16 Tips To Soundproof A Toilet That Actually WORK
How to soundproof the toilet? Probably this is a question that passes through everyone’s mind at some point. I mean, it’s really frustrating that architects don’t think of this issue more often.
I live in a house in which the bathroom is located right off the living and dining room. In fact, it shares a wall with the dining room area.
To avoid embarrassment for my guests, I inadvertently end up directing them to the other bathroom attached with my bedroom, that’s further away.
So, I just know this is something that is an issue for a lot of other people as well which is why I wrote this post. I did a ton of research and here’s what I found:
16 Tips To Soundproof Your Toilet
#1 Install a door sweep
An important role of soundproofing is that there must be no gaps or crevices from which sound can leak through. This is why it’s important to plug gaps under the door, where inadvertently, there always is a small space.
This can be pretty easily taken care of by installing a door sweep. I like this one on Amazon, which is plastic (hence, waterproof as well). Door sweeps generally are pretty inexpensive, easy to install, and will also keep insects and critters away.
#2 Caulk the gaps door frame
In continuation of the above point, you should also look for gaps around the frame of the door. The door frame is a relatively neglected area from where sound can leak through.
Here’s a quick video on how to actually caulk around a door, in case you’ve never done it:
To this end, I looked at a few caulking products, and the Sashco 10.5 oz cartridge is just about the amount you’ll need for this purpose.
Alternatively, you could also use a weatherstrip seal for blocking the cracks, instead of caulking.
#3 Hang a soundproofing blanket over the door
Hanging a soundproof blanket or soundproof curtains will help deaden the sounds inside inside the bathroom.
These blankets are made up of heavy fabric that’s tightly woven, which is what helps it deaden sounds coming from the bathroom. You also don’t have to worry about smells- they won’t absorb any.
Key thing to note here, is that sound deadening and soundproofing aren’t the same thing. However, the added barrier behind the door should help block the bathroom noises.
Again, one thing you’re going to have to make your peace with, is that if you’re not ready to spend the bucks, you’ll have to keep trying hacks like these which may or may not work for you- depending on your situation.
Let’s talk about looks:
While they’re not ugly, I think they do look out of place inside a bathroom, hanging on a door.
If you really don’t care about looks, you could also get a moving blanket, which is essentially the same thing, such as this popular product on Amazon.
The best way to attach it is to buy a couple strips of velcro along with the blankets, and sew them into the sides of the blanket, so that it’s easy to attach it to the door.
The velcro strips I’ve linked to above have sticky backs and will pretty much stick to any surface- but since the blankets are heavy, I’d say you should stick at least 15 strips on the door in a rectangle pattern and then place the blanket, such that it’s strips align with those on the door and get stuck.
And if you’d rather not do all that, I found this product on Amazon, that comes with velcro sewn into it.
#4 Buy some rugs for your floor
If you live in a two storey house, sounds of someone on the floor above, stepping into the bathtub and even just walking around in the bathroom might transmit down below.
It’s not uncommon for the sounds to be loud enough to interrupt conversation and such!
Which is why, if you haven’t already, you should buy some anti-slip rugs that will help keep the floor dry as well as muffle the footsteps.
Drown Out The Noise
#5 Install a noisy fan
Not exactly a sound proofing tactic, but you can mask bathroom noise by installing a noisy fan inside your bathroom. It will help keep the air ventilated inside as well.
Generally, the cheaper a fan is, the louder it’ll be.
Which is why you might want to check out this bathroom fan on Amazon. Probably the first time I trawled through Amazon looking for a sub-par product(in terms of noisiness).
It works fairly well for ventilation and has a SONES rating of 4 -which means it’s one of the noisier fans in the market.
#6 Get a shower radio
I love getting into the bathroom every morning and just turning the music on. It helps me start the day off with a bang, and it also serves the purpose of masking any accidental sounds that might have otherwise slipped through the bathroom.
Obviously, this is not a permanent solution.
I mean you can’t play the music every time you go in- but this tip has come in handy before, especially during my student days. If you are interested though, this shower radio cum bluetooth speaker is quite nice.
#7 Download an app
This one’s pretty hilarious. It’s an Iphone app called ‘Silent loo’ that plays upto 8 different running water sounds while you’re doing your business.
In the words of the makers, here are some of the sound settings
‘Tsunami’ for when you had to share a room with your boss in a business trip, “Costa Rican River” if you ate Mexican beans last night or “Monsoon” if it’s the love of your life who’s sleeping next door”
Cutting the noise down from the source
#8 Buy some shoe gel
It’s kind of embarrassing when the sound of the toilet seat being put down radiates throughout the house.
Really simple solution to that, is to stick a small piece of rubber gel on the underside of the toilet seat and the lid as well, so that every time the seat is put down or put up, it won’t make any sound.
