If you live in the city, or by a busy neighborhood, you’ve probably considered soundproofing your windows. Loud traffic, road construction, dogs barking, and conversations of people walking by can disrupt your peace. Worst, even ruin sleep!
I happen to work from home most of the week. Complete focus is necessary for me to get work done. If you have the same arrangement, trust me, window soundproofing is the best decision you can make.
Of course, you can opt to install soundproof windows. But this would need a professional, and some extra costs.
If you’re up for a DIY project, soundproofing an existing window is more manageable than you’d think! Other than earning bragging rights, you’ll most likely save some money by doing it yourself too!
Soundproofing your home’s windows function in 2 ways:
- Absorbing and reducing unwanted noise from coming in.
- Prevent noise from getting out.
Bonus! The latter will give you happy neighbors.
For you to get some focus, uninterrupted leisure and rest, look no further. This article contains a lot of effective ways on how to soundproof a window.
What You Should Do Before Soundproofing Windows?
If you like working with your hands on home fixtures, easy peasy!
You probably have some equipment already. A ‘Do It Yourself’ enthusiast or aspirant will be eager to get started on soundproofing their existing windows.
Some items may not always be necessary and depend on the solution of choice. But first…
Rearrange Your Furniture
Noise travels through the air until it reaches the surface. It either passes through or bounces off this surface. The more it hits a surface, the more it loses its energy to travel. Because of this, you reduce echo and reverberation effectively.
Rearranging or adding furniture to your space can obstruct the path of sound waves. You can add soft pillows to a couch, some rugs, or even add more bookshelves. The closer your furniture is to the window you want to soundproof, the better the noise reduction.
This initial step is hardly difficult. You can work with what you already have at home. It does not however miraculously cut your noise problem. This and a combination of windows soundproofing methods will do the trick!
Check The Condition Of Your Windows
Before deciding on what sound reduction technology to apply for your home, check the condition of your windows. Make sure your windows do not have huge cracks, large holes, or suffer from wood rot. If the existing damage is significant, consider new vinyl replacement windows.
Soundproofing is more effective on functional windows. You don’t want to waste your effort or go through the hassle of assuring durability.
Take a closer look at your windows and make sure there are no tiny gaps and cavities too. This creates more paths for noise coming in. This will be something to focus on when soundproofing windows.
Qualify Your Noise Reduction Problems
Later on in this article, I will share an assortment of methods on how to soundproof your windows: DIY style.
Before deciding what is suitable, ask yourself the following questions:
- What is my budget?
- Do I need insulation and sunlight protection?
- What method complements my home interior design?
- How silent do I want my room/home to be?
- What are the dimensions of my window?
Main things you will need to soundproof a window:
✓ Ladder or Sturdy Stool
✓ Thick Soundproofing Curtains
✓ Thick Blinds or Shades
✓ Fiberglass Soundproofing Panels
✓ Acoustic Caulk
✓ Weatherstripping Tape (Foam, Rubber, or Silicone)
✓ Window Plugs
1. Ladder or Sturdy Stool
Installation is easier when you can reach every part of your window. This is particularly necessary when setting the grommets of your soundproofing curtains, blankets, or blinds.
Curtains are commonly longer and heavier. They fully cover your windows, starting a few inches above the panes. These are hard to reach places, so make sure your ladder or stool is safe to climb on. It is best to have a friend help you out.
A hammer is necessary to thoroughly lock mounting hardwares when installing curtains, blinds, or shades. Most soundproof curtains or blinds already come with screws in their kits. You might also need a measuring tape and a pencil to mark where you should be hammering.
3. Thick Soundproofing Curtains
The thickness of the fabric material will determine the quality of sound absorption. The more layers, the better the sound barrier. Blackout curtains, for example, are a fantastic choice because they help with light pollution.
4. Thick Blinds or Shades
Similarly, these reduce echoes and sound from the window opening.
They reduce vibrations from any sound coming through the window, thus cutting sound waves from traveling. Thick blinds or shades are best paired with soundproof curtains.
5. Fiberglass Soundproofing Panels
Its thick materials have great soundproofing qualities. Its heavyweight aids in blocking any noise from outside. A single layer can already work wonders!
6. Acoustic Caulk
It’s inexpensive and seals air gaps. This blocks the small pathways and prevents sound from pushing through. They usually come in the form of a caulk gun and can be bought in most hardware stores.
7. Weatherstripping Tape (Foam, Rubber, or Silicone)
These are great at filling the gaps between windows and the walls. They avoid noise and sound from entering through an air gap.
