Third Time’s a Charm Theater Build - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 42 Old 10-02-2018, 06:05 AM - Thread Starter
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Third Time’s a Charm Theater Build

So, this is my 3rd home theater.

Well, I’m not sure the first can be considered a build. I was still renting and didn’t even have a projector screen.

The 2nd was a long process, but relatively simple. It was built into an existing finished basement, so nothing really custom except wiring. It had built in surround, rear, and center speakers. There were wall outlets for the front speakers, which proved to look very clean. I ceiling mounted the projector and painted the projector wall and overhang almost-black. The components were hidden away in a Middle Atlantic rack in the utility room. It was a good system, but I know it can be better.

I lived in that house 8 years and sold it this year and moved pretty close by. I’m glad I didn’t invest a ton in the theater because, while the new owner was excited about it, he also wasn’t savvy enough to know the difference on anything.

The new house is by the water, so it doesn’t have an underground basement. The garage and basement is the first floor and living space is above.

The basement itself is 13.8 x 28 with standard 8’ ceilings. It’s half finished right now. It’s framed, insulated, and has wiring/lights/power outlets. It’s got full patio door and one window. There’s a closet adjacent to one side that could qualify as a place to house the components. There’s also a roughed our but unfinished bathroom, but I figure I’ll leave that alone for when I sell the house. Will post photos at some point, but it’s a bit of a mess now with all our stuff stored down there after moving. I will also be diagramming the space.

So, I figure I have some decisions to make soon as I’d like to start chipping away. Electrical being the first. Budget wise, I don’t want to go crazy, but I do want to go a bit further than last time.

Sound proofing is not a huge deal. It’s under a kitchen and dining room. It wasn’t a big problem in the old place and that was a smaller house. The only problem in that house was the utility closet was next to the theater and that made a lot of noise. But the utilities in this house are separated by that unfinished bathroom so there isn’t much sound transmission.

However I am interested in things that help marginally on sound proofing as I believe that will improve the sound. I also am interested in acoustic treatment of some sort.

Caveat: I have very little time to do anything myself, but I do know good contractors that can do the work. My electrician has experience with home theaters and did my last one, though my drywall guy hasn’t done anything crazy.

It’s going to be a full 7.2.4 Atmos system. I’ll likely get my center from Noble (loved my last one) and all surround/height channels from Aperion. I have Swam 6.2 mains I really like. But am debating going in-wall Noble for those too. I will say the Noble seemed to match them pretty well tonally.

Seating wise I’ll probably stick to my old sectional but am considering going all theater seating or combo sofa/theater with a riser. I am assuming it’s not a huge deal to put the riser in later as long as I take note of what carpet was used.

Going to paint the projector wall black and ceilings black. Side walls dark grey. Carpet medium to dark grey.

I’ve seen suggestions to go with at least 5/8” drywall. I’m assuming there are considerations with how recessed lights are mounted with extra clearance? And the existing switches and outlets will need adjustment?

Next up:

- Pre-wiring for all 11 speakers, 2 subwoofers, HDMI cable for projector, power outlet for projector
- Figuring out wherever the components will go
- Wiring 6-8 recessed lights (still have to pick those out)

Any suggestions/advice would be greatly appreciated!

Last edited by mkiv808; 10-02-2018 at 06:09 AM.
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post #2 of 42 Old 10-02-2018, 01:33 PM
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This is just the tip of the iceberg, but a few things stick out.

If there is any chance of adding a riser (or stage near the screen) later, buy the carpet now and store it somewhere for later use. If you don't, you stand a good chance that it will be discontinued and unavailable.

Plan on multiple dimming circuits for your lighting so that can adjust the levels of lights in different areas of the room independently.

Use conduit for your projector and make it as large as possible. Cables fail and technologies change quickly. It isn't a question of replacing or updating the signal cable someday, it is a question of when.

You don't need to do much with your lights, switches or outlets with 5/8" drywall, just mount the boxes to the studs so that they stick out 1/8" further so that they are flush with the surface. If you are at all serious about sound isolation, there is much more that you can do. Some research is in order.
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Last edited by DaveClement; 10-02-2018 at 02:28 PM. Reason: typo
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post #3 of 42 Old 10-02-2018, 02:53 PM - Thread Starter
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Third Time’s a Charm Theater Build

Thank you!

