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Ceiling tiles and some other advice for a newbie (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Nov 21, 2002
I live in an older raised ranch (built in the 60's) and it has an 'upper basement' that was previously used as a family room. I'm currently refinishing this room and preparing it as a (mostly) dedicated HT room.

Originally, the room was finished with ugly wood paneling over the walls and tiles covering the cement floor. Since pipes run through this room there is a dropped ceiling. Pulling away the wood paneling revealed drywall in some areas (mostly near the stairs and the walls facing into the rest of the house), bare studs in other areas, and one or two areas of cinder block. There is also a rather nice fireplace and brick surround in one section of the room.

Now, because this room is a bit oddly shaped putting up new studs is completely out of the question, as this would either leave the walls uneven or significantly reduce the size of the room. Because of this I'll need to attach drywall directly to cinderblock in some areas. This leads me to my first question: I know drywall is preferable to cinderblock when it comes to acoustics, but would drywall on top of cinderblock still do a good job of absorbing sound? Or, at the very least, a better job than bare cinderblock?

My second question is with the ceiling. The current ceiling tiles are in pretty bad shape and will need to be replaced, but I'm not sure what my best options are when it comes to this stuff. Are there any particular types of ceiling tiles that are best for HT applications? What kind of price range am I looking at here?

Also, I'm planning on having wall-to-wall carpeting installed in the room. Is this the best idea for a HT or would leaving the tile floor be better?

Finally, is there anything else that I should be doing or keeping in mind while refinishing this room for HT purposes? Since the space is more or less being reconstructed from the ground up this is my only real chance to change anything that needs to changed.

As usual, thanks in advance for any advice. :)

Edit- Ack. Just thought of another question. I'm not concerned about heavy duty sound proofing, but I would like to achieve a little more isolation than what exists now. I'm relatively sure that I can blame the amount of sound that escapes this room on two things: the poor ceiling tiles that are currently in place and the lack of any insulation in the real ceiling above them. So I'm really asking two things... first of all, what would be the best insulation to place in the ceiling (the true ceiling, not the dropped ceiling) and secondly would better ceiling tiles help at all? Any other advice? Keep in mind that I'm really only worried about sound leaving the room through the ceiling, since the other walls either lead outside or into the true basement.
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Mark McGill

Stunt Coordinator
Feb 20, 2002
Is the cinder block underground or exposed to the outside at all. If it is then you can't attach drywall directly to it. Cement, any kind sweats so if drywall is attached to it, eventually the dyrwall will get moldy. The area concerning the cinder block will need to be framed with dead air space between the studs and the cinder block.

Andrew Pratt

Senior HTF Member
Dec 8, 1998
For the ceiling tiles you can buy all sorts that have an acoustic rating and they'll come in a variety of colours as well. I painted the ones in my basement dark grey but they do tend to soak up A LOT of paint and I'd try to spray them vs rolling paint on.

The wall to wall carpet would be much prefered over hard tile to help reduce reflections and as far as the walls go ideally you'd want to cover the bottom 3-4 feet with some sort of sound absorbing material and leave the upper portions more reflective. Given that you could just install drywall to the top of the walls and cover the bottom with something line Linacousic and cover that with cloth.

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