How to Quiet a Sliding Glass Door? – Creating Soundproof Living

From the shower enclosures in your bathroom to the walls that separate the patio from the living room, sliding glass doors are a widespread design element in most modern homes. With their overarching outdoor views, sliding doors create a sense of openness and opulence in any living space.

As a person who thrives on serene and calm indoors, installing glass doors to your terrace or the backyard deck may not go as planned. The thin glass shield doesn’t make a good barrier against external noises. Not to mention the squeaky rollers that glass doors slide on.

If you are looking for ways to quiet a sliding glass door, we have set up a complete guide to help you create soundproof living.

Lubricate the roller and track of the door frame to quiet a sliding glass door. You must reduce flanking by sealing the gaps and holes around the perimeter and renewing the weatherstripping tape. Hang noise-blocking curtains, thick blinds, and drapes, and clad the sliding door panels with fiberglass blankets. If the squeaking noise doesn’t stop, upgrade to laminated or double-glazed glass panels.

Why Glass Door Squeaks? – 3 Reasons for a Noisy Sliding Glass Door

The extensive adoption of glass doors in residential and commercial settings is because of their visual appeal. Unlike a traditional door, glass sliding doors bring an aesthetic and sophisticated outlook to an indoor space, and that’s about it! Glass sliding doors perform rather poorly when it comes to sound.

As a thinner barrier compared to walls, glass is ineffective in blocking noise from either side. Besides the low STC rating of glass, holes and fissures around the metal frame also contribute to noise transmission. If your door makes awful squeaking sounds when you slide it open or try to shut it, it’s time to look at these rollers.

While the term might be slightly misleading, sliding glass doors glide on top of rollers running on the metal frame tracks. The three potential reasons for a noisy sliding glass door could be:

– Squeaky sliding doors often signify pent-up dust and debris between the tracks and rollers. As you slide the door, the dust particle cause friction leading to a loud squeaking sound.

– Any negligence in lubricating the hinges and roller tracks could result in an obstructed and noisy movement. Lubricating the moving components enable them to slide smoothly and quietly. Make sure to choose a high-quality lubricant, or you could damage the track surface.

– If the sliding door remains immobile for some period, signs of rust or corrosion may appear on the gliding rollers. Since the rust disfigures the shape of the metal frame, it will restrict the smooth gliding of the door on top, causing a loud squeal.

Silence Squeaking Sliding Glass Doors – Step-By-Step Procedure

If the sliding glass doors in your house open up to the backyard patio, it will be vulnerable to changing winds, dust and debris, and pet hairs. The residue builds up on the tracks and jams the door, making it difficult to slide.

Though lubricating the roller would help smoothen the flow, you must clean the tracks of any debris beforehand. Here’s the step-by-step process to silence a sliding door.

  1. Slide the door to the center, lift it upwards and outwards from the tracks and take it out.
  2. Remove any traces of debris or dust from the tracks using a brush or a vacuum cleaner.
  3. In case of hardened stains on the roller or tracks, apply some dish detergent. Use an old toothbrush or cloth to scrub the surface and rinse it clean using warm water.
  4. Clean the rollers and tracks using a clean, damp cloth and then leave them to dry. You can also blow some compressed air to hasten the process.
  5. Once the components are fully dried off, apply a layer of greaseless lubricant spray or WD-40 and install the door back on the frame.

5 Effective Ways to Soundproof a Sliding Glass Door

Unless you paddle up ways to quiet your glass door, the excitement of unobstructed view will soon die out. Unnecessary background noise adversely affects productivity and well-being, and glass doors might be the number one culprit in doing that. We have rounded up five practical ways to soundproof a sliding glass door:

Seal the Cracks and Fissures

Flanking – the transmission of sound around a certain barrier or partition – is the primary reason for noise penetration inside a living space through sliding doors. Besides the thin glass panels, noise mainly flanks through the gaps and holes around the door frame.

If the gaps are wide enough for air to pass through, sound waves will slip in as well. Even a millimeter-wide crack makes a difference to your indoor noise levels. Start by ensuring every gap and fissure is blocked off, creating a foolproof indoor space. Use acoustical caulk to seal the sliding glass doors.

Renew the Weatherstripping

While caulking sealants block air pathways around the static door frame, the formula may not effectively seal air leaks around the sliding door. Weatherstripping tape, however, adheres to the sliding parts blocking off the air, water, and dust from passing through.

Since the striping tape is attached to the edges of the sliding door, make sure it’s not too thick to block the smooth gliding. Or if the tape is too thin, the noise will sneak in easily. This weatherstripping tape by Auspa offers the perfect fit for sliding glass doors.

Hang Soundproof Curtains or Drapes

Besides soaking up the excessive noise, curtains and drapes make an impressive interior décor element. Unlike regular curtains, noise-blocking curtains feature a higher STC rating, allowing them to regulate the sound.

Soundproof curtains are made from a relatively thicker and softer fabric that can dampen incoming sound waves, limiting reverberations and echoes. Thicker drapes also help insulate an enclosed space during cold winters. That said, you will have to put up with an obstructed view of your lawn or terrace and restricted lighting.  

Draw on Thick Blinds

Sliding glass doors in commercial settings like offices and institutes are a nuisance in itself. As curtains are more suited in households, prefer instating thick blinds on the glass panel separations and sliding doors.

But if you are renovating one of your household rooms into a home office or study room, clad up the door with thick fiberglass blankets. Though they are quite effective and inexpensive, you might have to ignore how they look draped up on your glass doors.

Go for Laminated or Double-Glazed Glass

No matter how many layers of padded curtains or blinds you install, nothing will ensure effective soundproofing as much as laminated glass. The laminated glass features two glass panels attached using PVB and EVA adhesives, ensuring a better acoustic setting.

They are more durable and insulated, with STC ratings reaching as high as 40. If the exuberant costs and insulation aren’t your concerns, upgrading to laminated glass doors is the ideal way to soundproof.

Double-glazed glass panels, on the other hand, incorporates a layer of air suspended between two glass panels. Although they are known for their higher thermal efficiency, the air barrier makes an efficient noise filter. The two glass panels exhibit a 16-millimeter gap in between, which amounts to an STC rating of 40.

Using Paraffin Wax to Quiet Sliding Glass Door – Does it Work?

The loud screeching sounds from a sliding door are not uncommon, especially if you’re a bit laid back on the cleaning and upkeep side. If laminated or double-glazed glass panels are beyond your budget, fret not, we have set up a cheap DIY method to quiet a sliding glass door.

Lubing the tracks and roller of your sliding glass door with paraffin serve as a quick fix for eliminating squealing sounds. Even if you’ve run out of paraffin or general household wax, you can easily source it from the nearest grocery store.

Before applying the paraffin wax on sliding doors, remove the dirt and debris from the tracks using a vacuum cleaner. Wash the rollers using detergent and dish soap if you see rust spots or built-up debris on the rollers. Once they dry off, run a bar of paraffin over the tracks to apply an even layer.

People Also Asked

A few commonly asked questions are answered below:

Why are sliding glass doors so noisy?

Sliding glass doors are suspended on metal rollers that glide on the engraved tracks on the metal frame whenever you slide the door open or close. But the pent-up dust and debris on the tracks and the lack of lubrication on the rollers cause friction between the two, resulting in a loud squeaking sound.  

Does lubrication help quiet a sliding glass door?

Yes, lubricating a sliding door helps quiet it down. It ensures a smoother flow of rollers on the door tracks without friction. Use a vacuum cleaner to remove the accumulated dirt and debris before applying a grease spray. You can also apply paraffin wax to quiet the sliding glass door cheaply.