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Another soundproofing and insulation thread

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
So I'm in the phase where I'm ready to put some sound barrier/insulation up in the basement ceiling and walls. My Theater is not an enclosed room, it's a long room and on one side I'll be building the theater and on the other side, a game room. I'm planning on putting 4" mineral fiber insulation between the joists and doubling the drywall on the ceiling. on the walls, I'll just use regular r-13 fiberglass insulation. My reason for emphasizing the ceiling is because I hear a lot of noise from the upstairs through the hardwood floor.

I'm on a limited budget so my reason for creating the thread is to get some feedback on my design. I'm open to cost saving and efficient method to lower the sound from travelling upstairs.

Thanks.
post #2 of 60
I'd anticipate you would score about 2 on a 10 point scale with your plans, If you want a higher score here are the various strategies.

http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing-solutions/soundproof-a-ceiling/

Also keep in mind that once you do the ceiling then you will just hear the upstairs through the walls and other pathways like the stairs.
post #3 of 60

So I have a similar concept in my theater...and I have a double 3/4" drywall ceiling with R-30 between the joists.

 

I think my soundproofing is a 2 out of 10, so I agree with big.  It does help a enough to no longer bother me, but by no means it is soundproof.

 

Based on your room design...IMHO give up on any significant sound proofing, just won't be enough.

post #4 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

I'd anticipate you would score about 2 on a 10 point scale with your plans, If you want a higher score here are the various strategies.
http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing-solutions/soundproof-a-ceiling/
Also keep in mind that once you do the ceiling then you will just hear the upstairs through the walls and other pathways like the stairs.


hmmm... 2? Looks like to score high, I need to spend of a lot of money and labor hours.
In terms of insulation, how much does it help to use mineral fiber vs fiberglass insulation? I will probably add green glue in between the drywall. how much does that help?

Thanks for your valuable input.
Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast68 View Post

So I have a similar concept in my theater...and I have a double 3/4" drywall ceiling with R-30 between the joists.

I think my soundproofing is a 2 out of 10, so I agree with big.  It does help a enough to no longer bother me, but by no means it is soundproof.

Based on your room design...IMHO give up on any significant sound proofing, just won't be enough.

toofast, compared to before, how much noise do you hear upstairs when you're playing a movie in your basement? didn't think this part would be this confusing.
post #5 of 60
As Big mentioned, the sound will just travel through the walls and stairs, so no real advantage to using Green Glue.
post #6 of 60


My idea may not be popular, as it seems many are against it here, but it worked very well for me.

I used carpet tiles on the ceiling, and thicker pile carpet for the walls. All in black to absorb the light as well as the sound. Under the carpet on both the walls and ceiling I installed 1/2" thick sound board I purchased from from builders mart.

I can really crank my 7.1 system up, and the room really blocks the sound well, as it is very hard to hear anything outside the room. Meanwhile, the sound quality IMO is excellent. Members often mention on here that it kills your highs and mids, but I beg to differ, as my highs and mids are quite crisp and pronounced, and fit well with the thundering bass of my sub.

At any rate, the carpet, soundboard, and room setup past the electronics were fairly inexpensive, and I am very pleased with it.
post #7 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by spider9 View Post


hmmm... 2? Looks like to score high, I need to spend of a lot of money and labor hours.
In terms of insulation, how much does it help to use mineral fiber vs fiberglass insulation? I will probably add green glue in between the drywall. how much does that help?
Thanks for your valuable input.
toofast, compared to before, how much noise do you hear upstairs when you're playing a movie in your basement? didn't think this part would be this confusing.

 

So it is fairly loud still..this is the problem in an open type design.  It is a bit quieter up stairs, but nothing significant.  Remember even green glue in itself does not work unless you have 100% sound containment.  That means vents, outlets, light boxes, doors, etc...

