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There are two main methods of soundproofing a ceiling. One is to use hat channels. These are lightweight metal channels that separate wall and ceiling surfaces, preventing airborne and impact noise from traveling through them. They provide a frame to which drywall can be attached. The other method is to lower the ceiling by building a false ceiling beneath the existing one.
In both examples shown below, the drywall of the existing ceiling has been stripped away first. An alternative to these is to fit hat channels directly onto the ceiling, in a similar way to that shown for walls. Where the existing ceiling is high enough to permit it, the second technique may be used, but without removing the drywall on the existing ceiling.
Remove the drywall from the existing ceiling and attach hat channels across the joists at intervals of 16 inches. Fit acoustic bats four inches deep above these bars, between the joists. Attach two layers of drywall, one 1/2-inch thick, then one 3/8-inch thick, staggering the seams. Twin-layered board is available, and is a quicker option, but ultimately would be more costly.
Expose the existing joists and insert new ones between them. The lower faces of the new joists should be at least two inches below the faces of the existing joists. You should then weave a layer of acoustic quilt between the two joist levels, as shown, before attaching two layers of drywall to the lower joists in the usual way.
Excerpted from Do It Yourself Home Improvement
© Dorling Kindersley Limited 2009
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