Living on the first floor has its advantages – you can move in and out as you please.
And if you’re hosting a party or event, you don’t have to worry about disturbing those above you.
However, living on the first floor also means that your upstairs neighbors’ stomping, voices, and any noise they generate can easily enter your space, and your voice, or any noise generated by you can easily seep into their space as well.
And if your neighbors are bothered by it or even if you are bothered by the noise they generate, it might be time to soundproof your basement ceiling.
To be honest, I had the same problem, my upstairs neighbors are so bad, they get angry very quickly on hearing any of our voices. So I did, and now my upstairs neighbors are happy and so are we.
And the same experience I’m going to share with you today is how I soundproofed my basement ceiling so well.
If you want to know; How to soundproof the basement ceiling, then keep reading as I am going to tell you how you can do it even with a low budget. Let’s get started!
What is the best time to soundproof the basement ceiling?
And as you already know that; I soundproofed my basement ceiling, which was unfinished, according to me – the best time to soundproof a basement ceiling or any room in your home is when the house is still under construction.
Because soundproofing the inside of a wall or ceiling is much easier than trying to soundproof after it’s finished.
And if your house is still under construction then congratulations because you will save a lot of money, time and effort.
What do you need to soundproof your basement ceiling?
Before you start soundproofing: You should know what you need and gather all the things you need.
Here I am talking about soundproofing materials and products, as later it should not happen that something is needed and you do not have it.
These are the products I used to soundproof my basement ceiling.
- Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound: This Green Glue soundproofing compound is a great way to ensure that noise coming from your ceiling is minimized – it creates a tiny air void between the two layers of drywall, providing extra peace and quiet.
- Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant: This product does not act in the same way as compound, it remains flexible through time, will not crack, cracks usually occur due to aging and allow noise to pass through. Be sure to apply green glue sealant instead of caulking when sealing corners because noise can seep through them if the gaps aren’t properly sealed.
- Drywall: To soundproof your basement ceiling effectively, you’ll need a specific type of material called drywall. It comes in different thicknesses, but the best choice for making your basement quiet would be 5/8 drywall because its thickness and weight also contribute to its performance. This can usually be found at a hardware store near you.
- Mineral Wool (Rockwool) Insulation: Mineral wool insulation is a better soundproofing insulation than standard fiberglass, yes it is expensive, but if you are serious about reducing noise I would strongly encourage you to use it on walls and ceilings, Where the noise is most likely to come from.
So these four soundproofing products that are key to combating noise coming through the ceiling in your basement.
And I have also provided the shopping link of all these products so that if you do not have them then you can buy them from the given link.
How to Soundproof an Unfinished Basement Ceiling?
Now you know what soundproofing products are needed, so it’s time to move on to the most anticipated part of this blog post, how to do it?
Soundproofing your basement ceiling can be difficult, but it’s not impossible to do!
So with that in mind I’m going to break this project down into steps to make it easier to understand and complete if you are attempting to do it yourself.
Follow these five easy steps and you’re on your way to soundproofing your basement ceiling like a pro.
STEP 1: Fill gaps and cracks
You may already know that sound travels through the air, which means when you have small gaps or cracks in your ceiling—they’re making your basement noisier than it should be.
This is why it is important to fill any gaps, cracks or holes in your ceiling, and this is the primary action you must take before moving on to the next step.
You should use green glue noiseproofing compound instead of regular caulking to fill these types of gaps or cracks as it is more effective than regular caulking which I mentioned earlier.
For best results when filling gaps or cracks be sure to fill them completely and accurately, and don’t use a small amount of green glue compound; This will directly affect your overall effectiveness.
Also avoid using too much green glue as it will affect your budget.
STEP 2: Fix creaking floorboards
As I mentioned earlier, noise passes through the air, so fixing creaking floorboards is also important.
Floorboards under carpet often creak when your upstairs neighbor walks on them, but this is generally harmless. Creaking floorboards make your home a bit noisy.
These are sounds that result from the transfer of force between the joists and the subfloor. Creaks can be caused by a variety of factors.
To find out if the floor tracks in your home are creaking or creaking, you should ask these three questions. If your answer is yes then it needs repair, but if not then you are fine for now.
- Are there any gaps in the boards?
- Are there any damaged boards?
- Any nails or screws sticking out?
Well to eliminate this issue, you can use a foam pad under the joists or subfloor boards where a lot of movement occurs and nail it.
