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Hi all. I am ready to soundproof (as much as my budget allows) my new 14'wx26'lx9'h HT. I spent a lot of time reading the master thread for best practices in regards to isolating the sound of the HT from the rest of the basement/house above. My contractor quoted me several thousand dollars to use hat channel, rubber membrane, 2 layers drywall, etc. Its too expensive ATM...

My question is this (and maybe there are too many variables to answer) what would be the most 'bang for my buck' approach to soundproofing this HT? I realize we're not talking ideal scenarios at this point and understand compromises will have to be made. Out of all of the common suggestions (dense insulation, 2 layers drywall with green glue, hat channel, membranes, etc) what is the most efficient means of soundproofing per cost in your opinion?

I really want to keep all 4 walls and ceiling to $1,500 total. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated! :)
For this price I can only advice you to do the job yourself whatever solution you end up with. Even doing so, the material will be way more than $1,500 if you go Double drywall on channel and clips. If you have HVAC supply and return to take care of, this is some more $$.

The cheapest solution will be to add another layer of drywall on your current drywall. Very cheap, but I have no idea about the improvement compare to your current setup.

As soon as you go with solutions that need to take down your current drywall, the price will jack up, insulation is not cheap for such a big room.

You might be better off not sound proofing your room but just use some acoustical panels for absorption for $1500. Go check GIK Acoustics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
For this price I can only advice you to do the job yourself whatever solution you end up with. Even doing so, the material will be way more than $1,500 if you go Double drywall on channel and clips. If you have HVAC supply and return to take care of, this is some more $$.

The cheapest solution will be to add another layer of drywall on your current drywall. Very cheap, but I have no idea about the improvement compare to your current setup.

As soon as you go with solutions that need to take down your current drywall, the price will jack up, insulation is not cheap for such a big room.

You might be better off not sound proofing your room but just use some acoustical panels for absorption for $1500. Go check GIK Acoustics.
Thanks XXRB - note that the drywall is not yet in place in my HT. I still have exposed studs on ceiling and walls.

On your second point about using acoustical panels, this may be an option as I will need acoustic treatments for the room after drywall anyway. I understand that ideally soundproofing and acoustic treatments are different animals but if there is overlap between the two and since I am trying to save some $ could acoustical panels work for both? Thoughts?
 

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Thanks XXRB - note that the drywall is not yet in place in my HT. I still have exposed studs on ceiling and walls.

On your second point about using acoustical panels, this may be an option as I will need acoustic treatments for the room after drywall anyway. I understand that ideally soundproofing and acoustic treatments are different animals but if there is overlap between the two and since I am trying to save some $ could acoustical panels work for both? Thoughts?
I am not an expert but am looking to do what you are trying to do with more $$$. Now if you do not have finished walls, you might want to create a room inside a room with no clip, no channel, just a second wall and ceiling not touching the current wall and ceiling. You can still put 2 layers of drywall to this new wall (on the inside part). Check http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing101/room-within-a-room/. As soon as you add green glue, channel, clip, the price will start to rise. I think a room within a room with basic stud framing (no premium stud), 5/8 double layer drywall, big box of drywall screw long enough for both layers, everything bought at a home supply store and not HD or lowes, you should be way less than $1500. Now when you add the cheapest fiberglass insulation R15, you might be above $1500 for such a big room. Same buy the insulation from insulation suppliers, half the price than HD in general if you can pick up the material at their warehouse. One more comment, for the framing, go visit the current homes under construction at the framing stage in your area and ask the guys for framing your room and say you pay cash. You should find some guys that will bring the nails, the man power, the tools, and maybe the studs for cheaper than you can buy the studs at HD or Lowes, maybe not but close to. There is always leftover when framing a home and they can use this leftover in your room.

