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Do Soundproof Curtains Work? (and How to Buy Curtains That Are Effective)6 min read

Do Soundproof Curtains Work? (and How to Buy Curtains That Are Effective)6 min read

Are you sick and tired of the heavy noise? Maybe you’re living on a busy city street, next to a loud construction site or in an apartment building with thin walls (for example). And want to know if soundproof curtain is a possible solution?

Yes, for some specific noise related issues soundproof curtain does work well. Remember that curtains are best at dampening the noise, not blocking.

We recommend opting for custom made curtains if you are looking to soundproof your home, as this will ensure that they match your décor and meet your needs perfectly.

Why curtains?

Well, it’s by far the cheapest option out there.  You just need a few screws, a driver, a curtain rod and the curtain.

You will be done in no time and you will have a much quieter room.

But how does it really work? This next section will give you a primer, without boring.

Basics Behind Sound Deadening

Have you ever wondered it’s annoyingly loud when you talk in the basement?

That’s because the sound hit the walls and other objects and bounce off all the surfaces.

Sound travels back and forth, making the sound even louder. Since you get the same sound waves multiple times you start hearing the echo

(and it gives you a headache right).

It irritates because you are getting the same info (same wavelength, same pitch etc.) multiple time and at different intervals.

But if you have a lot of objects in the basement some of the sound waves will get into the cracks and get trapped.  You end up with the same sound few times (as they travel fewer trips).

Walk into your cloth closet and see how the sound feels. You wife wouldn’t hear much of what you say, just staying outside, or…

…walk up a commercial elevator when the curtains are on (used for moving purposes –  to avoid scratches and dents to the insides of the elevator).

It’s the same elevator, same voice but suddenly you feel the voice to be lower and deadened. Right?

That’s because sound gets trapped and absorbed by the cloth giving you a quitter effect.

Guide to Selecting the Right Custom Curtain

We have compiled this guide to help you make appropriate selections.

Step 1: Determine the Source of the Noise

The very first thing that you need to do is determine which window/s or wall/s are letting the most sound into your home.

These are the areas that you will want to focus on.

Note that soundproof curtains can prove to be quite expensive, so it may not be feasible to hang them over every single window.

Step 2: Measure the area where the curtains will hang

The next thing you will need to do is measure the window or wall where the drapes will be hung, as this will give you a good idea of the size required.

Make sure you measure two or even three times to ensure that you got the correct measurements first time around.

Step 3: Pay special attention to the fabric thickness

When it comes time to actually choosing your curtains, ensure that you pay special attention to the thickness of the fabric.

In order to provide a barrier against sound, it should be at least 2 to 3 inches thick.

It is also a good idea to hold the drapes in your hands; soundproof ones should be quite heavy.

Step 4: Ensure there will be a layer of vinyl backing

Whilst the front of soundproof custom-made curtains should look like any other type, the back should contain mass loaded vinyl material.

Ensure that this material is constructed from high-quality vinyl and that it includes silica and sand; this is what creates the soundproof barrier.

Step 5: Shop with stores that specialize in acoustics

Keep in mind that you will not find soundproof curtains in a home decorating store or retailers.

Instead, you may need to shop online or at least do some research into a supplier who specializes in acoustic barriers.

Don’t be afraid to give a supplier a call to determine their suitability.

Step 6: Ask about warranties and guarantees

It is essential that you inquire about warranties and guarantees before placing your order, as custom-made products cannot always be returned.

Find out what the supplier will do if your curtains provide an ineffective noise barrier or if they experience problems down the track.

Best Tips on Sound Reduction using Curtains:

  1. You need to add more density between the window and the room. So, don’t use TWO panels per window. Instead, use FOUR or SIX.
  2. Buy a thicker material compared to a thinner material. Multiple layers instead of a single layer. Again, this adds density and increases the sound blocking capacity of the curtains.
  3. Install curtains past the window opening. At least by a few inches. Extra spread over the window stops the sound to work around the curtains.
  4. Find a tightly knitted curtain. This makes it heavier and less porous blocking and absorbing more sound.
  5. Use a Ceiling mount bracket and hand the curtains. This blocks any path that the sound has around the curtains make more effective at sound blocking.
  6. Buy the Floor-to-Ceiling curtains instead of the shorter one. Taller makes the room looks taller and nicer.  Especially if you have an 8-Foot ceiling this will make it look awesome.

Sound Dampening Blankets

What if the source of the noise is in your house?

Think your Air Conditioner.

Now if you want to get away with the sound, you need to be more creative here.

Optimize your house such that the rooms that you want to be quieter are really on the other end of the noise source.

Second, you need to start using thicker sound dampening foam to fill the cavity between joists.

Using a noise reducing or noise canceling blanked wrap the AC unit.

Use caution: talk to your licensed HVAC tech to see the safest way to install the blanket around the HVAC unit.

Check my other post on soundproofing basement ceiling for great ideas that you can incorporate here.

Wrapping Up:

In any case, don’t use curtains as a sole soundproofing tool. Use it to deaden and dampen the sound.  If “attenuation” is what you are after, then curtains are awesome. Follow other best practices to reduce the noise.

Use curtains with other measures will greatly reduce the noise and give you better comfort.

  • Did you know that soundproof curtains can also be used to stop noise from leaving your home? This is great if you enjoy watching loud television or practicing an instrument.
  • Did you know that other materials can be used to supplement your soundproofing? Fabric panels, vinyl drywall, and double windowpanes also help to lessen noise penetration.

We hope that you now have a thorough understanding of how to purchase custom made curtains for the purposes of soundproofing.

Depending on where you live, this could be a primary concern (especially when trying to sleep at night or when putting young children down for a nap).

And don’t forget that these curtains can also be used to prevent noise from leaving your home, so you can party to your heart’s content.

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