And for boards that have gaps, you can fill with green glue, and for boards that have nails or screws sticking out, just fix it with a new nail or screw.
STEP 3: Fill the joist with Mineral wool Insulation
After all gaps, cracks or creaking floorboards have been repaired, it’s time to install mineral wool insulation in the ceiling cavity.
Mineral wool insulation, also known as mineral wool, is a granular product that is similar to fiberglass in its thermal and acoustic properties, both of which have their own pros and cons.
And when it comes to soundproofing, mineral wool insulation does a much better job than fiberglass, besides, mineral wool insulation can easily absorb high-frequency noise, so I suggest you try mineral wool insulation.
However, according to our studies, the cost of mineral wool is about 20% higher than that of fiberglass.
Ok, to install this you will need to cut the mineral wool, you will need a square of mineral wool for each joist, so cut them according to the size of your joists and properly cover the entire ceiling of your basement and make sure that no gap is left.
And if you can try to install two layers of mineral wool insulation as it will make your basement more more effective and that’s what I did.
STEP 4: Install Drywall
Before installing it take the measurement of your ceiling and mark it on the drywall, then cut the drywall where you marked it.
After cutting the drywall, be sure to smooth down the rough edges of the drywall, this will ensure that the joint between the two pieces of drywall is tight, you can use a product called a Surform Rasp to do this.
Now you have to hang the drywall on the ceiling, but if you are alone this will be difficult for you, in which case you will need someone else or you will need a drywall lift.
If you’re unfamiliar with drywall lift, take note of the information below.
It is primarily used for raising and lowering drywall and for assembling metal studs with spacers between them.
The handle of the device is conveniently designed, making it easy for a person to lift heavy objects from below.
But buying a drywall lift may blow your budget so you can borrow it from a local hardware store or you can hang it yourself with someone else’s help, however if you have to drywall your whole house I strongly recommend you buy one I recommend this.
Anyway after the drywall you will need green glue noiseproofing compound or drywall screws to install the drywall on the ceiling. You can use either of these products; they both work great but I used drywall to install this.
Make sure the finished part is on your side, I mean the bottom, before screwing them on or attaching them with green glue, and move on to the next step.
STEP 5: Seal the corner gap
After installing the drywall sheets you will notice gaps at the corners where you used drywall or even between two layers of drywall.
But surprisingly it can harm your soundproofing effectiveness a bit so you need to seal it, and there are many types of sealants available in the market to seal, one of them is clay but it doesn’t work well and even it doesn’t seal properly.
But I believe one of the most suitable solutions for this is Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant, and it’s not expensive at all, will cost you about $95 for a six pack of Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant, so it’s cheap.
To seal them, take a pack of Green Glue Sealant and cut off the opening so it can come out when pressured.
Then apply them in gaps but make sure not to use too much sealant, I used only one layer to deal with this issue but you have big gaps at the corner in this case you can use two layers of sealant.
But take care to be safe first, wear goggles, mask and gloves before doing so.
Congratulations because I’m pretty sure that after following these five simple steps, you’ve soundproofed your basement ceiling.
How to Soundproof a Finished Basement Ceiling?
If you have an entire basement and it hasn’t been soundproofed in mind, you’ve likely already faced the challenge of trying to sleep, as mentioned above.
Soundproofing your finished basement ceiling is not rocket science, but doing it yourself is not always easy because you already have the desired ceiling that you got during construction and you spent a lot of money and time on that basement ceiling.
Therefore it will be difficult to soundproof this type of ceiling, but there are a few ways you can go about soundproofing your finished basement ceiling.
Here is a guide to help you properly soundproof your finished basement without spending a lot of money and without missing out on the desired basement ceiling design.
STEP 1: Seal up the gaps
To be honest, I have been to many houses and whenever I visit someone’s house, I often see gaps in the corners of their ceilings and as I said earlier, these gaps also contribute to making your room noisy.
So it is necessary to seal them and I have also seen some people fill the gaps, but due to lack of good material it is again the same, so it is important to fill these gaps with the right material.
And for this I would always recommend you to use Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant, because in my opinion there is no other material like Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant in the market for this purpose.
Lastly, it is advisable to use Green Glue Noiseproofing Sealant to seal the gap as it is the best product to handle this problem.
