Turrou Landesmann from online building materials retailer Door Superstore explains why opting for a stylish door that also offers acoustic benefits can be a delight for the senses in more ways than one.
Just as an external door can boost kerb appeal, an interior door can enhance an interior design scheme, but did you know that both also play an essential role in soundproofing? Whether you want to reduce the noise from the traffic outside or need to limit noise disturbances from room to room, the doors you choose can not only help you feel safe and secure but give you peace and quiet too.
A solid choice
In most cases, doors intended for domestic residential use are developed to tick three key boxes – style, safety and security. However, with the new updates to Part L of the Building Regulations calling for doors and windows to be more energy efficient and reduce heat loss, the new generation of more robust, timber, solid core-style doors offer greater thermal performance and, as a result, are also better at soundproofing.
Unlike lightweight hollow core doors that allow soundwaves to easily pass through to another room, solid core doors have a much denser construction that reduces noise transmission. Solid core doors are ideally suited as an interior door in bedrooms, living rooms and home offices as they are light enough to be able to be easily opened but are heavy enough when closed to block out noise from the rest of the house and stop sound from within the room disturbing others.
Controlling background noise
With many homes embracing an open-plan interior layout, it can be more of a challenge to limit noise breakout from one area to another. This has become a significant issue over the last few years, with more of us trying to do so much more from home. A flexible solution is to use room divider doors to create separate areas for work and relaxation, as and when you want them.
Room divider doors are available in a wide range of styles, including bi-folding, sliding and swing. By allowing rooms to be opened up or closed off as needed, room dividers offer a cost-effective solution to zoning areas of a home without compromising on light or space. Choosing a solid core door with obscure glass will give an even greater sense of privacy from prying eyes and ears, making them a perfect fit for home offices.
Like windows, the choice of glazing in exterior doors, in particular, can make a big difference to both thermal and acoustic performance. For projects in quiet or more rural locations, there might not be as much need to silence traffic sounds or noisy neighbours, so generally speaking, double-glazing is more than sufficient. However, if your home or self-build plot is in a more built-up location, triple-glazing can be much more beneficial in terms of limiting exterior noise pollution. This is definitely something to consider if you want glazed bi-folding or patio doors.
Triple-glazing can also boost the natural soundproofing skills of solid hardwood doors. These are great front door options and are available in a range of traditional and contemporary styles, configurations and colours to suit a wide range of interior design schemes.
Safe and sound
Chances are, if you are working on a new-build project or a loft conversion, you will have already considered fire doors and their importance in keeping you and your family safe. But as well as giving you peace of mind, internal fire doors can also give you much-needed peace and quiet. Although their key objective is to prevent the spread of fire, as fire doors are thicker than standard internal doors, they also have greater soundproofing capabilities. So, if you were to install a fire door in a utility room, for example, it would not only dampen the noise of a washing machine or tumble dryer in operation but, most importantly, it would help protect the rest of the house should a fault cause an appliance to catch fire.
Boost your acoustics
It goes without saying that the acoustic performance of any door and, of course, the effectiveness of a fire door, requires the door to be closed. But did you know that you will see or should that be ‘hear’ the biggest difference if you install the same solid core doors in every room of the house rather than just to the space that you need to soundproof?
With the rise of homeworking and the growing trend to incorporate playrooms and gaming dens, homes are becoming busier and nosier than ever. If you do need a little something extra, there are other options to consider, such as soundproofing or acoustic curtains. These can be installed across a closed door to provide additional sound insulation when needed and are perfect for music or cinema rooms that are not in constant use. As this type of curtain is thicker than even the blackout variety, you can also insulate the room against heat loss.
It’s also important to check and seal any gaps around the door as this can not only cause draughts but will allow sounds to travel. This is particularly important on exterior doors and if you are working on an older property where the door frames may not be a uniform shape or size, meaning that you may struggle to adjust any new door to give a flush fit. There are many options to choose from, depending on the door and the gap size, including weatherstrips, caulks and draught excluders. It’s always best to check with your door retailer for help and advice and ensure that those little extras that can make such a big difference aren’t forgotten.
If you want to improve the aesthetics and acoustics of your doors but don’t know where to start, we have lots of helpful guides online as well as all the doors, hardware and accessories you will need.