How to soundproof between a bathroom and a bedroom
I am making this soundproofing article because my bathroom is right next to my bedroom, and I was tired of having to yell and shut off water for long periods of time when taking a shower.
Some time ago, we had an upstairs neighbor who played loud music at all hours of the day and night. Since we live in a townhouse, we took it upon ourselves to learn how to soundproof between bathroom and bedroom (bathroom/bedroom) as well as the master bedroom and living room (where there is flexibility).
We wanted something that would be relatively easy, cheap, quick, yet workable enough so that you could remove it if need be. For example, having nothing but foam panels on your ceiling or walls might look strange if you decide you want to take the panels down.
Foam paneling is nice because it is rather cheap, but if you’ve ever seen bone-colored foam panels, they are not exactly attractive, no matter how well placed on your walls. They’re also heavy and hard to cut around corners – metal L-channels help with this problem.
We chose eggshell/soundboard 1-inch insulation boards that are commonly used for soundproofing between bathroom and bedroom (bathroom/bedroom) or master bedroom and living room. These are very easy to work with, lightweight enough to handle easily, yet offer a great loft area for absorbing impact noise from walking across the flooring. The best part about using 1-inch insulation boards is that they come in 4 x 8-foot sheets that can be easily cut to size and installed with little effort. Then, if you decide to remove the insulation boards, all you need is a sharp utility knife to cut them free from the studs and drywall.
The 1-inch foam insulation sandwiched between your walls should not be difficult to install at all but definitely measure twice before cutting so as not to waste any material. Cutting around doorways and windowsills may prove rather difficult without a jigsaw or table saw. To get into small spaces, purchase a board type hand saw (that will allow you to make curved cuts) at your local hardware store; we found these for less than $10 US (one example: Stanley 10-099 FatMax 10-Inch Bi-Metal Sawzall Reciprocating Saw Blades ).
For the bathroom soundproofing, we simply cut out an area large enough to fit between studs in each panel and used 2″ wide drywall screws (not too close together, but not too far apart either) to install insulation boards to wall studs. Finally, we used a router with circular bit and beveled edges around door frames and window trim to give the panels a nice finished look – this is up to personal preference, really.
Even though insulation boards are relatively inexpensive, even over $20 US per 4 x 8 sheet, we still needed more than one sheet for our bedroom/bathroom scenario, so we ordered more than one.
To make sure that our neighbors heard no sound from our lavatory, we aimed for a complete STC (Sound Transmission Class) rating of 52. Unfortunately, the bathroom was too short to achieve this number with insulation boards alone, so we installed automobile weatherstripping on the door frame and around the sink, toilet, and shower/tub – two strips under each leg of the sink works great! You can achieve an STC rating of 50 between your bedroom and bathroom with this simple task.
Simple enough for not only how to soundproof between bathroom and bedroom but even master bedroom and living room as well…if you have more money to spend ($100 US per 4 x 8 sheet), use 1-inch rigid fiberglass instead of insulation boards. You can even use it instead of the insulation board in addition to the 1-inch foam insulation boards for added sound reduction, though you will need to use 2″ wide drywall screws instead of 1.5″ screws (which are used with insulation boards).
The amount of soundproofing material you need to purchase will depend on how large your bedroom is compared to that of your bathroom. For example, a small bedroom might require only one 4 x 8 sheet while a larger master suite could need two or three – it depends on personal preference, really…the fewer layers needed, the less weight it adds to your ceiling. If you already have enough insulation boards but not enough soundproofing materials for between bedroom and bathroom (or master bedroom and living room), you can always cover existing insulation boards with another layer; you do not want to cover the boards with drywall as this will take away from their soundproofing capabilities.
The 1-inch insulation boards that we purchased were easy to handle and install, though it would have been easier if two people worked together (one person at each end of the panel). The other soundproofing materials we used (automobile weatherstripping and trim) can be easily cut with a sharp pair of scissors or household shears; do not buy electric or manual hand saws for these jobs unless you want to make it more difficult than need be. If you use 1-inch rigid fiberglass instead of insulation boards, you should follow instructions on how to prepare it for installation – either rolling out flat on the ground or cutting freehand with a sharp knife blade.
Have you ever had to use soundproofing material in order to achieve privacy between bedroom and bathroom or master bedroom and living room? If not, how did you go about achieving this goal? Do you have any DIY or professional tips on how to soundproof between bedroom and bathroom for less than $100 US? Let us know!
While there are several different ways to soundproof between bedroom and bathroom, the method that I mentioned above is by far one of the easiest – if you use insulation boards, that is. If, instead, you decide to purchase thin sheets of 1-inch thick hard fiberglass (or something similar), please take note before installing…you must secure it at the top and bottom of the wall in order to make it work. If you don’t, you could end up with a false ceiling that is actually a sound amplifier with an STC rating of 0!
There are many ways to soundproof between bedroom and bathroom – even master bedroom and living room too if money is not an issue for you – insulation boards should be your starting point. Simple enough… I hope this helps!