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Old 01-08-2008, 06:00 PM   #1
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


Just finished the electrical in the basement and I'm getting ready to move onto the insulation.

I'm not sure if I'm going with a drywall or dropped ceiling just yet, but I do know I want to insulate the ceiling for sound purposes.
I've been looking at all the different types of insulation at HD and Menard's in the last week and I just don't know which direction to go, which is why I'm posting here again.

My original thought was to put up Styrofoam. Can anyone give any thoughts about that? How about Styrofoam for the walls?
I've seen those pink foam boards too but they are just about double the price of plain ole' white Styrofoam.

Would fiberglass roll insulation do a better job with sound that these boards would?


Thank you in advance for your comments.

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Old 01-08-2008, 06:09 PM   #2
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Try a search. There have been multiple threads about this.

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Old 01-08-2008, 06:17 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by jerryh3 View Post
Try a search. There have been multiple threads about this.
I did Jerry but I couldn't quite find an answer. I found post about insulation for heating your basement, I found insulation on walls for sound in your basement, but no comments about Styrofoam.

Thank you for your wisdom.
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Old 01-08-2008, 06:37 PM   #4
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


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I did Jerry but I couldn't quite find an answer. I found post about insulation for heating your basement, I found insulation on walls for sound in your basement, but no comments about Styrofoam.

Thank you for your wisdom.
Acoustical Insulation for basement ceiling
Best "bang for the buck" in reducing basement sound
Atlantic et al: Soundproofing Ceiling between 1st and 2nd floors
Try these. My wisdom is now your wisdom. Use wisely.

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Old 01-08-2008, 07:09 PM   #5
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


Thanks again Jerry.

I'd love to hear if anyone has had success using styrofoam in the ceiling or if I'm just wasting my money.
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Old 01-08-2008, 07:33 PM   #6
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


Acoustical Insulation for basement ceiling
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Old 01-12-2008, 08:04 AM   #7
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


I'm using r-11 roll type batt insulation. It's pretty cheap and should help with sound. I think it all comes down to how much sound you want to stop. If you want it to be a "quiet" room you're going to spend a lot more than if you just want to reduce some traffic noise.

I just started putting mine in yesterday. Make sure you wear gloves, face mask and eye protection.
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Old 01-12-2008, 07:54 PM   #8
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I'm using r-11 roll type batt insulation. It's pretty cheap and should help with sound. I think it all comes down to how much sound you want to stop. If you want it to be a "quiet" room you're going to spend a lot more than if you just want to reduce some traffic noise.

I just started putting mine in yesterday. Make sure you wear gloves, face mask and eye protection.

Let me know how you like it. I'm not looking for "total quiet", I just want to be able to have people in the basement without anyone on the first floor hearing every word that is said.

Thanks for the reply.
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Old 01-13-2008, 02:31 PM   #9
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


I've been doing some similar research for my 1st floor living room which is below my kids' playroom. There are a couple of different ways that sound travels. If you create a barrier that retards or resists air movement, that is a big step. That being said, foam is far superior to fiberglass batt insulation as it pretty much creates an air tight barrier.

On the other hand, sound also travels through objects much the same way heat travels through objects via conduction (I don't know the sound analogy here). Think about low-frequency audible sound, i.e. that being transmitted from the gangsta mobile as it passes your house or that which is generated by the subwoofers of your son's/daughter's stereo speakers. It basically travels through the solid flooring, framing, etc., from one space to another. That being said, there are many products and construction details that include installing channels, furring, mass-loaded vinyl, etc., on the bottoms of the joists prior to installation of the sheetrock.

I guess it all depends on how picky you want to be.

Just some ideas,
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Old 01-13-2008, 04:31 PM   #10
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Let me know how you like it. I'm not looking for "total quiet", I just want to be able to have people in the basement without anyone on the first floor hearing every word that is said.

Thanks for the reply.
Fiberglass insulation is not a very effective sound barrier, but it will help MUFFLE what I call "ambient air borne noises", or things like voices, normal radio and tv sounds, general kitchen noises, etc. It will not be effective for things like foot noise or loud, low frequency noises, like those from a sub-woofer on the floor in the room above, as these are tranmitted through the floor structure from floor to the ceiling below.

If that is all you are after, the few $ for insulation are probably worth it. If you really in need of true sound deadening, you will have to go with more costly methods, such as hanging the basement ceiling on "hat channels" , installing a layer of sound board (Homosote Corp) under the sheetrock, or increasing the mass of the ceiling by hanging mutliple layers of sheetrock. There is also sheetrock manufactured to block sound (Quietrock Brand), but it is not cheap.

Last edited by troubleseeker; 01-13-2008 at 04:38 PM.
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Old 02-26-2008, 04:44 PM   #11
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


This msg. is for anyone who thinks he/she might have the answer. My basement was recently finished, and now that its completed ... I've discovered you can hear EVERYTHING from upstairs [even if the phone rings] - and forget about walking about [you'd think it was Herman Munster himself]. So something needs to be done. I'm guessing the ceiling would have to be ripped apart and redone with insulation ... but what insulation is needed and what cost can I expect to incur???
Any and all replies would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 02-26-2008, 05:21 PM   #12
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


Depends how much noise you want to cut out. If it bugs you enough that you're going to rip the ceiling out to do it you'll probably want to go with the channel method where you hang the ceiling on channels that float a bit to block sound transfer. Don't know the technical name but you can google it and find some info easily. As far as cost I suspect it's going to be a costly and messy proposition. I suspect since you said "rip out" you have a drywalled ceiling. You could also save the money and buy a really nice stereo system to drown out the noise?? At least you could take that with you if you move...
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:50 AM   #13
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insulating a basement ceiling for sound


What about this product?? Comes from Roxul and is Fire retardent and sound blocker. Has no R value which is perfect for my case, not sure about yours though!?? Take a peek at http://www.roxul.com/sw47802.asp
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Old 02-27-2008, 09:55 AM   #14
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i saw a product at the one of the builders shows that looked almost like cork that was made to be used for sound deadening. guy said it was available at most lumber yards and home centers. never actually tried it
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Old 02-27-2008, 07:51 PM   #15
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I saw the Roxul when i was researching but under "where to buy" it looked like only Canadian provinces. I ended up just using R-11 in the ceiling. It seems to have deadended the sound a bit...

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