The main constraint of all basements is very often that they have bare rafters in place of a proper ceiling; this not only looks ugly in appearance but also lets in noise from above. All the sounds emanating from outside must remain outside and sounds emanating from inside must remain enclosed within the confines of the basement walls. The soundproof basement ceiling is the barrier between the basement and the upper floors.

Merits of a sound proofed basement ceiling

  1. Stop the outside noise – Stifle traffic sounds caused by a number of cars, trucks whizzing by.
  1. Savvy usage of HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) as a soundproof basement ceiling covers up the escape routes of both sound and heat simultaneously; even tiny openings are closed. Hot or cold outside air cannot enter.
  1. Stop the inside noise- Time to retreat into the comforts of your basement for a little ‘me time’; undisturbed by blocking every sudden sound of a plate crashing down or a kid upstairs bursting into loud weeping.
  1. Keep the Dolby surround sound speakers booming and thundering as you enjoy the latest flicks in your home theater.

Buying a foam panel to insulate the air borne sound is not a bad idea but foam panels are very flexible and can sag when applied to a ceiling as gravity is at work

Acoustical sealants- the specialized caulk absorbs sound and adheres to most building materials such as wood, metal or concrete. It seals the gap where walls meet each other and the ceiling or the floor to prevent sound transmission or movement around the partition; it will serve as a barricade to flanking sound and thermal transfer.

Green Glue noise proofing sealing fills gaps, seams and cracks. It can be used to seal around HVAC openings and along metal ducts to minimize sound vibration and noise movement. Green glue blocks low-frequency waves and mid-upper range noise. It is elastic and pliable too.

Elements involved in soundproofing basement ceiling:

Decoupling – Sound is just vibration and it travels if there is a direct pathway to follow like the string between two cans. You ‘decouple’ the pathway by cutting the string and vibration or sound stops as there is no conduction. So, by decoupling the framing in walls and ceilings we allow minimal sound to travel. However air borne sound isn’t affected by decoupling.

Simple fiber glass insulation – Air cavities resonate and hollow walls trap the air that resonates. When the wall is vibrated by sound upstairs or from neighbor’s house the air in wall cavity is also vibrated. So sound emanates from wall between the wall studs. Simple fiber glass insulation absorbs this sound. Other insulation material too like cellulose and mineral wool serve the purpose.

Drywalls – Adding mass to the walls by using materials like Drywall, Plywood, Cement board to make it heavy.

Drywall is one of the most economical choices.

Damping the drywall on the sound producing side of the wall reduces all vibration immediately.

Alliancerenovations delivers a variety of high-quality solutions for soundproofing basement ceilings.

Addition of drywall to typical ceiling

It is cost-efficient, easily installable; but performance-wise not much notable change in soundproofing as sound transfers without resistance from upper rooms into basement. The standard ceiling upgrade is a basic level of improvement.

Addition of green glue to the ceiling

In this process, two additional layers of standard drywall are added to the existing drywall or plaster ceiling. The ceiling becomes more massive. By installing green glue coverage between the layers will damp vibration. Some vibration still escapes through the framing above new drywall layers, so some energy sill enters your ceiling and walls. But finding all the existing joists is quite a huge task. Performance-wise; vibration still emanates from subfloor and joists overhead.

Sound can’t be isolated by single layer of concrete; it will just add more mass to the already massive ceiling. The best option would be to install a decoupled Clip & Channel system and adding a damped drywall. If the air cavity is deeper then the sound isolation is greater. The deeper the air cavity, the greater the sound isolation!

.Options to choose from, while soundproofing your basement ceiling:

Sonopan and how it works – It is light, cost effective and easily installable not to forget very resilient. Sonopan’s noise stop technology is based on the manufacturing process wherein numerous impressions are made in each panel to create an uneven density within each panel. Each density absorbs a different sound wave ranging from low bass to high pitched frequency

Acoustic Drywall is a bit on the expensive side as it is thicker than a typical drywall. Steel, wood, concrete, or earth mounds called ‘berms’ are used as solid obstruction built between noise source and ‘the receiver’. The best choice in acoustic drywall would be the vinyl berm. It is cost effective gives superb acoustic appearance as well as performance with a huge life span.