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Thread: Sound Proofing Basement

  1. #1

    Default Sound Proofing Basement

    I know this probably isn't the right forum, but it's the most germane to this topic and I figured some of you guys would be good with this. Have to move in with the parents for a while and need some help...

    I'm looking to sound proof a basement. The idea is that the occupants upstairs should not be able to hear much from downstairs, like a TV at 'normal' volumes or a phone conversation, etc. It's a pretty 'typical' basement, and my parents' room is above the far side. I would probably stay more in the middle/other side (it's a reasonably large area). I'm not sure if it's possible to section off a smaller area to sound proof to save on costs, but I would like this to be as cheap as possible.

    There are pipes and such on the ceiling so I'm thinking a suspended ceiling is step 1. After that...I dunno. I do that a lot of commercially available sound proofing is freakin' expensive. I'd like to spend $1000 or less (I know...). What are my options here? Am I asking too much for that little money?

    It doesn't need to be completely isolated, but enough so either party isn't constantly aware of the others' existence.

  2. #2
    Distinguished Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    Here's what I did.

    Forget the suspended ceiling. You need sound proofing. This means drywall work.

    Get "soundproof" drywall at your local home center. Not particularly cheap at $50/sheet, but the stuff works.

    http://www.lowes.com/pd_98765-89477-...rchQueryType=1

    Ideally, you'll remove the old drywall, put fiberglass insulation between the joists, seal any pipes or electrical lines that penetrate the ceiling with spray foam, and then put this drywall in place. You'll also want to use the same materials on the walls, as sound travels up the walls as well as through ceilings.

    You can still benefit by using the QuietRock over existing drywall, but the fiberglass insulation helps a lot. Even if you don't rip out the old drywall, you'll still want to seal the pipes and electrical through the ceiling and walls with spray foam.

    Good luck.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
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  3. #3

    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    There's no drywall or insulation there right now, just bare joints with all sorts of plumbing up in it...drywall would be a HUGE undertaking, and no real room to put insulation in.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Joeywhat View Post
    There's no drywall or insulation there right now, just bare joints with all sorts of plumbing up in it...drywall would be a HUGE undertaking, and no real room to put insulation in.
    Then your plan isn't going to work. Ideally, you need to have very dense material to provide sound proofing. And you'd need to insulate pipes and vents as well. You could have 5 inches of sound proofing on the ceiling and walls, but if you don't do one vent then it's useless.

    Spend some time googling the subject. For $1000, you might be better off maybe buliding a little whisper type room to play in rather than trying to do the whole basement. Or maybe trying to pick up a used whisper room. There is also another company that makes them, but I forget their name.

  5. #5
    Distinguished Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    The fiberglass insulation wedges perfectly between the joists and the pipes don't matter if you put the insulation next to them. Not sure why you think drywall is harder to do than a suspended ceiling though. You screw the drywall directly to the joists. With a suspended ceiling you have to fiddle with suspending the frame and making sure it's square -- which adds quite a bit of complexity. It's a very fiddly thing to get right and will have absolutely no affect on sound transmission through the floor without insulation. An acoustical tile suspended ceiling is all about deading echos in a room, not about preventing transmission into another space.

    There's nothing to say you have to tape joints or even paint the special sound-proof drywall, if that's what you're concerned about -- although the color orange had best be something you like. It's a basement. Screw gun, razor knife, and a drywall square are all you need to do this. It is a bit heavy putting it up, so having a friend help is certainly in order, but depending on the size of the room you could easily do this in a afternoon -- certainly faster than you're going to put up a suspended ceiling.

    If you don't want to do this, don't waste your money. As ericdano said, spend the $1k on a Whisper Room, but be prepared to practice in a 4'x4'x7' carpeted box.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8
    1938 Buescher Aristocrat "Custom Built" Silver Plated Baritone -- Strathon 8
    1939 Buescher Aristocrat Silver Plated Series I Alto -- Ishimori Woodstone 7, TW Durga 8
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat "Big B" Lacquer Alto -- Ishimori Woodstone 7
    1949 Buescher Aristocrat Gold Plated "Big B" Tenor -- TW Durga 8

    2000-something Yamaha YTS-475 (backup tenor)



    Nothing works so well in gathering information as a display of ignorance. I've been learning a lot lately.


  6. #6

  7. #7

    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    Building a separate room sounds like a good idea, actually...shouldn't be too hard, and I won't have to worry about screwing around with plumbing and air vents and such.

  8. #8
    Forum Contributor 2011 thadnoland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    UltraTouch Denim Insulation works amazingly for blocking sound. It is a little bit expensive, but it works extremely well.

    Check out the ClearSonic IsoPac F. It's "portable" so you can take it with you when you move. I use the IsoPac H, but I must sit down to practice.

    Good luck...

  9. #9
    Forum Contributor 2014 Pete Thomas's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    I would just nail or screw as many layers of plasterboard onto the joists. If you can then get to it from up, lift a few floorboards and drop some sand on top of the plasterboard. be careful you don't put in more than the plasterboard can safely hold.

    Then add plasterboard to the door leading to the basement, make sure it is a good seal around the door, but also check that this doesn't stop any ventilation if the basement is small. (or you might die).

    Add a few HF damping boxes to the walls if it's very reverberant.

    The small room within a room floated on neoprene maybe be more effective if you aren't claustrophobic

    More info on my page here:

    http://mediamusicforum.com/home-soundproofing.html

    http://mediamusicforum.com/home-studio-acoustics.html

    http://mediamusicforum.com/high-freq...absorbers.html

  10. #10

    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    Looking into the separate room idea. A part of the basement will be carpeted anyways, so that should work well in isolating the floor...and since there's no crap coming out of the new walls/ceiling it'll be super easy to drywall it and probably use some other materials in between (probably more effective then fiber insulation since it doesn't really need heat insulation...). Should be a little cheaper then a pre built box, and I'd want something bigger anyways. It needs to be big enough to allow for my computer, some room to move around and play my sax/bone, and maybe a couch if I can fit it.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete Thomas View Post

    The small room within a room floated on neoprene maybe be more effective if you aren't claustrophobic

    More info on my page here:

    http://mediamusicforum.com/home-soundproofing.html

    http://mediamusicforum.com/home-studio-acoustics.html

    http://mediamusicforum.com/high-freq...absorbers.html
    Thanks for the links...didn't really think about vents. Should be easy enough to make some like that with some computer fans (I have a TON laying around) to keep air flowing. For the vents, is internal volume a concern? I'm just wondering if I can fit them entirely inside the walls, or have to have them stick out a bit (I don't expect the walls to be more then 2 feet thick). Is their effectiveness more from the design of the baffles/how many baffles or the internal volume or both?

    And is carpet with thick padding enough to stop vibrations, or is another layer of rubber under the carpet/on top the pad more ideal?

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Member artstove's Avatar
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    Default Re: Sound Proofing Basement

    While not as thourough a fix as those proposed above, a pro drummer I know has draped the walls of his practice room with mover's blankets to deaden the sound.

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