Atrens Low Cost / Budget / Ceiling, Theater Room - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 40 Old 01-30-2012, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
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I have been poking around the AVS forum for several months now planning my Theater room based on ideas from people posting here. I bought my house about 7 months ago (July ’11), it’s a small raised ranch with a decent basement. The existing room I want to update is 25’ x 13’ and the ceilings are only 7’. Currently it looks like the basement was finished around 1970 so I will have to gut it for the updates I want to do.

 

Theater 12/17/12:

1000

 


Overall the room is a decent size but by what I have seen here on the forum it’s better to have a 9’ - 10’ ceiling height and 16’ of width, so I have to be creative and work with what I have.

In my research on AVSForum my favorite theater yet is the Hana Hou! Home Theater [1]. I love the fabric frames (construction / color) on the walls and the use of the ambient lighting for the ceiling. My goal will be to end up with some sort of modified version of this theater.

-The most important things to me is creating an acoustically correct room for movies and music, possibly even for some recording projects.
-Some of the biggest challenges for me is the fact that I have a very low budget and I have some room size constraints (ceiling height and room width)

So I started renovating in November and I’m ready to start my HT Thread. Being realistic I know how long these projects take if you have a fulltime job and want it done right so I am figuring to do this in 3 phases. Phase 1 will be getting the room updated (Phase 1 is almost complete took ~3 months), Phase 2 will be new rug, stage construction and speaker mounts and Phase 3 will be acoustic fabric frames.

Phase 1
-The first thing I did was rip out the old drop ceiling, and install recessed lighting using LED dimmable lights. I got them for about 15 bucks each at Home Depot after sale and $10 rebate and the cans were about $5 per
-Secondly my house has a really bad issues with sound control from basement to 1st level so sound proofing the room was a must.
-Third I installed the dry wall on the ceiling
-and the last update I did was installed the sofit to go around the room to hold the ambient lighting.

Forum in progress!!!
I will upload a bunch of pics and more details this week to show my progress on Phase 1.

[1] http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=487747



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post #2 of 40 Old 01-30-2012, 06:57 PM - Thread Starter
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ok so here are pictures of Phase 1 progress. Im not 100% happy with how its coming out and there's already several things i would have done differently but sometimes i am just over critical with what I do. feedback and opinions are welcome. Im curious to hear any suggestions of improvement.


heres the before pic of the basement
LL

 

Found some other older pics of the basement from the previous home owner 

 

 



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post #3 of 40 Old 01-30-2012, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
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The following photos show the draby drop ceiling removed and cans for recessed lighting installed+

Attachment 235797
Attachment 235798
Attachment 235799
LL
LL
LL


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post #4 of 40 Old 01-30-2012, 07:03 PM - Thread Starter
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Lights installed
Attachment 235801

sound proofing installed
Attachment 235802

R13 sound and heat insulation installed
Attachment 235803

Attachment 235804
LL
LL
LL
LL


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post #5 of 40 Old 01-30-2012, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
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installing drywall ceilling
Attachment 235806
Attachment 235807

Spackle
Attachment 235808
Attachment 235809
LL
LL

 

I don't recommend spackling the seems on your own, hire a professional.  You can't tell from this picture but its very rough and I will be hiring a pro to help fix it in the spring! (comment added Dec 2012)
LL
LL



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post #6 of 40 Old 01-30-2012, 07:10 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok and this is the end of Phase 1:

Time to setup the TV and enjoy for the summer.


Sofits for ambient ceiling lighting installed and walls skim coated and painted
Attachment 235811

My next step is to go around the room and fix all the small finishing details like corners to be touched up or edges that need painting.
LL



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post #7 of 40 Old 01-30-2012, 07:11 PM
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Nice work, I see your cats dressed for the occasion in their finest tuxedos!


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post #8 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 09:23 AM
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sound proofing installed
Attachment 235802

Can you tell me what you used when you say "sound proofing installed"?
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post #9 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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I went to Lowes to see what they had in stock for sound proof material and I really didn’t know what to expect to find. It just happen to be that a Lowes a few towns over went out of business and shipped their stock of Roxul “Safe’n’Sound” Wool insulation Batts to my neighborhood Store. I bought it on a whim since I had no experience with the product and at the time had not read reviews but the stuff is actually amazing. Before Iinstal I was able to hear conversation through my floor as if the person upstairs was standing right next to me and now with insulation there is nothing.

