The easiest way to add a soundproof ceiling to any existing room, especially a basement or an office, is to install what is called a “drop ceiling.” A drop ceiling is a ceiling that is hung below the primary ceiling, and the surface of the ceiling is made up of tiles.
For soundproofing purposes, you will want to choose soundproof ceiling tiles for your new or remodeled drop ceiling.
I will include a review of the best soundproof ceiling tiles, as well as a guide for easy and efficient installation.
Best Overall Soundproof Ceiling Tile
The best ceiling tile for soundproofing is the soundsulate Sound Absorbing Acoustical Drop Ceiling Tiles. These ceiling tiles come in a pack of 10 and your choice of measurements:
- 24” x 24” and 1” thick
- 24” x 24” and 2” thick
- 24” x 48” and 1” thick
- 24” x 48” and 2” thick
What makes these ceiling tiles the best overall is the high noise reduction coefficient (NRC) at 0.7. This means that 70% of the sound is absorbed in the ceiling tile.
Other prominent features of these ceiling tiles include its Class-A fire rating and its fiberglass composition. These ceiling tiles come in black or white and have a fabric-type of finish for ultimate sound absorption.
Depending on the size of the room you are installing soundproofing ceiling will determine how many tiles you need. Ten tiles at 24” x 24” will cover 40 square feet of ceiling, and 10 tiles at 24” x 48” will cover 80 square feet. In case you are unsure how to calculate the square footage of your room, I will include a helpful diagram below.
How Much Ceiling Tile Will I Need?
Listen, the last thing you want to do is buy entirely too many boxes of ceiling tile for the job you need. Alternatively, not having enough ceiling tile for your job is just as bad, so it is imperative that you know how much ceiling tile you need to fully cover your ceiling. To know how much ceiling tile you need, you will need to calculate the square footage of the room in which you are installing the soundproof ceiling.
How to Calculate Square Footage
Length x Width = Total Square Footage
Square footage of a room is calculated by multiplying the length of the room by the width of the room. I’ll put this into perspective by using a visual.
Using the length x width formula, I will calculate the square footage below.
20 feet x 10 feet = 200 total square feet
Therefore, to cover the ceiling of a 200 square foot room, you will need two boxes of 24” x 48” and one box of 24” x 24”. (This is because 80 square feet + 80 square feet + 40 square feet = 200 square feet.)
How to Install the Ceiling Tiles
To install the drop ceiling, you will need to install a drop ceiling grid. The ceiling grid is what will hold the ceiling tiles in place.
The easiest ceiling grid to install is the CeilingMAX Surface Mount Grid Kit. This ceiling grid kit covers 100 square feet of ceiling tile and is incredibly easy to install. Using drywall screws, attach the 8-foot wall brackets to the studs of the primary ceiling. Once installed, you will now fasten the 8-foot top hangers perpendicularly to the floor joists using more drywall screws. Last, you will install the 23-inch cross tees, cutting them if you need to fit a shorter length or area.
Once the ceiling grid is installed, you are now ready to add the soundproof ceiling tiles.
Installing ceiling tiles is an easy process. You will simply tilt the ceiling tile at a horizontal for the tile to fit into the square. Once the tile has entered the square, simply lay the tile and let it rest on the cross-tee square grid. It should rest perfectly on the grid.
Repeat this step until you have added all tiles to cover the entire ceiling.
What is Above Me?
One of the last things you can ask yourself is, “What is above me?”
If the ceiling you are installing is directly below a high traffic area in your home, you can counter this noisemaking area by making adjustments upstairs, as well.
One of the things you can do to help the noise from above is to put down rubber soundproof floor mats. These floor mats will go underneath a rug to help alleviate the sounds that come from the movement of the floor. These sounds can come from walking or the frequent settling of the house.
Another method to quieten the floors above is to rearrange the furniture in a manner that will help absorb some of the sounds that come from the floor. Furniture placed in effective positions can absorb sounds that would otherwise filter to the space below.
Between a rubber soundproof floor mat, newly arranged furniture, and a soundproof drop ceiling, you will have a perfectly silent sanctuary to enjoy during any time of the day.
Installing a drop ceiling grid and drop ceiling tiles is not hard, but it is somewhat time-consuming. You will have to attach the brackets and hangers to the current primary ceiling using drywall screws and a power drill.
Again, this isn’t a difficult concept, but it is time-consuming, so make sure you have designated a couple of hours to install the drop ceiling grid before you get started.
Installing the drop ceiling tiles is not difficult either, but if you are doing this project as a one-man-show, it may take longer than if you had a partner.
Having to climb a ladder, install the tile, descend the ladder, move the ladder, and do it all over again will take longer than if you had a partner helping you install the tiles from the other side of the room or handing you the tiles from below. You will want to keep this in mind when it is time for you to install the drop ceiling within your home or business.