them.

transmission loss through glass

How to Soundproof a Window

We have the absolute best solution to soundproof an existing window. Since the window is the weak point for sound to enter just about any room from the outside, this will be the “go to” solution to keep noise from getting into your home (bedroom, home office, nursery) or commercial building (conference room, examination room, office).

Steps to Soundproof a Window

Learn how to soundproof a window with these two simple DIY steps! Soundproof windows will block unwanted street noise and outside noise from ruining your rest and relaxation.

STEP ONE: SEAL THE Window with Acoustical Sealant

Sealing is often the easiest thing to forget but the most detrimental thing to any soundproofing project. If you see gaps, re-seal up poor seals with acoustical sealant on the interior and exterior where the window meets the surrounding wall. We need to close all gaps! Sound will find the weakest point, and air gaps are the weakest of weak points.

Sealing a Window with Acoustical Sealant

STEP TWO: SOUNDPROOF THE WINDOW WITH FANTASTIC FRAME™ WINDOW INSERTS

The technology is in the frame! Fantastic Frame™ soundproof window inserts are the best of the best in window soundproofing technology. The frame’s patent pending technology gives our window insert a “deflection rate”, which allows it to supercharge the noise blocking power of the 1/4” acrylic. We use 1/4” acrylic glass and a metal trim piece to magnetically attach the frame and create an airtight seal. This airspace between the existing window and the window insert is important. The bigger the airspace, the more noise reduction! Overall, you can expect up to 80% noise reduction!

If you’re interested in insulated windows, Fantastic Frames™ will also reduce thermal transfer by up to 60% making it, by far, superior window insert for thermal insulation! Installing them in every window in your home can save you 40% or more on your energy bill. Why yes, that does mean they’ll quickly pay for themselves . . . and then some.

Measure your windows using our Sizing Guide. Then, request a free online quote or contact us by phone, chat, or email for more details and pricing. These inserts are DIY friendly and can be installed in as little as 30 minutes to make any window a soundproof window!

Soundproofing a Window with Fantastic Frame™ Window Inserts

Soundproofing a Window with Fantastic Frame™ Window Inserts

Second Skin Case Study: BEDROOM Soundproofing with FAntastic Frame™ window inserts

 

 

 

 

"Very satisfied with the noise reduction, sizing, and ease of installation. Already planning on doing our other road-facing room!"

- Steve B.

Interior Acoustic Windows

If you are buying a new interior window, our Tru Acoustics™ Soundproof Windows are the highest performing acoustic windows available (up to STC 56!). They are an awesome solution for recording studio windows, music practice rooms, government buildings, entertainment venues, universities, theaters, courtrooms, or gun ranges. You name an interior wall that needs soundproof windows and we’ve done it!

Our Tru Acoustics window comes in STC 45, STC 49, and STC 56 options to meet the requirements of any space. Our windows are designed to be extremely easy to install in the field; the soundproof glass is ready to snap in, and there’s no need to fill the frames. We can do custom glass (one-way), custom sizes, custom frames – just let us know what your project needs, and we’ll get you set up!

Frequently Asked Questions about Soundproofing a Window

Can you buy a new soundproof exterior window for a home?

No, no commercially made residential windows hit the level we would call "soundproof". But some windows are much better than others! If you want to buy a soundproof exterior window, the primary thing you’re looking for is the STC rating. A higher number is better. Most window manufacturers produce various types of windows rated between about a STC 26 and STC 36, although some windows can be lower! An STC 26 window will block 50% of the noise of an STC 36 window. Use the STC rating!

Factors that affect the STC rating include thicker glass, multiple panes with a large air gap, and being well-sealed when closed. Laminated glass is a good upgrade as it will block more sound than tempered glass of the same thickness (about 20% quieter). Damping of laminated glass is reduced by cold weather, so in double glass construction, keep the laminated pane on the interior side of the window to maximize performance. With multiple panes, the more spacing the better. Every time you double the air gap, you’ll gain 2-3 STC points.

See our guide on how much soundproof windows cost for more details on noise reduction and cost comparisons.

Do soundproof window inserts work?

YES! Soundproof window inserts are extremely effective! Our Fantastic Frame™ Soundproof Window Inserts can reduce sound through your window by up to 80% and reduce energy transfer by up to 60%. Even with a small air gap, these window inserts will reduce noise by 50% or more – even low frequency sounds like road noise! When soundproofing a house, installing these window inserts in every window can reduce energy bills by at least 40%!

Are there any DIY window soundproofing solutions?

Yes, we have three DIY solutions for you, listed from best to worst. For a deeper look, check out our article on how to soundproof windows DIY! Have a look at this handy dandy table that summarizes the potential noise reduction of each option below:

Solution Perceived Noise Reduction

Fantastic Frame™ Soundproof Window Inserts

50 - 80%

Luxury Liner™ Mass Loaded Vinyl

40 - 50%

Quiet Quilt™ Acoustic Blanket

30 - 40%

Extremely Heavy Curtains

20 - 30%

Light Curtains

0%

Option #1: Fantastic Frame™ Soundproof Window Inserts

The Fantastic Frame window insert is the best option for DIY soundproofing an existing window. You can install these with ease in just 30 short minutes (or hire a handyman!) and be well on your way to a quiet home! There’s no better way to reduce noise through a window than with these inserts.

