What I have read as well as what I have been told by sound proofing contractors is that concentrating on the ceiling is only half the battle.
The other half has to do with sound proofing the flooring area to the surface above.
Using blown in insulation alone should produce about a 50% decrease in noise.
We have dug out the crawl space to make a basement semi-studio apartment. It is an older house, maybe about 50 yrs old. We want to soundproof the ceiling of the basement apartment to keep the noise from upstairs, upstairs.
I was looking at isotrax, any input or experience with it?
If you are trying to reduce sound in the lower level the hardest thing to deal with is impact noise. Carpet and good padding on the floors above will help. sound channel and two layers of drywall will further reduce sound. Obviously sound insulation between floors.
Your best bet is to make sure the upstairs has thick carpet and padding to reduce the foot noise (high heels and pets with unclipped nails will drive the downstairs tenant crazy). Stay away from hardwood or tile flooring upstairs if at all possible...
If the area between the upstairs floor and the downstairs ceiling has a substantial gap filled with plenty of insulation (preferrably sound absorbing), that will help too.
Also a thick layer of accoustic absorbing panelboard on the downstairs ceiling would help too...
Any soundproofing effort is best applied at the source of the noise. For footfall, carpet and pad is very effective. Not very effective for airborne noise, but effective at reducing that initial impact of the heel strike.
Standard fiberglass in the flor is as good as it gets. No foam, and don't overpack. Insulation that says "acoustical" has same sound value as the cheap stuff.
Decouple the ceiling drywall from the joists with clips + channel (not RC-1) and use double 5/8" type X
You can build the best ceiling in the world, but sound will travel up and down through walls.
We do not have any planned for the existing upstairs floor. It's hardwood. I have no idea the underlayment, but since they had only planned on dirt being downstairs at the time, I am sure sound issues were not a consideration.
So, I think we will try packing the subfloor from underneath with a bunch of insulation, hang 2 sheets deep with 5/8" firecode resting on an isotrax system, cross our fingers, and hope for the best.
It almost seems that a "T-bar drop ceiling" might be a better idea. Regardless, I'll let you know how it turns out.
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