When I was about 8 years old, my parents bought me a full professional drumset for Christmas. We kept it in the living room for a couple of weeks until my parents couldn’t take the sound anymore. We moved it to the basement, but it didn’t help.
The sound of the drums was still overpowering everything in the house; the TV, the radio, the thoughts in my parents’ head. For years, my parents endured the sound of the drums from the basement below.
If only they had this step-by-step guide to soundproofing the basement, they would have known how easy and affordable it was to save their sanity from my continuous playing.
Soundproofing your basement can be as complex or a simple as you want it to be, from installing fresh drywall and insulation to simply adding foam panels to help reduce noise.
For this article, I’m going to explain how to fully soundproof your basement from beginning to end.
Step 1 – Strip the Walls
You will be adding sealant, insulation, foam, and drywall to your walls, so you need to strip the existing walls down to the studs before you get started.
Step 2 – Seal the Ceiling Cracks
This step cannot be skipped. Noise will enter a room through any crack it can find, so it is imperative that you seal all cracks in the ceiling of the basement before adding any soundproofing materials to your basement.
The best soundproofing sealant for the job is the Green Glue Noise Proofing Sealant. This sealant will need to be applied with a one-quart caulking gun, so make sure you have one on-hand, or add one to your cart when purchasing your sealant.
Step 3 – Insulate
Insulation has other purposes than just keeping those outside temperatures from penetrating into your home. Insulation is also a great way to add extra sound reduction to a room.
So, if you think you should not add insulation to your new or existing walls in your basement for soundproof purposes – think again. Insulating your walls, especially the ceiling of your basement, will help with noise reduction.
Step 4 – Add the Drywall
You will want to add drywall to your studded and insulated framework, especially the ceiling. This drywall will add another barrier between the basement and the rooms above.
Your drywall will need to be nailed, taped, and mudded after it is hung, and you can continue soundproofing through the drywall materials you use.
When mudding the drywall seams and the covering drywall nails, you can use a soundproofing compound to add an extra layer of sound reduction. Green Glue Soundproofing Compound comes in 28-ounce tubes and can be applied using the same method as the sealant. Spread this compound with a putty knife to cover all the exposed seams and nails of the drywall.
Once the drywall is nailed, taped, and mudded, you can continue soundproofing by painting the walls with sound deadening paint.
One option is this flat finish bright white Acousti-Coat Sound Deadening Paint. It comes in one gallon or five gallons, giving you the option to cover a large area of walls and ceilings.
In the drywall alone, you have used soundproofing compound and sound deadening paint to add an additional element of soundproofing to your basement.
Step 5 – Add Soundproofing Panels
The last step to fully soundproofing your basement is to add soundproofing panels to the walls and ceilings of the room. These soundproofing panels are usually made of thick foam and can be easily applied to the wall and ceiling surface.
These soundproofing foam panels come in a pack of 12, and they measure 12’ x 12’ to cover a large surface area of your basement. The panels are self-adhesive, so you simply peel the backing and apply the panel to the wall or ceiling surface.
Foam soundproofing panels are the last touch to add to your newly soundproofed basement.
What if I want to soundproof my existing basement walls?
Listen, it’s your world, you can live it how you want it; so if you want to soundproof your current walls and ceiling without additional demolition, framing, or insulating, you can easily and affordably do that!
You will want to seal any cracks or gaps in the wall and ceiling using the Green Glue Noise Proofing Sealant, paint with Acousti-Coat Sound Deadening Paint, and then add TechDesk Audio Acoustic Foam Panels to the walls and ceiling. This can easily and affordably soundproof your basement and keep the basement noise in the basement – where it belongs!
For a more in-depth look at how to soundproof existing walls, feel free to check out the step-by-step guide I have included on my site on Soundproofing Existing Walls in 3 Easy Steps.
Don’t Forget the Floors!
After you have soundproofed your basement, you can also enhance the sound reduction by simply rearranging the furniture in the room above the basement in a manner that will either absorb or deflect the sound waves from the basement below.
To do this, you will want to move heavier furniture, such as large coffee tables, couches, or entertainment centers, in the area of the room that is directly above the basement. This heavy furniture will help reduce any sound that escapes from the basement below.
Things to Remember
You can make this process as simple or as complex as you want. The more soundproofing elements you can add to your basement, the more basement noise will be reduced throughout the home.
If you don’t want or need to add new walls, you can soundproof existing walls by adding soundproof sealant, compound, and panels. This is an easy and quick remedy to soundproofing your basement to contain the noise therein. Last, even the smallest changes can produce big results. By moving around the furniture above the basement, you can seal the deal to make sure the basement noise stays in the basement, and your living space above stays peaceful and undisrupted.