soundproofing basement

Seamer1May 10, 2006

we are adding a bedroom in our basement, but you can hear everything going on down there. How would I go about adding some sort of soundproofing to the room? Should I add insulation to the ceiling, and if so, what kind. Thank you.

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Sound does two bounces off hard surfaces, which makes it seem louder (like in clattery restaurants), and it travels through air spaces. If the bedroom has curtains, rugs, and upholstery, those things will absorb a lot of the sound you hear. (I am assuming that you are under construction now, and so nothing is in there except hard surfaces?) Insulating the ceiling will also muffle sound somewhat, but if your drywall isn't up yet, it will muffle sound itself. The other thing you might do is use a solid core door on the room, and make sure it is fairly tight to the frame. Pay attention to how the things you hear are traveling...are they coming through the walls, up the stairs, or through the ceiling? Then proceed based on what you find.
Good luck!

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 4:45PM
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Any ceiling, whether drywall or drop ceiling will muffle sound. I also paid my GC extra for R-19 fiberglass insulation between the ceiling joists.

    Bookmark   May 11, 2006 at 9:05PM
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Yeah, I agree. Walls and ceilings make a difference. I would at least insulate around drain pipes. Also plan to insulate around my furnace room.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2006 at 9:22AM
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The folks that know about soundproofing are the home theatre fanatics. There is a great thread on that deals with a wide variety of techniques.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soundproofing thread

    Bookmark   May 19, 2006 at 7:23AM
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I was just reading about solutions to this problem.

Number one is finding and filling any and all open gaps, however small (around pipe, vents, electric etc.

Then add insulation and drywall. If you really want to go crazy, they suggested adding a layer of rigid insulation under the drywall, (making sure to mark the joists for drywall hanging later).

BTW, if sound is traveling through a vent, there's a sound dampening material that you can affix to the inside wall of the vents (for as far as you can reach in there).

    Bookmark   May 20, 2006 at 9:44PM
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"The folks that know about soundproofing are the home theatre fanatics."

They only think they now. They are all running around looking for the new wonder product to use.
I build rooms to protect top secret conversations.
Steel studs and multiple layers of drywall work every time.
Two layers of 5/8 on each side of a steel stud wall (16 inch on center) filled with fiberglass, acoustic caulk to the slabs (subfloor). We close off the cavity between joists with 2 layers of 5/8 and fill those with fiberglass also, then 2 layers of 5/8 on the ceilig. If there is a heavy problem woth foot traffic above, hang the ceiling from isolation strip (z track).
Drywall is dense heavy stuff and damps very very well.
These rooms are often measured across 30 Hz to 30 kHz for certification. No sound can be heard through them.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 12:50PM
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Interesting stuff! Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   May 21, 2006 at 7:26PM
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I've used the density methods combined with resilient channel to good, if not great effect too. (But research shows that the insulation has virtually no effect on sound transmission.) There are newer methods--Quiet Solutions for instance--that use modifed drywall up to 1.25" thick to get STC ratings up to a claimed 80. During construction a designer showed me the confidiential boardroom at the Suisse Bank Canada headquarters. Besides the heavy custom door, the room was cloaked in sheets of lead.

Here is a link that might be useful: Soundproofing Flooring

    Bookmark   August 25, 2006 at 11:34PM
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