How To Soundproof a Condo Ceiling? {4 Proven Ways}

Living in a condo or apartment often means dealing with noise issues, and this problem is pretty common in these places.

If you have someone living above you, there’s a good chance you’re experiencing some unwanted noise. Whether it’s the sound of footsteps, dragging furniture, or even loud conversations.

While not all upstairs are noisy, there are some that are like running a noise factory with his family being the workers in it.

If you’re in a condo and dealing with this issue, soundproofing your ceiling is the best way to go. But I won’t sugarcoat it; it’s not an easy task. In fact, it’s the trickiest, most expensive, and time-consuming part of soundproofing a room.

But today, I am here to provide you with some handful tips and techniques to effectively soundproof a condo ceiling

4 Ways To Soundproof a Condo Ceiling

#1 Double layers of drywall

installing drywall to soundproof a condo ceiling

When it comes to soundproofing a condo ceiling, one of the most effective and versatile methods is to install two layers of drywall. It is even suitable for soundproofing basement ceiling.

You may have heard about this technique a lot and the reason for this is it works well. Drywall is a powerful sound deadening material and it is a permanent solution for soundproofing a condo ceiling.

I recently did a small test with drywall to find out how effective drywall is and surprisingly, I got a noise reduction of almost 23 dB with just a single layer of drywall, which is quite substantial to be honest! So now think how effective it would be if you use two layers of drywall.

Drywall is ideal for both reducing impact and airborne noise and this technique can be applied to both new construction and existing ceilings. 

Okay, enough talking, now let’s get into the nitty-gritty steps to apply another layer of drywall to soundproof a condo ceiling.

Here are some important materials that you’ll need in the process.

  • Drywall sheets (5/8-inch thickness drywall is recommended)
  • Drywall screws
  • Screwdriver or drill with a screwdriver bit
  • Drywall joint compound 
  • Drywall tape

Step-by-Step Guide:

1: Measure and Plan:

Measure your condo ceiling area to determine the quantity of drywall sheets needed. You may need up to 6 drywall sheets or more. 

2: Prepare the Ceiling:

Remove any lights, ceiling fans, or other obstructions from your ceiling.

3: Attach the Drywall:

With the help of a partner, lift the drywall sheets to the ceiling and secure them using drywall screws. Keep in mind to only place the screws (use 1 inch drywall screws) to the joist of the ceiling with a gap of  every 12. Cover the entire ceiling with the first layer of drywall. 

Once you’ve completed the installation of the first layer, begin installing the second layer by repeating the same process. However, for the second layer, use 2-inch drywall screws to secure the drywall sheets in place.

4: Seal the Seams:

Once you finish installing both the layers of drywall, apply drywall joint compound to the seams and cover them with drywall tape.

5: Reinstall Fixtures:

To reattach any fixtures or ceiling fans that were removed earlier, cut an appropriately sized hole in the sheet of drywall and reinstall the things that you have removed earlier.

Now your condo ceiling is soundproof but there are additional steps you can take to make this method even more effective in blocking sound from above.

One trick is to apply a product called “green glue compound” between those two layers of drywall sheets. But this step alone can push your overall soundproofing cost by up to $200. Overall, using two layers of drywall is the most effective way to soundproof a ceiling from noisy upstairs.

#2 Install a drop ceiling

installing drop ceiling to soundproof a condo ceiling

If you are on a good budget for a condo ceiling soundproofing project then installing a drop ceiling is an effective route that you can choose without stressing too much.

A drop ceiling, also known as a suspended ceiling involves creating a secondary ceiling below the existing one, creating an air gap that helps reduce sound transmission by up to 70%. VERY COOL!

Now, let’s talk about costs. The installation of a square foot of drop ceiling generally falls in the range of $6 to $9, so the overall cost will definitely be around $1000 or even more.

Anyway, installing a drop ceiling yourself can be a manageable DIY project for those with some level of home improvement experience and the necessary tools.

