Basement Shop Soundproofing idea

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Forum topic by WorkTheWood posted 01-19-2012 05:55 PM 9323 views 1 time favorited 40 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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35 posts in 2399 days

01-19-2012 05:55 PM

I am trying to figure out how to best soundproof the ceiling of my basement shop. Here is an idea I am considering (it’s probably not an original idea – I imagine somebody else has done this).

I’ll try to explain this as good as I can.

In each floor cavity, I am thinking about layering 1/2” drywall (sheetrock). On either side of the cavity, I would install some supports to hold the drywall. Think of these supports almost like they are shelf supports. Think of the drywall like it is the shelf. I have attached a very crude drawing. In each cavity I would:

Leave a 1 inch air gap at the top
Install a “layer” of 1/2” drywall
Caulk/tape all edges to prevent airflow

Leave another 1 inch gap
Install a “layer” of 1/2” drywall
Caulk/tape all edges to prevent airflow

Leave another 1 inch gap
Install a “layer” of 1/2” drywall
Caulk/tape all edges to prevent airflow

And finally, I am going to install a drop ceiling below all of this. I am hoping the sealed air pockets, combined with 1.5 inches of total drywall, and then a drop ceiling will really help to reduce the noise.

What are your thoughts on this idea? Overkill? I am open to any and all ideas!

-- -- Lou Stagner

40 replies so far

View Bill White's profile

Bill White

4930 posts in 3959 days

#1 posted 01-19-2012 06:01 PM

Any flat surface will act like a “drumhead”, and will vibrate. Irregular surfaces will interfere with sound transfer and reflection. Try to alternate surfaces to create this irregular mode.
Just a thought.


View meikou's profile


115 posts in 3633 days

#2 posted 01-19-2012 06:02 PM

I think you would be better off using rigid foam insulation between the joists and fill in any gaps with expanding foam.

You can buy acoustical ceiling tiles that will help cut down on the noise but it would depend on how you mount the grid as to their efficiency.

View David's profile


198 posts in 2662 days

#3 posted 01-19-2012 06:14 PM

Do you have a budget in mind? I’ve designed sound proof rooms before and there’s a range of construction options depending on what you can spend. I’ve used products from the Green Glue Company, they also have a good tech section to explain the concepts in play.

From looking at your drawing, the main issue I see is that you have a solid connection (joists) between your basement and the floor above it. High frequency noises will pass right through.

-- Perilous to all of us are the devices of an art deeper than we ourselves possess. --Gandalf the Grey

View bbjjj's profile


29 posts in 2330 days

#4 posted 01-19-2012 06:40 PM

If your heating system is in the basement the duct work will be very difficult to isolate. We have a company here they have been building sound proof rooms for years.. They use a laminated drywall/lead that works really well.

View WorkTheWood's profile


35 posts in 2399 days

#5 posted 01-19-2012 07:49 PM

Thanks for all the quick replies everyone! Some great info!

@David: I don’t have a budget in mind, but my wife sure does. The cheaper the better! I am not looking to eliminate all the noise from the shop and make it completely soundproof, just reduce it so that it doesn’t overpower the first floor.

-- -- Lou Stagner

View crank49's profile


4030 posts in 2970 days

#6 posted 01-19-2012 08:01 PM

Commercial sound proofing panels I have worked with have a common theme. A perforated skin on the noisy side, dense mineral wool insulation in the middle and a solid skin on the opposite side. I think the theory is to let the sound waves in, attenuate them and reflect back anything that makes it to the far side.

Applied to your model, that would be a thick layer of sheetrock (2 layers of 1/2” mortared together?) on the top, sealed around the edges, a densely packed layer of mineral wool (4” to 6”) then perforated hardboard to hold the mineral wool in.

I think they make sheetrock specificaly for sound proofing.

Man that’s going to be a lot of work if your pockets are as full of crap as mine. Pipes, wires, ducts, bridging braces, etc.

I’m thinking if I was going to hang a suspended ceiling anyway, maybe a layer of mineral wool and a piece of sheetrock on top of each tile might work as well. Not sure, just a theory.

Or, maybe they make special tiles for suspended ceilings.

View Viking's profile


880 posts in 3194 days

#7 posted 01-19-2012 08:04 PM

Or …...... buy everyone upstairs a set of Bose noise cancelling headphones?

-- Rick Gustafson - Lost Creek Ranch - Colorado County, Texas

View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2355 days

#8 posted 01-19-2012 08:27 PM

What I will be doing is installing the soud proof pink bats, does the insulation and minimises the sound…

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View WilliamHan's profile


2 posts in 2893 days

#9 posted 01-19-2012 08:32 PM

I sound proofed my basement using the sound isolation clips that David W mentions. I was in the same boat where I needed to cut down on the noise significantly, but small leaks were ok. i used the quietclip but any sound isolation clip would work.

