Does soundproofing ceiling really work?

This blog post will address the question, “Does soundproofing ceiling really work?” and will cover subjects such as what the study suggests, the advantages of soundproofing ceiling, and which soundproofing methods are effective.

Does soundproofing ceiling really work?

Yes. But only to a certain extent. Keep in mind that sound waves travel both structurally and via the air. Irrespective of your best efforts to prevent it, sound waves will be transmitted back and forth between any two rooms that share common contact. As a result, isolation clips are required. The perimeter walls on the first and second floors are also connection locations for noise to flow structurally around your solution.

Light canister cutouts, fire detector cutouts, ventilation systems, and plumbing fittings inside your surfaces are all examples of airborne leakage locations. Wherever air can move, the noise will follow. There is no “cure” for soundproofing a ceiling because of these mediums. But what if you had more control over it? Absolutely.

How to soundproof a ceiling?

The methods listed below can be used to effectively soundproof your ceiling. Take note of the sort of ceiling you have, as it will have a direct impact on the soundproofing measures you can use. However, for a practical result, they must be mixed in various arrangements.

  • Soundproof Drywall
  • Install an Additional Drywall Layer with Dampening Compound
  • Decoupled ceiling
  • Floating Ceiling Joists
  • Install Acoustic Tiles
  • Apply Acoustic Foam
  • Soundproof the Floors

Different kinds of noises

The goal of soundproofing a ceiling is simple: reduce, decouple, reflect, diffuse, and absorb airborne and impact noise such that it does not move between two separate sites the space above you and your home.

Airborne noise

Sound waves carry airborne noise across the atmosphere. Music, conversations, televisions, bass, weeping, and barking are all examples. These noises pick up sound waves and carry them through the air until they collide with something solid, such as the floor in the area above you, which is also your ceiling.

Vibrations are distributed through the ceiling and onto the space beyond it, such as your bedroom, living room, workplace, child’s nursery, and so on, as a result of sound waves colliding.

Impact noise 

The sound produced when somebody walks or drops a dish is known as impact noise. Because the vibrations of the noises travel via structures instead of air, they are alluded to as “structure-borne noise.” Impact noise goes through the structure of the floor above your roof in this situation.

Different Types of Ceilings

The type of ceiling is the next crucial piece of information you should have. The method, process, duration, and cost of soundproofing are all determined by the type of ceiling in your home.

Drywall and suspended ceilings are the two most common forms of ceilings. Even though diverse trends have led to modifications in the look or structure of these ceilings, they are usually one of two types.

Drywall Ceiling

Drywall is a gypsum panel with a paper covering. Because of its particular qualities, it stands out among other boards such as plywood, fiberboard, and hardboard.

It also includes a sound-isolating feature and is relatively simple to remove. You can also repair them on your own.

Ceilings made of drywall are also the most soundproof. Changes are simple and inexpensive to implement.

Suspended or drop ceiling

Drop ceilings are well-known for their attractiveness. They are suspended from the primary support ceiling and can be taken down. Drop ceilings are constructed in such a way that decoupling is already built-in.

Other elements, such as the presence of ductwork, light fixtures, and other mechanical systems, nevertheless, provide a sound route. In a drop ceiling, insulation is ineffective. Other methods can be used to soundproof your drop ceiling, but they are not as good as soundproofing drywall.

There are a few different options for successfully soundproofing a ceiling listed below.

Soundproof Drywall

Soundproof drywall should be used instead of regular drywall.

This form of drywall is thicker than the normal drywall used in ceiling construction, and as a result, it has a better “soundproofing quality.”

Nevertheless, while soundproof drywall can be an efficient solution to prevent impact and airborne noise from the floor above you from going through your ceiling, it can be costly. Soundproofing is expensive in general, regardless of the materials utilised.

A single acoustic drywall panel can price well over $40, thus trying to soundproof a large space can quickly become extremely expensive.

Install an Additional Drywall Layer with Dampening Compound

Consider adding another layer of drywall to your current drywall ceiling if you would not want to remove it. Adding a layer of drywall will assist in further absorbing both airborne and impact noise, reducing sound waves passing through your ceiling component from the area above you.

Green Glue damping compounds can be used to enhance the matrix above. Between the double drywall, a coating of Green Glue can effectively suppress airborne sound. It’s also more capable of reducing impact noise.

  • There isn’t much of a requirement to remove the current drywall with this procedure. However, if you haven’t installed insulation, you’ll need to remove the existing drywall.
  • On the drywall, apply the Green Glue according to the manufacturer’s directions.
  • Install the second drywall on top of the first and screw it to the ceiling’s bottom.
  • Finish the sealing operation by caulking the perimeter with acoustic caulk
  • If you’re not happy with the results, you can add a third layer of drywall for additional mass and greater sound absorption.
  • Two coats of Green Glue damping would be required for the third drywall. Follow the same steps as previously for the double drywall and one layer of Green Glue. It is quite effective and provides a more stable ceiling.
Materials NeededTools Needed
Green GlueDispensing gun
acoustic caulkCaulking tools

Decoupled ceiling

An insulated ceiling with a double layer of 5/8′′ drywall and one layer of Green Glue is included in this choice. Hat channels and robust sound snippets are used to add decoupling.

  • Remove the old drywall from the ceiling first. The hat channels should not be fixed directly to the joists because this will prevent them from working properly.
  • To keep the hat channels besides the joists and walls, use soundproofing clips. Small Screws, spaced 10 inches apart, are used to secure them.
  • To figure out how many hat channels the ceiling will need, measure the joists. Then, using a strong cutter such as a hacksaw, separate the pieces.
  • Put the hat channels in the joists with the smaller flange facing the roof. The larger flange will be pointing downwards, towards the ground.
  • To eliminate vibration transmission through screws or other fasteners, secure the hat channels with soundproof clips.
  • Begin at one end of the ceiling and work your way forward. When you come across a ceiling light, place the hat channel over it.
  • Fix the double layer drywall that has already been created after the decoupling technique.

