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

(120 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 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?!

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