There are many reasons to try and minimize the sounds coming from a bathroom, aside from the obvious, there are some people that like to sing or listen to extremely loud music while in the shower.
But all the noises generated in the bathroom should, ideally, have a harder time getting out.
For some reason, bathrooms aren’t already being built in a soundproof manner, which they should, but luckily there are a couple of steps you can take in order to keep the noises inside.
How to Soundproof a Bathroom
One of the most important things to keep in mind when trying to keep sound from leaving a room is that it can pass through even the smallest gap, which means that if you don’t seal EVERY single gap and hole where sound might have a chance to sneak out, then it will.
You need to make sure that every crack and hole is properly sealed using a weatherstrip and acoustic caulk.
The next step is to install some sound absorbing materials which should keep the soundwaves from bouncing around the bathroom.
In this article I go over all of the options that are at your disposal in order to keep bathroom noises to a minimum.
1. Start with the Door
The first and most important step is to properly soundproof the Door, since this is where the sound can easily get out and reach the rest of the home.
There are four important steps to take;
Step 1: Apply a Weatherstrip
One of the best, if not THE best, solution is to apply a weatherstrip.
It’s a great choice because of three reasons; It’s cheap, easy to apply, since it’s got an adhesive side, and if applied properly it will form an air-tight seal once the door is closed.
This means that it’s going to be really hard for sound to get through.
How to apply it?
It needs to be adhered to the frame, more specifically to where the door will meet the frame once closed.
Take measurements and cut the weatherstrip to the exact length required.
Next simply adhere it to the frame.
This should be done around the entirety of the frame. Remember that you will need to seal as much surface as possible.
This is the weatherstrip I recommend, there’s no need to get anything more expensive, really, since it will work perfectly.
You may wonder how to deal with the gap left between the door and the floor, since you can’t use the weatherstrip here…
Step 2: Install a Door Sweep
The next step is to install a Door Sweep, which will help with sealing the gap between the door and the floor.
This won’t create as tight of a seal as the weatherstrip but it’s the only thing you can really do.
How to install it?
First get a Door Sweep like this one.
Next, cut it to the exact size of your door, making sure that it covers the entirety of the gap.
Lastly, install the Door Sweep. This one in particular doesn’t require you to use any tools since it comes with an adhesive side.
If you have any cracks between the frame of the door and the wall, then I’d suggest you purchase some Acoustic Caulk.
Step 3: Apply Acoustic Caulk
This is extremely easy to do, it’s fast and very effective.
Where to use Acoustic Caulk?
It’s designed to fill small 1/8” gaps to ½” gaps and should be applied between the frames and the door.
It’s designed for interior use only; it shouldn’t be used on the exterior!
Note: After you have applied it, give it about 48hs to dry completely.
Step 4: Install a Soundproofing Blanket
Soundproofing blankets are one of my favorite ways of sound deadening a room.
They are extremely affordable, easy to install and they do work.
You can get this pack of 12 blankets for under $100 on Amazon, and the great thing is that you can use the remaining ones to help soundproof your bedroom, laundry room, etc.
All you need to do is hang one from the door, preferably making sure that it’s well attached to the sides and the bottom, as well as the top.
I like to use some good-quality Velcro to do this.
I Recommend the Strenco Adhesive Velcro. The adhesive side makes installation super easy and fast.
These are the basics on soundproofing a door, which is more than enough for soundproofing a bathroom door, but here’s a more in-depth guide should you be interested.
2. Soundproof the Walls
If possible, you should consider installing soundproofing materials inside the walls during the construction process.
Of course, I understand that 99% of you reading this article already have a fully built bathroom wall, so here are your options;
2.1 Add an Extra layer of Drywall
Even though this might be a lot of work and more expensive than the other steps in this guide, it really does work.
Vibrations generated by sound reverberate, which means that they will be able to travel through the walls unhindered.
Installing extra layers of drywall will help keep the noises at bay. Just make sure to use acoustic caulk between the drywall sheets in order to get a proper seal.