8. Window Plugs
Soundproof matting and acoustic foam are useful in creating window plugs. You’ll also need wood to build the frame and box with. Window plugs make a good DIY project since it’s easy to build one on your own.
How Can I Make My Windows Soundproof?
Method 1: Block The Window Entirely
Blocking a window entirely will guarantee the reduction of noise pollution. In this case, you won’t be able to use that window for a lot of light coming into your home.
If you don’t want to spend, you can use existing furniture in your house to cover that window. Like a cabinet perhaps.
You can also take out the window entirely and replace it with a wall. This will undoubtedly get rid of the noise. But you have to understand after doing so, you will not have a window at all.
Before choosing this method, consider every possible option. Besides, there are seven other more methods for you to choose from in this article! Keep reading.
- Soundproof windows entirely
- Allows minimal to no light from coming in
Method 2: Add an Extra Panel to the Windows
Window soundproofing often requires an extra layer of glass, especially when your windows are single pane.
You can go for insulation panels, acrylic panels, or window inserts.
Some of these window soundproofing solutions come in magnetic frames, easing installation. They’re also affordable and usually come in kits. When purchasing a window panel kit, get all the necessary components and specific instructions. Make sure you have the correct dimensions of the aluminum frame to match your whole window.
Mount the aluminum frame of the panel to the interior side of your window frame. You don’t require a lot of tools to install them. You just need to press them to the sides and slide them back.
Each frame already has weatherstripping around its perimeter. This should seal the existing window.
This panel creates a secondary air pocket between it and your windows. With this setup, the sound will be blocked in that space.
Video: How to Insert Window Panels
- Low-cost soundproof window solution
- Easy to remove
- Lets you keep daylight
- Improves window insulation
- Might not be thick enough to soundproof window completely
Method 3: Seal All The Gaps and Cracks
Even the smallest gaps and cracks will let sound inside the room. It is important therefore that these are tightly sealed to make a soundproof window. Here are some options:
As mentioned above, these tapes come in various forms and materials: Foam, Rubber, and Silicone. This option is fairly inexpensive and easy to apply but will require periodical replacements.
Step 1: Consider which material suits your windows best depending on the amount of friction your window receives, exposure to weather, and overall look.
Step 2: Clean the window surface.
Step 3: Cut a strip to the desired length.
Step 4: Apply the strip to all four sides of the inner frames of your window jam.
These come in packaged strips and is also an inexpensive way to solve sound reduction.
Step 1: Cut strips down to match the length of seams on windows.
Step 2: Manipulate and press each strip into its respective seams.
This is a little more durable compared to acoustic caulk. This comes as a caulk gun or shooter foam gun.
Step 1: Apply an even bead of caulk along the entire exterior seam. This sealant blocks moisture from coming in too.
Step 2: When using the expansion foam, test the volume with a small drop first before going all out. This way, you apply just the right amount.
Weather Seal Tape
This method only lasts for several months. You will require replacing them regularly. If the cracks get worse, it’s best to have replacement windows instead.
Step 1: Cut a small strip of clear weather seal tape.
Step 2: Put it over the crack in the glass.
- Low cost
- Will require regular placements
- Does not completely soundproof a window
- Combine with other methods
Method 4: Install a Quilted Fiberglass Panel
If you want to effectively reduce noise, the thicker and denser the material you use, the better!
Quilted fiberglass panels definitely are a winner in sound reduction, especially for avoiding external unwanted noise inside your home.
A panel that is four feet wide, eight feet tall, and two inches thick weighs around 12 pounds. The weight of the panel is ideal to lay flat against a window.
This way of window soundproofing is significantly more effective than curtains. But for maximum noise reduction, you can install both.
Step 1: Install heavy-duty hooks around your window panes.
Step 2: Insert the panel into its metal-reinforced eyelet holes.
Step 3: Attach edges using strong velcro for maximum window soundproofing.
- Highly effective at reducing noise pollution
- Less attractive than curtains
Method 5: Install Soundproof Curtains
Another way to soundproof windows is to get thick soundproof curtains. This way alone won’t block noise entirely, but it can be a useful complement to other soundproof methods.
These curtains help absorb sound and reduce echo. It can also be a great addition to your home decor.
It suits well with your window opening and allows you to manage how much light and insulation you want. You will want to buy longer and thicker curtain material. You can also layer more than one curtain to soundproof windows better. The absorbancy of sound will depend on the density of the fabric.