I had the same thought on the carpet.

I’ve been reading up on sound insulation and much of it might be overkill for my application. I’d like to keep sound out of the room more than I care about sound leaving the room. I’m also very interested in acoustic treatment within the room when the time comes.

I’ll post some photos of the ceiling soon, but it looks to be foil. Are there better alternatives? I would think good absorbent insulation would also help the sound on the in-wall speakers. Maybe append the foil with fiberglass?
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post #4 of 42 Old 10-02-2018, 05:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Oops. I was wrong. No insulation in ceiling.
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post #5 of 42 Old 10-02-2018, 06:30 PM
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The foil facing on the insulation and ducts is probably is there as a vapor barrier. As you will learn with your soundproofing research, neither the foil nor the insulation will do much of anything to block sound.

The soundproofing thread that is stickeyed to the top of the forum has a lot of useful information, although it has become bloated over time.

The two videos below are a great source for acoustic treatments and speaker placement.



If the videos do not play, click where it says YouTube in the lower right corner to open in a new YouTube window.
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post #6 of 42 Old 10-03-2018, 02:34 PM - Thread Starter
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Will definitely watch those.

Here's a thought: for the glass patio slider, would it be feasible to buy some Guilford of Maine fabric and have a custom shade made by a curtain maker?
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post #7 of 42 Old 10-08-2018, 05:07 PM - Thread Starter
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Third Time’s a Charm Theater Build

Ok, so I’ve been doing a lot of research and I met with my contractor.

- Instead of R19 fiberglass, it looks like Rockwool Safe N Sound isn’t too expensive and my contractor says it’s quick to install. Not expecting a huge difference from that, but it’s something, and I don’t want the in-ceiling speakers to reverberate in the ceiling cavity with no insulation at all
- it sounds like double 1/2” drywall is cost effective and won’t reduce the size of the room too much, which I’m sensitive about.
- will have to price out Green Glue to see if it’s worth it. Any rule of thumb? Figure about 900-1000 square feet worth of drywall

He quoted around $3k to frame a duct, extend a wall where there’s some concrete that would otherwise create a ledge, install insulation, drywall/tape/mud, and extend door/window frames for the double drywall. That’s with materials, but no Green Glue.

Since sound insulation isn’t a huge issue for me, does this sound like a good plan? I think I will be spending most of the budget on acoustic treatment in the room.
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post #8 of 42 Old 10-09-2018, 03:39 PM - Thread Starter
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Here’s a theoretical:

What would insulate better, double 1/2” with GG or one sheet of 5/8” and one 1/2” no GG?

Also considering doing only GG on ceiling. Stuff is pricey!
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post #9 of 42 Old 10-10-2018, 12:22 PM - Thread Starter
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It seems to be a very popular choice to create a false wall where the projector goes with the subwoofers in them?

I have 2 SVS subwoofers. The cylinders. Was thinking of putting them in the back of the room with bass traps in the corners. I just don't have a ton of space to put them in this room since it's fairly narrow (13.5').

Open to other ideas, though.
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post #10 of 42 Old 10-10-2018, 03:25 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mkiv808 View Post
Here’s a theoretical:

What would insulate better, double 1/2” with GG or one sheet of 5/8” and one 1/2” no GG?

Also considering doing only GG on ceiling. Stuff is pricey!


https://www.soundproofingcompany.com...wall-assembly/



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post #11 of 42 Old 10-10-2018, 03:34 PM - Thread Starter
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That’s great, thanks!
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post #12 of 42 Old 10-20-2018, 06:36 AM - Thread Starter
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Any downside to doing an acoustically transparent screen with a false wall with 3 big tower speakers and an SVS sub behind?
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post #13 of 42 Old 10-20-2018, 07:38 AM
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no, build the false wall so that it is acoustically transparent, apply acoustic treatment to the entire front wall area (sides and ceiling) behind the screen. elevate the towers if required.
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post #14 of 42 Old 12-09-2018, 09:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Is SketchUp generally considered the easiest way to plan a room in 3D?
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post #15 of 42 Old 12-09-2018, 10:19 PM
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Is SketchUp generally considered the easiest way to plan a room in 3D?
I definitely found it very easy to work with and you can find plenty of guides and tutorials online for just about anything you want to model. On top of that it’s free

Depending on your computer skills you probably can find other pieces of software, both more simple and more advanced, but I think SketchUp hits a good sweet spot.

