Cellulose insulation in basement ceiling

Discussion in 'Insulation and Radiant Barriers' started by diynewf, Mar 31, 2014.

  1. Mar 31, 2014 #1

    diynewf

    diynewf

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    Hi,

    I'm new to the forum, and from the articles I've read here it seems like a nice place to discuss renovation issues. I bought my first home six months ago in an older suburb in town. The house itself is 35 years old and has a basement apartment underneath. I live in the apartment and rent the upstairs bungalow. The last tenants that live there had small kids and I found it to be really noisy upstairs because of the hardwood floors. I read that cellulose insulation provides an excellent sound barrier. I know soundproofing an old house is likely an impossible feat so I wanted somehow to dampen the sound coming from upstairs. I hired a contractor to add dense pack blown in cellulose to both the walls in my basement and the ceiling. At $2 sq/ft the ceiling cost roughly $1500. I wanted to get the walls done anyway as a thermal gun proved there was little to no insulation in the walls and my power bills were higher than normal. I opened up the ceiling above my hallway to do some minor electrical work (adding new lights) so currently this space is wide open. I purchased some Roxul Safe and Sound insulation to cover that area and to finally layer it with drywall. I did a few tests upstairs by playing a song on my cell and laying it on the floor in one of the rooms but disappointly, I could still hear it clearly from downstairs. Is cellulose in the ceiling a complete waste of money for this purpose? I have the contractor coming back on monday (haven't paid him yet) so he can explain to me exactly the sounds this is supposed to block and I want some sound tests. I know it wouldn't stop impact noise from footsteps but I at least wanted conversations to be muffled out as well as ambient sounds. There are no tenants upstairs at the moment so I can't do a very accurate test. Regardless if this proves effective or not I am eligible for a rebate on the ceiling insulation so that makes me feel a little better. Will the insulation also provide greater energy efficiency if nothing else? Thanks.

    I apologize if this is discussed in another thread. First time here :)
     
  2. Mar 31, 2014 #2

    nealtw

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    Welcome to the site. And cogrates on the house with an income suite. A layer or two of roxal or fibreglass will work fine for most noise. With a suite upstairs you ceiling should be 5/8 drywall and a second drywall would help two. There is a product called I think green gew that you can put between layers of drywall for noise also. No pot lights down stairs. Unless you have seperate heat for down stairs you will not have a saving.
     
  3. Mar 31, 2014 #3

    diynewf

    diynewf

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    I've already had contractors to blow dense pack cellulose in the ceiling so will that make any noticeable sound difference? I'm having them visit today to perform a few sound test because I want to make sure I'm getting my money's worth.

    Another option I had in mind is to put another layer of drywall on top of the old and put resilient channel between the two pieces. Was only going to install in the living room and bedroom only as these are the most common areas.
     
  4. Mar 31, 2014 #4

    nealtw

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    I think you will have taken care of most of the noise with that plan.;)
     
  5. Apr 3, 2014 #5

    diynewf

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    So I've not wasted money with going with the cellulose route in this case?
     
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  6. May 15, 2015 #6

    diynewf

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    Sorry for reviving an old thread, but the cellulose installation that was installed in my basement apartment ceiling doesn't do much for blocking impact noise from the floor above, or eliminating loud sounds such as music being played. I paid $1300 to have this done, but received a $260 rebate from my utility company, so $1040. Will having insulation in the ceiling benefit the R value of my apartment, or will the return on investment for this job be negligible?
     
  7. May 15, 2015 #7

    nealtw

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    Unless you have seperate heat the insulation between the floor and ceiling won't save any money.
     
  8. May 15, 2015 #8

    diynewf

    diynewf

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    I do have separate heat. It's a 2 unit house.
     
  9. May 15, 2015 #9

    nealtw

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    Then yes your heat will be slowed down and that should save you some on the heat bill.
     
  10. May 15, 2015 #10

    diynewf

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    I read on some other forums that the energy savings is negligible, because the basement ceiling should only be insulated for the purpose of soundproofing, which I thought I was doing.

