How to create a Soundproof Ceiling

Welcome back to our series about creating a soundproof studio room. It’s time to tackle the ceiling, one of the most critical parts of the whole build.

Why is it hard to soundproof a ceiling?

Ceilings present a number of challenges, from footstep noise above through to ceilings generally being quite thin, they can often be the weak point when it comes to sound isolation. In our scenario the biggest issue is permitted development. This limits the overall height of our studio to 2.5m. Allowing for ground levels and the thickness of the roof itself there simply isn’t enough space for a ceiling structure thick enough to accommodate any significant quantity of soundproofing materials. So we need to get creative.

We worked with Soundstop and came up with a solution that provides a decent level of sound isolation with an overall roof thickness of just 202.5mm. The ceiling itself is only 36mm thick and that includes a 5mm isolation gap, an insulated vapour barrier and the final plaster skim.

There’s no such thing as soundproof!

Before we start, let’s set some expectations. A lot of folk think you can stick a few egg boxes on the wall and you’ll instantly have a soundproof room. I’ve got bad news for you. Within the realms of practicality of costs there’s no such thing as soundproof. Soundproofing is a very misleading term but it’s what you probably searched for to find this article, so we’re stuck with it.

Soundproofing is all about degrees of how far you want to push things within your budget and the available space. There’s no ‘magic solution’ to this. But if you think things through you should be able to achieve acceptable results.

Installing the sand-filled soundproofing boards

In addition to the video below I also made an extended version with much more detailed information over on the Member Zone. The extended version is almost an hour long and includes tips for working with SBx board along with much more detail that may be useful if you’re tackling a project like this. You can access the extended version here.

Soundproofing the ceiling with SAND?! Garden studio (part 4)
Watch this video on YouTube.

Our solution for a relatively soundproof ceiling

We’re using a number of innovative products to minimise sound transmission through the ceiling including:

Our soundproof ceiling structure

So how did it go? See for yourself in the before & after tests of the above video!

Andy Mac
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