Skip to main content

Soundproofing a bedroom ceiling

I found a YouTube video posted by Tone N.W. and it annotates the steps he took to soundproof his bedroom ceiling after his upstairs neighbor tore out her carpeting and began walking around on bare hardwood floors above his home.

As you know, hardwood floors can be your worst enemy. A hardwood floor that's nailed directly onto a subfloor and then directly on top of wood joists is like a microphone into the rest of the building, and that impact noise travels through all the framing and right into the adjacent rooms (or apartments).

He said that he learned everything he needed to know from this document from The Soundproofing Company in Michigan.

Here's what they did:
  1. They tore off the original drywall ceiling. It looks like a previous owner had added cross strips of wood on the joists already, and they removed those too. (If you read his notes, it sounds like he regrets the extra labor in this step.)
  2. He and his wife cut drywall and added it to the upstairs subfloor inbetween each joist. I know this can be very effective and adds extra mass to the upstairs floor.
  3. They added Roxul insulation (see my posts about Roxul Safe N Sound).
  4. They added sound clips and hat channels to the joists, which will hold the new drywall.
  5. They added a layer of drywall, then a second layer of drywall, sandwiched with Green Glue.
So it's a combination of a drop ceiling, Roxul (Rockwool) insulation, and three layers of drywall (one on the above floor, two on their ceiling) with Green Glue in between. NOTE from 2018: The original video disappeared from YouTube since I first wrote this blog post. To illustrate the process, let's watch this terrific video from Trademark Soundproofing, which describes a similar process, although with slightly different products.

Trademark Soundproofing has a channel on YouTube.

Comments

  1. Hello. You shared awesome info thanks for sharing this. I have Drywall services in Winnipeg that’s really interested in drywall articles.

    ReplyDelete
  2. My band and I practice in my basement and now my dad is starting to get really upset with all the noise/vibrations it's causing. The drum set is set up right below the some ventilation stuff on the ceiling, and also is under this area in the ceiling where there pipes and my dad said we can't board over that area. So is there a way to soundproof a ceiling that would be cheap? Maybe if any of you know any little tricks, let me know.
    conservatory ceiling insulation

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am undeniably thankful to you for providing us with this invaluable related information. My spouse and I are easily grateful, quite frankly the documents we needed.
    Lubbock Foam Insulation

    ReplyDelete
  4. Soundproofing is really a good idea to get rid of noise polution. Soundproofing Wall Panels

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Blow-in cellulose and your hollow walls

It's not too late to insulate.  A few years ago, most American homes had no insulation in them. When a homeowner did insulate, it was usually with fiberglass batts.

Then along came some better products. One of them is blow-in cellulose insulation. Does it work? I can attest to this: YES. I've used it in walls and ceilings, and it works quite well for airborne noise. If you live in an uninsulated home and you hear your neighbors voices coming through your walls or ceilings, cellulose will dampen that noise or mute it entirely.

It doesn't work for all types of noise. But it doesn't eradicate impact noise. You might still hear the sounds of someone walking across a bare hardwood floor with their shoes on, for example, or hear wall-mounted cabinets opening and closing. There are other solutions for that, and by combining different solutions you can control most structural noise and create more privacy.

Low cost Blow-in insulation is inexpensive. You can hire a specialist …

Combining QuietRock and Green Glue together

Two great products work great together. As I've mentioned before, I'm experimenting around with ways to reduce some of the noise problems in my apartment on a tight budget. I think I've found the best combination to date: adding a layer of QuietRock 510 over an existing layer of gypsum drywall with a layer of Green Glue inbetween.

This was sort of the best of both worlds: taking a pre-made, sound-dampened drywall and then adding it over a powerful, viscous layer of glue....onto drywall that was already on the wall studs. No demo needed. In this project, I basically added two sound-dampening layers to the original 1950s drywall (one layer in the QuietRock and the other layer created by the Green Glue) to address "flanking noise": feet, furniture, and shoes pounding on the bare floor of my downstairs neighbors' apartment. The amount of banging, bashing, and foot-stomping sounds coming from their very "wooden" apartment has been severe, and I've …

Example from Roxul: insulating a home theatre room

I like this video from Roxul because the presenter clearly explains the difference between the two types of noise: airborne and low-frequency noise, which I will add to here.

The lower frequencies travel through the wood studs. A low frequency travels from your wall surfaces, floors, and ceilings if they sit directly on those studs. Lower frequencies include bass from your stereo, impact sounds from walking or pounding, trucks driving outside, and maybe the spin cycle on a washer.

Roxul insulation mitigates the other kind of noise -- airborne noise -- which can include talking and TV (without bass). This insulation product is dense and does a really great job of blocking airborne noise. However, used alone, it doesn't stop low-frequency noise.

The presenter shows how to insert Roxul batts between the studs, which you've seen before. Then he installs a resilient channel to keep the drywall from touching the wood studs. The resilient channel's job is to reduce the low freque…