It comes in a 12 pack of 15”x47” sheets that are 3” thick. Its fire resistant up to 2150 F and was very easy to handle / install. The install was still itch as hell but not as bad as the standard pink heat insulation stuff. Some of the reviews I read mentioned the products pros are that it does its job of sound proofing better than most other solutions and the cons are that it’s a little on the pricey side. You can order it online and have it shipped to your local store to save on shipping cost. I ended up getting a deal on these when I bought them due to the store closing situation, I paid about $35 per package (normally about $45) and I got 5 packages for my ceiling (5 packages covered 25’x13’) Since the Roxul sound proofing was only 3” thick I was able to fit a second layer of R13 sound / heat insulation in my rafters. I dont have to worry about moister in between the layers since there is no outside wall on either side.

Here is the link to the products from Lowes:
http://www.lowes.com/pd_305816-1278-...tts&facetInfo=
http://www.lowes.com/pd_31116-1722-B...ion&facetInfo=

I will take a side profile pictures of the layer stack up from the other side of the wall where it is unfinished so you can see how it fit.

Hope this helps


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post #10 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 10:19 AM
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I like working with mineral wool. Doesn't perform any better than fluffy fiberglass, but I like working with it better.

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post #11 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 12:24 PM - Thread Starter
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what does it look like? Does it come in 4'x8' sheet? How is it to work with? Do you put it under your sheet rock or is it used as the surface? and what are the costs associated with it?


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post #12 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 12:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Atren View Post

what does it look like? Does it come in 4'x8' sheet? How is it to work with? Do you put it under your sheet rock or is it used as the surface? and what are the costs associated with it?

Is this directed at me regarding my insulation comment?

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post #13 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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yeah sorry its about your insulation comment

Atren = forum noob


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post #14 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 02:03 PM
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Atren= a nice guy that wants to know more about stuff.

Standard fiberglass insulation is what I'm referring to. Comes in rolls or batts. Squeezes in between the studs or joist framing. Usually yellow, pink or white.

Using insulation is a good idea, however you'd do well to simply buy the least expensive insulation on sale at Home Depot or Lowes. For our purposes, there's no better insulation for our theater walls and ceilings.

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post #15 of 40 Old 01-31-2012, 02:26 PM - Thread Starter
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Ahh ok. Yeah I doubled up with a layer of Roxul and a layer of R13 cheapo insulation for sound and heat insulation. Seems to work out pretty good.


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post #16 of 40 Old 02-02-2012, 02:40 PM
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Your double layer of insulation will help with sound proofing but it is not soundproofing.

A better approach, which was not available when I built my theater, is two layers of drywall (1/2 & 5/8 inch) with "Green Glue" in between. I used the product in our bedrooms after the freeway was built in our area. Made a huge difference.

Also, glad the Hana Hou! Fabric Frame Theater inspired you. Hope you theater turns out the way you want it to. Good luck

Greg

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post #17 of 40 Old 02-02-2012, 02:51 PM
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Hey Greg. Nice to hear from you.

I'd lean toward double 5/8" if possible. We want the mass.

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post #18 of 40 Old 02-02-2012, 04:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

Hey Greg. Nice to hear from you.

I'd lean toward double 5/8" if possible. We want the mass.

Hi Ted.

Should we stay away for the light weight drywall that Home Depot is selling now? I would guess that the lighter in weight would mean less mass.

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post #19 of 40 Old 02-02-2012, 04:04 PM
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Absolutely so.

That's also the problem with the exotic pre-damped drywall. It's light relative to cheap double 5/8" drywall.

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post #20 of 40 Old 02-02-2012, 05:40 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPowers View Post

I would guess that the lighter in weight would mean less mass.

Yes, here on Earth that's a fact...


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 -- CIH, Panamorph, Martin Logan, SVS PB2000, Carada Masquerade, Grafik Eye, Bar table, Green Glue, JVC RS50 
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post #21 of 40 Old 02-02-2012, 06:51 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GPowers View Post

Your double layer of insulation will help with sound proofing but it is not soundproofing.

A better approach, which was not available when I built my theater, is two layers of drywall (1/2 & 5/8 inch) with "Green Glue" in between. I used the product in our bedrooms after the freeway was built in our area. Made a huge difference.

Also, glad the Hana Hou! Fabric Frame Theater inspired you. Hope you theater turns out the way you want it to. Good luck

Greg

Greg I agree with you its not the best sound proofing technique. I have read many threads explaining the best methods. Unfortunatly I had to work with a 7' hight clearance for the ceiling. Also my budget for sound proofing was $200 bucks :-( The Roxul stuff actualy works quite well relative to what it was. The cheapo heat insulation adds an extra cushion for any cracks Imissed.

