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Dmurr33
Soundproofing a ceiling

Hi,

I'm getting ready to finish my basement which is directly below a living room with wood floors. It seems most people use fiberglass insulation for soundproofing, but I was wondering if anyone knows of other methods of soundproofing? I'd prefer not to use insulation if possible, but I'm not sure how reliable other soundproofing products are and how they compare to insulation.

Any thoughts/tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks,

Dave

A. Spruce
Re: Soundproofing a ceiling

Sound proofing is done by breaking the solid connection from one environment to another. Drywall attached to framing transmits the sound with ease. If you run metal lathe known as hat track perpendicular to the joists, you'll effectively break that connection. Drywall over the hat track and there should be a significant sound reduction. I'd also recommend using insulation as it will both keep the spaces more comfortable as well as help deaden the sound transmission.

Hank Bauer
Re: Soundproofing a ceiling

For attachment of drywall to ceiling for sound proofing you could use RC-1 Resilient Channel and sound attenuation blankets.

Dmurr33
Re: Soundproofing a ceiling

Thank you both for your suggestions. I'm looking into them!

Dave

A. Spruce
Re: Soundproofing a ceiling

Hank's "resilient channel" and my "hat track" are probably the same thing. Contact a specialty drywall supplier with either term and they should be able to help.

Gizmo
Re: Soundproofing a ceiling
Re: Soundproofing a ceiling

Out of the 4 different elements of soundproofing, insulation does the least though intuitively it would do the most. The cheapest R19 fiberglass is as good as it gets in a ceiling.

The third link from Gizmo has an analysis of what you're up against as well as various solutions.

Soundproofing is only partially achieved by a physical decoupling.

Resilient Channel and Hat Track are not the same item.

Re: Soundproofing a ceiling

I will agree that insulation all by itself isn't much to hang your hat on. When combined with other sound isolation techniques, Fiberglass, medium density cellulose, mineral fiber or polyester are all excellent.

There is no benefit to using am insulation that is labeled "acoustic", etc. All medium density loose fill materials work similarly well. Fiberglass has a slight advantage in the low frequencies.

Look at the extensive test data from the National Research Council of Canada. It's is owned and operated by the Canadian Government, and likely the finest acoustics lab in the world. It's certainly the finest in North America.

See their 83 page study IR 693

As far as resilient channel, it's a big wild card. There is no standard for its construction, same as drywall corner bead. Industry stats indicate an estimated 85% of all resilient channel jobs are installed incorrectly with short circuits and crushed channel.

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