How To Soundproof A Basement Ceiling

Beginner Info, Soundproofing

how to soundproof a basement ceiling
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In this post, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step process of the soundproofing basement ceiling.

Almost all the steps discussed in this post are budget-friendly as well as highly effective.

It goes without saying that all the steps that I’m going to share with you have been applied by our team in different soundproofing projects across the verticals.

Moreover, I’ll also throw some light on related questions such as 

Related Questions
How to soundproof a finished basement ceiling?

What are the best soundproof ceiling tiles?

Is soundproofing ceiling footsteps possible?

Can I soundproof basement ceilings without drywall?

And, an overview of soundproofing basement ceiling joists?

But, before all of that, the question is, should I REALLY need to soundproof the basement ceiling?

 As a soundproof consultant with a decade of experience, I’ve dealt with different types of clients in my career, and taking all my experience into consideration, I can very well say that especially the newbies are skeptical when it comes to soundproofing a basement ceiling. 

The basement is a space that you can customize as per your needs.

For example, I’ve converted my basement into my home office.

Well, there are many more unique ways in which you can utilize the space of your basement.

Some of my clients have turned the basement into the kids’ room, library, and so on.

And, if you’ve decided to use the basement, then I would recommend you to soundproof it as you’ve soundproofed other rooms or planning to.

Soundproofing a basement isn’t as tedious and time-consuming as it seems to be.

Needless to say, you don’t have to spend a fortune to soundproof your basement.

However, our discussion will mostly revolve around soundproofing the basement ceiling.

Even though you’re on a shoestring budget, I would recommend you to try the methods that I’m gonna discuss in this post.

Trust me, it will help you to convert your basement into a quiet haven.

So, without any further ado, let’s see, how we can soundproof a basement ceiling cheaply?


Before that, you need to figure out the kind of noise that gets into your basement.

It will help you to plan and combat noise accordingly.

Does it make sense?

In my last post, I discussed the types of noises: impact and airborne.

As the name suggests, airborne noise is the one that travels through the air.

In other words, airborne noise uses air as a medium to traverse.

For example, the barking of dogs, kids screaming, etc. falls under the category of airborne noise.

Impact noise is the ones that are produced due to an impact event.

For example, hitting of balls on the floor surface or footsteps falls under the impact noise category.

So, while you’re making your plan ready for soundproofing your basement, I would recommend you categorize unwanted noise into the aforementioned category to achieve a superlative outcome.

So, before we move to the next section, I’ve got an easy question for you.

Are you willing to answer my query?

Can we soundproof a basement ceiling without spending a fortune?

How to Soundproof a Basement Ceiling Cheaply

I’m gonna share with you the list of items that you’ll need to soundproof the basement ceiling at an affordable price.

Nonetheless, the soundproofing ceiling in the basement is different from the soundproofing basement.

Product List and Link to Amazon
ProductDescriptionCheck the Current Price On Amazon
Caulking Seals

Used to seal gaps, cracks, and holes


Placed between the

carpet and the floor to enhance the sound-dampening


ATS Acoustic PanelsFoam panels that can be used to soundproof a basement ceiling$$$
Roxul Mineral Wool InsulationUsed to insulate the joist cavities$$$
MuteX Soundproof MaterialSimilar to a mat that you can use to soundproof the basement$$$
Mass Loaded VinylAn alternative to MuteX soundproof material$$$
Green GlueA soundproof adhesive$$$
Resilient ChannelsUsed to create a gap between the ceiling and the drywall$$$
*Check the current price on AMAZON by clicking the $$$ link

Seal Gaps, Holes, and Cracks

This is an important lesson for soundproof enthusiasts and newbies.

For any soundproofing project that you’re gonna take in the future, remember to block all the gaps, holes, and cracks as fast as possible, and of course, a soundproofing basement ceiling project isn’t an exception.

 In my career as a soundproof consultant, I’ve completed quite a good number of soundproofing basement projects, and you’ll be astonished to know that basement ceiling in all the projects had gaps, cracks, and holes. 

And, most importantly, the success of the soundproofing basement ceiling lies to a great extent in the sealing of these gaps.

The worst part is that even the smallest of the holes can ruin the entire project.

These holes and gaps are the greatest culprits as they allow sound waves to pass through them.

The good news is that sealing them is easier than you can even imagine.

All you need to do is to use caulking seals. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)

It will seal the gaps properly without much struggle.

You don’t have to wait longer for the result.

Trust me, without sealing the gaps and cracks, you’ll not be able to achieve the epitome of silence.