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What the heck is going on here? This thread started 10/2. I figured I'd come in here and see all the completed photos
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post #17 of 42 Old 02-10-2019, 12:01 PM - Thread Starter
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What the heck is going on here? This thread started 10/2. I figured I'd come in here and see all the completed photos
Ugh, taking my sweet time. Wiring soon.
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post #18 of 42 Old 08-17-2019, 06:26 AM - Thread Starter
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Finally back on this.

Cleaned out the room, did most of the wiring. Next up is half concrete wall, soffit framing, and adding ceiling insulation.

So I need to finalize my soundproofing plans. I keep going back and forth on what to do. I’d like to make a difference, but not at great expense or losing dimensions in the room.

I’ve focused my soundproofing goals. Since nothing borders the room but yard and a hallway, sound transmission from walls is less important. My 2 goals are keeping bass from traveling 2 stories up to bedrooms, and keeping the noise floor of the room fairly low for critical listening.

Here’s some options I’m thinking

1. Ceiling: low profile whisper clips plus 2 1/2” layers of drywall with GG. Goal: reduce sound transmission upstairs, especially bass.
2. Side walls: low profile whisper clips plus single layer of 5/8” drywall. Goal: keep sound out, somewhat reduce transmission upstairs.
3. Alternative side walls: dual 1/2” drywall with GG direct to studs
4. Insulation: Rockwool
5. In wall/ceiling speakers are Triads which are sealed
6. IC rated sealed recessed lights
7. Acoustic putty around switches and outlets
8. Acoustic sealant/caulk?

Thoughts?
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post #19 of 42 Old 08-19-2019, 02:45 PM - Thread Starter
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A possible alternative approach:

1. Ceiling - Low profile clips and double 1/2” drywall. Is Green Glue going to be worth the expense with the clips and mass?

2. Side walls - staggered studs with double 1/2” or single 5/8”

Thoughts?
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It may seem like a big cost now, but I suggest to do as much of the sound proofing as possible during this construction phase. Doing it right the first time will cost less in the long run, let you get maximum enjoyment out of the money you invest in the A/V gear, and maximize the fun you have with the time you spend watching movies in the theater. A few hundred dollars now won't be missed in a year and an extra inch of wall space won't be missed in the long run.

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post #21 of 42 Old 09-04-2019, 05:24 PM - Thread Starter
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Progress!




Soffit framed.



Pre-wiring almost done. Did conduit for HDMI.



Half concrete wall insulated. Will new framing a full wall in front of it.

Current plan for sound proofing is:

- Roxul Safe and Sound in ceiling, soffit, and new wall (basically everywhere that doesn’t currently have fiberglass)
- Resilient channel. Would appreciate any recommendations on which to buy.
- 2 layers of drywall: one each 1/2” and 5/8” with Green Glue
- Acoustic caulk in drywall seams

Debating on smaller details like acoustic putty on electrical boxes but it sounds like the gain is questionable.

Also wondering if there’s anything I can do with the HVAC vents to quiet things a bit.
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If you are doing double drywall with green glue on hats, why are you spending money on roxul which isn't going to add anything over regular fiberglass insulation? Seems like an unnecessary cost to me.. also why the 1/2" on the ceiling and not 5/8"?
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post #23 of 42 Old 09-04-2019, 05:33 PM - Thread Starter
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If you are doing double drywall with green glue on hats, why are you spending money on roxul which isn't going to add anything over regular fiberglass insulation? Seems like an unnecessary cost to me.. also why the 1/2" on the ceiling and not 5/8"?
I read that 2 different width drywalls can help mitigate vibration transmission. Plus it’s easier to put up 1/2” and will save a smidge of room.

