There is a vent above our shower that we keep closed all the time. Despite being closed, we can hear everything in a neighbor's kitchen, and they can hear everything in our bathroom.

I'd like to dampen the sound through this vent. Since there's steam / water involved I don't want to just tack on some foam. What is a good alternative?

  • If a vent from a something like a range hood(low temperature), would imagine wrapping some fibreglass insulation around the vent should help, or just placing the insulation on the ceiling with the vent above the insulation.
    – crip659
    Aug 2, 2022 at 12:22
  • 2
    wad a towel in a grocery bag and stuff it in there, nothing blocks sound as well as terrycloth until you get into expensive materials.
    – dandavis
    Aug 2, 2022 at 18:14
  • 1
    actually that should say "nothing absorbs sound as well as terrycloth"...
    – dandavis
    Aug 2, 2022 at 18:49
  • @dandavis the vent is about 1 foot square Aug 2, 2022 at 19:24
  • 2
    scale it up; a garbage bag with old rags or towels or rugs or blankets should fill it in and muffle out all the noise.
    – dandavis
    Aug 2, 2022 at 20:11

2 Answers 2


If you're sure that you don't need the ventilation that this vent would provide, you can make a giant "earplug" that will block all sound.

  • Remove the grille so you can see the duct.
  • Select a relatively flimsy plastic bag such as a kitchen garbage bag or similar.
  • Stuff a wad of fiberglass batt (unfaced) into the bag. Use enough to make a plug about 50% - 75% bigger than the duct's diameter.
  • Twist the bag closed and secure it with a wire tie moderately tight, but not so tight that air can not squeeze through. Cut off the excess bag a little beyond the wire tie.
  • Now compress the bag and fiberglass until it is smaller than the duct
  • Quickly place the "earplug" into the duct. It will slowly expand as air seeps into the bag through the twist. When it reaches maximum expansion, it will be soundproof.
  • Replace the grille.

If you ever need to remove the plug, cut a slit in the bag to make it easily compressible, and it should pull out easily.


See if these vents and maybe others in the building are connected to a broken exhaust system. There may be a broken, off, or missing fan meant to blow air through a common exhaust vent.

If so ... get it fixed. For many reasons, mainly removal of moisture and smells from your building.

But also, a flow of air away from your vent may reduce the sound levels slightly by masking it in white noise.

If you need to reduce the sounds further without blocking off the vents you could also replace the ductwork between them with sound attenuating ducts. This probably isn't practical if you're in a rental but if you or the owner ever carries out any renovation you can try to get this done.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.