Install Carpets and Rugs

It is highly recommended to place carpets and rugs on the floor of your room just above the basement.

Rugs will dampen the noise caused by the footsteps and also, will negate the sound produced by objects falling on the floor.

Nevertheless, if you’ve already covered the floor with the carpet then I would suggest you should add some padding.

These paddings are great at absorbing noise, so you can place them between the carpet and the floor.

You can even use mass-loaded vinyl between the floorboard and the carpet.

Mass-loaded vinyl is a dense material so it can act as an additional protection layer when placed between the floor and the carpet.

If you’re looking for a completely free method, then I would suggest, you should place furniture or bookshelves directly above the basement.

Use existing furniture, bookshelves, wardrobe, etc. so that you don’t have to spend a single penny.

Try Acoustic Foams

Like other soundproof experts, my view on acoustic foams was that it is not a good option for soundproofing ceilings, but my opinion completely changed when I tried the ATS Acoustic Panels. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)

I can say with confidence that just by merely seeing these panels you can say that they are quite different from the regular soundproof panels.

The USP of these panels is the microsuede that covers the entire panel.

The microsuede plays a crucial role in enhancing the appearance as well as the performance.

Personally, I’ve felt that the ATS Acoustic Panels are capable of blocking both airborne as well as impact noises.

In fact, these panels would block out all the noise from the upstairs.

The installation process is quite easy and simple.

Moreover, you can glue these panels or hang them with the hooks.

In case, you’re looking for a cheaper alternative, then you can read more in my article on soundproof foam and panels.

Use Acoustic Insulation 

This particular method works great with open ceilings.

First and foremost, you need to insulate the joist cavities if the open ceiling doesn’t have drywall.

In case, you’re on a shoestring budget then I would recommend you to try regular insulation for the ceiling.

It will do the work for you.

Nonetheless, if the budget is not the issue then you should try acoustic insulation.

Well, I’ve tried a couple of acoustic insulations.

Most of them were good but the one that I found superlative is Roxul Mineral Wool Insulation. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)

The good thing about this acoustic insulation is that you don’t need any fastener to use it.

All you need to do is cut the panels in such a way that it’s a perfect fit for the joist cavities.

The ONLY thing that you need to keep in mind while installing this acoustic insulation is that you need to leave an inch or two so as to create an air pocket.

Also, keep track of the acoustic insulation.

Raise a flag if you think it is jammed.

MuteX Soundproof Material: A Good Alternative

Acoustic foam panels are definitely a good product to use in a soundproof basement ceiling project.

However, if you find it complex and looking for a simpler alternative, then you can try MuteX soundproof material. (Check the Current Price On Amazon)

It is nothing but a mat that you can install in the basement to dampen the unwanted noise.

This lightweight soundproof material comes as a thick roll of black material.

Mutex soundproof material consists mainly of two elements; vinyl provides flexibility to the product whereas the other element adds to the density of the Mutex to enhance its capabilities to act as a sound barrier.

According to me, one of the reasons for its popularity is the versatility that it possesses.

You can use it not only for the ceiling basement, but also for your office, cars, and where NOT.

It performs best when coupled with drywall.

All you need to do is to staple or glue it to drywall and then set that up to the ceiling.

In case, you don’t like MuteX soundproofing material then you can definitely replace it with mass-loaded vinyl.

Soundproof Drywall and Resilient Channels: A Perfect Combo

Now, you’re aware that drywall can play a crucial role in soundproofing basement ceilings.

However, most of the soundproof enthusiasts will not be aware of the fact that they can also use Resilient channels to the soundproof basement ceiling.

A resilient channel can act as an alternative to the MuteX soundproofing material.

I never recommend installing drywall directly on the basement ceiling because it will NEVER give you the desired output.

Low frequencies are capable of traversing through solid materials, so installing drywall will still allow the low frequencies to traverse through it.

So, what’s the solution?

Well, here comes into the picture the resilient channels.

Resilient offers a gap between the ceiling and the drywall.

This air gap acts as a sound barrier and prevents the transmission of sound.

The channel bar is usually suspended so that the drywall can be hung from it.

Most of you’ll be inquisitive about how the resilient channel works, right?

 The unwanted noise coming from the room above the basement is distributed through the resilient channel, and in the process, the sound waves lose most of the energy before they get to the drywall. 

The remaining sound wave that reaches the drywall is dampened there only, and as a result, you can expect a quiet and peaceful basement that you can use as your kid’s study room or even as your home office.

