Is secondary glazing better than double or triple glazinf for noise insulation?

(116 Posts)
MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 10:41:36

Victorian period property cottage. Single glazed sash windows. The noise from busy-ish street is really upsetting/stressing me out. Didn't realise it would be this noisy until we moved in and then, of course, it's too late sad

DP's want me to rip out original windows and replace with UPVC style sash windows. I worry about ripping out original features and losing value on house.
I've read that secondary glazing, although a bit ugly, is better at noise reduction than double/triple glazed windows. Is this true?

Also has anyone here fitted secondary glazing and has it actually reduced noise? I would live to know! thanks

I really need mumsnetters help otherwise I'm gong to have to think about selling and buying again. sad

(More background information, front door opens directly into living room, I don't know if this 'lets in more noise' than a wall IYKWIM in comparison to separate hall and porch etc)

MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 10:43:13

'Live to know' should be love to know of course blush sorry for all the typo's...

PigletJohn Mon 04-Feb-13 14:14:32


MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 17:14:58

Thanks piglet.

pirouette Mon 04-Feb-13 17:20:16

We have one window with secondary glazing on and yes, it is quieter and warmer than the other windows (all single glazing sash).

The secondary glazing looks like a kit but it is very well fitted and in two parts so each part slides down for cleaning. The bottom has a furry draught excluder thing on.

notcitrus Mon 04-Feb-13 17:34:02

Secondary glazing can be very unobtrusive - we got it to go with our Victorian sashes and bay windows. Refurbing the sashes so they don't rattle or let drafts in should also help. I don't really notice noise but there's a huge improvement in temperature.

Both together should be cheaper than PVC replacements and add value should you still find the noise too much for you.

NuzzleMyScratch Mon 04-Feb-13 17:34:56

Don't forget that it only helps with noise reduction when it's closed/sealed! You may want to consider how you'll feel about noise in the warmer months.

nocake Mon 04-Feb-13 17:38:02

There is an alternative, if you want to keep the wooden sashes. You can have them refurbished and fitted with double glazed sealed units. They're thin units so will fit in the existing windows but it's quite expensive.

MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 17:44:12

nocake I want to have fitted what is best for noise reduction, I'm thinking that secondary glazing (having them fitted with wooden sides etc so it matches the white painted wood of the original sashes) would be better than a double glazed sealed unit because of the bigger gap?

I've been thinking about acoustic glass too...again I don't know if this would be better or worse then secondary glazing.

Nuzzle as long as I know I can shut the windows I think I would be Ok in summer months IYKWIM.

noddyholder Mon 04-Feb-13 17:44:45

Or shutters!

MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 17:45:54

pirouette I'm glad it worked, how much of a difference was there once it was fitted? Was it noticeable ?

nociturus can you recommend a firm, was it very expensive?

MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 17:46:25

noddy I like lots of light in the day! grin

noddyholder Mon 04-Feb-13 17:47:53

They fold back in the day though and some have adjustable vents. Secondary glazing is far superior to upvc and its only downside is how it looks but the large gap is great

MinimalistMommi Mon 04-Feb-13 17:50:51

noddy thank you for quick reply thanks
I'm a stay home mum so I'm in a lot so I need a solution for day time noise not just for getting to sleep at night. You sound positive about secondary glazing which has made me feel better. I would much prefer to find a good solution rather then have the stress of thinking we have to move again.

PigletJohn Mon 04-Feb-13 18:03:47

the bigger the gap, the better the sound insulation, so secondary is always better for noise than double.

Also, the glass will usually be thicker in secondary, so it will not resonate at the same frequency as the original panes, which also reduces sound transmission. Heavier materials (including thicker glass) absorb more noise than thin.

If you have net curtains, they can make the secondary glazing practically undetectable.

For a Victorian cottage, a heavy lined curtain over the door on a portiere rod (lifting it out of the way on a pivot when you open the door) will look in keeping and cut transmission round the door. Sealing draught gaps and fitting a letterbox flap will also help. Noise will find its way through gaps.

You can inject expanding foam behind wooden window frames to fill the gap between the frame and the bricks, but this should be done as part of a comprehensive overhaul ensuring there is no rain or condensation getting in, replacing any damaged or rotted timber, and applying wood preserver and repainting. The foam will also prevent rattles. It can be painted or sealked to prevent sunlight degrading the foam.

