Guide to Soundproofing a Room — Soundproofing Tips

Guide to Soundproofing a Room - Soundproofing Tips

Guide to Soundproofing a Room

Soundproofing a room in your home is a great idea to pursue.  By soundproofing the walls and ceilings in your rooms, not only will you reduce acoustic noise and enjoy an enhanced level of peace and quiet, but you will also indirectly increase the value of your home.

This is why many people take advantage of remodeling or finishing their home with soundproofing insulation materials .

Which Rooms Should You Soundproof?

Almost any type of room in a home can benefit from the addition of soundproofing insulation.  The most common applications are as follows:

Finishing off or renovating a basement with soundproofing will create a quiet and private level of your home that can be used as a quiet and private income generating rental suite, or a recreation/entertainment space that won’t bother the rest of the house.

Laundry and Furnace Rooms

Soundproofing these rooms can effectively isolate the noisy appliances from your living spaces.  The annoying whir of the washer and dryer will be a thing of the past.

Bedrooms and Bathrooms

These are obvious candidates for soundproofing.  You can turn your bath and bedroom into a cozy spa-like suite where you can get uninterrupted rest and relaxation.

If you work from home, you know just how disruptive and distracting household noise can be to your job.  Soundproofing a home office will help turn it into a professional place where you can fully focus on your work.

Home Theaters

Turning a basement or extra bedroom into a home theater is extremely popular today.  By soundproofing the walls and ceiling you are on the way to achieving theater quality acoustics while not keeping the rest of the up at night.

Soundproofing Instructions

These instructions make the assumption that your room to be soundproofed is ready for finishing, and that you have purchased all materials including your chosen types of soundproofing insulation .  That just means that the wall and ceilings are open (no drywall), electrically wired, and any plumbing is complete.

Tools you will need are a serrated knife (bread knives work well) for rockwool insulation, utility knife, electric drill, and a tape measure.

Soundproofing the Walls

Soundproofing insulation batts and panels are designed to snuggly press into standard wood stud wall cavities.  Press the soundproofing tightly in between the studs, leaving no air gaps for sound to pass through.

You will inevitably encounter obstructions in the walls.  This is easily solved with the bread or utility knife.  Just carve out a v shaped notch for pipes and electrical wires.  For electrical boxes, it can be take some practice to get the right measurements for a snug cutout.

Guide to Soundproofing a Room - Soundproofing Tips

This video by Roxul, the manufacturer of rockwool insulation shows these techniques for soundproofing your walls nicely.

Once all the studs are filled with insulation, you can finish them off with drywall.  Use the thickest drywall you can afford.  The extra thickness of soundproof drywall sheets adds mass, and mass helps to absorb sound waves.

If you want to go the extra mile, and can afford the added cost, you can add resilient channels in between the drywall and the insulated stud wall.

Soundproofing the Ceiling

The steps for soundproofing a room ceiling are very similar to the walls.  The only difference is the added vibrational noise that occurs from people and things moving over the floor in the room above.  The use of resilient channels will help reduce the vibrational noise, and the soundproofing insulation takes care of the airborne sound from voices, music, and other objects.

The first step is to thoroughly check the floor for holes and cutouts for electrical wires, boxes, and plumbing leading to the floor above.  Remember that these air gaps can compromise the performance of your soundproofing installation.  At each hole, fill and seal the gaps and holes with an acoustic sealant.

The next step is to install the soundproofing batts in between the floor joists, just as we did in the walls previously.  Floor joists are wider than wall studs, but it is OK to use just one layer of soundproofing insulation.  If you use one layer, don’t push it up to the floor.  Keep the insulation snug between the beams, and level with the bottom of the joist boards.

Once all the insulation is up, the resilient channels can be mounted to the joists.  Start he first channel butted up against one wall, and run them perpendicular to the joists.  Space each row of channels at 16” center to center spacing.  You can use regular drywall screws for this.

The final step is to attach the drywall directly to the resilient channels.  Do not mount the drywall to the joists, that defeats the purpose of the channels.  Use fine threaded drywall screws, as they will best grip the sheet metal channels.  Here is another video demonstration of soundproofing a room from our friends at Roxul.

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