Step 1: Measure the width of the curtain and the distance between each grommet. This will tell you where to hang the mounting hardware.
Step 2: Install the mounting brackets into the drywall, where the grommets will interface the wall. You will need a ladder or sturdy stool to reach the top of the window. A hammer is also necessary to mount brackets.
Step 3: Hang your soundproof curtain.
- Reduces the echo and sound
- Keeps light away as needed
- Aesthetically complements your window
- Can be layered
- Will not reduce noise completely
Method 6: Pair with Thick Material Blinds
To successfully soundproof a window, you also have to prevent vibrations from getting into your room. Just like curtains, they reduce the impact of echoes.
Adding a barrier such as thick blinds or shades will make a significant difference in solving your noise problems.
The best type of blinds as a soundproofing solution is honeycomb double cell blinds. These are blinds that open up like an accordion when you pull them down.
Step 1: Installing these blinds is like installing curtains. You will need a ladder or sturdy stool, as well as a hammer.
Step 2: The top of the headrail must be marked on both the left and right outside edges of the shade. Using a pencil, measure a distance of almost 2-2.5 inches from each side.
Step 3: Fasten screws with a hammer.
Step 4: Using the supplied screws, align and fasten the top of the left and right brackets with the pencil-marked areas.
Step 5: Fit the front of the bracket into the headrail. Then, snap it into place by pushing the back portion in the right slot.
Step 6: Use your cords to test whether they are functioning properly.
- Great pair with curtains for style
- Lets light in
- Reduces noise levels
- Does not completely soundproof windows
Method 7: Make Your Own Window Plug
This is a DIY project that will keep you busy. A window plug is a simple frame designed to provide an airtight seal for your windows.
A window plug is easy to build and made of inexpensive, yet highly effective materials. They are often considered window inserts too.
These work by filling in any space in front of your windows with layers of acoustic foam, soundproof matting, and wood. This way, the foam absorbs the sound waves, blocked by the mat, and the wood backer board.
Step 1: Measure the depth of your windows to determine the maximum depth of your window plug. You’ll want your plug an inch or two lesser than the whole depth of your windows.
Step 2: Measure the length and breadth of the gap to fit in. The plug should snugly fit in your windows for greater prevention of noise pollution. Be as accurate as possible.
Step 3: Build a wooden frame with the exact dimensions. Make a cross support to strengthen the frame.
Step 4: Cover the frame to form a box with two half-inch MDF sheets of 1/2 inch thickness.
Step 5: Add insulation inside the open box. The insulation material must be of low-density fluffy fiberglass. This is ideal for soundproofing windows.
Step 6: Seal the box with the other sheet of MDF.
Step 7: Glue a thin layer of felt tape along with the frame. This will provide a better fit for the window plug and avoid window scrapes.
Step 8: Attach two handles on the front of the side of the window plug. This way, you can easily mount and remove it to and from your windows.
- Effective at sound proofing windows
- Are not permanent; detachable
- Not attractive
- Block all incoming light from windows
Method 8: Replace the Windows with Double-Pane Windows
Now, this method is perhaps a big decision to make.
This soundproof window will take a fair amount of money. It will also require you to hire a professional to install it. This solution will guarantee to block out unwanted sound/noise definitely. Choosing to go double-pane can minimize noise level by 50% or more! It is known how well-efficient these multi-pane windows can be. You can also opt for triple-pane windows.
Other than sound blocking, these windows also keep your room cool during the summer, and warm during the winter. This way, although you shell out a bigger investment initially, you save up a lot on the energy bills.
It is important to hire an expert/professional who knows how to soundproof a window with the use of multi-pane windows. There should be no gaps or cracks left around the edges of your windows to make sure no unwanted sound comes in. A poorly installed soundproof window will waste your time and money. Might as well not hold back in spending a little more on an expert installer.
- Most effective at soundproofing
- Save up on energy bills long term
- Keep the light coming in
- Great insulation
Personally, the best method for me is a combination of two or more methods. I would initially seal all the gaps, and cover any cracks.
Second, installing an additional glass panel does the trick. I prefer this method since it is easy to install and remove while allowing sunlight to come when I work in the day.
Lastly, installing a layer of soundproof curtains and blinds for additional soundproofing, which will also be decor for my living space.
These are all great solutions. It all depends on how much noise you’re dealing with, the size of your budget, and how much time you can invest.
After reading this article, I hope you learned a thing to two on how to soundproof a window.
What are you waiting for? Go on and get started with your project! I’m sure you’ll have great results!