Last point, for the floor, you have to check how it is done, I did not as I will not go this route.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
I am not an expert but am looking to do what you are trying to do with more $$$. Now if you do not have finished walls, you might want to create a room inside a room with no clip, no channel, just a second wall and ceiling not touching the current wall and ceiling. You can still put 2 layers of drywall to this new wall (on the inside part). Check http://www.soundproofingcompany.com/soundproofing101/room-within-a-room/. As soon as you add green glue, channel, clip, the price will start to rise. I think a room within a room with basic stud framing (no premium stud), 5/8 double layer drywall, big box of drywall screw long enough for both layers, everything bought at a home supply store and not HD or lowes, you should be way less than $1500. Now when you add the cheapest fiberglass insulation R15, you might be above $1500 for such a big room. Same buy the insulation from insulation suppliers, half the price than HD in general if you can pick up the material at their warehouse. One more comment, for the framing, go visit the current homes under construction at the framing stage in your area and ask the guys for framing your room and say you pay cash. You should find some guys that will bring the nails, the man power, the tools, and maybe the studs for cheaper than you can buy the studs at HD or Lowes, maybe not but close to. There is always leftover when framing a home and they can use this leftover in your room.

Last point, for the floor, you have to check how it is done, I did not as I will not go this route.
Thanks again XXRB - the more reading I do I realize I have omitted important details about my setup that may aid in the discussion.

1. The exterior walls are 8" tk concrete with 2" 'blueboard' insulation fastened directly to them. I then have a 1/4" air gap and then the stud walls with more insulation (6.5" batt insulation). Finally 1/2" drywall will be installed. Suggestions to increase soundproofing of this condition? This condition is going to function much better than the ceiling I would assume...

2. The ceiling is simply floor joists with 6.5" batt insulation. 1/2" drywall will then be installed. Best solution for this condition? I'm concerned about this one not cutting it...

3. The kickers: the back of my HT has an 8'w x 6'h arch in it to allow ease access in and out of the HT and into the other side of the basement. I know i'm going to lose a whole lot of sound through this opening

4. The kickers 2: The basement has a total of 1 mandoor and 2 windows (one in the HT)

5. The kickers 3: The HT is open to the stairway going up to first floor.

Pics below: 1 shows the exterior wall construction (insulation left out at one cavity so you can see the insulation behind it). The other the insulation being used.

I have a few days (and more if needed) before drywall starts. Looking for suggestions on how to handle it from here...

I will continue to read up on room-in-a-room. Thanks all for any additional suggestions!!
 

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Room soundproofing on an extreme budget.

Mass-isolation-Dampening-absorption

Plan on using massive walls and ceiling, Double 5/8 drywall. You don't have money for full dampening but if you can watch Craigs list etc maybe you can pick up some leftover green glue and apply it at 1/2 the recommended rate. One tube per 4x8 sheet

For isolation buy the 7/8 inch 25 ga furring channel (hat channel) get some rubber pads, make some out of 1/2 thick rubber mats Cut 3x4 inch pieces from horse stall mats you can buy at Tractor Supply for under $40

attach the channel by screwing through the channel and rubber mats into the joists and studs. Firmly attach the channel every 48 inches just like a clip and channel pattern NO MORE. You will want either really wide head screws (PowerHead screws from Fast Cap) or screws with washers so they don't pull through the 25 gauge metal.

Put the cheapest insulation you can find in the ceiling and walls.

be sure to seal all the wall penetrations with caulk or putty pads.

Flex duct connections

beefy door

The rubber pad attachement is something I just dreamed up in the last 10 minutes no warranty, guarantee or assumption of liability is offered
 

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Big is right about what you can do for cheap soundproofing, Big is often right here, I do not know why, but seems replicable :)

Now, with so much holes in your soundproofed room, you might end up throwing your money out of the windows. You might be better off with sound treatments to absorb the sound.

It might also be truth than you cannot soundproof your room the way it is built. If this is the case, do not spend $1,500. Make sure you treat the room so that you have a good sound inside and live with the sound leftover outside :).

If were you, I would explore more the room in room for $1500. At least you have a real enclosed room with such a design, no window, a door. You can still add the 25 Ga channel as big said and craiglist green glue, not sure about his home made clip but a really good idea on the paper.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Room soundproofing on an extreme budget.

