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Covering Small Room Ceiling
Old 15th November 2009
  #1
Covering Small Room Ceiling

I need help with how to cover the basement ceiling in my home studio. The upstairs floor joists are 7'-5" from the concrete floor, spaced at 16" centers, and presently covered with furring strips and cheap 1' sq. acoustic tiles.

I watched the Real Traps video "Ultimate Home Studio", which showed a view of the low ceiling treated with "fluffy fiberglass" and covered with fabric. It didn't show how to construct that though. Looked like small wood strips about 3' apart running length of room held everything in place.

I'm looking for max absorbtion, take the ceiling out of the equation totally. And hopefully, reduce some of the vibrations from walking upstairs right above my studio.

So I assume each section between the floor joists were stuffed with fluffy fiberglass, and then maybe another thinner layer below it all like a sheet. And then the whole covered with fabric with the outer wood strips attached how?
Old 15th November 2009
  #2
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waveheavy View Post
I watched the Real Traps video "Ultimate Home Studio", which showed a view of the low ceiling treated with "fluffy fiberglass" and covered with fabric. It didn't show how to construct that though. Looked like small wood strips about 3' apart running length of room held everything in place.

That is probably the best way to do it... Maybe watch the video again?? I haven't watched it so.. i don't know.

Quote:
Originally Posted by waveheavy View Post
So I assume each section between the floor joists were stuffed with fluffy fiberglass, and then maybe another thinner layer below it all like a sheet. And then the whole covered with fabric with the outer wood strips attached how?
What you need is like R-21 (or thicker) attic blanket. You don't need any thinner stuff. Get the stuff that doesn't have paper on it. (If you get the papered stuff, just put it so that the paper it UP, towards upstairs, and you have only fiberglass facing the room.)

This is gonna be a yucky job, my friend, but i believe you will find it worth the trouble.

The idea is to fill all the joist spaces. The covering can be any open-weave cloth. You can use a staple gun to attach the fabric from joist to joist. The wood strips are there to cover the staples. They just make it look nice.

Fabric is usually purchased by the meter or yard depending on where you live. It's width may vary, so check. If you're in the US JoAnn Fabrics is a good place to start. They sell burlap which is commonly used for this purpose.

If your ceiling/floor joist run the width of your room you will need to measure the width and buy the fabric in that length or multiples of it. Begin at the wall where the joist runs parallel. Attach the fabric to the 1st joist all along that wall. Next, as you put the fiberglass into the joist-space, staple the fabric to the next joist as you go along. (You're gonna love that shower after this.. heh hehehe) Do this for all the joist spacings.

When you finish with one row of fabric and it covers, for instance, 3 joists, attach the next piece of fabric to that same joist (seam) and continue. After you have all the insulation in place with the fabric up... you can install the wood strips to cover the staples. -- I suggest that you pre-finish the wood before you put it up, because you don't want to get paint or varnish on the fabric.

good luck!
-- John
Old 15th November 2009
  #3
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Ethan Winer's Avatar
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by waveheavy View Post
I watched the Real Traps video "Ultimate Home Studio", which showed a view of the low ceiling treated with "fluffy fiberglass" and covered with fabric. It didn't show how to construct that though. Looked like small wood strips about 3' apart running length of room held everything in place.
It's very simple. The fluffy fiberglass was pushed up into the ceiling between the floor joists, and friction holds the fiberglass in place. Then 6-foot wide fabric was stapled to the joist bottoms. The wood trim strips are just for show, to hide the seams in the fabric.

--Ethan
Old 15th November 2009
  #4
Got it! Thank you both very much!
Old 15th November 2009
  #5
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In my basement room I had a finished ceiling, so I constructed a drop ceiling by using 2x4s. I spaced them so that there were 24" in between each runner. I then used 24" x 48" mineral wool in the spaces, covered that with fabric and stapled it in place.

Pictures of the process are at my website.

Obviously, if you have open joists then it's much simpler!
Old 16th November 2009
  #6
That brings up another question.

