Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Basement Ceiling: 7 Hacks That Work

In this article, you will discover the cheapest way to soundproof a basement ceiling without breaking the bank.

Basements have become special rooms in our homes. Unlike old times when people used them specifically for storing water, food, and wine.

In modern times, basements serve different purposes. They can be used as a home office, library, man cave, home theater, workout space, game room, or home bar. (Source)

On the other hand impact noises such as footfalls from the room directly above the basements can be genuinely annoying, mostly if you use the basement as your office or library.

To deal with such noises, you’ll have to soundproof the basement ceiling. Below are the cheapest ways to soundproof a basement ceiling.

Airborne Vs Impact Sounds in Soundproofing a Basement

Airborne sound or airborne noise refers to any sound that is transmitted through the air, such as music or speech.

Air picks up sound waves and carries them until they hit something solid like a wall.

After the hit, the vibrations penetrate the wall and reach the space behind.

That’s why you can hear your neighbor’s dog barking in your house: the sound waves travel through the air until they hit something like the walls and vibrate.

Although it is impossible to completely get rid airborne noise, there are several approaches that can significantly reduce it.

Impact noise is produced whenever an object collides with another, and it is usually heard from above. For example footsteps, a chair falling on a wood or tile flooring, or a falling object are all instances.

The sound of impact passes through the building and air pockets without being obstructed.

Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Basement Ceiling

Below are the cheapest ways to soundproof a basement ceiling. For best results, I would recommend implementing different fixes- this way, you’ll be able to reduce noise to manageable levels.

Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Basement Ceiling

1. Inspect and Seal All the Gaps

One of the basic rules of soundproofing anything is checking for gaps or cracks and sealing them. Your basement ceiling included.

Even the tiniest of gaps or cracks have the potential of letting in too much noise. Even if you use various soundproofing materials, without sealing these gaps, these products won’t work.

One of the areas where you should start checking for the gaps and cracks is around the edges. However, the whole ceiling is prone to cracks and holes, so check for them thoroughly.

There are various products that you can use to seal the gaps; one of them is a caulking seal.  A caulking seal is a sealing compound that fills gaps or cracks on any surface.

A Caulking Seal is recommended if you are looking for a cheaper way to soundproof your basement ceiling.

Another product that is affordable and easy to use is the Green Glue compound .

2. Add Mass to Your Ceiling

Another cheaper way to soundproof your ceiling is by adding mass inform of drywall. The more mass there is on a ceiling, the better it is at reducing noise.

Drywall is a better version of wall plaster that is much effective at minimizing noise between objects. It is also an affordable means of soundproofing a basement ceiling.

When installing drywall on your ceiling, remember to use Resilient Channels to create a gap between them and the ceiling. This is because the drywall installed directly on the joist of the ceiling will produce noise.

Noise is easily transmitted between objects. The resilient channels will reduce the intensity of the noise reaching the drywall.

Installing drywall on the ceiling is quite easy, and you won’t even need a professional to help you. Simply follow the guidance from the manufacturer, and you are good to go.

Also read: How to Fix a Ceiling Fan Making Clicking Noise

When installing drywall, remember to use green glue to join them. Green glue is both an adhesive and a soundproofing compound that is effective at minimizing noise.

Using it to join the drywall will enhance their effectiveness. Ensure you apply the adhesive between the two layers of drywall before installing them on the ceiling.

3. Use Acoustic Foam Panels

You can also soundproof your basement ceiling by installing foam panels. However, not all panels are good at soundproofing the walls; in fact, experts argue that they can easily fall when installed on the ceiling.

But the best panels for the ceilings are ATS Acoustic Panels. The panels are affordable, easy to install, and much different from the regular foam panels.

They are also visually appealing due to the microsuede covering layer. This means they are an excellent product to use if you want to give you the basement a complete makeover.

The panels are also much effective at blocking both airborne and impact noise. So be sure that you have to deal with the noise like before.

The panels also come with hooks, which means you can easily install them without the help of a professional.

Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Basement Ceiling

4. Use Acoustic Insulation

Acoustic insulation is also a good and cheap option for soundproofing your basement ceiling.

Acoustic insulation is an excellent option to consider if you have not installed a drywall on your ceiling. They are placed directly on the ceiling’s joist.

Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation is a good example of cheap acoustic insulation that you should consider. You only need to cut them appropriately for them to fit on the ceiling’s joist correctly.

Acoustic insulations are recommended because they do not require fasteners when installing.  Remember to leave a small gap when installing the insulations.

The gap acts as an air pocket, which prevents the insulation from jamming from time to time.

5. Carpets the floor of the Room Above

You can also reduce the amount of noise coming into the basement by carpeting the floor of the room above. Impact noise is usually the biggest culprit of noise reaching the basement.

Impact noise occurs when objects are falling or being dragged on the floor. Using carpets or mats is a cheap method to reduce that noise.

Ensure the carpet is dense, soft, and shaggy to enhance its effectiveness.

You can also use floor mats such as Rubber-Cal Elephant Bark Floor Mat to reduce noise. The mats come in different colors, which is important at enhancing the visual appeal of your home.

If you already have a carpet, you can try adding padding to it.

A carpet padding enhances the effectiveness of a carpet by absorbing more noise reaching the floor. It is placed between the floor and the mats for effectiveness.

A good type of carpet padding to use is Natural Rubber Non-Slip Indoor Rug Pad.

You can also add mass to your floorboard using Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV), which will work like rubber padding. MLV increases the density of the floorboard, thereby reducing the amount of noise reaching your basement.

6. Rearrange the Furniture

Another cheap way to soundproof your basement is by rearranging the furniture in the room above. The idea is to reduce impact noise and also the chances of echo from occurring.

Place heavy furniture on the areas where noise is likely to occur. Use heavy furniture such as bookshelf, couches, and also wardrobes.

Rearranging the furniture is both a good idea for sound reduction and giving your home a new makeover.

7. Use Soundproof Paint

Soundproof paint is also a cheap product to easily soundproof your basement ceiling. It sounds unbelievable, but soundproof paint actually exists.

The paint is different from regular paint because it is much thicker, and it has soundproofing properties. An excellent example of soundproof paint is Acoustic Coat- Sound Deadening Paint.

The paint contains latex, which is a common product in all soundproof paint that makes them effective at minimizing noise. The paint is easy to apply, and you won’t even need a professional to help you do it.

When applying the paint on your ceiling, make sure you apply several layers to make it effective at minimizing noise.

8. Use Green Glue

Green glue works as a dampener. When sound waves reach the glue, they are converted to heat energy and subsequently dissipate.

It can be used to soundproof the basement ceiling. It’s engineered to go on the seams of gypsum boards and significantly reduce noise by filling up any gaps which might cause sound from the adjacent room to get through to your room

Before applying green glue dampener you need to measure your space to determine how much material you’ll need.

Apply the glue sound dampening sealant in a thin line to cover ceiling seams, then smooth it out with a trowel or putty knife.
Allow at least 24 hours for it to dry before hanging any additional ceiling panels.

This strategy is effective in dealing with both airborne and impact noise. Green glue converts sound energy into negligible amounts of heat.

On Cheapest Way to Soundproof a Basement Ceiling

There you go, the cheapest ways to soundproof a basement ceiling. As earlier mentioned, it’s best to combine two or more of these hacks as most will give the best results when coupled together.

Any other DIY soundproofing methods you’ve tried and not mentioned above? Please do let me know in the comment section below.

Reducing Echo in a Room Cheaply: 9 Simple DIY Fixes


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