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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

I have a bonus room above my garage that I am beginning to think about converting into my home theater.  There are a few issues that I am currently struggling with during these early planning stages.

 

THE SETUP:

 

There are two short doors on either side of the room toward the rear.  These doors open into attic space on each side.

 

Facing the back wall there is an unknown enclosure (HVAC related?).  On the back right is a closet.  Both of these structures need to stay in place. 

 



 



 

I would like to build a room within a room, but I am not sure how this would tie into the back of the theater (unknown enclosure + door to hallway + closet).  My questions are:

 

1. I think I can build a room-within-a-room, but I am not sure what to do with the entire back wall.  Would I want to build a room-within-a-room on the front and side walls, and then remove the drywall from the back walls in order to stagger studs (should I mix techniques like this)?

 

2.  I will still need to have access to the side attic space.  What is the best way to continue to allow this access, while at the same time preventing sound from entering/escaping the room?

 

3.  Since this room is on the second/top floor do I need to add sound isolation to the ceiling (e.g. channel + DD)?

 

4. What is the best way to treat the floor?  I will be removing the existing carpet.  I believe I have seen a rubber mat-type material laid down on the subfloor underneath carpet.  What is the best way to go here?

 

NOTE: My renderings show the ceiling line coming to a point, which was a mistake I made while hastily putting together the renderings.  The ceiling actually slopes in a few feet and then is flat for about a six foot portion at the top.
 

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Anyone want to weigh in?
You can get about 90% of the soundproofing with whisper clips, furring channel and DD+GG (Double-Drywall with Green Glue). Maybe a floating floor -- Serenity Mat with one or two layers of OSB on top. But if you are trying to soundproof, you need to do all the walls and the floor.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
You can get about 90% of the soundproofing with whisper clips, furring channel and DD+GG (Double-Drywall with Green Glue). Maybe a floating floor -- Serenity Mat with one or two layers of OSB on top. But if you are trying to soundproof, you need to do all the walls and the floor.
Thanks for your response LeBon. It's been a while since I read your thread, so I'll have to go back through and read it again.

My big concern at this point is that back wall where the closet is. This wall connects with the rest of the house. The other three walls are exterior and underneath is the garage. Between the closet and "unknown" enclosure I am not exactly sure how to treat this wall. Would I DD+GG the inside back wall of the closet and leave the door side of the framing as is?
 

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Thanks for your response LeBon. It's been a while since I read your thread, so I'll have to go back through and read it again.

My big concern at this point is that back wall where the closet is. This wall connects with the rest of the house. The other three walls are exterior and underneath is the garage. Between the closet and "unknown" enclosure I am not exactly sure how to treat this wall. Would I DD+GG the inside back wall of the closet and leave the door side of the framing as is?
If you are really wanting to soundproof, I would tear out the closet, and treat the wall behind and the "unknown" chase with Clips, DD+GG. It is relatively easy to then replace the closet inside the soundproof shell, if you really need the closet space. Just my 2 cents...
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, ultimately I think you are right. The more thought I have put into the room the more that I am realizing that all roads lead to removing the closet. In addition to allowing me to better isolate the room, the extra feet will also come in handy in several other ways.

Any thoughts on how to keep access to the two side doors, while still maintaining the sound bunker?
 

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I have a bonus room above my garage that I am beginning to think about converting into my home theater.  There are a few issues that I am currently struggling with during these early planning stages.

 

THE SETUP:

 

There are two short doors on either side of the room toward the rear.  These doors open into attic space on each side.

 

Facing the back wall there is an unknown enclosure (HVAC related?).  On the back right is a closet.  Both of these structures need to stay in place. 

 



 



 

I would like to build a room within a room, but I am not sure how this would tie into the back of the theater (unknown enclosure + door to hallway + closet).  My questions are:

 

1. I think I can build a room-within-a-room, but I am not sure what to do with the entire back wall.  Would I want to build a room-within-a-room on the front and side walls, and then remove the drywall from the back walls in order to stagger studs (should I mix techniques like this)?

 

2.  I will still need to have access to the side attic space.  What is the best way to continue to allow this access, while at the same time preventing sound from entering/escaping the room?

