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Shed Studio - floor insulation and sound Proofing
Old 30th June 2009
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Shed Studio - floor insulation and sound Proofing

I'm in the process of trying to soundproof a wood shed. We are not looking to soundproof but simply control the sound so that we can maintain happy neighbors.

I have to insulate the floor for heating and cooling so it will be raised up 3 inches for insulation. How much of the sound will go through the floor as opposed to the walls and ceiling? Should I spend much time and effort trying to control the sound transmission through the floor?
Old 30th June 2009

If you can pour a slab floor in your area, this will be the best way to go.

Otherwise, plan on a double floor if you need good isolation.


Old 1st July 2009
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JWL's Avatar

It depends on the construction. Soundproofing is only as good as the "weakest link" in your room.

Can you give more details about how the shed is constructed? What type of flooring, etc?

I agree with tINY that a slab is the best way to go if it's not too late. If you have a standard shed using post and beam or similar construction, then you will have a hard time getting good results.
Old 6th July 2009
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I realize that it will not be perfect. We are just looking to reduce noise and not sound proof. It is a 12 x 14 shed on 4x4 runners with 2x4 floor joists on 16 inch center. 3/4 plywood floor. Standard storage shed.

No windows
1 steel door (will probably add another door on the inside later
1 hole for air conditioner vent
all electric surface mounted (less holes)

We are insulating for heat and air:

insulation between studs in the walls and ceiling
1 inch foam between over floor with another layer of 3/4 plywood.

acoustic sound proofing.
Caulking all seams with acoustic caulk
2 layers of 90 lb roofing material over the walls and ceiling. seams staggard and caulked with acoustic caulk
5/8 firestop drywall on ceiling and walls

The plan is to see how it is at that point and if necessary add another layer of drywall with Green Glue in between on the ceiling and walls.

If necessary we planned to also add another layer of flooring with green glue in between.

Keep in mind that this is a low budget (funded by my 19 year old son) so he can play music during the day with out killing the neighborhood. sound proof wise we need to be able to play accoustically late in the night with out bothering the neighbors.

Old 7th July 2009
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Again, soundproofing will only be as good as the weakest link, which in your case is the floor. I wouldn't bother beefing up much else as sound will still leak out of the floor.

I agree you should try it as is, and see how you are doing. If you need more soundproofing, you'll have to re-do the floor. Another layer of plywood with green glue might help.
Old 7th July 2009
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Is there anything else that can be done on the floor other than concrete? Would my first step be to add more mass to the floor or something like cement board? What about an inch or two of concrete over the plywood floor?

Would MLV or 90lb rolled roofing help at all?
Would plywood over 2x4s layed flat on acoustic foam help? if so would it be better than adding things like cement board or 2 inches of concrete?
Old 8th July 2009

You really need mass on the floor. The construction you describe won't hold that much weight.


Old 8th July 2009
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Would these help at all or would they be a waste of time and money?

Acoustical Stud Beam Isolators

Since my floor is the weekest link should I start with the walls? Is it not even worth trying to isolate the floor a bit? Should I just leave the one layer of plywood or is there something that will give me at least my moneys worth?

Maybe a better question would be which of the following options would make more sense?

1 inch foam covered with 3/4 plywood - mainly for insulation
2/4's on end using the stud beam isolators with bat insulation between the studs. covered with 3/4 plywood

Would MLV or 90 lb roofing material help in any way with either option?

Thanks for any help that you can provide - I already have the shed on order and now I'm a bit concerned that there may be no level of isolation possible...
Old 8th July 2009
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Sorry, I can't offer specific help, but isolation is alwas possible, provided you have enough space. So don't fret about your shed, it'll work out.
Old 9th July 2009

My guess is that you'd do better by building a jack-wall with cynder blocks around the bottom and back-filling it with sand. At least you'd have a heavy skirt around the edge.


Old 9th July 2009
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Thanks Tiny,

Thats something to think about... I could give it a try without and try this if the sound is out of control. I like options that I can try in phases
Old 9th July 2009
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I think I know what you mean but Google did not help much with Jack-wall. Basically just cinder blocks around the shed and backfilled to the shed with sand?

The issue that I would have to control would then be rain and moisture against the shed.

Got the wheels spinning now

Old 9th July 2009
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Again, weakest link. The thing about floors is that usually amps/drums etc. are resting on the floor, and then cause the floor to resonate. It's easier to get flanking, structural-born noise transmission.

