sound proofing a ceiling. - Brooklynian

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sound proofing a ceiling.

i can hear the proverbial pin drop from my upstairs family members. i am interested in having the ceilings filled with a foam or some sort of spray product, preferably non toxic. has anyone done this before and does it really block out the sound well. a fork dropping on the floor upstairs sounds like a bomb going off. any suggestions. thanks in advance.

Comments

  • Our contractor originally suggested filling in between the beams with the fiberglass material (comes in large rolls and available in Home Depot). He said that it was the best way to sound-proof a place. We didn't go for it originally, and now regret it.
    The only problem with it might be that you have to take your sheet rock off completely, so it'll be quite an undertaking.
  • Subject: Re: sound proofing a ceiling.

    popstar0 wrote: i can hear the proverbial pin drop from my upstairs family members. i am interested in having the ceilings filled with a foam or some sort of spray product, preferably non toxic. has anyone done this before and does it really block out the sound well. a fork dropping on the floor upstairs sounds like a bomb going off. any suggestions. thanks in advance.
    Foam would be of little to no use. Insulation will help but is not a part of the requirements to isolate (soundproof).

    This specific noise is the result of "impact", which is easy enough to understand. Something hits a solid panel and you hear the noise :)

    To isolate localized sound you need mass and distance, at least.

    If it is at all possible, you can have the overhead cavities filled with a typical insulation for the framing members width, e.g. if it is an 8 inch joist then get insulation that is as close to 8 inches without going over.

    What you don't want to happen is the insulation gets packed into the cavity which reduces the materials ability to heat up the acoustical noise and can, if compressed too much, become a dense connection between the upper and lower panels creating a "short-circuit".

    If installing insulation means you are considering removal of the overhead sheetrock then you have an additional option that will help dramatically in reducing the impact noise.

    RSIC (resilient sound isolation clip) and rolled edge hat channel hat channel added to the bottoms of the joists before installing the new 5/8 inch sheetrock can give as much as a 15 point STC increase.

    This helps by effectively decoupling the two panel sides, a common and well known technique for recording studio and home theater sound isolation.

    Your typical floor system may have anywhere from a 27 to 36 point STC rating.

    (Link supplied for your edification as I am not affilated with this company)
    RSIC and hat channel STC improvements


    Hope this helps,

    Brien Holcombe
  • Short of what Brien said, which would be the best way, you could hire a company to blow a paper based substance in between the joists. They cut small circular holes and plug them afterward. It will definitely help but the solid connection between the floor above and the tin ceiling below will still exists.
  • Good idea.

    A completely non invasive approach would be to purchase an area rug or hallway strip type carpet and give it to the tenants upstairs to place on this area in question.

    It solves the impact noise, is low cost and you come out looking like a swell neighbor ;)


    Brien
  • Brien sums it up best, buy them a rug.
    Another option is to float acoustic tile from the ceiling.

    You might look into putting some dampers in your space to cut down on reflections. If there is nothing to absorb the sound it will bounce around and seem to amplify itself.
  • thanks everyone for all the advice. a question for bria......., we could open the ceiling and take the rock off if it means a much better end result by using rsic and rolled hat channels, (what is that and would you know where to get them?) is it a do it yourself thing or should we get a pro to do it. thanks again for the help. we got up at 530 this morning for the umteenth time because of the noise . there are some rugs upstairs and yes that helps but it isnt enough. oh sleep.
  • hi again. we decided to go with quietrock as the sound barrier. we will do it on top of the existing rock. with their caulk, we are told that it will do the job well. anyone know about this or have experience with it? thanks again .
  • Hi - wondering if you went ahead with adding a layer of quietrock to your ceilings and if you were pleased with the results? Thanks!
  • MODMOD
    edited May 2014
    I also looked into the quietrock option, but it was too pricey and I'm just a renter. We opted for an additional layer of drywall. I may have helped a little bit.

    Seeing this thread is from 2009, I'm guessing the original poster has since moved on, but maybe others can chime in.

  • I'm an interior designer and regularly use products like quiet roc on walls and ceilings between apts and my clients are very happy with the results. The last client had a neighbor with a new baby who cried a lot and the sound and he rarely heard anything after the stuff was installed. The neighbor lived next door. We had put it on his ceiling also to stop noise from above. I recommend it. 
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