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I plan on doing a full gut/rebuild on our bathroom this spring, and one of the things I plan on is his/hers shower heads. Problem is, one of these will need to be on the exterior wall of the house to accomplish this. Since I'm ripping the entire bathroom out, I planned on insulating all of the walls with kraft-face insulation for noise reduction, then putting the plumbing on top of it. Floor to ceiling tile will be installed on all the walls. The shower will be a tub with tile surround, not fiberglass.

Would insulation be sufficient to keep the pipes located on the exterior wall from freezing in winter? I'm located in the Midwest, Saint Louis specifically.

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Lee I am pretty close to your area. Normally we would leave exterior wall in tact. Then we would running a series of 1xs and attach them perpendicular to the framing. Plumbing would would run inside of the 1xs. You might need to notch the framing but by 1/4" at most usually which is fine.

  • So you frame the 1x's up on the inside, and place the plumbing between the 1x's and the exterior wall. I assume you attach the plumbing to the 1x's as well? – Lee Harrison Jan 24 '15 at 20:54
  • The plumbing travels in the cavity created by the 1xs and attached to exterior framing. – DMoore Jan 24 '15 at 20:59
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I'm in southern Canada, for reference, and that kind of plumbing even with good insulation will occasionally freeze.

Often it's not a problem of insulation, but airflow. If that plumbing gets exposed to cold airflow then you're toast.

Personally, I'd probably insulate that wall with spray foam just to be extra sure. Not only will the insulation itself be better, but it'll prevent any airflow airflow along that pipe.

One last note, you'll almost certainly be disappointed with the soundproofing performance of the insulation - it's better than nothing, but you might consider purpose-designed pipe wrap if you are really concerned.

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