I'm trying to figure out the best, least intrusive way of sound proofing the walls of a bathroom. The bathroom shares a wall with my bedroom, and my 3 yea old's bedroom. The main problem is the sound of water running (plus every bump on the counter and everything) echos loud and clear through the wall into my sons room. I found sound deadening drywall and it seems like a good choice. Another option is adding another layer fo drywall with something like Green Glue between them. But all the walls and ceilings in the house are textured. So replacing just one or two walls in a room is just not possible.

This is the layout of the two rooms. I've added red box around the wall with the most noise.
house layout

Is there anything else I'm missing here that I could do to dampen the noise short of tearing the bathroom apart?

7 Answers 7


I wouldn't tear the bathroom wall apart... I'd tear the bedroom wall apart. What you are experiencing is the noise traveling through mechanical connections to the wall (screwed to studs) and the noise from the water passing through thin copper pipe (probably the Type M pipe rather than the thicker Type L).

The only effective way I know of is to insulate that wall with Roxul Safe and Sound. It's an insulation designed for noise.... and noise only. It doesn't burn. To go the added mile, use resilient channels before hanging the drywall. The demo is probably a DIY, the installation of the Roxul is DIY, and the drywall.... call someone. For a few hundred bucks the repair will disappear.

Edit: Blown in insulation will not work... blown in is for warmth, not sound. It's the sound transfer you're trying to conquer. We once built a house and insulated the walls with thermal insulation, thinking just like you are. It didn't work. We had the type L pipe, all the plumbing was fastened with cushioned fasteners. We thought we had it knocked. Turned out, it was a waste of money.

If you truly want to fix it, just take down the drywall and do it the right way with the Roxul. Going into a wet wall from the bathroom side is a suicide mission. Building an offset wall will create a door opening that's 10"... with a door that has a 5" jamb. Then there's the carpet... or other flooring surface. It sounds like a difficult job, but it's probably only one weekend.

Otherwise, just buy your son some foam ear plugs at Costco and call it a day.

  • As much as I would love to tear that room apart to solve the issue 100%, I spent many hours painting that room would be a real shame to tear it all down. Bathroom still seems easier. Also I have the assistance of a ex-carpenter who's done drywall. It's all to be DIY.
    – Tim Meers
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 2:42
  • 6
    @TimMeers, the paint in the bedroom is nothing compared to the bathtub, toilet, sink, plumbing lines, and other things you'd need to work with on the bathroom side. The bedroom side is the correct one.
    – BMitch
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 11:56
  • Are there any other possible options that don't include ripping apart an entire bedroom? Maybe some type of blow in insulation or foam? But I'm beginning to see the light of doing the bedroom rather than the bath.
    – Tim Meers
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 21:55
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    @TimMeers, blown in insulation won't work. The sound in the bathroom vibrates the drywall on the bathroom wall, which is connected directly to the studs, which is connected directly to the drywall in the bedroom. You have to break that connection to stop the sound transfer, which is what the resilient channel does. We use that for common walls in multi-unit structures.
    – BMitch
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 0:30
  • I know this is old, but we have almost the exact same problem as @TimMeers (noise through ceiling instead of wall). I'd rather not add the isolating channel. I can see how it works but we have tight clearances for builtins and a lowered ceiling won't help. Did either of you do what el Katz suggested? Or maybe Roxul + quietrock? Commented Nov 6, 2014 at 4:15

That's your wet wall...all the plumbing is in there connected to the wall and floor (at least in the case of the tub). Ideally, you'd take down the sheetrock in the bedroom, then install a new row of studs that are not connected to the existing wall.

While you are in there, see if you can better isolate the plumbing from the studs using rubber washers and mounts. Consider wrapping the pipes in insulation as well.

You'll end up with studs 16oc in the bathroom, and then on the bedroom side you'll have the same, but staggerd 8" from the original ones. Then, fill the void with sound deadening insulation. To finish, ideally hang the Sheetrock using sound deadening channels.

In the end, though, you still have physical connections with the floor and ceiling so sound might still get in.

Maybe the simplest solution is to swap bedrooms with your son.

  • Funny you say the simplest solution is to swap bedrooms. He sleeps more in there than his room! But the layout of the bedroom does not work and closet is not big enough for two people.
    – Tim Meers
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 21:41
  • It looks like there's yet another bedroom below the bottom one in your blueprint? A thought: take out that wall, and move the closets there. That'll give most rooms a much bigger closet and will only sacrifice maybe a foot and a half of space. Might be easier to do that that redo the bathroom wall (then again, I LOVE tearing down walls...)
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 21, 2012 at 21:45
  • Their is another bedroom in the image. But I'm pretty sure my 8yo, will not enjoy me tearing down his wall to share the bedroom with his 3yo brother. Though I sure could use a 20x12 bedroom!!
    – Tim Meers
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 2:36
  • @tim, I meant remove the wall to replace it with closets. There'd still be two rooms, but you'll be moving the closets. Hard to say if that's the best option without seeing the entire house floorplan, though.
    – DA01
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 2:47
  • Not likely, timmeers.net/large/5870
    – Tim Meers
    Commented Feb 22, 2012 at 2:54

If you really want to avoid taking down the bedroom wall, then hang some acoustical panels on the wall (found from suppliers of home theater systems). You could also hang a large tapestry or carpet like material on the wall. But el katz has the correct answer with the resilient channel and insulation designed for sound proofing.


Don’t forget the door. Make sure you have a solid core door between the bedroom and bathroom. And consider adding an automatic door bottom to seal the space between the floor and the bottom of the door.


I hope this isn't too far off the beaten path, but have you tried something far less involved, like putting a white-noise generator (like a fountain, or one of those radios that can play the sound of a brook or crashing waves) in your son's room?

  • This won't help with sudden noises unfortunately. Thought I do play music for him at night.
    – Tim Meers
    Commented Feb 23, 2012 at 21:55

I had similar problem at a game store once. The bathroom wall was paneling on one side and thin sheet rock on the other side. EVERY sound could be heard. The laughing stopped when I sound proofed it. I did not have much space to work with in such a small room, but I mounted two 2X4s- one on the ceiling and one on the floor. I studded them in regular intervals except I turned the studs sideways. I put up fiberglass insulation in the void (though the sound proofing insulation mentioned in a previous post may work better). I used fire rated (5/8") sheet rock on top of that. Once it was done, The silence was indeed golden.

A possible revision, if you are comfortable working with metal studs, There is a stud available for use with pocket doors. You can use this and the corresponding track for it to make a very low profile sound proof wall.

The main point is putting a sound deadening void between you and the offending noise.


It's always best to just bite the bullet and take the bedroom wall down and do it right. JUST DO IT! It is so silly to say I spent so much time painting the wall, etc.,. What is most important?!? Just do it and you will be happy in the end that you did. All the other fixes are half-assed ways of doing something that will still not even work. Stop wasting time and just do. The wall can be painted again. I know that's a pain in the butt but seriously "What Is Most Important!" Do it and I'll do my mine! Ha Ha I have the same exact problem however holding off on installing my brand new vanity so I might still go in the bathroom side and somehow wrap the plumbing as well. I've been in this business for many years the wall will NEVER be perfect but it will be much more liveable and more quality.

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