Q: I am adding a 2x4 wall in my basement. A bedroom will be on one side of the wall, and on the other will be a large recreation/den/TV room. Will 5/8-inch drywall provide substantially more soundproofing than 1/2-inch drywall? If so, how much more? Should I use R13 insulation or is there something better to help dampen noise?

— Toby, Orcas, WA

A: Tom Silva replies: None of the tactics you mention will help deaden the sound over that short a distance. The best solution is to build two walls out of 2x3s, staggering the boards so that each seam falls at the center of the board opposite it, and insulate each wall separately with sound-deadening insulation, making sure that one wall does not touch the other. Any outlets, as well as the door between the two rooms, will transmit vibration and sound but if you use a solid door and weatherstrip all four sides that should minimize sound transfer.

When the time comes to drywall, stagger the joints here too, and make sure the panels stay 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from the ceiling or floor, which will be picking up both rooms' vibrations. Use acoustical caulking to seal floor and ceiling seams. Above all, keep in mind that these steps are only sound-deadening, not soundproofing.
Ask TOH users about Basements

Contribute to This Story Below