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So I opened up my finished basement ceiling to start scoping out my HT room...

post #1 of 26
Thread Starter 
I first need to figure out what I'm going to do about the existing electrical and recessed lighting. The house was built in '80-81 but I'm not certain the basement was finished at the same time...

Ceiling is at 7'. Some pics:



Recessed lighting has to go since I will be insulating to soundproof as much as I can for the LR above this room:


I wouldn't think these boxes are ok to stay if I finish the ceiling with tile...


Ceiling depth:
post #2 of 26
If you are using a suspended tile ceiling with easily removable tiles I think those electrical junction boxes can stay.
post #3 of 26
Not knowing your initial layout, and seeing that you have ceiling height at 8 feet, I'd consider sheetrock on the ceiling, and running soffits on the sides of rooms.

For the junction box, you have few options:
1) Leave a little cutout in the drywall (3x3 in or 4x4 in) below the box, where the box can be accessed. You can use a custom cut piece of ceiling tile with brackets to hold it.

2) Re-work the electricity so that a box no longer exists - least preferred route.

3) Lower the box so that it is part of the drywall. Put a blank wall-plate over it.


You can always tile the ceiling per earlier post, I'm just not sure how low it needs to be from the ceiling studs. In my basement I went full sheetrock in the ceiling with soffits. All HVAC, electrical, plumbing are in the soffits. I do have a few cutouts where I needed water or gas valve access.

Get a bunch of opinions, check codes.
post #4 of 26
Thread Starter 
Thanks, the ceiling height is 7 feet. The tiles would be stapled to those furring strips, just the same as the stuff I'm removing now.

I'll post a full thread when I get going, just trying to anticipate my problems first before I set my mind on lighting.
post #5 of 26
QUOTE: "Recessed lighting has to go since I will be insulating to soundproof as much as I can for the LR above this room"

Ceiling tiles won't accomplish the soundproofing. Consider drywall.
post #6 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

QUOTE: "Recessed lighting has to go since I will be insulating to soundproof as much as I can for the LR above this room"

Ceiling tiles won't accomplish the soundproofing. Consider drywall.

I'm assuming insulation in addition to the tiles will help, which is why I need to change the lights.
post #7 of 26
They will help a little. You are not isolating casual conversation...
post #8 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

They will help a little. You are not isolating casual conversation...

Ok, maybe I'm not understanding. Right now there's no insulation whatsoever and old ceiling tiles.

Doesn't adding insulation improve soundproofing? Or is it the sheetrock that does the bulk of the soundproofing and insulation would only help temperature control?

Am I not improving anything by adding insulation where there is none now?
post #9 of 26
the insulation mainly helps with resonance and maybe some proofing, while the main proofing comes from the drywall.... but I could be wrong.
post #10 of 26
OK new tiles and insulation is better than what you have now, yes. Drywall will do worlds more than the tiles. The insulation is a good thing, tiles are not at all recommended for soundproofing. They have insufficient mass and are not sealed.

Drywall, on the other hand ($8 a 4x8 sheet) is heavier and sealed when installed.
post #11 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ok yes, I expect zero soundproofing from the new tiles. I was hoping insulation would make a decent improvement without having to drywall though.
post #12 of 26
not really. especially in the low frequencies
post #13 of 26
They make recessed lighting that is compatible with insulation.

If you are wanting to isolate sound, ceiling tiles are definitely not the way to go. Drywall it (5/8 inch) and insulation. IF you truly want to block sound, double drywall it with a green glue layer in between.
post #14 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 View Post

They make recessed lighting that is compatible with insulation.

Yes I have some picked out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Johnsteph10 View Post

If you are wanting to isolate sound, ceiling tiles are definitely not the way to go. Drywall it (5/8 inch) and insulation. IF you truly want to block sound, double drywall it with a green glue layer in between.

The goal is to improve on the current result. I'm fully aware that ceiling tiles will make no difference. Thanks for the recommendation.
Since most of the lighting and electrical are neither appropriate for insulation, nor even to code, I think I'm going to end up ripping all of it out.

I'll start looking at soffit setups for some ideas.
post #15 of 26
If you should decide on drywall, the larger the diameter of the ceiling can, the worse it will be for isolation. Sorry if that's an obvious point.
post #16 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

If you should decide on drywall, the larger the diameter of the ceiling can, the worse it will be for isolation. Sorry if that's an obvious point.