 

Sorry....I think you are fighting a losing battle to expect significant reduction in sound upstairs, without a room in a room design and then all the work that goes along with it.

post #8 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyisflying View Post


My idea may not be popular, as it seems many are against it here, but it worked very well for me.
I used carpet tiles on the ceiling, and thicker pile carpet for the walls. All in black to absorb the light as well as the sound. Under the carpet on both the walls and ceiling I installed 1/2" thick sound board I purchased from from builders mart.
I can really crank my 7.1 system up, and the room really blocks the sound well, as it is very hard to hear anything outside the room. Meanwhile, the sound quality IMO is excellent. Members often mention on here that it kills your highs and mids, but I beg to differ, as my highs and mids are quite crisp and pronounced, and fit well with the thundering bass of my sub.
At any rate, the carpet, soundboard, and room setup past the electronics were fairly inexpensive, and I am very pleased with it.

That's a pretty cool setup. I like it very much.

Quote:
Originally Posted by toofast68 View Post

So it is fairly loud still..this is the problem in an open type design.  It is a bit quieter up stairs, but nothing significant.  Remember even green glue in itself does not work unless you have 100% sound containment.  That means vents, outlets, light boxes, doors, etc...

Sorry....I think you are fighting a losing battle to expect significant reduction in sound upstairs, without a room in a room design and then all the work that goes along with it.

Thanks for the response. I'll see what I can afford and willing to adopt.
post #9 of 60
Thread Starter 
I'm considering resilient channel for the ceiling. found a local store that carries the channel. Any specific instructions on installing them? I was told 24" OC would be okay. Is that agreeable?

Thanks.
post #10 of 60
You will need whisper clips...


Here is some info.. - http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing-products/soundproofing-clips/whisperclip/
post #11 of 60
Resilient channel is a no-no.

You want hat channel hung on isolation clips as SoulMan linked to. There are multiple clip options for different budgets.
post #12 of 60
Thread Starter 
The more I read, the more confused I get. these clips are pricey.
I can add these clips, and channels but I will still have the weak links (door, vent) that will ruin all these extra work and cost.

for duct pipes, I found dict muffler and I'm thinking of replacing the door with an exterior door.
insulate the ceiling with 2" mineral fiber and double drywall. what do you guys think?

Thanks.
post #13 of 60
I think you need some help. I can send you some articles if you PM me your email.
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyisflying View Post


My idea may not be popular, as it seems many are against it here, but it worked very well for me.
I used carpet tiles on the ceiling, and thicker pile carpet for the walls. All in black to absorb the light as well as the sound. Under the carpet on both the walls and ceiling I installed 1/2" thick sound board I purchased from from builders mart.
I can really crank my 7.1 system up, and the room really blocks the sound well, as it is very hard to hear anything outside the room. Meanwhile, the sound quality IMO is excellent. Members often mention on here that it kills your highs and mids, but I beg to differ, as my highs and mids are quite crisp and pronounced, and fit well with the thundering bass of my sub.
At any rate, the carpet, soundboard, and room setup past the electronics were fairly inexpensive, and I am very pleased with it.
Absorbing sound in your theater room should be a priority, for 5.1 & 7.1, you want the sound heard from the source speakers, not a reflection. This is why many high end installs have sound panels, generally set up at key angles to your seating so they can absorb the reflections. In your case, you made your entire area a sound panel, which must be awesome to watch movies in! Your going to lose a lot on just listening to music however, as many of the higher freqs rely on reflection to be heard...think of an orchestra hall, many are roundish in nature to promote reflection and minimize loss, the goal is to envelope the listener with the music; for a movie though you want to be surrounded by events to simulate you being in the middle of the action, ie distinct sounds coming from specific locations around you, once that sound or event has passed, it needs to be gone. If its bouncing around, it makes it harder to distinguish direction and becomes "muddy"

Many people confuse soundproofing with home theater, soundproofing is to keep outside sounds out AND keep originating sounds from disturbing others. A separate aspect for home theater is sound absorption, which puts an emphasis on speaker placement, audio type, and minimizing reflections. It's not uncommon to do both, I am attempting to do both on my build, although I might be scoring low on the impact noise for soundproofing, I'll know more this weekend when I finish up my build.
post #15 of 60
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBleedPurple View Post

