Soundproofing a door is one of the most effective ways for you to lower outside noise and with most conventional doors this is very easy to do.
Sliding doors are not as common but normally there’s at least one in every home so learning how to soundproof them, as well as regular doors, is essential.
In this guide I will teach you how to soundproof the most common types of sliding doors.
Table of Contents
- How to Soundproof a Glass Sliding Door
- How to Soundproof a Pocket Sliding Door
- How to Soundproof a Barn Sliding Door
How to Soundproof a Glass Sliding Door
The first and most important step in my opinion is to seal all the gaps where sound may be allowed to come in.
After doing this you can move on to hanging an acoustic blanket or curtain on the door or even replacing the entire door if this method didn’t work as you’d like.
Step 1: Weatherstrip the Door
The best and easiest way is to use brush weatherstrip since it’s easy to apply and very affordable.
It should be adhered to the frame so that when you slide the door in place it will come in contact with it, forming an air-tight seal.
Brush weatherstrips aren’t as effective at keeping the noises out as regular weatherstripping tape, but adding it plus doing all the other things I mention in this guide, will do wonders.
How to install it?
Measure the door’s frame and cut the tape accordingly, then remove the adhesive backing and install it making sure that there are no gaps left unsealed when you close the door.
Tip: Close the door and use a flashlight from the other side to see if there are some poorly sealed spots.
If light can come through, then this means that sound can too.
Step 2: Use Acoustic Caulk
Acoustic Caulk should be used if there are some gaps and cracks between the frame and the wall. This tends to happen to older doors quite a lot over time.
Like I mentioned earlier; any gap, no matter how small, will allow sound to pop through, so you need to make certain that everything is sealed off perfectly.
Use a simple caulk gun to do this, it doesn’t need to be anything too fancy as long as it works.
Step 3: Install a Door Sweep if the Door Allows for it
Installing a door sweep will help to further decrease the level of noise coming in simply because it’s covering the gap between the door and the floor. However, some sliding doors have a bottom track which is going to make the installation of a door sweep near impossible.
If the door is being mounted using a wall mount, like it’s usually done with barn doors, then you should absolutely install a door sweep.
In this case I’d recommend a brush-type door sweep like this one for the simple reason that it won’t generate as much friction as the rubber ones, allowing you to open and close the door more easily plus they will last a lot longer for the same reason.
Step 4: Install acoustic curtains on the door
Acoustic curtains can work extremely well, even though they can’t block 100% of the sound, they will still help.
The great thing about acoustic curtains is that if you want to lower the noises coming through the door you just have to close them.
If you want to let light come through the glass door, simply open the curtains and you’re good to go.
The best curtains in my opinion to do this are the Nicetown blackout soundproofing curtains for the simple fact that they are affordable, they work and they look nice.
Step 5: Install an acoustic blanket on the door
In this particular case, since it’s a glass door, I’d strongly recommend installing curtains since you can open or close them easily. With the blanket you don’t have that option since it will be adhered to the door itself.
Still, blankets are fantastic at absorbing sound and even though you have to cover up the entire door with it, it will lower the noise more than the curtains.
The blanket that I’d recommend in this particular case is the Audimute Sound Absorption Blanket. It’s the best one I could find and it’s affordable.
Step 6: Install a laminated glass door instead
This is by far the most time consuming and expensive step and I wouldn’t recommend you do this unless it’s your last resort.
Laminated glass is great at reducing noise because it has an extra plastic layer compared to regular glass.
The one issue with these doors is that they will cost you at least $500 and will require a professional to do the installation, so unless you don’t care about the budget, I would recommend all the other options.
How to soundproof a pocket sliding door
Pocket sliding doors are far easier to soundproof than glass doors for the simple fact that you don’t have to worry about letting light shine through, which gives you a couple more soundproofing options.
Again, you should focus on sealing all the gaps as best you can.
Note: Since the door has to be able to fit inside the pocket, all of the materials that you use to thicken the panel itself should be as thin as possible.
Step 1: Weathestrip the Door
Again, just like I explained for glass sliding doors, you should focus on adhering the tape along the entirety of the frame.
Again, I would recommend a brush type weatherstrip because the door won’t just rip it out once you close it.
Step 2: Apply Acoustic Caulk between the frame and the wall
Again, just like I mentioned earlier, check to see if there are some cracks between the frame and the wall and apply acoustic caulk to seal them up.
After you’ve done this you can wipe the excess caulk off with a wet cloth.
Step 3: Install a Door Sweep
For this kind of door, it’s absolutely essential that you install a door sweep since it will help a lot!
I would recommend a brush type door sweep because it won’t generate as much friction when opening or closing the door which means that it will last longer.
Note: Make sure that the door sweep fits into the pocket, otherwise you will need to get a new one.
