14 Eyes to the Skies: Ceiling Solutions
Updated: Apr 14, 2021
The ceiling was always a point of contention, the already low ceiling height would be introducing some nasty room modes, but the room height couldn't be reduced by much more without becoming uncomfortable! There was also the matter of sound-proofing from the room above, which would take up even more space. So what was the solution?
Unfortunately, there wasn't a one-fix solution for all problems, and I decided to focus my efforts on treating the internal acoustics over sound-proofing from the room above. The room above is just the living room with a low amount of footfall so there shouldn't be too much impact noise which would require a decoupling system for the ceiling. Instead, I decided to use the underneath of the floorboards as the ceiling, meaning I could maximize the use of the space between the joists.
To provide an improvement in soundproofing between the two rooms I installed 15mm thick acoustic plasterboard between the joists. Increasing the density of the partition, and covering any gaps that may exist between the floorboards. As you can see from the images below, the joists were a bit higgledy-piggledy, so many hours went into meticulously measuring and cutting the plasterboard down to size. After installation, it was time to go around with the much-loved acoustic caulk to fill in all the edges.
Now, what to fill the gaps between the joists with? As we know, rooms with small ceilings tend to have bad acoustics, especially in the low end. So what better way to fill them than with some more diaphragmatic bass traps! Fortunately, the joists were just the right height that I'd essentially already created the 'sealed box' between the joists and the plasterboards, I just needed to add the Rockwool and membrane to complete the unit. You can see the work in progress below...
There were some instances where a sealed box couldn't be made, so I opted for some standard absorption in those places. Additionally, some of the joist channels were taken up with ducting runs, in those cases, another layer of plasterboard was applied to create a sealed section to provide better sound-proofing for the ventilation.
The 'finished' ceiling is shown below, this will then be covered with an acoustic fabric for a neater finish, and to let the sound waves through to the acoustic treatment.
Next time, we're back to the front wall to continue creating the wall of sound.
Frank Leonard Walker
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