Good soundproofing windows?

kelly002April 11, 2007

We moved into a house that is located on a somewhat busy street and want to replace or soundproof/insulate the original, 1870 bedroom windows. If we replace the windows we'd like to keep the feel of wood on the inside at the very least. We are more concerned with soundproofing capabilities then heat insulation. I have heard of soundproofing systems like Soundproof Window (http://www.soundproofwindows.com/) but they don't seem very esthetically pleasing. Do any replacement windows have good soundproofing qualities?

Any help appreciated!

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payton

I don't understand why you want to keep the "feel" of wood from the inside, since most people rarely ever touch their window frames.

What seems unpleasing about the look of the Soundproof Windows?

If noise is your main issue, you will not get anywhere close by just replacing your windows, even if you go with triple-pane. You need a product with at least 1" of airspace between the outside windows to get high sound blocking.

Also, if you are only against aluminum, Climatizer windows (Google search) offer a similar product, but with vinyl frames.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 12:43AM
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guy_exterior_man

Kelly, almost every window manufacturers sell special glass to block out sound. Really all they do is make the exterior side of the insulated glass unit (IGU) a thicker piece of glass. The standard window comes with a single or double strength piece of glass that is around an 1/8" thick on both sides of the IGU. The sound window has the 1/8" piece on the inside with a 1/4" laminate piece on the outside. The laminate piece is similar to the windshield of your vehicle. It's two sheets of glass that sandwich a specially designed laminate that glues them together. This makes an unbelievable difference to the home. We've installed many of these windows and can't believe the change it makes. Just ask your salesman to price your windows with sound glass or glass with a higher "STC" (Sound Transmission Class) rating. Good Luck!!!

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 8:39AM
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kelly002

payton,

It's an old antique house with nice wood windows and frames. Throwing in some aluminum or vinyl doesn't sound esthetically pleasing. I could be wrong. Thanks for the climatizer windows suggestion.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:30AM
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kelly002

payton, do you know what the price range is on those climatizer windows?

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 11:31AM
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payton

The climatizer windows are around $300 - $900 per window, depending on how large each window is and the type of configuration. They are based in San Antonio and mostly do jobs in the Texas area. If you are outside this area, I'd suggest the Soundproof Windows, or going with another solution.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 3:02PM
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oberon476

kelly,

You want to keep your orignal windows, but the sound and energy performance leaves much to be desired.

As Guy mentioned earlier, your best option for sound control is laminated glass.

And, in addition to sound attenuation, laminated glass cuts out 99% of UV light from getting into your home...it even (potentially) offers greater security as well.

This is what soundproof window's (and others) offer - often with an amazingly inflated price tag.

The wide airspace between the layers of glass (original windows to add-on sound control glass) will offer sound advantages as well. Again, soundproof window's uses this to their advantage as well - especially when installing an interior storm window.

Okay, the best of both worlds...

Contact a local handyman (a good one) and have him construct wood storm sashes out of whatever wood/finish that you desire. Next, fill those frames with 1/4 laminated glass as Guy suggested. Make sure that the storms are installed tight using a good quality weatherstrip.

You have now increased both energy performance and -especially - sound perfomance of your existing windows. Hopefully at a price significantly less than what you would pay one of the "sound specialist" companies. And you have kept the look and feel of the existing windows.

The primary drawback is that you will lose your ability to open the original windows for fresh air - depending on how the storms are designed and mounted. But, if too much noise from outside is the significant issue, then I would suspect that opening the windows is not a primary consideration.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 9:38PM
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kelly002

Oberon,

Thank you for the additional info.

So to you a replacement window with laminated glass will be as efficient as an interior soundproof windows from Soundproof Windows and at a cheaper overall cost, right?

    Bookmark   April 18, 2007 at 8:31PM
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oberon476

Kelly,

I was suggesting that you can "manufacture" your own "soundproof" windows by adding either interior or exterior storm windows made with laminated glass.

This is basically what "soundproof" (used as a generic term and not company name) windows are.

Cheaper would depend on who made the wood sash for you and where you bought the laminated glass. You should be able to buy laminated glass at any glass shop for a fraction of what the "soundproof window" folks generally charge.

If you did go with replacement windows made with laminated glass, they would certainly be better than what you currently have, but pricing could be substantial, Guy would be a much better judge of that than I would.

    Bookmark   April 19, 2007 at 9:06PM
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shreiber

You can try a plug made out of closed cell vinyl NBR foam to plug the window. 1" thick is best.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soundproofing

    Bookmark   July 20, 2009 at 4:08PM
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tube

Check out these guys- http://www.newenglandstorms.com/

They can do what oberon is talking about and allow you to vent the window. They can make the glass panel out of laminated glass if you ask. I am looking at this option for my house.

    Bookmark   July 25, 2009 at 12:26PM
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truthteller

The best material for window frames is fiberglass, as it is not a homogeneous material. Now you have to do the research to find out which window has the best sound transmission characteristics.

    Bookmark   July 26, 2009 at 10:39PM
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aeioutb

Can anyone help?

I have got metal casement windows from the 1930's with 1/8" glass that let a lot of noise in. The munions or metal pieces between the panes are small so I can't put in double pane glass with an air or gas space between and I don't want to change the windows because they are architecturally correct, streamline. I think the best thing to do is put in laminated glass. I know there is laminated glass that's made up of 2 1/8" pieces sandwiching a plastic layer. Is that the best solution or is there something else, perhaps 1/16" and 3/16" panes which would attenuate sound better than 2 panes the same size.
Thanks for your help.

    Bookmark   November 11, 2010 at 3:07PM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

If you are trying to keep your existing windows, a laminated interior storm is your best option.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2010 at 9:15AM
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alan_s_thefirst

Equally important is the sealing/weatherstripping - the best laminated glass etc will not do any good unless they're well sealed around the frames etc when they're installed.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 12:38AM
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PRO
Windows on Washington Ltd

Alan is correct.

Air tightness is very important when controlling sound. Sound travels on air.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2010 at 9:32AM
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