Latest Discussions : Windows & Doors


03:18AM | 11/02/06
Member Since: 11/01/06
7 lifetime posts
I live near a major highway and want to install triple pane windows that offer the most sound reduction in a new addition. Some will be fixed but there will be two that can open and one doorwall. I have been to Anderson and Pella showrooms and my builder recommended Jeld Wyn which I know nothing about. Does anyone have any thoughts on any of these products? Thanks in advance for your feedback.


03:52PM | 11/02/06
Member Since: 05/13/05
40 lifetime posts
Hi Sandra,

As a general rule, triple pane may not be the best alternative if your promary concern is sound reduction. In fact, depending on whose window you are installing, a dual pane could out-perform a triple pane in sound attenuation.

Stopping unwanted sound thru a window is determined by three things – mass, stiffness, and damping. Increasing the mass of any object will have an effect on sound transmission. Increasing the mass of a window (making the glass thicker) will increase sound attenuation, but not nearly as much as might seem obvious.

It really isn’t possible to increase the stiffness of glass, so that leaves damping the sound as the only remaining variable.

Glass has very little damping ability, but when putting a layer of a more viscous material between two of lites of glass we substantially increase the units ability to dampen sound – thus the advantage of laminated glass. In fact, a single pane of 1/4" laminated glass consisting of two 1/8" lites with the plastic interlayer actually has as much sound blocking ability as a 1/2" lite of monolithic glass.

Two things you want to look at when comparing windows - whatever glass is installed - first, how tight are they when closed? That is huge. If the window doesn't sit very tightly in the frame, then you will have sound getting thru the unit.

Second, how "heavy" does the frame feel to you? They will probably feel about the same I suspect, but any flimsiness or anything else that may make you wonder about how "sturdy" the window is, can affect sound.

Next, which ever window you decide to choose, it MUST be installed correctly. I would venture a guess that better than 90% of all window problems involves installation, and if you want to stop sound from penetrating the unit, then installation is vital.

A fixed, versus an operating, window is usually going to give you much better sound attenuation. However, having a house-full of windows that can't be opened is not very appealing to most people, so again we come back to the earlier comment that the window MUST be tight when closed.


07:29PM | 11/08/06
Member Since: 04/28/06
42 lifetime posts
The ability of a window to reduce outside noise is commonly rated in 2 ways - either via its Sound Transmission Class (STC) or via the Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC). The higher the number the better the window is at reducing sound.

A noise reduction of 10 decibels represents cutting the noise level in half. So a rating of 25 (which is 2-1/2 times greater than 10) means that the product reduces the outside noise by approx 25 decibels, cutting the noise in half 2-1/2 times, or cutting it by over 80%.

STC ratings have long been the standard by which window companies have measured noise reduction. However, they only give an indication of noise reduction of high frequency sounds such as voices, birds, etc. OITC ratings are relatively new, but would be a much better indicator for you of noise reduction because they're based on lower frequency noises such as traffic, lawn mowers, etc. Therefore OITC ratings are usually a few points lower than STC ratings because the lower frequency sounds are more difficult to reduce.

My recommendation would be to get laminated glass in an insulating glass unit. Laminated glass is highly effective in reducing noise thus improving STC and OITC ratings. It's produced by permanently bonding two pieces of glass together with a tough plastic interlayer between them. It also blocks 99.5% of the sun's ultraviolet rays, protecting furniture, etc. from fading.

If memory serves (sorry I didn't look up exact numbers), double and triple glazed windows (non-laminated) typically have an STC of low to mid 30s, while laminated is closer to 40. It can be pretty costly though.

As for the three brands you mentioned, Pella and Andersen are solid, quality companies. Jeld-Wen is rather interesting, since they have acquired other window companies (notably Norco, Wenco, Pozzi, and Caradco) and relabeled them all as Jeld-Wen. Their features and level of options vary between their sub-brands. With all of their acquisitions they join Pella & Andersen as some of the very largest manufacturers in the industry.


03:44PM | 11/09/06
Member Since: 05/13/05
40 lifetime posts
Hi TruBlue,

Good answer - I personally am not fond of the STC rating system - I much prefer the OITC. And it is nice to see that folks are starting to see it more frequently.



