sound waves

Which Type of Glazing for Noise Reduction?

There are several different sorts of glazed window available. There are traditional single-paned windows, which comprise just the one sheet of glass. Then there are the popular double-glazed units, which sandwich a layer of inert gas (or vacuum) between two glass panels. If you want to go even further, there are even triple-glazed windows which add another layer of glass (and another layer of inert gas).

The more layers, the more thermally insulated it is. But what if you’re concerned with sound pollution, too? Well, the good news is that certain sorts of window will offer considerable protection from unwanted noises. But which is best? And what alternatives are available?

Which Window Glazing is Best for Noise Reduction?

Will Double and Triple Glazing Reduce Noise?

A double-glazed window will reduce noise more than a single-glazed one. Triple glazing tends to be no more effective than double glazing when it comes to sound insulation, if you are keeping the thickness of the window the same. Thinner sheets of glass will vibrate more easily, and if the volume of air is the same, then there’ll be no real difference in sound conductivity. In practice, triple glazed windows contain more glass – and since sound travels more easily through solids than gases, they conduct noise more easily.

Will Secondary Glazing Reduce Noise?

If one window will reduce noise, then two windows placed back to back will reduce it even further. In fact, secondary glazing is even more effective when the glass used is of a different thickness. It’ll resonate at different frequencies, causing a more complete deadening effect.

Window Glazing Costs

Different sorts of glazing will incur different costs. Triple-glazed windows are far more intricate and complex than double-glazed ones, which tends to mean more expense. You can expect to pay around 50% more for a triple glazed window than a double-glazed one.

The material used for the frame will also influence the cost of the window. Aluminium windows and timber windows tend to sit at the more expensive end of the scale, but they do look better than uPVC ones – which, while more affordable, aren’t quite as strong, and thus need to be made thicker. When you’re making this decision, you should factor in the money that you’ll save over time as your energy bills go down.

Generally speaking, the more windows that you elect to have fitted at the same time, the more economical things get. Installers must factor in the time spent travelling to and from your property, and thus getting everything done at once tends to be cost effective.

How Can I Soundproof a Window?

Of course, replacing an entire window can be very expensive. If you’d like to reduce the volume without spending a packet, then there are a few simple steps you can take.

Firstly, you might dress your windows with heavier curtains – and then, crucially, draw them. You might then examine the edge of the window for any gaps, and seal them. Finally, you might consider covering the window with a screen – or even secondary glazing. If you live in a conservation area, this latter option might make a fantastic alternative to traditional double-glazing.

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Plant on a window ledge

Window Treatments for Autumn 2019

A great set of windows deserves the right treatment. Modern homeowners can avail themselves of an unprecedented range of options: there are half a dozen sorts of blinds to choose from, along with curtains of varying weights and colours. You might even decide to go for one set of each!

Types of Window Treatments

Given the variety of window-dressings available, it’s worth taking the time to acquaint ourselves with a few of the more popular options. We’ll start with blinds, and then move to curtains.

Roller Blinds

A rolled up tube of fabric that unfurls from the top of your window and retracts into a small space. This won’t entirely cover your window, but it is lightweight and practical.

Venetian Blinds

These are the horizontal strips which can be rotated to adjust the amount of light reaching the interior. They can be wooden or metal, with the latter offering a little more flexibility.

Vertical Blinds

Vertical blinds work in the same way as Venetians, except that they hang in vertical strips rather than in horizontal ones.

Roman Blinds

Romans function a bit like roller blinds, except they’re heavier, and not on a roller. You’ll need a bit of space at the top of your window to accommodate them, otherwise they’ll prevent light from getting inside even when they’re fully open.

Voile Curtains

Voile curtains are made from an extremely lightweight, usually white, fabric. This means that it can ensure your privacy while still allowing natural light in. Voiles are often used in combination with other sorts of curtain.

Blackout Curtains

Some curtains come equipped with a layer of thick fabric sewn into the rear, called a blackout lining. This prevents sunlight from getting in. This is ideal if you’re looking to enjoy a film during the day-time, or catch up on some sleep. Blackout linings will also reduce heat loss, making them the energy-efficient choice.

Window Treatments Trends

So what’s in vogue in the world of blinds and curtains in autumn 2019? As ever, homeowners are concerned about the financial cost of heating their homes – but, to an unprecedented degree, they’re also concerned about the environmental cost. As such, blackout curtains are just as popular as ever they were.

When it comes to curtains, mustard yellow is a bold choice but a popular one this season, and works best with matching accents in throw cushions, and otherwise neutral-toned walls and furniture. On the other hand, you might go in the opposite direction: if your walls are already looking on the loud side, you can tone things down by going to black, white or grey curtains, which we’ve seen cropping up a lot on our design feeds.

If you’re looking to do something with blinds, then a set of Roman blinds with a busy pattern is on-point at the moment, as are the wooden Venetian blinds, which work well for kitchen spaces where fabrics don’t work so well.

Your taste in window dressing will be as individual as you are. Moreover, those tastes are likely to change over time – so if you’re going to go bold, be sure that you appreciate that doing so is inherently risky. Having said that, you won’t achieve the interior of your dreams without taking a little bit of a risk!