Help with Sound-proofing

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by John-Miles, Jun 16, 2007.

  1. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    This is my first venture into this side of the forum, I recently bought my first house, and my basement is my new home theater, the basement is unfinished, and for now it will stay mostly unfinished, but since i have an open ceiling I am hoping to get some sound proofing in if i can.

    Right now i can hear my stereo fairly well even on the top floor, is there any product that i could put into the ceiling of my basement to dampen most of the sound that passes through?
     
  2. ChrisWiggles

    ChrisWiggles Producer

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    You want decoupled mass, basically. Check the acoustic threads at AVS, check F. Alton Everest's Master Handbook of acoustics, etc etc. Stuffing your ceiling isn't going to do much of anything though.
     
  3. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Hmmmm thats not what i was hoping to hear, ive looked at other threads and seen the panels and such that absorb sound, but that seems an expensive way to solve the problem. i guess i will need to do allot more research
     
  4. subi4ester

    subi4ester Auditioning

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    Soundproofing usually involves adding mass to the walls and ceiling, which can be done with a second layer of drywall on every wall and the ceiling (in your case only the ceiling). I would recommend another damping layer between the drywall layers, which means using a substance like "green glue" on the second layer of drywall.
    Also check greengluecompany.com for more detailed options
     
  5. John-Miles

    John-Miles Screenwriter

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    Hmmm thanks for the link, this looks promising
     
  6. Bud Huey

    Bud Huey Stunt Coordinator

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    An important element to your question is how much time, effort and money do you want to spend to ahieve the results you are looking for? The main component is to try to minimize the base frequencies that are traveling through the ceiling.

    One way is to build a second set of ceiling studs that are not connected to the floor joists of the above floor. I would insulate the floor joists and put some type of sound deadening material up before I built the sub-ceiling. Old carpet is cheap (free if you know an installer who will give you his reminants) and it makes a pretty good sound barrier for the money.

    When I put in my ceiling I also put a layer of rubber backed carpet 'tiles' on top of the sheetrock to add dampening. I got them for free from my father-in-law when his company decided to remodel one of their board rooms. They work great, but they would be expensive if you had to buy them at retail. You may be able to find used ones somewhere like Craigslist - www.craigslist.org.

    Using two layers of sheetrock helps trendously! You should also considering building your walls on 2"x6" base caps with staggered studs to decouple the base frequencies through your walls.

    Good luck,
    Bud
     
  7. JJMJ71

    JJMJ71 Stunt Coordinator

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    Before you drywall the ceiling I would take this into consideration. If you are planning to finish out the basement for a theater room, I would be planning ahead for future use. Are you going to want to run speaker wire, electrical wire, and cabling through the ceiling at anytime? Lighting is definitely another consideration that you have to take into account.

    I was able to run a 3" conduit through the ceiling from my furnace room to the storage room for future cable runs. Plus, I have a 12" opening in the middle so I can feed other cables to my projector.

    Just some things to think about!

    Cheers,
    JJ
     
  8. Brian D H

    Brian D H Second Unit

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    Everything posted above is great advice, and yes, the most important thing is to decouple as much as possible. That being said, you will still want some material to block the sound whether it's carpet remnants, two layers of drywall or this:

    Coincidentally I was in Home Depot yesterday and saw a father/son buying up 4x8 sheets of sound board for their home theater. It's the size of dry-wall sheets; has a smooth, brown, masonite-like finish; and was supposed to block "25 decibels". I have no idea how well, or if, it works - but it may be a better choice than plain dry-wall.
     
  9. Bud Huey

    Bud Huey Stunt Coordinator

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    Sound board is great, but if you are going to use it on a wall that you want to finish like regular sheetrock you are going to have to add a second layer on top or put wallpaper or a faux finish on it. I used anaglypta wallpaper from Home Depot and it came out great. Gives the walls a 3D look and you can paint it any color you want. Painting also helps hide any imperfections in the hanging job.

    Good Luck,
    Bud
     
  10. Fred333

    Fred333 Agent

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    I remember back in the day we used egg create foam and staple gun. Nowadays since we are all grownup gets a little more complex. It definitely depends on how much time and money you are willing to invest in the project.
     
  11. Brent_S

    Brent_S Second Unit

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    Is that top floor right above your basement or are we talking 2 story plus basement?

    If it's a 2 story plus basement, I'm betting your mechanicals like HVAC are in the basement. Chances are you've got some sort of chase/conduit running from your basement directly to the 2nd floor and that's the source of your sound transmission right now.

    Example. My dedicated theater room is a bonus room above the garage. This room is essentially on the same level as my 2nd floor. The common wall to the rest of the second floor contains basic fiberglass insulation and an exterior grade door. My 6 year old's bedroom is straight down the hall, about 40 feet away from the theater door and separate by two additional hollow core doors when they're closed...the walls they're mounted in are not insulated. Tested at 105-110db peaks (probably 10db louder than our typical movie watching volume), the theater is inaudible in his room, which is a good thing when he has a 7:30 bed time.

    I say this b/c I think you've probalby got some sort of direct path from your basement to your top floor, otherwise the two floors and distance would provide significant attenuation. A lot of the recommendations here seem aimed at completely eliminating sound transmission directly on the other side of the theater room walls, which you may or may not want/need. Unless you typically listen way louder than I do, fully insulating the theater ceiling and walls and normal dry wall construction techniques should make the theater a non-issue anywhere except maybe directly above it. At most, I would simply double drywall the ceiling in addition to insulating it. My theater walls are only 2x4 studs so about R-13...your ceiling should be 2x10 or 2x12 framing, so think about how much more insulation can be packed in. And make sure you seal off the theater room from that mechanical chase to the upper floors if it exists, or all of your effort is wasted.

    -Brent
     

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