This is probably the best DIY hack that I found while researching for this post because all you need is one of those cheap rubber gels that women put inside their heels for comfort, such as this one on Amazon.
#9 Seal the toilet tank properly
As the water flows out when you flush it, of course, it makes a loud sound. But in some toilets, the sound of the water tank being filled afterwards can be almost as loud.
The best solution here, without getting involved in the plumbing, is to seal the toilet tank properly. Firstly, make sure you clean it well so that there are no blockages for water flow.
Next, just apply some weather stripping tape on the outside so that the lid and the tank are sealed together.
And Some Actual Soundproofing Solutions
#10 Reinforce your door
Most residential homes come with hollow core doors, which are notorious for leaking sounds. This is because they don’t have one of the most important things for blocking noise- mass.
To test this, ask someone to stand on one side of the door and speak, while you have your ear against the other side of the door.
If you have a solid core door, you’ll hear them, but it’ll sound like they’re far off. If you have a hollow core door, you’ll be able to hear them very clearly.
This is why one of the best things you can do, and something that will make a noticeable difference in sound leakage, is reinforce the mass in your door.
It does require you to be handy with tools a bit so if you’re not comfortable doing DIY type projects, feel free to skip ahead to the next point.
That’s not to say it’s very complicated. All I suggest you do is this:
- Get some plywood, or acoustic plasterboard. If you get the sound proof variety, that’s even better- read my recommendation on the best soundproof board here.
- Cut it in the same dimensions as your door
- Don’t forget to add a hole for the handle
- Take a tube of green glue(don’t know what it is? Read this article I wrote), apply it in a random pattern on your board, and stick it on to your existing door frame.
- Mind you, green glue is not an adhesive. It’s a noise dampening product. You still have to use a wood glue to attach the board to the door.
Overall, you could comfortably do this under $100.
#11 Get a solid core door
If you read ‘DIY’ and directly skipped Tip #1, then this might make sense for you. In any case, it’s a much better solution as well.
Depending on the size of the door and wood used, you’ll end up spending anywhere from $150 to $400.
They certainly are not cheap, but if you really want to block bathroom sounds, getting a solid core door will go a long ways towards that.
#12 Wrap Noisy Pipes With Soundproof Material
Usually, noises in pipes are caused due to water flow hammering against a pipe which is not securely fastened to the wall. This in turn, causes the pipe to vibrate and rattle.
You can try reducing the water pressure to remedy this, since the noise mostly occurs when you shut the tap off quickly.
To this end, you might want to use a low flow tap and shower head, such as this one on Amazon.
The permanent solution here is to wrap some heavy rubberized material, such as MLV(mass loaded vinyl) around the pipes which will dampen the vibrations.
This is an involved exercise though, because you will have to tear apart the drywall in order to expose the plumbing, first.
#13 Fill Up The Cavities Around Plumbing
If Tip #12 sounds like a good option, you might also consider filling up the cavities around the plumbing inside of the wall. This does a similar job as wrapping pipes with sound proof material- basically adding more mass to dampen it’s vibrations.
You could consider filling the cavities with some insulating material such as Quiet Batt. That’s not the only option out there though- there are multiple that you can choose from.
#14 Add An Extra Layer Of Drywall
Nothing you do really will make a difference towards soundproofing if your walls are thin. You must have a thick layer of wall that insulates all sounds. In fact, that ideally, should be the first thing you take care of for soundproofing any room.
It’s just that it’s not feasible for everyone to renovate their walls.
If you can though, I recommend you get the ⅝” drywall type and add an extra layer to your existing wall. For best results, you’ll want to go with staggered studs
#15 Floor Underlayment
Keeping the impact sounds of your footsteps from leaking downstairs is tough, unless you have sizeable mass in the ceiling and the floor below you.
So, if every time someone goes to the upstairs bathroom, you need to turn the TV on to mask the noise, it may be time to invest in some floor underlayment.
Something like MLV(Mass loaded vinyl) is great for muffling impact sounds.
#16 Install baffles inside the HVAC vents
If you have a central AC system inside your home, you might just find that every tinkle gets transmitted through the house because of it.
If this is the case, you can ask your HVAC company to install baffles. It’s not a very complex operation, and should provide much better privacy in the bathroom.
I have said this before and I say it again, truly soundproofing a room can cost thousands of dollars.
This is partly a reason why people who want soundproofing but can’t afford it, make the mistake of following silly suggestions online such as placing egg crates on the walls.
Not only does it not work, it also is extremely dangerous as it can catch fire easily.
This isn’t to say that there aren’t any genuinely helpful middle-of-the-road solutions though. In fact, there are a couple.
These are the solutions I compiled for this list and which I suggest you go for, first.
You might just find out that I saved you a thousand bucks because you realized you didn’t actually need a professional.