basement home theater help

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Mike22, Feb 11, 2001.

  1. Mike22

    Mike22 Auditioning

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    I'm building a home theater in my basement. It will one room 23x20 that I will split half and half with the kids playroom. My question is should I insulate the outside walls? The basement is not a walk out so all the walls are underground. I've been asking around and seem to get a mixed reaction. My theory is yes it would make sense for me to add like an r11 or r13 to cut down on sound deflection. If anyone has any advice I would appreciate it.
    Thanks,
    Mike
     
  2. Greg Monfort

    Greg Monfort Supporting Actor

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    Don't know why you would get mixed reactions, as you need only look at all the curtains/acoustic ceiling/absorbant materials lining a movie theater, in addition to all the other noise control the building has built in.
    Contact Owens Corning, and get them to send you their "Noise Control Design Guide", pub no. 5-BL-21971, or whatever the current version is.
    WRT to dividing the room in half, making the HT either 20x12.36, or 23x14.2 should yield better acoustics. And if you're really serious, angle the dividing wall with a 1:12 front-to-rear slope (with the mean being one of the two narrow dimension choices) to negate slap echo.
    GM
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    Loud is beautiful, if it's clean
     
  3. JohnN

    JohnN Agent

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  4. Mike Temple

    Mike Temple Auditioning

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    Most building codes require insulated basement walls in colder climates, and in some warmer ones. R11 is usually a minimum. A normal cement basement wall has a R value of around 4 or 5 if I remember correctly. The insulation will deaden sound and keep a constant temp. much more readily. I insulated mine with R11 in the walls and R30 in the ceiling and this helped cut the noise from traveling to the rest of the house.
    You may find that you will want to look into some type of sound deadening for the ceiling of the basement, as this seems to be where most of my sound comes through into the rest of the house.
    Insulation is cheap enough that you should put it in, even if you are ambivalent about the idea, after all, it's a lot harder to put it in once the wallboard is up!
    200-300 well spent dollars IMO.
    Good luck
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  5. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    I am very glad that I have insulated the walls in our finished basement. You have to consider whether the HVAC system was sized originally to handle what will be your finished space. Another important factor to consider is moisture management. You should at least include a moisture barrier like poly sheeting under the drywall....Also, consider if it will be possible to place an air return in the basement. It will make the space much more comfortable. Since you plan to have your HT downstairs also, I would seriously consider adding as much insulation to the floor joist above. It won't stop the lowest frequencies but will attenuate everything else. Hope this helps..
     
  6. Lyle Schenher

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    Two words: Blown Cellulose
    I.e. recycled paper fibre insulation. I did the walls and the ceiling in my basement HT room with this stuff, and it is fantastic at attenuating sound.
    The installer basically strings a mesh net on the ceiling,a nd then cuts a few holes in the net to allow him access to blow the material into the gap between the joists above.
    Lyle.
     
  7. Mike22

    Mike22 Auditioning

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    Thanks for your responses,
    Yea I am definately going to insulate the walls. I really don't want to cut the room in half. I want to add a bar and pool table when the kids get older so we can entertain downstairs and all be together not separated by a wall. I've added a vent free gas fireplace down there to keep the load off my HVAC unit. I'm kind of interested in finding out more on the blown in insulation and the costs involved. I'm going with a drop ceiling so I could always leave a small gap at the top to insert the insulation. Any opinions on this vs fiberglass.
    Thanks so much for your help guys.
    Mike
     
  8. Kerry Hackney

    Kerry Hackney Stunt Coordinator

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    Mike,
    FWIW, do some investigation of ventless fireplaces. One of the products of combustion is H2O. That's right water. Talk to a reputable dealer. If you have a tight house you may create a dampness problem. Investigate a vented gas fireplace. Ours fit in the basement just fine. We exit the basement just above the ground with a direct vent. It wasn't much more expensive and my local gas dealer said I would be much happier with it. And yes, it will heat the whole downstairs by itself. Of course, this year gas prices are rediculous, but that's just the way it is.
     
  9. RichardM

    RichardM Auditioning

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    Mike,
    I recently did a similar set-up in my basement. I have a lower family room/HT area approx. 15'x20' and adjoining room for a pool table seperated by a couch high divider wall. The half wall still serves to divide the rooms but visually combines them for a large, open look. Of course this means I need a bigger sub! Regarding the pool table, tables come in standard sizes: 3.5x7', 4x8' being most common for home use,inside bumper to bumper dimensions. A standard cue is 57" long. So if the cue ball is directly up against a bumper, worst case, you need the width or length of the table plus 2 cue lengths as the minimum room size. (12" x 3.5 = 42 + 114" = 156" * 12 = 13'wide room)This is considered the minimum size room but you still might bump the cues on the walls. My local billard supply store had a chart showing room size for specific pool tables. I'm afraid you overall area above might not accomidate both. My room finished out to 13'x 16'10" what is exactly what the chart said. I got lucky since I built the room as the foundation dictated. Instead of the traditional walk-behind bar I used nice kitchen base/upper cabinets for one you walk up to. It has alot of storage for games below and glasses above and saves much space. Hope these ideas help and as mentioned above, spend as much time planning and the building will go quick.
     
  10. Mike22

    Mike22 Auditioning

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    Thanks for the replies guys,
    Kerry,
    very good advice. I actually considered the problem you mentioned. I'm installing the unit within the same wall as my furnace an H2O heater, both are vented outside. I also have a fresh air vent in the furnace room that vents directly up the wall. You can feel cold air coming out of it in the winter. I assume this will be adequate based on my research, but if all else fails I have a dehumidifier in the basement. It also helps that I got the fireplace on a last box clearance for $209, couldn't hardly pass it up. I'm also using louvered doors on the furnace room to help with air circulation.
    Richard, thanks for your advice. I'll definately have to leave the room open, because the place I plan on putting the table will only be 23x12 and the theater will be 23x11 yet It will actually be about 18x11 because I plan on having a computer desk behind the couch.
    Things are moving along now, I've got a plumber coming out tom. to help out with the half bath. Almost out of cash, but one thing at a time. Thanks for your help guys
    Thanks,
    Mike
     

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