01:40AM | 11/10/06
Member Since: 11/01/06
7 lifetime posts
Thank you for your reply. I would be interested in looking into the laminating glass window. Can you tell me what manufacturer makes it? I will also research the OTIC ratings, is there a number I should be striving for? Six years ago we replaced our windows with a combination of Pella and Anderson Renewal double pane windows they did not prove to be of much help reducing the road noise problem. I was present when they installed them and before framing them in they stuffed the narrow opening between the 2 x 4's with insulation, but I'm wondering if this time I should request a foam insulation be used to fill in around the window frames. We love our location or would just consider moving but instead we would like to stay in our neighborhood and do what we can to make our new addition as sound proof as possible. Are there other suggestions you could make as to what we should consider when framing out the new addition to reduce any sound coming through the walls?


05:12AM | 11/10/06
Member Since: 04/28/06
42 lifetime posts
Hi Sandra

Here's some answers for you. As to which manufacturers offer laminated glass, pretty much none offer it as standard, although all of the manufacturers you mentioned should have it available as a special order with extended lead times, so plan the window order well in advance. Take your pick. Since you have a combination of Pella & Andersen on your home, I'd start with those two.

As to what OITC number to strive for, upper 30s or more would be REAL nice if you can get it. For STC ratings 40 or more.

I would definately use foam insulation (non-expanding kind) around the windows, not fiberglass. This insures a continuous seal around the window without any gaps, and also is a better air and water barrier.

Oberon I'm with you in that I MUCH prefer OITC ratings. STC was OK in its day but isn't as practical and useful as OITC now is. It looks like we continue to frequent the same window and glass forums!


04:21AM | 11/11/06
Member Since: 05/13/05
40 lifetime posts
Yep, we do seem to haunt many of the same sites...probably all of them? lol


06:34PM | 11/26/13
The least expensive way to increase the STC is to hang a sound blanket over your window, but this also is not very aesthetically pleasing. There is a recent product on the market I found that both blocks noise and looks good inside the home. You can choose your own colors as well:


11:45AM | 03/07/15
Member Since: 03/06/15
1 lifetime posts
I recently replaced all of my windows with Low e (argon). They are horizontal sliding windows. It does not do much to abate outside noise. I heard there are laminate windows available that fit on your existing window so they will still operate as intended. Have you heard of a company in Florida that offers this service? Do you have any recommendations? I need to replace my bedroom patio door next. Any suggestions for noise reduction and energy efficient would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you.


02:10PM | 03/26/15
I purchased a condo in Denver before I realized how busy the street is. I either need to reduce the noise or move but I don't want to invest a lot. Does anyone know if Window World's 4000 Series Double-Hung will just be a waste of money? There are no noise ratings in their brochure. Thank you.


11:53AM | 04/28/15
Member Since: 04/28/15
1 lifetime posts
I purchased a home in Texas before I realized how busy the street is. I need to reduce the noise so my wife and I can sleep. I heard there are laminate windows available that fit on your existing window so they will still operate as intended. Have you heard of a company in Texas that offers this service? Do you have any recommendations?


04:46PM | 06/17/15
Hi there. Noise reduction, of course, is important, however, what about price? I've heard people say soundproof window coast around $25k. That's a lot of money!

However, I've heard also that triple or double paned windows could be enough for noise reduction. Obviously, you say by major highway, so, unless you get soundproof bunker, there is always gonna be noise. However, double-/triple-paned windows should be enough for "backyard" noise. At lease so people say. Here:


02:59PM | 01/21/16
Member Since: 01/21/16
1 lifetime posts
I just purchased and had windows installed. I'm very unhappy with the sound quality. Our old double pane windows of 19 years were starting to fail with condensation in between the panes and I was just beginning to be able to hear the outside noise coming in and I knew it would only get worse, it was only a matter of time. Our new construction Anlin Del Mar Executive Series windows have an STC of 34. One of the company's crew tested the windows with a decibel reader app. on his cell phone. With the windows open, we registered in between 64 to 68 db (we live near a freeway) and with the windows closed we registered between 53 and 58 db. Is this a normal sound range for windows with an STC of 34? The decibel level didn't drop much at all? We have gone through the old original metal frame windows to having the pop in double pane windows put in, to now having these new construction double pane triple thick glass windows put in and the sound quality has never been worse. I hope I didn't waste thousands of dollars on these horrible windows. I'm really hoping that there is something faulty with these specific windows. Any insight would be helpful. Thanks!


