How to Soundproof a Basement Ceiling

acoustic ceiling installation
  • 48-96 hours
  • Advanced
  • $400-600
What You'll Need
Acoustic tile
Drywall mud
Drywall tape
Steel dropped ceiling frame

You might want to use your basement as a home theater, or maybe your kids have a band and want to use the basement for their rehearsals. If you want to use the basement for anything of a noisy nature, soundproofing can be a great idea.

Soundproofing isn't always used to keep the sounds from drifting to higher floors. It can also keep footsteps on the floor above from being heard in the basement. The best method involves putting drywall on the walls and creating a dropped ceiling with acoustic tiles. Doing so should offer you an incredibly soundproof basement. Follow these steps to soundproof your basement with acoustic tiles.

Step 1 - Seal the Ceiling

Before you undertake any work to soundproof your basement ceiling, you will have to seal it properly. Gaps allow sound to pass, so extensive caulking of all gaps and cracks will reduce sound transmission. Also seal any cracks in the walls.

Step 2 -Insulate the Walls

The basement walls need to be stripped all the way down to the studs. Using rolls of insulation, fill between each stud, stapling the insulation to the wood to keep it in place. Cover the entire basement with insulation for maximum effect.

Step 3 - Put Up Drywall

You will need enough sheets of 1/2-inch drywall to cover all of the walls in the basement. Cut the sheets to the size you need, making sure they butt squarely to each other. Screw them to the studs. Use drywall tape on the seams, then cover them with drywall mud. Sand to a smooth surface before painting.

That should be adequate to soundproof the walls; however, if it’s not enough, add another layer of drywall.

Step 4 - Install Acoustic Tile

Before you can install the acoustic tile, assemble the framework for your dropped ceiling. Measure 12-inches from the ceiling, then measure again several times along each wall. Draw a line connecting the measurements to mark where you will attach the outside of the framework for the dropped ceiling.

Measure the distance between holes on each outer framework section. It should come pre-drilled. Measure along the line on your wall. Drill into the drywall, then screw the outside pieces into place. Repeat for each wall.

Put the crosspieces in place. The holes should be pre-drilled and will allow for attachment to the outer framework. Join the points with nuts and bolts to keep them securely in place. Go slowly, and ensure each open square is the right size for the acoustic tile.

Once the full framework for your dropped ceiling is in place, you just need to pop the tiles into place. Insert each tile at an angle into the space then let the lip of the tile rest on the metal framework. Repeat for each tile until you’ve completed the entire ceiling.