Sausagedog27 Mon 04-Feb-13 18:04:01

In tests secondary glazing has been found to be the best when it comes to noise. I wouldn't recommend that you double glaze in the existing frames as this can be hugely costly. Same for uPVC (as well as impacting on value). Good luck op and hope you get some peace soon!

noddyholder Mon 04-Feb-13 18:09:18

I went with some glazers who were working on a house I was doing to see the secondary glazing they were doing in a listed building in sussex and it was great. I wouldn't hesitate to have it. They said they love doing it as it is easy and people are always so happy with it once done Its convincing them in teh first place thats the problem. We had it in our first flat on a main road and it was great and I am very noise sensitive

pirouette Mon 04-Feb-13 19:23:47

I measured and there is a 3 inch gap between glass and the secondary glazing. It was done before I moved in but the last tenant said it was so cold that they tried to make one room warm but it is noticeably warmer than the other rooms.
I am in the other room just now and can hear the wind outside but I cannot hear it in the secondary glazed room.
I think this secondary glazing unit is around 12 years old so there will be much better ones now.

PigletJohn - thank you for mentioning the portiere rod! I never knew what they were called and was meaning to ask on mn.

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 10:50:56

Just had one quote through for £850 per sash window for secondary double glazing and plus the sash windows need some refurbishment (no rotting wood but they rattle, let in drafts etc. On the upstairs bedroom window two of the panes need replacing)
I'm quite shocked at the quote but that is with a wooden frame so it matches the wooden sash. shock

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 10:51:59

To be clear, the £850 quote is with no refurbishment of original sash windows, just for the fitting of the new secondary glazing.

PigletJohn Tue 05-Feb-13 10:57:44

sounds rather high.

maybe they thought you looked too rich.

ghoulelocks Tue 05-Feb-13 10:59:01

I hate my secondary glazing, but then it's 1970s huge heay panels the size of doors that need to be lifted out to open a window

PigletJohn Tue 05-Feb-13 11:03:00

you used to be able to get a DIY kit of vertical sliding sashes, but I haven't seen it for a long time.

Buzi Tue 05-Feb-13 11:07:31

We live in a grade 2 listed house so single glazing was our only option. I investigated and found vent rolls perimeter sealing. Sound has to travel through air really to be a nuisance and the vent rolls people came took the windows out whipped them through a machine that put a groove all the way around and some thick brush typ tape. When the windows shut they shut whoomph and hey presto sound hugely reduced. The double/triple glazing is inside the frame. The frame must also be sealed.
It isn't cheap but we negotiated and maybe there are some other companies.

Buzi Tue 05-Feb-13 11:08:55


Pendeen Tue 05-Feb-13 12:04:10

I would 'second' PJ's advice. smile

Differing thicknesses of glass and well-sealed frames provide the best sound insulation however think about ventilation as well i.e. if everything is sealed how do you provide fresh air?

One solution I have specified for improving some houses affected by a highway improvement was secondary glazing and: Passivent acoustic

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 13:10:58

Pendent, I was intending on getting the sliding secondary glazed windows so we can open them to ventilate.
Can acoustic glass be used in secondary glazing?

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 13:12:48

Thanks Buzi, from what I have read here and on the net, secondary glazing is still better for noise reduction then double/triple glazing. Thank you for taking the time to reply!

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 13:15:23

PigletJohn, I don't know if the price is so high because of the wooden frame? I feel like I have to go with wooden frame because if I do sell it on in the future I need it to look good so I don't put potential buyers off.

I'm horrified it looks like it could cost us about £4,000 for all four sash windows as you can hear road noise at the back of the house too...maybe I'm fighting a losing battle...

Pendeen Tue 05-Feb-13 14:09:51

MinimalistMommi, it's not special glass just of a different thickness from the primary window and, yes opening for ventilation is useful but of course then completely negates the point of fitting in the first place.

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 14:36:59

Pendeen, thank you for explaining.
About the ventilation, I like to open windows for abut half an hour a day to air the bedrooms fully out.