Mass-isolation-Dampening-absorption

Plan on using massive walls and ceiling, Double 5/8 drywall. You don't have money for full dampening but if you can watch Craigs list etc maybe you can pick up some leftover green glue and apply it at 1/2 the recommended rate. One tube per 4x8 sheet

For isolation buy the 7/8 inch 25 ga furring channel (hat channel) get some rubber pads, make some out of 1/2 thick rubber mats Cut 3x4 inch pieces from horse stall mats you can buy at Tractor Supply for under $40

attach the channel by screwing through the channel and rubber mats into the joists and studs. Firmly attach the channel every 48 inches just like a clip and channel pattern NO MORE. You will want either really wide head screws (PowerHead screws from Fast Cap) or screws with washers so they don't pull through the 25 gauge metal.

Put the cheapest insulation you can find in the ceiling and walls.

be sure to seal all the wall penetrations with caulk or putty pads.

Flex duct connections

beefy door

The rubber pad attachement is something I just dreamed up in the last 10 minutes no warranty, guarantee or assumption of liability is offered

@BIGmouthinDC - lol you won't guarantee it? No warranty either!! Can't believe the nerve lol...

Thanks man this is VERY HELPFUL. So ideally you want double drywall and hat channel on walls to? Even though I have hard/soft insulation and 8" concrete walls w/ air gap around perimeter? NP just want to understand fully. In addition the one long wall is only a retaining wall and not open to outside like the other wall. do I have to double up drywall and hat on that one too?

I will investigate all of this but its a great place to start Big.

One more question: how much does this help me in regards to improving the acoustical sound of the room? Will I still need lots of room treatments with double 5/8"?
 

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The rubber pad attachment is something I just dreamed up in the last 10 minutes no warranty, guarantee or assumption of liability is offered
I have a couple of rolls of Integrity Gasket lying around that I'd be willing to part with real cheap (+ shipping) if you're somewhere that I can get it to you fast. There is at least SOME evidence that Integrity Gasket has some damping properties. Early on, it was considered the "poor man's" sound proofing.

PM if interested.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Big is right about what you can do for cheap soundproofing, Big is often right here, I do not know why, but seems replicable :)

Now, with so much holes in your soundproofed room, you might end up throwing your money out of the windows. You might be better off with sound treatments to absorb the sound.

It might also be truth than you cannot soundproof your room the way it is built. If this is the case, do not spend $1,500. Make sure you treat the room so that you have a good sound inside and live with the sound leftover outside :).

If were you, I would explore more the room in room for $1500. At least you have a real enclosed room with such a design, no window, a door. You can still add the 25 Ga channel as big said and craiglist green glue, not sure about his home made clip but a really good idea on the paper.

@xxrb1 - it almost makes me wonder to if I should even put the $ in. Won't sound just blow through the archway and into the house through the other size of the basement? I see where your coming from...

thing is, even if I go room in room i'm going to keep that archway. Its a decision I'm going to stick to as I want to host more than just movies in this room (HDTV sports, concert events, etc) and want easy access in and out for those events.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I have a couple of rolls of Integrity Gasket lying around that I'd be willing to part with real cheap (+ shipping) if you're somewhere that I can get it to you fast. There is at least SOME evidence that Integrity Gasket has some damping properties. Early on, it was considered the "poor man's" sound proofing.

PM if interested.

@tlogan - can you tell me a bit about the stuff? certainly interested if it works. would you PM the price pls?
 

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Let me throw a couple of things out there....