I'd consider making some floating risers to help cut down on that, too.
Old 9th July 2009
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Thanks JWl,

something I can add to the list to work on after we have the basics completed
Old 13th July 2009
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I'm having nearly the same problem

I have a room about 7' high, it's completely concrete from floor to ceiling, wat would i need to soundproof this room, i really want to use it for recording caus the acoustics are already fairly good.
Old 14th July 2009
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The shed is here. There may be others that are looking to do the same thing. We will post the progress and let you know how it goes with each step.

Thanks for the help
Old 17th July 2009
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Ceiling Height Question

The shed is a barn style the walls will be about 6' 2" then there will be 2" on an angle and about 10-12 feet wide ceiling.

Depending on how I construct the ceiling it will be 8' 2" minimum and 8' 9" maximum. Would this difference be something for me to be concerned with? 8'9" will be more difficult and cost just a bit more money.

The room will be about 11'6" by 13'6" when finished.
Old 17th July 2009

Before you build the floor, dig down about 2-3 feet around the perimeter and poor concrete footings (or use cinder blocks) to make a foundation. Your shed will rest on this, so make sure it's a foot or so above grade when you finish.

Back fill the hole with sand. Maybe add a layer of sand under where your shed will be.

You should ventilate this space with 2 or more vents. Open them in the summer when you aren't playing.


Old 15th December 2009
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It's almost finished

After Christmas I will post some pictures and sound proofing results. It's not sound proof but we believe it will be good enough not to be reported to the local authorities for noise pollution

Recorded music playing very loud inside - from 75 feet away you almost don't know where the noise is coming from. My house is 75 feet away and I can't hear it inside my house.

Live music being played is not quite as good. Electric Guitar and Drums can be heard fairly loud but again not enough to penetrate the house at 75 feet.

Will probably be good in the winter but it may cause problems in the summer when windows are up. I guess the wise thing would be to talk to the 2 neighbors who may be affected.

The strange thing is that its not really the bass that is penetrating. Seems like it is the attack of the drums. More the sharp sounds than the bass that I thought would be the problem.

Over all I'm happy with the results based on what we had to work with. I still have to finish a second door and interior sound conditioning.

thanks for the help
Old 28th May 2010
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Sound proof a thru wall airconditioner

The studio was great but my portable air conditioner did not cut it when it got hot. We are eliminating the ventilation baffles and I installed a thru wall air conditioner. This is just fine for 50% of the time but I need to do some work for those times when we need to keep the sound in or out. The thru wall air conditioner is basically open to the outside.

My thought was to build a frame and cover around the inside of the air conditioner. When the air conditioner is not in use we would attach the cover to the frame giving much better sound isolation. I was going to build the cover and frame out of 5/8 plywood or particle board. it would have sound block and absorption added. The cover would be latched on the frame.

I'm thinking the absorption and block should be similar to a door treatment. Any ideas on how I treat this to be most effective in blocking sound in and out?

I was thinking of Accoustic caulk, lead tape, MLV and closed cell foam. Not sure if the foam should be on the inside or outside etc...
Old 7th March 2019
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I am opening this trend again, as I am moving to a new house and it is in a ground floor, so I have a problem related to floor soundproofing.

The problem is the studio is only adjacent to a flat in the first floor (located over the studio). I have two neighbors adjacent to the house (but not the studio) on the sides: one is in other building, and the second has my whole house (corridor, small room and an inner courtyard) between my studio and his/her flat (my flat is in a corner of the building).

I know Soundproofing is only as good as the "weakest link", but I don't have a direct problem on the sides. I have read in that situation I could avoid treating the floor and focus all my efforts in the walls and ceiling, but I have also read it otherwise... I understand the whole house works as a soundproofing structure that dissipates the small amount of sound that may leave the room, and by soundproofing the ceiling and walls I could work without annoying neighbours.

I currently have a wooden floor, and understand the flat is new and the cited floor is quite expensive, so for me is undesirable to break it...

I am going to use the room to mix; record vocals, bass and guitar; and djing. I am not interested in drums. I don't like listening to music in very loud volumes, just sometimes when checking some stuff.

What would you do?

Thanks for your attention
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Last edited by estevanovich; 7th March 2019 at 11:44 PM.. Reason: Picture
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