    I thought it would be a lot more expensive to tear down and decouple all of the ceilings, but maybe that was the only way to achieve the soundproofing I wanted.

    Impact noise is the worst in my house, and I thought insulation was the way to go to diminish some of the noise.

    I guess the cellulose was a waste of money :(
     
  11. May 15, 2015 #11

    diynewf

    diynewf

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    Is there something else I could do that could make the insulation more effective for airborne noise?

    If I decided to put another layer of drywall over the existing ceiling, would I just be wasting even more money?
     
  12. May 16, 2015 #12

    bud16415

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    The sound isn’t coming thru the insulation as much as its coming thru the floor joists. Picture when you were a kid talking thru two cans attached with a string pulled tight. The floor is the microphone and the ceiling is the speaker and the joists are the string.

    Many home theaters use a double layer of drywall to keep the sound in the room but out of the rest of the house and the second layer is attached with a product called green glue.

    http://www.greengluecompany.com/products/noiseproofing-sealant

    This along with what you have done should do the trick.
     
  13. May 16, 2015 #13

    Sparky617

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    A second layer will help a lot, but putting in a resilient channel between the two will do even more if you can spare the headroom. I'm not familiar with Bud's product but it should help as well. You want to isolate the drywall from the framing because as Bud states the noise is coming through the joists not the insulation.
     
  14. May 18, 2015 #14

    diynewf

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    Thanks for all the good info. This is my rental property and right now I'm living in the basement suite, and may do so for the next couple of years until the tenants upstairs move out and I can move up there. What is an estimate of how much adding a second layer of drywall would cost? This suite is about 630 sq ft. If I only added a second layer in the living room and bedrooms would that suffice or would I still get a lot of noise from the vibrations being caused by the joists in the other rooms?
     
  15. May 18, 2015 #15

    Sparky617

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    If you are looking to hire it out you really need to talk to several local contractors. Costs would vary widely depending on your location. Also, you moving everything out to clear the space out while they work will lead to a faster job and lower price.

    If you're looking to DIY it, price out drywall. Around here a 4x8 sheet of 1/2 drywall is about $10 so the cost per square foot for the drywall is $.32 so you're looking at about $200 in drywall. Add in several buckets of mud and screws, sandpaper, any tools you may need and you're probably looking at $500 to DIY it. If I were to do it, I'd add the channels to get separation from the existing drywall and framing to improve the noise dampening.

    A good drywall contractor will certainly be able to get it done faster and with less mess than you will be able to do DIY. A good tape guy won't require a lot of sanding when he's done with the final coat. An inexperienced diyer can expect to choke down a lot of drywall dust in the process.

    One of these would definitely help a diyer. https://www.sunbeltrentals.com/equipment/detail/997/0040046/drywall-sander/
     
  16. May 22, 2015 #16

    diynewf

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    Can I add another layer of drywall in certain locations (living room and bedrooms most importantly) or would I have to re-do the entire apartment? I notice that when someone walks upstairs on the hardwood I can feel a small vibration in the walls that are holding that part of the ceiling up. They also creak sometimes as well, but if the tenants walked a little softer that wouldn't be a big deal. I wouldn't be able to do this project now as I'm unemployed but I would like to do it on a budget.
     
  17. May 22, 2015 #17

    nealtw

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    I don't see why yopu couldn't do room by rooim. If the there is common ceiling you would have to figure out some trim at the end. You could put up resilient channels for better seperation. I have even seen sound board or donnacona put in between the channels. You can rent a portable lift to put the drywall up and hold it up while you screw it in place. It is all doable by a beginner with enough patence and determination. And there are videos for every step.
     
  18. May 22, 2015 #18

    slownsteady

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    It's funny how when you have the time, you don't have the money; and when you have the money you don't have the time.
    - - - - - -
    You simply can't count on your tenants walking softly. It'll never happen.
     
  19. May 22, 2015 #19

    nealtw

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    And the tennents will complain about the noise you make while you do it.:hide:
     

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