Thanks for the kind words and I hope my HT comes out cool like yours too.

I consider this my starter home. Hopefully if I get to a point in my life where I can buy a bigger house. Then I will build a real dedicated HT correctly. This is just my low budget version.


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post #22 of 40 Old 10-28-2012, 07:07 PM - Thread Starter
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The summer has past and I came accross a great deal on newegg on a new pair of Klipsch tower speakers and surrounds that I couldnt refuse, which gave me the motivation to work on the theater room again. That and I am almost ready to buy my TV.

Here are some pictures from where I left off:



Lights on:


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post #23 of 40 Old 10-28-2012, 07:19 PM - Thread Starter
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The first steps into Phase 2 of my theater construction will be the staging for the screen.



I left the rug under the stage to absorb any vibrations. When the i replace the rug I will cut it at the stage.





I didn't use sand to fill in the cavities in the stage as Greg did in his theater. I am assuming this was done to dampen any resonances that could be amplified by these cavities.





There are some wrinkle's in the back but those will be covered by the screen wall. The rest of the rug is as tight a I could get it. I don't think its too bad considering my lack of experiance with upholstery. I doubled up with a floor pad under the rug on the stage to reduce reflections and hopefully prevent any resonances.


Stage cost:
$58.5 13' x 6', $4.5 per linear foot at homedepot
$10.5 for carpet pad
$8 for the bull nose stage lip
$42 for the ply wood
~$50 for the 8" frame boards

so a total of around $170


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post #24 of 40 Old 10-29-2012, 07:40 PM - Thread Starter
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Ok... Theater room wins. I have to revert back to the old setup for a little while. Unfortunately I'm stuck between a rock and a hard place with picking my TV solution. I cant fit a projector because of my low ceilings and the Panasonic VT50 65" plasma might be too small for my room. I plan on eventually putting in a second row of seating and I think 65" wont cut it. The 80" LED Sharp may fit the bill but it is hard to sacrifice quality for quantity. My budget is ~$3k for the TV. Im trying to think of a "wall" solution that will fit TV's 65" to 80"







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post #25 of 40 Old 11-13-2012, 09:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Building the component cabinet was a bit of a challenge. Im trying to incorporate it as if it was an entertainment center but it will be fully covered by fabric frames that will clip on to the front.

Here is a rough schetch of what the Screen wall will look like. I have choosen to go with the 70" LED over the 65" Plasma



Component Console:




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post #26 of 40 Old 11-27-2012, 08:29 AM - Thread Starter
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The start of the screen wall frame. I decided to make the center console removable. It can be pulled out for maintaince or replaced if need be. The screen will be supported independently of the "entertainment center"

Dry fit of the studs


Screen support measured and pre-built to size


Dry fit of the screen wall between the studs and hired help :-)


Dry Fit angle 2


Wall secured and ready for maple 3x1 sills and rails (sills clamped on the right side). I plan to stain the maple before I nail them up it will make life easier. I used black paint in the areas that will be visible behind the stills and rails


The studs will be covered by maple 3x1 boards and the maple will have grill clips to hold the fabric frames. This way the frames can be removed for access or ascetics.


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post #27 of 40 Old 11-29-2012, 06:19 AM
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Nice work so far. Can't wait to see it with the fabric frames and new TV.

TC-P46G10 build date May 2009

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post #28 of 40 Old 11-29-2012, 09:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Top down dimensions and layout. The couch that exists now fits 4 people comfortably and i plan to put a bar like table behind it with 4 comfortable bar stools. Not sure were to get these chairs yet but they have to be worthy of theater seating! I chose to make the back row seating bar stools since I am limited with ceiling height and a riser of appropriate height would not be possible. This will also leave room in the back for a possible bar



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post #29 of 40 Old 11-30-2012, 10:37 AM - Thread Starter
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Here is another "lunch time" sketch up for the acoustical treatments. Im planning to have the lower section to be fabric frames with sound batten left over from the screen wall and the top will be egg crate foam. I think this will give a cool studio type feel to the room




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post #30 of 40 Old 12-08-2012, 03:57 PM - Thread Starter
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TV yay




ok so the sub woofer sticks out a little but eventually the grey speakers will be removed and the sub will be rotated 90 degrees to fit... its a damn big sub! The component console can use another coat of stain and all of the maple will get a coat of semi gloss finish. The visible (painted black) studs behind the TV will eventually be covered, this is another temporary step.

Its obvious from the pictures with the sofit lighting that the ceilings need rework. This will be done in the spring.


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