Been longing for a soundproof pocket door that will give you some quiet time and privacy? The problem with a sliding door, glass door, or barn door as a pocket door is how it easily lets in noise.
Fortunately, there are easy DIY ways for you to soundproof interior doors in your home with MLV, soundproofing curtains, and more.
Read on to find out how you can make a soundproof pocket door with a few materials you can buy at your local hardware store.
Table of contents
- What is a Pocket Door?
- What Causes Noisy Pocket Doors?
- Best Materials for Soundproofing a Pocket Door
- How to Soundproof a Pocket Door?
- Soundproof a Pocket Door Related Questions
- Before You Go
What exactly is a pocket door? A sliding barn door, glass sliding door, swing door, or wooden sliding door are some doors known as pocket doors.
These doors help you save space because they are hung from a track that makes the door panel easy to slide and hide away.
Pocket doors make for a great patio door, restroom divider, or garage door.
The only problem with a pocket door system is that it comes with a cavity or a door hole that becomes an air gap that lets drafts and noise get through the door.
Fortunately, modern pocket doors come with acoustic door sound insulation features that turn them into soundproof sliding doors.
How to Prevent Doors From Slamming? (12 DIY Hacks That works)
Glass doors and pocket doors are the least effective when it comes to dampening sound.
Pocket doors don’t usually come with good sound insulation because they are often lightweight, made of solid wood or laminated glass, and hollow-core doors.
Considering how a pocket door is typically a hollow door without an acoustic panel or a door seal, it is normal to experience sounds passing through the door.
The door assembly of pocket doors, along with its door system, also makes it nearly impossible to be soundproof since it’s built to be free of friction from the floor and surrounding walls.
Aside from the design itself, noise can also be caused when the door doesn’t come with a stop bead on the pocket side with the jamb seal.
Best Materials for Soundproofing a Pocket Door
1. Green Glue
Green glue is a soundproofing material that you can apply to seal gaps and hollows between the solid core door and the wall.
Tip: Green glue is best used when applied between two panels or sheets of building materials. You can use green glue to add a door sweep to make a partially acoustic pocket door.
2. Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
MLV is a common soundproofing material used to increase the sound-deadening ability of a pocket sliding door.
Tip: MLV is perfect for soundproofing a second sliding glass door because it comes with a high mass that also adds strength to flimsy glass pocket doors.
Homasote is a material made out of cellulose fiber. This is ideally used for soundproofing a wall, door, or floor.
4. Soundproofing curtains
The easiest material to use when it comes to soundproofing pocket doors is soundproofing curtains. They are quite affordable and easy to install as well.
How exactly do you soundproof a pocket door? There are different ways you can do this. Here are some of the easiest ways you can try at home on different types of pocket doors.
Mass-loaded vinyl is a very affordable and easily accessible material that you can get from your local hardware store.
To soundproof interior doors with MLV, all you have to do is cut out the MLV and try to seal the gap at the bottom of the door.
Tip: For best results, cut the MLV in the size of the door (make sure it fits the door frame) and staple the MLV to the door to make the entire door panel soundproof.
If your pocket door comes in double doors, it may be more difficult to seal since there will always be a gap between the two door panels.
When it comes to double doors, your best and most practical option would be soundproof curtains.
You can find quality soundproof curtains all over the internet or in your local hardware store.
A soundproof curtain acts as an acoustic panel when you install it above the door frame.
Soundproof curtains are also the go-to soundproofing material for glass doors since you won’t have to cover up your glass doors permanently just to make them soundproof.
Tip: Look for soundproof curtains that are STC-rated to ensure that they have sound-blocking capabilities. The STC level of a soundproof curtain defines how many decibels the curtain can reduce.
Soundproofing for a single doorway can be so much easier when you get a soundproof door cover.
A good soundproof door cover can help you reduce around 80% of the noise coming from the outside of your door.
Soundproof door covers are usually made out of mass-loaded vinyl that absorbs vibration and deadens sound.
Unlike the conventional door sweep you stick at the bottom of your door, an automatic door bottom fits perfectly in the gap beneath the door.
Automatic door bottoms are better than door sweeps because they are mounted flush on the bottom of the door, leaving no gap unsealed.
They also don’t come off easily like most door sweeps you buy from the mall.
A door gasket is an ultimate alternative for weatherstripping tape. However, if you live somewhere with extreme weather conditions, you may want to reinforce your door with silicone weatherstripping instead. Otherwise, a door gasket is a way to go.
Door gaskets last much longer than weatherstripping tape. Though they may be a tad more pricey, they can provide better results.
You can apply a door gasket to the two jambs on the side of the pocket door and the header. This will leave the door frame virtually gapless and soundproof.
Tip: Choose a door gasket made with 204 anodized aluminum retainers and quality neoprene to ensure that it will remain effective for a long period.
If you’re looking to completely soundproof your pocket door, your best option may be to use multiple soundproofing materials.
For example, soundproofing barn doors can be more difficult since barn doors are often made with several wooden pallets glued together.
If your pocket door is made out of glass, multiple panels of wood, or a hollow door, your best bet at getting it soundproofed would be to:
1. Seal the gaps with green glue.
2. Apply MLV, a door sweep, or an automatic door bottom.
3. Install soundproof curtains above the door.
Soundproof a Pocket Door Related Questions
Even though pocket doors offer visual privacy, they aren’t the best option for sound privacy. Pocket doors are designed to be slid seamlessly into a wall. Being so, there are always gaps where sound can pass through.
You can enhance sound privacy for bathrooms with pocket doors by installing soundproofing materials such as MLV, door sweeps, and acoustic panels that can reduce noise and make the door panel more able to absorb sound vibrations.
Sliding doors are designed to have gaps around their sides so that they can slide freely on their track.
Adding these soundproofing materials to your pocket doors can help reduce noise by 80%.
No matter how much you try to seal a pocket door with soundproofing materials, you cannot truly seal a pocket door airtight.
For a pocket door to seamlessly slide from one side to another, it has to be free of friction from the walls and the floor.
You can seal the gaps on the pocket door’s sides to reduce noise and drafts. However, you will never be able to give it a 100% seal since its position is always changing.
Sliding glass and wooden doors are ideal for functional access to your garden, patio, courtyard, or pool area.
You can use either of the two for the inside and outside of your home. It all boils down to personal preference, preferred security measures, and local weather conditions.
Remember, the key to soundproofing a pocket door is getting all those gaps where air and sound can pass through completely sealed. You can also reduce noise by adding MLV or acoustic panels to your door panel.
Keep in mind that you can never truly seal a pocket door airtight, but you can significantly improve sound privacy with just the right materials.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.