Last updated: March 29, 2023 at 12:48 pm
A front door isn’t the easiest to soundproof, but there are things you can do to block outside noises. The frustrating thing is, you have virtually zero control over outside noise so the best you can do is soundproof what you have.
In this article:
We’ll look at 7 different ways to soundproof your front door, and if you should try to soundproof it in the first place.
IN THIS ARTICLE
- 1 Reasons to Soundproof a Front Door
- 2 7 Ways to Soundproof a Front Door
- 3 How Much Might It Cost?
- 4 Why Might Your Current Door be Letting in Noise?
Reasons to Soundproof a Front Door
There are several good reasons to soundproof a door. The first is to prevent noise from leaking in. To properly soundproof your home, all gaps must be sealed. As the front door leads directly outside, it’s a significant weak spot.
There are many reasons it’s important to minimise noise from entering your home. The first is for your health. Studies have shown that excessive noise can cause stress, anxiety, high blood pressure and headaches. Over 65, it can also increase your risk of a stroke. In children, it can affect their ability to concentrate as well creating anxiety.
If you have a baby, once they eventually go to sleep, you want them to stay that way! Keeping the house quiet means more peace for you.
Sleep is also an issue for you as well as for any children you may have. We all know experts recommend 7-8 hours of uninterrupted sleep per night. If your sleep is regularly disrupted, your body and your brain will not receive the full benefit. Poor quality sleep can cause high blood pressure, put you at increased risk of type 2 diabetes and impair the functioning of your immune system.
The second reason is that anything that blocks sound will also stop the cold from getting in and the heat from escaping. Sealing up the gaps to soundproof the door will save you money on your heating bills over time.
7 Ways to Soundproof a Front Door
Good soundproofing requires all gaps to be sealed up, so you may need to use more than one of the following options to complete the job.
1. Replace the Door
If your door is old and worn, it’s likely there are cracks that will let sound penetrate. While you can try to seal them up, the best solution may be to replace the door depending on its age. If your budget stretches to it, it’s worth buying an acoustic door. There are timber acoustic doors with soundproofing materials in the middle to prevent sound from passing through. If you have a dark hallway, you can also get fully or partially glazed doors which will block sound and let the light in.
A new door with toughened glass will also be more effective at keeping the heat in and will make your home more secure. It will be harder to break into than it would be with flimsier doors.
2. Install a Door Sweep
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A door sweep can be made of rubber or metal and is fitted into the bottom of your door. It seals up the gap underneath to stop cold breezes and sound from coming in. If you don’t already have a sweep, you can buy an acoustic sweep designed to stop noise from travelling through.
Rubber sweeps are recommended for external doors, but they can be prone to cold damage. Check them once a year to make sure they’re in good condition.
3. Seal Any Gaps
Door frames rarely fit perfectly, and they can shift as the house settles and even when the door slams hard. That’s why you should seal any gaps between the frame with acoustic sealant.
It is designed to block sound and is also flexible enough to move when the frame does, maintaining the seal. If you’re not sure that you’ve found all the gaps, wait for a windy day and move pieces of tissue paper around the frame. If the paper starts to move, you’ve found a hole.
4. Fit Sound Sealing Door Gaskets
The gaskets work in a similar way to the weatherstrips, but they are made from neoprene or metal and are designed to be permanent. Just like weatherstripping, you cut it to size.
However, being metal or neoprene, you’ll need to use a hacksaw rather than scissors or a Stanley knife. You should then screw it to the door frame on each side.
5. Install a Weatherstripping Kit
Weatherstripping kits are made of foam or rubber and are self-adhesive. To fit the weatherstrips, measure and cut them to the right size for your door frame. Remove the protective film on the back and press the strips against the door frame to make a secure seal.
Once they are in place, they will be compressed when the door closes. This will stop any noise and any cold air from getting through.
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6. Paint the Back of the Door With Soundproof Paint
Soundproof paint is much thicker and has more mass than standard emulsion or gloss. It contains ceramic microspheres and thermacels, which are vacuum sealed pockets holding a soft pigment to absorb sound waves as they hit.
The paint will reduce the noise coming in by perhaps 30%, but you should pair it with some of the other options for the best effect. Please be aware that the paint’s finish will not be as smooth as traditional paint due to the extra mass.
7. Hang Soundproof Curtains
If you don’t want to spend your time sealing up all the gaps, you could block them with a curtain. Simply hang a curtain rail above the door and attach a soundproof curtain to it. Much like the paint, the noise reduction will only be around 30%, so it depends if that will be enough for your needs.
However, this is one of the easiest options in terms of effort. It also comes with the extra benefit of looking like a design feature if you choose an attractive pattern that matches your decor. Finally, hanging a curtain across the door should also keep the heat in, saving you money on your heating bill. If you have moving or acoustic blankets already, you could hang them, although they might not look as attractive as a curtain.
How Much Might It Cost?
- Front doors can be expensive. If you want to replace your current door with one built to be soundproof, then it will cost extra. A partially glazed soundproof door can cost around £2000, and a fully glazed door is priced at around £2500. Timber soundproof doors are more expensive, starting at around £4000.
- Weatherstripping is cheap, which is one of its benefits. A roll big enough to fit around your front door should cost between £7 and £10 if you buy it online.
- Sound sealing door gaskets vary quite a lot in price depending on what they’re made of. As a general guide, it should be around £25 per 10m.
- Soundproof paint costs around £50 for a 5-litre tin. That should easily be enough to put a few coats on your front door, and possibly your back door too. It is not designed for outdoor use, though, so you should use it only on the back of the door.
- Acoustic sealant is another very cheap option. It’s only around £10 for a 300ml time. This is more than you should need for a front door, so to improve your soundproofing effect, you can look for gaps around your windows and back door too.
- Prices for soundproof curtains vary a lot. There are some thinner curtains for as little as £30 online. However, some are much thicker to boost the soundproof effect and are even specially tailored to hang over doors. These thicker curtains can cost as much as £75-100. Be sure to consider how much noise reduction you need and read the reviews thoroughly.
Why Might Your Current Door be Letting in Noise?
The main reason doors let sound through it because there are always gaps around them. Doors need to be able to move freely so it’s difficult to seal them up completely. Here are the main reasons noise is getting through your door.
- The gap underneath it. Door always have a narrow gap between their bottom edge and the floor. This must be there or else the door would rub against the floor and be difficult to open. This gap can be covered by a door sweep to block sound.
- Gaps between your frame and the wall. Door frames fit perfectly into the wall when they’re installed but over time your house can settle, and the frame can warp and shift. This will leave gaps which let noise through.
- Your door is old. Doors get old and start to wear just like anything else. Over time, cracks may appear in wooden doors and metal can start to fatigue. This will reduce your door’s ability to block noise from entering your home.
- Your door is cheap. Cheap doors tend to be made of thin planks of wood, metal or plastic. The less mass there is the more likely you are to hear noise through it.
- Door furniture. Most homes in the UK have a letterbox cut into the front door. This is a big hole that noise can get through. Hanging a curtain over the door will help. You could also line the flap with mass-loaded vinyl to act as a sound barrier. Keyholes are also an issue if you have a mortice lock, but the gap is too small to line with vinyl.