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post #1 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 05:56 AM - Thread Starter
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Hey guys! Not sure how to go about doing this as I don't see many threads with guys putting theaters / man rooms on the second floor.

The room is above the garage at the end of the house, only connected to the rest of the house by the backwall and the attic. The pic below is of the back wall. The only thing not shown here is the door which is on the back wall in the cove to the left. The left wall in the pic is the front of the house, the cove on the left should have a door that leads to a hallway, the rest of the back wall butts to the second bath and master bath, and the right wall is the back of the house. There is a full attic, and below the room is the garage.



I was planning on using WC and Hat channel on the entire room, but can I get away with just doing the back wall and ceiling? I started using the estimator for how many I would need and it would be cut by about 70% if I do just the back wall and ceiling. I will be doing DD + GG on the entire room as well.

What would be an adequate plan of action? ( I know this is a loaded question, but would love if I didn't have to spend $650 on whisper clips alone, though will if it is necessary) Thanks!!

Here is my thread on it as well -
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1393908
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post #2 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 07:10 AM
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I think doing just couple of walls is like rolling up the drivers side window on a convertible and expecting to stay warm.
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post #3 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 07:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I think doing just couple of walls is like rolling up the drivers side window on a convertible and expecting to stay warm.

Good analogy BIGs. I can relate to that. So I should whisper clip the entire thing and DD+GG, eh?

Is there anything I can do for the floor?
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post #4 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 07:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeybutts View Post

Hey guys! Not sure how to go about doing this as I don't see many threads with guys putting theaters / man rooms on the second floor.

The room is above the garage at the end of the house, only connected to the rest of the house by the backwall and the attic. The pic below is of the back wall. The only thing not shown here is the door which is on the back wall in the cove to the left. The left wall in the pic is the front of the house, the cove on the left should have a door that leads to a hallway, the rest of the back wall butts to the second bath and master bath, and the right wall is the back of the house. There is a full attic, and below the room is the garage.



I was planning on using WC and Hat channel on the entire room, but can I get away with just doing the back wall and ceiling? I started using the estimator for how many I would need and it would be cut by about 70% if I do just the back wall and ceiling. I will be doing DD + GG on the entire room as well.

What would be an adequate plan of action? ( I know this is a loaded question, but would love if I didn't have to spend $650 on whisper clips alone, though will if it is necessary) Thanks!!

Here is my thread on it as well -
http://www.avsforum.com/avs-vb/showthread.php?t=1393908

My HT is on the second floor above the garage, and similar to yours backs into the attic. I didn't do anything to soundproof other than blown-in insulation at all walls. The ONLY sound incursion I get is through the door, and down the stairs. It's very faintly heard in the living room when listening close to reference, otherwise you can't even tell.

I have gone into the garage when playing the HT and can faintly tell there's some bass going on, but nothing dramatic. I haven't tested to see how loud it is to the OUTSIDE walls yet, but probably not much... and being a second floor, the energy probably dissipates quickly into the attic spaces (there's a smaller attic above the HT, and a larger attic above the entire house).

In other words.. I wouldn't worry too much about it.. if I had to do it again, I'd probably just use quiet rock and call it a day. (instead of regular drywall)

Get a good door, that will be your biggest sound leak offender.

PS. I should mention as well that I have a dedicated HVAC unit for the space, which may help by not sharing ductwork.
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post #5 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 08:01 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by ivanhoek View Post

My HT is on the second floor above the garage, and similar to yours backs into the attic. I didn't do anything to soundproof other than blown-in insulation at all walls. The ONLY sound incursion I get is through the door, and down the stairs. It's very faintly heard in the living room when listening close to reference, otherwise you can't even tell.

I have gone into the garage when playing the HT and can faintly tell there's some bass going on, but nothing dramatic. I haven't tested to see how loud it is to the OUTSIDE walls yet, but probably not much... and being a second floor, the energy probably dissipates quickly into the attic spaces (there's a smaller attic above the HT, and a larger attic above the entire house).

In other words.. I wouldn't worry too much about it.. if I had to do it again, I'd probably just use quiet rock and call it a day. (instead of regular drywall)

Get a good door, that will be your biggest sound leak offender.

PS. I should mention as well that I have a dedicated HVAC unit for the space, which may help by not sharing ductwork.

Thanks Ivan! That's nice to hear, just hope that my home is built on the same level of craftsmanship as yours. I do think that being only one wall bound to the living area of the house helps, and the attic is large and I would add insulation up there. But I would love to see what is behind the walls and do it proper. Oh decisionsssssss........