Just had another quote through, this time for four secondary glazed widows (which are made from double glazing) for about £3,400. I would be nervous to spend that sort of money, still not be happy, and want to move anyway. I don't see how that sort of cost is financially possible for us.

noddyholder Tue 05-Feb-13 14:40:13


MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 14:44:50

Thank you noddy I'm going to look at that, it looks like it could be a solution while we figure out what to do...need to try and find out how much it would cost, a lot less then the figures I've been getting through I think! Thanks thanks

noddyholder Tue 05-Feb-13 14:46:44

Its about 80 per window.

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 15:42:16

Oh goodness, that is affordable grin

PigletJohn Tue 05-Feb-13 15:56:40

be aware that acrylic sheet is much lighter than glass, so will not be as effective at deadening noise.

I would go for a single pane of glass (not double or triple) as secondary glazing, well-sealed.

I'm puzzled that the aluminium or plastic extrusions for this don't seem to be readily available. A custom-made timber vertical sash would need counterweights or spring balances.

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 17:43:39

I've got someone from Storm windows coming around tomorrow to do a quote but I'm imagining they will be very expensive.

PigletJohn I'm clueless about this, why just sinks pane of glass and not double or triple as secondary glazing?

PigletJohn Tue 05-Feb-13 18:39:13

it's the thickness of the glass that cuts the noise down, plus the greater width of the air gap. It helps as it is a different thickness to the original glazing, because it will have a different resonant frequency, so it will let through a dfferent note, so between them, they will blot lots of different frequencies. Additionally, its extra mass will help it to absorb more noise.

I am sure this will give a better return on your pound than adding an(other) sealed unit, which will probably be more expensive and have to be custom-made to size, and will also (eventually) fail and suffer internal misting and need to be replaced.

The single pane of thick glass in the secondary glazing will make such a striking difference to sound transmission, and will also improve heat insulation and draughtproofing, that I don't believe it will be worthwhile to use sealed DG units.

MinimalistMommi Tue 05-Feb-13 19:11:14

Ok, thank you, that's great to know, I will see what this Storm man has to say to tomorrow.

Magneglaze claims on their website that their product will halve the sound perceived by the human ear but as you say I'm imagining it won't be as good as glass secondary glazing, we just need to see what we can afford. I did a quick google to see if there was much information about people that had used Magneglaze but couldn't find anything. I was surprised, as google usually pulls up most things grin
Fingers crossed I can work this out.

JoannaAC Fri 08-Feb-13 11:05:57

I've got secondary glazing on two large windows in my Victorian House, on the edge of a very busy road. As soon as it was installed, I noticed the difference in noise immediately...there wasn't any. I'd recommend it, cos it makes the house a lot warmer too. Try this

MinimalistMommi Fri 08-Feb-13 12:46:50

JoannaAC your post has made me so happy!!!! Has it really had that much of a difference????? shock If it has, you have just made me smile so much! At the beginning of the week I was so upset I thought We were going to have to move, but now I've settled down a bit I would like to try and make it work as the location is so good here plus the house is pretty.
Is that the company you used and did they come and measure install etc?
Thank you so much! thanks

MinimalistMommi Fri 08-Feb-13 12:48:24

Just wanted to add, I've now come to terms with the fact that each window might cost as much a grand to do but if it reduces/gets rids of noise I'm ok with that. We're planning on replacing front door too as at the minute it's a wooden one which might be a bit gappy, letting noise in.

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 08-Feb-13 13:46:13

I have done the secondary glazing, it s amazing! The difference in heat but esp sound is incredible....we live in glasgow with sash and case windies, got glazing which mimics the sliding style of the original windows, so i just slide them up for ventilation.

We used, highly recommend.

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 08-Feb-13 13:50:09

Ps we paid 700 quid per window, but they are ten feet high....and they tightened the original sashes at the same time.

MinimalistMommi Fri 08-Feb-13 13:57:15

Fergus thanks for taking the time to post! You've just made me smile even more! I've been really quite depressed about this so thank you. I will check out the link. Just need to choose the company that works in our area now. thanks

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 08-Feb-13 14:03:38

No worries.....secondary glazing has improved my sleep no end. I used to get woken more than once a night with taxis, chitchat etc.....i managed to sleep through a firework display a couple of months ago. It actually stopped my husbands insistence on moving in its tracks...