 

3.  Since this room is on the second/top floor do I need to add sound isolation to the ceiling (e.g. channel + DD)?

 

4. What is the best way to treat the floor?  I will be removing the existing carpet.  I believe I have seen a rubber mat-type material laid down on the subfloor underneath carpet.  What is the best way to go here?

 

NOTE: My renderings show the ceiling line coming to a point, which was a mistake I made while hastily putting together the renderings.  The ceiling actually slopes in a few feet and then is flat for about a six foot portion at the top.
Hi Robert

I had my colleague ask me this question on a Google Hangout we recorded yesterday so that I could respond in full as typing takes me too long (I type like I have hooves for hands!). You can see the video here on YouTube.com:

At 1.30 minute in I begin my response to my colleague as he completes reading out your question.

So I hope it helps and please let me know if you need any further advice.

Thanks
Dennis
Acoustic Engineer
Acoustic Fields
 

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You could either tear out closet and do room inside room, then rebuild closet inside sound proof shell ... Or ... You could cut the room short and do a wall 6" or so from the closet inside the room all the way across and just have a small hall to enter room or the closet. The new wall would server to further increase sound proofing in that direction, but treat the original areas just the same. It would make your back wall more square and easier to design the interior.

I don't see where the attic entrance is, but could it be on the other side of the wall in the hall or in the closet ? That helps things since you get an extra wall to diminish the sound before the attic hatch, which should help sound leakage into attic and vice versa.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thanks Dennis and MFusick.

At 1.30 minute in I begin my response to my colleague as he completes reading out your question.
Dennis: To summarize my understanding of what you said: (1) The room dimensions are difficult and too small (under ~14ft) (2) If I want to continue doing the work myself I should hire an expert to at least draw the room up.... and you could be that person. Sound right? I definitely understand that my room dimensions are not ideal and maybe on the small side, but those are the cards I was dealt, so that's what I am working with.

You could either tear out closet and do room inside room, then rebuild closet inside sound proof shell ... Or ... You could cut the room short and do a wall 6" or so from the closet inside the room all the way across and just have a small hall to enter room or the closet.
That's an interesting idea. For a short time this was a consideration, but I would imagine that this would become problematic with surround speaker placement. I will probably create a false wall plus acoustically transparent screen up front, so that reduces the length of the room considerably as is.

I don't see where the attic entrance is, but could it be on the other side of the wall in the hall or in the closet ? That helps things since you get an extra wall to diminish the sound before the attic hatch, which should help sound leakage into attic and vice versa.
I am probably using the wrong terminology when I talk about attic space. I am not referring to a normal hatch that goes into attic space above, but rather the two small doors on either side of the room that enter the side "attic" space. You can kind of make this out in the pictures from my first post. I did not show the walls for the outside attic space, but I did put in the 2x4s to show the attic space structure.
 

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Thanks Dennis and MFusick.



Dennis: To summarize my understanding of what you said: (1) The room dimensions are difficult and too small (under ~14ft) (2) If I want to continue doing the work myself I should hire an expert to at least draw the room up.... and you could be that person. Sound right? I definitely understand that my room dimensions are not ideal and maybe on the small side, but those are the cards I was dealt, so that's what I am working with.



That's an interesting idea. For a short time this was a consideration, but I would imagine that this would become problematic with surround speaker placement. I will probably create a false wall plus acoustically transparent screen up front, so that reduces the length of the room considerably as is.



I am probably using the wrong terminology when I talk about attic space. I am not referring to a normal hatch that goes into attic space above, but rather the two small doors on either side of the room that enter the side "attic" space. You can kind of make this out in the pictures from my first post. I did not show the walls for the outside attic space, but I did put in the 2x4s to show the attic space structure.
Hi Robert,

No one likes hearing that their room is too small, believe me I get that. I have to tell people all the time, from an acoustical standpoint, and they are often offended or hurt and ignore my advice. But I tell it like it is and won't put square pegs in round holes just to sell a product or service.

I was offering you my opinion gained from years of experience. If you don't want to take that advice then that's OK. And no not advocating me as the professional to do it. I was simply stating that if I was in your shoes I would seek the advice of a professional because it is a big job.

I wish you good luck with your project.
Dennis
 

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Thanks Dennis and MFusick.



That's an interesting idea. For a short time this was a consideration, but I would imagine that this would become problematic with surround speaker placement. I will probably create a false wall plus acoustically transparent screen up front, so that reduces the length of the room considerably as is.



