In this blog post, we will give you an overview of “how to soundproof a fire door” and talk about its soundproofing characteristics.
We will also give you an insight into how soundproofing works in a door and common soundproofing techniques. We will conclude this blog post with 5 ways to soundproof a fire door.
How To Soundproof a Fire Door?
A fire door is naturally soundproof but you can also help improve its soundproofing characteristics in these 5 ways;
- Add Smoke Seals
- Provide Extra Padding
- Install A Door Sweep
- Seal The Gap
- Use Soundproof Rugs or Mats
Ways to Soundproof a Fire Door
There are many ways to soundproof a fire door and augment the sound insulation characteristics of a fire door. But first, let’s know a bit more about fire doors.
Fire doors are designed to stop smoke or flame from diffusing into areas where people can get trapped. Controlling the fire is not always easy so it’s better to compartmentalize the building to ensure fire safety.
By using fire doors, you can direct the passage of the fire so it stays away from areas such as corridors or fire exits.
You can find fire doors in many restaurants and bars and they have become a part of modern-day architecture. These solid-core doors aren’t just built to resist fire and also help regulate sounds.
In general, fire doors are more soundproof than normal doors as they are heavyweight. The extra mass helps enhance their soundproofing abilities and restricts the passage of airborne sounds.
What Makes Fire Doors Soundproof?
To understand what makes fire doors soundproof, we need to dive deep down into the material characteristics of fire doors. Here are four reasons why fire doors are soundproof;
Good Solid Material
Doors with a core made of solid wood are more soundproof than the normal hollow core doors. The solidity of material inside the door helps muffle sounds. The greater the mass, the better the sound insulation characteristic of the door.
Any solid material from thick wood to solid metal can be used to make hard doors. Fire doors are usually built with a solid metal core and that’s the reason why they are considered highly soundproof.
Perfectly Sealed Edges
Fire doors have perfectly sealed edges to prevent sound from escaping from one room to another. Many people don’t value the importance of these empty spaces along the edge.
Covering or sealing these edges can greatly help curtail sounds. Fire doors have perfectly sealed edges and that’s what makes them soundproof. Fire doors even have smoke seals that further help in restricting the sound escape.
Thickness is instrumental in stopping sound transmission and fire doors are relatively thicker than standard doors. Furthermore, acoustic padding can be used to enhance the soundproofing characteristics of fire doors. However, it is best to buy a naturally thick fire door.
How Does Soundproofing Works in Doors?
There are generally two types of sounds; Structure-borne sounds and airborne sounds. Sound travels in the form of waves and penetrates through objects of less mass and low thickness with ease.
Soundproofing is all about modifying an object or door characteristics to make them solid enough to stop the passage of sound. However, different types of sound require different soundproofing techniques.
Mass is effective in restricting the passage of airborne noise but has no effect on structure-borne sounds. Structure-borne sounds require using sound-absorbing techniques to stop or absorb sound waves before they spread out.
So, to make a door soundproof against both types of sound, we need to make them more solid by adding weight and pad them up with sound-absorbing materials. Additionally, we also need to follow some simple tricks to stop sound penetrations like sealing cracks and using eps.
Four Techniques to Soundproof Doors
There are four techniques you can use to soundproof your doors. Every soundproofing idea or material falls in one of these four basic techniques.
The simplest way to soundproof a door against airborne noise is to add mass to the mix. Heavy and thick doors allow minimal passage of airborne noise from one side to another.
Solidity and thickness of material are the two things that help in making doors heavy. Fire doors are relatively heavyweight and it’s the main reason why they can be used as soundproof doors.
Sound damping is not about eliminating the sound waves but focuses on damping their intensity. Sound damping also helps in minimizing echo and reverberation of sounds.
The idea behind sound damping is adding multiple layers of material to dampen sound waves before it reaches the destination.
Sound absorption is all about stopping sounds from bouncing back from solid surfaces and creating an echo. Many objects that are good at restricting airborne noise are bad at stopping sound echoing.
On one hand, their solid structure stops outdoor airborne sounds while on the other the same solidity allows indoor sounds to bounce back and create an echo. That’s where sound absorption comes into play as it absorbs sound waves before they strike the hard surface and bounce back.
Using acoustic barriers to block the pathway of sound waves from transmitting from one space to another falls under sound insulation. Sound insulation is all about covering the majority of areas and leaving no empty spaces or cavities for sound waves to amplify.
How Much Noise Fire Doors Stop?
The soundproofing ability of fire doors depends on the type of material used in their construction. On average, fire doors can prevent sounds in the range of 10 to 30 decibels.
