8 Cheapest Ways to Soundproof Basement Ceiling Without a Full Remodel


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Wondering how to soundproof a basement ceiling? Well, it is simpler than you think, and you don’t need to gut the entire space (or your wallet). Learn the best and cheapest ways to soundproof a basement ceiling. 

The basement could be one of the best room or place to renovate in your house. It could serve as an office, recreational room, or even a studio for music makers.

If you are indeed planning on recreating this specific room in your home and turn it into any of those we’ve mentioned, then one thing you have to consider aside from what you’ll put in that room is to have it soundproofed.

There are multiple ways to soundproof your basement’s ceiling. Having it completely replaced just really means replacing your home’s flooring and so it could get really pricey. 

But what do you do if you are working on a budget, also don’t like the ‘blah’ look of drywall/drop ceiling, Life happens. I totally get it.

Well, we recently remodeled our basement and cut a lot of cost with some simple, yet effective fixes that make a big difference in the look and utility.

So If you’re desperately wishing for a better noise abatement but don’t want to spend thousands of dollars, don’t despair. I wanted to encourage you by sharing how you can soundproof your basement ceiling without spending a lot!

Why Soundproof Your Basement Ceiling?

Before we get to the affordable ways to soundproof your basement ceiling, you probably are still not convinced of the need to soundproof your basement’s ceiling.

This would only really matter if you want a quiet place in your home where you could either rest or work without anything that is distracting you.

One common reason to soundproof a basement’s ceiling is if you’re planning to blast music while you’re staying downstairs.

It could be because you are a musician yourself or you’re planning on making the basement as your function room, where parties will be held.

If you live in a close and tight neighborhood, you won’t want to have any of your neighbors knocking on your door to tell you to tone it down during your practice or party, of course.

Soundproofing your basement ceiling will help sound waves from your basement to remain where they should.

Another good reason to soundproof your basement is if you’re planning to set up your office or art studio downstairs.

Of course, who wouldn’t want a quiet and solemn place where you could work?

Whether you’re working at home or creating your next masterpiece, the quiet could be something you’d love to have.

It could be very annoying to keep on hearing the noise from upstairs and so soundproofing could work wonders for you.

8 Cheapest Ways To Soundproof A Basement Ceiling

As promised, we will let you know how to soundproof your basement ceiling without spending too much money.

You may even be happy to know that you don’t even have to hire a professional to do this.

It could be a fun DIY project that you can do by yourself or with a family member or a roommate!

1: Filling And Sealing The Floor And Ceiling Gaps

The first thing you have to do is to inspect your floor that is above your basement ceiling and the ceiling itself.

Check if there’s any gaps or openings and make sure that you seal them shut.

The important thing about soundproofing is to make sure that sound waves will have a hard time passing through any surfaces.

Remember that sound waves can pass through even a tiny hole, so make sure that you give them no chance!

When sealing of filling out these gaps and holes, you can use spackling compounds or caulking seals.

These are pretty straight-forward to use so it shouldn’t really have a hard time.

2: Using Carpets, Mats, And Rugs

This may come off as something simple and basic, but this method shouldn’t be underestimated.

The effectiveness of this method will really depend on the material of the rug, mat, and/or carpet that you’d be using.

Now, obviously this method won’t really do much on its own but it could be an alternative to purchasing seals to ensure that the gaps or holes on your ceiling are closed shut.

If you plan on purchasing a carpet, rug, or mat, always choose the thicker and fluffy ones as those could absorb sound waves better.

Another alternative would be getting rubber mats. You can get EVA rubber mats too, but it’s really up to you.

You can just cover the area where the sounds are coming from.

If you’re willing and won’t mind spending a few more bucks, you can even cover the entire floor that’s above your basement’s ceiling.

3: Rearrange Your Furniture

This is another one of those methods that can be easily underestimated, although it’s true that this won’t really do much on its own.

Just like the use of rugs, carpets, or floor mats, rearranging your furniture above the basement’s ceiling could also help lessen the sounds coming from your basement.

