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post #1 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 08:35 AM - Thread Starter
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Sound proofing for better sound quality?

I am in the process of building a dedicated theater room in my basement. I'm debating if I need to sound proof it or not. Is sound proofing only to keep from disturbing others in the house, or does it actually make the theater room sound better?

I was debating doing 2 layers of drywall all around the room, and some ruxul safe n sound. But if I'm not concerned with disturbing other rooms, is that nessisary, or could I save the cost? it is about $1,300 more to sound proof is my guess.
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post #2 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 08:48 AM
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All the pro theater designers and calibrators will tell you that having a low noise floor improves the sound quality in the room, You may think your room is quiet but until you've been in some really quiet rooms to experience them first hand you won't understand what the fuss is about. Do It. But double drywall and overpriced Roxul alone is not a robust sound isolation strategy
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post #3 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 09:02 AM - Thread Starter
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got ya. is there a big difference between 1/2" and 5/8" thick sheetrock from a sound proofing standpoint?

And what do you suggest instead of double drywall and ruxol? I'm all about saving money, but I don't have the realestate for a double wall
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post #4 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 09:07 AM
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A brick wall filled with sand does well for soundproofing

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post #5 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 09:11 AM
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Mass-Isolation-Dampening-Absorbtion


you want the most mass in your wall structure so yes 5/8, some projects use 3 layers.
You wanted it isolated from the houses framing, so clips and channel mounting.
You want a multi layer system with a viscoelastic layer between layers, It converts vibration to heat. Green Glue
You want the cheapest insulation in adjoining wall cavities to kill resonances. Basic fiberglass.


You need to address every single hole you cut in the drywall for things like lights, speakers, outlets
You need to isolate any duct work that is shared with the rest of the house.
Beefy airtight door.


Realistically $3.0 to $5k in materials for a modest theater room.
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post #6 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
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Thanks!

So if my doors aren't sound proof (due to astetics of the rest of the house) does that make most of this worthless to do?
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post #7 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 09:42 AM
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Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post
Thanks!

So if my doors aren't sound proof (due to astetics of the rest of the house) does that make most of this worthless to do?
Not worthless but it will certainly diminish your return on investment.

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post #8 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post
got ya. is there a big difference between 1/2" and 5/8" thick sheetrock from a sound proofing standpoint?

And what do you suggest instead of double drywall and ruxol? I'm all about saving money, but I don't have the realestate for a double wall
Even with a single layer, there's a big difference between the 1/2 and 5/8x drywall.

If you're using 1/2" drywall, you might as well just hang a curtain instead and save the time.

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post #9 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 10:02 AM - Thread Starter
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Even with a single layer, there's a big difference between the 1/2 and 5/8x drywall.

If you're using 1/2" drywall, you might as well just hang a curtain instead and save the time.
LOL 5/8 it is then! this info is all VERY helpful, thanks!!
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post #10 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 11:10 AM
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Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post
Thanks!So if my doors aren't sound proof (due to astetics of the rest of the house) does that make most of this worthless to do?
That is like asking is getting only a 1/2 pitcher of margaritas a waste of time.
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post #11 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 11:35 AM
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...and make sure the 5/8 drywall is X-type. It's denser than standard drywall and WAY denser than the ultra light stuff.

And, yes, the point of the "sound proofing" we do in these theaters is to lower the noise floor inside the room. The fact that it also keeps sound IN is only a happy coincidence.
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post #12 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 11:56 AM
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Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post
Mass-Isolation-Dampening-Absorbtion

Realistically $3.0 to $5k in materials for a modest theater room.
Man you're good i'm at $3,143 for a 15' x 18' x 9' tall room still need to do the door but everything else so far double wall, insulation clips and channel ceiling, Green Glue, rubber mat. double 5/8" drywall, dead vents, etc. I suspect i'll be in the $4k range for everything.
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post #13 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 12:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Thanks again everyone!

I do have another question. I will definitely do the front wall (it is a common wall to my utillity room, hvac, etc) and definitely do the back wall (common to a family room), and Definitely do the Ceiling. BUT do I need or want to do the side walls? these walls are not common, and are under ground in a non walk out basement. I do have the walls framed with standard 2x6, but do I need to green glue, etc those since they don't share space with the rest of the house?
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post #14 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 12:51 PM
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Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post
Thanks again everyone!