Absorbing sound in your theater room should be a priority, for 5.1 & 7.1, you want the sound heard from the source speakers, not a reflection. This is why many high end installs have sound panels, generally set up at key angles to your seating so they can absorb the reflections. In your case, you made your entire area a sound panel, which must be awesome to watch movies in! Your going to lose a lot on just listening to music however, as many of the higher freqs rely on reflection to be heard...think of an orchestra hall, many are roundish in nature to promote reflection and minimize loss, the goal is to envelope the listener with the music; for a movie though you want to be surrounded by events to simulate you being in the middle of the action, ie distinct sounds coming from specific locations around you, once that sound or event has passed, it needs to be gone. If its bouncing around, it makes it harder to distinguish direction and becomes "muddy"
Many people confuse soundproofing with home theater, soundproofing is to keep outside sounds out AND keep originating sounds from disturbing others. A separate aspect for home theater is sound absorption, which puts an emphasis on speaker placement, audio type, and minimizing reflections. It's not uncommon to do both, I am attempting to do both on my build, although I might be scoring low on the impact noise for soundproofing, I'll know more this weekend when I finish up my build.

Would be interested to see your build. I have plans to address the sound diffusion once I make sure I contain the sound (as much as I can within my budget) within this room. I have plans to put diffusion panels in some key areas.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j_KZ2Xm1_9I&feature=youtu.be
I took this video for everybody to look at so you know what I'm dealing with and suggest what would work for me. as I mentioned before, the weak spots are the door and duct. Ted sent me some articles and I'm working on his suggestions.
Did I mention I'm on a tight budget?

Thanks.
post #16 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by IBleedPurple View Post

... Your going to lose a lot on just listening to music however, as many of the higher freqs rely on reflection to be heard...think of an orchestra hall, many are roundish in nature to promote reflection and minimize loss, the goal is to envelope the listener with the music; for a movie though you want to be surrounded by events to simulate you being in the middle of the action, ie distinct sounds coming from specific locations around you, once that sound or event has passed, it needs to be gone. If its bouncing around, it makes it harder to distinguish direction and becomes "muddy"
Many people confuse soundproofing with home theater, soundproofing is to keep outside sounds out AND keep originating sounds from disturbing others. A separate aspect for home theater is sound absorption, which puts an emphasis on speaker placement, audio type, and minimizing reflections. It's not uncommon to do both...

Could it be better? Maybe. But after hearing my system in a local stereo shop that was specifically designed for optimal sound performance with angled walls, speaker placement and lots of money invested in ideal acoustics, I can honestly tell you that I prefer they way the setup sounds in my home theater. This goes both for movies AND music. I will say the initial test I did just to see if everything was working by playing a CD did have a sound performance less than the stereo shops room. However, once my friend came over and helped dial the speakers in adjusting specific volumes and frequencies, it definately was better than the stereo shop.

My point is, that I did it spending a fraction of what the stereo shop did for their room, and I would venture to say I spent a fraction of what others have invested as well on some of their top dollar rooms. The OP was looking for a solution to fit his budget. I believe something along the lines of what I did may be ideal.
post #17 of 60
Your room may very well sound good - but the carpet on the walls and the ceiling did exactly zero with respect to soundproofing. The 1/2" soundboard did help, in the same way that an extra layer of drywall helps - more mass. Drywall is cheaper and more massive and so produces better results for the money than more exotic materials.
post #18 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

Your room may very well sound good - but the carpet on the walls and the ceiling did exactly zero with respect to soundproofing. The 1/2" soundboard did help, in the same way that an extra layer of drywall helps - more mass. Drywall is cheaper and more massive and so produces better results for the money than more exotic materials.

What are you talking about? The soundboard was cheaper than drywall. And there is no way the drywall would come close to the soundproofing the soundboard gives.

