What to consider when renovating a basement
Considering where to soundproof when planning a finished basement.
We’re all spending a lot more time at home thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and home renovations have never been more of a priority for many north americans. Whether you’re updating a finished basement that’s a timewarp into the 70’s or a new blank slate, both have unlimited options to suite your needs. New living spaces like home theatres, basement apartments or play areas for children create additional noise. Plan ahead, Soundproofing is best addressed during the construction stage. Soundproofing is often forgotten or downplayed in the excitement and chaos of finishing the basement. Adding SONOpan to the average basement costs less than $500 and will create a noise separation that will improve enjoyment and quality of life in your home. Most home owners should think about separating the basement noise from the main living area as this is the most common application we hear about. Separating the basement from the main living area is as simple as installing SONOpan 4X8 panels on the ceiling before Drywall or a drop ceiling is installed. Most likely, pot lights are going in at this stage. Keep in mind that sound will travel through any gaps, so for best soundproofing results Cover the potlight opening with SONOpan. This Instagram video demonstrates a simple way of doing this using an 8” square piece of SONOpan and some acoustical sealant. https://www.instagram.com/tv/CFaSLhyDaiU/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link. If you have bulkheads for HVAC, frame them in as normal and cover them with SONOpan before drywalling. For ultimate soundproofing we recommend using insulation between the joists as well. This will eliminate noise reverberating within the empty cavity. Any fiberglass, wool batt or cellulose works, just use the appropriate size for your application.
Alternately, if you’re planning a home theatre in the basement, you may want to consider a more detailed soundproofing approach. Not only would you want to stop noise getting out of the basement, but you should also consider noise within the basement from the furnace/utility room. The other question that comes up is whether to use SONOpan on the walls or just the ceiling. If you’re building a home theatre having SONOpan in the walls ensures that the noise stays within the room. It also will improve the acoustics within the room but absorbing noise within the wall reducing the sounds bouncing back and reverberations within the room. If noise between floors is your primary concern then the ceiling is enough in most circumstances. If this sparked some ideas but you have more questions, reach out to us, we’re here to help!