Have you walked into your flat after a long, exhausting day at work, heard your neighbours stomping their feet on the floor above and thought to yourself, “man I need to soundproof this ceiling”? Well, if you have, it’s time you did.
The benefit of soundproofing your ceiling is that you not only keep the noise from your neighbours out, but you also keep your noise in, you don’t need nosy neighbours listening in on your conversations.
Before we talk about how to soundproof a ceiling, let’s look at things to consider before soundproofing and the different types of ceilings. Understanding this will better help you know how to soundproof your ceiling.
Alright here goes, there are basically two types of ceilings.
- Drop or suspended ceiling. And,
- Drywall ceiling.
Drop or suspended ceilings are known for their aesthetic quality. They can be removed and come with in-built decoupling. However, insulation in a drop ceiling is not very effective because its very design allows for the passing of sound.
On the other hand, the drywall ceiling is very convenient for soundproofing because it is easy to remove and allows you to make changes to them easily. Drywall ceiling also has sound-isolating properties.
Things to Consider Before Soundproofing Your Ceiling
- Talk to Your Neighbours: If you are on friendly terms with them, this shouldn’t be a problem. Find out what they can do to reduce the noise. You can also suggest that they place underlay boards on their floors, they are not as expensive, and if they don’t mind, you can offer to pay for it. That will give them a nice incentive to agree, and it’d be wise to mention that the soundproofing will serve you as much as it will serve them.
- Check Your Lease: You don’t want to go making changes to your ceiling if your lease expressly forbids you to do so. So, contact your landlord or caretaker before you start anything.
How to Soundproof a Ceiling
Add a Ceiling
First off, the higher your ceiling, the more likely this will work. If you have a low ceiling, you may not want to consider this. That is because you will lose ceiling height after you’ve done this. What happens here is that you add an extra ceiling to your already existing ceiling. This method is effective and not all that expensive, depending on your budget. You will, however, need a professional to install this for you, this will naturally add to the coverall cost, but as mentioned earlier, it is a very effective solution.
Use Acoustic Insulation Panels
That is the most affordable option, but it is not as effective as adding a false ceiling. However, its effectiveness should depend on the noise level.
Also, as solutions go, it is not a bad idea to try this out before investing in a more costly solution. That can be easily purchased and installed.
Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass loaded vinyl, also known as MLV, is designed with materials that allow it to block sound. It’s got a density that allows for effective sound blocking, and as damping goes, it is an effective technique especially for blocking airborne sounds.
Install Extra Insulation Between Joists
Unlike the other methods, this one involves removing your ceiling. However, if your ceiling is a drywall ceiling, then it shouldn’t be that much of a problem.
What happens here is that your ceiling is removed, insulation is added between its joists and then it is replaced. Before you travel this road though you should know that it may not eliminate footsteps, so it is likely that you will still hear the stomping upstairs.
Also, depending on your ceiling, this may turn out to be quite expensive. And, you’d need to stay at a friend’s place until the renovations are complete. Again, your lease may not permit this.
Find And Cover Any Holes
Okay, so it is probably unlikely that your ceiling will have holes what with people living above them and all but before you proceed with any of the above options you can find out if there are holes in the ceiling and cover them.
If it’s a new flat, then the odds of this is pretty low, if it’s an old one, then you may likely find holes or crevices especially if the caretaker is not particular about caring for the building.
Doing this may save you the trouble and expense of doing any of the above options, and it may just be enough to fix your noise problem.
In conclusion, soundproofing your ceiling may seem overwhelming, but once you set your mind to it, it’s not that bad. Your concentration and peace of mind shouldn’t suffer when there are many available options to solve your problem. So pick one and get to work.