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Not all windows are designed equally, so you may not be able to use the same type of soundproofing treatments on different windows. Soundproofing bay windows can be a bit difficult due to their irregular shape, especially if the plan is to use soundproofing curtains. This is probably why most of the questions we receive about our soundproofing curtains come from people who are looking to soundproof their bay windows.
If you’ve never seen bay windows before, they aren’t just one, flat panel – they’re made up of multiple windows that meet at angles, and stick out from a house. Don’t worry, we have pictures right here if you still can’t quite picture them.
Soundproofing Bay Windows
Bay windows are usually pretty large, which can be the reason why so many people are interested in soundproofing options for them. Since glass is much less soundproof than a wall, if most of your wall is taken up by a bay window, you give sound a better opportunity to leak into your house. The STC rating, or the sound transmission classification, is an architectural rating that determines how much sound a material blocks – the higher it is the better it is. The STC of a wall ranges anywhere between 35-60, with most walls being around a 45. Windows are typically rated between 26-28, so they are definitely not as soundproof as a wall.
Soundproof Window Treatment Options
There are a few window treatment options if you’re interested in soundproofing bay windows. We recommend either installing soundproof curtains or you can consider the possibility of installing double-pane windows. We typically recommend using soundproof curtains, as they tend to be the best bang for your buck. As opposed to spending thousands of dollars on new windows, that may not even block enough sound, you can spend a few hundred dollars or so on lab tested soundproofing curtains.
One challenge with using soundproofing curtains on bay windows, is the irregular shape, as it can be difficult to find a curtain track that bends at the same angle as the windows. While there are some custom curtain tracks available for these purposes, our soundproofing curtains require the use of the track that comes with it, and they come as one straight track.
Don’t worry though, you can still use soundproofing curtains on bay windows, and we’ll let you know how to properly do it below.
Soundproofing Curtains for Bay Windows
Unfortunately, you can’t buy just one soundproofing curtain for a bay window, typically our customers need to purchase up to 3 curtains to cover each flat area of the bay window. In this case, you’d measure each flat section of the windows, add your overlap and order the separate curtains.
This can be achieved with either the AcoustiTrac or the AcousticCurtain, it’s really just based off of customer preference. The AcoustiTrac opens left to right on a track system, while the AcousticCurtain needs to be rolled up by hand and secured at the top with straps.
Hidden Soundproofing Treatments
As we all know, bay windows are very pretty and add a lot of character to a room, so not everyone wants to keep them covered with curtains. There are some other options for soundproofing windows that you can’t see, but they’re not going to be quite as effective as soundproof curtains lined with mass loaded vinyl.
Like we mentioned before, you can spend thousands on new windows with double-pane glass, or you can invest in custom acrylic window inserts. Both are much more expensive than soundproof curtains, and aren’t quite as effective, but these are ideal options if you don’t want to hide your beautiful bay windows.
Soundproofing for Bay Windows – Benefits & Overview
Because bay windows are so large, and glass is much less soundproof than walls, they can let in a lot more sound than normal windows. Installing soundproofing curtains can help keep out unwanted noise, including traffic, lawn mowers, animals, music and more. However, if you’d prefer not to put curtains over your bay windows, you can invest in double-pane windows or custom window inserts.