MinimalistMommi Fri 08-Feb-13 14:08:29

Fergus I've been so distressed this week (we moved six days ago) that I was checking our RightMove yesterday and started a thread on here asking how much does it cost to sell and then buy again. So, reading this today has made me feel a million more times better. thanks thanks thanks

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 08-Feb-13 15:21:18

Yes, we were in the same boat as you. No, go and do it.....You need a gap of 15cm preferably. I was scared, really scared that it would be super fugly but its great, most people dont see it until i point it out. Also makes house harder to break into! Good luck.

WocketInMyPocket Fri 08-Feb-13 15:36:47

Minimalist I know how you feel, we are in the same boat, moved and didn't realise just how much the noise would get to me (been looking at right move too!) although I have got used to it recently to a degree.

Sorry to hijack but just anyone know if there is a secondary-glazing type solution for a bow/bay PVC window or is triple glazing the best bet?

FergusSingsTheBlues Fri 08-Feb-13 15:49:03

Wocket, i have a bay. 10ft x 10ft roughly.
Cant hear a thing! I only kniw if its stormy out by hearing the chimney roar....amazing stuff.

MinimalistMommi Fri 08-Feb-13 15:57:12

Wocket from what I've been reading on here and on-line, secondary glazing beats double and triple glazing for sound/noise reduction. From what I've seen on various websites, lots of types of windows can be done.

Fergus, I practically want to hug you right now LOL blush

JoannaAC Fri 08-Feb-13 16:02:38

Pleasure! Yes, it has made a difference, I was surprised too. They fitted for me - but I think they have a page on the website that shows you their fitting regions. Hope you get sorted smile

notcitrus Fri 08-Feb-13 19:19:06

We used 2 firms as one vanished after some windows, but all the ones we got quotes from had very unimaginative names, like The Real/Authentic/Southern/London Sash Window/Secondary Glazing Company. And their quotes varied wildly. We paid about 3k for 2 large bays and 3 other large windows to be secondary glazed and overhauled. The frames inside are white coated metal, but you hardly see them against the wood frames.
Some companies quoted 8 to 10k more for the same work!

MinimalistMommi Fri 08-Feb-13 19:59:25

notcitrus what was your reason for going with secondary glazing? Sound insulation or another reason?

MinimalistMommi Sat 09-Feb-13 10:10:03

So, should I get the Sash windows refurbished before I have the secondary glazing installed? A the moment they are draughty and rattle and in the upstairs bedroom two of the panes are cracked which obviously need to be replaced. The rooms are so cold right now, very breezy hmm

PigletJohn Sat 09-Feb-13 10:32:39

it will be easier to work on the old windows without secondaries in the way.

WocketInMyPocket Sat 09-Feb-13 17:28:45

Fergus - can I ask how the secondary glazing works on your bay - i.e. how does it sit given that each window is at an angle IYSWIM. Ours is actually a Bow window but when we asked for quotes on secondary glazing we were told that it would have to be one flat piece of glass across the whole bow as they couldn't contour it to fit?

Sausagedog27 Sat 09-Feb-13 19:19:43

I think you should get sashes refurbished before as well- it will be much easier before the secondary glazing goes in.

I also noticed your comment about replacing the door- you could ask a joiner to have a look at that as well- draft stripping that can really help with drafts etc. it would seem a shame to get rid of a lovely old wooden door, especially to replace with plastic (making an assumption here as you don't say) IMO it would look odd if you have kept the sash windows (which you should defiantly keep, by the way!) and I'd be worried about impact on value.

notcitrus Sun 10-Feb-13 11:25:31

We got it as the house was bloody freezing (partly because of no heating while the system was replaced), and the living room was immediately about 5 degrees warmer. And replacing the sashes with double glazed ones would have been around 10k we didn't have, and more disruptive and cold while the sashes were removed.

MinimalistMommi Sun 10-Feb-13 18:57:21

Decision made, we're getting sashes refurbished before having secondary glazing put in. Need to choose the company to do it now hmm

Sausage I hadn't thought about taking out front door and losing value, and I'm ashamed to say I was going to get one of those wood effect plastic ones blush which you're right, would be a bit of a slip up if we're keeping lovely sash windows ( which we definitely are!) thanking you for flagging this up! Our wooden front door is looking in not a great state....bad paint jobs in past, draughty etc...

notcitrus our house is freezing!!!! I just want to be warm again!!!

