If you’re living in a busy city you will be well aware that the sounds of traffic, construction and people can be relentless regardless of the hour. If you reside in a particularly noisy area it can really impact your quality of life, decreasing the amount of sleep you get, making it difficult to concentrate and shattering your peace.
Windows generally play a big role when it comes to letting sound in…and not just when they’re open.
They are typically the weak point in any home when it comes to sound insulation, fixing this can make a huge difference.
Soundproofing your windows will ensure that you get a good night’s sleep, and it will also ensure that on those occasions when you throw a loud party you are able to maintain a vaguely cordial relationship with your neighbors afterward!
Noise pollution can be a massive problem, especially if you live in a highly populated area or a high-occupancy apartment. Sounds like construction, neighbors that might play music at all hours of the day or night, crying babies or even the common sounds of daily life may intrude into your home and become a nuisance and you may even find your sleep, concentration and conversations being disrupted.
Your window are specifically designed to let things into your home — mostly light and air — but it also lets in sound, even when it’s closed. Taking steps to find the best soundproof windows for under $50 can go a long way toward minimizing that interfering noise, leading you to more restful nights, reduced stress and more pleasant social interactions.
A Closer Look: Soundproofing for Windows Under $50
1. NICETOWN 100% Blackout Curtains with Black Liner Backing
Each Classic Lined Curtain measures 52" wide x 84" long (Total width is 104") with 2 panels per package. The unique design of silvery grommet (1.6 inch inner diameter) is known to create casual elegance for your house, which makes the curtains effortless to install and slide.
The sew in black liner backing makes the drapes thick enough to keep out the sunlight and UV Ray entirely. The greatest benefit is that it provides you a really dark environment, while reducing noise, bringing you a good night's sleep during the day.
Heavyweight Blackout Lined Curtain Panels can be a good sense of drape, completely enclosing windows, in order to achieve SOUNDPROOF.
The effect of absorbing sound is 2 times higher than the ordinary 1-layer of curtains, ensuring that you are not disturbed by any noise. Draperies designed with 2 layers are all triple weave blackout fabric, balancing room temperature by insulating against summer heat and winter chill while also protecting your privacy. This product consists of no chemical coating, no formaldehyde, and is ECO-friendly.
The good quality finishing will withstand years and years of use. It is machine washable and make sure to wash with water temperature below 86℉. You can use a mild detergent with no bleaching and low temperature ironing. Ensure you don’t use sharp things which can end up scratching the curtains. They also include a 30 days money back guarantee on return policy.
2. Deconovo Blackout Curtains 1 Panel Wide Width Curtain
One panel per package and each panel also measures 100 W x 95 L inch, 16 black grommets per panel. The material of Deconovo thermal insulated blackout drapes and curtains are made up of 100 percent Polyester, Imported.
Deconovo wide width blackout curtains are also thermal insulated and prohibit heat from escaping and blocks sunlight from entering the room.
These room darkening curtains are silky, soft, drapery and very pleasant to touch and gives an expensive look to any room. It is machine washable for easy care and you can tumble dry on low.
Deconovo blackout thermal insulated curtains are mostly suitable for sliding glass door or patio door. These energy saving curtains are able to keep light out and cool homes during hot summers, keep heat in and cold out during cold winters, which will make your home much more comfortable to stay in and the interior diameter is about 1.6 inches while the exterior diameter is about 2.4 inches.
It has anti-rust black grommets and is available in three different size options (80x84inch, 100x84 inch, 100x95 inch). These curtains are sold in 1 panel per package and have 3 layers all merged to reflect the sunlight and heat.
These curtains also lower outside noise and insulates against heat and cold cutting back on window related energy loss and costs. Unlike stiff-liner or foam-backed alternatives, the 100% fabric curtain blocks out light, heat, cold and noise while still being soft and light and ensuring long-lasting, high-quality performance.
3. Beautyrest 11239042X108BK Chenille 42-Inch by 108-Inch Rod Pocket Single Window Curtain Panel
Room Darkening curtains are very popular because they have been constructed to block out harsh sunlight rays, while still providing beautiful ambient lighting in a room. Room darkening curtains also provide significant privacy and some thermal benefits for added functionality while blocking between 93% and 97.9% of light.
