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To understand how soundproof glass works, you need to know the meaning of soundproofing and how it can be achieved.
There is quite a variety of solutions in the market that you can use to soundproof your home.
These solutions can be used for walls, floor, ceiling, door, windows, and any other part of a building that allows sound waves from outside.
Soundproof Glass Basics
Soundproofing doesn’t mean that you will eliminate noise to 100%.
This is a challenging goal to achieve unless you use commercial grade soundproof materials in all parts of the house.
Soundproofing means reducing noise to about 90-95%.
Some sound may manage to pass through the materials you use, but your space will be much quieter and peaceful.
Most soundproofing solutions take care of mid to high-frequency sounds.
You can successfully muffle human voices, car hooting, and other high frequency sounds with most soundproofing materials.
Low-frequency sounds are harder to deal with. To successfully tackle these frequencies, here are the five soundproofing principles that you must fulfill.
Mass & Absorption
Mass makes it harder for sound to penetrate through any material.
This means that the thicker your material, the better it is at soundproofing.
Some surfaces are good at soaking up the energy in the sound wave.
The sound will have significantly reduced by the time it goes through such a material.
Mechanical isolation & Conduction
Mechanical isolation creates a space between materials.
Thanks to this space, sound waves are forced to travel through the air and lose some energy.
In the case of conduction, soundproofing helps reduce the transfer of sound from one material to the other.
A dampening material is placed between these materials to reduce the sound waves that pass through them.
Resonance Dampening reduces the sound’s magnitude. Such materials convert sound energy into other energy forms.
How Soundproof Glass Works?
Most soundproofing solutions reflect sound to the outside, so not much of it gets to the house.
Things are a bit different where soundproof glass is concerned.
On its own, glass is a poor soundproofing solution since it vibrates when it comes into contact with sound waves.
Most of these waves reverberate while others pass through the glass.
To soundproof glass, manufacturers employ a variety of tactics. These include:
Thick materials tend to be better at reflecting or absorbing sound waves.
Manufacturers add some mass to the glass to make it thicker and enhance its soundproofing ability.
With thick glass, the sound waves dissipate on the glass surface, reducing the noise that gets through it.
Soundproof glass manufacturers have to balance the thickness to ensure that they do not increase coincidence frequency.
Glass can amplify sound, which is the last thing you want when you are looking for a soundproofing material.
Using Plastic Laminates
When added to the glass, plastic laminates make the glass more rigid, which reduces the vibration.
With reduced vibrations, the glass will handle noise from outside better.
Some manufacturers add a plastic layer between two glasses.
The plastic layer adds to the firmness, reduces vibrations, and makes the glass more durable.
Different materials can be used for the plastic layer.
Polyvinyl butyral– This is a resin that comes with superb sound dampening abilities.
When combined with glass, this material blocks sounds between 1000-3000 Mhz, the most sensitive frequency range for the human ear.
Micro-rubber spacers create a barrier that cuts down the sound that gets to the window frame.
When fitted right, the barrier between the seal and window can take care of most regular sounds.
Using Multi-pane Technology
This technology aims to create a vacuum between two glass panes.
This means that a good part of the sound is stopped at the first layer, and the vacuum absorbs any remaining sound waves.
Soundproof glass made using this technology delivers excellent results.
Their effectiveness increases with the gap created between the layers.
Soundproof Glass Advantages
Soundproof glass creates a barrier, so minimal noise from outside gets to your ears.
By capturing mechanical energy from the sound waves, this glass is able to create a much quieter space.
It is important to remember that no glass can completely block all sound getting into the house.
However, the soundproof glass blocks up to 95% of the noise.
Low-frequency sounds can be harder to block compared to the high-frequency ones.
You may notice that you can no longer hear the birds chirping, but you notice when the garbage truck is grinding trash.
Before installing the soundproof glass, first, identify the frequency of the sound you want to block. If the frequency is high, you can be sure that this glass will eliminate your problem.
Different manufacturers indicate the sound-stopping ability of their windows.
When you go shopping, check the STC scale and go for a higher rating if you want to block more sound.
In most cases, a single-pane window will have an STC rating of 27, while a duo one will be 28.
With a soundproof window, the average rating is 45, and some may go up to 55.
Soundproof glass is ideal if you are looking for a long-term solution to an ongoing noise problem.
Since this glass is more durable than the normal one, you can consider this a one-time investment that will transform your home into a peaceful haven.
Soundproof Glass Installation and Costs
Soundproof glass is inserted behind existing windows. (Source)
However, if it’s new construction, the glass can be installed on its own, just like regular panels.
It is important to note soundproof glass doesn’t come cheap.
However, they are a worthy investment for residential and commercial buildings located in noisy areas.
Installation costs differ depending on the location, among other factors.
Most wound proof glass manufacturers can make recommendations on professional installers within your area.
Most construction workers will have dealt with this type of glass, so you may not need specialized personnel to do the installation.
Just ensure that installation is done right, and no gaps are left in the windows, doors, and other areas that may let noise in.
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.