One of my colleagues runs a recording studio in his home for podcasting. He needs the studio to be as soundproof as possible. He contacted me to see if I could help him soundproof a window. There are many different ways to go about soundproofing windows. In this article, I will explain different ways how to soundproof a window in your home as a cost-effective DIY project.
Typically when soundproofing anything, you would need to place thick and dense materials that can block sound from coming through a window. On top of that, you should also place sound absorption panels on the walls. Even furniture and rugs help to make a room sound better by reducing the echo within.
Many homeowners make the mistake of thinking that acoustic foam panels (like you’d see in a recording studio for acoustic treatment) is an excellent soundproofing product. Foam panels are inexpensive and seem professional. However, that’s for absorbing echo and NOT for soundproofing a room, door, or window. Click here for our acoustic treatment vs. soundproofing article.
Here are the quick ways you can soundproof a window in your home the DIY way! This article has been updated to include a few more ways to do it right!
The first step should be to determine if you even need to have a window in the room you’re soundproofing. If you don’t need a window at all then you can simply remove it and block it completely. Removing and blocking a window would be the best soundproofing method because you replace the window with thick, dense material where noise has more difficulty going through.
If you can NOT block the window, there are a few other ways to go about it. I always recommend not permanently blocking a window for soundproofing. You might want to sell the house someday and the majority of people would not want a windowless room. Blocking a window could be the reason your home sits on the market when trying to sell.
Here are our 7 Best options for how to soundproof a window.
1. Install a DIY Window Block
I have never built a temporary soundproof window blocker, but I did find this great video on Youtube of a guy that made one for his recording studio. While watching the video, I was impressed with how easy and functional this type of soundproofing treatment could be. I will explain the process he used, or you can watch the video below.
For convenience, I included some Amazon links for the products you will need to get this DIY window soundproofing block done.
First, you need to measure the window. Make sure to have the exact measurements because you do not want to go through building one of these and not have it fit. If there are cracks on the sides, it renders the soundproof window block useless.
- Measure the interior of the window frame you want your soundproof box to fit into. Cut a 1″x4″ piece of plywood accurately from the measurements you gathered.
- It wouldn’t be a bad idea to attach some diagonals on at least two corners to keep the box frame securely square.
- Attach a piece of plywood to enclose the back of the box. (See video)
- Seal the inside of the box where each section of the frame comes together. I always use Green glue noise proofing sealant from Amazon.
- Now it is time to place the Roxul Rockboard Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation (Amazon link). Make sure the acoustic insulation fits tightly inside the box.
- Place a 1/2″ sheet of cement board the size of the interior of the box frame over the insulation. You can also use a super-dense acoustic foam cut to size like this one (Amazon link). Hold the sheet down with your body weight and securely screw it in place and then throw some acoustic sealant around the edge of the sheet.
- Finally, place the back of the box in place and seal it shut with some green glue sealant and securely screw it down.
- Screw down some heavy-duty chest handles to insert and extract the soundproof box from your window easily.
2. Quilted Fiberglass Window Panel
This method is a bit unusual for soundproofing a window, but it does work very well actually. Singer Safety Double Faced Quilted Fiberglass Panel (Click here for current Amazon price); can be used for window soundproofing with a few modifications that will make this item work even better.
This particular fiberglass panel is 4 feet wide, 8 feet tall, and 2 inches thick weighing a whopping 12.4 pounds! This panel reminds me of moving blankets but thicker and heavier. Which is what you need for soundproofing, the denser, the better. These types of fiberglass window panels cost a bit more than just regular soundproofing blankets but the quality is there, and the best thing is you can soundproof two windows by cutting the panel in half.
I would suggest not hanging the window panel with the hooks that come inside the box. Instead, you should use double-sided velcro tape (Amazon Link) and stick it on the window frame. Tape the full length of each four sides and do the same on the panel. By doing this, you avoid having cracks on the sides letting the noise into the room.
3. Thick Material Blind For Window Soundproofing
If you don’t want to block your window permanently and you’re in the market for blinds, I have a suggestion. Honeycomb sound absorption blinds will help absorb some of the outside noise and help in soundproofing your window.
