soundproofing basment, existing walls?

Discussion in 'Home Theater Projects' started by Tony Loewen, Jul 2, 2004.

  1. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Hey guys, how's it going?

    We finally started moving into our new house, a few weeks behind schedule, and my wife and I were watching a few movies yesterday where the theatre will be when all finished, and I found out that I will need to do lots of soundproofing. I like to experience the movie, not just watch and listen, and occasionally, other people in the house might want to sleep, although I'm not sure why [​IMG] So here's my situation. As it is, there are finished walls on the outside around the basement, where the theatre will be. These are, I believe, 2x6 walls, insulated and vapor-barriered over concrete. The ceiling is open joist right now. Main question, will I get alot of sound transmission through the walls to the rest of the house, or should I mainly concern myself with the ceiling? I don't really want to rip down the existing drywall and studs if it won't make a difference with sound getting to the rest of the house. Also, not wanting to go too too overboard budgetwise, what would be the best way to do the ceiling? This is corporate house that we can do mods to in the basements, but I would like to be able to take most of it with me when we move again, hopefully 15 -20 years down the road (moving sucks!!) My plan was to use a suspended ceiling with higher end dense tiles, and put batts of acoustical insulation on top of that. Would that be good for my situation, or would there be lots of bleed through? I don't really want to do resilient channel and drywall the roof, mostly because I hate overhead drywalling, and in an isolated community, getting contractors in costs a pretty penny, plus it's not very removable.
    Any other suggestions?

    Thanks alot in advance,
    Tony
     
  2. KenA

    KenA Stunt Coordinator

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    Sound like you don't want to do a lot of work, you just want us to tell you what want to do is okay. The methods spoken of on this forum are tried and true. Its your call if you want to spend some money for performance or not.
     
  3. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Well Tony, you won’t like this, but Ken is right. You aren’t going to get much soundproofing without the resilient channel and sheetrock.

    Your best bet for soundproofing is to apply double 5/8” sheetrock to the joists, then build a completely new ceiling below that, as structurally isolated as possible from the joists, again with double sheetrock. This is similar to the technique they use in recording studios.

    Even this will not completely block bass frequencies. That would require complete structural isolation from the rest of the house, which is impossible since it’s sitting on top of your room. But it will go a lot further than a drop ceiling.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  4. Rob Michaw

    Rob Michaw Stunt Coordinator

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    Another suggestion would be what I am about to do in my basement...very similar scenario. I have an open ceiling and a drywalled area. I am going to add a solid core door to close the opening. I am then going to stuff insulation into the joists in the ceiling. I am then going to zip up drywall to the joists and caulk all the seams (I do not want the mess of taping and sanding...and I want access above for speakers and wires). I am then going to add my drop ceiling. This will not be as good as a resilient channel for reducing sound transmission...but it will be good enough for my needs. My family will be sleeping on the second floor, and they will not be able to hear any sound upstairs (we have two furnaces, and the main floor and basement vents are connected, but not connected to the upstairs ductwork).

    This will be slightly more costly than a straight drop ceiling, and probably not as costly as having someone come in and finish the ceiling with taping and sanding.

    My $.02 anyway...
     
  5. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks for the input guys, I may have to do some drywalling after all [​IMG] I think Rob may understand my situation a little better than you Ken, I live up in Gillam, Manitoba, which is about a 3 hour drive on the crappiest road in Manitoba past Thompson, which is already an 8 or 9 hour drive from civilization. We are talking about being deep deep in the north bush, so getting contractors in would be at least 3 times the most expensive contractors you would likely have in Massapequa. And being that acoustical drop tile is alot lighter, shipping by train or air would be much less expensive than for 5/8 dryall. I have read up on resilient channel, and agree that it is definitely the way to go, but I was just wondering if anyone out there has done what I was suggesting, and how far their mileage went comparitively. I am definitely not opposed to doing work, I have already completely rebuilt 2 houses, including much drywalling, and it is just not my favorite activity. If the end result is that much better, though, I have a feeling that I might just have to grit my teeth and do it. This being said, back to my original question.

    I know I have alot of work to do on the ceiling, how about the walls? Is there going to be enough sound transmission through them to the rest of the house to worry about re-doing them?

    Thanks in advance guys
     
  6. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Transmission through walls is only a problem when you have adjacent rooms. From your description it sounds like all the rooms in the house are above the HT area. If that’s the case, any transmission you get from the walls is marginal compared to what you would get through the ceiling/floor, even after soundproofing between the two.

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     
  7. Tony Loewen

    Tony Loewen Stunt Coordinator

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    Thanks Wayne, that's kind of what I had figured, but I wanted to hear it from someone who knows more about the subject than I do, which is very little. Having seen your name on more than a few good posts on this forum, you more than qualify. I am learning though, and it's mostly thanks to everyone on this forum and those like it. Thanks again, guys.
     
  8. Wayne A. Pflughaupt

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    Thanks for the kind words, Tony. [​IMG]

    I can see where your situation makes this a significant challenge; I’m not fond of drywalling myself. I don’t mind putting it up (on walls, at least!), but I always hire out the floating and taping. Miserable work!

    I think you may be able to rent some kind of telescoping stand that will help with ceiling installation – you might check into it.

    Good luck and keep us posted!

    Regards,
    Wayne A. Pflughaupt
     

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