Soundproofing in Your Basement Development

Soundproofing is an important concern for our basement clients. The most common request is to soundproof the ceiling between the basement and the main floor of the home. We also commonly soundproof the partition walls, particularly around the mechanical room to reduce noise from the furnace and plumbing.

There are three steps that can be taken to improve soundproofing in your basement. They are

  1. Soundproofing Insulation
  2. Resilient Channel (or Res Bar)
  3. Sound Rated Gypsum Board

By far the most common and cost-effective solution for soundproofing in a basement is to add sound proofing insulation in the floor joist cavities. This insulation looks like regular fiberglass bat insulation you will see in your basement, but is denser and designed to help reduce sound transfer.

By filling up these air pockets it greatly reduces the amount of sound bouncing around and transferring between floors.

An added benefit of this style of insulation is that it also has fireproofing properties and can do very well slowing the spread of a fire from the basement to upper floors.

Soundproofing insulation will cost between $1.25-$1.75/sf professionally installed. It is a simple DYI project for those of you looking to get a little sweat equity in. You just need to be careful that your pot-lights are rated for insulation or they are properly shielded.

If you want to take your sound proofing efforts a step further, resilient channel is the next step.

Resilient channel is a thin metal bracing that is screwed to the studs or joists before the drywall board is attached. It is essentially a shock absorber. By separating the drywall from being attached directly to the framing the sound waves and reverberation is significantly reduced.

This is a very good next step for homeowners who are really looking to cut down the sound between their basement and main floor. It is most commonly used on ceilings but can also be installed on basement walls.

You should expect to pay a little bit more than one dollar per square foot to add resilient channel.

If you are looking to go even further than this in your soundproofing efforts than sound rated gypsum board would be the third step. There are many different board types on the market meant to help further reduce noise transfer. Some are thicker, some are denser, and some have multiple layers, but in each case the idea is to help deaden the sound and create separation between spaces.

This is a great consideration for those of you looking to do professional sound recording or who really appreciate great sound dampening for home theatre or other applications. For most of our clients it is a little bit of overkill. The product is significantly more expensive than regular board and is also much heavier and more difficult to cut leading to increased install prices.

Our drywall contractor would be happy to meet with you to discuss different options and products for your basement.

Soundproofing is a very good idea, but if you are on a tight budget, don’t feel like it is absolutely necessary. Regular drywall will be your first insulation step and is still the way our clients choose to go in over half of the basements we develop.