Of course, blinds will not give you the same effect as sound deadening curtains, but if you’re buying blinds anyway, these blinds will help. I actually have these blinds (Calyx Interiors Cordless Honeycomb Blinds Amazon Link) for our master bedroom. They were in our soundproof nursery when the kids were babies, and we find they work OK knowing full well of their limitations.
4. Sound Deadening Curtains
Sound blocking curtains do an excellent job of cutting some of the outside noise from coming in through the window area. You certainly shouldn’t buy sound deadening curtains thinking they are 100% soundproof because they are not. One thing it does, however, is spruce up a room with lovely thick, high-quality curtains and help block sound.
Another advantage of installing sound deadening curtains is that they do a great job of reducing the echo effect. See, I just saved you some money on acoustic panels! Acoustic panels help minimize echo by absorbing the sound inside the room. Sound blocking curtains have the same effect. And that is how you kill two birds with one stone!
If you install noise-blocking blinds in conjunction with noise blocking curtains, you’re well on your way to making your window more soundproof. Remember that for sound-absorbing curtains to be effective; you need to get a higher number of panels than usual so that they thickly cover the window area.
The curtains should also extend at least 4 inches beyond all edges of the window. Usually, these types of curtains are longer than average and go up all the way from floor to ceiling. Any gaps in the curtain will lessen its soundproofing effect. These are the sound blocking curtains I recommend from Amazon. Also, click here to check out my article on sound blocking curtains.
5. Indow Window Insert Soundproofing
The Indow window soundproofing inserts are very impressive. I’ve never tried these and I also don’t know anyone that has, but by looking at the video below, it seems interesting.
Below is the description is taken from the Indow website.
“Indow window inserts use our patented Compression Tube to press inside your window frame and seal out noise. Our Standard Grade inserts block sound by 50% and our Acoustic Grade inserts block sound by more than 70% when placed over operable single-pane windows. When placed over operable double-pane windows, Acoustic Grade inserts reduce noise by up to 12 dBA, equivalent to more than a 50% reduction in noise and an STC rating of 42 to 45.”
The video below is a “before and after” demonstration for the Indow window insert. I found an actual review from a customer since I find them more reliable than the companies demonstrations. To my surprise, this review and the companies review had the same results. You can buy a SAMPLE KIT from Amazon.
The money you spent on a sample kit will go towards purchasing the full product if you decide on pursuing this route. I’d rather spend 25 dollars on a sample kit vs. buying the full version and not liking it.
6. Replace the Window
If you have a few hundred dollars to spare, you can hire a professional to replace your window with a soundproof window. This option can be expensive because of parts and labor. Most of the other options are DIY unless you’re handy with these types of projects then this might be the best choice for you!
This expensive fix can run upwards of 800 dollars from my experience. If you hire a professional, make sure they have soundproofing experience. If you hire from a big contracting company, you could most likely get someone that knows what they are doing regarding soundproofing.
An expert in soundproofing will not only install and seal the soundproof window, but they will seal around the window with an actual soundproof sealant. Soundproofing sealants around a window will make a world of difference since these types of acoustic sealants will never crack; And will always stay flexible for the life of the window! After window sealants begin to crack, the outside noise will come through rendering the expensive project a FAIL!
7. Remove Window
What can I say, If you don’t really care about light entering the room or a summer breeze flowing inside, you may just as well block the window permanently. This option would probably be the most expensive one. Blocking a window means making the inside and outside of the home look like there never was a window there, to begin with.
Of course, you could do a cheap job if the outside and inside the aesthetics of your house mean little to you. But if it does, then you should hire a professional contractor. The contractors will block the window with soundproof insulation. Drywall on the inside and siding that matches the rest of the house on the exterior. That is how it’s done in the video below.
There are also many videos on Youtube about how to block a window using bricks and cement. That might appeal to you if the window is under a deck and not visible.
8. Add an Extra Layer Over the Glass
This method is less expensive than completely replacing the windows. All you need to do is add a layer of acrylic over the window. This option will reduce the amount of noise that passes through the window.
Firstly, you’ll have to install a metal frame around the existing window. Magnets are then used to connect the acrylic to the existing windows. You also have to assure that you secure an airtight seal as well.
What’s nice with using acrylic, since it’s transparent, you will not lose any daylight coming through the window. An acrylic layer, however, will only work for minor noise problems. If you are looking to deal with some deafening noises, then this option may not be the best for you.