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Originally Posted by dragonfyr View Post

The process is much more involved than what has been proposed.

Rather than do all the busy work......

Thanks for all that info DF. I'll have to get busy on my studying of Sound Physics 101 tonight.

I'm planning on caulking all the seams as well to minimize flanking noise. Is this a good idea?
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post #6 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 08:19 AM
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post #7 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 10:07 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

If there are gaps, yes.

So technically I should caulk just about every seam I can see?

I think lastly, how do you determine which decoupling clips to use? I've read through the descriptions and such....is it just preference?
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post #8 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 10:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by dragonfyr View Post

In order to save time, just identify the construction methods and refer to the appropriate NRC guide. No need or benefit to review the masonry wall guide if you house is wood frame construction - unless you just like such reading!.

And also pay particular attention to data on flanking paths. Note that many of them are comprised of mechanical coupling within walls and ceilings/floors. Especially structural partitions. Such mechanical coupling with 'kill' you and literally negate ALL of the rest of your efforts.

So please be aware that the weakest link will literally determine the total effectiveness of ALL of your efforts - regardless of how substantial or over designed the rest of the system may be.

Thanks DF! When you say mechanical coupling, you mean the attachment points between the drywall and the studs, studs to joists, etc?
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post #9 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 11:05 AM
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You should be reading the library of articles at soundproofingcompany.com. Also Ask ted for the data comparing the various clips. While you are thinking about the walls and ceiling, you asked about earlier about the floor. While you may be over the garage the floor joist area may have openings into the floor joist cavities of the rest of the house this can be an issue. Don't forget that there may be shared duct work with the rest of the house which will act like sound pipes.

Floors can be tricky and some research is in order. Aggressive methods include floating a layer or two of tongue and groove OSB over a rubber mat product.
Floating is just that, no mechanical fasteners are used to secure the floating layer to the sub-floor under the rubber matting. If you go with two additional layers you can bring some viscoelastic damping material into the equation like Green Glue.
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post #10 of 35 Old 02-21-2012, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

You should be reading the library of articles at soundproofingcompany.com. Also Ask ted for the data comparing the various clips. While you are thinking about the walls and ceiling, you asked about earlier about the floor. While you may be over the garage the floor joist area may have openings into the floor joist cavities of the rest of the house this can be an issue. Don't forget that there may be shared duct work with the rest of the house which will act like sound pipes.

Floors can be tricky and some research is in order. Aggressive methods include floating a layer or two of tongue and groove OSB over a rubber mat product.
Floating is just that, no mechanical fasteners are used to secure the floating layer to the sub-floor under the rubber matting. If you go with two additional layers you can bring some viscoelastic damping material into the equation like Green Glue.

I have read quite a few of the articles over there, obviously not all of them yet.

Wow.....that is a crazy approach to the floor. My first thought is what to do about the transition between the hallway leading into the room and the raised bit of flooring if I do go that route, especially since I only have an 8' ceiling to work with. Should I fill in the cavities under the floor with insulation if they haven't already done so? I would imagine they already did since it is above the non insulated garage. I guess I'll need to put a hole or two in the garage drywall ceiling to see if they insulated it.

I do plan on doing something with the HVAC, though I think it is going to be pretty easy since I have attic access to the one duct. Would you just replace it with flex duct and maybe put a muffler on the end?
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post #11 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 06:23 AM - Thread Starter
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It seems after reading those papers that my biggest concern is going to be the base of the joining wall/subfloor. Sealing/isolating the back wall is easy, but trying to eliminate the transmission through that contact between the backwall/subfloor is where I may have the biggest issues.

From what I have been reading, it seems like DD+GG on the three exterior walls and ceiling will work fine and I am going to DD+GG the bathroom walls through the back wall when I tear it down and, insulate, then whisper clip/hat channel and DD+GG the back wall. Solid Core door and automatic door jamb.

