Fabric covering for exposed floor joists?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tony Loewen, Sep 30, 2004.

  1. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Hello everyone, how goes?

    I'm pretty much done with the theater except for a few cosmetic and acoustic things. I still have a sand filled front stage to build and a insulation filled seating riser to build, and a few miscellaneous diffusers/absorbers for the walls, but I would like to do something with the ceiling. First off, this isn't really my house. I work and live in Northern Manitoba and corporate accomodations are provided for us. We are allowed to do whatever we like with the basements, but will likely only be in the house for maybe 10 - 15 years, or else I would do the whole room up right, with double sheetrock and RC and the whole 9 yards for soundproofing, then acoustic treatment on top of that. When we move back south into a house of our own, this is what I am doing. But in the meantime... Soundproofing is not a concern to me right now, mostly because of the time and expense for a temporary situation. I would like good accoustics though, and the open floor joists do a nice job of diffusion, but the look like hell with wiring and ductwork and piping and whatnot, so what I would like to do is find some sort of dark, sound-permeable fabric to tack over everything and still let the joists break up the reflections.

    I would prefer to find some sort of fire resistant material. I have a ceiling mount projector that throws a little heat, and some recessed lights and, well, safety first kids!!

    I was just wondering if anyone else has done this or anything similar to it, and what materials you guys used? Or is this just a bad idea right from the get-go?

    I appreciate your thoughts and comments everyone.

    Thanks,
    Tony
     
  2. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    When you first said 'exposed floor joists' I was thinking that they were, well, part of the floor... not part of the ceiling!

    Oh, well..


    The recessed lights might cause some trouble... but you can get fire-treated and IFR fabrics (inherently fire resistant). For more fabrics than you can shake a stick at, visit Rose Brands.

    Leo Kerr
     
  3. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Leo, I will be checking into this
     
  4. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Have you thought about just leaving the joists and painting everything black?

    Maybe you'd just need to tidy up your wires into some conduit.
     
  5. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Dave, that's a good idea, someone actually mentioned it over on avsforum.com. I'm not sure why it never really crossed my mind before...

    regardless, again, good idea and something I will be looking into.

    Thank you very much,
    Tony
     
  6. Leo Kerr

    Leo Kerr Screenwriter

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    On the other hand, if you just covered the ceiling with black sharktooth scrim - a quick and dirty staple it to the bottom of the joists, you could also put some 'work lights' up there that would look kind-a cool, coming through the open weave. (Sharktooth scrims are a standard theatrical trick. If there's more light on the front, it's opaque. If there's more light on the back, it's transparent. Light passes through with slight diffusion.)

    The black comes 11 feet to 39 feet wide, and comes already flame retardant (according to NYC theatre fire standards), for US$46-US$99/yard (depending on the width.)

    Leo Kerr
     
  7. Tom Rosback

    Tom Rosback Stunt Coordinator

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    Hi Tony,
    The fabric idea is a good one.
    (Why didn't I think of that?)

    The Guilford of Maine (GOM) 701 series is the gold standard for acoustic transparency and ease of installation. I would really stretch it well, and staple it close, to avoid sagging. Or, intentionally drape it to make a unique appearance.

    BTW, since you are in 'temporary' digs, you might want to go light on the stage and riser filling.

    I built a fiberglass insulation packed riser, two sheets of 3/4" ply cover, separated by 40# roofing felt, screw and glue contruction. Stone dead acoustically.

    Then our basement flooded and I had to rip it all out because the insulation became water-logged. 8 hours of demolition with a sawzall, crowbars, etc. PITA.

    When I reinstalled it, I didn't put back any insulation, but I still used two layers of 3/4" ply, screw and glue construction, no roofing felt.

    Guess what...........NO DIFFERENCE, measurable or perceived, as compared to the original.
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    Maybe some low-voltage lights would work here. They don't shed a whole lot of light, but it'd give you a dramatic effect IMHO.
     
  9. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input guys, I am trying to price out both GOM and this sharktooth scrim stuff, that scrim stuff seems pretty pricey, but I'm gonna keep my options open. Thanks again everyone.
     

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