So, many 4" cans in the soffits, plus some track lighting in the middle then?

Or, forget soffits and just do sconces + track lighting?

The room is 22' deep by 13' wide with 7' ceiling.

Here's a preliminary drawing, 1st row is at 8', 2nd at 13'.

post #17 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrebnh View Post

So, many 4" cans in the soffits, plus some track lighting in the middle then?

Or, forget soffits and just do sconces + track lighting?

If you're doing the tiles, I wouldn't worry an awful lot. But technically you're better off with track lighting and soffit lighting. Wall sconces are holes in the walls themselves, but not as bad, especially since you're concerned about sound travelling up.
post #18 of 26
Thread Starter 
Ted, I just found this thread which further answered my questions, so thanks.

Here's my plan so far based on the reading:

1. Remove existing recessed lighting and associated electrical.
2. Run electrical to two boxes flush with planned DD ceiling to connect track lighting in 2 locations such as this system.
3. Avoid sconces if possible. If not possible, plan on 2 per side wall.
4. Remove wood furrings and replace with RSIC-V solution.
5. Stuff ceiling cavity with R19.
6. install 2 layers of 5/8" drywall.

Sound ok?
post #19 of 26
Nice looking track lights. Classy alternative to can lights. Wall sconces are really OK, especially if you seal the boxes in the wall with caulk to make airtight. And some R13 insulation in the walls.

If not using a damping material in between the drywall, I would suggest the RSIC-1 clip. More expensive, but they damp a bit and help you in the lower frequencies.
post #20 of 26
Thread Starter 
Borrowed the lights from DanKaps' thread.

I'll lose an inch of ceiling with the RSIC + DD, but I'm more concerned about the lights hanging down...7 feet isn't much to start with.

maybe this'll work, I'll have to look tomorrow:

post #21 of 26
Note the 2x4 blocking. The joists are 16" on center, but you want rows of Hat Track every 24". So the 2x4 blocking allows you to place the next row of Hat Track anywhere between those joists, allowing you to maintain 24" spacing between the rows of Hat Track.
post #22 of 26
Thread Starter 
Am I obligated to move those existing junction boxes to be flush with a new double-drywalled ceiling?
post #23 of 26
You should be able to use box entenders, if that's your question.
post #24 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ted White View Post

You should be able to use box entenders, if that's your question.

Well no, but those are good to know about too.

What I was asking was: since these pre-existing junction boxes are currently flush to the joists and not the ceiling (thus not meeting today's code), am I obligate to get them code compliant by remounting them to be flush with the drywall to come?
post #25 of 26
Quote:
Originally Posted by pierrebnh View Post

I wouldn't think these boxes are ok to stay if I finish the ceiling with tile...

Looking at that box, extenders aren't going to help. It's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like there is enough slack on the cables to allow you to move the box to the new ceiling level.

If there is, just put a new box (or move that one) down and cover it with a round 'ceiling-fan' cover plate. Paint it with the ceiling, nobody will ever notice.

It is a path for sound to get out, so if you want to get really fancy you could build a little box around it. Search for 'light box' in this forum for ideas there. Otherwise, just seal all the openings into the box to keep it airtight.

Hopefully all the boxes you want to move have enough slack.
post #26 of 26
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by pmeyer View Post

Looking at that box, extenders aren't going to help. It's hard to tell for sure, but it looks like there is enough slack on the cables to allow you to move the box to the new ceiling level.

If there is, just put a new box (or move that one) down and cover it with a round 'ceiling-fan' cover plate. Paint it with the ceiling, nobody will ever notice.

It is a path for sound to get out, so if you want to get really fancy you could build a little box around it. Search for 'light box' in this forum for ideas there. Otherwise, just seal all the openings into the box to keep it airtight.

Hopefully all the boxes you want to move have enough slack.

Looking at them again tonight, I think I am going to move them to a code-compliant setup. The slack appears ok. Thanks for the advice.

I've got all the old cans out and 3 new ones (H5ICAT) in, with 3 more to go. I brought a trim piece home to check out in situ, but I'm not sure what i"m going to end up with yet.

Thanks for the help so far!
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