I do plan on doing something with the HVAC, though I think it is going to be pretty easy since I have attic access to the one duct. Would you just replace it with flex duct and maybe put a muffler on the end?
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post #12 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 07:43 AM
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These documents have more appropriate information:

Gypsum Board Walls: Transmission Loss Data
By Halliwell, R.E.; Nightingale, T.R.T.; Warnock, A.C.C.; Birta, J.A.
http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/do...r761/ir761.pdf

Controlling Interoffice Sound Transmission Through a Suspended Ceiling
by R.E. Halliwell and J.D. Quirt
http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/do.../nrcc33097.pdf

...along with those covering flanking. Additional information is available at www.soundproofingcompany.com

When you read material, or speak with contractors/consultants, any information or discussion with only STC values or STC classes are not appropriate to your application. You'd need to pay attention to transmission loss values (TL) or look for the more appropriate NR or NC ratings where available. The lowest frequency evaluated for an STC class rating is the 1/3 octave centered at 125Hz. This is value is completely not relevant to audio applications. The STC rating system was developed as a metric to evaluate sound isolation constructs to mitigate transfer of human speech and office equipment (typewriters, copiers, telephones ... usual and customary human activities.)

In audio applications we must deal with frequencies down as low as 20Hz, if not lower. Indeed, a barrier can be constructed with a high STC rating by engineering that barrier to lower its resonance frequency to a value less than 125Hz. For the sake of example only, let's say we build a barrier (wall) with a resonance frequency of 80Hz. That barrier would have a high STC value yet be virtually transparent to your subwoofer at 80Hz. A disappointing result.

Typically, in audio listening environments, the goal is to lower the noise floor in the room to 20dB NR or NC. Considering a quiet home has a noise floor in the 33 to 35dB range which is not an overwhelming task. However, what you are seeking to do is quite different. The dynamic range in audio playback is 22dB to 115dB. So, in essence, you want to reduce the transmission of sound out of your space from 115dB down to below 33 to 35dB ... a big challenge. In practice the generally acceptable practice is to reduce sound transmission out of the room to the extent you do not raise the noise floor in an adjacent space by more than 3dB. That is a big challenge and not an inexpensive one particularly in an already finished space.

In the end, you need to decide just how big an increase in sound level is acceptable outside the room and what your budget is to make this happen. I should also note that whilst 115dB is a big number, many will find it more than acceptable to base their sound abatement on a reduction of about 50dB.

That, btw, is not 50dB across the board. NR, NC, and STC ratings account for human hearing sensitivity at different frequencies.

Basically, decide what you're willing to accept and build to that goal; but, as has been said before, any small gaps, oversights, and shortcuts could render all your other work moot. Commonly those problematic flanking paths include electrical boxes, light fixtures, and HVAC penetrations through your sound isolation barrier.
Swervepf likes this.

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post #13 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 08:48 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

These documents have more appropriate information:

Gypsum Board Walls: Transmission Loss Data
By Halliwell, R.E.; Nightingale, T.R.T.; Warnock, A.C.C.; Birta, J.A.
http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/do...r761/ir761.pdf

Controlling Interoffice Sound Transmission Through a Suspended Ceiling
by R.E. Halliwell and J.D. Quirt
http://www.nrc-cnrc.gc.ca/obj/irc/do.../nrcc33097.pdf

...along with those covering flanking. Additional information is available at www.soundproofingcompany.com

When you read material, or speak with contractors/consultants, any information or discussion with only STC values or STC classes are not appropriate to your application. You'd need to pay attention to transmission loss values (TL) or look for the more appropriate NR or NC ratings where available. The lowest frequency evaluated for an STC class rating is the 1/3 octave centered at 125Hz. This is value is completely not relevant to audio applications. The STC rating system was developed as a metric to evaluate sound isolation constructs to mitigate transfer of human speech and office equipment (typewriters, copiers, telephones ... usual and customary human activities.)

In audio applications we must deal with frequencies down as low as 20Hz, if not lower. Indeed, a barrier can be constructed with a high STC rating by engineering that barrier to lower its resonance frequency to a value less than 125Hz. For the sake of example only, let's say we build a barrier (wall) with a resonance frequency of 80Hz. That barrier would have a high STC value yet be virtually transparent to your subwoofer at 80Hz. A disappointing result.

Typically, in audio listening environments, the goal is to lower the noise floor in the room to 20dB NR or NC. Considering a quiet home has a noise floor in the 33 to 35dB range which is not an overwhelming task. However, what you are seeking to do is quite different. The dynamic range in audio playback is 22dB to 115dB. So, in essence, you want to reduce the transmission of sound out of your space from 115dB down to below 33 to 35dB ... a big challenge. In practice the generally acceptable practice is to reduce sound transmission out of the room to the extent you do not raise the noise floor in an adjacent space by more than 3dB. That is a big challenge and not an inexpensive one particularly in an already finished space.