I do have another question. I will definitely do the front wall (it is a common wall to my utillity room, hvac, etc) and definitely do the back wall (common to a family room), and Definitely do the Ceiling. BUT do I need or want to do the side walls? these walls are not common, and are under ground in a non walk out basement. I do have the walls framed with standard 2x6, but do I need to green glue, etc those since they don't share space with the rest of the house?
If you don't, the sound will get into the framing, at which point it will get around your front wall, back wall, and ceiling, and into the rest of the house.

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post #15 of 21 Old 05-14-2019, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post
Thanks again everyone!

I do have another question. I will definitely do the front wall (it is a common wall to my utillity room, hvac, etc) and definitely do the back wall (common to a family room), and Definitely do the Ceiling. BUT do I need or want to do the side walls? these walls are not common, and are under ground in a non walk out basement. I do have the walls framed with standard 2x6, but do I need to green glue, etc those since they don't share space with the rest of the house?

Think of it this way: If you were to hammer on those side walls, do you think you'd hear it elsewhere in the house? If so, the primary reason you'd hear it is because the vibrations were traveling through the framing and then the other surfaces in the house were turned into speakers to turn those vibrations into sound waves in those rooms. You need to decouple your home theater as thoroughly from the rest of the house as you can, and the lower the frequency of the sound being generated, the more important that decoupling.

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post #16 of 21 Old 05-15-2019, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by jjohnston7 View Post
Thanks again everyone!

I do have another question. I will definitely do the front wall (it is a common wall to my utillity room, hvac, etc) and definitely do the back wall (common to a family room), and Definitely do the Ceiling. BUT do I need or want to do the side walls? these walls are not common, and are under ground in a non walk out basement. I do have the walls framed with standard 2x6, but do I need to green glue, etc those since they don't share space with the rest of the house?
Yes, you should still do it. One of the big takeaways (for me anyway) from the Soundproofing sticky is that "soundproofing" is not as intuitive as you would think. I admit, I have an open concept room so there are compromises (another take away from the sticky) but I went ahead and decoupled and DD+GG'd ALL walls (even the bathroom...no embarrassing noises from MY bathroom!). The main HVAC trunk runs through the theater area and so does the ejection pipe for my sump pump. The mechanical room is at the back of the bar area which is totally open to the theater area.

The result of my work is that the when watching a movie (not even at reference volume) you can't hear the sump pump unless you are sitting at the bar and even then it's a quiet hum for only a couple of seconds. It's actually louder when sitting in the family room above. I've rarely heard the furnace/AC kick on. Explosions still make it to the family room directly over the theater (and the floor shakes occasionally) but NO voices or music, unless the upstairs door is left open. After all that, in my master bathroom, two floors up and in the front of the house over the garage, probably the furthest you can be from the furnace, THAT is where I can hear it running through the vent. I can't hear in ANY of the other vents without getting down on hands and knees and putting my ear right up to it, and that includes in the family room directly above the theater.

Build the room the best it can be, and the rest will take care of itself.
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post #17 of 21 Old 05-15-2019, 09:41 AM
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I have been going back and forth on this subject for a long time. I want to soundproof my room, but my wife doesn't understand why and wants me to spend the money else where. Doing it right can get up there in price. I am now looking at moving a wall out 3' more to give me a 17' wide room the cost is going to go up. I will probably break my soundproofing up in stages so I can spread the cost out. My room will be 17'x26'x9 roughly.

1st. decouple the walls.
2nd install HVAC flexible ducts or lines for a mini split
3rd install clips and channel on the ceiling
4th build backer boxes for speakers and lights
5th cover all light switches with putty pads
6th put in fiberglass insulation
7th double 5/8" drywall with Green Glue. This is the expensive one Make sure to seal around light and speaker boxes.
8th build the entry door.

There are more steps in between just the basic here. Now is if I can sell this to the boss and I have to finish a bathroom first in my basement.

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post #18 of 21 Old 05-15-2019, 10:41 AM
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So how much of a difference will it make if you go to 3 layers of 5/8" sheetrock with green glue. I know this is to keep outside noise out but i also want to try to keep some in. I currently have a pair of Hs-24 and the more i hang around here it makes me wonder if i should add a pair of B&C 21's to the mix . I don't want to piss the neighbors off to bad though. Who knows i might be to that point already but just don't know yet.
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post #19 of 21 Old 05-15-2019, 10:44 AM
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damped isolated mass is the key to isolating low frequency energy, the more layers the better. It must be isolated.
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post #20 of 21 Old 05-16-2019, 07:30 AM
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I have been going back and forth on this subject for a long time. I want to soundproof my room, but my wife doesn't understand why and wants me to spend the money else where. Doing it right can get up there in price. I am now looking at moving a wall out 3' more to give me a 17' wide room the cost is going to go up. I will probably break my soundproofing up in stages so I can spread the cost out. My room will be 17'x26'x9 roughly.