If it doesn’t fit or if you don’t want to damage the door in any way, then just get a draft stopper.
Step 4: Install Mass Loaded Vinyl on the Door
Mass Loaded Vinyl is one of the best soundproofing materials available, and the great thing is that it’s not even that expensive.
How to install it?
Note: Mass Loaded Vinyl is heavy, this means that in order for you to install it properly you will need to find a good way of securing it onto the door.
Option 1: Use good quality Velcro making sure to adhere it properly, especially at the top of the door, but you should install Velcro all around the edges of the door.
When I say good quality, I mean extremely good quality, otherwise it will last about 10 minutes on the door before it all comes crashing down.
Option 2: Use nails or screws if you don’t care about ruining the door.
If possible, install Mass Loaded Vinyl on both sides of the door since this will provide the best noise reduction.
Just make sure that it will fit inside the pocket.
Step 5: Consider installing an acoustic blanket
Installing an acoustic blanket like the one I mentioned earlier for the glass door should help a lot with the reduction of unwanted sounds.
The one issue with blankets is that they tend to be a bit too thick and probably won’t allow for the door to fit nicely in the pocket.
Luckily there are some fiberglass blankets which are perfect for this since they are very thin, plus they are easy to hang since they have grommets.
How to Soundproof a Sliding Barn Door
Sliding barn doors are the easiest sliding doors to soundproof in my opinion, which means that you have plenty of options to do this.
Step 1: Weatherstrip the Door
As you can see, weatherstripping the door is very important since it’s something you have to do for every door you want to soundproof in general, no matter what kind of door it is.
Get the same brush style weatherstrip like the one I recommended the previous kinds of doors and adhere it to the frame/wall so that when the door is closed it comes in contact with it, forming a perfect seal.
Tip: Before purchasing the tape try and measure how thick it should be by checking the distance from the inner side of the pocket to the door itself.
Step 2: Install a brush type door sweep
Sliding barn doors tend to have a huge gap between the door and the floor and the only way to properly deal with this is by installing the same brush type door sweep I mentioned earlier.
This should be extremely easy to do, and since they are very affordable, I’d highly recommend you get one.
Step 3: Add Mass to the Door
Even though sliding barn doors are usually made out of solid wood, adding extra materials to make it “thicker” can help a lot.
There are a couple of ways to go about this;
Install Mass Loaded Vinyl on the Door
Like I mentioned earlier, Mass Loaded Vinyl is one of the best soundproofing materials you could get, and it’s very affordable.
Cut the vinyl to the exact size of the door and adhere it using the same Velcro I recommended earlier.
I personally like the look of barn doors, which means that I wouldn’t like to cover them up with vinyl or anything else, so make sure to install it on the side that won’t be as visible.
If you don’t mind covering the door then simply install the vinyl on both sides.
Add an extra layer of wood to the door
Attaching plywood or medium density fiberboard will, in essence, make the door thicker which will further prevent sound from getting through.
Note: You will need to be very precise when doing this. The panel needs to have the exact measurements of the door otherwise it will look ugly and not be as functional.
This method, although effective, isn’t my favorite for a couple of reasons; Barn doors are visually appealing and putting another kind of wood on top of it will make it look terrible.
Also, you would need to use nails or screws to firmly attach it to the door which will end up ruining it.
Step 4: Install an Acoustic Blanket
Acoustic blankets are one of the most affordable and effective ways to reduce sound, plus they are very easy to install.
Step 5: Attach acoustic foam panels to the door
This isn’t my favorite method simply because I don’t like the way acoustic foam looks on a door, but they are somewhat effective at absorbing sound.
Just make sure to get good quality ones, otherwise they won’t be as effective.
To attach them to the door you could use Velcro again or some kind of adhesive.
However, acoustic panels are meant to be used for acoustic treatment and not soundproofing; here’s a post where I explain the difference in detail.
Step 6: Replace the Hardware
More often than not, the hardware used on these types of doors isn’t particularly good, which means that whenever you open or close the door, unwanted noises may originate from the rail where the wheels are sliding.
If you know how to properly install such hardware, level the door, etc. then doing this might be a great option, otherwise I’d recommend you hire a professional to do it.
However, this will increase the cost significantly and in most cases it’s not really worth doing it.
Step 7: Get a wider door
Most of the times we try to save money and end up buying a door that works but isn’t the ideal one we should have gotten.
Installing a regular sized door on a slider may not be the best idea since it will leave a major gap where sound can come in.
If you really want to soundproof the door as much as possible then consider purchasing a wider and thicker one.
If you follow all of these steps, you should notice a dramatic reduction in the amount of noise that’s allowed to get through the door.
Most of these steps are easy to follow and require no prior expertise nor a huge investment, so definitely give it a try.
If there are some other ways of soundproofing a sliding door that I didn’t mention, please let me know in the comments below.