07:20PM | 02/16/16
We live about 500 feet uphill from a logging road in a 2015 manufactured house with 6" insulated walls. The house is raised above the ground on piers with a cinder block skirt. The window sills are about 6". The windows are double pane acrylic. There are five 34"x79" windows in the bedroom on two walls.

We found offers a solution but I have no way to check them out. Its not cheap. We are considering the 3/8" glass placed 4" from the existing window.

Anyone had bad results from them? Is this the best solution? What good solutions would cost less? Are there any companies that offer a similar product?


02:55AM | 12/30/17
My name is Aimee, and I am the shop manager at Hyperion Glass Co in St. Louis. The biggest piece of information I wish I could teach everyone is that you do not have to get new windows! There are a ton of glass companies out there that will just replace the insulated glass units, so you don't waste your money replacing perfectly good framing. If your windows work (lock, open and close, etc...) then there's no need to replace them. You can just replace the glass. Every glass company is a little different, so I will describe how we do things. First, we schedule an appointment to come to your house to get exact measurements so we can give you a quote, free of charge (we do NOT do any sort of sales pitch, we just answer any questions you might have). Then, if you decide to go with it, we would make your unit. Find out if the glass company you call makes their own units, or orders them. Most of the big suppliers in the US use a metal spacer between the panes, which is obviously a poor choice for sound OR weather proofing. Because of this, we decided from the beginning we would manufacture our own. We cut the glass to the size of your frame, (usually out of glass that is somewhere between 3/32" & 1/4”, and can be annealed, tempered, laminated, obscure, tinted, coated, etc.) and then we clean and "spacer" them. We use super spacer, a structural foam that is 3/16” thick, and of various widths depending on the glass thickness and the thickness of your frames. The foam not only helps with sound and weather proofing, but expands and contracts with extreme temperatures so your seal is not only better, but will last way longer. It has adhesive on the sides instead of the face, so the thin part sticks down to one piece, and then the other piece of glass is carefully lined up and then pressed down. I think of it like a hollow Oreo. The spacer is attached about 1/2" in from the edge of the glass, to leave space for the sealant. Another thing that was hard to find was someone who used a good sealant. Most companies use butyl. Butyl isn't really a bad sealant, but it's a hot melt (kinda like the glue used in glue guns), so every summer it melts a little, compromising the seal, and making the unit a nightmare for us to remove so we can replace it! We use poly-sulfide, which is a two part bond that will never melt. I know I sound like an infomercial, but I just want to help people understand the huge differences in materials so they can make educated decisions when they replace their glass. That's pretty much it. Once the sealant is cured, we schedule a time to come out and remove the old units, and put the new units in. I get a LOT of requests for "ballpark" quotes, but those are really difficult because of the many different options, and different degrees of installation difficulty. The best I can do is say that a usual unit size (no matter what anyone tells you, there are NO standard sizes for insulated glass units.) Of about 32"x28", made with clear annealed glass, comes to around $212 including install. Adding low-e glass, or argon, or muntins (the grid some windows have inside them) adds approx $2 per square foot, which for that size unit comes to around $12-$13 extra. Also, I've seen a bunch of articles that say laminated glass is best for sound proofing, but is very expensive. They're right about the sound proofing, but it's not as expensive as they make it sound. That same unit made with lami would
only be about $50 higher. Of course the bigger the window, the bigger the price tag, but you won't be out anything just to get the quote! I'm sure most people didn't read this far, I love what I do and could go on for pages! But I hope any of this info might be helpful to someone!


08:11PM | 07/22/18
Member Since: 07/22/18
1 lifetime posts
I've too heard that noise reducing windows are very expensive. Does anybody have any good suggestions besides. Renewel by Anderson. I heard from a place called Conservation Construction but don't know much about them besides some reviews online. Any help here would be great.



