Soundproofing drywall ceilings can stop you from suffering the noise of other people moving around above you. There are quite a few solutions available which have become increasingly popular over the last few years. What you effectively need to create is a barrier between the two levels which will dull the acoustics in the space between them. This means that the barrier will help to bounce noises away from your ceiling and kill the sound before it reaches you. It will not get rid of every noise but it will certainly reduce it by between 60 and 80 percent.
Tip 1 - Barriers
Sound-resilient barriers create a floating ceiling which affixes to the existing ceiling, but only touching it in places where it will need to be screwed. Between the ceilings is the sound-resistant bar which is an acoustically dead space. You can install the new drywall over the top of this so that the main ceiling is holding the floating drywall ceiling underneath it.
When you install a barrier such as this, the noise that comes from the floor above will be transferred to the space between the barrier and bounce it away where it disperses. As previously stated, you will still hear some noise, but it will decrease the amount you hear by a large percentage.
Tip 2 - Insulation
You can use sound-proof insulation by adding thin joists to the ceiling above. With the new joist in place, you can then attach sound barrier ‘quilting’ to the joists, which is almost the same as adding new insulation to a wall. The quilting will take the noise density and detract it from dispersing into the room below, effectively cushioning the ceiling to stop loud noises from penetrating through.
Tip 3 - Membranes
Acoustic membranes can be another solution to soundproofing a ceiling. You can opt for a single or double membrane and again, the first membrane is placed under the existing ceiling, while the joists hold up the second ceiling with another membrane under that. The membranes act in the same way as a barrier to prevent noise from coming through. These have an average reduction rate of about 60 percent.
Tip 4 - Bars
Sound-resistant bars are like molded skins. They affix to the ceiling above and are screwed to a new sub-ceiling below and the joints are staggered so that the sound traveling between them gets dispersed inside the bar. In this instance, it will be vital that when the new ceiling is fitted underneath, that the two ceilings are not in any contact with each other whatsoever.
Tip 5 - Acoustic Mineral Wool
Mineral wool is another option to look at when thinking about soundproofing a ceiling. It works in the same way as fiberglass insulation but has a far higher density rating and is fire resistant for longer. It comes in various levels of density so you can choose an appropriate level you wish to achieve. It can be placed between new joists you create at staggered intervals over the existing ceiling and then laid inside.
The new ceiling is placed over the mineral wool and then treated in the same way as a wall. You will need to seal the joints and paint over them in the same way as the previous ceiling.