New house, will have a dedicated HT room. Placement and construction questions.

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by PaulDA, Jun 1, 2004.

  1. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I will have a room roughly 18x12x7 in size. Right now, the floor is cement, the walls are drywall, the ceiling is a drop ceiling. I plan to install a floating floor (with help from my dad, who did construction for 35 years). My placement question is whether I should place the front along the long wall or short wall. The long wall would give me more flexibility for speaker placement re: stereo imaging. However, the seating area would probably be right against the rear wall. I have a 32" WEGA nonHD, a 5.1 standmount setup (no desire to add speakers). Is the stereo imaging more important than the rears being set back from the seating area? Audio, including M/C hi-res, is of paramount importance.

    As for the room, I'd like to put up a double row of staggered studs with some form of soundproofing inside a layer of drywall. I got the idea in the latest issue of Ultimate Audio Video (stereophile). It looked simple, not too costly and fairly efficient. I'm looking for ideas about this as well as what to do with the drop ceiling (I want to keep the drop ceiling, but I'd like to add some soundproofing). I've read a few threads about soundproofing but they seem to lead to something out of my budget (though it could be I'm simply unfamiliar with the costs of these materials).

    I know that there are a number of ways to make this room soundproof (probably as many as there are audio "tweaks" out there--though grounded more in reality than some of those). I'm not looking to create a recording studio (though that would be nice), just a way to diminish the volume that will invariably run through the house when I plop in the LOTR trilogy. Until this week, I thought I'd have to make do with a multipurpose room, so anything I can accomplish here would be great. Thanks for helping a newbie (in construction, anyway) out.
     
  2. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    Your room is almost the exact size as mine. Putting the tv and speakers against the long wall will severly cut into your seating options. Two rows of seats would put you almost on top of the TV/screen. You'll also be limiting your upgrade options (FP and a really big screen) down the road by setting up your gear against the long wall.

    Try using some masking tape to layout your theater on the floor before construction begins and see which options work the best.

    Staggered studs, 2 layers of sheetrock, and insulation should help quite a bit with the sound transmission.

    Floating floor in a 7' room, Your going to loose a lot of headroom. If it were my room I'd go with carpet and pad right on the concrete.

    Hometheater Mag recently had a article regarding future profing a new HT build. Might be worth the time to order a copy and keep it on hand during construction. (http://www.hometheatermag.com/contents404/)
     
  3. Jim_Ski

    Jim_Ski Agent

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    I recently finished off my basement and used Dricore (www(dot)dricore(dot)com) for a floating subfloor. It's roughly 3/4" thick, and may be what you're looking for.

    One key piece of advice, frame your door openings with this measurement in mind. Unfortunatly I decided on the subfloor after framing was nearly done and ended up having to cut my door frame headers to make room for the doors. Doh!
     
  4. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    Thanks for the suggestions. I wish I could start tomorrow, but closing isn't until mid-July.

    As for the lost headroom, could I not raise the drop ceiling? I believe I have a foot of room to work with (though I know nothing about how they work, so maybe this would be too difficult?)
     
  5. Frank Zimkas

    Frank Zimkas Supporting Actor

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    You might want to take a look at what's above the dropped ceiling before you consider removing it. Most of the dropped ceilings I've seen in basements are there because it was easier to install than moving water lines, ducts, gas pipe, etc.
     
  6. PaulDA

    PaulDA Cinematographer

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    I didn't want to remove it. I thought it might simply be raised a few inches to compensate for the raised floor. If it is at all a real pain, then I can live with the reduced headroom. I'm the tallest person in the house, at 5'7". I appreciate the info, though, as I am not a "handyman".
     
  7. Mark McGill

    Mark McGill Stunt Coordinator

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    In my opinion, if you can get rid of the drop ceiling. They can rattle and quite frankly are a builders way of cutting a buck just because it is a basement. I know lots of people have drops, but out here on the west coast they are rare except in commercial buildings. You can future proof yourself by putting in a perimeter soffit with indirect lighting. This is also a good place to run speaker wires for when you do want to step up to 7 channel sound.

    Some people will also tell you that drop ceiling is good so that you can have access to plumbing etc. To them I say well why isn't there drop ceilings on the main floor of a two story house? The point is it's a builder cutting a corner and people accept it. I should know.....
     

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