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Picture of Easily Soundproof a Stainless Steel Sink
1-original.jpg

Recently my wife and I replaced the sink in our kitchen with a two bowl stainless steel sink. When we ordered it from our local plumbing shop its description said that it was soundproofed, but when we received the sink we discovered this was stretching the truth a little bit, as the “soundproofing” consisted of four thin rubber rectangles glued to the bottom of each bowl (see the second photo).

Like any good nerd, I searched the Internet for a better solution and found many, including from spray on foam, automotive undercoating, and pickup truck bed liner. All of these solutions required careful masking, followed by a generally messy application of the product - all with mixed results. I am happy to say that the product that I used requires no masking, is easy to apply and works wonderfully - if you tap the inside of our new sink all you will hear is a dull thud.

What I used is 3M Automotive Sound Reduction Mat, a self-adhesive, flexible mat that is designed to reduce road noise and vibration. It is often applied to the inside of the door panels when installing automotive stereo systems, but it also works great on stainless steel sinks. You can find the 3M or equivalent product at most automotive supply stores or from a car stereo shop. The 3M product is a semi-stiff sheet about an eighth-inch thick with a black shiny finish and a diamond pattern. It is self-adhesive, protected by a peel off backing. For me, it came two sheets to a box, which was enough to do one bowl so I purchased two boxes.

Step 1: What You Will Need

Picture of What You Will Need

Materials

  • One or two packages of 3M Auto Sound Reduction Mat or equivalent

Supplies and tools

  • Rubbing alcohol

  • Cotton balls or cloth rag

  • Putty knife

  • Heavy duty scissors or utility knife

Rituguptascs7 months ago
A creative project but nonetheless it still got me wondering why this is even necessary in the first place? Where I'm living, we have been basically enduring the water sounds I suppose.
MarkSindone7 months ago
This is something interesting to think about. I think that I have some sound-proofing tape that is just lying around the storage room somewhere. Now I have this itch to start pasting it everywhere to see how I can reduce those odd sounds that go bump in the night! Haha! Thanks for the idea mate!
MichaelT58 months ago
peel and seal.jpg
dkassman (author)  MichaelT57 months ago
Michael, thank you for posting this, it is nice for people to see some other options to the product I used.
I wasn't aware of the product you used and will keep it in mind. I learned of the product at Lowe's from a Jeep site where it was used to line the inside of several speaker enclosures. Car people are often looking for lower cost alternatives to Dynamat for their vehicles and the Peel and Seal has been mentioned several times. I think the choice of product would partially be determined by the amount of area to be covered and the shape.
",,,noise and quick loss of temperature..."
I must have known your dad as, in 1996 I rebuilt a bathroom and found the steel tub much much much cheaper than the Cast Iron alternatives. Before installing, I filled the void between the front and one tub wall with (Window & Door) expandable foam and ran rows of the foam along the underside of the remaining tubs walls (and bottom) so as to effectively 'coat' the tub's inside with insulating foam.

The job was a bit messy, but the result was a tub that 'sounded' as sturdy as a cast iron version and held the heat better than either.

Once the foam stuff sets up, you can trim it with a bread knife (or similar). With a Kitchen sink, however, you really can't use too thick a 'solution (save between the bowls of a double-bow sink) given the necessity of accessing the fasteners that secure it to the counter.

Maybe some SPRAY-ON solutions?

Design Engineering 050220 Boom Mat Spray-on Sound Deadening


https://www.amazon.com/Design-Engineering-050220-Deadening.../B001URKV0G

Rating: 4 - ‎182 reviews
Reduce unwanted road noise and vibration, even in hard-to-reach places. ... Kilmat 80 mil 36 sqft Car Sound Deadening Mat, Butyl Automotive Sound Deadener, AudioNoise…. ... Design Engineering 050110 Under Carpet Lite Sound Absorption andInsulation, 24" x 70"….
dkassman (author)  charlessenf-gm7 months ago
As I said in my Instructable, my initial internet search turned up many options that used spray- or brush-on products. I decided that the need to mask off the bottom of the sink and the hassle of applying the products, plus my desire to have a tidy result, eliminated those options. This is why I went looking for another approach, which I thought I would share. There are definitely a lot of ways to solve this problem.
I did not intend to disparage your completed effort at all. My apologies if I came off as depreciating your successful effort.
dkassman (author)  charlessenf-gm7 months ago
No, I did not take your comment like that at all.
lschwartz7 months ago
The last paragraph says "here is a link ...", but where is it? I have a front loading clothes washer that when it is in the spin cycle, is as loud as a freight train (no kidding). I wonder if this stuff would reduce the noise.
Ninzerbean8 months ago
What I am curious about it why you would change out an efficient one bowl sink for two smaller ones - and on top of that why you would hook the garbage disposal to the smaller one. My mom has a set up l like yours and we both hate it and think it makes no sense. Please enlighten me.
Sometimes you just don't have any choice... Just like when me and my GF were searching for an apartment and the two-bowl sink was a must...
FYI, one bowl for dirt dishes, one for soapy ones.
MarkML8 months ago
Thanks! Great idea. Looking forward to trying it.
CrystalG38 months ago
I just happen to have a brand new SS sink sitting in my garage awaiting delivery of my new countertop. It's a large single bowl that fits a 36" cabinet. Probably need 2 of the pkgs. I was hesitatent to get SS because of the noise and quick loss of temperature, cold or hot. I currently have an enameled cast iron sink and it is extraordinarily hard to keep spots and crud off the white surface no make how often it's cleaned. Thanks so much for posting this!
dewey3028 months ago
Great tip and relatively easy sink remedy. Thanks for posting
Mooch078 months ago
I never even thought of muffling my sink. That would make it easier to watch Netflix while doing dishes.
Do you know how well it holds up to heat? Will the adhesive break down if I pour boiling water in the sink?
This matting is used on the underside of car hoods to muffle engine noise. Its designed to withstand quite a bit of heat, far more than you would subject a kitchen sink to, unless you normally use the sink to roast small animals.
kz18 months ago
Great idea!
jessyratfink8 months ago
I need to do this! I had never considered there could be a solution to muffling the disposal a bit. :)
PaulM7338 months ago
Why?
dkassman (author)  PaulM7338 months ago
I assume your question is "Why bother to soundproof a sink?"

For us, there were three reasons. First, water running from the faucet would hit the sink with a loud hollow sound (like the difference between filling a large metal pot holding the pot suspended under the faucet, compared to filling that pot sitting on a solid surface). Second, unless you took care placing metal utensils and cookware into the sink it they would bang loudly in the sink. Finally, the non-insulated sink would amplify the sounds of the running the garbage disposal. With the mat in place, you can use the sink and still have a conversation, even with the disposal running.

These may not be issues for everyone.
dkassman (author) 8 months ago
Light application of a hair dryer or heat gun will make the mat more pliable, but don't get carried away.
OutofPatience8 months ago
Helpful idea...I hate the clattering clanging noises of stainless steel sinks...Heck, I just hate stainless steel sinks altogether! But this would help alleviate some of the obnoxious noises encountered in their use at any rate. On another note...might it provide a tiny bit of insulation for longer water temperature retention? Thanks!
southcbishop8 months ago
This might be the most first world problem I’ve ever seen. But good job I suppose :D
That is a good idea. I need to try this with my new sink.