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Let's talk about sound isolating doors

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
I did run a search, and saw these threads from the fall, but none were quite the right place to post in. So another thread! But this was the fruit of my search:

A general safe and sound thread
A thread about accousticly treating a door - with an amazing design for communicating doors
A thread on double doors
The Green Glue guys FAQ on Doors

On to my question, my carpenter sent this note:


I have some thoughts on the door to the theater, I know we talked about an exterior door. The threshold is necessary for your sound, but I am wary of it looking tacky and the thought that you would always have to step over the threshold. It won't look that good aesthetically. I wonder if you have given thought to a solid-core door (which is just as heavy and thick as an exterior door) with a doorsweep installed along the bottom, to close it off to the ground? It will look a lot nicer and should perform just as well. It will not cost you any extra. Please let me know.

My thoughts are, a heavy interior door is just as good as an exterior one - no problems there (I didn't know safe-n-sound was an interior door, as it seems to be in the first link I posted). But I think I need the exterior kit to seal all the sides, not just the the bottom. My wife was sympathetic the carpenter's aesthetic concerns, so I am willing to consider alternatives if people can think of them.

Communicating doors and super-high end seals probably won't work out for me, so I guess I am asking if I should push for the exterior jams, or consider something else?

Any thoughts?
post #2 of 7
there are 2 issues here. the dor slab itself should be a solid core door. more mass is better. the other is the weather stripping, or in this case the seal around the door.
On the sides and the top you can use stop that has a built in "Z" strip. its the same strip put into an exterior door kerf. It can be bought in brown or white and is well worth using. It makes it kind of like a refrigerator door seal.
For the bottom If you use an interior threshold I would reccomend getting an adjustable height one, in either metal or oak, then bevel the door bottom so that it squeezes when closed. good luck!
post #3 of 7
By the way, thanks for the thorough search. I'm starting to think about doors and you've saved me a bit of work. Thanks for posting the thread links.
post #4 of 7
Thread Starter 
Pmeyer - we try to help.

Spot - Thanks for repling. I think I am following you, I will take a better look at my exterior door at home to make sure I am following what your are saying. I know the zero international seals are what Dennis Erskine recomends, but I was under the impression that they were major dollars. I saw a comment in a thread suggesting they may have seals that aren't deal breakers. Thanks for pointing me in a direction.

For others like me, a handy glossary
post #5 of 7
Again I'm pushing the SandS doors.

After installation, I had a problem with the weather strips I installed dragging on the carpet. I removed them and found the increase in sound was minimal. Realistically, you're probably going to "leak" more sound through your air vents and return than you will through the small cracks around the door.
A qualifier here though, my theater door opens to the rest of the basement. If it were located in a more sensitive area (living room, etc), I might be more concerned.

I like spots idea above about bevelling the bottom of the door though. If I decide to reinstall the strips, I'll be doing that.
post #6 of 7
Thread Starter 
Well I passed on Spot's comments and mentioned that SnS is a prefered door. I probably won't talk to him for a day or two, so if any other ideas crop up, let me know.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
To follow up. We are going w/ S-n-S doors. The sides will be sealed/stripped. We'll try the sweep he was recomending. He made the point that the threshold would be custom anyways, so if we need to retrofit, we can.

Based on the cranked radio while painting test, we are getting decent isolation without any doors. Onward and upward, I guess. Should be up by the end of the week, so we'll know more soon.
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