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Thread: Basement shop noise isolation suggestions

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
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    Northern Michigan
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    380

    Basement shop noise isolation suggestions

    Moving to new house and losing my outdoor shop. Have a partially finished basement room I can use. Issue is noise control. There is an office room and bedroom above the shop area. The ceiling is unfinished. Thinking of filling the joist bays with mineral fiber insulation as it is dense and then covering that with some type of plywood. I hate installing drywall! Does that make sense or should I do something else.
    Thanks. Pete

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Modesto, CA, USA
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    I think it has to be drywall by fire code, nothing burnable like plywood.
    Bill D

  3. #3
    When I had my workshop at my house, I finished the basement and ended up putting a drop ceiling in it, mainly for access to all the pipes running along the bottom of the joists. It may not look as clean as drywall, but you retain access, and the low-density 2' x 2' ceiling tiles have more sound dampening than you'd get out of plywood (which like Bill said, likely violates fire codes). You lose a few inches in ceiling height, but you have an added bonus of being able to cheaply and easily replace a tile after you take a chunk out of it swinging a long board around.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Fairbanks, Alaska
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    53
    Peter, the mineral fiber (rock wool) insulation with a drop ceiling is exactly what I did. The results are astonishing-you have to really listen to hear the the tools running. (Cyclone, planer, cnc, anything). It did cost me some ceiling height though, but definitely worth it.

  5. #5
    The mineral stuff is good. They make one for sound and one for heat. They are different ,read the packaging.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Rutherford Co., NC
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    1,103
    I just filled the cells between the joists with pink fiberglass and that was good enough.
    "Live like no one else, so later, you can LIVE LIKE NO ONE ELSE!"
    - Dave Ramsey

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2017
    Location
    Marietta, GA
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    276
    Plywood will transfer the sound more than drywall. A drop ceiling would be better as it isolates the surface the sound is hitting from the structure above so it can't transfer through. Sound walls between apartments (high end) are two separate walls that don't touch each other as the biggest issue is the transfer through the solid materials (studs).

    My shop is in my basement and I don't have anything except exposed joists and the plywood floor decking. The flooring above is all carpet. Most of my work takes place under the living room and nobody is there much during the day when I'm working. My kids were/are homeschooled and they've grown up with it. They say they don't even notice the machines running.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2017
    Location
    Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada
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    706
    The sound absorbing mineral wool as mentioned with resilient channel between the joists and drywall. Drywall pro's can hang that stuff fast and relatively cheap, especially if you find a small team that will do it in their off hours for cash.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Michigan
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    Thanks all. Weird how a room like a library can be all wood including ceilings and not have to worry about fire codes.
    I will look into a drop ceiling. The joists above about 93” so already kind of low. No experience installing drop ceiling but will research.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2003
    Location
    San Francisco, CA
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    8,248
    I canít see how a plywood ceiling could be against fire code. Stand in any unfinished basement and look up. What do you see? Wood! Wood floor joists and wood subflooring. Heck, sub flooring for the past fifty years has been plywood. Adding a plywood ceiling doesnít change a thing.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Central North Carolina
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    1,261
    Noise and dust getting up into the house is why I built a separate shop building after I moved. I tried many things to stop both when I had the basement shop. Now, in the new shop, which is 80' from the house no shop noise or saw dust makes it into the house except if I fail to get the sawdust completely off of my clothes and shoes before going to the house. Being in another building helps keep my wife from popping in unless she really needs something too. I get a lot more done now.

    Charley

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Northern Michigan
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    380
    I searched for a year for a home with an outbuilding to use as a shop. Found some nice outbuildings but there were always serious issues with the house or land. Gave up the shop to make the wife happy and got a nice house. Wish the lot was bigger to more easily accommodate a future shop but may be able to make that happen in the future. So many regulations in a modern subdivision!
    Between the garage for working larger projects and finishing and the basement shop I should be able to make this work for a while.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Millsboro, DE
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    227
    There are a bunch of videos on You Tube re soundproofing. I just used Roxul (stone wool) as insulation; it's also fire resistent. For dry wall there's Quietrock and the less expensive Soundbreak XP. I used the latter. Both have a soundproof material as a layer between two layers of gypsum. Each can be fastened directly to the studs without fooling around with the metal clips. There's also a latex caulk material to seal all the cracks before installing the insulation; am sure it's worthwhile but it doesn't flow like caulk so be prepared for a slow process. I used all of that in a wall between a single bay garage and the double bay/house. So far my wife hasn't complained about noise (which was often the case in the last house.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Bucks County, PA
    Posts
    132
    In my first basement shop I used 12”x12” acoustic tiles. They staple easily to furring strips and don’t drop as far as a regular drop ceiling. They can also be removed pretty easily if you need to get into pipes or wiring for repairs.

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