But to be clear it’s doubled up so it’s one layer of 1/2” and one layer of 5/8”

Will take into consideration that Roxul might not be worth it. Would it do ANYTHING for me or not really? Isn’t it easier to work with?
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post #24 of 42 Old 09-04-2019, 05:40 PM
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I read that 2 different width drywalls can help mitigate vibration transmission. Plus it’s easier to put up 1/2” and will save a smidge of room.

But to be clear it’s doubled up so it’s one layer of 1/2” and one layer of 5/8”

Will take into consideration that Roxul might not be worth it. Would it do ANYTHING for me or not really? Isn’t it easier to work with?
I've heard that too, but is there real data that supports it?? And you are saving an 1/8" lol.. I'd personally not used 1/2" since it's full of air pockets to make it lighter..

I chose 5/8" OSB as my first layer on both ceiling and walls with 5/8" type x drywall as my second. So much easier to hang stuff off of the OSB than drywall..

Roxul is nasty to work with compared to the eco-touch pink stuff.. and no, I don't think it adds anything in terms of sound abatement, but it sure does double your insulation costs.. save that money to splurge on more green glue, beacuse it takes 3 speed loads to cover a 4'x8' panel properly and you will use more than you think..
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I've heard that too, but is there real data that supports it?? And you are saving an 1/8" lol.. I'd personally not used 1/2" since it's full of air pockets to make it lighter..

I chose 5/8" OSB as my first layer on both ceiling and walls with 5/8" type x drywall as my second. So much easier to hang stuff off of the OSB than drywall..

Roxul is nasty to work with compared to the eco-touch pink stuff.. and no, I don't think it adds anything in terms of sound abatement, but it sure does double your insulation costs.. save that money to splurge on more green glue, beacuse it takes 3 speed loads to cover a 4'x8' panel properly and you will use more than you think..
Well that was one concern I had about double drywall on ceiling. The weight of hanging 2 layers of drywall onto a hat channel. In that case, both layers have to be screwed into the channel?

With OSB, could you screw the drywall in anywhere? (Except into the studs obviously)
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Well that was one concern I had about double drywall on ceiling. The weight of hanging 2 layers of drywall onto a hat channel. In that case, both layers have to be screwed into the channel?

With OSB, could you screw the drywall in anywhere? (Except into the studs obviously)
I screwed my OSB to the joists/studs every 8" and I put a 12x12 grid on all my drywall and just screwed it into the OSB.
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I've heard that too, but is there real data that supports it?? And you are saving an 1/8" lol.. I'd personally not used 1/2" since it's full of air pockets to make it lighter..

I chose 5/8" OSB as my first layer on both ceiling and walls with 5/8" type x drywall as my second. So much easier to hang stuff off of the OSB than drywall..

Roxul is nasty to work with compared to the eco-touch pink stuff.. and no, I don't think it adds anything in terms of sound abatement, but it sure does double your insulation costs.. save that money to splurge on more green glue, beacuse it takes 3 speed loads to cover a 4'x8' panel properly and you will use more than you think..
I find it just the opposite and prefer working with Roxul over the pink fluffy.

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I find it just the opposite and prefer working with Roxul over the pink fluffy.
I can't stand the grit falling all over me when using roxul.. Also it degrads and turns to mush after a few years.. I pulled some out that I put in 4 years ago and it crumbed when pulling it out.. Another plus is studs are not always 16 oc and some might bow or sag making the roxul hard to fit or doesn't fill the gaps.. with the pink stuff you can compress it or even stretch it out a bit to work in the space you have.

The only pro that Roxul has is it is easy to cut... But that is not worth the additional cost to me.
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post #29 of 42 Old 09-05-2019, 09:54 AM
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...The only pro that Roxul has is it is easy to cut... But that is not worth the additional cost to me.
Its also a fire block...so where you have a room inside of a room it can be used between the top of the two walls to meet the code requirement for fire blocking, at least in my jurisdiction it was.

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Its also a fire block...so where you have a room inside of a room it can be used between the top of the two walls to meet the code requirement for fire blocking, at least in my jurisdiction it was.
That's a good point.. so pink everywhere except where a fire block is required.
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