1) The REAL reason to "sound proof" is to lower the noise INSIDE the room. I know a lot of people say it's an all or nothing approach. But, I'm convinced that in an open concept room, there is still Some value in doing everything you can. I think that if you SOMETHING, you will improve the sound INSIDE the room, even with that archway.
2) If there is NO drywall anywhere then Big's suggestion using small squares cut from the mats (or my Integrity Gasket) throughout the ENTIRE basement is likely to be better than nothing. You attach the squares to the studs and then attach the drywall which creates a small gap. You just need to be careful not to tighten down the drywall such that it comes into contact with studs. This is where 5/8 X-type (fire rated) drywall is a big help as it is not as flexible as the 1/2 inch.
3) No matter what you choose to do, DO NOT use the newer lightweight 1/2 inch drywall.
4) Open concept rooms are a series of compromises; you need to decide what you can and cannot live with.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Let me throw a couple of things out there....

1) The REAL reason to "sound proof" is to lower the noise INSIDE the room. I know a lot of people say it's an all or nothing approach. But, I'm convinced that in an open concept room, there is still Some value in doing everything you can. I think that if you SOMETHING, you will improve the sound INSIDE the room, even with that archway.
2) If there is NO drywall anywhere then Big's suggestion using small squares cut from the mats (or my Integrity Gasket) throughout the ENTIRE basement is likely to be better than nothing. You attach the squares to the studs and then attach the drywall which creates a small gap. You just need to be careful not to tighten down the drywall such that it comes into contact with studs. This is where 5/8 X-type (fire rated) drywall is a big help as it is not as flexible as the 1/2 inch.
3) No matter what you choose to do, DO NOT use the newer lightweight 1/2 inch drywall.
4) Open concept rooms are a series of compromises; you need to decide what you can and cannot live with.
Thanks for suggestions! There is currently no drywall at all; So you like Bigs plan to use a gasket of some sort and then hat channel too or just gasket and then double 5/8 drywall with green glue?

What if I did just the entire basement ceiling with gaskets, hat channel and double 5/8th with green glue? this would (in theory) improve the room acoustics while isolating sound from HT to upstairs. The walls would have to fend for themselves (8" concrete with 2" blue board w/ 6.5" batt insulation with single 5/8 drywall). thoughts?
 

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Again, being as budget constrained as you are, I would forego the channel for the gasket + 5/8's DD+GG. If you can't afford the DD+GG, then I would do the gasket + channel + single layer. I would do the walls, too. A second layer of DW + GG is something you can do later as dollars permit. Channel and/or gasket is not.

I'm not an expert, I'm just relying on what I went through, my results and how I learned to think about how to do it in reality as opposed to theoretically.
 

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Lots of great inputs so far,

Sound inside the room I think is what you are looking for as you will keep the archway. I do not know if the heavy drywall on rubber pad will help the sound inside the room in better shape than acoustical treatment for reflection and absorption, especially at your price point you can do one or the other but not both. To know the best bang for the your bucks, maybe someone with better knowledge can shim in.
 

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Just as an F.Y.I. - there was user that used the Integrity gasket throughout his build, but I'm not finding his thread. The username was Clarence.
Yep, that was my first HT. I liked the Integrity Gasket. Easy to install. Affordable. Certainly didn't do any harm. I did some "knock tests"... installed a sheet of drywall with it on the studs, next to a sheet of drywall screwed to bare studs. Big difference when thumping it with your palm or knuckles.

I would've used it again but couldn't find it in time when between a welcomed break in projects at work I decided at the last minute to do an exciting but accelerated HT-build in our new house in time for a Super Bowl party.

For the second HT I used pink fluffy, OSB+GG+ Fire rated 5/8". Flexi duct. Backer boxes. Happy with the results.

But this home is twice as large and kids in college instead of grade school, so subwoofer thump at 11pm isn't as big of a deal for us as it used to be, even when the sub is 10x bigger.
 

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i'd kind of suggest starting with the basics. read up a bit on stc and what it means.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sound_transmission_class

there are many studies on various wall/ceiling/floor strategies to reduce noise transfer.

here is one of the more comprehensive lists: http://www.buildgp.com/GypsumAssemblies.aspx?ShowAll=True

big's suggestion of: mass, isolation, damping, absorption is right on the money.


attached is an excerpt from Home Recording Studios: Build it Like the Pros

might be helpful as a starting point.
 

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