In the end, you need to decide just how big an increase in sound level is acceptable outside the room and what your budget is to make this happen. I should also note that whilst 115dB is a big number, many will find it more than acceptable to base their sound abatement on a reduction of about 50dB.

That, btw, is not 50dB across the board. NR, NC, and STC ratings account for human hearing sensitivity at different frequencies.

Basically, decide what you're willing to accept and build to that goal; but, as has been said before, any small gaps, oversights, and shortcuts could render all your other work moot. Commonly those problematic flanking paths include electrical boxes, light fixtures, and HVAC penetrations through your sound isolation barrier.

Thank you Dennis for your reply! I guess what I am most unsure of is if these three exterior walls are going to have any bearing on the rest of my work. I plan on sealing all electrical boxes, duct work, etc. but the logic in my mind says that DD+GG on all the walls should be enough and then full treatment on the back wall and seal everything with sound sealant.

I do have two rooms for the sound to get through before it becomes an issue in the master or other bedrooms. And honestly, I have no idea what the noise levels are outside of that space in its current state. I move in a week. It seemed quite dead in the space when I was in there, but who knows what that translates to outside the space.

My wife can handle sleeping through the TV on in the bedroom, so if that is the level at which sound is getting into the room, I don't see that as a problem.
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post #14 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 08:52 AM
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All walls will have a bearing on your work. This is an aquarium ... doesn't matter where the hole is, the water is getting out.

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post #15 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 09:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dennis Erskine View Post

All walls will have a bearing on your work. This is an aquarium ... doesn't matter where the hole is, the water is getting out.

Ahhhhhh.....got you. Makes sense. Sigh. I guess it is like you said. Need to determine what is acceptable in my mind outside of that room and go toward that goal.
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post #16 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 10:14 AM - Thread Starter
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Question on the dead vents. Obviously the supply will come from the HVAC system, can the exhaust side just empty into the attic or should I tie it into the return system on the HVAC? I didn't see that mentioned anywhere....Unless I totally missed it.
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post #17 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 11:48 AM
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The return should never be vented into the attic ... you'll affect the system pressures by doing that. You can return directly via the HVAC return system, or indirectly, by exhausting to another room in the house.

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post #18 of 35 Old 02-22-2012, 11:51 AM - Thread Starter
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The return should never be vented into the attic ... you'll affect the system pressures by doing that. You can return directly via the HVAC return system, or indirectly, by exhausting to another room in the house.

Thanks Dennis! Much appreciated.
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post #19 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
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Been thinking about the door lately and came across this piece -

http://www.homedepot.com/Doors-Windo...kuId=202964939

Would this be a solid option? (no pun intended) It's a 70 lb door for a 30" wide unit.
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post #20 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 11:44 AM
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Looks like a standard solid core door. Consider getting a door slab with no recessed panels. This is also known as a "flush" door, not to be confused with the bathroom door ...(jk)

You want the thickest door you can get (heaviest)

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post #21 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 11:52 AM - Thread Starter
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Looks like a standard solid core door. Consider getting a door slab with no recessed panels. This is also known as a "flush" door, not to be confused with the bathroom door ...(jk)

You want the thickest door you can get (heaviest)

HAhaha. Thanks Ted.

So don't consider just the weight in the decision? Go for something more like this?

http://www.homedepot.com/h_d1/N-5yc1...&storeId=10051
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post #22 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 11:58 AM
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That's a thicker door at 1 3/4", and no thinner recessed panel areas. I'd wager that slab weighs more and is therefore my pick.

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post #23 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
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That's a thicker door at 2 3/4", and no thinner recessed panel areas. I'd wager that slab weighs more and is therefore my pick.

Nice. Are there any drawbacks to me bradding some molding to the exterior of the door? If yes it isn't a problem, just would like to give it some character in the hall.

Also, I have seen some talk of people putting an additional sheet of MDF adhered to the door. Should I consider that for this door? I do plan on purchasing the automatic lower door jam.

Lastly, what is the best material/method for sealing this door?
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post #24 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 12:11 PM
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Hi there Joey,

If you look through the threads, you will find 'Another Downunder Theatre' by Peter M. He is building his theatre above a (very large) garage so you will find a plethora of advice from this thread. Jelloslug built an upstairs theatre so that may give you some ideas as well. I think Art S also built above a garage and his is an amazing space.