The choice is yours.

I’m attaching a self-explanatory video on how to soundproof a basement ceiling.

Hope it helps!

Green Glue: A Versatile Soundproofing Product

Green Glue alone can’t do any miracle.

However, it can enhance the soundproofing capabilities of the basement ceiling if used as a complementary to other soundproofing materials.

It is a sound-dampening adhesive so you can replace a regular adhesive with green glue.

Moreover, you can expect an additional layer of protection against unwanted noise.

Let’s see what makes green glue so popular and effective product.

Most of you will not be aware of the fact that green glue works by creating a dampening system.

In fact, green glue acts as a catalyst and converts the sound energy into heat energy which then dissipates.

Many of my clients were confused that the heat energy would increase the temperature of the basement.

Well, the heat dissipated is too low on the Fahrenheit scale to increase the temperature of your basement.

You can easily compare green glue with MuteX soundproofing material in the context of versatility.

Furthermore, you can use green glue for most of your soundproofing projects.

I personally prefer using green glue as a sealant and sealing all the gaps, cracks, and holes in the vicinity of the windows as well as doors.

In case, you’re looking for a high-end result then I would recommend you to use green glue between two layers of drywall and then install the drywall on the ceiling.

By doing so, you’re adding mass to the basement ceiling and as you know, soundproofing is all about adding mass and density.

Trust me, it will do wonders for you.


At the beginning of the post, I promised you that I’d be answering some frequently asked queries. The questions that I’ll be taking are either asked previously by the clientele or the readers. In case, you also have queries related to the post, then you can mail us.

How to soundproof a finished basement ceiling?

  • There are many ways to do so.
  • But, the one that has given be mindboggling result is adding a combo of drywall and resilient channel.
  • It will dampen almost all sorts of noises: impact as well as airborne.
  • All you need to do is to install resilient channels and attach drywall to them.
  • The sound wave coming through the basement ceiling will be distributed by the resilient channel and as a result, the sound will lose most of its energy until it reaches drywall.
  • Another important thing to consider here is the air gap between the resilient channel and the drywall.
  • These air gaps act as an additional layer of protection against the sound waves traveling from the resilient channel to the drywall.
  • In case, you’ve got the headroom, I would recommend you add at least 5/8″ fire-rated drywall.
  • Hope it helps!

What are the best soundproof ceiling tiles?

  • Well, as a soundproof consultant, I’ve tried a couple of soundproof ceiling tiles in the basement ceiling projects.
  • Unfortunately, most of them couldn’t perform as per my expectations.
  • However, after a series of experiments, I found a soundproof ceiling tile that exceeded my expectations.
  • It is none other than BA Series 9.
  • These tiles have a very high density of 200kg/m3.
  • It comes in a marble grey color and has a dimension of 12″ x 12″ x 0.36″.
  • The BA Series 9 has a high NRC rating.

Is soundproofing ceiling footsteps possible?

  • Definitely, it’s possible.
  • Ceiling footsteps are an example of impact noise.
  • As explained earlier, using resilient channels with drywalls will help you to get rid of the ceiling footsteps.

Can I soundproof basement ceilings without drywall?

Of course, you can soundproof the basement ceiling without drywall. You can use acoustic insulation, carpet, soundproof curtains, moving blankets, and other soundproofing materials in the basement ceiling soundproofing project.

How much does it cost to paint a basement ceiling?

There is NO fixed cost of painting a basement ceiling. In fact, the cost will depend to a large extent on the materials being used for the painting project.

  • The materials required are as follows:
    • Masking tape 
    • Paper
    • Surface repair
    • Preparation material
    • Primers
    • Cleanup supplies
  • On average, the cost of painting a basement ceiling starts at $2.5 per square foot.

It’s A Wrap

  • I hope you’ll be able to achieve the epitome of silence in your basement after following the aforementioned steps.
  • Trust me, these steps have helped me and will definitely help you to make your basement quiet.
  • In fact, most of the aforementioned steps are budget-friendly and will definitely help you to soundproof your basement ceiling cheaply.
  • In case, you’re on a shoestring budget then my best advice would be to use acoustic panels and fluffy mats.
  • Now, it’s time to expedite, so go and try these cheap soundproofing basement ceiling methods.
  • What is your budget for soundproofing the basement ceiling?
  • Which is your favorite method out of the ones listed above?
  • Do you use any method other than the ones mentioned in this post?
  • Let us know what is your view on the above questions.
  • Last but not least, share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.
  • After all, sharing is caring.