This means the room will be significantly darker, while still allowing light to glow behind the curtains. The sleek foam-back construction utilizes multiple passes of soft, white foam that enhances the curtain’s insulation properties, helps reduce noise, and helps block harsh light. The specialized method of foam application enables the foam to bind seamlessly to the elegant fabrics creating a fashionable panel enhanced with function.
These gorgeous curtains integrate versatile fabrications and room darkening technology to create the ultimate sleeping environment. Draperies feature soft, woven textured chenille fabric so you can hang two or more room-darkening curtains with coordinating decorative valances.
The panel and valance are sold separately. Panels supply rod pocket and back tab hanging options. 3 inch rod pocket and back tabs are usually recommended with up to a 1.5 inch rod for maximum movement. It is available in 63, 84, 95 or 108 inches long by 42 inches wide. The decorative rod is also sold separately. It is easy care and also machine washable and made of 100% polyester.
4. Thermalogic 70472-150 Ultimate Blackout Curtain Liner
This product saves energy and reduces noise. The Ultimate Blackout Curtain liner minimizes drafts, insulates your windows keeping you cool in the summer and warm in the winter by creating an energy-saving insulating barrier against heat and cold. With this product you can instantly turn any window curtain into a 100% light blocking curtain.
Curtain liner comes ready to use out of the package with 8 Grommets at top allowing for quick and easy installation on any curtain rod, up to 1. 5” in diameter. This product protects furniture from harmful UV rays while being easy maintenance, just wipe clean, or machine wash.
This product is designed with a layer of dense weave, coupled with a traditional weave layer and a non-toxic acrylic coating creating a barrier that blocks 100% of light, creates an insulating barrier which blocks out external noise, and will also stop drafts, creating an insulating barrier against heat loss during winter, or cooling loss during summer. Attaches with 5 possible connections for effortless installation with any pre-existing curtain rod and will fit and look flawless when attached behind any previously purchased window curtain.
5. Keeping Fun Indoor Weather Stripping
This product has excellent temperature insulation performance while maintain a comfortable indoor environment. With the “Keeping Fun” indoor window insulator kit, you can lower your heating bills during the winter and make your home more energy-efficient. This strip is a quick and easy, not to mention affordable DIY project that can be used all year round. Cracks and gaps around windows and doors can cause drafts to enter your home, leading to high heating and cooling costs. This weatherproof strip help you block drafts and air leaks and save energy.
Also it can be utilized for preventing wind, dust, sound, insect, cold and collision. With this product you will say goodbye to endless indoor dust, window leaking, mosquito’s and noise. Width: 9 mm, thickness (division size): The corresponding 6 mm gap size is about 3.5 mm to 5 mm.
This tape is attached to the center and is divided into two 9 mm wide tapes when centered in the vertical direction. You should tear it vertically before starting to work. This weather stripping also comes with 2 seals, total 16 feet (2.5 meters x 2).
This product has excellent flexibility, high resilience and super durable. They stick firmly and give your doors and windows long time protection.
Widely utilized in all kinds of sliding window, sliding door, security door, closet door and etc, and minimize damage of your doors and windows.
6. Foam Strips with Adhesive 1/2 Inch Wide X 1/4 Inch Thick
The foam seal tape is constructed from environmental protection material, CR foam, Neoprene, which has excellent sealing and resistance to deformation feature, toxic free, and can be utilized from -50℃ to 150℃. The closed cell foam strip is dust proof, shock-absorbing, buffering, sealing, flame retardant, sound proof, weather proof, oil resistance, resistant to corrosion, heat insulation, anti-skidding and insulating.
The adhesive foam strips are widely used in various door seal and window insulation, furniture, electrical cabinets, cars, speakers, toys, handicrafts, sports equipments. The foam weather stripping has an extremely strong adhesive backing, waterproof and non-degumming, stick firmly; great weather stripping for doors and windows .This package also includes 2 rolls of 1/2 in x 1/4 in x 13 ft foam tape, total 26 feet long.
The Neoprene sponge foam tape is effortless enough to customize and cut to size with scissors or blade, and bend easily and conform to any shape. Environmental protection material, CR foam, Neoprene, non-toxic, is in line with environmental protection requirements. Chloroprene rubber foam shear forming has excellent sealing and resistance to deformation feature.
