French doors add beauty to your home. Most people choose the doors for their esthetic properties. Also, they allow light into the house, thus minimizing the need for artificial lights during the day. However, they come with a disadvantage of letting noise into your house.
You can have the beauty of French doors with enhanced soundproofing. You should know about different soundproofing methods that do not deter the door’s beauty.
In this guide, I will be highlighting some of the best methods on how soundproof French doors.
Soundproofing Interior French Doors
Seal Up Sound Leaks
Cracks, gaps, and lack of weather strips amount to 1% of wall openings that allow sound to pass through walls, doors, and windows.
The percentage is not negligible as it allows up to 50% of noise into a house.
The different methods of sealing the sound leaks depend on the type of hole or crack. For instance, a door will have a half an inch gap at the frame after installation—the gap lets in a lot of noise from the outside.
You can correct this by insulating the frame. I would recommend something like Great Stuff Insulating Foam Sealant. You use it to fill the left gap after the door manufacturer places the door casing. For great insulation, remove the casing, spray in the recommended foam sealant, add some fiberglass, and then re-install the casing.
Keliiyo Weather Stripping Door Seal is a great product you should use to seal weatherstrip your French doors. It’s water-resistant, flexible, elastic, and soundproof to your door. The weatherstrip also helps seal the astragal when the door overlaps the slab.
Please don’t ignore the bottom gap as it also lets in noise, insects, and dust. A door sweep helps close the gap on a small budget. You can select a self-adhesive or a sliding door sweep.
Install Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains are made of dense but breathable materials that significantly contribute to sound dampening.
They are a must-have for every French door. Besides locking out unwanted noise, they also add some privacy to your room. You’ll no longer need to replace your French doors with some solid doors.
The curtains should be long enough to cover the door from top to button. It ensures that the curtains trap the noise that sneaks through the areas a weatherstrip didn’t cover. We recommend RYB Home soundproof curtains. These blackout curtains will absorb and cancel noise and insulate the doors.
Install Acoustic Blankets
When you are struggling with a temporary noise source, you can opt for a temporary solution. Acoustic moving blankets block out a significant amount of noise.
On the other hand, acoustic blankets will only improve the acoustic qualities of a room by absorbing echoes and reverberations. They also absorb some considerable amounts of medium and high frequency noises though not as effective as soundproofing blankets.
OUUTMEE Sound Dampening Blankets are my best recommendation for your door. The blanket is easy to maintain as its waterproof – doesn’t require washing. Also, they are large enough to cover the door from top to bottom.
The blanket stretches out to 53.5 inches and has a length of 95 inches. Its 14.0 ounces of weight allows it to drape well once you hang it. However, you’ll need some nails or hooks to secure the blanket.
A clear ⅛ inches of glass is appealing on a French door. However, all the noise from other rooms passes effortlessly.
You can reduce the noise by replacing the glass with some sound suppressing glass. The glass is thick and dull compared to the clear ⅛ inch glass. However, the sound canceling effect makes it worth.
Laminated glass is the most common soundproof glass on the market – a set of two ¼ inches of glass sandwich a layer of PVB.
The glass remains translucent but increases soundproofing properties. It also reduces the need for a curtain as no one can view the inside when they are out of the house – unless its night, and you have your lights on.
Lubricate Squeaky Hinges
Squeaky hinges can be annoying. Although they may not be the main noise source, it’s wise to soundproof all noise sources on your French doors. 3-in-one dry silicone lubricant silences the squeaky hinges.
Also, it dries out fast and has no messy residue. You can replace the bearings if they get squeaky after a few days. Ball-bearing hinges are better than pin hinges as the balls slide smoothly after applying a lubricant.
Replace with a Soundproof Door System
Sometimes you can opt for the most expensive option of soundproofing interior French doors. Remember, you will need to apply some above methods even after replacing the door system.
French door frames are made of solid wood, slabs, or solid core. The thickness of the solid part determines the strength of the door.
Your new door system should be at least 1 ¾ inches thick. Then select soundproof glass suitable for your project,
Installing a new door system required some handy skills. You can opt to hire an expert instead of making petty mistakes. Alternatively, you can buy the door systems that sell, delivers, and installs your door as a service package.
Soundproofing Exterior French Doors
Exterior French doors are a focal point in many houses. They add to the external aesthetics of your house. Thus, you are careful of ruining the external image of your house.
It’s easier to soundproof exterior doors, also known as terrace or garden doors. They are either in-swing or out-swing, but the soundproofing methods are similar.
Install or Replace Weatherstrip
Most homeowners will install a weatherstrip on an exterior French door. The weatherstrip wears out with time.
Sometimes the landlord may install a low-quality weatherstrip since they won’t live there.
You should install or replace the weatherstrip with high-quality ones like the Keliiyo Weather Strip. Cut the weatherstrip at 45 degrees at the corners to avoid overlapping.
Seal the Center Gap
Ensure your door has a center gap. Use the right materials to seal the gap. If an overlapping weatherstrip causes it, you should replace the strip or trim out the overlapping area. You can then seal out the place with a low expansion insulation foam.
Install Door Sweep
When you have an in-swing exterior french door, it should have a door sweep for various reasons. First, it blocks the entry of dust and insects. Also, it blocks sound waves and insulates the door.
I recommend the KS Double Bubble Door Sweep. It provides perfect sealing and sides easily. Also, it has a drip cap that draws water away from the door.
Hang Blankets and Curtains
It’s easy to install blankets and curtains in an out-swing door. If you have an in-swing door, ensure you can hang them on the curtain rod when the door is in use. If not, you should have some curtain tiebacks to tuck the curtains on one side of the door.
On Soundproofing French Doors
When you are soundproofing a French door, always strive to maintain the door’s beauty. Thus, you shouldn’t install any material directly on the door.
Hanging blankets and curtains is logical since you do it a small distance from the door. When selecting a color for the curtain.
Keep the interior decor in mind to avoid ruining the color theme. Also, have presentable curtain rods to complement your room.
Since curtains and blankets aren’t effective on their own, apply other methods to seal out any holes, cracks, and gaps on the glass panels and the frame. I have recommended a few products you can use as door sweeps, insulating foam, and weatherstrip.
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.