STEP 2: Lay down rugs on the floor above
Soundproofing a finished basement ceiling can be expensive and hurt your budget, as it will require you to replace all of the products or materials used to finalize your ceiling, so you’ll need to upgrade the floor or floor above. Something will need to be done on the ceiling above.
And because the top floor already has the design you want and I am pretty sure you must have used carpet on the floor surface as it is done in all the houses.
You will need to replace your regular rugs with rugs that are specifically designed with soundproofing in mind.
Here is the link to some rugs that are specifically designed to soundproof.
And if your floor has some vibrating device such as a washing machine, be sure to use one that is designed to deal with vibration and these types of rugs are called anti-vibration floor mats.
Here is a link to the floor mat that I would like to recommend to you and also the one that I personally use.
STEP 3: Move furniture to above room
The final step of this project is to move the furniture into the upstairs room, although it may be surprising the first time you hear it it does take a bit of work.
But there are some people who tried hard to prove it wrong, but it is not wrong at all, it is true that furniture can also help in soundproofing as all the factors that contribute to soundproofing are available in the furniture.
Here is a list of some furniture that you can move into rooms above your basement to make your basement look a bit quieter:
- Cushions and Pillows
- Bookshelves, sofas and Dresser
- Bean bags
After doing these two simple and easy steps you will find your basement much quieter than before.
And there aren’t a ton of ways to soundproof your finished basement ceiling like an unfinished basement ceiling.
However if you basement is still noisy, you will need to follow the same steps as soundproofing an unfinished basement ceiling and of course it will be expensive
FAQ: How to Soundproof Your Basement Ceiling?
Soundproofing your basement ceiling may seem intimidating, but you can do it yourself with some inexpensive materials and the right preparation.
To help more with that, we’ve compiled this list of the most frequently asked questions people have about soundproofing their basement ceilings.
Our aim is to help you learn how to do this task on your own, so that you don’t spend money on hiring someone else to do this job.
Read on for all of the answers to your questions about soundproofing your basement ceiling.
Q1. How much does it cost to soundproof a basement ceiling?
Ans: There are many materials that you use to soundproof your basement, but the material I personally used, all I told you at the beginning of this post, cost me around $650 because the size of my basement is bigger than a normal basement.
So you can take an easy $550 If you use the same products and follow the same steps that I have told you in this post to soundproof your basement ceiling.
And according to Soundproof Central, the US national average cost of soundproofing less than 50 sq.ft is about $825, So if this is right then the methods in this post are cheap.
Well it totally depends on the size of your basement and the amount of noise you are trying to reduce.
Q2. What should I do if I have a concrete slab foundation, and no chance of remodeling?
Ans: If you have a concrete slab foundation and no chance of remodeling, sound-insulating your basement ceiling is one possible solution.
One option is to place 2×6 wood joists perpendicular to the length of the foundation and then fill in with mineral wool insulation and use drywall to make your room more effective and impressive.
And for any situation where basement ceiling soundproofing isn’t feasible or cost-effective, there are a few other options you can try.
One such option is to install acoustic panels on top of your ceiling. Acoustic panels don’t eliminate sound, but they can help by reducing noise and spreading it more evenly throughout the room.
Q3. What are the most common causes of sounds from upstairs coming through the floor into the basement?
Ans: This is the most common question that comes in everyone’s mind.
What is the reason for the sound coming from above in the basement through the floor?
There can be many reasons for the loss of sound. One of the most common culprits is noise coming from duct work.
This could be due to duct work that is poorly insulated, or even just too much air movement, either way this can cause excess noise.
Second, if you live in an older house and the floor is made of wood with little insulation, you can hear someone walking over it.
You can even hear music coming from upstairs. As a homeowner, there are several ways you can try to fix the problem yourself before calling in the professionals.
One way to handle this issue is to install acoustical tiles on your basement ceiling and even glue them together at the seams that cross from one side of one tile to the other.
Well this is all that for this guide I have tried my best for this post and put a lot of effort and time into this post to make it actionable as possible.
And all the products in this post are tried and tested by my team so you will never regret buying it.
After all I’m pretty sure you’ve soundproofed your basement ceiling after following these steps and if you did let me know in the comments, I’d love to hear it.
By the way if you have any questions then ask me in the comment section.
Till then take care of yourself and stay away from the noisy world.
Till then make your space soundproof using egg cartons by reading this post: How to make a room soundproof with egg cartons?
Or choose a perfect soundproofing curtain for your bedroom by reading this post: Door Soundproof curtains