Your home basement may be one of the under utilized areas of your home. If you want to use it in the near future, you’re going to have to take great pains in sound proofing your basement because its subterranean position guarantees that it absorbs all the ruckus you and your family makes on the upper floors of the house.
There are actually quite a number of uses for your basement space, which traverses practically the whole floor plan of your house, giving you so much space to work with. Like us, you can opt to turn your basement into a home office. Other uses for this space can be guest rooms, kids play room slash study room, your home library, and so much more.
Whatever way you decide to use this space, it is critical to make the best soundproofing measures to your basement for you and your family’s maximum enjoyment. Just like the other rooms of your home, you will want to the freedom to be able to use the bottom floors without having to worry about any distracting noises seeping through the basement. In the same token, if your kids make a lot of noise, you don’t have to fret about the sound making its way to the other areas of the house.
If you decide to soundproof your basement, you will create a more safe and comfortable place for everyone to enjoy, which you can use for man years to come. You will also increase the property value of your home. Of course, we understand that you don’t want to fork out tons of money for this project, since it is not a major living area.
But worry not because doing so does not have to cause a fortune and break the bank. With just a few dollars and quite a little bunch of effort, you can radically transform your basement and make it into a serene and calm space for your whole family. Here’s how to get the job done without hurting your pockets.
Why is It So Noisy There to Start With
If you are reading this article to find out how to sound proof your basement, then you must first understand what kind of noises get into that space, so you can do a better job at keeping it insulated from noise. There are two primary types of noise that you will traverse its way down into your basement. These are the airborne noise and impact noise.
As the name suggests, airborne noise talk about the sound waves traveling with the air, making their way to your basement. To illustrate, your kids loud blaring music from their bluetooth speakers could be making its way down there to bother your. Even toddlers screaming at the top of their lungs because of a meltdown can be a great example of an airborne basement noise. This bounces off the floors, ceiling, and walls or they can travel through them to get to the basement.
Impact noise, in contrast, results from impact or when something is actually hitting the surface. One of the best examples of this kind of noise is foot steps. As feet thump on the ground, up the stairs or on the floors, this will echo down to the basement. Dribbling a ball or having remote control cars running on the floor is another great example of this kind of noise.
When you are planning to soundproof your basement ceiling, these noises are the two popular kinds of sounds that you will have to pay attention to and prepare for. That being said, you can soundproof adequately using similar methods against both kinds of annoying noises, with some methods working well for specific noises. Now the most important consideration: how to sound proof your basement without spending too much money.
The Materials that You will Need to Get the Job Done
These are used to seal and act as a filler of any types of gap.
These are placed in between the carpeting and the flooring of your home to ascertain that no sound is absorbed, especially impact sound.
These acoustic foams can be used for your ceilings to guard against the noises. It is okay for warding off both sounds, but the best for impact sounds.
These are utilized to insulate the joist cavities.
This is a type of mat that you can utilize to make your basement more quiet.
This can be some for of substitute or alternative for your MuteX soundproof device.
These offers a gap or tiny crevices with pockets of air in between your ceiling and the dry wall to block off any transmission of sound, especially airborne noises.
This is material dampens any form of sound that will work wonders in making the noise less. It is also noted for being affordable.
The Steps you Must Make to Sound Proof Your Basement
Consider these seven sure fire methods to sound proof your basement without spending too much money:
Be Sure to Seal Any Kind of Gap
This is the most basic rule of soundproofing. It doesn’t matter what your are trying to make soundproof, but know that whatever it is, you’re going to have to seal any kind of gap for your efforts to be successful.
Gaps or tiny holes and cracks in the wall are actually one of the worst culprits of letting annoying and distracting sounds get into your basement. When you take a look around you, you’ll be amazed to see that gaps and cracks about when you look up at your basement ceiling.
Release all the feelings of foreboding that suddenly rush into your system because this is not a difficult job for you to do. Sealing all of those annoying cracks, wholes, or what not is certainly not difficult to do. Once you decide to get that done, you will undoubtedly notice a lot of difference in terms of noise and sound quality.
Take note of this: if you decide to be lazy and not seal the gaps, then you are wasting your time, money, and effort. No amount of soundproofing techniques will block off the sound if you don’t get this done first. Don’t be stubborn and start right away with your trusty caulk powder and caulk gun that’s available online or in any hardware store.
Go Extra Fluffy with Your Carpets and Rugs
You should buy and get some super fluffy rugs for the rooms above your basement. The fluffier the rug, the more effective it is when it comes to dampening the sound of any footstep or activities that bounce on the floor above.
However, you may already have some existing carpets in place, so it is understandable why you don’t want to spend anymore. Then you can opt for this other option, which is to adding some padding. These nifty sound absorbing materials can be placed in between your carpets and the actual surface of the floor to make sure more that impact sounds can be effectively absorbed.
