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Ever Wonder Why Bathrooms Echo? Here’s Why

Bathrooms echo more than any other room in a house. For those who have ever sung loudly in the shower, it echos and often sounds pleasant to the ear. There’s a reason why bathrooms have an echo.

Bathrooms echo based on the hard wall surfaces that repel the noise. Tiles, glass, and other hard material that doesn’t absorb noise cause the vibration of the voice to continuously travel. This creates an echo effect and can continuously be heard.

However, in any other room, the voice may not sound pleasant to the ear. We look at why bathrooms echo, especially in the shower.

Why Bathrooms Echo

In order to understand the echo, we must understand what material and substance bathrooms are also built with.

Bathrooms are often made of hard surfaces. Typically the material on the walls is tile, which is not made for absorption but rather deflection. Floors are tiled to be easily cleaned as well as the walls of the shower.

The shower door is often made of glass, which again does not to a great job of absorbing sound. These two types of materials are easy to clean as it’s tough for dirty substances to stick and grab on.

The same can be said about sound. Bathroom’s echo because the material in the bathroom does not absorb sound, thus reflecting it back to the person talking or singing. When put into a small confine space with echo, it naturally sounds pleasing to the ear.

This is why singing in the shower is very common, as we naturally sound better to our own ear. When in most cases, we’re just experiencing an echo of our own voice.

Why Don’t Other Rooms Echo

Other rooms, such as a small living room or a kitchen, for instance, doesn’t carry the same echo as the bathroom for many reasons:

  • These rooms tend to be larger than a shower. The more room, the farther away the sound waves get from the ear.
  • The main reason is the material in the room is soft and absorbent. In a typical living room, carpet, drywall, and couches can be found. All of these materials are soft and absorbent to both sound and physical products.

The perfect example to demonstrate this is if you’ve ever seen a child bury his face into the couch and scream because they’re mad, the sound will be buried into the couch – rather than echo throughout the entire room. This is how absorbent furniture is, and how it helps minimize the noise.

Rooms like the living room or the kitchen often have dry-wall which is absorbant to sound. Although it may not seem absorbant, because it’s a hard surface, it does absorb the sound better than tile does.

As mentioned above, sounds that often echo require hard, sound repelling walls and often times small areas. These sound repelling walls often include tiles within a shower or bathtub confined space. Bigger bathrooms with more space often don’t echo as much, especially if they’re made primarily of dry-wall and not tile.

Ways To Minimize The Echo In Bathrooms

A perfect example of how to minimize the echo is noise cancelers that are easily placed on the walls or on the curtain shades of windows. These noise cancelers are great to reduce the vibrations and absorb the noise that is carried throughout the room.

Noise cancelers are any item that can be placed on the wall, that helps absorb the noise that way your bathroom doesn’t echo. The most important aspect of the noise cancelers is the style and proper fit into the bathroom.

Sound-absorbing curtains, panels, or wedges can be placed either on the exterior front-facing wall in order to absorb the noise. For look purposes, we recommend using the curtains or the sound panels which work best to absorb the sound.

Below are our picks for the best sound canceling and noise absorbing products to help minimize the echo in a bathroom.

Curtains

curtains

Noise-reducing curtains are a great way to minimize the noise that comes either into a bathroom or any room in the house. The elegant design offers 2 panels per package and can be found in pretty much any color.

These curtains are thicker than most curtains, as they’re made from thermal insulated material that is both soundproof and fade-resistant. These curtains are also machine washable and can be ironed with low temperatures.

Sound Panels

Sound panels

Sound panels are what daycare’s and schools use in noisy rooms to eliminate the loud roar of chatter.

These sound panels are often found in three different colors – black, burgundy, and ivory. Simply hung up on the wall of your studio, living room, or basement where the kids play to reduce noise, sound panels are usually the more stylish way to block out the noise.

Foam Wedges

Foam Wedges

Last is the foam wedges. Foam wedges are more used for studios and places with consistent high volume atmospheres.

Placed in the walls or outside of the walls, foam panel wedges are great for soundproofing and absorbing high range frequencies. They diminish echoes to maximize the quietness.

These may not be the best available option, compared to the previous 2 options, however, we wanted to include them on the list if the homeowner wanted to get creative in their bathroom.

Conclusion

Bathrooms and showers tend to echo based off of the hard surfaces that repel the noise. Tiles, glass, and other hard material that doesn’t absorb noise often causes a frequent bounce and vibration of the voice. This creates an echo and can be heard from several rooms over.

In order to minimize the echo and keep a quiet and peaceful household, we recommend looking at the noise reduction options above to keep the serenity in your household – especially if you have more than 2 children. Drywall, although hard, is not great at absorbing sound or vibration. This is demonstrated by hearing a child play video games or hearing someone on the phone in the next room over.

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