How to soundproof the washroom environment:
What is Acoustic Privacy?
Acoustic Privacy means protecting confidential or sensitive information through sound insulation or dampening.
It’s a crucial design component in the workplace to protect employees, particularly in areas like boardrooms, meeting booths and washrooms, where discretion is a priority.
The washroom should be a place of privacy and comfort, and sound insulation is one element that makes up this dynamic.
Is this the same as soundproofing?
Not quite, total soundproofing is somewhat a myth.
Under strict lab conditions it may be possible to soundproof a room or washroom cubicle, but in the real world there are many variables that make true sound proofing unlikely; gaps above and below doors, gaps in panelling, and reflective material surfaces can all enable sound to travel, which prevents perfect soundproofing.
The myth of the 45dB soundproofing standard
We often get asked whether our washroom cubicles can meet a 45dB reduction of sound. Many plasterboard manufacturers use this figure to demonstrate their product offers optimal soundproofing.
But it is crucial to understand, this level of sound reduction has been achieved under stringent lab conditions and not in real world scenarios.
To truly meet this 45dB reduction would require costly finishes, and weighty panelling and doors, which can lead to safety concerns on-site such as emergency access. This is neither ideal nor practical.
How can I increase acoustic privacy?
If soundproofing can’t truly be achieved in the real world, how can we improve privacy?
Rather than the unrealistic goal of total soundproofing, a goal of acoustic privacy through sound management is something that can be achieved.
While reduction of sound is near impossible, the addition of sound is a very realistic option that can be used to improve acoustic privacy in a space.
How is this achieved?
The addition of sound such as air ventilation, extractor fans, dryers and soft background music are all unintrusive sound additions that will add to the privacy of a washroom.
Material selection is also vital, soft wood finishes for example will absorb sound better than reflective glass.
Managing the overall sound environment in this way gives you control of sound levels and privacy as a result.
Access the Acoustic Testing Report
We have independently tested the soundproofing qualities of our cubicles in a real life (non-lab) setting.
We conducted this testing to help specifiers understand the realistic acoustic privacy levels that can be achieved in a real-world scenario.
In our report you will also find a comprehensive guide to acoustic privacy. With this information you will be armed with expert knowledge around the topic of acoustic privacy, giving you confidence in your design and specification decisions.