Soundproof Window Curtains



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Soundproof Window Curtains

Soundproof window curtains are one of the alternatives that consumers can try if the cost of soundproof replacement windows is simply out of reach. These curtains look very similar to normal curtains when closed, although they will not fold up like a normal window curtain (due to the interior vinyl sheet that is used to absorb sound). The problem with soundproof window curtains is that they are only going to do so much to dampen loud exterior sounds. This is one reason why they are often referred to as acoustic curtains instead of soundproof curtains. The curtains tend to absorb sound rather than deadening the sound as with soundproofing windows.


Soundproofing Curtain Basics

Whether you call them acoustic or soundproofing curtains, the basic concept is the same. The interior and exterior panels of the curtains are made from a microfiber, suede, quilted fiberglass, velour or a velvet material. In between these two panels is an interior layer of mass loaded vinyl sheeting that acts as the main noise dampener to reduce sound from entering. Typically, these acoustic curtains can achieve an STC rating of anywhere between 25 and 34. By way of comparison, a single pane window typically has an STC rating of around 25 to 30.

This means that adding the acoustic curtain over the single pane window should have a significant effect on the overall noise reduction and acoustics in the room, although whether or not it completely addresses the problem is more a function of the source of the sound. For best results, soundproofing curtains should be 2" to 3" in thickness and should weigh 15 lbs. to 20 lbs. The MLV or mass loaded vinyl needs to high quality since this is the crucial feature in terms of its soundproofing efficacy.


Advantages Of Soundproof Curtains

There are two main advantages to using soundproofing curtains instead of replacement windows. The first is the simple convenience of it all. The curtains can be hung relatively easily, although they do require more durable hardware to hang these much heavier curtains. Homeowners should not use the same hardware as a normal curtain, as convenient and tempting as this may be.

The second advantage is the cost, which is much less then a replacement window. Soundproofing curtains should run somewhere between $100 and $250 per curtain depending on the materials, quality and size of the window or door opening. Installation is no harder than hanging a normal window curtain, although it will take 2 people to hang a soundprofing curtain due to its weight and bulk. Alternatively, you can hire a handyman to hang the curtains, which should run $25 to $50 per opening.


Disadvantages Of Soundproof Curtains

There are a number of disadvantages to soundproof window curtains to consider. The first of which, and certainly the most important, is the degree to which the curtains are able to block noises from entering a room. Manufacturers claim that their products offer an STC rating of 25 to 34, which is the equivalent of a single pane window. Of course the window is sealed in place, while a curtain can be moved about and may not always be properly positioned. Consumer reviews of several of the main products have been rather mixed as to the efficacy of the curtains. Compare this solution to the other low cost alternative of soundproof window inserts.

The other disadvantage of soundproof curtains has to do with how the curtain closes. Because of the vinyl sheet, the curtain will not fold up in the way you typically think of with a curtain - they will take up more room when closed. Finally, soundproofing window curtains are quite heavy and therefore require special hardware and rods to properly hang the curtains over the window.


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