Soundproofing a basement is one of the most important DIY soundproofing activities you must undertake.
For typical basements, below the ground basements, you will only have to deal with the biggest noise culprits: the ceiling, window, and door.
Without wasting much time, let’s have a look at the detailed guide on how to soundproof a basement.
A-List of Methods on Soundproofing a Basement
Before we begin, it’s important to mention that you will require different affordable soundproofing materials for this purpose.
When soundproofing a basement, you will be dealing with two types of sounds.
1. Soundproofing Basement Ceiling
The main type of noise you will be soundproofing against in this case is impact noise/ structure-borne noises.
In this case, you will need to add a layer of drywall to help get rid of impact noise that travels through structures.
Upstairs neighbors can be quite annoying with all the stomping noises, items falling, furniture dragging, etc.
Read my full guide on how to unleash revenge on noisy upstairs neighbors using a simple and yet effective gadget known as the ceiling vibrator.
Using drywall will help create a gap, or in simple terms, isolate the basement ceiling from the added layer of drywall.
Such that noise vibrations won’t transmit to the added layer of drywall hence deadening footfalls and stomping noises.
One of my most recommended drywall boards is the Quietrock Drywall that multiple times effective than traditional drywall boards.
In order to achieve the best results, I would recommend you to apply Green Glue Sealant between the ceiling layers.
The sealant transforms sound into negligible amounts of heat.
If you can’t source Green Glue in your local store, I recommend you check out these effective green glue alternatives.
I previously wrote a comprehensive article on basement ceiling soundproofing– click the link to read the complete guide.
2. Soundproofing Basement Walls
If you own an underground basement, then there’s no need to soundproof the walls- you’re sorted.
You will only need to soundproof and insulate the basement ceiling.
For walk-out basements, you will have to deal with the walls.
In this case, you will have to deal with both airborne and impact noises.
For impact noises, adding a layer of drywall to the existing wall will help soundproof against bass noise and other low-frequency noises.
You can as well hang sound-absorbing materials such as mass-loaded vinyl, which is designed to absorb both impact and airborne noises.
If you find MLV not aesthetically appealing, then I would highly recommend the aesthetically appealing mass-loaded vinyl alternative.
If you’ve transformed your basement into something like a recording studio or home theater, I’m sure that you’d also want to get rid of echoes and reverberations.
In that case, hanging acoustic foam panels will significantly help reduce echoes by absorption.
There are some cases that you should take extra precautions.
For example, if there exists a layer of drywall, you will need to read my detailed guide on soundproofing a wall without removing drywall.
I’ve seen and encountered different occasions where “fake gurus” advocate egg crate soundproofing.
That’s a myth, and honestly, you’d be wasting your time trying to beat down the noise problem using simple egg cartons.
Soundproofing paint is also another excellent and yet effective method to help eliminate high and medium-frequency sounds.
It’s a thick paint that contains soundproofing enzymes to help with noise reduction. Here is my full guide on how soundproofing paint works.
3. Soundproof Underlayment
Soundproofing underlayment is specially designed to reduce noise and is a great way to reduce noise in your home and workplace.
Some of this soundproof underlayment includes mass-loaded vinyl and QuietFloor Plus.
These materials are perfect for installing beneath carpets, engineered wood flooring, and laminate flooring.
4. Soundproofing the Floor Above
If you’ve got access to the room above you, I would highly recommend you soundproof the floor.
There are simple and easy ways to deal soundproof the floor- you will need materials such as carpeting and rugs.
However, you will need thick carpets or rugs to help muffle down those heavy footfalls.
One of my most recommended dense and fluffy carpeting is the Ompaa Soft Fluffy Area Rug for Living Room Bedroom.
- Soundproof Door and Windows
Doors and windows are also the biggest culprits in leaking in and out unwanted sounds.
If you have hollow doors, then your best bet would be replacing the door with a solid core one.
A solid core door has got more mass and hence will help block out low-frequency noises.
However, if you find it impossible to replace your existing door, then I would advise you to read my detailed guide on soundproofing a hollow door.
Additionally, there exists a gap between the floor and the door that also leaks in noise.
To deal with this problem once and for all, you will need a door sweep. Read my full guide on how to block noise with an interior door sweep.
For window soundproofing, you will need window soundproofing kits.
The kit is like a second window added to the existing window frame to help with both thermal insulation and sound blocking.
Additionally, you can hang soundproofing curtains to help with sound absorption.
These curtains are often made of dense and heavy materials, unlike traditional curtains.
The law of soundproofing states that the more the mass/density, the better a material is in blocking noise.
On Soundproofing A Basement
Soundproofing a basement is a major DIY project every DIY enthusiast must undertake.
It’s important to understand the type of basement you have so that you’ll be in a position to approach the project with success.
As a final recap, if you’ll have more work if you have a walk-out basement than underground basement.
Whatever basement you have, just ensure that you approach all noise leaking culprits with care for a successful project.