I recently bought a tub surround from a local store and need advice on
how to properly insulate behind the walls. I have one exterior facing
wall and the rest are interior. I plan on installing the surround
direct to stud with green board (actually purple) in the space above
the walls. There is a bedroom on the other side of the tubs back wall
that I would like to insulate against noise. I also don't want the
wall facing the exterior wall to be too cold to the touch. Any
suggestions would be appreciated. Also on a separate topic has anyone
install one of these surrounds direct to studs? Are decking screws or
nails preferred to install the walls.
I am no pro, but I did replace an existing bathtub with a 3-piece surround
shower a few years back. I used the insulation materials that were
available to me - a 1.5" layer of styrofoam (was found in interior wall)
plus a layer of fiberglass insulation (R11 if memory serves). On the
exterior wall (cold climate) I used R16 - again if memory serves.
I have no problems with sound - the side wall of the shower backs on to the
headboard wall of our bedroom, and very little noise is apparent.
FWIW, I would never use nails as a fastener for these units. Ours was
fiberglass, and a missed hammerstroke could crack it badly. I drilled and
put in stainless screws with padded washers. I only used a few, and the
unit is very stable and solid. I beleive ours was mounted over the wetrock
except where the tub had been.
In general you want to block air exchange. Air caries sound very well.
(Try opening your car's window as a train is going by.)
Next you want weight. Heavy things (drywall lead sheets etc.) block
You also want to prevent any direct solid connections. Stagger wall
studs or use special isolation devices to keep the sound from traveling
through the wall (remember the two cans on a string (well wire actuarially
worked) you want to break the wire).
Filling in wall cavities with sound absorbing materials (acoustical
fiberglass bats) will do a little.
Supply and drain lines are also sources of noise. Be sure to address
We insulate the exterior wall next to the tub with fiberglass. We
install a 6 mil poly vapor barrier, and cover this with plywood to
prevent it from flapping when, for example, people open and close
doors. Haven't heard that sound between the shower and the bathroom
is a big concern. All I can ever hear is the sound of water running.
Since the tub only contacts the studs in one spot basically, that
probably helps. I bet if you put resilient channel behind the rock
above the tub, and insulated the wall with fiberglass, that would be
sufficient. You aren't building a recording studio after all.
If you keep the caulking in order, regular galvanized deck screws will
outlast the fiberglass tub.
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