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How to Soundproof a Ceiling: 7 Simple Steps

How to Soundproof a Ceiling

At soundprooftalk we already talked about “how to soundproof a room with blanket” now this guide will help you about how to soundproof a ceiling.

If you are also one of those who live in a community where the upstairs neighbors are dedicated to walking around the house with high heels instead of slippers, to redecorate their homes with constant changes dragging furniture day in and day out, or to organize happy parties at their homes on a Monday night, chances are you are more than desperate to find an optimal solution to your noise problems.

For all those who together with you have decided to take action on the matter, today we want to show you how to soundproof a ceiling using one of the effective systems that could be used.

Factors to consider before soundproofing a ceiling

As you will well know by now, there are endless acoustic materials for the composition of systems designed to isolate all types of surfaces.

Even so, before opting for a specific solution we must be aware of both the type and degree of acoustic transmission that we experience, in order to maintain a logical balance between the economic investment and the efficiency of the proposed system.

On the other hand, if in most problems related to acoustics part of the noise is transmitted at a structural level, the soundproofing of ceilings poses a higher degree of transmission by perceiving the direct and constant impact of footsteps or objects on the upper floor. 

Therefore, on this occasion we do not hesitate to propose a strong solution for the installation of an optimized acoustic system for soundproofing ceilings.

Materials Needed to Soundproof a Ceiling

The following list details the materials required to completely cover the surface in square meters of the ceiling to be soundproofed, taking into account that a double quantity will be needed in the calculation of precise plasterboard as it is a double plate system.

PKB-2

Threaded rods for metric 6 and metal dowels for metric 6

Acoustic dampers Megol Verde Senor model 4360/60 (for lower range load)

60/27 Master Frame for Gypsum Board Systems

Rock wool 40mm thick and 70kg m3 density

Standard 15mm plasterboard at 2 meters (or 2.50 if required or preferred)

Bituminous membrane (LA-5, MAD-4 or similar)

Screws for gypsum board 25 and 45

Gripping paste, tape and joint putty

Materials Needed to Soundproof a Ceiling

Once the necessary materials have been acquired, available at points of sale of materials for light and acoustic construction systems, we will start their correct application on the ceiling or ceilings that want to be soundproofed. In order to achieve the best results in the applied acoustic system, we will carry out the installation without haste and step by step, paying attention to the smallest of details so as not to leave unnecessary gaps through which the system loses efficiency or the least noise transfer.

Steps for Mounting an Acoustic Ceiling

Step 1 – Location of the beams

Before the necessary layout for the assembly of the lower masters into which the plasterboard plates (or secondary masters) must be screwed, it is essential to locate the beams to which we will fix the rods that will support the total weight of the acoustic system used.

Note: In the case of working under a slab that allows us to fix the rods at any point of the original roof according to their distribution, we can ignore this point and mount the system with a single structure directly attached to the rod-supported shock absorbers. .

Location of the beams

If you do not know what is the arrangement of the beams in the ceiling under which we are preparing to work and we do not have the plan that indicates it, the most effective solution is to make a series of holes in the ceiling until we find one of the beams and know their address, without going overboard in doing so, of course.

From there, we will know that (as a rule), the next beam will be about 60 cm away from the next one, so we will be able to mark the beginning and end of the beams on the walls for the subsequent stakeout of the structure. and the correct fixing of the studs.

Note: Any false ceiling previously installed in the same room that we want to soundproof, must be knocked down in order to gain the lost space and for the correct fixing of the load rods.

Step 2- Placing the PKB2

Once we have clear the arrangement of the beams, we will proceed to the placement of the pkb2 to cover the entire surface of the ceiling to be soundproofed, always taking into account some of the following guidelines.
First of all, we must bear in mind that the laminated plasterboards should not be in direct contact with the walls of the room, so we will overlap the PKB-2 on the walls as much as we plan to lower the false ceiling without any fixation in anticipation of cutting off excess material.

Placing the PKB2

We will begin with the installation of the PKB-2 from one of the walls, leaving the part of the flap towards the wall in order to facilitate the installation of the following sections. For greater comfort, we will install the material in the direction with the greatest length of the ceiling, unless we are interested in doing it perpendicular.

After the first run of installed material, we will continue with the following runs making sure not to leave any distance between the PKB-2 sheets, overlapping them so that their fibers compact the whole and make it airtight to noise transmission.

Note: The vast majority of assemblers use dowels to hold PKB-2 sheets on surfaces, although it is not recommended to drill this material in order not to detract from its properties. The impact glue is established as one of the best alternatives for its assembly, as long as the appropriate safety measures are adopted when applying a material as toxic as it is flammable.

Step 3 – Assembly of Shock absorbers and primary profiles

With all the original ceiling covered with PKB-2, we can begin the installation of the threaded rods secured with a metal plug. Recovering the previous marks on the walls, we will mark the lines that the beams follow to better orient ourselves during the stakeout by using a wink or marker.

Before rethinking, it will be necessary to consult the technical department of the company that supplied us with the silent blocks, so that they can tell us the distribution of the shock absorbers based on the distance between the beams and the weight we are going to use to be applied to the ceiling.