Option #2: Soundproof Window Blanket or Mass Loaded Vinyl

A lot of people want to use blankets for soundproofing a window. From a technical standpoint, our Quiet Quilt™ 2-Sided Barrier Blanket is great at blocking noise. But from a practical standpoint, because it's so heavy and just as expensive as the Fantastic Frame™ window inserts, we don't recommend it. We tested our Quiet Quilt™ Acoustic Blanket for a more practical and budget-friendly soundproof blanket option. While primarily used for acoustics, in your normal residential window we typically see a 6-8db reduction, as these blankets are actually an STC 22.

Alternatively, mass loaded vinyl could be used to seal up a window as a soundproof window cover. We can cut a sheet out of a roll for you or you can get a 4'x4' or 4'x8' sheet to soundproof a window for less than $100. You can expect to see about a 6-9db reduction if it's well-sealed.

For more information, check out our article on soundproof blanket for windows.

Option #3: Soundproof Curtains

Your final option is soundproof curtains. If you look on Amazon or are on the path that soundproof windows home depot recommends, you’d think these curtains are the bee’s knees! Unfortunately, most curtains advertised as soundproof curtains aren’t soundproof at all! Rather, these are acoustical products meant to absorb reverberant noise to reduce echoes in a room. Chances are likely they aren’t great at that either unless they have a tested NRC Rating. If you don’t see an STC Rating or an NRC Rating, you have a seller capitalizing on people’s desire for peace and quiet.

We’ve tested a variety of curtains, and come up with a basic rule. If the curtain is heavy and thick, you can expect them to reduce noise 20-30%. Lightweight and thin curtains will not block noise or absorb it. Extend past the window to reduce the amount of sound going around the curtain. Just like the Quiet Quilt blanket, they need to be completely closed over the window to provide effective sound blocking. If you want sunlight, you'll have to use the Fantastic Frame Window Inserts!

How does skylight soundproofing work?

Skylights are awesome for that natural light! Unfortunately, much like any other window, skylights are prone to air leaks and low mass. Sealing any air gaps with acoustical sealant will be your first step. Next, get our Fantastic Frame™ soundproof window inserts. While an insert is a little tricker to install on a skylight—we recommend installing these with a buddy—you’ll finally be able to enjoy that natural light without the rain . . . well . . . raining on your parade.

For more skylight window soundproofing tips, follow the link!

How do you soundproof glass walls?

There are two things you want to look out for when soundproofing a glass wall:

      1. The ceiling: Many offices with glass walls share dropped ceilings. Sound can easily travel over the glass wall and out of the room, and vice versa. The best fix for soundproofing a dropped ceiling is our CelluZorbe HD Backer Board installed on top of the existing ceiling tiles.
      2. The glass: If your ceiling is sufficiently blocked off from to prevent noise transfer over the wall, and you still hear voices (muffled or not), installing our Fantastic Frame™ window inserts will allow you to have the sleek office look without compromising on sound quality.

We go more in depth in our article about glass wall soundproofing.

Does soundproof glass film work?

No, window film is not soundproof. Window film is, however, an effective thermal treatment. It’s designed to block UV rays to reduce the amount of heat coming into your room through your window. It can be nicely paired with our soundproof window inserts to further improve energy efficiency.

Can you use soundproof foam for windows?

No, placing foam over your windows will only help absorb sounds within your room to improve the sound quality. Like anything involving foam, it does not block sound.

Do triple pane windows reduce noise?

Yes, triple pane windows are about as effective as double pane windows — depending on the exact construction. Use the published STC rating to compare any windows you are considering. Our Fantastic Frame™ window inserts will give a big noise reduction boost to both triple pane and double pane windows!

Will weatherstripping soundproof windows?

No, weatherstripping will not soundproof windows. But weatherstripping can help seal air gaps around a poorly sealed window, modestly increasing soundproofing performance. If you have a poorly sealed window, sealing the window will improve performance!

The Fantastic Frame™ Your Windows Have Been Looking Forward To

Fantastic Frame™ Window Inserts are the top-performing solution to soundproof a window and reduce road noise in a home. Say goodbye to those annoying outside sounds making their way into your bedroom, living room, home office, theater room, or any other room in your house by increasing the STC rating of an existing window by 15-25 points.

  • Reduce sound through windows by up to 80%
  • Substantially reduce thermal transfer through the window (up to 40% energy savings)
  • Fully customizable to fit just about any window
  • Easy to remove and still access the primary window
  • Premium-grade acrylic for fully transparency

Have questions about your project?

Call us at 1.800.679.8511

Contact us for a Custom Soundproofing Gameplan

You’re only as strong as your weakest link, and when it comes to room soundproofing, that is almost certainly your windows. Fortunately, there’s a way to block out that traffic noise outside your home. Once you’ve soundproofed your windows, take the next step, and soundproof your doors and walls, too. If you're curious about how do you soundproof a wall, then read our article on the topic for our advice. Kick those feet up and get back to enjoying a good book with your morning coffee.