Sound proofing wooden windows
Movement of sound into our homes is an important consideration when purchasing a home or a sash window. At Heritage Sash Windows, we offer advanced solutions to help control noise intrusion in your home.
The first step towards improved sound insulation from timber sash windows and doors is to ensure that you have draught seals fitted and that any air gaps around the windows are sealed. No matter how well the glazing reduces noise, if there are air gaps then noise will penetrate your home. Draught seals work by cutting air flow so they also reduce air-borne noise and dust.
Often our customers comment on how well our Standard Draught Seal & Overhaul service has reduced noise. But in many situations this solution alone is not adequate and upgrading the glass should be the next consideration.
A thicker glass will improve noise reduction and at Heritage Sash Windows, we offer a wide range of glazing options from all the leading glass suppliers.
Types of glass that we provide
Float Glass – The standard glass that has been fitted for many years is often only 2 or 3mm thick. Simply increasing the thickness will reduce the amount of noise. When a wide range of decorative glass is required, such as bathrooms, this is the best solution. Patterned glass is available in a range of thicknesses dependent on the design.
Standard Laminated Glass – Manufactured by bonding multiple panes of glass together with a thin inter-lay film sandwiched between the glass layers. Laminated glass has many benefits including greatly reduced ultra violet (UV) light ingress, Grade A safety glass, improved security as well as improved noise reduction. Improvements of up to 24% can be achieved over existing 3mm float glazing. In our experience standard laminated glass often offers a cost effective solution. A limited range of patterns are available.
‘Smart’ or Acoustic Glass – Laminated glass that incorporates a ‘smart’ inter layer. The inter layer is designed to dampen noise and may reduce noise by up to 40% in comparison to similar thickness float glass. Acoustic glass is more expensive than standard laminated glass.
Double Glazing – Standard double glazing with 2 glasses of the same thickness offers little sound insulation. However when laminated glass is incorporated into a sealed double glazed unit the benefits can be significant. This is not only a great solution for reducing noise but the thermal improvements are a welcome benefit to every home.
Replacing the glass on your sash window
Before choosing to replace glass, several factors need to be considered.
- In vertically sliding sash windows the weight of the glass must be offset by the balance mechanism. For every increase in the thickness of glass there is a corresponding increase in the cost to re-balance the mechanism.
- It is usually possible to double the thickness of single glazing without modification to the frame e.g. existing 3mm glass can be replaced with 6.5mm.
- For glass thicker than 6.5mm the frame will usually need to be altered. Unless noise intrusion is a very substantial problem the costs incurred to install thicker glass are seldom cost effective. Replacement double glazed laminated sashes are recommended for the best noise reduction.
- Replacing old glass with new can change the colour of the light entering your home and alter how light reflects from the glass.
Whilst windows are often targeted as the major cause of noise intrusion they are not the sole culprits. Air vents, walls, floors, ceilings and chimneys are all areas that can be acoustically improved. These areas should all be given equal consideration when a significant improvement in noise reduction is expected.
Soft furnishings absorb sound very well. Current trends in decor such as removing carpets in favour of polished floor boards or replacing heavy drapes with blinds adds to the problem. Simply incorporating more soft furnishings will improve problems associated with noise.
Sound and noise reduction is a very complex problem and no matter how good a particular product measures in tests, the results are not always reflected in real world situations. Glazing manufacturers offer their test results as guidance only and recommend employing the services of acoustic consultants.
At Heritage Sash Windows we accept that traditional windows will never be sound proof; they were never designed that way. We don’t claim to offer a perfect solution, but we do know where great improvements can be made.