Sausagedog27 Mon 11-Feb-13 21:53:56

Speak to whoever you get to refurb your windows about the door- I've seen miracles worked before at the hands of a joiner! If they advise the door is past it, you could get one made to match. Don't even think about a plastic lookalike one!!! I am biased but if I was looking to buy a house, it would really really put me off if the door had been replaced. I do get that not everyone is like me though!!

Good luck in finding a company. Here is to a happy and warm house for you!

PigletJohn Mon 11-Feb-13 23:05:07

plastic doors <boak>

MinimalistMommi Tue 12-Feb-13 08:18:48

Thank you Sausage
Yes Piglet I was being incredibly stupid, Sausage saved me! thanks

camtt Tue 12-Feb-13 21:33:23

Another vote for secondary glazing from me. We live on a busy dual carriageway and had the acoustic glass secondary glazing fitted when we moved in as we are quite noise sensitive. It makes a huge difference, you would hardly know the road is there. We are moving soon, to a slightly less busy road but we will be putting in secondary glazing as soon as we can afford it.

Sausagedog27 Tue 12-Feb-13 21:39:34

Aww, thanks!

MinimalistMommi Wed 13-Feb-13 08:26:24

camtt I've PM'd you grin

MinimalistMommi Tue 19-Feb-13 10:04:24

PigletJohn now the children are back to school I'm back to researching which company to do our secondary glazing for us. I have a question that I wondered if you might know the answer to:

For sound insulation is it better to have the secondary glazing unit single glazed or double glazed? I have found a company that offers both options is their secondary glazed unit.

I guess the other option would be to look for a company that fits with acoustic glass.

PigletJohn Tue 19-Feb-13 13:14:03

more important is to have a thick, heavy glass, which is preferably a different thickness to the glass in the original window.

Most original windows are glazed in 4mm glass, secondary glazing in 6mm float or 6.5mm laminate will be suitable.

The incremental heat-insulation value of sealed dg units will not be significant once you have secondary glazing. Sealed units are also a bit tiresome when they start to mist up internally.

MinimalistMommi Tue 19-Feb-13 18:26:46

PigletJohn thank you for reminding me about possible misting up of DG units, I would worry about that happening, so I've contacted the company I'm thinking of using and have asked about the 6mm glass and making the secondary glazing with a single sheet of glass rather than the double glazed unit. thanks

PigletJohn Tue 19-Feb-13 22:31:38

will be interested to hear the prices, when you get them, and to know the section size of the timber.

MinimalistMommi Wed 20-Feb-13 09:27:22

PigetJohn I will let you know when it comes through, I'm finding this all a bit stressful really, making sure I get it right. It seems like so much money shock but, if done properly, I hope will be a selling point in the future so I'm trying to see it as an investment.

MinimalistMommi Wed 20-Feb-13 16:09:38

Arrrgggghhhhh, the company I'm in touch with are arguing the point that, even with using 6mm glass, a double glazed (with combination of 4mm and 6mm glass) secondary unit will be better at sound insulation. PigletJohn has pointed out, quite rightly, the risk of double glazing misting up, which I would worry about happening!

What to do?!?

PigletJohn Wed 20-Feb-13 16:43:03

will the company make more money out of sealed units? How much? Might that affect their judgement?

did they provide comparative db sound reduction figures, and what are they?

MinimalistMommi Wed 20-Feb-13 16:55:54

They said it would only be £100 off for using single 6 mm glass glazed units which surprised me as I thought DG units would cost more shock
No comparative db sound reduction figures, the website focuses more on their working with original sash windows etc IYSWIM.
At almost a grand per window (that's with VAT) I'm finding this super stressful.

PigletJohn Wed 20-Feb-13 17:42:20

well, if they say that DG secondary is better for soundproofing that 6mm secondary, they should must be basing that on measured tests, so they should must have the figures to prove it.

I don't know, I've always understood that secondary glazing doesn't need to be sealed units, and the difference is not significant. If I knew the figures that would make a difference. I don't have the texts any more but it must be around somewhere. Have we got any bright young architects to hand?

Can you find any other reputable suppliers to give a quote?

MinimalistMommi Wed 20-Feb-13 18:46:13

PigletJohn I'm hoping for a phone call from another company tomorrow, this one here:

The website looks really different from the one I have been in contact with. They have the opiton of acoustic glass too. I feel like I'm stabbing in the dark with companies a bit really, but I'm trying!

