Friday, February 8, 2013

Time to DIY: Plumbing Insulation

*** UPDATE****

So after calling all of the Lowes and 84 Lumbers in the area with no positive results, it occurred to me that I didn't check Home Depot for some reason.  I guess I figured that if Lowes didn't have it, they wouldn't either.  Sure enough, I called my local Home Depot and they had a whole bunch of Roxul Safe n' Sound.  I put three on hold (each package is about $40 and fills a 59 sq foot area).  I ran over there and put it in my car before they changed their minds.

I headed over to the home site with all of my products and a general plan in mind.  One problem...upon a closer inspection all of the pipes are about flush with the studs.  Now what?  I have three different kinds of insulation and no room to fit any of it behind the drywall.  Well, I first addressed the laundry room/family room wall.  I placed the Roxul in all of the easy places first.  The stuff is very easy to install.  Just make some cuts out of it like bread to fit around receptacles and wires and you pop it in.

Then I had to face my issue of the pipes that are already flush with the wall.  I decided to wrap the main pipe running down the family room wall with the pipe insulation.  I used duct tape to seal all of the joints and secure it to the pipe.  I filled any gaps with spray foam insulation.  I have no idea if the drywallers are simply going to remove the work I did in the areas that pop out or if they will try to accomodate it.  I really hope it stays because that pipe is my real worry.  I ended up using about a bag and a half of the Roxul.

I didn't even attempt to address the pipes in the ceiling.  The same issue existed with those pipes, but unlike the wall pipes, I wasn't able to manipulate the insulation as well because it was all the way up in the ceiling.  Hopefully we don't notice it much up there.  You would think it would be the big vertical drop that causes much of the noise.  I've included a picture of the project below.  The insulation that's green is my work.  I have no idea if it all is going to make any difference and I'll never know since we won't know anything else.  Hopefully we're happy with it all. (I left the Roxul at the site and am going to send a note to the PM stating that if the insulators want, they can feel free to use the rest of it over the ceiling pipes.  We'll see)

Inspired by Road to the Ravenna, I have decided to dive into the DIY world myself.  Before our drywall goes up this coming Tuesday, I wanted to do a little soundproofing on the plumbing coming down from the toilets and showers on the second floor through the family room and kitchen (I've already mentioned this in previous posts).

What I really wanted to do was buy a product called Roxul, which is an accoustic, sound dampening insulation.  But when I went to purchase it tonight, it seems that no one carries it.  You have to special order it.  I don't have time for that.  Bummer! (*I did just find that the local 84lumber is a Roxul dealer and will call them tomorrow morning to see if they have it in stock. Cross your fingers!).  If you have enough time to order this stuff, from what I understand, this is the way you want to go.

Check out their site here:

Alternate Strategy:  Assuming I'm unable to locate some Roxul before installation tomorrow, I am prepared to go with plan B.  Tonight I went to Lowes and bought some 3/4" piping insulation.  The stuff is pretty dense, although I've heard it nevertheless is not the best thing for sound proofing.  It will dampen the noise though.  I also purchased a couple egg crate foam mattress pads from walmart.  These are made from open cell polyurethane, which is superior to the closed cell stuff for sound dampening purposes.  To complete my shopping, I purchased a couple rolls of duct tape, large zip ties and insulating foam.

Depending on how much space I have between the pipe and the wall, the plan is to first insulate the pipes with the pipe insulation.  If I have room, I will then cover that with the egg crate foam, secured with duct tape and zip ties.  Any gap or seal will then be sealed with the spray insulating foam.

It's not ideal, it's not plan A, but I think it certainly should help.  If I can, I'll pick up some Roxul and line the wall between the laundry room and family room with that, in addition to the areas where they piping will be coming down and just return all of the other stuff.  Stay tuned!

You can find it here:

Frost King 3/4" Self Seal Rubber Pipe Insulation
I've also read that thick carpet padding is ideal for soundproofing pipes.  We just recarpeted and I could have had more than enough.  Shoot!


  1. Awesome !!!! It will definitely make a difference !!! It amazes me that some of these things are not included on the build ! It's obvious that there is a need but it is not being addressed in the construction or at least provided as an option.

  2. I agree but I'm thankful to blogs like this that will help me avoid this problem. I will be looking into it! Thx!

  3. Why didnt you post this before i built my home!!!!!!

  4. Thanks! Im going to Home Depot tomorrow and look for it. Question? Did you have any concerns about your wood? If you check my blog you will see some of my concerns. Im wondering if I am overreacting. Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks...

  5. Job well done, Henry! Proper plumbing is absolutely essential for any structure so that the residents will have a hygienic and clean environment. In order to achieve good result, make sure that threaded pipe joints are sealed with high quality sealant, so to prevent unexpected leakage.

    Helene Raymond

  6. Helene, I didn't actually do the plumbing, I just did some sound insulation.

  7. It was really a great work, i appreciate your DIY insulation project and want to say thanks for sharing this interesting post here.

    Read more on insulation here