How To Soundproof Ceiling | Best Tested And Proven Methods

If you are living under a floor or your ceiling is someone’s floor then it would be your dream to have a peaceful room where no noises will be there. It creates a huge noise when some family is staying right on the upper floor of you. In order to make them silent, you need to soundproof your ceiling.

The causes of the noise are heavy footsteps, using loud appliances like washing machine, etc. These noises will take the peacefulness of the room out and will make you annoyed badly.

In this case only soundproofing ceiling will work rather than soundproofing floor and window. And converting a ceiling into a soundproof ceiling will not cost much. There are many easy and simple ways to do that.

Does Soundproof Ceiling Work?

Do you know how sound gets entered from the upper floor into your room? whenever there is some vibration on the floor of the upper floor room(that can be because of the walking, using heavy machines, etc), that vibration travels from the floor to your ceiling and then sound creates by vibrating the air of your room.

So, when you use the soundproof ceiling materials on the ceiling, the materials can absorb those vibrations and reduce the amount of vibration passing thru the ceiling. Because of this practice, you feel the noise got decreased.

So, as the sound is causing from the floor of the upper room, you must soundproof the floor of that room also for the better result.

If I answer this question that does soundproof ceiling work in one word, YES, it works. If if you need to better result then try to soundproof their floor too.

Note: Soundproofing the ceiling will not work 100%. So, don’t expect so much or else you will be disappointed. If the noise will be very much high then obviously you will get the noise.

Types Of Sound

When we are guiding you that how to soundproof ceiling, you must know the types of sounds and how those sounds are traveling to your room from their room. There are mainly two types of sounds and they are,

  1. Airborne sound
  2. Impact sound

1. Airborne

Airborne sounds are the sounds that are created by the vibration of air without having any physical contact.

They travel in a waveform and get reflected when strikes with a hard surface. If you are playing any music on the phone, the speaker creates a soundwave and that wave is the vibration of the air particles.

When these vibrations come in contact with any hard surface, that surface absorbs the wave and vibrates itself, and transfer the vibration to the air of the other side of the surface. In this way, the sound gets transferred from one room to another without physical contact and this is called airborne noise.

2. Impact

Impact sounds are created with the help of physical contact. Here, vibration creates because of the striking of two or more objects.

The cause of this noise can be walking on the floor, using heavy appliances like washing machine, etc. Sound of the airborne is lesser than the impact sounds.

If someone is walking on the floor of your upper floor, vibration creates because of the collision between floor and foot. That vibration carried out with the help of the materials which are connected between your ceiling and their floor. Finally, those vibrations get out of the ceiling, and the sound gets transferred from that room to yours.

Types Of Ceilings

Mostly, there are two types of the ceiling which are used frequently in western countries, that is drywall and drop ceiling.

  1. Drywall: Drywall ceiling is the easiest one to install than the drop ceiling. In the drywall, there will be a big piece of the cardboard type thing which will be pasted on the ceiling with the help of screws. This is a faster and easier method. You need at least 2 people to do install it smoothly because the material will be very big to handle single-handedly. Even you need very less tools to install a drywall ceiling.
  2. Drop: Drop ceiling is very much harder to install than a drywall ceiling. There will be small like 2ft x 2ft slabs which will be mixed on the ceiling. The thing is you need many tools to install the drop ceiling. However, you can install this ceiling alone but it is tougher than drywall, to be honest. It takes very much time to install. You need to make the perfect alignment of the joist just to make the slab fit into it.

If we compare the look, the drop ceiling has a classy look whereas the drywall ceiling has a plain and simple look but attracts people.

7 Ways To Soundproof Ceiling

You must know that soundproofing a ceiling is not a small task like soundproofing a floor. To make a ceiling soundproof, you need so much time, and doing it alone is a hard job.

These ways are not gonna be as cheap as other soundproofing techniques because you need many materials to soundproof the ceiling.

1.Drywall:

If you are using normal drywall in the ceiling then it is not that efficient in blocking the noise from entering your room. This is because of the low density and less thickness.

