How To Soundproof A Ceiling

Soundproofing a ceiling is usually considered when unwanted sound been transmitted through a ceiling becomes intolerable and with the increasing trend of replacing carpets with hardwood floors. This leads to more unwanted noise generated from the hardwood.

There are two aims for soundproofing a ceiling; you want to prevent sound from entering or leaving a space or you want to eliminate impact noise from the room above you. You could have noisy kids or neighbours generating a lot of noise, a light ceiling can allow a lot of unwanted sounds to be transmitted into your home. To solve this problem, you should soundproof your ceiling to reduce the transmission of unsolicited sound.

Two types of noise are generated in a room; the first type is impact noise, this is created when there is human movement in the room above, movement causes vibrations in the floor and these vibrations are transmitted through the ceiling of the room below. The second type is airborne noise, this is a sound generated in the room above, and it could be noise from the conversation of people, a very loud sound system or TV. These two types of noise are transmitted into a room through the ceiling, soundproofing a ceiling is important to reduce the amount of noise that is transmitted into a room, weather impact or airborne noise.

Different means to soundproof a ceiling

  • Install a carpet on the floor above

This is one of the easiest means to soundproof a ceiling, is by increasing the layers of the carpet on the floor above, this result in reduced vibrations. A less costly alternative is to fix a dense, rubber matting under the carpet above, although using a mass-loaded vinyl will produce better results. Mass-loaded vinyl has the look and feel of a thick carpet then at the same time works as a soundproofing fabric. To ensure it is effective, tape all its seams to reduce vibrations as low as possible.

  • Basic insulation

This a popular way to soundproof your ceiling by applying simple insulation between the ceiling joists. You can spot the joists with the aid of a stud finder device, make a small in the open ceiling area to have a view of the joist space. An alternative for basic insulation is to use a spray insulation, apply it through the hole you made to create a soundproof layer over your celling.

  • Install a specialized drywall

Specialized drywalls can be installed to soundproof your ceiling especially when you have a lot of noise coming from the ceiling, it is a better alternative to common wall and ceiling forms. Specialized drywalls contain alternative substances inside its layers that prevent the transmission of sound. Specialized dry walls are similarly installed like common drywalls and may not need another layer, this dependent on the amount and nature of sound originating from above the ceiling.

  • Install Vinyl Barriers

You can soundproof your ceiling by installing vinyl barriers, vinyl barriers are particularly quite dense which makes them effective at preventing sound transmission. Due to its relative poor aesthetics, it cannot serve as a form of decoration for your ceiling surface. A good remedy for this is to install a drywall atop the vinyl barrier to produce a more beautiful effect.

  • Install a common drywall

Installing a common drywall is another method of soundproofing your ceiling, it is recommended that you use a 5-8 inch thick drywall panel over the ceiling. To attach a common drywall to a ceiling, simply apply a dampening compound to the back of the common drywall and fasten it with screws into the ceiling joists. The compound applied between the common drywall and the ceiling will further help to reduce the amount of sound transmitted. If you are dealing with extreme noise problems, another layer of common drywall can be added to strengthen its soundproofing ability.


Soundproof ceilings eliminate the effect of noise by absorbing it, this process is referred to as “damping” and it is done by adding layers and density to an existing surface, along with adding points of disconnection to the surface. The aim of the damping process is lower the ability of a sound wave to vibrate- the means by which sound travels. Thereby blocking the path of the sound wave and reducing its vibrating ability, as a result, the sound is absorbed by the transmitting surface before it becomes airborne and audible at the reverse side of the ceiling.

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