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Old 06-21-2009, 08:31 PM   #1
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Soundproofing a tiny room


I'm looking for ideas on how best to soundproof a walk-in closet to turn it into a tiny music room. There's neighbors above and below as well as other people in my unit, so I'd like to minimize the sound coming out of this room in all directions. I'm looking for ways to soundproof without tearing up the walls or wood laminate floor. The door is kinda flimsy and has a 1/4 inch gap between it and the floor.

My thoughts so far are to put thick carpet on the floor & under the door, add some sort of rubber strips around the door frame, cover the inside of the door with a thick rug(?) and put Soundstop fiberboard on the walls and ceiling.

I have no experience with soundproofing so any advice is welcome. Thanks!

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Old 06-22-2009, 12:56 AM   #2
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Soundproofing a tiny room


Yeah that would minimize it definitely.

You could also produce some panels to affix to the walls using plywood and wrapping them with batting and applying these to the walls but to really sound proof the wall you need to separate the tow surfaces as much as possible and this discussion can go many different ways and it all depends on how much expense and effort you have or want to put into the project.

Hotels and commercial spaces separate walls using hat channel or z channel. They apply this between two layers of sheet rock and call it good. Another effective sound proofing insulation is rock wool or mineral wool insulation but that is what generally goes in between the framing and is itchy as all get out. There is also special soundproofing panels that have gel applied to it but it is expensive. As far as the floor you would probably be money ahead by applying a thick carpet to the floor. You can go to greater lengths and more expense but I am assuming that you don't want to invest a life's savings in this project correct.

You could also get some OSB and some poly batting and some inexpensive fabric or if you want to spend a little more there is actually sound absorbing fabric that you can get. you could then apply the batting to the OSB and then apply the fabric on top of the OSB.

The idea is to increase the density of your surfaces while isolating layers and surfaces. Sound travels through adjacent layers so the less the layers are adjacent to one another the more effective the design will be. Again there are different ways to design this soundproofing system it is just the amount of money you want to spend on the project. Check out this link for a diagram of one sound proofing method utilizing the sound channel I spoke of earlier

http://www.soundproofing.org/images/ceiling_proof.jpg

You can see how they ran the sound channel perpendicular to the joist so that they could isolate the layers and this approach is critical for good sound isolation. Now if you apply the sound channel to the bottom of sheet rock you will loose some of the sound proofing properties because the solid surface will transmit the vibrations through to the other side.

I would Google soundproofing a room for more ideas and the main point I am trying to make here is what kind of expense do you want to incur and what level of alterations are you allowed and willing to make (in other words do you own the place or is this a rental unit.)

Good luck and I hope that this helps and hasn't just confused you!

Take care and be safe!

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Old 06-23-2009, 12:59 PM   #3
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Soundproofing a tiny room


Thanks Paragon, that's a wealth of information! And you're right, I don't want to throw a lot of money at.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:16 PM   #4
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You're describing a couple of sound control issues. The first is in-room treatment. Echo and reverb issues. This is different from soundproofing treatments.

Structural vibration (through the building framing) will allow sound to enter your room from all sides, as you suspected.

You would not want to apply the channel on existing drywall. It's one of those things that is done all the time but makes things distinctly worse at some sound frequencies.

In your case, I would recommend simply adding drywall to what you have now. Heavier 5/8" is better than 1/2". Consider a damping material in between the sheets.
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Old 06-23-2009, 01:56 PM   #5
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Soundproofing a tiny room


Ted is absolutely correct and if I did not make that clear I apologize. Here is the excerpt in which I attempted to drive Ted's specific point home.

The idea is to increase the density of your surfaces while isolating layers and surfaces. Sound travels through adjacent layers so the less the layers are adjacent to one another the more effective the design will be. Again there are different ways to design this soundproofing system it is just the amount of money you want to spend on the project. Check out this link for a diagram of one sound proofing method utilizing the sound channel I spoke of earlier

http://www.soundproofing.org/images/ceiling_proof.jpg

You can see how they ran the sound channel perpendicular to the joist so that they could isolate the layers and this approach is critical for good sound isolation. Now if you apply the sound channel to the bottom of sheet rock you will loose some of the sound proofing properties because the solid surface will transmit the vibrations through to the other side.

Hope I didn't confuse anyone and thanks Ted for making sure this point was made. Once again this project can be taken to all sorts of degrees depending on what expense a person wants to put into it and how many alterations they can make. If it is an apartment most landlords are not crazy about making structural changes what so ever however if it your home then you need to decide to what degree you are going to take it to.

But like I said I suspect that the OP does not want to throw about load of money at it as he stated however he sure could.

Take care and be safe!
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Old 06-23-2009, 09:00 PM   #6
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Soundproofing a tiny room


Quote:
My thoughts so far are to put thick carpet on the floor & under the door,
I don't want to throw a lot of money at.
Ayuh,.... Carpet Remnants,... They're kinda Cheap if ya look around,...
Cover the room,.. Floor, Walls, Ceiling,.. All of it,... 2 layers if ya can swing it...
Hang a carpet drape over the door...
It'll Cut the Noise(or music) just fine....
Do it right,+ you'll be able to pull it out, without Damage to the original finishes...
Or not much anyways...
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Old 07-24-2009, 11:15 AM   #7
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Soundproofing a tiny room


Hey James,

That image you have linked has a few no-no's. It's not your image, I realize, but you might want to know.

Applying tape to the metal channel does nothing
Resilient Channel itself is highly problematic / variable. And you absolutely cannot use RC-2 with resilient clips.
Wool insulation won't work better than standard fiberglass (R19)
Closed cell foam does nothing in that configuration.

If someone goes to the effort to use resilient clips and DWFC (a great idea) they should add more mass to the new spring system by adding a second layer of inexpensive drywall.

The image describes a number of products, which makes a nice sale for that company, but this is far from an optimized system and way overpriced.
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Old 07-25-2009, 01:52 AM   #8
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Soundproofing a tiny room


I am by no means a sound proofing guy, however I know quite a few musicians who have tried differant things, and they all were broke so the fixes were cheap

Give this a whirl....it is cheap maybe even free....allthough may be somewhat ugly...

You know those old egg cartons, not the styrofoam ones, but the cardboard/pressed/recyled paper ones? Get a crap load of those and put them on the walls and roof. They apparently work pretty damn good and it is pretty cheap. If you do it right, you can make it somewhat temperary also for when your wife decideds she wants the room back

oh yes and a nice heavy shag carpet with thick rubber underlay

May be worth a shot if funds are limited.
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Old 07-25-2009, 10:34 AM   #9
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Soundproofing a tiny room


Egg cartons went out in the 70s. Will do zero for soundproofing, though the shape will affect in-room response (less echo)
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:42 AM   #10
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Soundproofing a tiny room


ahh... good to know. I didnt even know they were in style ever

Perhaps that is what they were using them for, I just assumed it was sound proofing....but like I said I am not a sound proofing guy, nor a musician so I was way off base. THanks for correcting me
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Old 07-25-2009, 11:43 AM   #11
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Soundproofing a tiny room


But wait, they look great!

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