Soundproof interior double door installation (C) Daniel Friedman Sound Control for Doors & Doorways
Flanking sound transmission at entrances & doors
     


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Door noise or sound transmission control:

This article explains how to make sound-reducing or "soundproof" doors and doorways in buildings. A key component in noise control and sound privacy improvements is the elimination of flanking pathways at entrances or doors as well as using doors that themselves are resistant to sound transmission. A closet door may form a sound flanking pathway, while a hollow-core entry door may readily transmit noises outside of a room, violating privacy or creating a noise nuisance.

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Design Details for Soundproof Doors & Doorways

Soundproof interior double door installation (C) Daniel FriedmanAs described in Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction:

Soundproof double-door doorways: Upgrade to solid-core doors and add weather-stripping. Our photo (left) shows an installation of doubled solid core doors that has been found effective in minimizing sound transmission between a counseling office and its waiting room.

Similar to the double sound-transmission resistant doorway shown at the top of this page, here the designer incorporated a short hallway between a waiting room and the counseling office.

Outside a waiting room closet, forming one wall of the entry hall, provides additional soundproofing and privacy for this space. As we discuss below at SOUND CONTROL for WALLS, closets provide additional sound transmission buffering provided their doors are solid, not louvered.

Addressing obvious flanking paths is often the most cost- effective step in soundproofing a home.

Strategies such as sealing air leaks between rooms, upgrading doors, and adding weather-stripping may provide adequate sound isolation without the need for more exotic and expensive measures.

Soundproof single door with glass panel

Soundproof door on a music classroom, Vassar College (C) Daniel FriedmanSoundproof door on a music classroom, Vassar College (C) Daniel Friedman

Above we illustrate a sound-proof door installed on a music classroom at Vassar College. The frame of this soundproof door with its large glass center panel is filled with sound deadening materials and as you can see in the close-up photo (above right) additional steps to reduce sound transmission through the door or its jamb were taken by spacing, glass type, and sound-absorption into the door frame.

In general, sound-resistant doors should be within 10 Sound Transmission Class (STC) points of the surrounding wall. Solid-core doors are recommended for bedrooms and bathrooms.

Sound transmission ratings of doors (C) Wiley and Sons, S BlissWhere higher-level sound isolation is required, you will need to add high-quality gasket-type weather-stripping and a sealed threshold.

Also the gap between the door jamb and studs should be caulked or grouted to avoid sound leaks around the door.

A doubled sound transmission resistant interior door installation is shown at SOUND ABSORPTION vs. SOUND ISOLATION.

For even higher sound resistance ratings, which might be needed for a music room, for example, double doors are required (see our Table of Sound Transmission Characteristics of Interior Doors shown at left). You can see from the table "Sound Transmission of Interior Doors" that the example in our photo above, two solid core doors spaced 3-inches apart gives the best STC rating in both unsealed and well sealed installations.

-- Adapted with permission from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction.

Building noise control - flanking pathways: this article series explains how sound flanking paths, sound leaks around and through building components, defeats incomplete attempts to reduce building sound transmission and noise levels. We include design details for sound reducing details in buildings including soundproof office doorways and doors. This article includes excerpts or adaptations from Best Practices Guide to Residential Construction, by Steven Bliss, courtesy of Wiley & Sons.

Continue reading about methods for sound control in buildings by using the links provided just below or at the "More Reading" links at the bottom of this article .

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