There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to get some peace in your home and being constantly disturbed by the sound of people walking overhead.
Whether it’s about your noisy neighbors or the sound of your kids running around, the mental strain you have to deal with is uncanny.
Our homes are havens to relax, unwind, be ourselves, and feel the ultimate comfort. But not when our troubles are literally on the ceiling.
Fortunately, there are several cheap ways to soundproof your ceiling; you just have to know what they are, where to find them, and how much they will cost.
In this blog post, we take a look at seven different ways you can cheaply soundproof your home’s ceiling and enjoy the peace that you deserve.
7 Ways to Soundproof a Ceiling on the Cheap
You don’t need to spend a fortune to soundproof your ceiling. You can soundproof your ceiling cheaply by:
- Acoustical Insulation
- Foam panels
- Install Acoustic Tiles
- Using Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
- Single or double layer drywall
- Floating joists
- Sealing the cracks
01. Acoustical Insulation
The most obvious way to soundproof your ceiling is with acoustic insulation, but not all insulation works the same. There are two types of insulation that can be used in ceilings: batt and blown-in.
Batt insulation is the most common type, and it’s made of fiberglass or mineral wool. It comes in panels, usually installed between the studs in a wall or between the rafters and ceiling joists in a ceiling.
Blown-in insulation is made of the same materials as batt insulation, but it’s blown into the wall or ceiling with a machine.
Both materials absorb sound, which is essential for reducing noise transmission between rooms.
However, they won’t prevent sound from leaking through any gaps in your drywall and other holes where wires are running through ceilings.
To do that, you’ll need to use acoustic sealant or caulk to fill in the gaps and holes.
02. Foam Panels
Foam panels work by trapping air in small bubbles, which dissipates sound waves. They come in two varieties: rigid and flexible.
Rigid foam panels are made of polystyrene, while flexible foam panels are polyurethane.
The sound absorption capabilities of foam panels depend on the size and type of bubbles they contain and their thickness.
The larger the bubble, the more effective it is at absorbing higher frequencies; however, very small bubbles can absorb lower frequencies better than large ones.
Foam panels are usually used in walls but also work perfectly in ceilings. They’re easy to install and can be cut to size with a serrated knife or electric saw.
03. Install Acoustic Tiles
Acoustic tiles are made of fiberglass, mineral wool, or plastic. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes, including squares, rectangles, and circles.
Acoustic tiles work by trapping sound waves between their fibers. The thicker the tile, the better it is at absorbing sound.
They can be installed in various ways, including glued to a ceiling, nailed or screwed to furring strips, or suspended from metal grids.
04. Using Mass Loaded Vinyl (MLV)
Mass-loaded vinyl (MLV) is a soundproofing material made of PVC or other plastic materials. It’s available in rolls, sheets, or panels.
This is one of the most effective ways to reduce noise transmission because it has a high density and weight.
This means that it can absorb a lot of sound waves before they have a chance to pass through. It’s also very effective at blocking air and moisture infiltration.
MLV is easy to install and can be cut to size with a utility knife or scissors. You can then attach it to walls or ceilings with staples, screws, or nails.
05. Single or double layer drywall
Adding an extra layer of drywall is one of the most common ways to soundproof a ceiling. It’s inexpensive and easy to do, and it will reduce noise transmission by up to 50%.
Installing two layers of drywall doesn’t require any special skills, but it does take some time and effort.
You’ll need to cut out holes for electrical sockets, light fixtures, and other objects in the ceiling before installing your new layer of drywall.
You can then use screws or nails to attach the second layer of drywall to the ceiling joists. Make sure to stagger the seams between the two layers to reduce their impact on sound transmission.
06. Floating joists
If you’re having trouble installing an extra layer of drywall or your ceiling is too low for that solution to work, you can try floating joists.
Floating joists are structural panels that can create a floating ceiling. They’re made of lightweight material, such as fiberglass or foam, and they attach to the existing ceiling joists with metal brackets.
This is an easy way to add an extra layer of soundproofing to your ceiling without having to do any major construction work.
07. Sealing the cracks
Sometimes, all your troubles may just be a result of a few cracks in your ceiling. Sealing the cracks is an easy way to reduce noise transmission, and it’s a job you can do yourself.
All you need is some caulk or acoustic sealant. You can find this at any hardware store.
Apply the sealant to the seams between the drywall and the ceiling joists and any cracks in the drywall. Make sure to get into all the nooks and crannies for maximum effect.
How do I reduce noise from upstairs?
The best way to reduce the noise from upstairs is to soundproof the ceiling.
You can do this by installing acoustic insulation, foam panels, acoustic tiles, or mass-loaded vinyl. You can also try adding an extra layer of drywall or using floating joists.
Can I use regular insulation to soundproof my ceiling?
It depends on the type of insulation you have. Fiberglass and cellulose are effective at absorbing sound waves, so they can work as soundproofing materials.
However, rockwool or mineral wool is much better because it has a higher density and weight.
Is egg carton foam good for soundproofing?
Egg carton foam is not effective at soundproofing. It may seem like it would be because of how egg cartons are designed, but they do little to reduce noise transmission.
Do acoustic tiles work?
Yes, acoustic tiles can help soundproof a ceiling by trapping sound waves between fibers. The thicker the tile, the more effective it will be.