06:24PM | 01/18/19
DON'T GUESS, KNOW WHAT THE WINDOW PROBLEM FREQUENCY IS, CHART IT - The way to buy noise reducing windows changed when several free smart phone apps appeared and changed further when those free acoustic spectrum noise analyzer apps became very accurate, +- 2 db. They then added pink noise calibration for better accuracy.
Now you can read reveiws on many free download nose spectrum analyzer free apps, take it to your noise location, and the app will display in real time what noise frequencies are the problem in your location. Play with it, leave it on and watch what frequencies spike how high in each event from 25 hz to 10,000 hz.
You don't care what the OITC or STC is . All you need is for the windows you buy to block the noise frequencies that are a problems in your home, at that window. Every window manufacturer who states they have an STC or OITC got the numbers for that calculation from a "1/3 OCTAVE GRAPH". That 1/3 octave graph is the source data basic product. All labs give them a 1/3 octave graph in the acoustic test and they use that data to calculate the OITC and STC #s. The best labs can do 25 hertz and up, some only 50 hz and up. Ask for the 1/3 octave graph test and it will tell you on the graph how many decibels of noise reduction that window will give you at every frequency. If they cut the graph off at 100 db and your problem is below - WALK AWAY, it's dishonest. Choose the window that reduces the noise YOU need reduced. The manufacturs with good noise reduction will give you the 1/3 octave test down to at least 50 hz and bragg about it. Per an MIT and the Canadian Research Council research, some window manufacturers are creating windows just for hight STC and OITC numbers knowing full well that most problem noises are far lower in frequency than STC. If the manufacturer has and STC number but says they don't have a 1/3 octave graph, they do, but it shows their windows don't perform well. Just go to another window company. You want proof the windows will perform well diminishing the noise at YOUR window , not some other house. Most motorcycle, aircraft, highway noise is below STC included frequencies, much of it below OITC.
Looks up reviews, download a free app and get your window noise determined , right on the graph, and choose the window that bang for the buck solves it best. Use tested fact, not a salesman's BS or STC or OITC numbers that may or may not relate to your problem.


10:20PM | 04/27/19
I recently had soundproof windows installed, and it has made things a million times better, I can finally have a peaceful nights sleep!
I think the price does vary a lot, depending on size, amount, etc. But I used and they were incredible, and great value!


10:37PM | 04/27/19
Amazing work from they ended up doing work for my Dad's place. Amazing quality and really pleased with the results. He doesn't complain about the noise from the traffic anymore, and can finally get a good nights rest!


12:35AM | 05/29/19
Member Since: 05/29/19
1 lifetime posts
Hi Sandra! I understand what you are concerned about? But installation triple pane windows can't seem a viable option to go for instead, all you need Secondary glazing that indeed reduces noise by up to 80% and once fitted is hardly visible. It can also reduce your heating consumption dramatically. So, discuss that with your builder once...


11:17AM | 11/08/19
I am looking to install laminated Soundproof windows in Vienna VA area. Could you please recommend a good manufacture who sells this product in my area. Since it is a lot of money, I want to make sure they are really soundproof. Thank you


03:06AM | 11/11/19
Member Since: 11/11/19
3 lifetime posts
Hello there. I can recommend this window installing company They install double-glazed soundproof windows and doors, so I think it is the best option for you. I've recently used their service because my neighbors are kinda loud (I'd say too loud) and I was completely satisfied with the result,it's much quieter now.


11:45AM | 06/08/21
I need to replace my old aluminum windows with silent ones. who manufactures them in usa?


02:05PM | 10/06/21
Member Since: 10/06/21
1 lifetime posts
I've been through this whole soundproof window rodeo, as we have a trifecta of train, elevated subway, and busy road outside our condo. Here's my experience, in case it's helpful to anyone else.

In short, we were never able to find a major window manufacturer that sold replacement windows with high enough STC/OITC ratings to make a major difference in noise. For brute force reduction in noise, a custom built interior storm window (such as the ones sold by CitiQuiet-- check out their website) was finally effective for us. The downsides are, it's bulky and not elegant looking, and it's hard to open your actual windows for fresh air. Also, if a future buyer doesn't like the look of the storm window, you'll need to pay $500 or more to have it removed.

Another major learning for me-- don't bother with any windows or proposed solutions with less than STC 40 rating. The storm window combo that did it for us was about a 60 STC rating, and only then did we agree that there was a major reduction in noise.

