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Top 5 Steps to Soundproofing Your Bathroom
Discover soundproofing techniques designed to soundproof your bathroom
The first key to the success of a bathroom treatment is to gain access to the pipes. There are sound barrier lagging products on the market that can be jacketed around drain pipes to help hold the noise to within the pipes. Without the treatment, the walls of the pipes will vibrate as liquid flows through them, which in turn produces sound waves that escape through the walls and out into adjoining rooms. Step 1 is to access these pipes as best you can, and get them wrapped.
The next step in the process targets the perimeter walls that surround and define the bathroom. Assuming these are standard studded walls with drywall on both sides, insulated or not with fiberglass batting, the sound bleed happens through structural connection points. The framework of the studs will pull noise back and forth between adjoining rooms like a string pulled tight between two coffee cans. The goal is to disconnect the framing. For new build, there are staggered stud or double wall techniques available that will force the collapse of the transmitting sound wave. For existing/finished bathrooms, work from the opposite side of the wall and run a set of furring strips horizontally up the wall. These strips will then receive a new layer of drywall, which will then produce a dead air gap inside the wall assembly which will help force the collapse of the transmitting sound wave.
The third step in the process now targets adding density to your disconnected wall framing technique. Mass loaded vinyl is a great sound barrier, measuring just 1/8" thick, and can be stapled up to the existing frame or finished drywall layer. Put this up first, then your disconnecting furring strips, then new drywall to finish the project off. Mass loaded vinyl is extremely dense, which deadens the wall's ability to resonate much like grabbing the prongs of a tuning fork. If an object can't vibrate, it can't produce sound. Adding density to your wall is step 3 in your equation.
Step 4 is the floor. Again, depending on your starting point, putting a sound barrier underlay beneath your flooring surface is a good idea. Great for new builds and remodels, tough to do for existing/finished bathrooms unless you have a carpeted bathroom floor. The point here is that isolating and floating your bathroom floor atop a sound barrier underlay will help impede foot noise and structure born vibrations from reaching your floor joists and spreading throughout your facility.
The final step in the process is to replace a hollow door with a solid door, and line the perimeter with gasketing that can tighten the seal between the jamb and the door. Also put a shoe sweep at the base of the door.
These five steps will all have variations on them depending on your starting point, but will combine to produce greater privacy and comfort for those using the bathroom.
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NetWell Noise Control supplies a variety of soundproofing treatments and related acoustical products for noise reduction and enhanced room acoustics. Free acoustical consulting for sound treatments in most any residential, commercial or industrial venue.