How to soundproof a sliding wooden door?

In this brief article, we will discuss how to soundproof a wooden sliding door in the most affordable methods possible.

How to soundproof a sliding wooden door?

You can slide proof a sliding wooden door by using any of the following solutions provided below:

  • Acoustic curtains
  • Weatherstrip
  • Door sweep
  • Soundproof blanket
  • Acoustic panels
  • Mass Loaded Vinyl
  • Acoustic Caulk

There are also a few measures that can be taken if you haven’t installed a sliding door yet:

  • Use an oversized door
  • Use a solid core door 
  • Hire a Carpenter

Sound Intrusion? How?

Sliding doors leave gaps between the door and the wall creating spaces through which the sound can easily travel. Also the sliding mechanism of the door itself generates a certain amount of noise. All of these can be addressed, but the solutions to these problems can only reduce the amount of sound entering the room rather than nullify it completely.

Where is the need for soundproofing?

 Depending upon the purpose of the space, there can be multiple reasons why one would want to soundproof their doors, but the basic reason is to control the environment present in that particular room.

  • Bedroom
  • Meeting/Conference Rooms
  • Recording Studio
  • Personal Office Space

Bedroom: 

Proper sleep is very important for anyone to function better and proper sleep can only be achieved if there is minimum disturbance in your room which can be achieved through proper soundproofing

Meeting/Conference rooms:

 In a meeting, sensitive information might be disclosed which cannot be revealed to everyone and also the rooms which serve this purpose must not have any noise  disturbances from the outside. For these reasons, you would want the doors here to be soundproofed properly. Any confidential information might be worth millions!

Recording Studio: 

Soundproofing is very important in a recording studio as it is important to see that the quality of sound does not degrade in any manner. You would every strum of a guitar or beat of the drum to be captured perfectly without any other distracting sounds. 

Personal Office spaces/ study rooms:

 I have nothing new to say here, when you’re in the zone and want to get some work done you would want to focus as much as you can without any noise and soundproofing is a great way to achieve that!

Suggestions

If you haven’t installed the door yet and want it to be soundproof, you can refer to the suggestions given below before we dive into solutions for an already existing door.

Oversized Doors

Although this might sound a bit expensive at first, providing an oversized door while installing the door itself reduces the need for other soundproofing solutions. Oversized doors which go beyond the door frame reduce the air gap through which the sound can directly enter a room. Hence reducing the pathway through which the sound waves can travel freely. Even if the waves travel through the door some of its energy will be lost when moved through a medium thereby reducing the amount of sound entering the room.

Solid Core Door

Do You want less sound to travel through any medium? Make it thicker!!!

It is highly recommended to install a solid core door rather than a hollow core door as the solid core has more density as compared to the hollow core which definitely performs better in terms of sound absorption.

This is similar to the principle applied earlier, the thicker the medium , more is the energy spent by soundwaves to travel through the medium thereby reducing the amount of noise. Depending on the surroundings, the purpose of the room and the amount of sound deadening you require, the thickness of the solid core doors can be increased. However make sure these are not too thick though as it may take significant effort to open and close the doors, and nobody wants to spend too much energy on opening/closing doors.

Hire a carpenter

One of the best ways to get soundproofing and installation done is to hire a professional. 

A professional carpenter who has good experience in installing these doors will make sure that there will be no lapses in the quality of work or the quality of material used. This is a no-nonsense approach to installation and he might as well offer you some professional solutions on soundproofing.

Solutions

Now we dive into soundproofing solutions for already existing sliding doors. 

Quality Hardware

Like the previously given solutions, this must also be followed during the installation of the door. Use of quality hardware can reduce a lot of noise which is generated when sliding the door! Using good quality rollers and door tracks can reduce a lot of noise here!! Big difference!!

Also periodical maintenance of this hardware is very important. Regular cleaning ensures that there is no accumulation of dust on the tracks, thereby reducing the noise when the rollers move on the tracks. 

Acoustic Curtains

This is an easy and simple fix to reduce the amount of sound entering through the door.

These curtains are dense and absorb the sound reflecting on them thereby reducing the sound entering the room.

Please see to it that the whole surrounding area of the door is completely covered by the curtains. This makes sure that the sound absorption is much higher.

These are also available in different colours to match the aesthetic of the room. These really do serve a dual purpose!!

How to install acoustic curtains:

  1. Install a curtain rod along the width of the door. This can be accomplished by use of a drilling kit and a few screws.
  2. Drill holes into the adjacent walls and fix the curtain rods using screws and washers.
  3. Simply hang the curtains on these curtain rods. 
Materials neededWhy I recommend this
RYB HOME Soundproof CurtainsThis one has got triple weave fabric with a detachable felt fabric liner in the middle for sound absorption.

Weatherstrip

This is a quick fix solution to soundproofing. These strips can be attached to the door to reduce the amount of sound entering through the air gaps by reducing the air gaps between the door and the wall and these are available in any hardware store. However, caution must be exercised to make sure that the gap is not closed completely for this will obstruct the movement of the door. 

Also, you have to make sure that the weatherstrips are self-adhesive so that it is easier to stick it on to the door.

How to install a Weatherstrip?

  1. Clean the surface properly.
  2. Measure the frame of the door using a tape from side to side and also from the top of the frame to the bottom.
  3. Just cut the strip according to the measured dimensions.
  4. Peel off the backing strip.
  5. Apply the seal strip to the frame.
LinkWhy I recommend this
Self Adhesive seal stripThis one has got a very strong adhesive and the foam is very thick and durable. It is also very easy to install.

Door Sweeps

Door Sweeps are primarily used to reduce the noise entering from the bottom of the door. These slender attachments are glued to the bottom of the door which reduces the air gap between the door and the floor. In addition to reducing noise, these also help in keeping the temperature of the room warm. Very much useful during those cold winters!

