There are many sounds that can come from the bathroom, including the sound of blow dryers, shavers, flushing, and water running. The goal, in this case, is not to prevent sounds from coming into the bathroom but to prevent bathroom sounds from being heard in other areas of the house. So, what can you do to soundproof the bathroom? We've pulled together some of the best methods for doing so.
In order to soundproof the bathroom, you will need to focus on the floor, walls, door, pipes, toilet, and sink. Here are 10 of the best methods to start with:
- Replace a hollow door with a solid core door
- Seal air leaks around the door with caulk and weather stripping
- Add soundproofing drapes to the door or walls
- Add another layer of soundproofing drywall
- Use large, thick rugs that can withstand bathroom humidity
- Install cork flooring tile
- Utilize wall panels
- Solve water hammer issues
- Add mass to walls
- Soundproof pipes
You can reduce the amount of sound in your bathroom by implementing any number of these tactics. In this post, you'll learn more about each method and how to implement it. So without further ado, let's get to it, shall we?
How To Soundproof A Bathroom
There are two kinds of sounds that you are trying to soundproof: airborne sounds and structural impact sounds. Airborne sounds travel through space and between cracks in the door, such as the sound of a blow dryer. Structural impact sounds occur when something hits something else and causes a sound. These sounds can reverberate in the bathroom with lots of space and porcelain tile.
Soundproofing the bathroom is best done during the original construction, but we will discuss all of the ways you can improve your sound insulation in your existing bathroom.
1. Replace a hollow door with a solid core door
The door is the first thing you should focus on when soundproofing your bathroom. If your budget allows, you should buy a solid core door that has more mass and insulative properties than standard hollow doors. Depending on the size and style of the door, you might spend $400 to $800 or more on this door. If that is too much for your soundproofing project, there are ways to add mass to the door.
2. Seal air leaks around the door with caulk and weather stripping
Doors should also be insulated around the edges. You can install an automatic door bottom that works mechanically to provide a tight seal when the door is closed. The alternative is a door sweep, but this is not as effective as an automatic door bottom. This also works to prevent light and drafts from coming through the bottom crack of the door. Add weather stripping to the other edges of the door.
Check out this video for a tutorial on how to install a door sweep and weather stripping:
3. Add Soundproofing Drapes To The Door Or Walls
The door itself can be insulated by adding insulated curtains or soundproofing foam panels. Curtains are a simpler and more cost-effective solution. Hanging the soundproof foam on the door without adding another panel will not provide the same qualities as hanging a blackout curtain with thermal insulation.
4. Add another layer of soundproofing drywall
Foam panels give the best benefit when sandwiched between layers of drywall.
5. Use large, thick rugs that can withstand bathroom humidity
If you do not want to redo your bathroom floor, the best option is to add thick rugs that are mold-resistant and can handle high humidity. Adding thick rugs will dampen any vibrations that occur and prevent the echo from reverberating throughout the bathroom.
6. Install cork flooring tile
Bathroom floors are often laid with porcelain tile, which transmits sound very easily. The hard surface of the tile does not absorb any sound and can reverberate sound throughout the bathroom, causing an echo. If you are in a position to redo your bathroom floors, you can consider adding a lightweight plywood subfloor.
Cork tile is a superior option for bathroom floors because it is more sound-resistant. It is not as cold as porcelain or ceramic tile either. Cork tile is able to withstand high humidity and water spills, so it is suitable for bathroom floors.
7. Utilize Wall Panels
If you have some extra towels you aren't using and don't want to pay for other soundproofing materials, do-it-yourself towel wall panels can be made. To do this, you can simply add velcro strips to attach the towels to a door or wall.
Acoustic panels are usually fire retardant, which means they will slow the spread of fire. You can spray your towel panels with a fire retardant spray. For more information on how to make your own towel soundproofing panels, check out this video:
8. Solve Water Hammer Issues
If you hear a loud noise coming from the pipes after you flush a toilet or turn off the faucet, then you have a water hammer issue. There are two possible solutions to this problem.
The first is to turn off the water to the house. Turn the cold water on all faucets and flush all toilets starting from the highest floor in the house. Wait for 20 to 30 minutes while leaving all faucets turned on. Turn on the water to the house and wait for another 5 to 10 minutes. Turn off the faucets starting from the lowest floor of the house and working up to the top floor.
If this does not resolve the problem, then you will need to lower your water pressure.
9. Add Mass To Walls
You can install shelving units in the bathroom (if you don't already have them), and fill them with items that help absorb sound.
Do Towels Absorb Sound?
Towels do absorb sound and they are a cost-effective way to add some soundproofing to your bathroom. You can place rolled-up towels on shelves up against a wall. That will help to dampen the sound in the room. The more towels you have around the room, the more sound will be dampened. You do want to focus on the areas where the sound is escaping the bathroom into other areas of the house.
10. Soundproof Pipes
Tighten the mounting straps to reduce any rattling from bathroom pipes. Use caulk to seal any areas where the pipes are coming into the bathroom. Add foam pipe wrap around the pipes in the bathroom to dampen the sound even more.
How Do You Soundproof A Toilet Bowl?
Dampening the sound of the toilet flush should be resolved by soundproofing your pipes and fixing any water hammer issues you have (explained earlier in this post). There is still sound that is created from lifting the toilet seat and when you put the toilet seat back down.
Both of these can be resolved in one of three ways. Replace your hard toilet cover with a soft cover that will absorb the impact, add small pieces of sticky shoe pads to prevent the hard surfaces from making contact, or replace the toilet seat with a slow-close lid. Slow-close toilet lids have special hinges that slowly lower the lid.
How Do You Get Rid Of An Echo In The Bathroom?
Echo occurs when there are many hard surfaces from which sound can bounce. A bathroom usually has a tile floor, a bathtub, a toilet, a sink, and a door all in a small room. This is what causes the well-known echo in bathrooms. The methods for soundproofing the bathroom will also work to reduce the echo.
Lay down thick waterproof rugs, put insulative curtains on the door, and reduce the number of sounds in your bathroom by soundproofing your pipes and toilet bowl.
Soundproofing your bathroom is a step to improving your privacy and to avoid disturbing your family members. You can get the best soundproof bathroom by planning before you build the house and room. However, you don't need to redo your whole bathroom to get some benefits from less costly soundproofing measures.
If you want to know how to soundproof even more areas, check out How To Soundproof Your Apartment Floor [10 Proven Methods].
Or maybe you have some beautiful French doors, but don't want any noise to easily transmit through them. Head on over to learn How To Soundproof French Doors [4 Effective Methods].