Posted by The Barn Door Hardware Store on Feb 2nd 2024
Barn doors have been increasing in popularity in recent years courtesy of their design, affordability, and ease of installation.
The hardware usually isn’t too costly, and with the right knowledge, you can even DIY them without the need for any professional service!
While barn doors may add a rustic charm and elevate your interiors, one downside to using them to conceal doorways is that a lot of noise can travel through.
If you are searching for how to create a more peaceful or private environment by reducing the noise transmission in your space, then look no further!
This guide is designed to equip you with everything you need to know about soundproofing barn doors. We’ll provide detailed and reliable information, along with expert insights into the following topics:
- Top reasons to soundproof barn doors
- Practical and effective ways to soundproof barn doors
- Considerations in soundproofing your barn doors
Why Barn Doors May Not Be Soundproof
Barn doors have been traditionally used for backyards, outhouses, or garages. But in this day and age, you can commonly find them used for kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms as well!
They are available in a wide array of options ranging from light to heavy wood material and come in a variety of colors and designs.
The barn door itself is generally just as, if not more soundproof than your average door due to its weight and density.
But while heavy and solid-core barn doors have the capacity to lessen sound transfer, noise can still travel into other rooms because of their design!
Despite their mass, sliding barn doors are highly susceptible to noise transfer because of the gaps that are left between the wall and the door itself.
Before we dive into the different solutions that can be used, let’s discuss the types of sound that can occur when a barn door is not soundproofed:
- Airborne Noise - These sound waves can be heard through surfaces such as a wall or ceiling.
As the name suggests, they are picked up and travel through the air until they crash into your barn door. This collision will cause a vibration and the soundwaves then pass through the door into the connected room.
- Impact Noise - While this type is not as common as the first, it can still be just as obtrusive.
Impact noise, or structure-borne noise, happens when an object makes contact or hits a structure. Some examples include knocking on a door, tapping your foot on the floor, or throwing a ball against the wall.
The impact will cause a vibration on your barn door and the soundwaves will travel through the other side.
Although there are many unique problems that you may encounter, some of the most common reasons why people need to soundproof their barn doors are:
- If you require complete privacy in your space
- Barn doors made with lightweight materials will allow a lot more sound waves to pass through
- There will be plenty of noise coming from outside and the street if barn doors are your main entrance.
Fortunately, there are several ways to install soundproofing on your barn door and keep intrusive noises from getting through!
The most effective approach is to ensure that there are no cracks or gaps that allow sound to pass.
Soundproofing Barn Doors
Most of the regular door soundproofing solutions are the same as a barn door.
However, there are slight differences you need to apply to make sure everything functions as intended.
To help you with your project, here is our list of the best ways to soundproof your sliding barn doors:
Control the Air Flow
Wherever the air moves the easiest is where most of the sound escapes!
When it comes to barn doors, the gaps along the perimeter or even the tiniest crack can let sound through.
Always remember this principle when trying one of the solutions below or anytime you need to figure out how to prevent noise from flowing through your space.
Use Soundproof Curtains
One of the simplest ways to stop unwanted sound waves from traveling through your barn door into another room is to hang soundproof curtains.
These curtains are made with dense fabrics that absorb sound waves and slow their transmission through your sliding barn doors.
Make sure to measure the door before acquiring the curtains. If your barn doors are larger than the curtain sizes available you can install multiple panels alongside each other.
To maximize the sound absorption, you can try adding an extra by hanging one over another one.
Watherstrppiunf refers to the process of sealing your barn doors from outside elements. Not only does it lessen sound transmission but it comes with the added advantage of insulation as well!
You will first need to identify the gap between the door and the wall because it will typically slide over a baseboard.
Then, apply the self-adhesive weatherstrip to narrow this gap and eliminate the sound-leaking space.
Added Layer of Wood
The more dense your barn doors are, the less sound can penetrate them because once the soundwaves hit the thickness of your doors, they will weaken and disperse –leading to less noise transfer.
If you plan to enhance the density of your sliding barn doors, you can simply attach more wood to the surface.
Cut a piece of plywood or Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) to the same size as your barn doors. Then, apply a generous layer of Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound and position it over the doors.