How to install a door sweep:

  1. Measure the bottom width of the door and cut the door sweep accordingly.
  2. Clean and dry the surface.
  3. Apply the strip to the door.

Door Sweeps I recommend

NameWhy I recommend them
Door sweep sealAt $12.99 these are a bang for your buck. It has a height of 2.64” which is more than enough to cover the bottom of the door to prevent any sound leakage.

Soundproof blanket

If you’re looking to temporarily block the noise coming into your room and there is no frequent opening and closing of the door, then this is a cheap and inexpensive fix for your problems!

These blankets have greater thickness and are heavy in comparison to the acoustic curtains, hence they do a great job in absorbing the amount of sound entering the room.

This must be your preferred choice when mandatory noise reduction is not required for your room.

How to Install a Soundproof blanket?

  • Nothing much to say here, you can staple them to the wall on either side of the door or hang it on the curtain rods for extra dampening!
NameWhy I recommend them
Sure Max BlanketThese are originally moving blankets, but constructed with thick, padded virgin cotton batting with polyester binding, these make sure there is plenty of sound dampening when installed.

Acoustic Panels

This is another great way to reduce the amount of noise entering the room. However this requires a bit of expertise. Now-a-days fiberglass panels are the go-to when one wants to block any noises entering a room. These panels are thick, have good density and mass, all the characteristics of a good sound proofing material.

These can be found in your amazon store and are easy to install too. Just an adhesive will do!

How to install acoustic panels:

  1. Soak the foam in the water and then wring it dry.
  2. Place the foam in the dryer for 20-25 minutes.
  3. Tape a 3M VHB tape to the back or spray an adhesive.
  4. Stick the panels to the back of the door.

Acoustic Panels I recommend

NameWhy I recommend them
Acoustic PanelsMade up of environmentally friendly polyurethane foam at 50/lbs per cubic yard, these acoustic panels not only have effective sound absorption characteristics but also will not cause any harm to our body.

Mass Loaded Vinyl

This is a special material that is developed with the sole purpose of acting as a sound barrier. The principle here is simple, sound travels in the form of waves and these waves move through objects and transmit through the air. 

When MLV is used, it acts as a barrier for the sound waves through which they cannot pass. The sound waves are absorbed when they hit the MLV sheets. These sheets can be  stuck on to the doors using an adhesive and voila! You have a soundproof door for yourself.

How to install Mass Loaded Vinyl?

  1. Cut the sheet to the required dimensions of the door.
  2. Hammer the sheet into the door using nails and washers.
  3. If you don’t want to damage the door you can simply glue it to the door using your standard construction glue.
NameWhy I recommend them
TMS loaded vinylThese are made of the highest quality materials, with an STC rating of 27. At just ⅛” thickness doesn’t really add much thickness to the door.

Acoustic Caulk

All the other mentioned solutions are of no use if the door itself carries some imperfections. In this case, we’re talking about imperfections in the form of door cracks. 

Well then how do we fix these cracks? 

It’s simple, we use an acoustic caulk.

These are different from the regular sealants. The regular ones can easily block the flow of air into the room but not the sound vibrations.

 Also regular caulks dry up and form cracks in a year give or take. Whereas the acoustic sealants stay rubbery with a life of at least 5 years.

How to apply Acoustic Caulk:

  1. First cut open the tip of the acoustic caulk using a utility knife.
  2. Once cut open, place the tube inside a caulking gun.
  3. Press and hold the lever and apply the caulk on the areas of cracks or where there is possible sound leakage.
LinkWhy I recommend this
Acoustic caulkThis is a water-based high-quality latex acoustic caulk which is easily paintable to the colour of your door so nobody will know the difference.

To Conclude

As I said earlier, all these measures can only help reduce the noise entering the room but not completely nullify it. 

Depending on the requirement of soundproofing, be it temporary or permanent, expensive or inexpensive you might go for one or several of the above-mentioned options to properly soundproof your door.

FAQs:How to soundproof a sliding wooden door

Why are sliding doors used?

Sliding doors are used when the availability of space is low in a room and for better ease of movement. These can also be used when there is need for good ventilation in the room. These also add an extra element of style to the room.

What is Mass Loaded Vinyl?

Mass Loaded Vinyl is Limp Mass Barrier which effectively works on the principle of absorption of sound waves. Sound waves travel through the air and then hit the MLV.These waves are then absorbed by the MLV, which results in a deadening of sound.

Difference between Acoustic and Regular Caulk?

Regular Caulks can restrict the amount of air flow into the room but not sound waves. The rubbery consistency of Acoustic Caulk makes it easier to absorb the sound which is not the case with Regular Caulk.

Which is the cheapest way to soundproof doors?

The cheapest way to achieve soundproofing on sliding doors is by the use of Acoustic blanket. But keep in mind that this is a temporary solution and can be used occasionally if permanent soundproofing is of not much significance to you.

What are solid core doors?

These are the doors that are completely made of wood right through the thickness of the door. There is no hollow space in between the two edges of the door. This is not the case for hollow core doors. In hollow-core doors, the thickness of the door is hollow. In most cases, hollow core doors might be preferred as it makes the sliding of the door easier due to its less weight, but these must not be considered if noise reduction is what you’re looking for.

Which is the best way to soundproof doors?

Depends on what you’re looking for. If you’re looking for a permanent solution in soundproofing, I would recommend acoustic curtains or MLV sheets. These can also easily gel with the ambience inside the room as both the curtains and MLV sheets come in different colours. If you’re looking for something temporary then, you can go for soundproof blankets and if you don’t want the sound to be deadened completely then maybe you can just attach a door sweep or a weatherstrip. Like I said earlier, it’s completely up to you.

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