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How to Soundproof a Ceiling

Ceiling Soundproofing Treats Two Types of Noise

There are two types of noise ceiling soundproofing treats: impact and airborne.

Impact noise is the result of people walking in the room above. Footfall causes vibrations in the floor. These vibrations pass through the ceiling of the room below.

Airborne noise is the sound from the room above, whether it's people talking, a loud TV or thumping music.

Both types of noise enter the room through the ceiling, the part of the room that joins the two spaces. But noises also travel through joists and beams. This means noise from several levels above can still enter the space and cause issues.

Soundproofing a ceiling reduces the noise that enters the space from any room above, whether it's impact or airborne noise.

See our Ceiling Soundproofing Products

Recommended Ceiling Soundproofing Methods

Drywall Ceiling

By suspending a new drywall ceiling from a vibration isolation system, like isoTRAX ™ Soundproofing System, impact and airborne noise are greatly reduced.

isoTRAX ™ Soundproofing System works by "floating" the ceiling over vibration isolators. With no hardware making direct contact with the ceiling, the new drywall only comes in contact with an isolating foam cushion. Sound energy has no path to travel along, stopping its transmission.

To combat airborne noise further, a second material can be added, such as Quiet Batt® Soundproofing Insulation. This dense, recycled, cotton material is installed between ceiling joists, eliminating the vibrations of sound between the ceiling construction. Quiet Batt® Soundproofing Insulation not only reduces sound, it also insulates.

Another way to decrease airborne noise is to add a heavy, thick material to trap sound energy and stop it from traveling to another room. Quiet Barrier® soundproofing material is a high density, non-porous material that is flexible and easy to install. This is the best choice when airborne noise is the main sound issue in a room.

Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material can be nailed across joists and sealed with acoustic caulk, like OSI® Pro-Series® SC-175 ™ Acoustical Sound Sealant, before the drywall is installed. Although Quiet Barrier Soundproofing Material® is available in a 2-pound weight, it's too heavy for ceiling use.

To achieve the best ceiling soundproofing with Quiet Barrier® Soundproofing Material, use in combination with Quiet Batt® Soundproofing Insulation.

Suspended Ceiling

The most effective method for soundproofing a suspended ceiling is to remove the current ceiling and install a drywall ceiling with our isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System.

isoTRAX™ Soundproofing System works by "floating" the ceiling over vibration isolators. No hardware makes direct contact with the ceiling. The new drywall only comes in contact with an isolating foam cushion. Sound energy is stopped because it has no path to travel along.

A less effective ceiling soundproofing solution is replacing ceiling tiles with acoustical tiles. Acoustical tiles reduce airborne noise and improve the sound quality within a room by absorbing sound waves and eliminating echoes.

To be able to compare the performance of different acoustical tiles, we rate them by how much sound they can block. This rating is called CAC, which stands for Ceiling Attenuation Class. The higher the rating, the more effective the product is.

If existing tiles can't be replaced, we recommend placing a layer of Quiet Batt® Soundproofing Insulation above the tiles.


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