How to Soundproof Sliding Doors; Easy & Affordable!

Last Updated on March 3, 2021 by Facundo

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.

How to Soundproof a Glass Sliding Door

First and foremost, in order to properly soundproof a sliding door, or any door for that matter, you will need to start by sealing every single gap where sound might be allowed in.

1. Seal all the Gaps

If there is one step that I’d recommend you follow, it’s definitely this one; without properly sealing all the places where sound can get in you will never be able to soundproof the door, and even the smallest of holes will let a lot of unwanted noise through.

Steps to sealing the gaps

  1. Use a Brush Weatherstrip: Weatherstrips are the best way of creating an air-tight seal between the frame and the door. Since it’s a sliding door you will need to use a brush weatherstrip since the bristles will bend when you slide the door, preventing it from getting ripped out.
  2. Install a Door Sweep: Door sweeps cover up the gap between the door and the floor, blocking additional sound. Depending on the door, you could use a regular one or a brush sweep.
  3. Use Acoustic Caulk: Acoustic Caulk should be used to cover up any small cracks that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.

If you want to know how to apply the weatherstripping tape as well as the acoustic caulk, then check out my in-depth guide on how to soundproof a door where I cover those steps as well as give you some extra tips on soundproofing regular doors effectively.

Now, by just following these three steps, the improvements should be very noticeable, and in most cases I would only recommend doing this if you’re soundproofing glass sliding doors, since the other ways of soundproofing them consist in covering them with sound-blocking materials, which defeats the whole purpose of having glass doors in the first place.

However, here are some other ways to further soundproof glass doors;

2. Install acoustic curtains on the door

Acoustic curtains are a good way of reducing outside noise, especially if you want to be able to take advantage of the fact that the doors are made of glass, since the curtains can be moved out of the way to let light in.

Important note: they can’t block 100% of the sound, and I would only recommend getting a pair if you already sealed all the gaps like I mentioned in the previous step, since the combination of both methods is a lot more effective.

A classic example would be the Nicetown blackout soundproofing curtains; These are affordable, look great and actually help with noise reduction.

3. Install acoustic blankets on the door

Acoustic blankets are one of my favorite soundproofing and sound absorption items for two reasons; they are affordable and very versatile.

The issue with the blankets in this particular case is that they would need to be attached to the door, and removing them won’t be as easy as just opening the curtains, which defeats the purpose of having a glass door.

If you still want to use acoustic blankets to soundproof a glass door, then you should try the Audimute Sound Absorption Blanket. It’s the best one I could find and it’s affordable.

Note: Even though I don’t recommend acoustic blankets to soundproof a glass door because they don’t let light shine through, they are still very effective. If you really need to reduce outside noise, then consider installing them.

4. Install a laminated-, double- or triple pane glass door instead

This is by far the most time consuming and expensive step in this entire list and I wouldn’t recommend you to do this unless it’s your last resort.

The pros of installing a double- or even triple pane glass door is that you don’t need to use curtains or blankets to cover it up since it’s designed to block sound, and these door really work well.

Of course, doing this will be very expensive and also time consuming, and chances are that you can’t really install the door yourself and will need to hire somebody.

About Soundproofing Glass Doors

Glass is known for being a terrible insulation material, which is why there are double- and triple-pane windows and doors, since a single pane won’t really cut it.

However, simple glass doors and windows are fine in most cases, and unless you live on a very busy street, you shouldn’t have too many issues.

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 through, which gives you a couple more soundproofing options.

Again, you should focus on sealing all the gaps as best you can since this is what will have the biggest impact.

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, or make sure to take measurements beforehand to make certain that the door will fit in the pocket.

Seal all the gaps

Here the steps will be very similar to the ones I described earlier on glass sliding doors, but you need to adhere the weatherstrip to both inner sides of the pocket to create a better seal.

Steps to sealing the gaps

  1. Use a Brush Weatherstrip: Weatherstrips are the best way of creating an air-tight seal between the frame and the door. Since it’s a sliding door you will need to use a brush weatherstrip since the bristles will bend when you slide the door, preventing it from getting ripped out.
  2. Install a Door Sweep: Door sweeps cover up the gap between the door and the floor, blocking additional sound. Depending on the door, you could use a regular one or a brush sweep.
  3. Use Acoustic Caulk: Acoustic Caulk should be used to cover up any small cracks that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.