9. Seal the Gaps
I’ve already stated that even the smallest gaps or cracks will let sound inside the room. It is, therefore, essential to ensure that all the gaps around the window are sealed. Depending on how or when the window installation was done, there could very well be gaps, especially around the edges due to aging or poor installation.
You may decide to seal these first and see if it solves the noise issue. There are a couple of ways you can go about this. The easiest way is by using noise proofing caulk around the window to reseal it. This type of caulking is very pliable, so it won’t crack over time and let noise through.
You can also use adhesive tape around the window. It is a self-adhesive seal strip that is very easy to install. I like how it can endure just about any weather and you can simply cut it to fit whatever dimensions you need.
If this option does not do it for you, you can also get a window insulator kit. The kit is a variety of materials you would use to insulate between 3 to 5 windows. Just like the adhesive tape and caulking, these are also simple to install, and the rolls come in an assortment of sizes.
10. Install A Barrier Panel
A barrier panel is basically an acoustic foam panel that helps in absorbing unwanted noise and also sound echoes in the room.
If all other options are not really what you’re looking for, you can easily install a barrier panel over your window to make it much more soundproof.
You can quickly find barrier panels on Amazon. I will recommend one in the description that I found quite effective for the price and ease of install.
These panels are made in a variety of sizes. Make sure to buy one that is a few inches taller and wider than your window so you can secure it to the window frame without leaving any gaps where sound could come in.
If you’re willing to spend a fair amount of your money on this soundproof windows project, then you should go with this option. Apart from blocking out the windows, it is another guaranteed way of keeping all the noise in or out.
Double pane windows reduce the amount of noise significantly (by up to 60 %). Other than sound dampening, double pane windows reduce heat transmission. Read more about STC ratings for windows here.
They will keep the room cooler during summer and warmer during winter. With these windows, you will end up saving a lot on the energy bills.
You may also decide to get specialist soundproofed windows in place of the double-pane windows. Replacing your windows entirely could be a risky move. Most window installers may not be familiar with installing soundproofed windows.
You will need to make sure that whoever installs the windows does it correctly. There should be no gaps or cracks left all around the edges of the windows. Poorly installed soundproof windows will simply be a waste as even the smallest gap can still let sound in and out of the room.
11. Rearrange Furniture
This might seem like the most obvious thing in the world to help out with soundproofing, but it actually works better than most people think of initially when they give it a try.
When moving furniture around, it can help reduce noise and work in many of the same ways as soundproofing material out there.
One of the best things about rearranging furniture is that it takes a little bit of effort to get everything situated the right way.
No one has to spend a lot of money to go out and buy new material, and then get things up and going at a fast rate.
Try to look for soft pieces of furniture if thinking about soundproofing only. It helps to have uneven surfaces as well, as this will do the best job of absorbing noise and reducing echo coming from all different angles.
Most people are wanting this one trying to control sound, but others just want to block Sam from entering the room in the first place. If that’s the case, hard and flat pieces are the best way to go.
The two best ways to go about soundproofing a room with existing furniture is to block any vulnerable areas with material completely, or to just have them near the tough areas.
Blocking an area completely will in essence, make the window worthless, but some won’t care about the window. Others still want to see outside, so covering up areas around it makes sense.
12. Moving Blankets For Quick Solutions
Moving blankets (Amazon) are a very versatile option when it comes to soundproofing. Believe it or not, there are people who will use them for an extended period of time with windows.
It’s because it feels like that’s a pretty simple solution, and they aren’t certain that they will keep it up long-term.
Another reason why is that it is very cheap to put them up, and can come down in just a matter of seconds.
Eventually, most people are going to go ahead and graduate to something a little bit more classy than moving blankets to soundproof a window.
However, it doesn’t hurt to always have a few different options around in case that they are actually needed.
Some people believe that they provide some of the best soundproofing they can possibly find when using moving blankets.
They work in a lot of similar ways to soundproofing curtains, but it doesn’t take nearly the same time to get everything setup.
There you have it, seven options on how to soundproof a window. Soundproofing a window can cost you $50 like it can cost you $1000.
Please let us know in the comment section below what option you chose; and how it’s working for you. Let us also know if you have an option 8, 9, or even 10! We would love to hear any new ideas that could potentially get the job done easier and cheaper.
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