The theory is that you need to decouple a wall from the framing. The quiet clips basically allow a wall to hang off them. When sound hits the drywall ceiling, the ceiling vibrates, but because of the clips, the vibrations don’t get passed onto the framing behind it but get absorbed into the clips. sound is just vibrating air. If there isn’t any detachment, then the sounds hits the really heavy framing wall and causes the whole wall to vibrate which vibrates the air behind the wall and causes noise on the other side.

1. I filled joists with insulation to absorb sound
2. Screwed clips into joists
3. attached drywall furring strips that can be bought at home depot/lowes in drywall section (basically just metal strips)
4. Screw drywall into the furring strips.
5. I then used sound acoustic caulk around the edges. (theory is that it is vibration dampening flexible caulk that can move as ceiling vibrates to the excessive noise).

I only used 1 layer of drywall, although 2 layers would have been better (theory is that the heavier the decoupled ceiling, the less it vibrates so the less that it passes on). It was painful using that drywall ceilign joist that I rented at home depot to get the drywall on the ceiling by myself.

I encountered problems with the venting. I couldn’t figure out a solution so I didn’t change the venting. Some noise leaks through the venting to upstairs. I also built a second false non-bearing wall inside the wall of the basement room which was completely separate from the actual true basement wall and drywalled both sides. i could have bought more sound clips but found it was just easier to build a second detached wall. sound hits wall and causes it to vibrate, but because it isn’t in contact with outer wall, vibrations don’t get passed on.) I also got a heavy solid wood door at one of those stores that recycles building supplies.

You pretty much have to isolate the room. I am a complete amateur. Even a complete amateur woodworker :). It was actually not too hard to do, but a fair bit of work. It was fun learning about how sound isolation works and designing the room.

View WorkTheWood's profile


35 posts in 2399 days

#10 posted 01-19-2012 08:35 PM


Do you have a link to the product you are considering?

-- -- Lou Stagner

View chrisstef's profile


17386 posts in 3005 days

#11 posted 01-19-2012 09:51 PM

Lou, in commercial construction they use what they call “resilient channel” to help with sound isolation. Basically its a “z” shaped metal channel that attached to the underside of the floor joists and then the drywall is screwed to that channel. That may be the cheapest and most available.

I bet you could rip thin strips of homosote to stuff in the joist bays for sound deadening as well.

-- Its not a crack, its a casting imperfection.

View canadianchips's profile


2600 posts in 2996 days

#12 posted 01-19-2012 10:23 PM

If it were MY basementI would use spray on foam insulation. The cost is hgiher but you get more benefits than just sound proofing. It is a good way to SEAL up any cracks to prevent dust and odors from going into rest of home. It acts as a 2 sided vapor barrier. Where I live, humidity and mould are a high concern in basements.
The extra cost of a pro. is worth every penny. Do it yourself KITS are not as efficient as a pro. machine.
I think when you add up the labor, material of any do it yourself idea, spray on will be the answer.
(ps. I DO NOT WORK for a insulation company, I only recommend it because I believe in it very strongly)
After you have insulated wit hthis, I would then use the poly-vinyl material they use in commercial bathrooms. Easy to use,cleanable, & bright for good lighting. This is a workshop where dust is going to happen !

-- "My mission in life - make everyone smile !"

View Grandpa's profile


3259 posts in 2674 days

#13 posted 01-19-2012 10:33 PM

I have a friend that is a contractor. He was hired to soundproof a room. The homeowner wanted their son to be able to go in the room and play his music as loud as he desired and they wanted the sound to stay in the room and not bother them. He added sound board to the walls and everything he could come up with. The thing that finally stopped the sound in his case was a solid core door. I think that goes along with several suggestions above. the hollow core door vibrated like a drum head. The solid core door did not vibrate.
I do know that in church buildings the sound people want to have a zig-zag front on a balcony so the sound goes off in different angles and does not bounce back to the front of the room. Just ideas.

View Nighthawk's profile


556 posts in 2355 days

#14 posted 01-19-2012 10:43 PM

To be honest… Not sure if they export to the US??? ... it is a Kiwi (NZ) we don’t have a free trade deal with you… It is a product we have been using here for years( a good 40 odd)... they work well and is realitively cheap and you can do your own intallations it is pretty easy. they come in bails cut to size and place in. Its a glass wool.

But pointless if you can get in the US I guess…

-- Rome wasn't built in a day... but I wasn't on that job? ...

View WorkTheWood's profile


35 posts in 2399 days

#15 posted 01-19-2012 11:13 PM


I priced out spray foam, and it was extremely expensive. Tough to justify that cost to the powers that be. :)

-- -- Lou Stagner

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