Soundproofing around a shower?

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by cacher_chick, Feb 20, 2012.

  1. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    I've built a new bath with a 60" Kohler Vikrell shower. I'm getting ready to drywall the room adjacent to the shower and it's occurred to me that I might want to do something to help mute noise that might resonate from the shower walls.

    It might be worth noting that I'm cheap and I don't want to do anything drastic.

    Would I be accomplishing much to hang 2 layers of drywall?
    Maybe it would be better to hang the drywall on resilient channel instead of directly on the studs?

    The local store has batts of mineral wool, but I think that may have moisture ramifications, not to mention it was pricey.

    Any constructive input would be appreciated.
  2. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    For the money and ease of installation I would go with insulation. I believe owens corning makes some insualtion specifically for sound reduction.
  3. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    Your best solution would be to do both, but a double layer of drywall with the isolation channels would probably be the better choice if you only want to do one thing. The reason for this is that sound travels through the solid panels, stuffing insulation in between the studs certainly helps, and is the easiest, but by putting a double layer of drywall up with the isolation channels, you decouple the studs from the room, minimizing the sound transmission to the panels. You need to plug any and all air gaps, though, otherwise, they act like ports or horns to help transmit sound. They also make some special adhesive designed to attach the second layer of drywall, but it is quite expensive.

    It all depends on the level of sound suppression you want. You probably don't NEED much, and the insulation will probably be more than enough. Depends somewhat on what the shower walls are made of...tile, you may not need anything. Fiberglass or thin plastic surround attached to the studs with no drywall, you will hear things in the adjacent room unless you do something.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  4. nukeman

    nukeman Nuclear Engineer

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    If you do the drywall approach, remember to watch for areas that may cause problems due to the increased thickness (door, areas where you might only want 1 layer of drywall, etc.).

    Too bad you aren't closer. I have 3 bags of Roxul left over that I would give you...

    The insulation is good with the higher frequency sounds, but doesn't do much to stop sound that travels through the studs (bumping against the wall, etc.). The drywall w/ the resilient channel would be better for that type of sound. I would also think about the future. If you were to keep a standard wall thickness with the insulation, that might be easier for you if you go with a tile shower down the road. Just something to think about.
  5. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    I've seen sheet membranes specified for this type of application. Using Noble Companies Sound membrane might just be the thing.

    We have had good success with Quiet Rock as well here in Vancouver

    Roxul Safe and Sound does wonders as does installing a sheet membrane for waterproofing those shower walls to start with.

    JW
  6. Todd Stull

    Todd Stull Bathroom Specialist

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    If it's a Sterling Kit you may want to go with the Owens Corning sound rated insulation.
  7. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    I love the marketing you folks are buying into.

    The insulation they sell you for "sound" applications isn't any different.

    You can use fibre glass or mineral fibre, it will make little difference unless you plan to take a torch to the material.

    Roxul's interior wall batt is a higher density, but the same fibres...

    Do whatever you can afford, but you will see the greatest benefit from the resilient channel.

    Or, if it isn't too late and the wall is fairly uncomplicated,you could add furring strips to the top and bottom plates and create a staggered stud wall.

    Adding glue, or some sheet membrane, etc. etc. none of that does anything to decouple the two sides of the wall which is most important here.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2012
  8. Todd Stull

    Todd Stull Bathroom Specialist

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    Edit: Just buy the cheapest insulation you can find since it's a Sterling kit...
  9. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    What is a "Sterling Kit" and why do you keep mentioning it?
  10. Todd Stull

    Todd Stull Bathroom Specialist

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    Sterling is a division of Kohler that makes the Vikrell tub and shower clip together kits
  11. johnfrwhipple

    johnfrwhipple I love these ACO Shower Drains - Best in Class

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    We started using sheet membranes over a decade ago and the number one comment outside of how nice the job turned out is how quite the shower is now. I'm not sure how many shower's you have built with sheet membranes but the effect on sound is outstanding.

    Quiet Rock limits sound many do to the change of materials. I understand sound gets deadened when it has to pass through many different materials. The use of sheet membrane behind wall board is not a new concept - just unfamiliar to many. I only learned about it last year while researching a new Jazzuzi tub project for this summer.

    I stand by my recommendation for the Roxul and a sheet membrane.

    $22.00 in roxul
    $140.00 in Noble Sound membrane

    Installation time under one hour.

    Noticeable improvement in sound deadening.

    Now swapping out the hollow core door with a solid one will help too.

    Good Luck.

