Soundproofing a house is a challenge and not readily supported by standard construction techniques, nor is clear information available at your local Home Depot or Lowes. I’d like to take care of airplane noise, so I’ve decided here to keep track of products and techniques.
These are ramblings, and likely a lot of stuff will be incorrect, do not trust this entry.
Home Depot doesn’t seem to offer anything, but Lowes seems to offer custom windows where you can select the material and thickness of the different panes. For sound abattement, a standard way is to use triple pane as double pane doesn’t help as much.
Consider a window as a speaker system be and try to imagine how to make it transmit sound the best to find why windows don’t block sound well.
Single pane: If you push with your hand it is solid and flexes, in fact think of it as a speaker membrane, it will amplify and carry the sound that is vibrated on it. Because it has mass, it requires energy to move it but when it moves it transmits well. So it will transmit some frequencies well and others not so well. It’s a filter.
Double pane: For the sound to propagate, it needs to hit the first pane which vibrates and then hit the second pane which vibrates. If both panes have the same properties, they will transmit/block the same sounds. The air sandwiched will transmit the sound waves to the second pane. In subwoofer construction, I think that’s how passive drivers work. The passive subwoofer is just a membrane, and it vibrates the lower frequencies by being pushed by the air pressure generated by the main sub inside the cabinet.
To reduce sound, we can put a thick sturdy pane that doesn’t flex, like a thick shockproof safety panel. It is heavier so it will filter more sounds. Couple it to a regular thinner glass pane, and the wavelength that the thick panel passes might be frequencies the thinner panel filters out, and vice versa. So though it might not be rated for sound using 2 glass panes of different thickness could provide home security and soundproofing.
Triple pane use air gaps of different sizes (1/4″ to 1/2″ and a much bigger gap of a couple inches). The reason is that frequencies that the first baffle lets through should not be the same as the second one, causing them to be lost. This would be great if these windows didn’t take all the space and became so impractical to use for opening and closing.
For walls and ceilings
Sound deadening and absorption
As it goes through the sound is absorbed. Against a beam it will also absorb/deaden the vibrations carried by that beam.
Applied to a beam or wall its mass will prevent it from carrying and re-transmitting vibrations. It’s used in cars to deaden the metal sheets the car is made of.
Mass loaded vinyl (expensive)
Green Glue is used as a ‘deadening’ compound
Suspension mounts to prevent sound transmission
Once something carries sound it will transmit it to something else it’s connected to. Suspensions and flexible glues can prevent some of the sound to propagate by giving them independent suspensions.