Soundproof door

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  #1  
Old 01-31-08, 04:57 PM
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Soundproof door

I recently moved into a townhouse, and the basement floor does not have a doorway going up the stairs. I have several instruments down there, and any sound from the basement is amplified up the stair way and throughout the house.

I am looking to build a soundproof doorway, or something that I could move into place to block sound while I play. The opening I need to block is 40" wide and 78" tall.

Anyone have any cost-effective advice?

Thanks!
 
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Old 01-31-08, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by Smeffery View Post
... any sound from the basement [travels] up the stair way ...
I am looking to build ... something I could move into place to block sound while I play.
A piece of carpet hung like a curtain over the doorway is about the best you can do without actually constructing a complete soundproof *room* within the basement. What you are going to find is that the floor that is also the basement ceiling is acting like a piano soundboard, and blocking the bottom of the stairway is going to do about the same as closing the lid on a baby grand. Muffling the highs a little should not be too difficult, but mids and especially lows are going to go right on through. If you can stand the way it would look, first carpet the walls and ceiling, then cover the carpet with empty, open egg cartons. To keep sound waves from getting out, you have to either stop them where they first hit or bounce them around within the room until they die!
 
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Old 02-01-08, 06:16 AM
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Is it a rental or do you own? How much work can you do to the room?

First off, do not use egg cartons. There was just a recent thread about this. They do not work and they are a fire hazard. The carboard AND the styrene are hazards. Plus, you'll die of heart attck eating that many eggs!

Second, I'm guessing that when you say there is no doorway, you mean there is a drywalled stairway with no door? Is it carpeted? Even so....

I'd add a prehung door. You should be able to, at either the top or bottom of the stairs, take some 2X4s an (with wide falt side against the existing drywall) build a frame around the opening. And then do it agian, so you have a frame of double 2X4s. That should give you enough room to put the trim around the door when you are done. Then measure the new rough opening, go to a big box store and get a pre-hung door and attach it to the new frame (if you can afford it, get a solid core door, not a hollow one) I'd also get a tube of 50-year caulk and run a bead of caulk between the 2X4s and the drywall before hanging the door.

It's not too difficult. Go to the library or pick up a home improvement book at the big box store and you should be able to do it. A saw, a straight edge, a tape measure, a couple of nails, a caulk gun, a tube of caulk and some paint (and a brush) and you should be good.

I'd bet under $200 even if you have to buy EVERYTHING.

Good luck,
Tom
 
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Old 02-01-08, 06:33 AM
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soundproof

Maybe something as simple as a sheet of plywood, with 2" foam glued to it? Put some cheap handles on it to be able to grab on, and use some hook and eyes to hold it tight to the doorway??? Now yer lookin at maybe $30? Don't know how much it would block tho.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 08:14 AM
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Don't know either, but I'd bet it would be better than carpet and egg cartons.

Tom
 
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Old 02-01-08, 03:21 PM
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Okay, nix the egg cartons!

I suggested a curtain of some kind for two reasons:

1) This is probably a rental situation;
2) A closed door might cause HVAC circulation problems.
 
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Old 02-01-08, 03:33 PM
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here's your real answer my friend!....

actually I agree with leejosepho about the carpet, but NOT the eggfoam part. Eggfoam doesn't offer any density whatsoever unless you get true studio foam...which is very,very expensive.
Your question should be answered by a studio engineer or musician instead of a builder,etc. ...and a sound man I am! so you're in luck my friend:

Finding dirt cheap carpet remnants probably is the best route to go if you want to save money...if you dont mind how crappy it'll look...and yes, you will eliminate high frequencies escaping up the stairway...but mids and lows will seriously pass through the floor unless you help that by trapping it with a reasonably dense sound consumation...like carpet. So you WILL want to put it on the ceilings too if you want to help kill the low frequences.
Now I dont know if your ceilings are open support beams or if its a finished ceiling...but you could pack it really tight with pink panther and that would help a ton!
But if you have finished ceilings down there, in retrospect of not pink-panthering your basement ceiling and heavily covering that with rubber then drywall then paint then studio foam....I'd go with the carpet plan!
But if all you can get is cheapo business (thin) carpet...then dont even bother...need to find a thicker-dense carpet to make it really work well.

