I've dreamed of having a dedicated theater / gaming room for years, and now the time has finally come for me to start working on it. This room will be part of a larger build that includes finishing my basement.
Here is a picture of the overall layout I am shooting for:
Here is a link to an Imgur album containing renderings of my final target for the basement (colors/materials subject to change):
Here is an image of what I began with a few weeks ago:
The biggest obstacle starting off was the HVAC trunk line that ran right down the middle of the basement, as well as the ductwork that extended off of it to the registers on the first floor. The distance from the cement floor to the ceiling joist is only 8ft, so if I soffited around the HVAC trunk as-is, the theater room would simply not work out. After asking for advice in this thread
, I decided to pay a contractor to move the trunk line to the front wall so that I could soffit around it without it getting in the way. Thanks to bruzer79 for this suggestion. I also took this opportunity to have a return vent installed in the basement (two supply vents were already supplying air to the basement, but no return existed).
Here is how the basement looks after the trunk line was moved:
Now, the real fun can begin. I want to begin framing soon, but I need to figure out several things on the front end before I can start. That said, I have some questions and would very much appreciate input from all of the very smart people on this forum.
1) How to extend ceiling joists?
This is a pic of the ceiling in the future theater room:
As you can see, I am going to have to build the ceiling a good 8-9 inches lower than the floor joists in order to clear all of the obstructions. What is the best way for me to extend the floor joists down for framing the ceiling? I've tried all sorts of search terms to find an answer on Google, but I'm coming up short. I considered just doing a complete room-within-a-room and building a new ceiling based on the newly framed wall; however, unless I'm overlooking something, this will require me to drop the ceiling another 3.5" as the studs will have to run completely under all of the obstructions. If I can use the existing joists I can have the "extended" joists end close to where the obstructions end, and the drywall can sit almost flush against the lowest obstruction.
2) Can I frame directly against the cinderblock wall?
I assumed there would be one "right" way to frame out a basement wall... holy crap was I wrong. I've seen people argue for and against vapor barriers, fiberglass insulation, etc. etc. all across the internet. Here's the deal - I want to spend as little money on materials as possible, but still maintain quality. I've done a few vapor tests on the floor and walls of my basement, and I have absolutely no issue with moisture build-up on either the walls or ceiling. Is it okay for me to frame directly against the cinderblock walls and then fill in the studs with fiberglass insulation? If I can avoid spending money on XPS board it would definitely be preferable.
Ideally, I would like to soundproof the theater room as part of it will be directly under the master bedroom upstairs. However, I don't want to spend a ton of money on soundproofing if I can avoid it. I also want to preserve as much space within the room as possible, as the headroom with a single sheet of drywall right against the ceiling obstructions is going to be right at 86".
I was originally planning to use isolation clips all around, as well as 3 sheets of drywall. The more I think about it though, the more I'm considering just doing the standard one sheet of drywall all around with no iso clips (plus fiberglass insulation). I'm just not sure I want to shell out the extra money and then still have to stress out about flanking via the AV closet, ventilation, electrical panel that happens to be on the wall of the theater room, etc. Just how much of a difference does an extra sheet of drywall make? Or how about iso clips + 2 sheets of drywall? Is there any way for me to do a room-within-a-room and preserve the ceiling height?
Basically, I am trying to figure out if soundproofing is "worth it" in my situation. Realistically, I won't be cranking the sound up late at night anyway unless my wife is still awake. I can always use headphones late at night if absolutely necessary. I just don't want to regret skipping out on soundproofing later...
Currently, there is one supply vent that provides air to the theater room area. I realize that this provides a means for sound to escape upstairs, but I think for comfort's sake I'm going to leave the supply vent where it's at. The return line for the basement is also in the theater room area, but I am going to have the HVAC guy come back out and move it into the closet that will sit to the right of the theater room (see the layout
Also in the layout you'll see that I plan to have an AV closet in the back of the theater room. My intent is to have this closet vent hot air out into the rest of the finished basement using a few 120mm fans or something similar. Will this provide enough air circulation to keep the theater room comfortable? Should I worry about heat from the projector? Is it worth building a soffit for the projector in order to keep the heat out of the theater room?
I know that if I end up doing hardcore soundproofing I'll need to consider building a dead-vent for the "return" air.
SUBFLOOR / FLOORING
As I mentioned previously, I have had absolutely no moisture issues in the basement. As much as I want to save money, I still feel that a subfloor is worthwhile. After doing a lot of reading in this forum, I'm leaning toward using Delta FL. Does anyone have any comments for/against Delta FL? My current plan is to do laminate flooring everywhere but the theater room, and then (obviously) do carpeting in there.
I think that's all of the questions I have right now, although I'm sure I'll have plenty more throughout the build. Any input is much appreciated, even if it's unrelated to the questions I asked above.