The foam seal tapes also can be utilized in electronic products, mobile phones, computers, household appliances, hardware tools, tourist products, stationery, glass products, etc.
7. St. Gobain GGSEALANT-28OZ Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant
Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant is utilized to fill gaps and joints where the wall meets the floor or ceiling, and where two walls meet. It can also be utilized around outlet and switch boxes. It is effortless to install and paintable once it dries completely (48 hours). Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant is the finishing touch needed after applying the Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound. Adding Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant to your soundproofing project minimizes noise transmission beyond what is already accomplished with the compound. The sealant increases STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating, which is required in LEED certified facilities. Additionally, it is non-hazardous, has practically no odor, and it withstands drying out or cracking with age. Having been independently tested by Underwriters Laboratories for fire safety and environmental impact, Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant truly lives up to its expectations.
It is suggested a 1/8 to 1/4” (0.3 to 0.6 cm) gap be left around the perimeter of your wall or ceiling drywall to fill with Noiseproofing Sealant.
Sealing gaps of 5/8” or more with the Sealant is not recommended, as it will not cure correctly in large gaps. Instead, for extremely large gaps deeper than an inch consider using backer rod to fill the gap before applying Sealant.
The sealant is only intended to be an acoustical seal; it is not intended to be a water seal or to be utilized in exterior applications. Do not try to use the sealant to seal around pipes or plumbing. After the sealant is applied proceed to cover it with standard finishing materials such as mudding and taping.
Why Soundproof Your Windows?
Outside noise can intervene with your peace and quiet and sleep. Ever been watching a great show or been sound asleep and the neighborhood teen roars in with his music louder than his thrush mufflers? You completely miss the dialogue, or your sleep is ended, and any chance of relaxing is gone.
Sound travels through the air, so anything that blocks, absorbs, or reflects sound from outside will provide your home with energy-saving benefits. Windows and doors are the biggest holes in a house and can let in many unwanted sounds. Ensuring they are properly insulated and sealed is one way to reduce noise intrusion.
When you soundproof windows you minimize air movement in and out of the opening. Depending on how you block the sound, you may decrease the UV rays that enter, which helps save on air-conditioning costs. UV rays are known to fade furniture and artwork, and even bleach out hardwood floors and carpets.
Soundproofing windows can minimize outside noise transfer by up to 95%, saving you money on energy costs, plus protect your furniture and home from harmful UV exposure. You’ll sleep better, and be able to have pleasant and even private conversations in your home. There are tons of benefits to soundproofing your windows.
Benefits of Soundproofing Windows
If you find yourself in a densely populated suburb, the issue of noise pollution can be very frustrating. Unwanted sounds from vehicles, loud music, and noise from construction sites can ruin both your day and night.
Windows basically represent the basic entry point for noise into your building. By nature, windows are typically designed to let things into your room like light and air.
Unfortunately, unwanted sound makes its way into your room through the window.
Making the decision to soundproof your window is the only sure bet for having peaceful and restful days and nights. As a homeowner, the benefits you get from soundproofing your windows are tremendous. These benefits are listed below:
How Much Difference Will a Sound Proof Window Make?
Replacing your existing windows with higher quality single or double pane glass can help to decrease some of the noise transmission, but this usually will not exceed a 20-50% reduction. For homes suffering from an excessive noise problem this will not be enough to make a noticeable difference.
According to acoustic experts, to really notice a significant improvement the minimum reduction needs to be at least 75%. Some specialist windows like the ones utilized in recording studios can deliver noise reduction up to 95% but these aren’t always suitable for residential properties.
In addition, because of the extra technology that’s involved soundproofed windows are usually tougher in their construction making them more secure.
The Basics of Windows Soundproofing
Windows are the best place to start when attempting to soundproof a home or office space. Sound absorption and reduction are the two basic principles to consider when minimizing sound transmission through windows.
Decreasing the amount of sound entering through windows is the first step. The windows are obstacles to sound waves entering or exiting your home. Window manufacturers make the glass thicker to add mass, maximize the airspace between the panes to decrease transfer, and laminate the glass with a film of plastic to further control noise.
