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Old 02-03-2011, 12:53 PM   #1
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


Hello! We just moved in to a 1961 ranch with old hollow core doors. I think they are made of luan. Well, the seem to do absolutely nothing to help stop sound transmission. It has already become a problem to have to be super (SUPER) quiet in the house while someone is sleeping. I was planning on replacing the doors sometime soon anyway, but now I am accelerating this effort. Thing is, I don't know what doors to buy? At first I thought about going to the Habitat Re-Use center (2 or 3 times a week) and trying to get a collection of solid-wood six-panel doors and adapting them to fit in my frames. After thinking about how much work this would be, I think it worth the extra cash to get pre-hung doors to save on my labor. After all that typing, I guess I should boil it down to this: I am trying to choose between solid wood, solid MDF, and some type of hollow-core door that does an average to above-average job of stopping sound. Price is an issue.

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Old 02-03-2011, 01:06 PM   #2
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


For sound attenuation, definately solid core, the heavier the door the better. Prehung 6-panel solid interior oak doors around here cost less than thier Pine brothers, but still not cheap thats for sure.

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Old 02-03-2011, 01:55 PM   #3
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I just wanted to make sure there was no hollow-core counterpart that might actually have some kind of deadening insulation or something in it that I don't know about? I know that sheer mass is good for sound deadening, so would a solid MDF door be better or worse than a solid wood door, in both soundproofing and cost?
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:08 PM   #4
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I just wanted to make sure there was no hollow-core counterpart that might actually have some kind of deadening insulation or something in it that I don't know about? I know that sheer mass is good for sound deadening, so would a solid MDF door be better or worse than a solid wood door, in both soundproofing and cost?
Most solid wood doors these days are a mix or MDF, pine or poplar and vaneer, MDF making the majority of the mass.

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Old 02-03-2011, 02:15 PM   #5
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


Wow, I didn't know that. These will be painted doors, so I really don't care what they are made of so long as they quiet the bedrooms a little. Where should I look to find good prices? I have heard that Lowes or HD have some Fir doors for less than $100 each. I have also bought a lot of stuff from Stock Bldg. Supply in the past, but have never priced their doors.
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Old 02-03-2011, 02:27 PM   #6
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I just bought 6 - 30" oak 6 panel at Lowes $132 ea pre hung. Pine were line 159.

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Old 02-03-2011, 03:20 PM   #7
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


Nothing to add to what Jackofall has said in regard to the composition, but in regard to whether to go with pre-hung or slab, you may want to check the openings for square, and unless they are really out of whack, you may find that cutting the hinge mortises and drilling the latch sets may not take any longer than the time to remove the trim and casing without damaging anything, and fitting a new pre-hung. The only thing that I might do when going from a hollow core to a solid door is replace the jamb hinge scews with longer ones.
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:35 PM   #8
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


The solid Masonite doors are worth checking out---they will be good sound deadeners,too.

As to hanging slabs into your existing door frames---3 hinges will be needed to hold a solid wood or Masonite door.

From someone who has hung a few doors----Prehung doors take less skill and tools than slabs.

For an experienced carpenter the time to cut in a new slab is about the same as hanging a prehung.

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Old 02-03-2011, 03:44 PM   #9
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As to hanging slabs into your existing door frames---3 hinges will be needed to hold a solid wood or Masonite door.---Mike---
Excellent point, which I overlooked in the equation.No wonder you are one of "them"! :-)
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Old 02-03-2011, 03:55 PM   #10
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Hmm, I thought Masonite was just a brand name for doors...Are you saying it is a "type" of material for a door? How does it cost-compare to a wood door?
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Old 02-06-2011, 02:36 PM   #11
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Hmm, I thought Masonite was just a brand name for doors...Are you saying it is a "type" of material for a door? How does it cost-compare to a wood door?
Masonite is a manufacturer of things, including both solid and hollow doors. One of their solid core offerings is sold under the brand name "Safe 'N Sound." They're on page 5 of this catalog:
http://www.masonite.com/pdf/catalogs...d_Panel-11.pdf

I got one at Home Depot for my practice room. I think it was $300, but I really don't remember. It's heavy, and it's a special order item.

But it works. You need to fit the door so it closes as tightly as possible, including the bottom. And don't forget that sound travels through ducts and outlet boxes just as well as around doors.
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Old 02-06-2011, 04:00 PM   #12
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


On a side note, you might also consider pulling off one side of the casing, if you just replace the slab that is, and put some sort of insulation in between the door jamb and the 2x4. Me and a buddy built a "home studio" and for sound isolation we used solid core oak doors which did an awesome job of keeping sound out, but you could actually hear sound coming through the casing. We popped off one side and stuffed some scrap egg crate foam between and it helped quite a bit. But that's only if you really need it extra quiet.
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Old 02-09-2011, 08:06 AM   #13
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


Your best bet for noice reduction is to purchase solid mahogany interior doors preferly in 1 3/4" thickness versus standard 1 3/8 thickness. It will be lot more expensive than paint grade solid core interior doors but well worth the cost. Also, check into noise reduction flooring. This is a requirement for apartments, condos and penthouse at most buildings. You can blast the radio and no one will hear.
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Old 02-16-2011, 10:27 AM   #14
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Which doors to buy for sound reduction


Great points made so far in this thread. I don't have much to add, but to re-cap:

MASS:

Solid core slabs filled with particleboard or MDF are great bargains.

1 3/4" is better than 1 3/8"

No recessed panels (smooth "flush" slab) is better than thin areas created with the recessed panels

Seals:

The area behind the door casing is likely missing drywall. Consider filling that with plywood or some other source of mass. Then re-apply casing

The two sides and top of the door can be somewhat sealed with a thin foam weatherstripping tape. The door bottom will need a more substantial seal, as from an automatic door bottom.

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