Sound-proofed windows reduce traffic noise

If you live on a busy road or have noisy  neighbours, it can be really difficult to get a good night’s sleep. According to the World Health Organisation, traffic noise alone is harmful to the mental and physical wellbeing of almost a third of people living in Europe.

One of the main ways sound seeps into a room is through its windows. Luckily there are ways to soundproof sash windows and get some peace and quiet even if you live in a noisy area. Find out how with our sash window soundproofing tips.

1. Use acoustic glass for your sash windows

Acoustic glass is thicker than regular glass as it includes a soft plastic ‘interlayer’ through the centre which absorbs sound waves and significantly reduces the amount of noise that can pass through it.

Acoustic glazing can reduce the level of noise in a room by up to 10 decibels (dB). This may not sound much, but a 10dB reduction in sound means the level of noise is reduced by a massive 50% (see table below).

Sound sources and their noise levels

Sound sources with distance      Sound Pressure Level (dB)
Jet aircraft, 50m away 140
Threshold of pain 130
Threshold of discomfort 120
Chainsaw, 1m away 110
Disco, 1m from speaker 100
Diesel truck, 10m away 90
Kerbside of busy road, 5m 80
Vacuum cleaner, 1m 70
Conversational speech, 1m 60
Average home 50
Quiet library 40
Quiet bedroom at night 30
Background in TV studio 20
Rustling leaves in the distance 10
Threshold of hearing 0


2. Draught proof your windows

Draught proofing your windows using compression seals instead of brush seals is another effective method to soundproof sash windows and improve noise insulation. Compression seals are soft seals around a window that seal the gap between the window and the frame.

Getting your draught proofing right, as with acoustic glass, can reduce noise by a further 10 decibels, or 50%. So if you combine acoustic glass with compression seals on your windows, you can reduce traffic noise and the sound of noisy neighbours in your home by 75%. Find out more about how to insulate sash windows.

3. Consider your soft furnishings

Sash windows are not the only culprit when it comes to noise. As well as soundproofing your sash windows, consider incorporating more soft furnishings in your space. Soft furnishings absorb sound, so can help with noise intrusion, especially if your home uses polished floor boards instead of carpets. Specifically, thick and heavy curtains or drapes can help absorb sound and block noise from entering through your windows. Look for curtains with multiple layers or made of dense fabrics for better soundproofing.

4. Exterior soundproofing

Exterior soundproofing is great for homes in noisy areas, addressing noise at its source before it penetrates the window. Some examples include using shutters or natural elements like trees and hedges. Planting dense vegetation around the perimeter of your home can help absorb and block noise from reaching the windows, acting as a natural barrier against external sound sources.

At Timbawood, we offer a range of handmade timber windows and doors with a range of draught-proofing and glazing options, including acoustic glass and our ‘Timbalite’ slimline double glazing that looks just like single glazing.

Please get in touch with us if you’d like to speak to one of our experts about the options available.