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Need help on picking acoustic ceiling tiles... (1 Viewer)


Stunt Coordinator
Dec 7, 1999
My home theater is in my basement and we recently moved my son into a room above it (not directly but close enough to probably bother him).

My basement is pretty much split into two open rooms. The ceiling is approx 8 feet up where the sound equipment & TV is and the room my son is above (it has a pool table in it) has 10 feet to the ceiling.

I wanted to replace the tiles but try to muffle the sound as much as possible for the upstairs without ruining the sound or having to watch my movies at too low a volume.

I went to home depot (because I was just going to buy the ceiling tiles and replace them myself) but the guy there really had no clue how to assist me (big surprise). They had a special order book that had tons of various drop ceilings with different acoustical & sound deafening ratings but I had no clue how to start & the clerk there was no help.

Has anyone here faced this problem or know what to look for? I had put some insulation above the current tiles years ago but it seemed to do little good keeping sound out from the upstairs. Any assistance would be appreciated. Thanks.

Also note that I am tring to be as economical (cheap) as possible.

Bob McElfresh

Senior HTF Member
May 22, 1999
Hey Brian - I'm going to move your post into the HT Construction and Interiors. It's a better place for this question. (But I will leave the link here in case anyone in the Basics fourm has a suggestion).


Supporting Actor
Sep 5, 2006
Real Name
Your idea of insulating the ceiling above the drop ceiling is good. I would add more insulation to all of the Floor Joists wherever possible. Most of the sound won't carry, but the biggest problem is containing the Base. Low Frequencies are harder to contain and tend to resinate through any path they can find. Including the Walls, Studs, Heating and Cooling Ducts Etc.. If you can try turning down the base slightly at night. You should find there will be less travel through the house. Still I would insulate, insulate, insulate... it's at least a good sound damping material, remember this is NOT sound "PROOFING". That's a whole other issue and can be very expensive.

David Noll

Stunt Coordinator
Aug 31, 2004
Here is what I did faced with a similar situation and except for a few low bass rumbles, there is no really noticable sound in the room above: I put double the fiberglass insulation in the floor joists, 18" as compared to the standard 9" in a 2X10 joist. I then furred out the ceiling and stapled Armstrong 12"x12" acoustic ceiling tile. I then sprayed the tile with gold laquer (for appearance only). I think the 3/4" space the furring strips create between the insulation and the tile helps in eliminating the sound transmission.




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