What is the best glass for reducing noise?
Listening to your own music and family chatter is all well and good, but when it comes to noise outside your home, you’d rather it stay out of earshot. Whether it’s the dog next door, the beeping of cars or a construction site nearby, noise pollution is annoying at best, and a serious disruption at worst.
Thankfully, by taking the necessary steps towards soundproofing your home, you can significantly reduce the amount of noise that makes it inside – restoring that much-needed peace and tranquillity.
What is soundproofing?
Soundproofing is the process of blocking noise from entering or leaving a room – or your whole house. There are a number of ways to do this. One is to increase the distance between the source of the noise and the person hearing it. Moving to the other side of the room and closing doors is a rudimentary – yet somewhat effective – method to soundproof a room in your house.
Alternatively, there are certain materials that absorb, reflect, dampen or decouple noise – essentially capturing and mitigating the vibrations before they reach the interior of your home.
These materials are often utilised in the initial construction of a house – such as acoustic matting in its frame, foam insulation within the walls and underlay beneath the carpets. This might leave you wondering how much can be done to an existing property without major renovations – but there are a number of changes you can make, and replacing your windows is one of them.
Can glass be soundproof?
Technically, glass cannot be completely soundproof. If there’s a lot of noise of differing frequencies on the other side – say, birds chirping and a loud lorry driving by – it’s likely you’d hear some of it. But when it’s manufactured with certain properties, glass can go a long way in reducing these sounds. It depends on three things – thickness, spacing and interlayers.
Is thicker glass more soundproof?
In a word, yes. Soundwaves find glass harder to travel through than air, so the thicker the glass, the more difficult it will be for the sound to penetrate your home. When it eventually gets to the other side, the vibrations will have somewhat diminished. On this basis, the thicker the glass, the better the sound insulation properties.
However, to make windows that are effective at blocking out sound, you’d need a seriously thick pane of glass. It would difficult to open, would put undue strain on the hinges, and simply wouldn’t look good. So is there a more effective option?
Is toughened glass or double glazing soundproof?
Tempered, or toughened, glass is constructed by expanding and contracting standard glass through rapid heating and cooling. The primary aim of this process is to enhance the glass’s strength – meaning it scores highly when it comes to impact resistance and durability, but not so much for withstanding noise.
Double glazing, on the other hand, is built with two separate panes of glass that are separated by a gap. This gap is filled with a dense gas (we use Argon) which is designed to thermally insulate your home. Helpfully, Argon provides the double benefit of reducing heat transfer and dampening sound transfer, making your home both warmer and quieter.
If you’re looking for sound insulation against low frequencies, such as traffic noise, it’s possible to have one thicker and one thinner pane of glass in your double glazing. To protect against higher and medium frequencies – voices, for example – a larger air gap, such as 12mm could help as well.
How can I make my windows soundproof?
Not quite ready to take the plunge of buying new windows? Consider these DIY fixes.
Sealing the gaps – Sound can creep in through any gaps between your wall and window, so the easiest first step to making a difference is simply finding and blocking these spaces. For the best results, do this with an acoustic sealant.
Creating a barrier – It is possible to block a window with acoustic foam, or a window plug, as they do a great job of dampening sound waves. But if you rely on your windows for light, as we do in most cases, it’s not so smart, as this foam isn’t transparent. A more practical option is DIY double glazing, where you install a metal frame on existing windows, then use magnets to attach another pane of glass. When opting for this route, it’s important to use laminated or acoustic-grade glass, or it won’t be as effective.
Blinds and curtains – Fabric absorbs sound too – so if sleep disturbance is a problem, it’s worth adding another layer of material to prevent the transmission of sound. Some blinds are built in a honeycomb structure for this exact purpose, with a single or double layer of cells that trap air.
Stadip Silence window laminate
At New Windows, we’ve scoured the market to make sure when we say we provide premium noise insulation, we mean it. It’s why we offer Stadip Silence laminate windows.
This acoustic laminated glass contains a film interlayer with a special dampening viscoelastic core, ensuring even sound insulation across the whole frequency range. Just one pane of Stadip Silence glass can dampen sound by 47 dB, or 50 dB in a double glazed unit. It also provides thermal insulation, solar protection and overall safety, making Stadip Silence a superior choice for any home.
If you live in a particularly loud area, or you’re finding any amount of outside noise is disturbing your sleep, concentration, and general wellbeing, this is the solution we’d recommend for you. We’re finding it’s a much more popular option now many people are working from home.
If you’re interested in finding out more about Stadip Silence laminate windows, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our friendly team. Or to discover all the benefits our high-quality glass windows bring to your home, read about double glazing and triple glazing in further detail. At New Windows, we’re committed to helping you make the right choice for your home.