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Budget Wall Isolation

Discussion in 'Studio Acoustics' started by cjb, Dec 15, 2010.

  1. cjb

    cjb Guest

    I have a 23 x 23 x 7 ½ foot cement basement. I am finishing it for the purposes of creation station and music room. All outside walls (those nearest the foundation) and I have no intent of a control room or booths…that’s not in the program. I just need a welcoming and warm room (it’s cold in the Northeast).

    I am doing this myself on a budget: framing, insulation, and drywall for the walls. Insulation is installed in the rafters and suspended ceiling on the way. I currently have an issue with family walking on the hardwood floor above – they are all heel walkers (thump, thump, thump). I believe the drop ceiling will help with this.

    My question is regarding the walls. Typical installation is 2x4 floor plates in the cement, and 2x4 top plates fastened to the joists. I believe that the vibrations from above would move to the walls via the top plate/studs/drywall - as well my sound moving up. I would think that when the vibrations get to the cement, they pretty much stop in their tracks.

    I looked at Resilient Sound Clips, and that puts me over budget. So would it make sense to somehow connect the top plate directly to the foundation and not the joists? Perhaps some sort of hanger that secures to the foundation wall and sticks out 4 inches to support the top plate? Imagine a shelf hanger for a wall. In theory, the top plate doesn’t offer support, it’s only secures lateral movement.

    Or are the other cost effective ideas?

  2. Davedog

    Davedog Distinguished Member

    Dec 10, 2001
    Pacific NW
    Build only to the height of the drop ceiling. Double your top plate for support and tie the walls to the outside concrete wall. If you did want to continue the wall structure to the existing floor joists, you could make your own isolation pads from various rubber products but most likely it will dampen and not eliminate the structural resonances from movement above. Create a free standing shell inside the original dimensions. Can't help ya much with the heel-walkers. Just make sure you have no open mics while they're traipsing around.
  3. cjb

    cjb Guest

    Thanks for the great info. Are there any commercially available hangers for attaching the top plate to the foundation wall, or do I need to get creative with pressure treated wood?
    Also, I misunderstood the cost of clips. I was thinking every stud top, but it’s actually every 48” (or less) for the top plate/joists. That brings it down closer to ~ $125. Much easier than the $500 + I was thinking. Am I better off with this or the wall hanger plan?
  4. soapfloats

    soapfloats Well-Known Member

    Aug 28, 2008
    Cincinnati, OH
    Home Page:
    The live room for my new studio is much the same structure as yours: concrete everywhere, hardwood floor above. I have the (dis)advantage of 4" of concrete below the hardwood floor, but I think our spaces are similar enough

    It's my own build, and the discussion on isolation between levels begins in earnest here. Going back are some suggestions on ceiling ideas.
    Unfortunately I have nothing to offer but a look at my own similar problems, and the options we've considered. Hope it helps!

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