Past that, I would also disagree that carpet on the walls and ceiling did "zero" soundproofing. Just walk into a walk in closet filled with hanging clothes. Try turning on a radio and put it 10ft away from you at the end of the closet. Keep the volume at the same level and bring the radio into an open room. The difference in sound volume is obvious. It is the same concept with thick carpet on walls (and ceiling).
post #19 of 60
I don't know where you shop, but if you found soundboard for about 8 bucks a sheet then I'd like to go there as their 5/8" drywall would probably be about 3 dollars.

You're confusing soundproofing with in room acoustics. A radio may sound quieter in a closet full of clothes versus a bare room due to the clothes helping to tame any reflections, but whether you stand outside a closet or room you're still going to hear that radio. The clothes will do almost nothing to stop the sound of the radio from leaving the closet.

If you'd like to learn more about the four elements of soundproofing, please read this very informative article.

http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing101/4-elements-of-soundproofing-for-construction/

As you'll see, soundboard and carpet don't really help with anything on that list except absorption which is the element that has the least noticeable impact on soundproofing.

Edit: I'd also like to add this very informative article about the use of soundboard to soundproof a room.

http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing-articles/should-i-use-sound-board-in-my-room/
Edited by aaustin - 1/12/13 at 11:21am
post #20 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by aaustin View Post

I don't know where you shop, but if you found soundboard for about 8 bucks a sheet then I'd like to go there as their 5/8" drywall would probably be about 3 dollars.

You're confusing soundproofing with in room acoustics. A radio may sound quieter in a closet full of clothes versus a bare room due to the clothes helping to tame any reflections, but whether you stand outside a closet or room you're still going to hear that radio. The clothes will do almost nothing to stop the sound of the radio from leaving the closet.

If you'd like to learn more about the four elements of soundproofing, please read this very informative article.

http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing101/4-elements-of-soundproofing-for-construction/

As you'll see, soundboard and carpet don't really help with anything on that list except absorption which is the element that has the least noticeable impact on soundproofing.

Edit: I'd also like to add this very informative article about the use of soundboard to soundproof a room.

http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing-articles/should-i-use-sound-board-in-my-room/

When my builder was buying materials for my house, we looked at how much a sheet of drywall was, and how much the soundboard was. The soundboard was cheaper. I am certain there are many types that cost different amounts.

I never said the closet idea would prevent sound from traveling. Just as you put it that it would quiet the sound.

There are many articles on sound proofing. Many people with their own ideas as well. What I used worked. It worked very well in fact. My home theater room is proof of that. You don't have to agree with me. I know there are several other ways to go about it. Some of them would probably go so far is to make the room almost 100% sound proof. However, mine is very quiet outside, and I did it on a budget that was what the OP was looking for.
post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyisflying View Post

I never said the closet idea would prevent sound from traveling.

I'm very confused about what your point is then, as soundproofing is defined as preventing sound from traveling in and out of a space. So what your saying is that your closet argument makes no sense?

If your happy with your space then I guess that is all that matters, but this is a public forum and those reading but not posting need to be sure that the information they are reading is accurate. I provided the factual evidence showing the physics of soundproofing and why soundboard and carpet won't help. Whether you choose to understand that is up to you.

A quick search on this forum will result in many other soundproofing discussions that support what I have said, including input from many professionals who do this for a living.

I hope that you continue to enjoy your room.
post #22 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyisflying View Post

What are you talking about? The soundboard was cheaper than drywall. And there is no way the drywall would come close to the soundproofing the soundboard gives.

What is the weight of the soundboard you purchased? If its lighter than drywall for the equivalent square feet, then it would be worse. If its heaver, then it would be better. That's really all there is to it.
Quote:
Past that, I would also disagree that carpet on the walls and ceiling did "zero" soundproofing. Just walk into a walk in closet filled with hanging clothes. Try turning on a radio and put it 10ft away from you at the end of the closet. Keep the volume at the same level and bring the radio into an open room. The difference in sound volume is obvious. It is the same concept with thick carpet on walls (and ceiling).