    JW
  12. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    Product Description
    QuietZone® Acoustic Batts are acoustically engineered to absorb sound vibrations. They are installed between interior walls, floors, and ceilings constructed of standard wood framing members or QuietZone® Acoustic Wall Framing. QuietZone Acoustic Batts are lightweight and pre-cut to 93" lengths for quick installation and easy transportation. The batts are easily stapled and cleanly fabricated to allow for improved workmanship and acoustic performance.

    Acoustic Benefits
    QuietZone Acoustic Batts provide basic noise control to surrounding rooms. When using single 2x4 wood studs (16” o.c.) and 1/2” Type X gypsum board, QuietZone Acoustic Batts can improve conventional wood stud walls up to a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating of 39. QuietZone Acoustic Batts can contribute to a reduction in noise levels up to STC 57 when used with the complete Owens Corning Noise Control System, including QuietZone Acoustic Wall Framing.*
  13. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    A solid panel on either side, connected to the same stud allows some frequencies to be easily transmitted between panels via the studs, regardless of what they are filled with. Filling the stud bays certainly helps at some frequencies, never said it didn't, but if you are only going to do one thing, decoupling the wall from the studs and installing a second layer of drywall is going to provide better sound reduction. Using both will provide the best you're going to get unless you go with other, more extreme methods (drywall laminated to lead panels, etc.). You just like to argue, without looking at the whole picture. The easiest would be to just put in the insulation, said that before, and it would be worthwhile. Wouldn't have brought double wall except the originator asked.

    Sound walls in buildings are generally made with offset studs so that there is no direct path between the two (often the same baseplate - a 2x6 with 2x4 studs)...they do this because it works better. To improve things, they'll wind the insulation around both studs so you get both high and low frequency blockages. Using a double layer of drywall with the sound isolation clips is more expensive and requires more skill and time, plus cuts into the living space (not much, but hey). Pick your poison.
  14. Hackney plumbing

    Hackney plumbing Homeowner

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    A sterling unit only touches the studs at the top and bottom perimeter nailing flanges. The entire unit doesn't make contact with the studs. Fill that space with insulation and it will help with sound inside the unit while taking a shower and in ajoining rooms. I've used tar paper to insert between the nail flange and the studs to prevent squeeks and noise transmissions then used batt insulation to fill in the rest of the space.
  15. Todd Stull

    Todd Stull Bathroom Specialist

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    I guess I was right, :confused:
    Sometimes buying a whole roll of roofing paper doesn't make sense if your not going to use it any time soon so another option is some silicone inbetween stud and flange to cut out squeeking.
  16. cacher_chick

    cacher_chick Test, Don't Guess!

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    I appreciate the input.

    I had not considered the idea of a staggered stud wall. The side I am most concerned with backs to an 8' wide alcove, so it would be easy to frame up a second wall, and losing 4" in the alcove wouldn't be of great concern.

    The standard mineral wool seems to be some heavy sound-absorbent stuff.

    And drywall is cheap.

    The sheet membrane sounds interesting, but it's not worth it to me when I think I can make do with cheaper materials.

    I'm still waffling, but feel like a more educated consumer. :)
  17. jadnashua

    jadnashua Retired Defense Industry Engineer xxx

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    If you go with the staggered studwall, it's more common to only lose about 1.5"...use a 2x6 on the plate and top, then use standard 2x4's offset at the standard spacing, so you have them alternating, one to one side of the wall, the next to the other while maintaining the 16" OC for both sides. That will leave you about 2" gap to the opposite wall that you can wind the insulation through, if you choose to add that as well (not a bad idea).
  18. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    John is the guy who claims everyone else is advertising for such and such, but he advertises for Nobel every chance he gets.

    This is not a tile shower.

    Everyone in the acoustical business knows that mass, decoupling, and absorption are key... I'm not really sure where John figures a waterproof membrane comes in there.

    This isn't witch craft either, there are plenty of resources on the internet that explain designs to achieve certain STC ratings...

    EDIT

    If you don't mind losing more than 1.5", you could frame a 1 5/8" steel stud wall IN FRONT of the existing wall, then the only physical connection would be subfloor and ceiling joist/rafter. I suggest steel stud not for the sound aspect, but because it's easier to frame a thin straight wall with small steel members than it is to attempt to frame a wall with 2x2/2x3 or anything else wood.
    Last edited: Feb 21, 2012
  19. Todd Stull

    Todd Stull Bathroom Specialist

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    Sounds like adding a whole bunch of steel in front of a stud wall makes sense but why would anyone go to the trouble for a $600 tub and wall kit... Throw some insulation in the wall and call it a day ;)
  20. dlarrivee

    dlarrivee New Member

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    Why bother doing anything to your home at all if the walls aren't caving in?
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