1st. decouple the walls.
2nd install HVAC flexible ducts or lines for a mini split
3rd install clips and channel on the ceiling
4th build backer boxes for speakers and lights
5th cover all light switches with putty pads
6th put in fiberglass insulation
7th double 5/8" drywall with Green Glue. This is the expensive one Make sure to seal around light and speaker boxes.
8th build the entry door.

There are more steps in between just the basic here. Now is if I can sell this to the boss and I have to finish a bathroom first in my basement.
I don't see a question here, but your plan is solid. And here's a little advice: don't take 10 years to do it like I did. I did buy all my clips at once to save on shipping. How to "sell it" will be a personal thing. You'll have to find the right buttons. IF you can, find some home theaters in your area and see if you both can visit. Guys on this forum have been pretty happy to show off their theaters. That would give her a pretty idea good about the noise level inside and outside the room. Pretty much, the first thing first-timers to my theater notice is that "it doesn't feel like a basement." It's warm (or cool but not damp) and quiet. And I went to the EXTRA added expense of adding a subfloor so it FEELS like a normal floor. And I made the "incremental cost" argument a lot...if we were putting in a bathroom, the incremental cost to add a shower now is a lot less then trying to add one later, after everything is built and finished. Put off buying any equipment until you are close to finishing (check out how many times it's been said in this forum that once you hang the projector, pretty much all work stops!) as a cost containment strategy. Within your plan, bang for your buck for equipment is probably the ONLY that will be cheaper later... everything else will go up. I'm glad I was buying electric wire, audio/video cables and copper pipes and even drywall when I did instead of now (although, HDMI cables have gotten FAR cheaper and better).

One last thing...does she watch HGTV? Get her input on decorating...paint, fabric, etc. And be like Mike (Holmes)….do it right.

Good luck. I will be most interested to see how it goes for you.

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post #21 of 21 Old 05-16-2019, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by tlogan6797 View Post
I don't see a question here, but your plan is solid. And here's a little advice: don't take 10 years to do it like I did. I did buy all my clips at once to save on shipping. How to "sell it" will be a personal thing. You'll have to find the right buttons. IF you can, find some home theaters in your area and see if you both can visit. Guys on this forum have been pretty happy to show off their theaters. That would give her a pretty idea good about the noise level inside and outside the room. Pretty much, the first thing first-timers to my theater notice is that "it doesn't feel like a basement." It's warm (or cool but not damp) and quiet. And I went to the EXTRA added expense of adding a subfloor so it FEELS like a normal floor. And I made the "incremental cost" argument a lot...if we were putting in a bathroom, the incremental cost to add a shower now is a lot less then trying to add one later, after everything is built and finished. Put off buying any equipment until you are close to finishing (check out how many times it's been said in this forum that once you hang the projector, pretty much all work stops!) as a cost containment strategy. Within your plan, bang for your buck for equipment is probably the ONLY that will be cheaper later... everything else will go up. I'm glad I was buying electric wire, audio/video cables and copper pipes and even drywall when I did instead of now (although, HDMI cables have gotten FAR cheaper and better).

One last thing...does she watch HGTV? Get her input on decorating...paint, fabric, etc. And be like Mike (Holmes)….do it right.

Good luck. I will be most interested to see how it goes for you.
I was trying to give the OP an example of how I may go about getting my room done in stages. I would like to get all the clips in in one shipment and probably the Green Glue in another if I use it. As for me wife liking HGTV or DIY, that is more me that watches those shows then her. She likes to pick out the colors, paint the rooms and help where ever she can. She just wants it to not be cold and smell like a basement. First thing I need to do is figure out the HVAC which I haven't found the right person to do the work or the price she likes. She also wants the 1/2 bath finished first as do I. My mistake was putting up some walls, 5.1 surround, a 1080p projector and 120" screen and not getting the room done years ago. We watch movies in the room and I watch sports on it. I hope to get going on finishing the room this year. I could probably do more sooner if I didn't go all out on soundproofing. My wife isn't as concerned about it and I don't listen at reference that much either.

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