My experience:
- Our condo came with circa-2004 era cheap, builder grade double pane, single hung windows. They let in a lot of train and road noise. I'm guessing their STC rating is probably in the low 20s, given the typical double pane window is around 26, and ours were of inferior quality.

- So, we decided to replace the windows with ones with a higher STC rating.

- However, we soon discovered that very few manufacturers make sound reduction windows. Milgard has a Quiet Line series, and AMSCO recently introduced a Serenity Series, both of which have STC ratings in the 40s. However, neither of those manufacturers have dealers in the Chicago area where we are. So, through lots of Googling, the only manufacturer we found was one called Silent Guard. Even then though, it was a pain to find a contractor and dealer willing to work with them.

- We ended up replacing our master bedroom windows with the Silent Guard window, which had an STC rating of 34, which it achieved by having two panes of glass with dissimilar thickness. After installation, we found that there was SOME reduction in noise, but you can still hear everything, and certainly not acceptable enough for sleeping. It felt maybe like a 30% reduction in noise at most.

- We then reached out to a company called Soundproof Chicago, which seems to be a local dealer for CitiQuiet. They proposed installing an interior storm window, which itself has an STC rating of 34, and that there'd be a 1.5 inch gap between our true windows and the new storm window. I did a bunch of research and looked at lots of test results and found that overall, the combination of the Silent Guard STC 34 windows, plus 1.5 inch gap, plus then the new STC 34 storm window, was projected to lead to an overall STC performance in the 60s.

- After installation, we found that yes, absolutely the interior storm window makes a huge difference. Basically we can't hear the elevated subway anymore, and only very low frequency sounds (cars with loud mufflers, or truck rumbles) will make it through now. It felt like it was at least a 90% reduction in sound.

In summary, my learnings and tips:
- Do not underestimate how hard it is to block out sound. In my experience, even an STC rating in the mid-30s (i.e., ten points more than the typical new window) was barely effective at reducing road and train noise. At the very least, you need to look for solutions with STC ratings of 40 or above, and preferably 60.
- Simply put, due to physics, the only factors that will actually reduce sound are some combination of: dissimilar glass thickness, plus a BIG air space/gaps between the panes (1 inch or more, which is double the standard gap), and laminated glass. These are all expensive and require customization to do. The major window manufacturers such as Andersen/Pella/Marvin will sell one of these (e.g., dissimilar glass thickness) as "sound reducing technology", but you should be warned that in my experience, it doesn't make much difference. You need all three of these factors working together to get a truly soundproof solution. To my knowledge, it's basically impossible to find replacement windows from a major manufacturer with anything higher than STC 40.
- Ultimately, we found the only way to get STC rating of 60 is to install an interior storm window. The reason why the interior storm window solution works is it's basically acting like a triple pane window where the third pane has a huge air gap of 1" or more from the other two panes. The downside is, you get an ugly storm window on the inside, plus it makes it hard to open your windows for fresh air.
- Dealers and manufacturers are often completely unaware of how to support homeowners looking for soundproof windows. You will have to educate yourself, and be assertive with them.
- Dealers and manufacturers will try to pass off half-baked solutions to you, such as proposing to sell you triple pane windows, or windows with argon gas inside, or windows with dissimilar glass thickness. While some of those *MAY* help reduce sound a bit, it often makes little difference in my experience. Do *NOT* trust what they say, because as I mentioned above, it's simple physics of you need multiple panes with big air gaps to really have a true soundproof window. Do not accept what a dealer/salesperson tells you, unless they can provide you with STC/OITC test results for that exact window model. I had a salesperson insist that a triple pane window would solve my sound issues. I, having done my research, knew that not to be true at all. When I asked the salesperson for STC/OITC test results proof, he evaded my question by saying they haven't "tested it yet".

- If you have a severe sound issue, like you want to soundproof a bedroom because you can't sleep, then the only solution I've found that works is an interior storm window such as the ones sold by CitiQuiet. But, you'll get something ugly and ungainly, but the serenity might be worth the tradeoff.
- For a living room or somewhere else where aesthetics is more important, then possibly look into the AMSCO Serenity Series or Milgard Quiet Line replacement windows. That way you'll get moderate sound control, with nicer aesthetics.

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