To Soundproof, or Sound-Mitigate? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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To Soundproof, or Sound-Mitigate?

AVS, here's my current basement floor plan. The walls are 1/2" Sheetrock with no insulation other than around the foundation perimeter with plastic barrier. The floor is concrete slab and the majority of the studs are metal. It is a very 'live' room, especially the stairwell acting as a nice echo chamber. Anything approaching 'theater' level SPLs are heard throughout the house. The living room is directly above the theater, and bedroom are two floors above.

Before I even ask the question, I know that the answer will be "it depends." But, I'm going to ask it anyway: Can a happy medium be found with regards to sound escaping an open floor plan such as what I have? Obviously, if I were to make a 'box' to house the theater, it would be the best solution to sound, but not with the desire to keep it somewhat open.

What I am considering, is to do the full monty (DD, GG, clips/channels, Roxul) on the ceiling and 3.5 walls surrounding the theater area...that is a given. Beyond that, I'm seeking opinions on what to do with the rest. If I leave the rest as is, I'm thinking that all my work/$ in the theater area will essentially be negated.

Let me know...this is a three year plan (2.5 of those involve saving up the $ needed).



Thank you in advance!
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post #2 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 07:06 PM
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Without some sort of treatment to the stairwell, most of the "sound proofing" efforts will be a complete waste. You can cut down on some of the vibration heading straight up, but not much more. If you aren't going to box in the theatre, is it possible to put a door at the top of the stairs? If you can at least do that, then other types of sound mitigation might stand a chance of helping at least a little bit.
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post #3 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 07:09 PM - Thread Starter
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Aesthetically, this is where I'm heading towards (for now).


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post #4 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 07:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aryn Ravenlocke View Post
Without some sort of treatment to the stairwell, most of the "sound proofing" efforts will be a complete waste. You can cut down on some of the vibration heading straight up, but not much more. If you aren't going to box in the theatre, is it possible to put a door at the top of the stairs? If you can at least do that, then other types of sound mitigation might stand a chance of helping at least a little bit.
Thanks for the thoughts. That stairwell leads to the home's foyer hallway which is a couple feet from the living room, as described before. So, yes, a solid door at the top...and possibly single drywall with Roxul in the well(?) The current door is the standard light and hollow interior door. Under the stairs is an open area where I currently have the AV equipment. That will all be 'proofed' as well.

Basically, if I treat the entire basement, I'll have to reframe the six(!!!) doors in the basement. If I just do the theater, it's the one between the surround back speakers. Yeah, there's some doors I didn't include in the floor plan...it's the basement of a million doors...again, the goal here is to see if a happy medium can be reached, or I just need to go big or go home http://www.avsforum.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
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post #5 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 08:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnstownFlood View Post
Thanks for the thoughts. That stairwell leads to the home's foyer hallway which is a couple feet from the living room, as described before. So, yes, a solid door at the top...and possibly single drywall with Roxul in the well(?) The current door is the standard light and hollow interior door. Under the stairs is an open area where I currently have the AV equipment. That will all be 'proofed' as well.

Basically, if I treat the entire basement, I'll have to reframe the six(!!!) doors in the basement. If I just do the theater, it's the one between the surround back speakers. Yeah, there's some doors I didn't include in the floor plan...it's the basement of a million doors...again, the goal here is to see if a happy medium can be reached, or I just need to go big or go home http://www.avsforum.com/forum/images/smilies/smile.gif
Well, "going big" will result in the best overall treatment. However, short of basically sound-proofing the entire basement, I'd start with putting a solid door at the top of the stairs and proofing the well and the theatre area. That will be far from 100%, but it will help to mitigate things somewhat.The ceiling is going to be a big concern, as are all your conduits (outlets and the like). The conduits are relatively easy to address. For the ceiling, if you aren't proofing the entire thing, a large array of acoustic tiles/sound absorbers might help.

I've always been a "theatre box" kind of guy when I've had the chance. Otherwise, I do everything I can to get as close to box as possible.
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post #6 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 08:45 PM
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Originally Posted by JohnstownFlood View Post
Aesthetically, this is where I'm heading towards (for now).


I like the simple lines. I've always been a sucker for simple-yet-elegant.
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post #7 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 10:12 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Aryn Ravenlocke View Post
I like the simple lines. I've always been a sucker for simple-yet-elegant.
Thanks, as everyone does here, I've culled what I liked and didn't like from all of the examples I've seen in both the dedicated and general. My one "gimmick" would be a star field in front of that arch...more for the vanity of having a touch of "wow" thrown in. The toughest thing is to come to the realization that the real "wow" is going to be the things that nobody sees.

My biggest knowable hurdle will be moving the HVAC around a bit. That drop going left to right in my current set up contains the basement return (which they put on the TV wall!) and the main feed for the entire house (I'm 90% sure). Moving that return to the back wall, and running the basement feed through the soffit in the proposal would allow me (hopefully) to shrink the width of that drop down. The lack of symmetry in the current ceiling drives me nuts.

Although I've lurked in this forum for years, I'm still new. I appreciate any and all advice, and was wondering if there's a known HVAC guru I might be able to bounce some ideas off of?
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post #8 of 12 Old 08-22-2014, 10:28 PM
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I'd close it in.

I need a new money tree, this ones's starting to smell bad.
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post #9 of 12 Old 09-13-2014, 07:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JohnstownFlood View Post
Although I've lurked in this forum for years, I'm still new. I appreciate any and all advice, and was wondering if there's a known HVAC guru I might be able to bounce some ideas off of?

Bump
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post #10 of 12 Old 09-15-2014, 12:58 PM
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I have a relatively similar floorplan, in that it's nice and open, with an open stairwell that has a door at the top of the stairs (into my kitchen). I guess you could say i did a 'happy medium' level of soundproofing. I considered DD+GG+clips, but after talking to Ted @ TheSoundProofing Company, he said it'd be a waste with that open stairwell. So instead, i did a layer of 1/2" OSB followed by a layer of 1/2" drywall, plus R19 in the ceiling between the joists. Very little sound leaks through the ceiling, and the weak point (as we expected), is the staircase. I can hear a movie when i'm in the kitchen, but elsewhere on the main level i can barely hear anything. All in all, we're happy with the results, and glad we didn't spend the money on clips + GG.

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post #11 of 12 Old 09-15-2014, 02:33 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by saldog78 View Post
I have a relatively similar floorplan, in that it's nice and open, with an open stairwell that has a door at the top of the stairs (into my kitchen). I guess you could say i did a 'happy medium' level of soundproofing. I considered DD+GG+clips, but after talking to Ted @ TheSoundProofing Company, he said it'd be a waste with that open stairwell. So instead, i did a layer of 1/2" OSB followed by a layer of 1/2" drywall, plus R19 in the ceiling between the joists. Very little sound leaks through the ceiling, and the weak point (as we expected), is the staircase. I can hear a movie when i'm in the kitchen, but elsewhere on the main level i can barely hear anything. All in all, we're happy with the results, and glad we didn't spend the money on clips + GG.

Saldog, thank you for the input. I think that I'll end up going that route too...we'll get it the best we can realizing that there's only so much we can do without closing it all in.
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post #12 of 12 Old 09-16-2014, 11:14 AM
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I had an open floor-plan in an L shaped basement. I don't know that you'll notice much in the way of noise reduction by going through the measures you are considering.

Improving your door at the top of the stairs with a solid core and something to seal the gaps may be your best bet.

I enclosed my space and it has helped a lot but sound still escapes through the vents and with the sub. I have no sound abatement as I found the cost not worth it for myself. I don't crank up movies anyway.

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