Bifold doors are doors that slide open, made from a series of panels that fold up against the wall like a concertina.
Conventional doors, even though they are much more common, can be incredibly inconvenient when you’re trying to make the most of the space in your home.
Regular doors are quite easy to soundproof and when it comes to bifold doors it’s not that complicated but it’s still a bit trickier.
I will go over the steps that I think are most important and also easy to do.
Seal the gaps where sound can come in
Even the tiniest gap can let sound through, and quite a lot of sound actually, which means that unless you manage to seal the door off entirely you will probably be dealing with sound insulation issues.
You should close the door and look for any gaps where the door meets the frame.
The best way to do this is by either feeling for air drafts or by using a flashlight to see if light shines through any gaps.
If there is a place where you can feel air moving or where light shines through, this means that the door isn’t in perfect contact with the frame and sound will be able to get in.
How do you fix this?
Use a Weatherstrip
Applying high-density foam tape to the frames of the windows will further help with sealing them off completely.
This tape is extremely easy to apply since it has an adhesive side, you don’t need any sort of glue to do this.
How to apply the Weatherstrip
I should be adhered along the entirety of the frame making sure that in comes in contact with the door once it’s closed.
Simply take the frame’s measurements, cut the tape and apply it.
This is the weatherstrip that I recommend, since it’s affordable and good quality, it should last you for a very long time.
If done properly, it should form a near perfect air-tight seal around the entirety of the door which not only means that sound will have a hard time entering or leaving, but it will also help with temperature insulation.
Use Acoustic Caulk
You need to get this Acoustic Sealant and using a caulk gun you can begin the installation.
Where to use Acoustic Caulk?
It’s designed to fill small 1/8” gaps to ½” gaps and should be applied between the frames and the wall like little cracks, etc.
Make sure to apply it carefully. Once you’re done you can wipe the excess off with a wet cloth.
Acoustic caulk is designed for interior use only; it shouldn’t be used on the exterior!
Note: After you have applied it, give it about 48hs to dry completely.
Install a door sweep
This is a very simple step that only takes about 1 minute and can help quite a lot.
A door sweep will essentially cover up the gap that’s left between the door and the floor decreasing the amount of noise allowed in.
This is the door sweep that I’d recommend you get since it’s very affordable and easy to install thanks to its adhesive backing.
Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
One of the best soundproofing materials available is Mass Loaded Vinyl. It’s more commonly used for soundproofing a car, but it works for anything that needs some insulation.
All you will need to do is to buy the vinyl and cut it to the exact size of each of the door panels. The more surface you can cover the better.
Next, you’d need some way of attaching it to the door itself, which can be a bit tricky since mass loaded vinyl is really heavy.
There are three ways of attaching it;
- Use really strong Velcro to hold it against the door, making sure that you use enough of it so that it can take the weight of the vinyl.
- Staple the vinyl to the door, which is a good way if you don’t care too much about ruining the door and if you plan on leaving the vinyl on forever.
- Use a very strong adhesive.
Note: Mass Loaded Vinyl comes only in black, if you don’t mind this then you could just attach it to the door like that, otherwise you could use fabric to make it look better and give the door a nicer look.
Use an Acoustic Blanket
You could adhere an acoustic blanket to each of the door panels using Velcro, just make sure that the blankets still allow the door to open and close properly, if it gets in the way then don’t go for this option.
Acoustic blankets are a good choice for three reasons; They are affordable, they are easy to install, and they are effective.
These are the ones I’d recommend since they offer good quality at an affordable price.
Replace the glass
Glass isn’t especially known for its sound insulation capabilities, this means that if your bifold door has glass in it, then it’s no wonder that sound will be able to get through.
Here you have three options;
One: Replace the glass with laminated glass since it has an extra plastic layer that helps with sound insulation.
Two: Replace with double-pane glass. This works because you are adding a second barrier which will make it harder for sound to get through.
Three: Check if the glazing putty between the glass and the frame is old and falling apart. If it is, simply remove it and apply a fresh one.
Replace the door entirely
If nothing else works, then you only have one option left; replacing the entire bifold door for a solid core one.
Most interior doors are hollow inside, which doesn’t really make them great at blocking sound which means that you would either need to add mass to the door, like I described earlier with the mass loaded vinyl, or you would just have to replace it.
Bifold doors, even though harder to soundproof than regular doors, have their benefits and if you’re having issues with unwanted noises then following these steps will definitely help a lot.
Most of these steps are affordable and only take a couple of minutes.
Before replacing the door or the glass I’d strongly recommend to try the weatherstrip method since it’s probably the most effective and affordable one.
Give them a try.
If you know of other ways to soundproof a bifold door, let me know in the comment section below!