I'm planning to replace a door to our basement with a glass panes (french) door. Our current door is a simple builders' grade hollow core door. I'm planning to buy a cheap french door from a home improvement centre to replace it, to let some light into a basement stairwell.

My question is, how does sound blocking quality of a simple glass panes door compares to a one of hollow core door? I might scrap the whole project if glass is even worse than hollow core door...

  • 1
    If you're willing to do some legwork you might be able to find a suitable solid interior door with a window (guess they'd be called lights in a door) from a salvage dealer. Or something like a six panel door where you could swap a couple panels for lights. I'd think that'd neutral at worst noise wise. Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 18:35
  • I tried going that "used door" route: re-store stores, etc... Unfortunately with doors, it's tough to find the size I need, and the ones that I did find, were too beaten up. New french doors are all solid wood + glass panels, and they are cheaper than buying a used door and fitting custom glass panels there separately.
    – haimg
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 18:42
  • @haimg Your solid door with some window panes will most likely be better than the hollow doors - if only a couple small squares of the door are windows. It will provide a little light and keep the noise down. Probably better than the hollow door. (also weather strip around the door will help reduce the noise. See my answer.
    – Ken
    Commented Apr 17, 2017 at 21:19

2 Answers 2


Look at the STC rating of the door. The higher the number the better the sound proofing. Hollow doors well they work as good as drums and will probably amplify noise. Glass I do not think will be any better (I could be wrong.). Solid doors are better.

Check this site out for more details. http://www.trustile.com/technical-information/understanding-stc-ratings


STC ratings for doors (and windows) are based on a system, but here are some values (I found on the internet) to help you make your decision:

Hollow-core door: 20-25 STC very poor; low speech audible.

Single-pane door: 28-30 STC sentences spoken in normal tone can be heard easily.

Double-pane door: 30-35 STC sentences spoken in normal tone can be heard with some straining.

Solid-core door: 35-40 STC loud talk can be heard, but not clearly understood.

As with most installations, it's all in the details. I'd weatherstrip the door before I replace it...and that includes a door bottom. If you still need better sound quality, you can always re-use the weatherstripping.

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