- Ultra easy DIY installation without the need for messy adhesive or expensive installers
- Offers exceptional UV and water resistance, making them great outdoor floors for a balcony or a patio
As an alternative solution, you can use some mass loaded vinyl between the carpet and the floorboards. These vinyl materials will work just like the padding. By increasing the density of materials that occur in the middle of your floorboards, this makes it extra hard for sound waves to just penetrate and pass through.
Another option you have if you don’t feel like stripping down carpets is to muffle any noises with existing furniture. A long couch, recliner, or book shelves are other options that you can work with. Installing pieces of furniture above your basement because they block the flooring and bounce off the sounds. With this option, you can use existing furniture pieces so it doesn’t have to cost a lot of money when you go about your plan of how to soundproof floors.
Install Acoustic Foam Panels.
Many sound proofing professionals will tell you these acoustic foam panels will not work well with your ceiling. The answer is they are correct because these foam panels work well on walls. If you force these to stick on walls, expect them to fall down constantly because their absorbers aren’t strong enough for the ceiling.
Consider working with ATS Acoustic Panels because these are a cut above your ordinary soundproofing foams. These are significantly more different from the those typical ordinary acoustic foam panels. In fact, the difference is so immense you can easily spot it while you are merely looking at both panels.
Do not worry about installing these panels because installation is a breeze. They often come with hooks which you can use with the panels. You can also glue them on.
The ATS ones are more lux because they are bedecked with an outer covering called microsuede that serves to enhance both their aesthetic appearance and most especially their performance. If ever you do make the decision of installing these panels, you will be certain that they will work hard in blocking all types of noises coming from upstairs may it be impact or airborne.
The best part about these panels is that they are relatively cheap. If you are looking for an affordable method, take a look at these acoustic foam options.
Add Some Acoustic Insulation
if your home comes with an open type of ceiling that does not have any dry wall, you have to consider insulating the cavities first. The cheaper kind of regular ceiling insulation will work just as well for soundproofing your basement ceiling. However, it would be best to get acoustic insulation as there will be a difference.
For instance, Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation performs well when it comes to acoustic insulation. You won’t need to deal with complex looking fasteners. You’ll just have to cut the panels into smaller sizes so that it can easily fit the joist cavities well like a puzzle.
Be sure to leave an inch or two, so you can create an air pocket and to ensure that there are no air jams.
Try the MuteX Soundproof Material
This MuteX is a lot simpler that an acoustic foam panel. The MuteX soundproof material is basically, a sort of mat that you can utilize for your basement soundproofing project. This comes in a thick roll of black looking material that is surprisingly light weight.
This nifty material is actually made up of two components. The vinyl segment makes it your material more flexible, its high mass element gives the MuteX sufficient density to make it act like a good sound barrier.
On top of this, the versatility of the MuteX cannot be beat because you can also use this in your car, office, or anywhere. Stapling or gluing this to a dry wall will work wonders. Another similar option that carries the same effect is to use a mass load vinyl.
Soundproof Your Drywall and Resilient Channels
Resilient channels are a great alternative to your MuteX and other foam padding materials in barring sound. In addition to that, adding a drywall directly on the basement ceiling with some bit of gap or tiny crevices in between will serve to be a barrier to the sound.
Combining your resilient channels with a dry wall create that all important gap or space between the drywall and the ceiling because it blocks the travelling sound waves. The drywall is hanging from the suspended channel bar creating the tiny sound blocking space. If there is no gap, noise will just travel through the materials easily; thereby, defeating all your efforts.
Take note that all sounds from the rooms above that passes through the resilient channels are distributed. In the process, they lose most of their sound energy before they get to the drywall. Thus, sound is minimized because the system works well to ensure your basement remains quiet.
Apply Green Glue
Green glue is another great option for your sound proofing needs. This is a product that well-known for dampening any kind of sound, and is noted for being super affordable. On top of that, it does what it is supposed to do with ease.
The green glue traps the sound energy in the glue itself. This then morphs the sound energy into heat, which is then dissipated into the air.
Some people even use this green glue as a form of sealant for cracks, holes, crevices, and gaps found in your ceiling. This product is very functional and versatile for use in many different kinds of projects.
Since sound proofing works by adding mass, you can also use this green glue alongside your dry wall. If you apply these in between drywalls and use this combo to sound proof your ceiling, you’ll be amazed at the silence and serene quality that results from it. Check out this green glue which is readily available on Amazon.
Now that you know there are several ways to soundproof your basement, you have to come up with a plan. Make a list of all the things you need so you can be organized and systematic about your project which will save you time and effort.
All these tips are budget friendly and can be easily found online or your local hardware store. After making a thorough assessment of your needs, you can craft a time table, so you can make rough estimates about your project completion date.
We understand that no one want so spend too much time soundproofing their basement, so all the nifty tricks included here are easy enough for any amateur to do. Go ahead and try these cheap soundproofing methods, and we have no doubt that you will completely love the results because it will easily turn your basement into a peaceful haven and quiet sanctuary.