When we talk about soundproofing here, the implicit context is that we are talking about soundproofing challenging Bass frequencies. It is relatively trivial to soundproof higher frequencies, such as those that might come from a portable radio. So its not an apples to apples analogy.

Also, I would hazard a guess that a closet full of clothes is better at soundproofing than a thin layer of carpet is!
post #23 of 60
aaustin, you said the clothes would have nothing to do with stopping the sound from leaving the closet. When you say this, it would seem my example was meant to show the closet idea would silense the sound completely. This was not my intent, and why I believe you are confused. I said it would show an obvious difference. Not that it would cancel the radio sound out.

The sound board is more dense than drywall. I don't see how they would sell sounbaord successfully knowing a piece of drywall would block the sound better.

Its funny how you guys like to make lots of technical references (and I am sure most are accurate). But when someone does something not by the book as I did, and yet am succesfull, it somehow HAS to be wrong.

My replies were for spider9, and others like him looking to do something like this on a budget. I nearly was showing them they had more options that would work without spending in large amounts.
post #24 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by kromkamp View Post

When we talk about soundproofing here, the implicit context is that we are talking about soundproofing challenging Bass frequencies.

I wasn't aware of that. GG is only rated down to 80hz. The really low stuff like 20hz is next to impossible to contain. Had I known thousands of dollars spent on clips & GG were just for a narrow range of challenging bass frequencies, I would have carpeted my walls and called it a day.
post #25 of 60
moneyisflying,

Let me start by saying that I am not trying to chew you out, but merely ensure that everyone is as informed as they can be. I enjoy discussions like this as I think everyone benefits from them.
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyisflying View Post

The sound board is more dense than drywall. I don't see how they would sell sounbaord successfully knowing a piece of drywall would block the sound better.

Denisty is equal to mass divided by volume. A 1/2" sheet of soundboard and a 1/2" sheet of drywall have the same volume, thus the only factor that affects their densities in relation to each other is their mass. Drywall is heavier, and is thus more dense.

I tried to find an STC number for one layer of soundboard to compare it directly with one layer of drywall, but all the documentation relates to soundboard covered with a layer of drywall.

Addressing why they continue to sell it, soundboard is an older product that was made popular before the physics of soundproofing was better understood and before new technologies were made available that simply perform better for the money. I'd guess that they still sell it simply because of the name. Many people would see the word soundboard and immediately think that it is the best product.

Unfortunately we can't objectively judge how well a construction method works just by how it performs in one situation in someone's home. There's just too many other variables involved. The only way to compare things accurately is using certified lab data. Fortunately, we can do just that as tests have been done.

Lets look at two different wall structures and the isolation we get from each one. For simplicity sake, we'll say that each one is 4'x8', framed with 2x4 studs 24" on center, and contains R13 fiberglass insulation. Neither features any decoupling (though it should be mentioned that this is highly recommended as it only requires some extra 2x4's to frame a double wall). We'll also look at the costs of each wall, as that pertains to this thread.

Wall 1:

2 layers of 5/8" drywall - $18
2 tubes of Green Glue - $20

Total: $38

Wall 2:

1 layer of 1/2" soundboard - $10 (Though I've never seen it less than $20 I will give you the benefit of the doubt)
32 square feet of carpet (assume $2 a square foot) - $64

Total: $74

As we can see, wall 1 is significantly cheaper than wall 2.

Now lets look at some test data obtained at Orfield Laboratory, an NVLAP accredited lab. It must be noted that the walls tested do not directly match the ones that I have described as both sides of the wall were treated instead of just one. Also, the soundboard wall is covered with a layer of 5/8" drywall instead of carpet as I could not find any data on soundboard covered with carpet. However, the heavier weight of the drywall over the carpet would only improve the isolation numbers (there may be a very specific frequency where the carpet is actually better than the drywall in this case since whether you use drywall or carpet will affect the resonant frequency of the wall. This is looking really far into it though.) So while these numbers aren't a perfect representation of these two walls, it can give us a very good idea of how they compare to each other from an isolation standpoint.

http://www.greengluecompany.com/sites/default/files/Green_Glue_Vs_Soundboard.pdf

If you look at the graph on the first page you'll see the transmission loss vs. frequency for each wall. A higher number means more isolation.

