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Thread: reducing echo sound level in a all concrete shop

  1. #1
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    Sep 2016
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    reducing echo sound level in a all concrete shop

    I was looking at a house with a garage and full basement. The basement is concrete walls and a cast concrete ceiling. Any thoughts on how to quiet the sound of machines echoing inside a basement shop. I am not concerned with sound transmitted to the outside. It just seemed like it would echo and be very loud. Will drywall absorb more sound the concrete?
    My web searches just found how to reduce sound transmission to a apartment upstairs.
    Bill D

  2. #2
    You'll want soft surfaces to absorb sound. Hard surfaces like concrete only reflect it. Research sound absorption paneling, which is often used for acoustically treated sound rooms. I wouldn't bother with drywall as it'll only be a minimal improvement.

  3. #3
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    Soft surfaces it is . The downside is soft surfaces are usually dust magnets . Gotta blow them off or clean once in a while .

  4. #4
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    To cut down on echoing, you only need to treat one of each pair of facing surfaces (ceiling or floor, E or W wall, N or S wall).

    Our church's men's group was meeting in the basement under the new gymnasium, with horrible echoing. Meetings were difficult/impossible for many to hear speakers. A firm was hired to spray sound abating material on the ceiling & hang sound absorbing panels on two adjacent walls. Other two walls and floor were left bare (painted concrete/block) at their suggestion. Quieted things down tremendously.

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  5. #5
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    I think everyone has hit on this. I had a similar issue in my last shop and would say you'll most likely have enough stuff stored on or against the walls that I wouldn't worry too much about treating them. The ceiling will have a dramatic impact on sound absorption. There are some very good suspended ceiling tiles which would cut down on sound reverberating around in the basement. If height is a limiting factor you may be able to just glue them to the concrete ceiling.

    Good luck.

  6. #6
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    Start with the ceiling and use these.
    no need to cover 100% but probably 75%.
    https://www.amazon.com/Siless-pack-A...6765187&sr=8-4

  7. #7
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    One of the office buildings I worked in about 10 yrs ago used hanging cloth panels to cut down noise relection from the ceiling. Anything to disrupt the flat ceiling should help a lot.
    Brian

    "Any intelligent fool can make things bigger or more complicated...it takes a touch of genius and a lot of courage to move in the opposite direction." - E.F. Schumacher

  8. #8
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    Cheap fix would be sound deafening earmuffs. They have come a long way as far as fit and comfort in the past few years.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce King View Post
    Start with the ceiling and use these.
    no need to cover 100% but probably 75%.
    https://www.amazon.com/Siless-pack-A...6765187&sr=8-4
    Those probably work great but what a dust magnet. If I had that shop I would probably do metal work downstairs and wood upstairs. They would soak up oil smells and mist coolant nicely.
    Bill D

  10. #10
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    Check out the home theater forums. You'll find threads on making sound absorbing panels in there.

  11. #11
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    I used a mineral wool (brand was Roxul) product between the ceiling joists. It was pretty effective in reducing the noise transmitted to the family room above the shop. Did not completely eliminate the sound but was effective in making it tolerable if some was there while I was in the shop. Previously, it was very loud.

  12. #12
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    Soft surfaces are the key. Drywall by itself is a hard surface. Buy a pack of cheap acoustic ceiling tiles and put them around the room ... sometimes you can get them at the ReStore for under a buck a piece.

    My whole ceiling is covered with acoustic tile and it's like a recording studio in my shop now...you can "hear" the quiet when nothing is running.
    --

    The most expensive tool is the one you buy "cheaply" and often...

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Becker View Post
    Soft surfaces are the key. Drywall by itself is a hard surface. Buy a pack of cheap acoustic ceiling tiles and put them around the room ... sometimes you can get them at the ReStore for under a buck a piece.

    My whole ceiling is covered with acoustic tile and it's like a recording studio in my shop now...you can "hear" the quiet when nothing is running.
    No, that's just the ringing in my ears... I hear crickets and/or cicadas serenading me all year 'round, night and day!

    -- Andy - Arlington TX

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Stewart Lang View Post
    You'll want soft surfaces to absorb sound. Hard surfaces like concrete only reflect it. Research sound absorption paneling, which is often used for acoustically treated sound rooms. I wouldn't bother with drywall as it'll only be a minimal improvement.
    Itís a lot easier to hang stuff from a stud wall than from a concrete wall. Itís also easier to hide all the wires.

    But what do walls look like, anyway? I canít see any in my shop, or if theyíre there theyíre covered in stuff.

  15. #15
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    My current shop reverberated badly when it was new and empty. When I moved in, I put studs and hung osb on all the walls. I added a lumber rack on one wall and filled it with machines. Itís pretty dead now.

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