Second option is look for killer deals on rolls of rubber on ebay or other source.....rubber is very dense and you'd be surprised of how well rubber traps sound! Hundreds of studios are lined with rubber inside the wall...and next to
no sound gets out of them rooms!

good luck dude
 
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Old 02-01-08, 05:05 PM
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It is a rental, but the landlord seems open to renovations if it isn't going to cost her anything. The ceiling is finished, so insulation there isn't really an option. I didn't even think about the ceiling.... but I don't need it to be perfectly sound proof, I'm just hoping to block a good amount of it by blocking the doorway (that has no door). We have a gas furnace as well, so there are ducts throughout the house... not much I can do about that I guess. There is a cement wall to the neighbors in the basement, but I don't think it goes all the way up to the other floors. So when I start playing drums next week I don't want to upset them too much!

Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm open to more suggestions if you have any with this new info.
 
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Old 02-02-08, 03:56 PM
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what kind of flooring is it down there?

what kind of flooring do you have down there?
if its concrete...then sound is going to seriously bounce, resonate and reverberate right off of any concrete surface, thus, amplifying your sound even greater. So if you can kill any concrete with some super cheap carpet remnants or something...that would help you a lot right there. Anything to "EAT" and "DEADEN" the sound before it has places to bounce off of is key! And obviously blocking that door somehow.
For a low-cost scenario (yet one that actually works)...I would DEFINITELY go with a sheet of particle board/plywood with some cheap carpet on the inside to cover the door.
And then get some carpet over any hard surfaces down there.

Either way, you need carpet. And, I'm tellin ya....dont bother with the eggfoam crap.....not enough density. It'll help a tiny bit but you're still gonna have to buy that and its just not worth it. put your money into some cheap, crappy carpet. There's many sources out there to find left over remnants or excess carpet from construction jobs, etc.
 
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Old 02-24-08, 11:00 AM
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I am a bit rusty but I have some knowledge of audio, acoustics, and control of sound transmission in the context of recording studios.

You definitely want to block the door way, hanging the carpet is a good idea, because it's flexibility will dampen out sound rather than vibrate with it like wood or drywall. What ever you use needs to make a good contact with the doorframe/opening or sound will just leak around the gaps. Try hooks or heavy duty velcro. Hanging 2 carpets, at least 6 inches apart one on either side of the opening will work even better. Sound isolation is a lot like air insulation, the dead air in gap between forms a barrier, and the wider the gap, the lower the frequencies it can control.

If carpet is too expensive you could try heavy draperies, or double them up to make them thicker. You might be able to find insulated drapes or old blankets at a thrift store.
You could also look for used office cubicle panels.

If the ceiling is high enough you could suspend some heavy material above too, but be careful about lighting, heat sources & fire safety, don't need to re-enact the Station niteclub thing. A drum riser will probably be helpful if you don't already have one. You want to de-couple the sound source (drums & amps) from structural elements as much as possible.

Sonex the professional foam eggcrate stuff is very $$ and is generally only effective for higher frequencies.

Try searching online for "studio acoustics" "sound isolation" etc you'll probably find more. If I find some good links, I'll repost them.

Good luck :-)
 
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Old 02-24-08, 11:30 AM
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Second option is look for killer deals on rolls of rubber on ebay or other source.....rubber is very dense and you'd be surprised of how well rubber traps sound! Hundreds of studios are lined with rubber inside the wall...and next to
no sound gets out of them rooms!

good luck dude[/QUOTE]


Actually the rubber is usually used to de-couple structural members of the studio from the surrounding building. Most serious purpose built studios will have a floating floor, those with higher budgets and sufficient space will float the entire room, so it is a room within a room. They might also apply some heavy dampening material to the backside or in between walls to make sure that they don't resonate, but I haven't heard of using rubber extensively for that, other types of insulating materials work as well at lower cost.
 
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