I've already read lot of the info on the forum about safety concerns, that it shouldn't be a problem. But let's say I still want some kind of barrier between the rockwool and fabric. What would be OK to use in this situation? Some fabrics come with a kind of layered backing, which I think is still breathable. But what if I used a plastic barrier anyway?
Old 16th November 2009
  #7
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by waveheavy View Post
But let's say I still want some kind of barrier between the rockwool and fabric. What would be OK to use in this situation? Some fabrics come with a kind of layered backing, which I think is still breathable. But what if I used a plastic barrier anyway?
I wouldn't suggest anything like plastic because that would shift the absorption characteristics of the the ceiling absorbers that you are building from broad-band to a strange filter shape. Anyway, you said you want MAX absorption.

Try Dacron fiber. It is used in dress making and comes in thicknesses of 1/4 & 1/2". You can buy that at the fabric store too. Place it on top of the fiberglass before you install the fabric. --- But, IMHO, it is not necessary.

But don't use a fabric with a layered backing or anything like that.. you need it to 'breathe'. --- Ahhh, one sec! Automobile headliner! I used to use that for studio installs back in the 80s. It is fabric faced with 1/8" open cell foam backing. It's a bit pricey, but it works real well for safety and looks great.
Old 16th November 2009
  #8
I'll look into the Dacron, and the auto liner and open cell foam idea. Thanks to all for advice!
Old 16th November 2009
  #9
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I am considering the same option for my basement ceiling. I am working with only about 6' 9" in height, so a drop ceiling is not possible. How well does this method minimize noise between the floors?
Old 17th November 2009
  #10
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fragilefunk View Post
I am considering the same option for my basement ceiling. I am working with only about 6' 9" in height, so a drop ceiling is not possible. How well does this method minimize noise between the floors?
It will reduce noise transference slightly.. from very little to maybe as much as 6 db - depending on what and how you use it. This is not a transmission reduction technique but more of a trapping/room eq thing.

Acoustic Correction vs. Sound Proofing

For soundproofing your ceiling without losing much space, you could apply one layer of 5/8" gypsum board to your existing drywall ceiling with Green Glue. This could conceivably give you up to an additional 10db isolation. Not bad for only losing only about 3/4" on the ceiling. You can find out more here.

Cheers,
Old 17th November 2009
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jhbrandt View Post
It will reduce noise transference slightly.. from very little to maybe as much as 6 db - depending on what and how you use it. This is not a transmission reduction technique but more of a trapping/room eq thing.
That makes sense. Do you have any suggestions on how to get a happy medium between noise reduction and acoustic treatment? The ceiling now is finished with one layer of drywall, but no insulation between that and the floor above.

With the insulation/fabric method I would get a better acoustic environment but would possibly be introducing more noise into the room above. Correct?
Old 18th November 2009
  #12
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jhbrandt's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by fragilefunk View Post
That makes sense. Do you have any suggestions on how to get a happy medium between noise reduction and acoustic treatment? The ceiling now is finished with one layer of drywall, but no insulation between that and the floor above.
If possible, cut 4" holes in the ceiling drywall and blow cellulose fiber between the floor joists. This will give an improved TL.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fragilefunk View Post
With the insulation/fabric method I would get a better acoustic environment but would possibly be introducing more noise into the room above. Correct?
Yes.

Try buying some 2" 703 or rigid rock wool, cover with fabric and attach to the drywall ceiling in a checkerboard fashion. This should improve things and also add a little edge diffusion as well.
Old 18th November 2009
  #13
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That sounds like a good plan. I would be easier than tearing down the whole ceiling, also.
Old 23rd November 2009
  #14
On reducing the noise from the upstairs above, while keeping the absorbtion for the lower room, I ran upon this idea.

Attach 2 layers of 5/8" sheetrock pieces to the bottom upstairs subfloor inside the floor joist cavity. Apply a layer of Green Glue in between the layers of sheetrock. Would have to measure the sheetrock screw length carefully, so as to not penetrate the floor upstairs.

Then add the fluffy insulation in the joists and fabric.

Would R30 insulation be better?

My joist width is 7.25" and the R30 is 9.25", so I'd have to compress it a bit inside the floor joists, even a bit more if I did the double sheetrock thing. I've found John Mansfield R30 rolls pretty cheap at Lowes, no chemicals added.
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