Rearrange your furniture

This is a method that is best to partner with other methods that are on this list.

You may choose to have any of your furniture to be placed above your basement’s ceiling.

The heavier and thicker the furniture is, the better. We’re talking about bookshelves, closet, and even couches.

The furniture could help absorb the sound waves that still passes through your basement ceiling.

Depending on the material your furniture is made of, it could also reflect the sound waves to where they came from.

So this method could both prevent sound waves from escaping your basement and also prevent sounds from entering your basement through its ceiling.

4: By Using Soundproof Paint

Just like rearranging your furniture and using rugs, mats, or carpets, using a soundproof paint on your ceiling can’t really do the job of soundproofing alone.

Although a lot is skeptic about using soundproof paint, it could still help eliminating at least 30% of the sound waves that are trying to pass through your basement ceiling.

A soundproof paint is made up of thick substances, including latex. It works by reflecting the sound back to its source.

Its thickness is what helps when it comes to soundproofing. Take note that it only works best on sounds with mid-frequencies.

Does Soundproof paint work How to Use it Effectivelly

Here are a few steps you could follow on how to use a soundproof paint on your ceiling:

  1. 1
    Use a paint primer to make sure that the soundproof paint will cover your ceiling well.
  2. 2
    Apply a base coat once the primer is dry. You can add additional layers of the base coat but make sure that every time you do this, you let each layer dry. It should take about 30-40 minutes to dry it up.
  3. 3
    Stir the soundproof paint thoroughly it is definitely thick and full of texture. Once you’re good with it fluidity, you can start painting your ceiling using a roller. To achieve the best results, you may apply 2-4 layers of this. Again, it’s important that you wait for 40-60 minutes before you add another layer to be sure that each layer has completely dried off.

5. By Installing Acoustic Or Soundproof Panels

If you’re not new to soundproofing, then you are probably very familiar with the acoustic panels. If you’re new to soundproofing, these are panels that a lot of recording studios use.

Now, don’t get intimidated by knowing that because purchasing acoustic or soundproof panels aren’t really expensive.

There’s actually a difference between an acoustic and soundproof panel. A soundproof panel blocks out the sound waves, so if you have it on your ceiling, the sound waves won’t reach the floor above your basement.

If you have this placed on the floor above your basement, then noise won’t enter your basement through its ceiling.

Acoustic panels can lessen the noise that goes through the basement ceiling through sound absorption.

It means that instead of blocking or bouncing the sound waves off its surface, it actually converts them.

Acoustic panels are usually made of foam or fiberglass as these could absorb sounds well. Meanwhile, soundproof panels are usually thick and dense.

How To Install An Acoustic Or Soundproof Panel?

Now, this doesn’t really require any intermediate skills. This is definitely a great DIY project since the installation of acoustic or soundproof panels do not require you to take a part of your ceiling down to have them installed.

Here are a few steps that you can follow if you’re planning on doing this yourself.

  1. 1
    Get your measuring tools and be ready to take measurements. What you’ll need to measure is the area of your ceiling so that you can be sure to get enough panels as you need. Acoustic and soundproof panels come in different sizes, so this step will help you decide which sizes to get.
  2. 2
    Once you have the panels ready, you have to figure out how you’ll have them placed on the ceiling. It’s possible that you’ll have some of them cut so that they’ll fit just right on your ceiling.
  3. 3
    After figuring out the panels’ placements, you’ll need a ladder to have them installed. To make sure that the panels won’t fall off, the first way of doing so is to have the panels glued on the ceiling. You may use a heavy-duty glue, but it’s best to use what people call as the green glue. The green glue is specialized for soundproofing as it also has components that could block and absorb sound waves.

​​​When you’re done with sticking all the panels on your ceiling, the next thing you need to do is to have them nailed.

This is still a ceiling that we’re talking about and to avoid any fallout, which is something we really don’t want to happen, it’s best to also nail the panels on the ceiling.

