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soundproofing unfinished basement workshop

JDKB's Avatar
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09-07-04, 02:46 PM   #1  
Add soundproofing to unfinished basement workshop

I have an unfinished workshop in the basement that I share with the furnace. There is no insulation between the basement and the first floor. When I am working with power tools, or the furnace comes on, the sound is pretty loud on the main floor where we have wood floors.

I would like to install some insulation or other material to dampen the sound; however, I would rather not go through the time and expense to install a ceiling. It is afterall, just a workshop.

Is there a product I can easily install that will dampen the noise and will not require a drop or wallboard ceiling; be environmentally safe for me in the workshop; and fire resistant enough to install over the oil burning furnace.

Thanks for any advice you can provide.

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twelvepole's Avatar

Join Date: Aug 2000
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09-19-04, 10:40 AM   #2  
Soundproofing basement workshop

Most of the sound from a basement workshop goes up through the floor. Install 5/8 drywall onto the floor joists, along with sheet metal strips called resilient channels. These channels separate the drywall from the floor joists, blocking sound transmission from direct drywall-to-joist contact. Adding fiberglass batts between the joists before drywall installation will provide additional sound reduction.

sleepy hollow's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2002
Posts: 110

09-30-04, 08:46 AM   #3  
I think the resilient channel is ok for higher frequency noise, but it is not nearly as helpful on the low-end where a lot of shop equipment noise will still be generated.

For best overall sound block, best solution is to add insulation in the joist cavities, and then add multiple layers of drywall. Use isolation clips and resilient channel, or, for less money, and better results across all frequencies, add new joists between the existing joists. Do this by running them between the tops of two stud walls, allowing them to hang just slightly below the existing joists. This creates a ceiling completely decoupled from the floor above to attach drywall to. But it's a lot of work to be sure. More than you may want to take on. However, the joists can be less bulky since you are not carrying the floor load, just the drywall (depending on the span of course).

Simplest thing to do otherwise would be to add the insulation only. It might give you some sound reduction, but don't expect much unless you add mass between you and the floor upstairs. Probably not worth the cost of the insulation to only do that. You may also want to look at any ductwork to see if it is carrying sound upstairs. That could be dampened some with insulation.

gdgross's Avatar

Join Date: Apr 2004
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10-01-04, 11:10 AM   #4  
Also keep in mind that a some of the sound transmission is through the actual structure of the building. Meaning that the building itself vibrates as your tools do and passes sound through the structure. Hand tools obviously won't do this but big tools on stands like drill presses, air compressors, etc. will vibrate the concrete they are standing on and that concrete will pass on the vibrations up into the house.

The easiest way to get rid of structure borne sound transmission would be for you to isolate the source (the tools) from the structure. Big heavy rubber pads, sand-filled platforms etc.

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