Remodeling, moving theater to new room

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Lee Shankman, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. Lee Shankman

    Lee Shankman Extra

    Nov 1, 2000
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    Well, my wife finally convinced me to remodel the house, which meant taking out old berber carpet and replacing it with new travertine tile.

    My home theater has always been comprised of nice equipment, but always in a poorly set up room. I have always used the family room, right off the kitchen, and things sounded okay (i'm not a real purist), but I always wanted a properly shaped room. As a result of the remodel, we've decided to relocate the theater to the living room at the other side of the house (which was previously a largely unused sitting room) because it has what I think is a shape very conducive to a home theater: about 20 feet long and 16 feet wide. I hope I'm correct in thinking this is good [​IMG]

    This room has three solid walls, and a completely open rear entry. The ceiling is vaulted at the rear, quite high. Below. The rear opening is about 8-10 feet high, and then there's a tall wall which meets the high, vaulted ceiling. I'm concerned about a few things:

    1. Is the lack of a rear wall (from the floor to about 8-10 feet high) going to be a detriment to the sound of my theater?

    2. The room currently has thick soft carpet which we want to remove. The wife wants more travertine in there (with a large area rug under the couch), but I'm concerned that the hard floor may not provide appropriate acoustics. What's the best flooring choice, if you could choose anything? Is tile really that bad?

    3. Each of the side walls has a large window, covered by blinds. Otherwise, the walls are brick on the outside, covered by drywall on the inside. Is this acceptable?

    Any input on the rear wall issue and the flooring choice, especially, would be very appreciated - i'm running short on time to make my decision, so I need some help! Thanks!
  2. Dave Milne

    Dave Milne Supporting Actor

    Jul 2, 2001
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    I think the new room will be great for a theater. The pitched ceiling will eliminate at least one room mode, which is good. My dedicated theater is 14 wide x 22 deep; I always wished it had been a little wider.
    The windows will be an issue with light control. You may want to get some blackout shades to go underneath the curtains. That's what I did. Otherwise drywall over brick is fine.

    Good luck and keep us posted. Hey, I'll look forward to attending the premiere. [​IMG] I'm in Phoenix weekly.
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt


    Aug 5, 1999
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    Katy, TX
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    Not much to add anything to Dave’s excellent advice!

    But I’ll give a strong second to the issue of the tile: DON’T DO IT!!!

    Some thoughts about the open back wall, completely aside to the issues of lighting control and sound leakage Dave raised:

    From strictly acoustics standpoint, I think it’s a good thing. In a fully-enclosed, “shoebox” room the cause of “slapback” or “flutter echoes” is sound bouncing off the back wall. Naturally, an open back wall eliminated this problem.

    Another common issue with shoebox rooms is that you often have a “dead zone” in the center of the room where bass response is extremely weak across the entire low frequency spectrum. An open back wall should completely eliminate this problem. As Dave mentioned, the ceiling should also contribute to improved bass characteristics.

    Bottom line, between the slopped ceiling and open back, I think the room should sound pretty good.

    Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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