I am probably using the wrong terminology when I talk about attic space. I am not referring to a normal hatch that goes into attic space above, but rather the two small doors on either side of the room that enter the side "attic" space. You can kind of make this out in the pictures from my first post. I did not show the walls for the outside attic space, but I did put in the 2x4s to show the attic space structure.
From your pics it looks like your second "back" wall could be only a few inches from the existing closet wall now. You might only lose 10" of total length if you do it right. worth it.

Put the door to the attic space in the closet. Have two doors to enter the closet from the back wall, one in the new rear wall and one existing. Put weatherproofing seals on the bottoms. That should aid in the sound proofing, doors generally suck at that. Having double doors with small gap hall between should be more effective than a single door. Even if the second door is a cheap one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Mfusick, do I understand you correctly that you are suggesting removing the closet, moving the attic door further back towards the back wall (where the closet would have been) then adding the second interior stud wall with a second interior door that, when opened, would lead to the newly moved "outside" door (the one that actually access the attic space)? I like that idea. Perhaps if the interior-side attic door were heavy and sealed enough it might work okay. In the design of the room I could probably even cover the attic doors in a way that makes them disappear into the room. Thanks for the suggestion!
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Dennis (or anyone else): since you did indicate that my space was more narrow than you normally like to see could you explain why the width is a problem? You indicate in one of your other video responses that a room that is around 15ft wide is fine, so I'm curious why that 1.5ft makes a difference. I'm assuming something to do with room modes, but I haven't gotten very far into my research on that topic yet. What possible options exist for dealing with the width restriction here? Currently the room is 13'11" wide, but it will likely be even less once I start construction on the room. Thank you for your input.
 

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Dennis (or anyone else): since you did indicate that my space was more narrow than you normally like to see could you explain why the width is a problem? You indicate in one of your other video responses that a room that is around 15ft wide is fine, so I'm curious why that 1.5ft makes a difference. I'm assuming something to do with room modes, but I haven't gotten very far into my research on that topic yet. What possible options exist for dealing with the width restriction here? Currently the room is 13'11" wide, but it will likely be even less once I start construction on the room. Thank you for your input.
Hi Robert,

I'll get my colleague to put this on the reply list for next Tuesday so I can answer in full in a video. So look out for a full reply next Tues/Weds.

Thanks
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I wish! Currently I am still in the early days of planning; I am jealous that you are nearing the end of your build. In the next week or two I am hoping to start building a couple of DIY speaker projects: 1099's from DiySoundGroup.com for LCR duty and two-martycubes with Stereo Integrity HT 18" drivers.

All of that is good and well, but it would be fun to just start ripping drywall down for the fun of seeing what's behind the curtain, so to speak.
 

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I wish! Currently I am still in the early days of planning
Plan and plan some more. I spent roughly 4 months planning and I am happy that I that did but there were some thing that I still had not thought about or knew until I got to them in the build stage.
One thing that I did was keep a notebook, which I sectioned off, and as I would read through the posts I would make a note of who's site it was and the page/post# it was. It was a quick reference to go to if I had questions on how someone else did what I was working on at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
.
One thing that I did was keep a notebook, which I sectioned off, and as I would read through the posts I would make a note of who's site it was and the page/post# it was. It was a quick reference to go to if I had questions on how someone else did what I was working on at the time.
Absolute gospel. I now use Microsoft Onenote which is brilliant for this type of notetaking. It allows for easy organization. I wish I had started taking better notes from the beginning. some of these threads get into the hundreds of pages and I did not always reference the post number. Now what I do is right click the post number and copy the link, which makes it easy to jump right to the post.
 

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Dennis (or anyone else): since you did indicate that my space was more narrow than you normally like to see could you explain why the width is a problem? You indicate in one of your other video responses that a room that is around 15ft wide is fine, so I'm curious why that 1.5ft makes a difference. I'm assuming something to do with room modes, but I haven't gotten very far into my research on that topic yet. What possible options exist for dealing with the width restriction here? Currently the room is 13'11" wide, but it will likely be even less once I start construction on the room. Thank you for your input.
Hi Robert,

Here's my reply. I hope the explanation helps.

Let me know if you have follow up questions. Sorry if I'm ever negative but I try to just be honest and present the information I would want to know.

Thanks
Dennis
 
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