So we can see that wall 1 performs significantly better than wall 2 for almost half the cost. Even if you found a great deal on carpet and got it for $1 a square foot, the double drywall and green glue wall is still cheaper. The performance you get for your money just isn't there with soundboard and carpet.

I'm all for not doing stuff by the book. That's how we learn and come up with new ideas. In this case, however, the evidence just doesn't hold up to the physics that we know and the tests that have been done.

Once again, I'm happy that you are enjoying your room. It looks like you have a great space to watch movies in and I know that it will continue to serve you well for a long time. smile.gif
Edited by aaustin - 1/14/13 at 9:28pm
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

I wasn't aware of that. GG is only rated down to 80hz. The really low stuff like 20hz is next to impossible to contain. Had I known thousands of dollars spent on clips & GG were just for a narrow range of challenging bass frequencies, I would have carpeted my walls and called it a day.

It isn't just for a narrow range of bass frequencies. As can be seen by the test data that I posted (as well as many other tests which can be found here: http://www.greengluecompany.com/test-data) the Green Glue construction improves isolation across the entire frequency range.
post #27 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by rabident View Post

I wasn't aware of that. GG is only rated down to 80hz. The really low stuff like 20hz is next to impossible to contain. Had I known thousands of dollars spent on clips & GG were just for a narrow range of challenging bass frequencies, I would have carpeted my walls and called it a day.

That's not what I said. First of all, Bass frequencies are not just sub-80Hz, they extend higher than that. Second of all, I still maintain that carpet has done absolutely nothing to soundproof this person's room - any soundproofing he has is from the drywall and soundboard.

But if you were only concerned to soundproof speech, or a portable sound system in your room, then yeah I would say clips and GG were probably overkill. What exactly were you trying to soundproof?
post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by moneyisflying View Post

Its funny how you guys like to make lots of technical references (and I am sure most are accurate). But when someone does something not by the book as I did, and yet am succesfull, it somehow HAS to be wrong.

No one is saying what you did is wrong - only that it was not the most cost effective way to achieve the same (or better) results, and that you are inferring that some materials are doing what they demonstrably cannot do. (In other words, they may have other benefits, just not the ones you are claiming)
Edited by kromkamp - 1/15/13 at 6:05am
post #29 of 60
I ended up putting Roxul safe n sound in my basement ceiling where my theatre room is, the room is open at one end. So I read quite a bit on the forums, to determine the cheapest way to do things. I had a 10k budget for electronics, room finishing, electrical and the such. So I purchased the equipment first (which was a mistake to some degree, but since it was a decent deal I went with it, better to ask forgiveness then permission). I loaded a movie and turned my Onkyo up to about -15 to -18, which was really a good level for me without killing my ears, and most that can be heard upstairs is the bass. If you want the best approach at minimal cost, setup the speakers and turn it up as loud as you would want to hear the movie. Then go upstairs and listen to what you hear. Place your insulation in ceiling, and go test again, if you feel the need to go further, then go further. But if you are trying to make a soundproof room so you don't hear anything or feel anything, then you don't want to cheap out. Insulation batts are probably the cheapest and best thing you can do. The better half noticed when she came down to the room after I put the insulation up, that it deadened the echoing from upstairs. You may also want to look at a acoustic treatments as well, they will help reduce some reflections. Determine your budget first and go from there.
post #30 of 60
As a side note- there are 4 things you can do to pursue soundproofing:

Decoupling

Absorption (insulation)

Mass

Damping

Out of these 4 elements, insulation does the least by a fair margin. It's good to do, but nothing significant results. Another reason to just use the cheapest insulation available- fiberglass.
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