How To Soundproof A Bathroom And Toilet For Extra Privacy.

Now I don’t know about you, but my bathroom is one place in the house where total privacy is a must and enjoying some ‘me’ time an essential part of the day. 

Whether it’s to level up in my game, or just to read the paper in peace, the bathroom is my escape from the rest of the world. The place I gather my thoughts and find the resolve to ‘get back out there’. I’m sure many of you share these same sentiments, as let’s be honest – who wants a bathroom that echo’s out verbatim what’s going on inside?

I wanted our bathroom to look fresh and feel comfortable, yet still have that total privacy. This was my main priority, as those pictures kept creeping to mind from old war movies where the guys were sitting in soundproofed bunkers. 

Comfy and plush was the idea, not insulated and dark. No sir, not my idea of a good place to read the paper at all.

For those of you who don’t know, my wife and I relocated from the country to the city. It was quite an adjustment at first as there is no comparison when it comes to the noise levels. 

This is essentially what kicked off my part-time DIY soundproofing career.

Over the course of time, I have been focused on finding the perfect balance between life and some peace. Yet being frank, soundproofing has in fact drastically altered the way we live for the better. 

Let me share with you the steps that turned our bathroom from boombox to privacy island.

Step by step bathroom soundproofing guide.

I have written this guide in a simple step by step guide. By the time you have completed this list you will have the soundproof toilet and bathroom that you deserve

Step 1

Install a Sound Absorbing Door Pad

I would recommend as a matter of urgency, installing a good sound absorbing door pad. These pads work magic and most times, even better than just having your regular shaggy bathmat. The materials absorb the sound from escaping under the door. It makes such a huge difference from the word go. 

A photo of a bathroom door before soundproofing.
One of the most important areas to soundproof in your bathroom is the door. It is where most sound will actually transfer.

Step 2

Seal Your Door

Sealing your door with weather striping is essential. Our doors are the biggest culprits for allowing noise to move through your house. Be sure to seal up all around the door frame and use some acoustic sealant to plug any holes or random gaps. 

This is the link to the kit and sealant that I bought on Amazon. It was affordable and worked a charm. Affordable door sealing kit.

While on the topic of doors, you could always hang a dampening blanket behind the door, but the thing to remember it is not always the most attractive solution. I wrote a guide about soundproofing blankets if you would like to have a look at that.

If all else fails, perhaps consider buying a new door. However this option may be a bit pricey. Nevertheless a solid new door will ultimately give the best result to dampening the sound. 

Step 3

Walls & Insulation

While this is not just a quick job, insulating your walls is something that will really buffer the sounds coming from inside your bathroom. The main thing to remember is that soft walls absorb more sound than harder walls. In other words, stay far away from metallic finishes and materials that would amplify sound apposed to dampening it. 

What I chose to do here was decouple the walls and add in extra insulation. Take a look at my article on How to Soundproof your Home theater for step by step instructions on how I did that.

Also to add to the buffering, I used  soundproof wallpaper for our backsplashes and feature wall. The only thing to remember in this case is to buy the correct paints and sealers to make sure that it does not absorb any moisture. I will write another article soon concentrating more on this. 

Step 4

Loo Flush

My pet hate, the loo flush. 

Isn’t it strange how the entire house can be buzzing with activity, yet the second the loo flushes, everyone can hear it? 

Well there is a solution to this and it is quite inexpensive and affordable. 

I was not keen on the idea of doing any form of heavy-duty plumbing. Whatsoever. So instead, I found this hack that worked so well that you would think our loo is one of those brand new no-noise low-flow contraptions. 

First, I replaced the mechanism inside the loo, for a newer mechanism as our house is old and the one that was in there, looked like it came from WW1.

Secondly, I bought a decent acoustic sealant and sealed all around the cistern lid to insulate the noise. I added a bit extra around the handle to make sure. Please be careful when you do this because you don’t want to seal it so tight that you can’t flush at all. A nice way to get around this problem, is to gently apply a little sealant with your finger around the handle.

Be sure not to push it between the gap and cistern too deeply either. Just enough that the edge of your finger glides on the cistern while you are applying it. Take a clean cloth and wipe away any residue before it dries. This is important as It can take ages to remove newly set sealant. Speaking from experience. 

This hack saved me hundreds of pounds. I’d recommend it to anyone. 

Step 5

The Floor

A photo of some soundproof vinyl flooring
Vinyl flooring is not only waterproof but it is also great at insulating and soundproofing your bathroom floor.

Our bathroom floor was a challenge. The particular tile that was used was of a rigid porcelain that with the slightest knock, would make the world of sound. What I did in this case was install these vinyl wooden looking flooring tiles.

A good batch of these can help dampen any floor that is impossible to keep quiet. As much as a heavy shaggy rug will absorb and dampen the noise, sometimes you just need that bit extra. 

Best part is, that if you are renting and not the owner of the property, these tiles are super easy to install and remove. 

Step 6

Use Decor To Buffer Sound

What I did in this case was call in my wife. Her excellent decor skills had us set up in no time.  From a hanging towel shelf rack on the back of the door and a few extra bits, we were set in no time at all. 

We bought a heavy woven laundry basket and placed it in the corner to buffer the area and it worked very well with the towel rack on the door. A big shaggy rug over the vinyl tiles made a drastic difference as well as some wall art just for a splash of colour and sound absorption.

For the wall art, there are a lot of places online where you can download your own prints and just put them up. That’s what we did. 

Adding extra items of furniture and wall art can also help with reducing any of the echo from within the room.

An infographic I created showing the 6 steps to soundproofing a bathroom.
This infographic simplifies the 6 steps in this guide to soundproofing your bathroom.

The benefits and negatives of soundproofing a bathroom.

As with all projects in soundproofing there are benefits in positives along with sound negatives. Below I will list them so that you can decide if this is a good project for you.

The benefits of soundproofing your bathroom:

  • Let’s face it what happens in the bathroom is pretty personal and private, soundproofing will stop noises from getting out.
  • On the otherhand if you are trying to have a relaxing bath you may not want external noises disturbing you. Soundproofing will certainly help with that.
  • Most of the techniques mentioned in this guide are very easy to achieve with even basic DIY skills.
  • It can be very affordable to soundproof your bathroom if you shop smart.
  • Soundproofing also offers great insulation, keeping your bathroom warm in the winter and cooler in the summer.

The negatives of soundproofing your bathroom.

  • Most of the techniques in this guide are for sound dampening. To fully soundproof you will need to do building works. This can be a little more costly and will likely require the help of a handyman.
  • If you have a small bathroom adding soundproof panels and blankets may make your room feel a little smaller.

Final Thoughts

I enjoyed every minute of soundproofing our bathroom. The best part was decoupling the walls as this added a lot of extra insulation. This has made the winter months a pleasure.  The best part is, I can hide in there whenever I want to now, and nobody really knows.

The best part of this project, was that it didn’t leave a hole in my pocket and my wife was very happy with the end result. 

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