I've also recently had a quote from Storm Windows (Who do a lot of National Trust properties from what I've read) but because they only do slim fit units it wasn't really suitable, the distance from the primary window to the secondary glazing would have only been 100mm and the bottom half of the sash approx 50mm and they only used 4mm glass which i wasn't happy with. I feel like I need a gap of about 150mm for sound insulation.

MinimalistMommi Wed 20-Feb-13 18:46:42

Didn't tick the box to convert the link:

wonkylegs Wed 20-Feb-13 18:55:14

Hard to find non sales info on the subject but I looked through my resources and found this link
Here is English Heritages guidance on secondary glazing and it clearly supports PigletJohns info on noise insulation in section 3

PigletJohn Wed 20-Feb-13 23:19:39

very good doc, wonky. Clearly written and informative.

Pendeen Thu 21-Feb-13 00:47:17


"Have we got any bright young architects to hand?"


As you know I'm, an architect and (fairly) young but not so sure about the "bright" smile

Secondary glazing is almost always more effective that double glazed units when looking for the best results in terms of sound insulation but - as ever - I am quite happy to be proved wrong because if so then I will have learned something and gained a few CPD points !

PigletJohn Thu 21-Feb-13 00:55:34

I was thinking about the vendor pushing dg units as the secondary glazing, rather than the plain 6mm I would have expected. Can you lay your hands on any tables of sound reduction?

MrsMarigold Thu 21-Feb-13 12:08:42

Don't get UPVC. We have a combination of things on our sash windows - double glazed and single with secondary glazing, secondary glazing definitely much better and more efficient if you can get double glazed sash and secondary glazing you'll be warm and have far less noise. Plus interlined curtains work wonders.

MinimalistMommi Thu 21-Feb-13 12:13:37

MrsMarigold I don't think we can afford to have double glazing put into the original sash windows as well as the secondary glazing, is that what you meant?

MinimalistMommi Thu 21-Feb-13 12:21:13

PigletJohn that company I linked to rang me this morning, I told him I was sick of rubbish customer service and then he was happy to chat to me for 15 mins about secondary glazing grin

Got no prices yet, but he's recommended acoustic glass (just like the lovely poster upthread had in her house she's sold/selling) which I know is going to be £'s but we will see. He's recommended not having the sash windows draught proofed before hand as he said condensation traps can be created and a little bit of breeze is what they recommend.

He's recommended 150mm gap. They supply everything and then use local fitters around Uk to fit their stuff.

They do have charts available he said and some of the info is on their website.
I'm just happy I found someone who was actually willing to spend the time talking about it blush

MinimalistMommi Wed 06-Mar-13 11:53:28

PigletJohn I've had my quotes through and they are really good prices! I'm really pleased, and that's aluminium secondary glazing with timber surrounds using 6.4mm Stadip Silence noise control acoustic glass.

Now, what's confused me is they popped in a STADIP SILENCE catalogue which doesn't discuss secondary glazing specifically but was about understanding sound etc and STADIP glass etc and how STADIP SILENCE glass is made by using two panes of glass with a 3 ply interlayer with a special noise damping core. Now what it did say was :

"each building component has its own critical sound frequency (resonant frequency) that will cause it vibrate spontaneously. Any component consequently provides inadequate insulation against noises at this specific frequency. With two panes of glass in a double glazed unit this vibration is heightened. Although this effect can be reduced by using panes of different thicknesses, it cannot be prevented entirely. STADIP SILENCE suppresses the intrusion of sound waves around the critical frequency of the glass, be it a single pane or a double glazed unit. In a double glazed unit, STADIP SILENCE achieves an airborne sound insulation index value of up to 54db and hence absolutely keeps the promise implied by its name."

So, now this has confused me. Should I go ahead with the secondary glazing or should I get quotes for new timber framed double glazed units using two different thicknesses of STADIP SILENCE glass ( which I know would probably be hideously expensive)

I know I said at beginning of post that I didn't want to remove original fixtures but after being ill for a few days this week and laying in my bed in the front room, the traffic is stressful to hear. I just want to achieve the most quiet from the choice we make.

Thank you for reading this essay PigletJohn. So, what do you think?!