Rather than normal drywall, it is better to use soundproof drywall which has a thickness of 5/8 inch and density also will be high, so will work better. You can have single-layered and double-layered drywalls to have a better experience.

  1. Single Layer: Nowadays almost everyone uses the single-layered drywall in the ceiling of 5/8 inch and they work quite okay but if you are not getting enough results then you must try installing some insulating materials or soundproofing materials like fiberglass etc in the free spaces of the ceiling. You should know that because of its fewer thickness soundwaves can easily vibrate it and get enter your room so, for a better experience you need to add double-layered drywall.
  2. Double Layer: Double layer of drywall is very much effective in absorbing the sound but take care of the thickness of the second layer, it should also be 5/8 inch, not 1/2 inch. Because of using the second layer, the thickness will increase and it will be difficult for the soundwaves to penetrate the two layers and enter your room. The addition of an extra layer will not only block more noise but also will look better.

So in these two ways, you can use the drywalls in soundproofing the ceiling. The drywall is not that expensive way to soundproof your ceiling.

Note: The reason why you should use drywall to soundproof the ceiling is, it is easy to install with the help of 2 persons. Single-handedly it is difficult to install but if you are doing it on your own then you can use the drywall panel lift toys.

2. Using Green Glue

This process is connected to the drywall only. If you are using the second drywall layer then you must try this sound-absorbing compound i.e green glue. This is one of the great soundproof ceiling materials.

Green glue is one of the most trusted soundproofing products. These products are very much trustworthy not only because they are cheap, but also its effect on soundproofing.

This is a Visio elastic sound dampening compound which you need to apply on one side of the second drywall to paste over another drywall. You can apply the green glue in random order. This compound will create an air void between the two drywalls.

Increasing the air voids will increase the sound absorption and make your room quite.

Note: For a better result, you can apply 2 tubes of green glue on each sheet of drywall and paste over the first drywall. In this way, thickness will increase and absorption quality will be better.

3. Resilient Channel

Using a resilient channel ceiling is one of the most effective ways to soundproof a ceiling. The best time to install the resilient channel is when you have an unfinished ceiling or building a ceiling.

Resilient can be installed in the room if you have the permission to do so, in simple words you can do only on your property. If you live in an apartment then you need to take permission from the owner to do so.

The resilient channel can decouple the impact noise which is produced by the structure or the frame of the ceiling.

It is done by using a thinner metal channel which is designed to substantially improve the sound insulation of drywall, plasterboard wall, sheetrock, and ceilings.

4. Soundproof Insulation

Acoustic Foam Panel

If even after using all the above methods, your ceiling is not enough soundproof then you need to go with the soundproof insulation, although there is no such term exists “soundproof insulation” but you can use the Rockwool Acoustic Mineral Wool Insulation for this job. They are like soundproof ceiling tiles.

You can use these types of panels only before the ceiling is ready or else you have to remove the drywall and the resilient channels to install these panels.

These soundproof ceiling tiles or acoustic mineral wool insulations will work better if you place them perfectly between the resilient channels.

The available mass of these panels are either 4 or 8 pounds per unit density. If you are using any insulating material like fiber glass then you must know that these panels are more efficient than them.

Note: Not only for the ceiling, but you can also use these panels to make a box and cover your generator with that box, and this will make its noise very much less.

These soundproof ceiling tiles can absorb up to 95% of the sound and now you can imagine how much it will be effective for your room.

5. Acoustic Paints

Using acoustic paints will not make a huge difference but if you need a better result even after doing everything which are mentioned above, you can use this.

Try to go for more than 3 coatings or else its effect will not be noticeable. The acoustic paints will affect the airborne sounds, not much effective on impact sounds.

If we suggest any best acoustic paint, that will be Acousti Coat. This is one of the most trustworthy soundproof paints.

6. Acoustic Foam Panels

acoustic foam panels

Using acoustic foam panels is a brilliant way to soundproof the ceiling. These panels are used in the wall too to soundproof the wall. This is a soundproof ceiling material.

Acoustic foam panels are highly effective and costs very less. You can install these panels if you stay in rental house because you just need to stick them with the ceiling.

These tiles are available in many shapes but normally they are available in 12 inches x 12 inches. These foams also can absorb the sound up to 95% but more panels lead to better absorption.

