07:33AM | 09/28/07
Member Since: 09/27/07
2 lifetime posts
My husband and I recently purchased a home near a somewhat busy road. The windows are beautiful but keep out almost no noise. Is it possible to take the original windows apart and replace the glass with laminated glass to improve soundproofing? We like to open our windows when we can and would prefer not to lose that option.


05:03PM | 10/04/07
Member Since: 05/13/05
40 lifetime posts
What sort of windows do you currently have in your home?

Single pane, dual pane?

Double hung, casement, fixed?

It is possible to do just about anything if someone has enough time and money - but knowing what you have is the first step to suggesting a possible solution.


04:01AM | 10/05/07
Member Since: 09/27/07
2 lifetime posts
The windows are dual pane, double-hung sash with spring balances. The frame fits together in a tongue and grove style. Vertical sides are female, horizontal the male. There is a screw at each corner. The house is a work in progress. Time is not an issue, but to a point cost is.


05:09PM | 10/05/07
Member Since: 05/13/05
40 lifetime posts
Traffic noise is a low frequency sound, and unfortunately, low frequencies are much harder to attenuate (opposite of amplify) or block than are higher frequencies - just think how often you hear the bass sounds from the neighborhood kid's car stereo and not the higher pitch tunes when he is coming down the street.

When considering window glass performance there are three primary processes or products to consider for maximum possible sound attenuation.

First is laminated glass - which you have been considering.

Second is a wider airspace between the lites.

Third is different thickness lites within the IGU or Insulating Glass Unit.

Fourth would be a combination of all three.

Some folks will suggest triple pane glass for its sound deadening ability, and while triple pane may be a slight improvement over standard double pane at lower frequencies due to the additional density of the extra lite, overall there is no difference in STC rating between triple and double pane provided that the overall airspace between the panes is constant between the two constructions.

In other words, a triple pane with two 1/4" airspaces and a dual pane with a 1/2" airspace – both using 1/8" glass – will have the same STC assuming that windows are otherwise the same.

Using one thicker (3/16") and one thinner (1/16") lite in an IG construction may also help deaden sound because each lite is transparent to a different frequency and each lite will then attenuate the frequency that passed thru the other lite.

As a general rule, different thickness lites in an IG configuration contributes more to lower frequency noise attenuation than to higher frequency sound blocking. Oddly, using different thickness lites does not contribute significantly to overall STC performance as well as other options – such as a wider airspace in the IG unit.

Stopping unwanted sound thru any material is determined by three things – mass, stiffness, and damping.

Increasing the mass of a window by using thicker glass will increase sound attenuation and the change from a single pane window to dual pane or triple pane IGU to a window will add glazing mass and will improve overall sound performance thru the window; but not as much as might seem obvious and not necessarily in the frequency ranges that you are most concerned with.

-Inherently, 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 unit’s ability to dampen sound – thus the advantage of laminated glass which just so happens to be a product that has a layer of more viscous material between two lites of glass.

A single pane of 1/4" laminated glass consisting of two 1/8" lites with the plastic interlayer actually has just about as much sound blocking ability as a 1/2" lite of monolithic glass.

And while the monolithic glass tends to do better at mid to higher frequencies, at the lower frequencies the performance of ¼” laminated and ½” monolithic tend to be about the same.

Using a 1/4" laminated and 1/8" annealed combination tends to offer significant lower frequency sound blocking. But, also make sure that the sash and frame are tight and that the windows have been properly installed.

Thise areas can also very significantly affect sound propagation.


09:29PM | 10/05/07
Member Since: 10/05/07
2 lifetime posts
Theres a whole bunch of stuff on windows on this site and some specific answers I found about soundproofing windows which may be of help to you. I searched soundproof windows and heres one that came up right away.
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