This soundproofing technique isolates impact noise and is more effective. Moreover, notice how this solution incorporates all of the soundproofing aspects.

Tools Needed
soundproof clips

Floating Ceiling Joists

Impact noise can be reduced by using floating ceiling joists as a decoupling technique. Because this method does not require your ceiling to be filled with ducting, it is best suited for drywall ceilings that are not suspended.

  • Installing a new joist between every pair of existing ceiling joists is the technique. Extend the new joists 2 inches below the original joists.
  • Install insulating material between the joist sets afterwards. 
  • It’s important not to compress or pack the insulating layer, as this will have a detrimental impact on the newly installed joist.

Impact and airborne noise are effectively mitigated by the entire design.

Install Acoustic Tiles

Both drywall and dropped ceilings can benefit from the use of acoustic tiles as a soundproofing solution. These tiles are made of fibreglass, with a coating of MLV or sound-isolating foil on higher-end tiles.

  • The tiles are kept in position by a metal grid, similar to the one that might be seen in a suspended ceiling. 
  • If you have a drywall ceiling, you can secure the soundproof tiles in place with specific clips that can be inserted into the drywall and the rear of the panels.
  • Instead, acoustic panels can be fixed in place on a drywall ceiling by putting construction glue to the backside of each panel and attaching them to the ceiling. 
  • Once the panels are in place, fasten them to the ceiling using Screws or nails.
Materials NeededTools Needed
acoustic tilesconstruction glue

Apply Acoustic Foam

Acoustic foam  is similar to acoustic tiles in that it absorbs sound. They’re usually less expensive and easier to install than the former. However, because this foam resembles an egg crate, it’s worth noting that it might not be as attractive. You can make them more appealing by arranging them in a pattern, alternating between vertical and horizontal orientation.

Acoustic foam is typically sold in panels of various sizes, such as 1 square foot. To secure the panels to the ceiling, add construction glue to the back of the panels or use finishing nails.

Materials NeededTools Needed
Acoustic foam knife construction glue

Soundproof the Floors

You might want to investigate soundproofing the floor above you in addition to or instead of soundproofing the ceiling. The goal is to use sound-absorbing materials to keep airborne and impact noise from the floor from passing through your ceiling.

Of course, if the area above you belongs to someone else say, a neighbour in an apartment. You’ll need to talk to them about soundproofing their floors to soundproof your ceiling.

Underlayment for Acoustic Floors

Acoustic floor underlayment for carpeting, tiles, laminates and other flooring materials can effectively stop airborne and impact sounds from flowing through the ceiling from the space above you.

Acoustic floor underlayment comes in sticky rolls that may be cut and installed over the subfloor to create a sound-absorbing barrier between the subfloor and the flooring material.

The cost and techniques of installation differ depending on the type of underlayment you use and the flooring material that will be installed over it.

Materials Needed
Acoustic floor underlayment

Mass Loaded Vinyl

A substance capable of suppressing sound is mass loaded vinyl. It can be used instead of Green Glue as a dampening treatment. Vinyl and barium sulphate make up this substance.

It is non-toxic and has a high relative density, making it effective in sound absorption. Vinyl with a high mass load can also be utilised as a carpet underlayment. It is robust and dense, and it primarily functions to prevent airborne sounds.

It also adds cushioning to floors and ceilings. It can be used for a variety of purposes and is extremely effective. Green Glue compound, on the other hand, is far less expensive and similarly effective.

Between drywalls or on the subflooring, mass loaded vinyl, commonly known as the vinyl barrier, can be used.

Materials NeededTools Needed
Mass loaded vinylEwrap Vinyl Wrap Tools Set

Final Thoughts

Soundproofing a ceiling is a big job, but it pays off in the end. It’s impossible to overestimate the value of having peace of mind in your own house. There are several important elements to consider before deciding on a soundproofing option for your ceiling.

All of the methods suggested are both cost-effective and practical. Some are more efficient than others, but it all depends on your personal preferences.

Take your time to conduct a survey and plan out the entire project.

You’ll be able to evaluate which method of soundproofing your ceiling will work best for your needs if you consider these variables.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Does soundproofing ceiling really work?

What is the most cost-effective method of soundproofing a ceiling?

The cheapest approach to soundproof a ceiling is to cover it with heavy rugs, carpets, and furniture that you already own.

Is it possible to soundproof the ceiling?

Soundproofing the ceiling can assist reduce noise entering and leaving a room if done appropriately. For this to work, you’ll need to employ the correct materials and soundproofing procedures.

What is the finest ceiling soundproofing material?

Because of its mass, drywall is the finest soundproofing material for a ceiling. Insulation, green glue, and noise proofing clips, in addition to drywall, are good dampening materials.

Is it possible to soundproof an apartment ceiling?

An apartment ceiling, like any other ceiling, can be made soundproof. For all types of ceilings, the concepts and techniques for soundproofing are the same.

How can I make my upstairs neighbours’ noise less bothersome?

Soundproof underlay can be installed on the floor above to lessen impact noise from upstairs neighbours’ footsteps. Foam tiles, carpets, and rugs are less expensive alternatives, but their effectiveness is reduced. Additional soundproofing will be necessary for airborne sounds.

How do you soundproof a ceiling without having to build something?

Soundproofing a ceiling with mass loaded vinyl eliminates the need for construction or structural alterations. Heavy furniture, carpets, and rugs are other options for attaining the same goal, although they are less effective.