Mainly, these kinds of panels are seen in the studios or any recording rooms because they reduce the echo of the sound inside the room.

They work so well because of the thickness and density. The thickness of the Acoustic Panels Soundproof Foam is 1 inch. That’s why this is one of the best soundproofing materials.

7. Using MLV(Mass Loaded Vinyl)

Using MLV(Mass Loaded Vinyl)

If you have done everything with the ceiling then you can use MLV on the ceiling as a final touch. This is gonna bring a noticeable change in sound entering the room.

It is not at all a big thing to install a MLV on the ceiling. Just need to nail them on the ceiling to make it a soundproof ceiling. It is better not to use the glue to stick MLV with ceiling, because of gravity and its weight it may come down.

MLV will help in reducing airborne noises, not that effective on impact noises. The reason for being effective is its density. MLV has a high density which absorbs the soundwave.

The cost of the MLV and acoustic foam panels are almost the same but MLV seems more because they are available for a large area. If you cover 25 sq ft with acoustic foam panels and if you cover 25 sq ft with MLV, both costs will be almost the same, but the thing is MLV is not available under 40 sq ft.

Benefits Of Soundproof Ceiling

Although you know the benefits of soundproofing a ceiling, I would love to recall some reliefs which you are gonna get after soundproofing your ceiling.

  1. Look: Although before soundproofing the ceiling, the room was not looking bad, but after soundproofing, many unnecessary wires, pipes, etc would have been covered with the help of panels or sheets.
  2. Privacy or Freedom: By soundproofing your ceiling, you are stopping your sounds also to enter the upper floor. It means you can make noise by doing parties or by recording anything as a studio and no one will be disturbed.
  3. Renovation: If your ceiling would have some defects then you can renovate your ceiling by replacement with new panels and give a new and attractive look to your room.
  4. Peace: Last but not least, peace. Obviously, we are making our ceiling soundproof because of the annoying noises come from the upper floor neighbors. You are gonna get a peaceful stay in your room while they will be making as usual noises.

FAQs On Soundproof Ceiling

Can you soundproof an existing ceiling?

Yes, absolutely you can soundproof an existing ceiling but there will be some limit like you can only use some products like acoustic foam panels, MLV. I would suggest removing the ceiling and make it soundproof from the beginning so that it will be satisfying. If you have the ceiling already installed, you can try using panels, MLV on the ceiling and if that doesn’t work, then remove the ceiling and do everything mentioned above.

How much does it cost to soundproof a ceiling?

It depends upon the way of soundproofing. If we say a round figure if you remove the existing ceiling and then try to soundproof the ceiling, it may cost up to $500. If you don’t want to remove the ceiling and make the existing ceiling soundproof then it will cost somewhere around $100.

How do I reduce noise from upstairs?

If I summerise the points we have discussed above, the following things you can do to reduce the noise coming from upstairs are:
->Use the double layer drywall to get a better result
->Use green glue to sandwich between two drywalls
->Make resilient channels with the existing joists of the ceiling
->Use soundproof insulation panels in the free space of joist and drywall
->For a better result, you can use acoustic paints on the second drywall(not less than 3 coatings)
->You can use the acoustic foam panels if you don’t want to remove the existing ceiling
->And lastly, you can use the MLV for the best result.

Last Few Words On How To Soundproof Ceiling

So, we have briefly discussed the factors or ways based on which you can soundproof your ceiling. Some ways need unbuilt ceiling and some need built ceiling.

These were the best ways to soundproof ceiling according to many experts on this planet. If you apply all the ways mentioned above then barely you can hear any sound which is coming from upstairs.

The cost of soundproofing the ceiling depends upon you are removing the ceiling or installing something on the existing ceiling. If you are removing then obviously cost will be more than the non-removing techniques.

We hope that now you are able to understand How to soundproof the ceiling. If still, any doubt is there, please comment them below.

I am Rajmun Khan from India, owner of favhomedecor.com. Studying computer science and engineering. I have so much interest in home appliances and stuff. So, I learn them, implement them, and share the knowledge here.

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