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How to Soundproof a Ceiling

How to Soundproof a Ceiling
Soundproofing a ceiling can substantially decrease the amount of noise traveling from your room to upstairs. There are many products which can help you block sound.
Pragya T
Blown Insulation being Installed between Floor Joists
Soundproofing ceiling is a combination of various soundproofing products available in the market. There are many products to choose from, which can make soundproofing a bit confusing too. Also, how you combine these soundproofing materials together matters. Some of the products that you can use to soundproof your ceiling are soundproofing ceiling tiles, viscoelastic damping compound, foam and acoustical caulk.
You can combine these products in different ways to make your ceiling soundproof. However, if you are hiring a professional company to soundproof ceiling then they might have their own products and a certain combination which they will use to soundproof your ceiling.
Soundproofing a Ceiling to Block Noise
When soundproofing a ceiling you will need to keep few basic things in mind. Firstly, you will need to completely cover the ceiling in a sandwich pattern. To create this pattern you will need to apply a layer of laminate over the layer then a layer of foam or a viscoelastic damping compound, then again a laminate layer. If you want you can have another final coat of soundproofing ceiling tiles. But, first thing is that you need to figure out if your ceiling can take this much amount of weight. Also, once you are done with creating these soundproofing layers you will need to even take care of the smallest gaps which can leak sound.
Method #1
So, start by removing the drywall completely off your ceiling. If your drywall is in a decent condition, then keep it aside, as you can reuse it later. Also, reusing the same drywall will save you time in cutting new drywall to fit in your ceiling. So, strip off all the layers of your ceiling, till the wood struts can be seen. Then start applying a layer of foam. Use the most dense foam possible. Remember, more mass means better soundproofing. So, use good density foam layer.
You can simply buy dense foam ceiling tiles. These are affordable and quite easily available. Once you are done applying the foam layer, look out for small cracks, gaps or holes in the foam insulation. Here apply acoustical caulk. Go with the non-hardening variety. Then finally replace the drywall using isolation clips. This method of soundproofing the ceiling will greatly help prevent the sound leaking from your room to upstairs and vice-versa.
Method #2
This method works better, because it uses a viscoelastic damping compound, which is available in many hardware stores. It looks like green paste and is available in tubes. So, take off all the layers from the ceiling, till it is almost exposed. Then attach some plain wooden strips to the ceiling surface, take care so that there is space of two feet apart between the strips. Here screw in a layer of Sheetrock.
Finally, apply a layer of viscoelastic damping compound onto another Sheetrock. Screw this layer to the first layer of Sheetrock. Finally, use acoustical caulk to seal off any gaps which could possibly leak sound. There you are done. It usually takes around 10 days till you can feel the compound working. Also, around a month will be required till the soundproofing compound reaches its full capacity.
Sound is like water, close one channel and it will find another channel to flow. So, just soundproofing your ceiling won't stop sound from escaping. You will also need to work on the floor, doors and windows to make a room completely soundproof. To soundproof the floor better, consider using a thick carpet. For doors and windows consider replacing them with soundproof sliding windows and doors. Or you can simply hang acoustical drapes and use acoustical caulk for affordable room soundproofing.