How To Soundproof a Basement
Last modified: 2019/03/31 | Approximate reading time 4 mins
Sound we don’t anticipate, in the wrong place at the wrong time, can be jarring, stressful and annoying. Think about an overly loud neighbour walking in heels on the floor above you, or your kid’s rock band practising out-of-tune songs in your basement.
The easiest approach to killing unwanted noise is targeting the source, and that comes down to the rooms of your home. Soundproofing rooms where unwanted noise can leak is a great way to improve your quality of life while compromising with that aspiring musician husband or wife.
We are going to focus on a room of the home that is often used for life’s nosier pleasures, and that is the basement. The basement may be tucked away, but there are still lots of ways that sound can travel! But don't sweat, as we’re going to help you to eliminate these and move forward with your basement soundproofing project!
Here are the proper steps to soundproof your basement!
Seal Everything In!
Soundproofing is about knowing how sound works and the way that it travels, so you can better understand how to block it from escaping through walls, doors or floors. When it comes to soundproofing any room, it is important to look at the space from all angles, literally! Certain areas will be essential for you to soundproof, while others won’t require as much attention; starting with the walls directly above you, your basement ceiling.
Before you move forward with your soundproofing project, make sure to correctly seal the basement ceiling, and following insulation, the walls! As we mentioned in our article “10 Best Soundproofing Materials” there are soundproofing caulks on the market that are made specifically to eliminate or absorb sound waves. Gaps in the ceiling or walls allow sound to pass, so using a soundproof caulk extensively will help to reduce the ability for sound to transmit! Seal any visible cracks and you can move onto the next step.
Insulate the Walls
Next, you’ll need to strip the basement walls down to the studs for the room to be properly insulated. Using a roll of insulation or other potential soundproofing materials, fill the space between the studs by stapling or adhering your chosen soundproofing material to the wood wall beams to keep it in place. Repeat this process around the perimeter of the entire room for the best basement soundproofing results possible.
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Adding drywall will help to further insulate the basement. Drywall comes in many different forms, including wallboard, plasterboard and gypsum board. Sheetrock is common in home soundproofing projects, as well as dampened drywall, as it incorporates a dampening layer and is thus more effective than regular drywall.
If you are using regular drywall, you will need .5-inch thick sheets, cutting the sheets to the size you need and making sure they butt squarely together. Screw the drywall to the studs and use drywall tape or soundproof tape at the seams, then follow this with drywall mud. After it dries, the wall must be sanded down, and can then be painted to whatever colour your heart desires!
Install Acoustic Tile or Foam
source: Wikimedia Commons
If your ceiling is bare rafters that were an afterthought during your home’s construction, when left this way, sound will transmit through it both up and down. Depending on the purpose of the soundproofing project, the material you will use to further soundproof the room will vary. For a bare ceiling, if you are hoping to eliminate the noise of people speaking up above, a simple soundproofing ceiling made of 5/8” drywall can suffice, making sure to use sound isolation tape at all the joints.
If you’re looking for something a little bit more heavy duty, mass loaded vinyl is recommended for its innate soundproofing capabilities. Mass loaded vinyl can be used in the walls as well, in between drywall sheets. So, depending on how intense your soundproofing materials need to be, this is an option worth considering!
Seal off Windows, Doors and Heat & Air Conditioning Units
Some basements do not come equipped with windows. However, if you happen to be one of the lucky people that has access to natural light in the depths of your home, now is the time to seal off and hide those windows. Wall off windows if possible. An alternative to consider is installing a soundproof window, which can be applied directly over the one already that already exists, allowing natural light to flow freely.
Doors are a bit more difficult to soundproof, as at least one is needed to access the basement. Consider changing the material of your door to a thicker Fibreboard, such as medium density which has superior sound blocking properties and is much cheaper than a heavy wood or steel.
Heat and air conditioning appliances located in your basement are not only feeding heat and cool air through your home, they are also allowing sound to travel out of the basement. The unit must be walled or a barrier must be created to block sound waves from travelling through the ducting that feeds to above rooms.
Use foam mat to insulate your air conditioning unit or open ducts. Foam mat is flexible and can be bent around a square or round surface easily. For something more, use drywall to box in the unit. This will prevent sounds from the rest of your house from coming in, as well as sounds from the basement travelling up into the rest of the house! Now, you can turn up that amp as loud as you want!
Get 3 renovation quotes for your soundproofing renovation project
RenoQuotes.com can help you get quotes for your soundproofing renovation project. If you submit your project to us, we’ll put you in contact with 3 qualified professionals. Fill in the form on our homepage (it only takes a few minutes), and you will receive quotes from trusted specialists.
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