Nevertheless, the sound insulation characteristics of fire doors can also be enhanced at any time by using additional paddings. A fire door with acoustic pads can restrict up to 54 decibels of sound transmission.
Where Can We Use Soundproof Fire Doors?
The soundproof fire doors have tons of applications in commercial and industrial settings and are also used in homes to prevent sound transmission. Here’s a list of few places where fire doors are common;
- Recording Studio & Music Production House
- Restaurants & Bars
- Commercial Office Building
- School and Universities
- Medical Institutions
- Police Stations
- Cinema Houses and Theatre
Using Fire Doors as Soundproof Doors
You can use fire doors as soundproof doors if you desire good sound insulation for your home, office, or restaurant. Their thick and hard material provides good sound insulation.
However, if you desire perfect sound insulation, it is better to opt for acoustic doors. Not to forget, acoustic doors are much more expensive and that’s the reason why fire doors are more preferred.
Additionally, there are also ways to further enhance the sound insulation characteristics of fire doors with little reinforcements.
Acoustic Fire-Rated Doors
If you plan on opening a professional music studio or want to perfectly soundproof your home or office then acoustic fire-rated doors are the number 1 choice.
Design specifically to stop sound transmission, acoustic fire-rated doors are perfect when it comes to sound insulation. They are also adequate to stop and prevent fires.
In simple words, acoustic fire-rated doors are designed mainly to perfectly soundproof a living space but also have some added benefits such as fire resistance.
5 Ways to Soundproof a Fire Door
If choosing a thicker and heavier door is not an option, you can still soundproof your existing fire door with some cool tricks. Fire doors are already heavy and thick so there are only a handful of things you can do to make better soundproofing. Here’s what you can do;
Add Smoke Seals
Many doors come along with smoke seals to prevent smoke from transmitting from one space to another. These seals also play a big role in blocking sound passage.
If your fire door doesn’t have a smoke seal, you can add it into the mix as an added feature. This will greatly help you get the most from your fire door.0
Provide Extra Padding to the Exterior and Interior of a Fire Door
Fire doors are not good at absorbing sounds and reflect sounds from their hard surface and create an echo. Adding interior and exterior padding is the only effective way to stop them from creating echoes.
Install A Door Sweep
Using a door sweep is a simple and effective trick to enhance the soundproofing characteristics of your fire door. Even a little hole or crack can disperse a lot of sound and these empty spaces below the door are favorite pathways for airborne sounds.
Installing a door sweep not only helps you soundproof your room but also blocks critters and insects’ entrance.
Seal the Gaps
You don’t need gaps or holes anywhere near your door and if door sweep and smoke seal don’t do the trick you can try using weatherstripping tape.
Weatherstripping tape is not an alternative to smoke seal or door sweep and must be used alongside them to provide the best sound insulation.
Use Soundproof Rugs or Mats
One more thing you can do is place a soundproof wool rug or carpet near the door. This helps absorb the sound waves as they bounce back off the door’s hard surface. You can even add rugs on both sides to enjoy better results.
In this blog post, we gave you an overview of how to soundproof a fire door and talked about its soundproofing characteristics. We also provided an insight into how soundproofing works in a door and common soundproofing techniques. Lastly, we discussed 5 ways to soundproof a fire door.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof a Fire Door?
Are fire doors good for soundproofing?
Fire doors are excellent for soundproofing. These doors are rated as per their burn time. A fire door rated FD60 or FD30 is heavy in mass and has a slow burn time.
This extra mass makes them an excellent sound insulator and perfect for soundproofing. They are also pretty easy to find and not so expensive.
How do you soundproof an existing door?
- Start with sealing the holes and cracks
- Apply weatherstripping tape across the door frame
- Use door sweep and door gaskets
- Hang a soundproof curtain or blanket
- Use acoustic tiles
Does putting a towel under the door block the sound?
Yes, putting a towel under the door blocks the sound the same way a door sweep does. Empty gaps below the door provide a great passage for sounds to transmit from one space to another.
Blocking this pathway is an excellent way to stop sound transmission. Placing a towel is effective, but using a door sweep is a more permanent and aesthetically-pleasing way.
How do you soundproof a wood door?
- Install acoustic drapes
- Paint the door with sound-absorbing pain
- Apply acoustic foam tiles
- Add a mass loaded vinyl barrier
- Seal the cracks and holes
- Use a door sweep
Does soundproofing a door work?
Yes, soundproofing a door is an excellent idea and it gives a good return on investment. Soundproof doors not only insulate noise but are also energy-efficient.
They also enhance air quality and help keep moisture and pollutants away. Their goal is to make the living environment cozy and comfortable.