I am posting to reiterate the value of a well isolated room. I am nearing completion on my room (just need to sort out the screen and fabric line the room and a few other small jobs) and can assure you that effective sound isolation will increase yours (and your neighbours') enjoyment of your room dramatically.

I used Green Glue Whisper Clips (about $5.00 each and cost me about $1000 for the room), hat channel, double 5/8' drywall with Green Glue in between. For the door, I purchased a solid core door and added an inch of MDF with Green Glue. Still need to install my acoustic seal on the base of the door. For the floor, I already had timber floor boards in the room. I purchased 2 layers of 3/4 inch tongue and groove and used Green Glue between. I left a 1/4 inch gap around the perimeter of the floor and the walls and later filled this with acoustic caulk. This has proved very effective in stopping flanking from the floor area. Order plenty of caulk... you'll need it and it's pretty cheap.

I have two Danley DTS-10 subs and a 7 channel system. Even at reference levels, the only thing you can hear from outside my home is some rattling of the gutters. It really works. Above reference levels and my kitchen cabinet glassware does rattle a little but compared to what is going on in the room, that's pretty amazing.

It really is worth the extra effort and money at the start of your project. It lays a very good foundation for the rest of your room.

Oh, and if you can afford someone to hang drywall for you... do it! My least favorite part of my build by a country mile!

Follow my thread here
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post #25 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 12:12 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joeybutts View Post

Are there any drawbacks to me bradding some molding to the exterior of the door?

No problem at all. You can add anything you like, as it could only make the door heavier, technically. Make sure the pieces are sealed to the door to prevent rattles.

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Originally Posted by joeybutts View Post

Also, I have seen some talk of people putting an additional sheet of MDF adhered to the door. Should I consider that for this door? I do plan on purchasing the automatic lower door jam.

This is a particularly useful option if you plan to use only a single door.

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Originally Posted by joeybutts View Post

Lastly, what is the best material/method for sealing this door?

Commercial after-market seals are available and vary in performance.

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post #26 of 35 Old 03-06-2012, 01:18 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Dingaling2004 View Post

Hi there Joey,

If you look through the threads..

... do it! My least favorite part of my build by a country mile!

Dingaling - I can't thank you enough for your insight! Sounds like I'm doing the whole room!! I will definitely look for those threads!!

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Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

No problem at all. You can add anything you like, as it could only make the door heavier, technically. Make sure the pieces are sealed to the door to prevent rattles.



This is a particularly useful option if you plan to use only a single door.



Commercial after-market seals are available and vary in performance.

Thank you so much Ted for all your help. I will add a layer of mass with green glue and also to the moldings on the outside and find the necessary seals.

ooooooooo excited to see how much the door helps by itself before I start gutting this bad boy.

Thank you gentlemen for your invaluable information.
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post #27 of 35 Old 03-19-2012, 06:28 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally had an opportunity in the midst of moving into the new home and having the whip cracked on me to get things done, I was able to clean up a bit in the man room and get a chair, my old 55" TV, my Khanspires and Dayton RS Center hooked up and running.

The room is actually very well sealed off from the rest of the house. With the hollow core door closed, the SPL level immediately outside the door is at a normal level while the system is playing at reference level. Obviously I don't have the subwoofers in there yet, but has me optimistic on how well it will be soundproofed when I get done treating it. Downstairs you can just make out noise, I'd say it is whisper level.

And actually, The most sound I hear outside of the room is actually outside of the house! I think that is because the venting for the attic is right above Pinto Place.

I'm going to do as someone else did....I can't remember who it was, but they sealed the holes in the hollow core and then filled it with sand and the door weighed in excess of 100 lbs they said. So I'm going to try that out first and see what happens, along with gasketing the door frame to completely seal it. Cheap and quick way to see just what I am working with.
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post #28 of 35 Old 05-07-2013, 08:20 AM - Thread Starter
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Question. Should I stuff the spaces around the bottom and sides of the shower/tub liners with some kind of insulation to help with soundproofing? Also, is there any benefit from me using just OC703 or does the cost savings out witgh the performance benefit with using batting?



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post #29 of 35 Old 05-07-2013, 08:31 AM
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Normal, uncompressed installation of standard (thermal) fiberglass batt would work

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post #30 of 35 Old 05-07-2013, 08:36 AM - Thread Starter
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So it would be beneficial for me to throw some batts around those shower liners. Great to hear. Thanks Ted.

Should be putting up the staggered stud wall shortly.
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