Framing Questions

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Robert.CB, Sep 24, 2003.

  1. Robert.CB

    Robert.CB Agent

    Jan 17, 2003
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    Hello all,

    We are getting ready to start the framing of our downstairs basement which includes my soon to be dedicated home theater (21' X 13' X 9' H). We are currently putting up drylok on the walls to hopefully prevent any moisture problems. I have a few questions on the framing and ceiling construction (soundproofing) that i was hoping you could answer.

    Here is a description of what we are going to do with the framing and the questions are at the bottom:

    Two of the home theater walls will be up against block and are underground, which won't need much soundproofing. They are going to use styrofoam insulation in the walls for moisture and better soundproofing on these.

    The other two walls are going to be facing the rest of the basement. These two walls are going to be built with two framed walls built a couple of inches apart within one wall. They will then be insulated with styrofoam insulation in one of the frames and regular insulation in the other leaving some air space between the two types of insulation.

    The ceiling will be finished with drop tile (to allow easy access to pipes etc.) having insulation fastened to the bottom of the upper floor and styrofoam insulation laid on top of the drop tile with some air space between the two.

    My questions are:

    With the current design for framing and ceiling contstruction, will this achieve a maximum level of soundproofing for the framing and ceiling portion of the room?

    If not, what does need to be done with the framing and ceiling to ensure maximum soundproofing?

    Are there better materials to be used for the insulation in the walls than strofoam for soundproofing?

    Thank you in advance for any help.

  2. Terry Montlick

    Terry Montlick Stunt Coordinator

    Jul 3, 2003
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    Hello Robert,

    I don't recommend styrofoam for your construction - it is not porous, and will not dampen sound like ordinary unfaced fiberglass batts, mineral fiber, or cellulose. The double stud construction will give you a high degree of sound isolation. Just make sure to use non-hardening acoustical caulk to seal EVERY crack and seam, at each layer.

    As for your ceiling, I'm afraid that a suspended ceiling is not a very good sound isolator. It is, however, a very good wideband sound absorber, and would make the room's reverberation characteristics extremely good! [​IMG] You cannot have easy access to pipes and high sound isolation - the requirements conflict. What you would need to do is build a very well sealed, acoustically isolated ceiling (double layer of drywall, resilient channel suspension) above the area you need to access.

    Send me any email, and I will give you a document I wrote on sound isolation for home theaters. I also have a sound isolation calculator Excel spreadsheet available for download. It's free for non-commercial use:


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