Keep the Noise Out
If you live on a quiet street or in a farmhouse in the country, reducing exterior noise isn’t likely to be a priority when purchasing windows. But with over 80% of Canadians now living in urban areas, sound-blocking glass is a practical option that is also a growing trend.
WHAT IS SOUND-BLOCKING GLASS?
Sound-blocking glass substantially reduces undesirable noise from the outside, particularly for houses or buildings in close proximity to high-traffic areas, industry, airports and other sources of noise.
This glass configuration consists of two glass panes that have a greater thickness than that of traditional thermopane units, and in some instances include three panes and an interlayer. Sound-blocking glass substantially increases a window’s STC rating, which indicates more effective soundproofing.
A third-party organization, the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM), has developed the STC rating system to evaluate a material’s ability to resist the transfer of airborne sound. In addition to windows, this rating is used to gauge sound transfer in walls, partitions and floors.
But does it really work?
What is good soundproofing? To answer this, it helps to put the performance numbers into context. A four-point STC improvement is clearly noticeable and a ten-point improvement will reduce sound transfer by approximately 50%.
Most new double-pane windows have an STC rating of 25-27, while a standard 2 x 4 wall rating is approximately 36. Our sound-blocking glass rating stands at 33-37, depending on the option you select.
It may also be helpful to know that experts concur: unless the entire building is engineered for sound control, there is little value in purchasing windows with a rating higher than that of the walls.
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