Important Note: I just mentioned this, but it’s crucial: The brush weatherstripping tape needs to be adhered to the inner side of the pocket walls (both sides of the pocked).

This way the door will come in contact with the weatherstrip on both sides, and this helps seal it up even further.

2. Install acoustic curtains on the door

Since pocket sliding doors aren’t made out of glass, at least not generally, you could hang acoustic curtains on them to further reduce the noise and not have to worry about blocking light.

Again, you could use the Nicetown blackout soundproofing curtains since these are affordable, look great and actually help with noise reduction.

But any curtain that is thick and that goes from the ceiling to the floor should do a good job.

3. Install acoustic blankets on the door

Now, acoustic blankets would need to be directly attached to the door, and this means that you’ll need to be careful not to increase the thickness of the door too much by doing this, otherwise it won’t fit back in the pocket.

You could use the same Audimute blankets I mentioned, or just get regular moving blankets since they are a bit thinner and also much more affordable.

To attach them to the door you could use velcro; just make sure you use quite a lot of it since these blankets are very heavy and could fall to the ground.

4. Add Mass to the door

Adding mass to the door simply consists of attaching any sort of material to it that will make it thicker, essentially providing an additional barrier for sound to have to go through.

There are many ways to address this, but it will mostly depend on how wide the pocket for the door is, but here are a couple recommendations;

Use Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass Loaded Vinyl is fantastic for soundproofing and it can really help insulate a door.

The only issue is that it’s completely black and very heavy, so you’ll need to find a good way of attaching it to the door; the simples way would be to use nails, but this would ruin the door. So, only do this is you don’t care about the door itself.

Use rigid foam insulation

Now, in most cases this won’t work because rigid foam insulation tends to be thick. But I’ve seen many pocket sliding doors where there’s roughly 1cm or even more between the door and the pocket itself, and here you could definitely add a piece of rigid foam.

Note: Hanging an acoustic blanket on the door will work in a similar way, so keep that option in mind.

How to Soundproof a Sliding Barn Door

Sliding barn doors are the easiest sliding doors to soundproof, which means that you have plenty of options on how to approach it, and it’s also where the biggest chance for improvement is.

The whole process is very similar to what I’ve already been talking about in this post, but here’s a quick step by step guide on how to soundproof sliding barn doors;

1. Seal all the gaps

The same concepts I described earlier apply here; make sure to seal every single gap where air can come in.

  1. Use a Brush Weatherstrip: Weatherstrips are the best way of creating an air-tight seal between the frame and the door. Since it’s a sliding door you will need to use a brush weatherstrip since the bristles will bend when you slide the door, preventing it from getting ripped out.
  2. Install a Door Sweep: Door sweeps cover up the gap between the door and the floor, blocking additional sound. Depending on the door, you could use a regular one or a brush sweep.
  3. Use Acoustic Caulk: Acoustic Caulk should be used to cover up any small cracks that might have formed over the years between the frame and the wall.

2. Add Mass to the Door

Here you have a lot more options than with pocket sliding doors for the simple fact that the door doesn’t need to fit inside of the pocket, and therefore the width of the door won’t really be an issue.

Now, even though sliding barn doors are usually made out of solid wood, adding extra materials to make them “thicker” can help a lot.

In addition to installing Mass Loaded Vinyl and Rigid foam insulation, you could always attach an additional piece of wood to the door.

This may be a lot more work, especially if you want the door to look nice, but it’s an excellent way of soundproofing it.

Lastly, acoustic blankets can also be hung from the door, and the great thing here is that you can hang as many as you want, which is not possible with pocket sliding doors.

3. Attach acoustic panels on the Door

I mentioned in the beginning that sound absorption doesn’t work that well as far as soundproofing goes, and while acoustic panels work by absorbing sound, they will help ever so slightly to reduce the amount of noise that is allowed through the door itself.

Now, you could buy cheap foam acoustic panels like these ones on Amazon (affiliate link), or you could actually make high quality ones yourself.

Of course, buying good panels is also an option, but they sell for roughly $80 each and you would need a couple.

Here’s a video that teaches you how to make them yourself using towels for $5 each, and these panels are much more effective than the cheap foam ones.

4. 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.

5. Get a wider door

This one is pretty self explanatory, but the wider the door, the harder it is for sound to get past it and the wall.

While it may be very effective to do this, changing the entire door will cost you quite a lot, which is why I’d say that it’s only worth doing if you tried everything else and if the noise is just unbearable.

Conclusion

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.

Scroll to Top