When we know the distance that we must leave between shock absorbers, we will make the necessary holes to hold the rods using metal dowels, previously cut to a length approximate to the distance that we will maintain between the original ceiling and the false acoustic ceiling.

Note: The distance that we will maintain between both ceilings will logically depend on the possibilities offered by each project, however it is recommended to respect a distance of between 20 and 30 cm whenever possible in order to optimize the set with an air chamber that contributes to cushioning. Sound.

Assembly of Shock absorbers and primary profiles

We must bear in mind that for the assembly of this type of ceilings, no perimeter profile should be fixed at any time, unlike other systems for false ceilings. Instead, we will tear off and close the structure with two opposing masters as close to both walls as possible.

Next, we will proceed to mount the silentblocks on the rods, leveling the set of shock absorbers before anchoring the masters. Senor shock absorbers facilitate leveling of the silentblocks through a frankly simple system, as well as a safety system for the teachers.

Finally, we will anchor the 60/27 masters to the silentblocks with a simple “click”, leaving the primary structure finished. If the beams do not coincide with the layout necessary for fixing the plates, we will proceed to the integration of a second level of teachers by using the appropriate anchors, modulating the secondary ones at 400 mm or 500 mm depending on the direction they are going to. follow the plates.

Note: Although it is true that it will not always be necessary, this structure model is established in order to adapt the distribution of the masters to the standard dimensions of the laminated plasterboard, regardless of the arrangement of the beams to which they are used. we must fix the rods.

Step 4 – Laying the Rock Wool

Laying the Rock Wool

The truth is that this step should not pose any problem, since it is simply a matter of supporting the 40/70 rock wool on the master structure. As the only mischief, the rock wool sheets should remain in contact, it is preferable that they mount one on top of the other rather than leave any gap.

Step 5 – Assembling the First Plate

For the assembly of the first laminated plasterboard, we will follow the direction that suits us best, always keeping in mind the previous layout of teachers that we have arranged. In other words, if we have respected a distance of 500 mm between masters, we will place the plate perpendicular to the structure, while if we have set out at 400 mm we will follow the same direction of the profiles.

Assembling the First Plate

Again, we will be careful not to leave spaces between the plates in order to maintain the highest possible density, also placing the plates to break-joints and respecting a minimum of 50 cm between headers. Finally, we will putty the joints between plates with grip paste, although not the perimeter of the ceiling.

Note: The plates should not be compressed against the section of wall previously covered with PKB-2, to allow the shock absorbers to tighten freely as the weight of the roof increases and the assembly to lower as a whole without adopting strange shapes, although neither we will leave some gap.

Step 6 – Placing the Bituminous Membrane

The integration of bituminous membrane is perhaps one of the most complicated steps during the assembly of this acoustic system in ceilings, given the weight of the material and its malleability. Even so, it is in this process when we must pay more attention in order not to leave any gap where the sound is filtered.

For its correct installation, we will start from a corner following the direction of the longest section of the ceiling for greater comfort and optimization of the materials, again breaking joints with the laminated plasterboard as data to have more than present during each and every one of the steps to take.

Placing the Bituminous Membrane

A good way to achieve a perfect union between insulating membranes is to overlap the membrane a couple of centimeters between each other and then cut both layers with a utility knife, subsequently removing the upper membrane strip and the lower wrapping to perfectly marry both ends. .

Note: Some fitters make use of a stapler to fix the membrane to the ceiling or even screws, but following the previous advice, we opted for the use of impact glue or self-adhesive membrane for an installation optimized to the results that are desired to be achieved.

Step 7 – Placement of the second Plate and Final Finishing

For the placement of the second plate we will repeat step 5, only this time we will start with a different layout in order to break joints in relation to the first plate and the LA membrane. This will strengthen the assembly and prevent any sound from passing through the joints.

Again, we will keep in mind not to compress the plate against the PKB-2 overlapped in the wall, once again allowing the correct tension of the shock absorbers and preventing the perimeter of the ceiling from being raised. However, we will not leave any space either between plates or with the walls of the room.

Placement of the second Plate and Final Finishing

Finally, we will cut the excess of PKB-2 placing the blade of the cutter diagonally to allow the final application of putty. Immediately afterwards, we will proceed to the correct taping of the set including perimeters, previously filling any gap with adhesive paste to avoid acoustic bridges.

Final advice

Before taping the perimeter of the ceiling, it is preferable to allow a reasonable time to rest in order to allow the shock absorbers to be freely tensioned and fully assume their final position.

The light, air conditioning or other installations must pass under the acoustic ceiling, never above it, any hole for the passage of cables or conduits being detrimental to the level of insulation.

For the proper placement of halogen luminaires or the passage of facilities, it is recommended to mount a false ceiling that can be registered or laminated plasterboard below the acoustic system used.

And so far the assembly of one of the acoustic systems optimized for the correct insulation of ceilings, likewise, one of the solutions that are most applied given its effectiveness both to mitigate the transmission of airborne noise and impact noise from the upper floors.

Despite this, in those cases in which the transmission of structural noise also propagates through the partitions, it will be necessary to soundproof the affected walls and even soundproof the floors in extreme cases to achieve the desired results for soundproofing of a stay. 

Even so, we hope that both the acoustic solution and the step-by-step description of the assembly have been useful and you can apply it yourself.

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