You haven’t done any DIY project like this so I would not suggest you try to tackle it yourself. In this case, contact a professional or hire an installer to get the job done.

If you want to take it as a DIY task then make sure to get help from these sources too:

#3 Attach MLV with Drywall sheets

Soundproofing a ceiling is complicated, there is no short-cut for doing it. It requires some creativity to get there easily. One creative and really effective way to soundproof a condo ceiling is to use a combination of MLV and drywall. Both are the top materials for soundproofing. 

MLV cost on average $1 per sq. ft., while drywall cost on average $2 per square feet. So combined, you are investing $3 per square feet to make your ceiling soundproofing which is not that much expensive.

Anyway, coming to the point, there are two ways to use this technique. In the first technique, you attach the MLV sheets directly to the ceiling using staples to secure them in place and then you then attach the drywall sheets over it.

Another way is to attach the MLV to the drywall sheet using staples and then attach it to the ceiling. I’d recommend the first method, where you attach the MLV sheets directly to the joists of your ceiling using staples and then secure the drywall over it using 2-inch drywall screws.

This approach provides a sturdy foundation for the drywall and maximizes soundproofing effectiveness.

#4 Attach acoustic panels to the condo ceiling

You might have heard about attaching acoustic panels to walls or doors for noise reduction, but here’s a lesser-known tip: you can also use acoustic panels on your ceiling for the same purpose.

Acoustic panels are specially designed to absorb sound, making them more effective for dealing with airborne noises and impact noises to some degree as well.

But don’t just go and attach foam panels thinking they’re acoustic panels, it will hardly make any difference.

The key here is to opt for top-quality panels with a Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) rating of above 0.8. These panels can absorb as much as 80% of the noise. This is the kind of acoustic panels I would recommend.

Use UMIACOUSTICS Acoustic Panels

Installing these panels on your ceiling is similar to how you’d attach them to a wall. You will just need a ladder to reach the height of your condo ceiling to attach them. This method is best for making a drop ceiling more soundproof.

How much does it cost to soundproof a condo ceiling?

The cost of soundproofing a condo ceiling can vary from a few hundred dollars to over a thousand dollars, depending on factors such as the chosen method and the ceiling size. Here is a brief break down:

Soundproofing MethodApproximate Cost per Square FootCost for a 10×10-Foot Condo ceiling
Double Layer of Drywall$2-$3$400 – $600
Drop Ceiling$6 – $9$600 – $900
MLV and Drywall Combination$3- $4.5$300 – $450
Acoustic Panels$0.8 – $1$80 – $100

Related article: https://soundproofaddict.com/cost-to-soundproof-a-ceiling/

FAQs: Soundproof a condo ceiling

Q1. How to soundproof a condo drop ceiling?

To soundproof a condo drop ceiling, you can attach high-quality acoustic panels with NRC rating of above 0.8 to absorb and reduce the sound further. If your drop ceiling has ceiling tiles that are for designed for sound-blocking then replacing it with tiles that are designed to block sound would be the best way to soundproof a condo drop ceiling.

Q2. What is the best way to soundproof a ceiling for reducing impact noises?

In my opinion, the best way to reduce impact noise is by adding two layers of 5/8-inch thick drywall sheets.

Q3. Is using soundproof ceiling tiles good for soundproofing a condo ceiling?

Yes, using a soundproof ceiling tiles is really good for soundproofing condo ceiling.

Q4. What is the best way to soundproof existing condo ceiling?

The best way to soundproof an existing condo ceiling is by attaching two layers of soundproof drywall.

Related: How to soundproof a finished ceiling?

Author

  • Mr. Ashish

    Hey there, I am Ashish, the founder and editor of SoundProof-Addict. With over 6 years of experience in soundproofing. My dedication to detail and pursuit of excellence has earned me a reputation for consistently delivering high-quality results. I also have almost 2 years of experience in interior designing. Other than that, I like soundproofing my cat.

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