Increasing the Sound Transmission Class (STC) of windows is one way to enhance their ability to block noise. The higher the STC rating generally means it’s more expensive too.
Sound that does enter your home or office bounces or reverberates around the room, creating more of a disturbance. Absorbing the sound that makes it through the window will further reduce outside noise interference.
Exposed brick or stone walls and wood floors can reflect sound waves and add to the chatter of a room. To reduce the reverberations, add carpet or rugs with under padding, put up acoustic panels or wall hangings, and use thick window curtains that absorb sound. Additionally, padded furniture and plants can also absorb the unwanted noise.
Sound Transmission Class (STC) for Windows
The STC rating of windows depends on the thickness of the glass, the thickness of the airspace between panes, and the utilization of plastic laminates. The construction and materials used in the frame of the window are also prime factors to consider.
The rating indicates how well the integrated parts of a window block sound transmission. The larger the value, the better it is at minimizing sound movement.
Walls, windows, doors, floors, and ceiling (plus the roof) all combine in an attempt to block noise movement. An STC of 40 is the bare minimum for privacy, and the building codes push for a rating of 50 to 55.
The best soundproofing windows under $50 may not be able to block 100% of noise movement, but some do a better job than others. If the sound outside the window is 70 dB and on the interior, it is 30 dB, then the window has an STC rating of 40 depending on the frequencies blocked.
It is fascinating to note that single, double, and triple pane windows can all have the same STC value too. A single pane is usually thicker glass, while the individual panes in a double or triple are thinner.
Triple and double pane windows generally fit in the same frame track, so are the same overall thickness. Which typically means the airspace between panes in the triple is less than that in a double.
How to Soundproof a Window
Most windows in houses are installed only after the walls are up, and are whatever the builder selects. They may be double pane, but not necessarily the best STC or OITC rated which can bite into the profit margin.
Inspect Your Windows: Check if your windows are single, double, or triple paned. If the builder or last occupant left any information on the windows, you can review it for an STC rating. Many windows have information etched in a bottom corner, so you might be able to get information online about your windows.
Ensure that they are working properly. Always be sure to check for cracks and breaks in the seals between window panes. If the window has moisture or fogging between the panes or a cracked pane, they can definitely be repaired.
You can even feel around the window perimeter, sliding seals and even the wall next to the window and casing. If you feel heat or cold, or even a breeze, you may need to do some maintenance. Place your fingertips on the window and vibrate them, if the window moves with them, you probably have some work to attend to. Ensure the latch and closures work and seal properly too.
Be sure to check the outside caulking and seals between panes and around the frames. Any gap or hole is a leeway for sound. One quick and easy way to check if the window seals properly is a lit candle.
Place it on or near the sill on a windy day with the window fully closed. If the flame flutters, there’s definitely air coming through, which means sound can too. Proceed to move the lit candle to the sides of the window and see if it reacts to a draft.
Note: Do not put a flame near curtains or other flammable material.
Things You Should Consider When Buying Noise Reducing Blinds
The material of the blind is considered to be one of the most essential factors to consider when buying. Wooden, polyester and even plastic materials are most preferred when mounting on the interior of your room.
When it comes to noise reduction, soft materials are typically better, because they help to absorb the echo reducing the noise, instead of letting it bounce off which would eventually happen if you were utilizing a hard surface.
If you prefer installing your blinds on the outside it would be best if you buy one that’s extremely thick in order to get the best sound blocking effects.
The denser the material, the better it’s going to perform. So when looking to purchase any soundproofing material, make sure to get one that’s thick because these minimizes the possibility of gaps. This is why denser blinds are more adequate for your home when it comes to thermal and sound insulation.
The dimension of the blinds is very crucial. You should ensure that you get the ideal fit for your window.
If you buy a blind that is too large, you won’t be able to install them correctly and if you should get one that’s too small, it won’t be able to cover the entire window area which will leave gaps on the side making way for sound to pass through easily.
However, if you are having a hard time finding the correct size, I recommend getting one that’s extra large that will hang over the frame to cover your window completely.
Thicker blinds are excellent because they will help to cancel out as much noise as possible. This is generally the case of any soundproofing material.
