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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I'm renovating my basement, which will become a home theater over time as budget allows. I've attached the layout sketch below. I want to soundproof because I have a young baby and a wife who goes to bed early. I've done a lot of reading here and elsewhere on soundproofing techniques, and it seems that double drywall, green glue, isolation clips and hat channel for the walls and ceilings is my best bet.


However, because I don't have a dedicated basement room for home theater, my basement also has a 3-piece bathroom, a utility room and a laundry room. In the utility room, I don't think I'm even allowed to drywall the exterior wall where my boiler is as per building code. In the bathroom, I'm not sure how practical it is to soundproof an environment where there is lots of moisture. And I know from reading about how it doesn't matter where the hole is in the bucket, if there's a hole it will leak. So if I can't soundproof properly this entire space, then whatever expense and effort I undertake for the main walls/ceilings of my basement will go to waste since the sound will leak through the utility room or bathroom or laundry room up to the main and 2nd floors.


Therefore, am I better off just to use regular resilient channels with a single layer of drywall plus Roxul Safe and Sound insulation in the ceiling? I know this is not the preferred way, but I'm not sure if doing proper soundproofing for 75% of the area instead of 100% is any better?


What do you recommend in soundproofing my open area home theater? Thanks in advance for your help!

 

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I have an open plan and here's what I did:


1) Decoupled ALL stud walls using DC-04 clips. I built a second decoupled wall along the staircase, to.

2) Drywall furring channel (DWFC) and clips on the ENTIRE ceiling (parallel to joists to minimize height loss), including the bathroom.

3) Replaced all exisitng and ran two new HVAC runs off the main trunk with flex duct (not the expensive sound rated flex, regular flex from the big box stores) but left the main trunk as is.

4) Added a return using flex.

5) Insulated ALL walls and ceiling (R13 walls, R19 ceiling). INCLUDING the bathroom. You can get insulation faced in plastic.

6) Double 5/8s, X-type drywall with Green Glue at something over 1 tube per sheet throughout the room.

7) I did use 1/2" drywall on the wall facing my gas furnace, with no code issues.


So far, I couldn't be happier. I hear virtually nothing through the ductwork. I hear virtually nothing through the ceiling. The largest "hole" right now is the door at the top of the stsirs and it is not properly sealed. I plan to replace it with a Safe 'n Sound and properly seal it.


With the couple of days at home during the big DC blizzard this week, I have been in the basement installing Dricore. my son was off work for the week anyway. He spent most of the time in his bedroom two floors up. I was running my table saw and vacuum (at the same time) with the door shut. He said he couldn't hear a thing until he got into the kitchen and then could only hear it through the door.


My thought in planning was that I would do everything that I could not go back and do once the drywall was up. I won't be saying, "Gee, I wish I had decoupled the walls," etc. Everything else from here on I'll deal with using room treatments. If I can't get it any better that way, then I'll know it's the best it can be. I always knew there would be compromises in an open plan, but I do want it to be the best it can be.


I would say YES it IS worth it.
 

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Turn the storage room into a theater? Just thought I'd throw that idea out there. Ideally you would have your bar out in the open area, IMO.
 

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And I don't really think soundproofing is worth it if you are just doing a media room, rather than dedicated theater. Just insulate all of the walls and the ceiling and call it good. If you start thinking about a serious dedicated HT then start thinking about sound isolation, IMO.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks for the responses! The useable storage room space (ie. space not taken up by the washer/dryer) is only about 10'x10' so the size isn't great. Why do you say that soundproofing is only worth it if it's a dedicated home theater as opposed to a media room? I'm more of a night owl than my wife is so I'd like to be able to watch movies/listen to music after she has gone to sleep.


Any other opinions on whether Roxul in the ceiling with a single layer of drywall hung on resilient channels is a good compromise? I know that's very subjective, but just looking for opinions from others who might have a similar set-up.


If I go full-bore and do dd+gg+clips, how do I handle all these weak points...such as the exhaust fan in the bathroom? At least I have no hvac ducts to worry about as I have rads for heating throughout the house.


Thanks!
 

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Your main issue will be your doors (assuming you are walling over the windows or building solid window plugs). Think of the main area as the theater to isolate. In other words, don't even try to sound isolate the storage room or the bathroom or utility room.


In your main room, use double drywall, green glue, clips and channel for your walls and ceiling, as you suggested. You need doors with good seals then for all your "openings". So, you need a good door to the storage room, the utility room, the bathroom, storage under the stairs, and lastly you need to add a door at the base of the stairs. If you get a good seal on those doors, then (if you do the double drywall, etc... on the walls and ceiling) you can have a room that is isolated pretty well.


You don't need to do any other isolation techniques then in the other rooms, like the bathroom or utility room. You are isolating that one main room from the rest of the house.
 
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