After this you can add a layer of soundproofing paint and you’re done.
2.2 Use Soundproofing Paint
Soundproofing paint can also work lower the amount of noise that is allowed to leave the room. The great thing is that all you need to do is go to your local hardware store and purchase some.
You can use it on the drywall you just added or, if you decided not to go that route, then simply painting the existing walls will also help.
Note: It can also be used to paint the door.
Make sure to apply as many coats as possible in order to get the best results.
2.3. Add sound absorbing materials
One cool trick you can use it to hang a painting and use it as an acoustic panel.
Paintings on their own already absorb a little bit of sound, BUT you could get some old towels and carefully place them behind the painting, inside the frame.
How to do it?
Step 1: Cut a couple of old towels so that they fit perfectly inside of the frame.
Step 2: Stack them all on top of each other and place them on top of a bigger towel and sew the together.
Step 3: Staple the bigger towel on to the frame of the painting and then cut off the excess fabric.
Here’s a video about how to make your own acoustic panels, but the same concept can be applied to the paintings.
Placing just one or two paintings, or even just acoustic panels like the ones in the video, in your bathroom should help absorb most of the sounds that are generated inside it.
3. Purchase a thick Rug
The floor isn’t usually responsible for generating unwanted noises, but since it’s a hard surface it makes it easy for soundwaves to bounce off of it.
The best soundproofing materials aren’t hard, they tend to be soft, thick and dense, so one great solution is to cover up the floor with a thick rug like this one which will further help absorb the sounds.
4. How to Soundproof the Toilet
Flushing a toilet announces to everyone that you’ve been using it, so I understand if you would like to lower the noise it makes and maintain your privacy.
Another annoying noise is the one the lid makes when opened, since it hits the tank.
Here are the two solutions;
Lower the Flushing Noise
You will need to purchase this adhesive foam tape and follow these steps;
Step 1: Take the lid off the tank and clean the top and the inside edges of it. Also clean the inner edges of the lid.
Step 2: Peel the adhesive backing off the tape and stick it around the top edges of the tank while folding it inside the wall.
Make sure to apply it to the entirety of the top edges, no gaps should be left open.
Step 3: Put the lid back into place. It should be a tighter fit now because of the tape.
Add Some Padding
To lower the noise the lid makes when bumping against the tank you can do two things;
Get a toilet lid cover or simply install these noise-dampening bumpers instead.
Both options are very affordable and also effective.
5. Soundproof the Bathroom Fan
Bathroom fans can be loud, and since you typically leave it on after leaving the bathroom, if it’s a really loud one, it can be quite annoying to hear it throughout your entire apartment.
The number one reason for a bathroom fan to be loud, beside simply being naturally loud, is the vibrations it generates.
This might be due to the screws not being tight enough, but a good idea might be to add some anti-vibration rubber sheets.
If there are no anti-vibration materials in contact with the fan, then it will end up generating a lot of extra noise.
Sorbothane is the anti-vibration material I’d recommend for this task.
How to install it?
Step 1: Remove the Fan
First you will need to remove the fan from the wall, which should be easy enough.
Remember to put the screws in a plastic bag, glass, or any other container so you don’t lose them.
Note: It might be a safe idea to cut the power to do this.
Step 2: Cover the housing with Sorbothane
The next step is to install the anti-vibration sheet around the housing of the fan.
It comes with an adhesive backing which should make the installation very simple and fast.
Also, it can be easily cut to any shape and size you should require.
Try and cover as much of the housing as possible, since this should better reduce the vibrations.
Step 4: Re-install the fan
The only thing left for you to do now is to mount the fan back into the wall, making sure to put the screws in as tight as possible.
People tend to be loud in the bathroom, be it singing or listening to music while in the shower or while doing their business.
Whatever the reason behind the noise, you can always find ways to lower it quite a bit.
Nobody needs to know what is going on inside a bathroom except for the person inside it, so applying some of the steps I teach in this article should definitely help.
I hope this was useful!