You should invest in a blind that is at least 10 mm thick for outstanding noise blocking results. Fortunately, you will not have a hard time selecting one since most blinds are thick.
The last factor is the price which is also essential. You can get decent sound absorbing blinds for a relatively affordable price. Most blinds on the market are inexpensive which is perfect for those on a low budget.
Blackout curtains are the most effective solution when it comes to blocking out light entering a room. They are highly recommended in bedrooms to make sure you get a good night’s sleep so that you are ready for the day ahead. Whether selecting Ready Made or Made to Measure curtains our helpful guide explains all you need to know about the blackout and dim-out options available.
Blackout curtains prevent light from passing through the special blackout lining and entering the room. Blackout and dim-out curtains have varying properties and advantages. Dim-out enables most of the light in the room to be blocked, as opposed to the complete block of a blackout curtain.
Blackout curtains are generally used in bedrooms. However, these curtains are also an effective option in a media room and a great way of protecting furniture and carpets from the damage caused by the sun.
You can purchase blackout or dim-out Ready Made curtains which are available for immediate dispatch. When purchasing Made to Measure curtains you can request a blackout lining to finish your bespoke curtains.
The installation instructions for blackout curtains are typically the same as those for standard curtains. However, for the ultimate impact of the blackout curtain, it is advisable to purchase curtains which extend 20 cm either side of the window, a total of 40 cm in addition to the width of the window. This will make sure that all light is effectively blocked. Ensure the drop of the curtains also fall 15 cm below the bottom of the window.
Installing a Track or Curtain Pole
When attempting to install a track or curtain pole for your blackout curtains make sure to measure and place the brackets up to 20 cm above the window. For the most effective blackout solution, it is recommended to install a blackout roller blind in the recess of the window behind a pair of blackout curtains.
These curtains allow for:
Another affordable solution is to get thick soundproof curtains. I have to warn you, though. This method won’t block the noise completely. However, it can really be useful as a complement to other methods.
What these curtains will do is help minimize the echo. Also, from the aesthetic point of view, the large, thick curtains that cover the entire window will be an excellent addition to your home decor. What’s more, you’ll definitely kill two birds with one stone by making this purchase. You’ll have something to help you decrease the noise, but also make your interior look good and keep the unwanted light out of your home. What more could you ask for?
You shouldn’t expect them to completely block all the incoming noise, though. I mean, we are talking about a cloth hanging on the wall. However, they have proven to be extremely helpful as an addition to other methods utilized. And, it just gives the feel of a cozy home, so it’s a win-win situation.
Start by Rearranging the Furniture
We all know this by now– noise travels around. It generally moves through the air until it reaches a surface. Here, it either passes through the surface or just bounces off. The thing is that every time it does one of those things, it loses some of its energy and as a consequence, it dies out more rapidly.
One way to add more barriers to the sound’s path is to rearrange your existing furniture or add some new pieces. You can place soft, uneven surfaces that will absorb the sound waves and prevent them from bouncing around your room – minimizing echo and reverberation along the way. On the other hand, the flat and sturdy ones will stop the sound from leaving or entering the room and reflect it back to where it came.
Depending on your lighting preferences, you have two strategies on how to effectively deal with this rearrangement. You can either block the window entirely, by placing closets, bookshelves, couches and other similar stuff IN FRONT of it. Be aware, though, as this option will lead to the complete blockage of the outside light.
Or, if you don’t want to lose the precious light, you can simply place the furniture AROUND the window or NEXT TO it. This way it will still absorb some of the sounds that are forcing their way through your windows, but to be fair, I wouldn’t expect massive any miracles.
Let’s go over some pros and cons of rearranging the furniture in order to block outside noise:
Interior Acrylic or Glass Sheet
If you are an experienced do-it-yourselfer, you might have success with a DIY secondary glazing job. You can attach a piece of acrylic or glass over the interior of your existing window.
In order to do this, you’ll have to install a metal frame onto your existing window. Then, magnets are utilized to attach the acrylic sheet or glass. This is by far the most effective option for DIY soundproofing windows.
But, before embarking on this type of project, be aware that without laminated glass or an acoustic grade glass, you won’t get a massive acoustic difference. Attaching an acrylic or glass sheet might be a practical option for minor noise problems but not for very loud, deep sounds.