PigletJohn Wed 06-Mar-13 12:03:13

They might be trying to upsell you

It sounds like a version of laminated glass which is fine.

They will have got research papers showing the db noise reduction at typical traffic frequencies. If they have sent you flannel but no figures then it might he, for example, that an extra £5,ooo improves noise reduction by a tiny amount, eg plain glass by 89db, whizzo superglass by 90db.

PigletJohn Wed 06-Mar-13 12:06:41


Secondary glazing will be much better than new dg units without secondary glazing.

PigletJohn Wed 06-Mar-13 12:10:44


Or it might just be they are intending to sell you the secondary glazing, and the leaflet is just to tell you how good it is.

MinimalistMommi Wed 06-Mar-13 12:13:47

I genuinely don't think they're trying to upsell , they seem like a really good company which feels unusual in this day and age.

You said that secondary glazing would be much better then DG units without secondary glazing, what about if two panes of the STADIP SILENCE glass was used in the DG unit? It was the last line of that quote I wrote out that had me worried about making the wrong choice.

PigletJohn Wed 06-Mar-13 13:15:47

I don't doubt it will make a difference, but nowhere near as big a difference as putting in the secondary glazing.

I thought you had decided to keep your original wooden windows and add secondary glazing? That will be effective and the best-value option.

MinimalistMommi Wed 06-Mar-13 14:15:41

You're right, that is what I had decided a couple of weeks ago and is what we will probably go ahead with. But with secondary glazing being bulkier of the two options (we're having 150mm gap between primary glass and secondary glass)
I was worried about it intruding into the room rather a lot so when I read that paragraph about the Stadip silence double glazing it had me worried we were making the wrong choice as the DG unit would be the most discreet, plus our sash windows could do with refurbish to look really good so I didn't know if we were better off starting all over again to get a really smart finish (I know that's really bad to say about original sash windows blush I guess I just want to get everything as 'right' as possible even if it means spending a bit more.

But, absolutely, it is noise reduction we're after here _above everything_else so what you say about secondary glazing making the biggest difference has me feeling more positive!

MinimalistMommi Wed 06-Mar-13 14:16:31

Gosh, that was a long sentence I used there, sorry blush

PigletJohn Wed 06-Mar-13 15:15:43

yep, secondary glazing with thick glass is best for sound reduction.

It will also stop draughts and cut heat loss.

MinimalistMommi Wed 06-Mar-13 17:59:03

Well, thank you PigletJohn, on phone to company this afternoon, we're going for secondary glazing with 6.4mm standip silence glass with a gap of 100mm ( Not 150mm as previously thought) They said 150mm will simply stick out way to far and will not be discreet enough.

I'm happy to update this incase any mumsnetters do a search on secondary glazing and wants to know how we got on.

Thank you for seeing me through my wobble this afternoon PigletJohn thanks

Way,way down the line we might think about refurbishing our sash windows to bring them up to their best again.

Sausagedog27 Wed 06-Mar-13 20:09:47

Phew- that was the right choice op!

catanator Sun 01-Sep-13 21:25:42

Hi all, going through a similar challenge. We are trying to reduce the sound in our bedroom from a nearby busy road.

We have definitely decided to go for secondary glazing with 6.8m standip glass and will be refurbishing the current single glazed sash window.

However, we are really keen to make as quiet as possible. Therefore we are considering also having the sashes double glazed (that is in addition to the secondary glazing).

Has anyone done this or have a view on if it is worth it?

Blankiefan Sun 01-Sep-13 22:07:58

This was covered on that Sarah Beeny thing this week ("double the house for half the money" - or similar title). It'll still be on 4OD. Should make interesting watching....

MinimalistMommi Mon 02-Sep-13 12:08:41

Should have updated this for other mumsnetters. The secondary glazing didn't work and had to be removed by company (which left a right mess) obviously we didn't pay anything. Looking at other options now for noise reduction or just leaving sash windows as they are. They're very breezy/cold in winter though...

BearsOhMy Thu 07-Nov-13 22:38:52

I've got the same issue, moved into a Victorian property on a busy road a week ago and the noise is driving me mad!! We have lovely refurbished sash windows and I was looking at secondary glazing. I read the thread with real interest and was gutted to see your last post where you said the secondary glazing didn't work! When you say it hasn't worked, do you mean there was no reduction in noise whatsoever? Why was that when other posts mentioned good results?

