Soundproofing of the basement ceiling is the way to reduce the intensity of sound entering your basement. If you want to convert your basement into an office or personal room, then this article “cheapest way to soundproof a basement ceiling” is for you.
Due to some financial issues, I gave my home on a rent to one of the gymnasiums and I shifted with my family to the basement of my home, just since then we started getting disturbs due to the loud music and the noise of dumbbell.
Whenever they used to put dumbbells on the ground, we would hear their voice below and because of this, all the people of my family were disturbed.
Hence, then I decided to soundproof the basement ceiling. Now I am going to share the same ways with you here which I used and the ones that are capable of soundproofing.
But before that, it is very important for us to know some basics so that we could understand things well and that is, what is soundproofing, what are their principle, and what are the types of noise. So let’s start,
What Is Soundproofing?
In simple words, Soundproofing is the process of reducing the amount of sound in a room. This soundproofing has 5 basic principles and they are as follows,
What Are Soundproofing Principles?
There are 5 basic types of principles and they are as follows,
1. Distance: Here, by increasing the distance between the source and the receiver you can reduce noise.
2. Mass: Mass is a any solid object which you can use to create barrier to sound waves.
3. Damping: Damping is to dissipate sound energy and vibration energy before it can build up into sound. Viscoelastic material such as Polyvinyl chloride, Rubber, Polyurethane, and Green glue is the best example for it.
4. Decoupling: Decoupling is the way to create the dead zone or gap in between the two parts so that the air couldn’t travel from here to there.
5. Absorption: By using the absorptive material here you can reduce the echoes and by doing this you can indirectly reduce noise in your room.
If you follow these principles for soundproofing a basement ceiling then I will assure you that you will get better results. I have made my basement ceiling soundproof by following these principles and really I have got very good results.
Types Of Noise
Basically there are 2 types of noise and they are as follows,
1. Airborne Noise: It is that noise which is generated through the air, our talking, music and the noise of TV is the best example for it.
2. Structure Borne or Impact Noise: It is the noise that is generated through the structure, it means that when an object collides with another object then a noise is generated that noise is structure-borne noise, footsteps or dumbbells is the best example for it.
These two types of sound mostly you can hear in the basement. So here we are going to discuss about the methods that I was used to get rid of these two noises.
Cheapest Way To Soundproof A Basement Ceiling
Here we are using some of the cheapest soundproof materials according to soundproofing principles, so that we could get good results in less money.
1. Use Carpet, Rug Or Mat
In my case, I had used a 1/2 inch thick rubber mat over the floor in the gym area above the basement.
And what can I tell you that the result got so good that the heart rejoiced, at least 40 to 50 percent noise was reduced in one stroke by using just one thick rubber mat.
Here what I did, I just added a 1/2 inch thick rubber mat on the floor of the gym area, which means that I added extra mass to the floor which is one of the principles of soundproofing.
Now in your case, you have to use a thick carpet or rug on the floor which is exactly above the basement. Of note, always use carpet or rug padding below the carpet or rug which helps to improve the NRC (noise reduction coefficient) rating of the material.
I personally feel it is a good and affordable way to reduce noise and it also enhances the beauty of your home. It is a soft material that helps to reduce noise.
What we are doing here, so here we are adding a little bit of mass along with absorptive material, which helps us to reduce the structure-borne as well as airborne noise.
2. Use Rock-wool Insulation
When we were facing this problem at that time we observed that our basement ceiling joist cavities are open, then I decided to fill these joist cavities with the help of mineral wool insulation.
But found there are two types of mineral wool insulation available in the market and is Rockwool insulation Vs Fiberglass insulation.
Then I was confused about which insulation should install, then I read some textbooks, articles, as well as I also watched some videos, then I came to know that Rockwool Insulation is a good insulation product, then I bought it.
The next day I cut the Rockwool bat according to the size of cavity available in between the joist and then I fitted it in between the joist, then we observed a tremendous noise reduction in the ceiling.
Hope you will have also available joist cavity, if you do not have these joist cavity to your ceiling then you will have to make the joist structure to your ceiling and for that, you have to hire a professional person.
Then cut the Rockwool insulation bat according to your joist cavity and fit it into the joist cavity and then observe the difference. The Rockwool insulation has a good NRC rating. Its mesh-like structure blocks the sound from moving from one place to another.
3. Use Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
MLV is a good product for sound barriers. It is specially designed to act as a sound blocker. It is used to reduces noise transmission through walls, ceilings, and floors. It has a good STC rating of 32, it depends upon its density, how denser it is.
Its installation is very easy, you can easily install it on the joist by doing staple, nail, or screw. It is also used in the automobile sector for reducing vibrations and noise.
4. Use MuteX Soundproof Material
Mutex is one of the good alternatives available for MLV. It is also specifically designed to act as a sound barrier. It is cheaper than MLV. It is used to reduces noise transmission through walls, ceilings, and floors.
Its specialty is that it is a two-stage sound barrier and that is Polymute resin and the second one is Carbonweave.
- Polymute resin: Polymute resins are used to block the sound.
- Carbonweave: Carbonweave is used to absorbs sound.
These two combinations make this product a good sound reducer. It has a good STC rating of 32. It is also used in the automobile sector for reducing vibrations and noise.
Its installation is the same as MLV, you can easily install it on the joist by doing staple, nail, or screw. Of note, its Carbonweave side should always towards the source of the sound.
5. Use Drywall With Resilient Channel
The resilient channel is a sturdy metal device that is used to hang the drywall, instead of directly attaching the drywall to the stud or joist, and it is also used to create the dead air zone in between the drywall and the joist or stud.
This means that it is used to decouple the two parts. Of note, by decoupling you are indirectly increasing the STC rating of your wall.
Here we are going to create a dead zone of air so that when the sound waves enter it, most of the sound wave dies, and the remaining sound waves are absorbed and distributed by the resilient channel, and by doing this the sound loses its energy.
Its installation process is very easy, you have to screw the resilient channel by placing it in the perpendicular direction of the joist. Then place the drywall over the resilient channel and screw it, now you have done.
Of note, Whenever you use the drywall, always use only 5/8 inch thick soundproof drywall for better results.
I hope that by applying all these ways you will surely get a good result but still, you are not satisfied then apply the below step.
6. Use Second Layer Of Drywall With Green Glue
If you have followed all the above methods and still have not got the desired results, then you take green glue and apply it on the second layer of drywall and then apply this second layer of drywall over the first layer of drywall, now you have done.
By doing this you are adding an extra layer of mass to your ceiling and as well as by using green glue between the layers of drywall, you are adding an extra 9 STC points to the ceilings which indicate more soundproofing.
A green glue compound is used to decouple the two layers of the drywall to reduce the intensity of sound and noise vibrations. It converts sound energy into a small amount of heat energy. It is a good product, but don’t expect too much better results from this.
When you apply it in between the two drywalls then it takes around 30 days to dry so always use screws to hold the two drywall in a place together even though you applied a green glue compound.
After completing the work apply green glue sealant to every corner of the ceiling and if there is any crack, void or gap is available, then fill it with this sealant. Not a single place should be left so that the air can’t come in.
Here I referred to Soundproof drywall because it has a good STC rating which is 50, it all depends upon how thicker and denser it is. Of note, STC stands for sound transmission class, it is the ability of any material to block the noise.
You can get rid of both the sounds by using the above cheapest way to soundproof a basement ceiling.
Hope this article “Cheapest way to soundproof a basement ceiling” will guide you in the right direction.