You will probably have trouble installing your glaze with traditional window types like double hung windows. Also, your windows won’t look the same, which can reduce your home’s charm – and resale value. If you are ready to make a payment towards all the different components for this DIY method, you may be better off putting the money towards a retrofit doube glazing system. Retrofitting is much less costly than new double glazed windows at about one-third of the cost.
Weatherstripping for Windows
There’s one more way you can minimize noise leakage and energy waste. In order to do that, you’ll require a weatherstripping tape! This tape can be bought in many different forms, and it can be made out of many materials. Some of the materials utilized for these tapes are foam, rubber and silicone, but the list doesn’t end there.
You can determine which materials best suits your needs and requirements by taking into consideration the amount of friction your window will receive, the exposure to weather and the overall look of your window with it..
All in all, the weather-stripping sealers will serve as powerful and robust gap blockers. It will take you approximately 30 minutes or less, to cover your whole window (and half of this time you’ll be cleaning it). So, here’s what you will need to do:
Getting Rid of the Window Entirely
My final solution for you is to block the window completely. If you reside in a very loud neighborhood and none of the previously mentioned options seem satisfactory enough, I would recommend that you block your window entirely.
That way, you will undoubtedly get rid of the unwanted noise. On the other hand, you need to think twice before making this huge decision. You do understand that after you block it, there will be no window at all?
That may not seem like a big issue, but you need to know that windows are put where they are for a reason. Aside from the irritating sounds, the windows let the sun rays into your home. Also, they give you fresh air and possibly even a nice view.
So, before choosing this complete blockage method, take everything into consideration. If you still think that this would be the perfect solution for you then go ahead and do it. You have three steps to complete this process:
On the other hand, if you think that removing the window is not a practical option, then select one of the other tips.
Tips for Optimising Your DIY Window Soundproofing
Before you go out and purchase your DIY soundproofing materials, there are a few things you want to consider in order to obtain the best soundproofing windows under $50:
The type of sound you are attempting to block out makes a difference.
A soundproofing professional, such as window installers or other specialists, can help you come up with a plan that will work for your home or building based on the type of noise you are dealing with.
The last thing you want to do is spend thousands of dollars on noise reducing curtains or struggle through installing a piece of glass or acrylic on your window, only to find out it’s not going to make much of a difference because of the intensity or quantity of your noise pollution.
Your walls and doors could also be the reason behind your noise issues. You could cover your windows with every DIY solution there is, but still have a problem because sound may be travelling through your walls.
Bear this in mind when creating an effective and efficient plan for soundproofing your home or building. Pay close attention to the pros and cons of each DIY solution. Consider if it is worth dealing with unattractive windows, mould growth or a troublesome window treatment, to get a small reduction in sound.
One of the traits that all DIY solutions have in common is that none are extremely effective.
While cheaper, none of these options, or even a combination, will completely come close to the soundproofing benefits of double glazing with laminated or acoustic grade glass.
The noise reduction impact of forcing sound waves to travel through two thick, specially treated glass panes, as well as the gap filled with inert gas, is enormous when compared to your DIY options. But with all that being said, don’t assume you can’t get great acoustics without having to spend thousands of dollars on double glazing.
Retrofit double glazing is a fraction of the cost of new double glazed windows – and you’ll get to keep the original character of your existing timber windows with the addition of a full drainage system in the process.
We would opt for the Thermalogic 70472-150 Ultimate Blackout Curtain Liner it is designed with a layer of dense weave, coupled with a traditional weave layer and a non-toxic acrylic coating creating a barrier that blocks 100% of light, and creates an insulating barrier which blocks out external noise effectively.
There are so many factors that go into successful window soundproofing from selecting the right materials to ensuring you don’t create more problems than you are solving.
Whatever does the job in reducing those unattractive noises, I say, try it, it’s worth it and you can be on your way to finding the best soundproofing windows under $50.
As we all live too fast, surrounded by constant noise, having it silenced even a bit really means a lot
Not all of us have the same problems regarding noises, therefore different things will work for different people.
And if your budget allows you so, you can even enjoy having that amazing discovery - a window which blocks the unwanted sounds and plays music!