14x18' Home Theater advice

jarvinenNovember 29, 2010

I'm planning a home theater in a room of our basement. The dimensions of the room are 14x18' with a 9' ceiling. Any good links and advice for planning my project? Thank you.

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I am preparing to build a home theater/gaming room in my basement of approximately the same size this Spring. My goal is to create a room with good sound isolation. Easy when money is no object, but with me, it is an object. My son plays video games and while I do enjoy a movie now and then, I really enjoy watching concert videos. I want to create a room where no one else in the house is disturbed by noise.

The room has half the walls already studded by the builder for it is load bearing. The walls are 2"x6" and I plan to make the other two walls the same. In the walls & ceiling, I will insulate with R19 insulation (or better in the ceiling based on budget - insulation seems to be dropping in price). A vinyl barrier will wrapped around the walls and ceiling. Next I will install 1/2" drywall then another layer of 1/2" drywall with green glue between as an accoustical sound deadener. All boxes for outlets and wiring will be sound insulated and caulked to stop sound leakage.

There will be no recessed speakers or lighting to minimize sound leakage. I will install a ceiling fan because a sound isolated room also has minimal air movement. The room already has a central air/heating duct. Lighting will be via wall sconces.

I will put down a 3/4" carpet pad with a nice soft frizee carpet so kids can sit on it and be comfortable. I plan to have one four row set of seats with a couple of gaming chairs which can be moved around. I will install a 36" wide exterior door with a glass window with a built-in blind to help with the sound isolation.

I will install a tv and not a projection tv. (all gamers would agree) Vizio and others have talked about coming out with 72" led/lcd tvs. If not then I will stick with the 60-65" tvs on the market now. The tv will sit in a custom wall unit. I am looking at the Ikea Besta line that you can customize to your taste. In need lots of storage for 1000 cd's plus many videos. Very inexpensive.

I plan to perform all installation except the mud & tape of the drywall and the electrical. I estimate this will cost about $4-5k (walls, ceiling, flooring, door, sconces,seating & wall unit). This does not include any electronics.

That is my plan. Good luck to you.


    Bookmark   January 3, 2011 at 2:49PM
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It sounds like you have a great plan Jack. Thanks for the response, it was very useful.

    Bookmark   January 28, 2011 at 2:45PM
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The room is a good place to focus. Mine isn't as nicely done as Jack's will be (jealous) but does have batts of insulation in the ceiling which insulate most of the sound from the dining room above.

Speakers are your next most important area for investment. For a 2-channel system, it is generally alright to spend half of your budget on speakers and the other half on electronics. With a theater, typically with 3 front speakers, 2 surrounds, and a sub, if you only spend half of your budget on speakers, you'll be getting pretty cheap speakers. Treated well, your speakers will outlive all the electronics hooked up to them - don't skimp.

Not to beat the topic of speakers to death, but 1) it is great to be able to listen to them before you buy, and 2) mark-up on speakers can be as high as 100%. Lots of great speakers available direct from manufacturers can save you $.

A new TV will be out months after you purchase one that is cheaper and better in every way. I love my 50" plasma, but wish it sipped power like the new LCDs. And I'll keep using this plasma until it stops working.

@Jack - rip those CDs to a Server and get a Squeezebox or Sonos! With that many discs, it stinks to try and find something in the CD books or jewel cases.

    Bookmark   March 11, 2011 at 1:19AM
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wish i could help you, but i'm just jealous =)

    Bookmark   October 28, 2011 at 6:13PM
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Epiarch Designs

Jack (and others)
I would recommend installing rc-1 channels on the walls and ceilings prior to installing the drywall. This will help create a vibration break and further enhance the sound deadening abilities of the wall for very minimal dollars. They are a couple bucks for a 8-10' piece, so well worth it. Make sure you install them correctly however.
If you really want to step it up, save the green glue and 2 layers of 1/2" gyp. Frame up another wall (2x3 or 2x4) and create a staggard, double stud wall between the room. THis costs about $50 in wood, and will have the biggest impact of anything. go with 5/8" gyp on each side and you will have a wall assembly with really high STC ratings.

    Bookmark   November 15, 2011 at 10:38PM
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