How Do I Diffuse Echo In My Bathroom?

Have you ever wondered why of all rooms in your house, it’s only your bathroom that produces the loudest echo? This is because the bathroom is built differently from your other rooms in the house. Interestingly, some of the materials used in the bathroom contribute to the echoing sound compared to the rest of your house.

But to ask how to solve this problem and what to do to diffuse the echoing in your bathroom? You can read along to know some ways to lessen, if not block the echo totally in your bathroom. But first, let’s try to get down to the reason why you experience that echo sound in your bathroom.

Why Do Bathrooms Echo?

Before sound can reach our ears, the sound waves travel through the air. When these sound waves meet a surface, the sound waves have the tendency to bounce off. The bouncing sound waves creates the echoing sound that we hear.

A simple illustration is throwing a ball to a wall. When the ball hits the solid wall, it will naturally bounce back. Since the wall is a hard surface, the tendency of the ball is to bounce back to its source. Alternatively, if you throw a ball and it hits a soft material, like a net, the ball won’t bounce back from where it came from.

What Materials Contribute To The Echoing Sound?

When sound waves come in contact with a hard and smooth surface, they will bounce back. This is because hard and smooth materials reflect off sound waves. These materials have little to no absorption potential, so the sound waves bounce back off the surface. Examples of these materials are stone, tile, wood, metal, concrete, or brick.

On the contrary, soft materials absorb sounds. When sound waves reach a soft material, the material absorb the sound, thus silencing them and the sound waves cannot travel further. Other than absorption, there is diffusion. In diffusion, when sound waves hit an irregular surface, the waves break and travel into different directions depleting its energy.

What Are The Ways To Reduce Or Stop The Echo Sound In The Bathroom?

The main way to reduce the reverberating sound in a room is to use soft or open-celled materials in your bathroom. However, if renovation is not your thing there are other ways to reduce echo by using furniture or other materials in the room to break the sound waves. Here are a number of ways you can do to lessen the echoing sound in your bathroom.

1. Use fiberglass.

Fiberglass is a material commonly used to insulate walls. So, putting fiberglass panel in your bathroom is an effective way at reducing the vibrating sound in a bathroom.

Notice why your voice sound better when in the shower? Actually, when sound bounces around the shower, you experience a reverb. This said, your voice hangs in the air longer, making your voice sound whole and deep, as it doesn’t easily dissipate.

2. Use Acoustic Foams.

This is a material with open-celled structure whereby the sound is trapped when it hits the foam. This said, the sound waves stop travelling further, and this stops the echo. A perfect example of this are egg crates. Their structure helps break up the flat surface, making it effective in reducing the echo.

3. Use Acoustic Tiles.

The concept of reducing echo with acoustic foams apply similarly with acoustic tiles. They have the same open-celled structure so sound waves are broken instead of bouncing off when it hits the surface. However, acoustic tiles are easier to work with since they have already been pre-cut into fixed tile sizes. You can also use cork tiles or choose other types of non-slipping tiles for your bathroom floor that are not solid and smooth.

4. Add Bathroom Mats or Rugs.  

Another way to go breaking sound waves is not only through the walls but also on the floor. So, if you’re trying to think of a quick fix, you can place a thick shaggy rug on the floor to cover the solid surface of the tiles. The trick is to cover as much floor space as possible. But if you have a small bathroom, it’s good to just place your rug or mat near or around the problem areas.

So, do you think you should put a bathroom rug? The good thing about bathroom floor mats or rugs is that they do not only provide soft padding to your feet, or keep them warm after your shower. They also help break sound reflections by absorbing reverberating sounds.

5. Add Furniture.

Since we know that sound waves bounce off from a wall or floor because of their solid and smooth surfaces, adding furniture can disrupt these waves. Possible furniture you can use in your bathroom are chairs, stools, cabinets, or bathroom vanity.

Furniture are made of a combination of various materials like wood, metal, plastic, or even foam. This said, bringing in materials with different textures will absorb or break up the sound waves.

6. Add Shelves or Racks.

The principle behind placing furniture to dissipate reverberating sounds also applies to shelves or racks. By simply putting shelves or racks on your bathroom wall will cover it partially. With a portion of the wall covered, the smoothness of the surface is affected, lessening the tendency of sound waves to bounce off.  

So, if you’re thinking of a smart way to unclutter your bathroom, you can try adding shelves or racks. These storage options not only help in maintaining your bathroom organized, but also help in your echo problems.

7. Add Fluffy Towels.

Putting rolled up towels in your bathroom racks and cabinets will provide additional insulation to your echo problems. There are many types of towels that you can choose. But bathroom linens which thick, fluffy, and cottony materials are good in absorbing sound waves.

8. Add Some Appliance.

There are a number of bathroom appliances that will not only serve their primary purpose, but are also good in lessening echo problems.

Putting a towel warmer for instance, will not only warm your towel for your next use, but can also break the travel of sound waves. So, if you’re thinking whether or not to install a towel warmer in your bathroom? Then maybe you should think twice.

Similarly, installing a radiator in your bathroom will effectively cover a portion of the wall. Thus, the radiator will not only keep your bathroom warm but also help in lessening possible reverberating sounds in the room.

9. Hang Paintings.

You can also decide on hanging paintings or artworks in your bathroom to lessen the echoing sound. These artworks help in breaking sound waves to travel further.

10. Hang Potted Plants.

Since sound waves travel around a room, there is the tendency that sound will bounce off from one surface to the other. Since sound will naturally reflect when sound hits a solid and smooth surface, hanging plants inside the bathroom will definitely break the tendency of these sound waves to travel.