Do you have a large basement but don’t know what to do with it?
You might even be confused about whether it is even worth using.
Even if you decide what to convert the basement into, it’s always a tough position to be in. It just throws in a dozen new challenges.
Will it be quiet enough? Won’t the stomping and other unwanted noises from the upstairs disturb you?
Don’t worry, I got you covered!
After I was done with my basement sound insulation, it was as good as a quiet recording studio.
So after weeks of trial and error, I’m sharing the most efficient ways to soundproof your basement ceiling that doesn’t break the bank:
Things You Will Need (At a Glance)
- Things You Will Need (At a Glance)
- Soundproofing Your Basement: A Step-by-Step Guide
- 1. Carpet the Floors Upstairs
- 2. Rearrange Your Furniture
- 3. Use Acoustic blankets
- 4. Use Acoustic Tiles
- 5. Mass Loaded Vinyl/Mutex Mats
- 6. Green Glue
- 7. Installing Drywall
- 8. Resilient Channels
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Soundproofing Your Basement: A Step-by-Step Guide
1. Carpet the Floors Upstairs
One of the cheapest ways of dampening the sound coming through your basement ceiling is to carpet the floors upstairs. It is one of the most cost-effective solutions there is to this problem.
Not only will it soundproof your basement ceiling without using drywall, but it will also insulate the space above. Make sure you use designs that complement your furniture so that you can make a style statement as well.
Obviously, this is cheaper than most other solutions.
2. Rearrange Your Furniture
Speaking of matching furniture is a good way to segue into our next tip.
You can simply change the way your furniture is aligned to reduce the sound that reaches the basement.
Just take a round through your basement and identify where most of the noise comes from. After identifying these spots, you can just move heavy around furniture. This way, no-one will walk all over this space, making the basement a whole lot quieter.
Of course, this might be a bit tiresome and would require brainstorming on your part. However, once you move the furniture, you don’t need to worry about it again.
The best part?
This solution does reduce noise but it’s far from the most efficient method.
If you’re serious about soundproofing—I’d highly recommend you read the next section on how you can utilize various soundproof materials to get the results you’re looking for.
3. Use Acoustic blankets
You can have acoustic blankets fitted directly onto your basement ceiling to reduce the impact of noise.
These blankets or foam are made of materials like glass-wool and fiberglass that trap sound within air pockets. These come in huge sheets, making it possible for you to cover the entire ceiling.
My favorite soundproof blanket is this one from Audimute. It comes with an NRC rating of 0.85 and can help eliminate up to 65% of noise.
Wanting to explore more options?
Well, you’re in luck.
You can refer to my research on the top acoustic blankets you can buy right now.
4. Use Acoustic Tiles
Acoustic tiles function exactly like acoustic blankets expect that these are concrete panels and would look more neat and trendy than blankets.
Have them fixed to your ceiling for a good soundproof experience.
5. Mass Loaded Vinyl/Mutex Mats
Mass loaded Vinyl/MLV or Mutex Mats as they are called includes vinyl injected with metal particles to make them more dense and thick. Because of their density, they can effectively block sound from the basement.
These can be fixed with the help of a good quality caulking material. This is used to fix gaps or cracks in the ceiling seams.
I recommend this Mass Loaded Vinyl from Soundsulate. It is heavy, efficient, and comes with an STC rating of 27.
6. Green Glue
Green glue is a wonderful revolutionary material that traps unwanted noises and makes all spaces soundproof.
Their thick constitution traps sound within it when applied only to the ceiling of the basement. As the name conveys, these are environmentally friendly in nature.
You can check out Green Glue here.
7. Installing Drywall
Drywall can be applied to the ceiling of basements to soundproof noise.
It has to be applied between the joists (the vertical beams) as well so that there are no gaps in the ceiling and there’s no voice due to that. Quietrock is good quality drywall you can use.
You can find more information about it here.
8. Resilient Channels
Resilient channels are rods that have to be applied between the ceiling to remove any unwanted noise problems.
This solution is perfect for people who have just started construction of their basement or are willing to spend a little on re-installation.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What You Can I do With My Basement?
Basements are usually pretty large. Most people use basements just to store old materials and they stay there idle for years.
However, this is a very unproductive usage of space. You can do so many cool things with it—turn it into a recording studio and listing it up for hire, transform it into a study library, or just make it your own quiet refuge.
What Is Airborne Noise and What Is Impact Noise?
Airborne noise is what travels through the air, and reached you through the medium of the air itself. Kids playing outside, a couple arguing, music playing loudly would be examples of that.
On the other hand, impact sound is created due to an impact on the floor of the upstairs floor. Examples include stomping feet, moving furniture, etc.
Does Spray Foam Soundproof a Door?
While spray foam is not as effective as fiberglass acoustic blankets, they do serve the purpose of filling gaps.
Since a door is a sight wherein sound can pass through gaps, it’s a good idea to use spray foam in there. Using acoustic sheets will be inconvenient.
How Do I Soundproof My Finished Basement?
If your basement is finished, you might not want to add resilient channels or anything between the joists, as this will require reconstructing the ceiling.
Instead, use insulating materials like acoustic sheets, Mass Loaded Vinyl, and green glue to your aid. This will work without having to renovate.
How Much Does It Cost to Soundproof a Basement?
This depends on what measure you use. If you decide to carpet the floors, it will cost you between 25 to 100 dollars depending on how big your space is. Adding acoustic panels will cost you lesser, as the range is of 50-60 dollars for a dozen such blankets.
Green glue, drywall, and resilient channels will cost you a lot higher. Don’t forget to factor in the costs of installation by a construction worker.