soundproofing ceiling

It is almost impossible to have a quiet home when your roof is someone’s floor. You have to find ways to soundproof that ceiling, or else you are asking for more sleepless nights. Thankfully, with the emergence of soundproofing, you can choose not to endure this nightmare. Soundproofing is an affordable, effective procedure for keeping the noise out and maintaining the neighborhood’s peace.

Soundproofing has a simple principle. Through noise reduction and absorption, it reduces the ability of sound to travel between points A and B. It is recommended for soundproofing ceilings because it can solve many problems of noisy neighbors and guarantees that it will not disturb others. This guide is all about soundproofing ceiling.

5 best ways to soundproofing ceiling

Soundproofing your ceiling efficiently can be achieved using the following methods. However, they need to be combined in different setups to produce a beneficial result. The least effective options will be discussed first, followed by the best. STC values have been obtained from Soundproofing Company’s website.

1. STC 36 – Single Layer of Drywall

It is ineffective to block or reduce sound with a single layer of drywall. It is lightweight and quickly vibrates. Therefore, noise travels from the drywall to the studs to the air cavity in the ceiling. Soundproof drywall is possible and beneficial. Compared to ordinary drywall, soundproof drywall is thicker and is better at absorbing sound. The downside is that these walls are relatively expensive. Typically, a sheet of drywall costs around $10, but soundproof drywall can cost up to $40. Due to their high cost, soundproof drywalls aren’t famous for entire soundproofing houses.

You can improve the soundproofing of an ordinary drywall ceiling by filling the space with a suitable insulating or sound-absorbing material such as fiberglass. Rockwool and mineral wool can also be insulated with Owen Corning R19 fiberglass. The application procedure of some insulating materials, like open-cell cellulose, makes them more suitable for use on walls. Professional installation is required for this material on ceilings. Uncompressed or unpacked material works best. STC value utilizing this fiberglass matrix and a single layer of 5/8″ drywall are 36 STC. Airborne sound is reduced by this method, but impact noise is hardly affected.

2. STC 38 – Double Layer of Drywall

This matrix is denser at 38STC and more effective for airborne noise. The setup is fiberglass over two layers of 58′′ drywall. Because it makes the ceiling thicker, it has more mass than ordinary drywall. Also, the thicker drywall reduces impact noise. 

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3. Two layers of drywall and green glue dampening – 49 STC

This matrix can be improved with green glue dampening compounds. It can be effective to use Green Glue between the double drywall to stop airborne sound. Impact noise can also be reduced using Green Glue. There’s little need to remove the existing drywall in this method. In this case, you will need to remove the existing drywall if you have not added insulation. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions when applying the damping compound (Green Glue) to the drywall. After the first sheet of drywall has been installed, screw a second sheet over it and screw it to the ceiling.

Apply Acoustical caulk along the perimeter (STC value is 49). If you are not completely satisfied with these results, the third layer of drywall can be added to add more mass and improve sound reduction. The sound reduction coefficient here is 52STC. Two layers of Green Glue damping would be required for the third drywall. Apply two layers of drywall and one layer of Green Glue as described above. This will result in a more robust ceiling.

4. Ceiling decoupled from STC – 66

A double layer of 5/8″ drywall and one layer of Green Glue is included in this option for an insulated ceiling. With the addition of resilient sound clips and hat channels, decoupling is achieved. Start by removing the existing drywall. The hat channels cannot be fixed directly to the joists for the hat channels to work correctly. Separate the hat channels from the joists and the drywall with soundproofing clips. Screw them in at 10 inches intervals using small screws.

Determine the number of hat channels the ceiling will need by measuring the joists. After that, divide the pieces with a powerful tool like a hacksaw. The smaller flange of the hat channels should point toward the roof, into the joists. The larger flange should point down towards the floor. Attach the hat channels to the soundproof clips to prevent vibration from transferring through screws or other fasteners.

Begin at one end of the ceiling and work your way up. Lift the hat channel over a light fixture when you come across one. Fix the double-layered drywall that has already been prepared after the decoupling procedure. Soundproofing is more efficient with this matrix because it isolates impact noise. In addition, this method incorporates all four elements of soundproofing. It has a practical soundproofing value of 66STC. This method will have a completely soundproof ceiling with very little flanking noise.

5. A floating ceiling joist

Decoupling with floating ceiling joists is an effective way to reduce impact noise. For this method to work, you need a drywall ceiling and not suspended because ductwork cannot be installed in the ceiling. A new joist is installed between each pair of existing ceiling joists in this procedure. Replace the original joists with new ones that are 2 inches shorter. Then, install insulation between the joists. It is important to remember that compressing or packing the insulating material will also affect the newly installed joists. Together, the whole setup is effective at reducing impact and airborne noise.

What are the benefits of soundproofing your ceiling?

Aside from providing you with the apparent peace, you desire, soundproofing your ceiling has many additional benefits. Here are some hidden benefits of fortifying your ceilings if you still need more convincing.

  • You can hide pipes and wires that otherwise would have been an embarrassment in your basement with soundproof ceilings. Thus, your home looks organized when you have friends over for a party or visit.
  • You can host parties or listen to your favorite loud music using soundproof ceilings. Nobody above you will hear any noises.
  • You can remodel or freestyle soundproof ceilings to get that beautiful roof over your head.
  • Is it common for you to cringe when you hear loud sounds from the bathroom? Maybe someone dropped the toilet seat, or someone was drying their hair. The soundproof bathroom ceiling will keep those sounds out.
  • It will allow you to have a friendly relationship with your neighbor above without dealing with their noise.
  • It will also provide you with a more solid and multifunctional ceiling.        

Conclusion

Combining items that will add weight, boost sound absorption, and provide isolation is the most efficient way to soundproof a ceiling. Coupling sound absorption with acoustic isolation clips, soundproofing panels, & ceiling tiles will lessen sound transmission through your ceiling.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)