Soundproofing Ceilings


Old 12-12-06, 02:09 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Santa Fe, NM
Posts: 53
Question Soundproofing Ceilings

I'm engaged in a remodel on my two story house. I'd like to soundproof as much as reasonably possible between the upstairs and the downstairs.

For the moment, I'm working on the downstairs, so I'm looking at things I can do from below while the ceiling drywall is off. One major constraint is that I've already installed recessed lighting cans downstairs, which have trims that are designed for 5/8" thick ceilings. I think the trims will probably work with slightly thicker ceilings, within limits... (anyone got any experience of that?).

Anyway, the question is, given this constraint, what's the best I can do? I've looked at QuietRock, which seems to work well and is the right thickness, though it's pretty expensive ($100 a 4x8' sheet or so). I've also seen a product called Green Glue which you use in a sandwich between two other rigid layers. The QuietRock product is actually just a pre-manufactured version of this system with two thin drywall layers. Given the ceiling thickness constraints, I was considering using two 1/2" drywall layers with Green Glue in between. This is a bit cheaper than the QuietRock, but not hugely: it's about $30 / panel for the glue plus maybe $20 or so for the drywall. Plus it's more effort.

So, has anyone used either of these approaches and have anything to say about them? Anyone else got any other suggestions? Am I going to run into any problems with the building inspector for using two 1/2" panels instead of 5/8" panels?

The information I've read suggests that either of these arrangements will do quite a good job at reducing airborne noise, but a less good job at reducing impact noise (e.g. footfalls). I plan to add some more soundproofing from above, when I begin to work on the second floor.


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Old 12-12-06, 05:16 PM
logcabincook's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2006
Location: Rocky Mountain Foothills
Posts: 549
We have built two recording studios, one in a basement and one stand-alone. After all the research, reading, professional design, etc. here is what I would suggest:

Insulate the joist cavities with the thickest insulation that will fit.
Hang z-channel on the joists.
Hang at least one layer of 1/2 inch drywall on those Z-channels. Two is ideal.
Caulk all seams with acoustic caulk.
Revel in the silence...

Mass and isolation are what you are after, not fancy products. We did the application above with just one layer of drywall and no acoustic caulk in the basement of our last home. The dogs could not hear the doorbell on the main floor ring. Friends had to call to let us know they were at the door. The only sound from the studio and home theatre you could hear in the rest of the house was very loud/low bass frequencies through the HVAC vents (you need insulated ducts to prevent that, which is a costly and extensive retrofit for the whole home).

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