For added security, use screws or nails around the perimeter of the panel to firmly attach it to your barn door.
Brush-Style Door Sweep Installation
Similar to other doors, including a door sweep is an affordable yet effective way to block sound from coming through. It essentially acts as a cover from the bottom space and hinders the passage of air and sound waves!
By installing a door sweep, you will not have to worry about it making noises while opening or closing the barn doors and it won’t stick to the ground.
Include a Board on the Bottom
Speaking of the gap at the bottom of your sliding barn doors, you can also screw on a board as an alternative method. However, you will need to remove the barn doors for this process to work.
You can either glue a flat molding or a nail to install this. In general, having an ¼ inch overlap on the door will cover the space where the sound waves are coming through.
Go with an Oversized Door
Having sliding barn doors that are too small doesn’t look quite as nice and they also make things much more difficult to soundproof.
Expanding the size of your barn doors will not just ensure proper coverage but serve as a soundproofing measure as well.
Just remember to get your measuring tape and get the right dimensions before purchasing!
Keep in mind that your sliding barn doors should be at least 2 to 3 inches wider than the door opening itself and approximately an inch taller at the top area.
Utilize Quality Hardware
Like any other home project, using high-quality hardware will have a tremendous effect on the performance of your sliding barn doors.
You can expect to spend a bit more money when using quality and sturdy hardware, but you’ll also be assured that everything is secure.
If you go with lower-quality hardware, the barn doors will eventually develop space between the wall and make the sound pass through.
Apply Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass Loaded Vinyl is generally used to add mass to ceilings and walls as a component for soundproofing.
However, you can also use it for your sliding barn doors to fill out any left-out holes or cracks in between planks.
To get the best results, you should apply a thick coat of oil paint! Mass Loaded Vinyl is easy to apply and won’t allow any air or sound waves to penetrate through your barn doors.
Hire the Help of Professional Services
Most individuals are completely capable of soundproofing a barn door themselves and doing a decent job at it.
However, if you’re somebody who does not have much experience, it’s easy and understandable to leave unnecessarily large gaps in the final output.
Hiring a professional with tons of experience hanging and installing sliding barn doors is a great idea if your target is to soundproof a room in the most efficient manner possible!
Their services will ensure that your barn doors sit as close as possible to the wall without causing any damage when in use.
Other Factors to Consider
Sound waves can be challenging to block because, unlike light, they consist of long waves and permeate barriers in several ways.
Sound can emerge as strongly as it entered because it is made up of vibrations that can pass through almost any solid material.
It can be annoying to deal with since sound waves can also permeate from room to room by bending through vents, metal ducts, and openings.
Here are the most crucial factors you need to take into account when soundproofing your sliding barn doors:
Although wood is the most popular type of material used for barn doors, you can also find varieties made of glass, metal, or manufactured wood.
Unfortunately for those seeking a contemporary feel, metal is well-known as a superconductor of sound.
The core of your sliding barn doors can also affect their sound transmission.
A barn door can either have a solid or hollow core. A hollow core is lighter, less expensive, and the go-to choice for hanging slide doors.
The barn doors themselves are not hollow but have a core made with wood and synthetic materials to make them less dense.
A solid core barn door is not necessarily solid wood but instead made up of various materials. Always keep in mind that the heavier the core mass, the more effective it acts as a sound barrier!
The density of your barn door’s material is one of the most important factors to consider because sound travels faster through low-density mediums.
The greater mass of your sliding barn door means that fewer sounds will penetrate other areas.
To increase the soundproofing of your barn doors, you can try using acoustic panels for more door thickness that reduces echo and reverberation.
Sound absorption plays a vital role in minimizing the reverberation inside of a room. It also reduces the amplification of sound and echoing.
A barn door with a solid mass such as wood has excellent sound absorption qualities but remember that the gaps in your sliding doors can make this feature irrelevant.
Did you know that certain materials can have a dampening effect on the sound that comes through your barn doors?
Wood is known to reflect sound better than its ability to absorb it because of its porous nature.
However, this sound absorption is nowhere close to completely dampening since wood conducts sound through its longitudinal surface.