How to reduce the noise from powder room?

PatintleFebruary 24, 2005

I have a small house built in 1989. The embarassing problem is, even the powder room has a door, the noise comes out of that room like it has no door! It is especially embarassing when I have guests at home, at dining table, and someone goes to use that room! The powder room has hardwood floor that connects to hallway, and small space under the door (same as other doors inside the house). Does anyone have similar problem?? How do you make the noise 'leak' from powder room as little as possible? Would changing the door help? Which type of door? Thanks in advance!!

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We have the same problem with our powder room. As a result, I usually steer people to the master bath on the same floor. I never thought about changing the door. Hmmm. Otherwise, perhaps installing a really loud fan to drown out the noise?

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 1:01PM
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Do you have a real wood door (not the new kind, like a real heavy old interior door)
We have a similar setup and it isn't that bad. We have a pretty nice door. Do you have a fan? Some people hook up the fan so that it turns on when you turn on the light and that can cover some noise.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 1:02PM
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The door - I bet it's not real hardwood door. It's very light, like it's made of wood chips... I'm not sure what it's called. I think the problem may also be because the floor is wood, and it's less sound absorbing than carpet. Ah.. connecting the fan to the light might help.. Thanks for the suggestions! I'm also wondering if we could do anything else.. I have funny idea, perhaps adding one of those relaxing water sounds to the powder room. So the room will always have water sound anyway! ;-)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 1:25PM
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I'm about to redo my kitchen which will share a wall with the powder room, so I've been thinking about this same issue, and ran across the link below. Probably this is overkill for what you want, but I thought I'd pass it along anyway.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soundproofing a bathroom

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 1:48PM
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We put the light and fan on the same pushbutton switch so anyone who walks in turns everything on. Rugs, stacks of folded towels, shower & window curtains, baskets of toilet paper, reading material all serve to muffle the sound in some way. Luckily ours is well designed with thick doors but these "extras" make a difference. When I pull the "soft" stuff out of the bath for cleaning, I always notice that it's suddenly loud and echo-y in there. Our bath & separate toilet room (original to house) has tile floor & walls so the echo is bad when it's "empty" in there.

You could really be the talk of the neighborhood by hooking music up to the same switch. Oh! and maybe you could provide singalong lyrics!

    Bookmark   February 24, 2005 at 6:42PM
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Check out this picture. My husband's grandfather (PO) put in this powder room off the original kitchen. The wall didn't even go to the ceiling! No one wanted to use that bathroom!

Here is a link that might be useful: Old Powder Room

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 4:53PM
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Thanks mrblandings for the link!
athomein1914 - great tips!! My powder room doesn't have a lot of 'soft' stuff in it. I think you're right that it'll help. Perhaps putting the singalong lyrics in a frame and put it on the wall! :)
Joyce 6333 - my parents' powder room is like that too! Unfortunately some poor guests had to use it.. I'd better not go into detail.. I don't know what they (my parents) were thinking when they built it!

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 5:43PM
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Having the "soft" stuff in there will help. Anything like that will help absorb sound. Also, make sure you have a solid wood door. We just remodeled our bathroom & made sure we got a solid door. It was twice as much as those imitation wood doors, but it's much heavier, so it should mask sound better. Also, DH got a sweep to close the gap beween the door & threshold. We haven't installed it yet, so I don't know how much it'll help. DH insists that it will.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 11:22PM
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This is a big issue in my house. Our house was built in 1942, with plaster walls, can't hear through those, but it has those old 2 panel doors, thick wood around the edges but the panels seem thin. When we added on to house last year, my husband insisted on getting matching doors. They were a lot more expensive than the 6 panel doors that are fake but seem very popular. well, you can hear through every room and door now, esp the new part where there is sheetrock rather than plaster. our powder room is small, too small too add much in the way of fabric.

So tell me or send links to the solid wood doors everyone is talking about.

Also we have wood and tile floors, and I think the silly contractor undercut the doors, which lets more sound through.

but I'm really curious what kind of heavy door will not let sound through.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2005 at 6:58PM
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The usual interior doors are called hollowcore doors, and that is what they are. Basically, they are hollow, with perimeter framing, but the two skins are thin plywood.

Go to the building supply store and ask to look at solid interior doors. The mass in the doors will help deaden some of the noise, along with the other suggestions.


    Bookmark   February 27, 2005 at 11:42PM
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Gosh! I did mine the easy way; I bought those stick-on strips for bottom of the door. They come in white and creme, I think; they are not unsightly. HD or Lowes carries them and you can cut them to length. Be aware that if you want to reposition them, they may take your door's paint off, so try to figure out where you want them first. You must be aware of the floor's slope and position the strip for most coverage at the closed position, but still be able to move the door all the way open without scraping too much. Good luck!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2006 at 9:26AM
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Am in the process of tearing out, one room at a time, the old lathe & plaster & replacing with dry wall (I have little choice - live in earthquake country, and every time there's even a little trembler, I get cracks in the plaster). All the walls are hollow, and transmit sound quite nicely :)

When the walls are open, I also put in the heaviest fiberglass insulation I can find to reduce the transmission of sounds from one room to the next. When I finally get to the bath off of our dining room, I'm going to step up the a type of insulation that is primarily used for home theaters, explicitly for sound proofing.

If you have the space in your bath, you could also consider framing in walls around the toilette and putting a door to it. A mini room just for it would futher reduce the ability of sound to travel. And I imagine you can find quiet flush toilettes what would also help.

Good luck

    Bookmark   March 15, 2006 at 10:50PM
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Fiberglass insulation can be effective in soundproofing. DH did a bit of checking for the least expensive ways of deadening sound.(We had a teenager in the house).

In a related point,we used to get annoyed by the fact that you could hear water rushing loudly through the waste pipe whenever someone flushed upstairs. A plumber who'd been around for quite a while said it was the fault of those PVC pipes. The carry noise so much better than those cast iron pipes they used to use.

    Bookmark   March 16, 2006 at 1:36AM
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To reduce noise coming through the door- Replace the hollow core door with a solid core door then use a transom seal at the bottom to seal the gap at the bottom of the door. Then use a pvc foam tape around the door jam where the door meets the stop. This will seal the door, keep in mind if air cant move neither can sound, only vibration.

I also have read the comment on Fiberglass insulation, there is a far better insulation to use, it is called Cotton Fiber Insualtion this product carries a NRC rating of 1.15% far greater the any fiberglass or mineral wool on the market today. Also for pipes you should use closed cell pipe insulation.
If you would like any more information you can e-mail me direct at

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 2:24PM
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Business use of he forum is forbidden. It is also annoying for someone to reactivate a thread that is over two years old. If you have something to offer start your own thread and keep your business out of it.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2008 at 5:03PM
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