MinimalistMommi Sun 26-Jan-14 15:18:43

Bears sorry only just saw this! Barely any reduction in noise at all. I'm not sure why, maybe our windows were simply too gappy?!

horsetowater Mon 27-Jan-14 21:52:03

Oh dear we are just about to sign up for secondary double glazing. How did you prove they didn't work and get them removed? And why didn't they work?

MinimalistMommi Wed 29-Jan-14 17:44:23

The fitter came around, stepped into our front room and said "This hasn't worked has it"

Also I rang head office immediately the fitters left. I was in shock, it had cost us the best part of £4,000 for four sash windows and it was like we had had nothing done. There was only a very very slight improvement. But not the four times reduced the website claimed though. In hindsight though I wonder if it was the conditions of our house though? Gappy victorian front door? New air bricks that had been added as a condition of the mortgage? Sash windows that were letting noise in, maybe they were too gappy? But that must be me being kind though as they didn't work in any of the rooms and we don't have front doors and air bricks in each room of our house grin we'e payed for too spec stadip silence glass too shock

MinimalistMommi Wed 29-Jan-14 17:44:43

*too = top

horsetowater Wed 29-Jan-14 21:25:45

I think we might try the DIY magnetic stuff. At least if it doesn't work we've only lost a few hundred pounds. We will refurbish the original windows as well. I don't trust the sales people.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Jan-14 11:03:51

Lightweight acrylic is not as effective for sound as heavy glass. Pay special attention to cracks and gaps that sound will get through.

horsetowater Thu 30-Jan-14 11:07:44

Cracks and gaps where - in the windows or around?

PigletJohn Thu 30-Jan-14 11:28:44

Very often there are gaps between the window frame and the wall, even if they have been hidden by trim. Replacement windows are often very bad for that. On the outside you need a weatherproof seal such as silicone or a hardwood fillet, and can then inject expanding foam into large gaps before using a trim or paintable seal on the inside.

If the casements are a poor fit in the frames there are various EDPM profiles (don't use foam strip) and for sliding sashes, a brush or furry pile. They all stick to clean fresh paint but not to dirt or eroded paint.

You will have to provide ventilation.

horsetowater Thu 30-Jan-14 12:23:47

It's a 1905 house, excellent solid building and windows are very solid but I can imagine that there may be existing gaps between the casement and bricks. They were not designed to cope with double decker diesel buses driving up the road.

I am going to contact a joiner who might be able to completely refurbish the windows. It would be mad to skip them but they will need removing, restoring and putting back in, probably more work than putting in UPVC.

PigletJohn Thu 30-Jan-14 13:03:38

Excellent news.

spotm82 Wed 21-May-14 23:46:04

We were in a similar predicament. We opted to have the wooden framed sash removed and had exact pvc replicas made with pvc and stadip silenced glass rather than restoration and secondary glaze. We are so happy with the finish we have little to no exterior noise and the neighbours have had to look closely to see they are new windows. We live in a conservation area. Everybody is so impressed with the look. If you find a good local company and do some research the results are fantastic. Hope this helps

whydontieverlisten Thu 26-Jun-14 15:50:43

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theweasels Thu 07-Aug-14 12:41:46

great article here about double glazing sound properties -

sophiebygaslight Sat 09-Aug-14 21:36:43

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MIDDEBIDU Fri 12-Sep-14 08:57:22

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21isanawkwardage Thu 18-Sep-14 11:01:03

My elderly gran couldn't have PVC windows in our cottage because it is listed so we looked at secondary glazing as an alternative. Her existing windows had big gaps around the sides and they were really draughty - 200 years old so I don't suppose I am surprised!

Wasn't sure if it would be up to the job so searched for "internal double glazing" and found plenty of information about do's and don'ts.

Went to a specialist company in the end to make sure it did the job and couldn't be happier. They were very knowledgable and never got annoyed at my endless questions!

tagragra Fri 19-Sep-14 15:58:31

How about £ 5.99 pair of ear plugs form ebay.
I am night shift worker,i sleep during the day,although I have a double glazing etc... dogs bark outside ,my family when indoors can also be loud
this ear plugs do the trick.
must be the right ones-swimmers one,shape of cork screw opener,they fit right inside the ear,they will not come off while asleep.

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