Note: If you think that you’d like to redo your ceiling sometime in the future, you can just nail the panels on their edges so that it will be easy to take them down when needed.

6: Install Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass loaded vinyls function the same as acoustic or soundproof panels. This is like a thick wallpaper that you can use to block the sound waves from getting through your basement’s ceiling.

Usually, mass loaded vinyls are used on soundproofing walls, but this is also something you can stick on your ceiling as this could reflect the sound waves back to its source.

7: By Using Acoustic Insulation

If your ceiling is still open or it doesn’t have drywall just yet, then acoustic insulation could be something that could do for soundproofing.

You can stuff your ceiling with insulating wools or foam before sealing it up with another layer of drywall.

You may follow the steps we gave on how to install the drywall on your ceiling.

The only difference is that before you place the drywall itself, you will have to stuff the spaces in between your ceiling joists and T braces with acoustic wool or foam so that sound waves will really have a hard time getting past your ceiling.

The acoustic wool or foam will serve as sound wave absorbers. Whatever soundwave pass through the drywall will be absorbed by these materials.

If you test this method out, you’ll surely hear a great difference.

8: Second Drywall Layer On A Ceiling

It is common for basement ceilings to be open. It means that it doesn’t have drywall yet and the ceiling itself is the floor of either the living room or kitchen, wherever your basement is right under.

Adding an additional layer of drywall means that sound waves will have a hard getting through.

Drywalls are usually made up of wood and it’s not really hard to have them installed.

You may call a professional to do the job or you can do this yourself. To make it easy to install, since it’s on the ceiling, you can get a ceiling drywall tool.

What it does is that it holds the drywall against your ceiling so that all you have to do is to screw it on place.

If you don’t want to spend extra money on this, you can always have this rented out in hardware or tool supplies that will let you.

Here are a few steps you can follow to successfully install the drywall on your basement ceiling:

  1. 1
    Make sure that all your materials and tools are prepared, including the drywall that you will install. Make sure that you already have them measured and the whole of your ceiling will be fully covered.
  2. 2
    Locate the joists on your ceiling. It may be hard to locate by just looking at it, so to be sure, you may use a hammer and pound the areas where you think the joists are. The joists are where you’ll be nailing the drywall so that they wouldn’t fall off.
  3. 3
    After figuring out the panels’ placements, you’ll need a ladder to have them installed. To make sure that the panels won’t fall off, the first way of doing so is to have the panels glued on the ceiling. You may use a heavy-duty glue, but it’s best to use what people call as the green glue. The green glue is specialized for soundproofing as it also has components that could block and absorb sound waves.
  4. 4
    Add wall braces if needed. While the joists could already serve as a good part for your drywall to be nailed, you can add additional T braces to make sure that it won’t really fall off.
  5. 5
    Apply adhesive on the joists. You may use green glue for this for your ceiling to have a better soundproof performance.
  6. 6
    If you’ve already measured which drywall will go where, then you can already have it raised toward the ceiling, with the joists that already have glue. Remember to take note of how long the adhesive dries up. Usually, it takes about 15 minutes, so make sure that you act pretty quick when it comes to sticking the drywall up.
  7. 7
    This is where the ceiling drywall installation tool will come in handy. Use that to hold the drywall in place while waiting for the glue to dry and as you screw the drywall up.
  8. 8
    Once you’ve successfully held the drywall up, you can already grab your screwing drill and begin the drilling and screwing.
  9. 9
    After finishing the whole ceiling, you can already start to cut the marks you left for the fixtures on your ceiling

Conclusion

Those are the different methods you could use to soundproof your basement’s ceiling.

Now, some of those may not do much on their own so it’s best to use two or more of these methods for you to achieve a noticeable result.

Soundproofing can always be a fun DIY project. It just really depends on the materials you’ll use.

These methods are specifically great and helpful if you do not want any major renovations done on your home. At the same time, you don’t have to spend much on these.

We hope that you have fun soundproofing and using a few of these methods!

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