How to Soundproof a Ceiling without Construction
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Are those footsteps? Is it a washing machine bouncing off of the floor? Or is it just a married couple arguing loudly?
Well, no matter what is it, it’s unpleasant, right?
You probably can’t sleep at night, and as soon as you fall asleep, the sun is up and you are already heading to work.
Then, just like that washing machine, your head is bouncing back and forth at your working desk, and as soon as you wake up you see the angry face of your boss staring at you.
So, what is next? I think we all know, but the very problem is way back in the past. Namely, what would’ve happened if you did sleep well that night?
Next, you are probably wondering how you can sleep well when some savages are living above your head. Oh yes, you can!
Before you know it, you’re asking yourself: can I soundproof my ceiling just to avoid all the noise you are experiencing, right?
First of all, you can go and talk to your neighbor. You can ask them to put some carpet which will reduce the footsteps’ sound for example.
Then, you can politely ask them to be a bit quieter.
However, most of the times, the ones that make noise are unkind and will simply ignore everything that you are saying.
If that is the case, there are a couple of tricks and solutions to the impact noise coming from above, from your ceiling – such as foam panel ceiling soundproofing.
So, here is the list of the best solutions to soundproof your ceiling without construction.
How to Soundproof a Ceiling (without Construction)
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Put acoustic foam panels
One of the safest and most certain solutions to your ceiling noise problem is acoustic foam panels.
With their price which is affordable to everyone, and the easiness of installation, you should be able to easily and cheaply solve your ceiling problem.
We find that soundproofing a ceiling in an apartment is a lot easier than in most houses, but there’s much more you need to know before jumping straight into putting acoustic foam panels up.
What you need to know that there are various types of acoustic panels on the market.
There are some that are good for home walls, others are great for recording purposes in the studio and finally, there are foam panels excellent for the ceiling.
Usually, the more you pay the better quality you will get. Since they will probably last for a really long time (you don’t buy acoustic foam panels every day), you should probably invest a bit more into them.
Buying the cheapest ones might save you some cash, but is it worth if your peace is still shaken?
Therefore, here are some acoustic foam panels for the ceiling that are a combination of good price and great quality.
They come in a various color, and it depends only on your preferences which one you’ll buy.
2. Use Spray Adhesive to Install Foam Panels
In most case scenarios, foam panels will come with adhesive on themselves. When that is not the case, you can use some glue, or even better an adhesive in a form of a spray.
Not only that this adhesive will help you easily fix and strengthen foam panels on the wall, but itself provides a layer of defense as well.
Moreover, the adhesive is not made only for soundproofing purposes. Since the pack is big (can cover up to 70 square feet), you can use it afterwards for various type of gluing.
It will easily bond together plastics, cardboard, films, paper and many more.
While most benefits go to the panel itself, there are quite a few benefits for the people as well.
You won’t have a hard time taking off your DIY soundproof ceiling insulation.
Also, you will be able to re-use it if you’re moving – which is ideal for tenants who do not own the house/apartment.
The adhesive is extremely powerful, so we recommend it using with all the precautionary measures.
Once you seal foam panels on the ceiling with this adhesive, you will have no worries about them randomly dropping off of the ceiling.
Simply put, spray adhesive is a good solution to soundproofing the ceiling without construction with foam panels.
3. Place some acoustic foam egg panels
We may say that these acoustic foam egg panels belong to a family of foam panels, just with one small difference- they are made for the ceiling.
On the first look, they might look hideous. As it names says pretty much, they are panels with the egg-looking surface.
Egg surface has shown as extremely effective in noise soundproofing. Nevertheless, the edgier the surface is the better insulation it provides.
Furthermore, these panels are thick, hence, they offer great-quality insulation. Nonetheless, you can use them even for recording purposes at your studio.
Not only will prevent the ingoing sound to your room, but also the outgoing sound to be heard outside as well.
One thing is sure, after installing these, your above neighbors can argue the whole night long - you will sleep well.
There are dozens of designs of these egg foam panels, so choose wisely before purchasing- you don’t want to ruin your perfect room design.
4. Use mass loaded vinyl
Sometimes, acoustic panels can be extremely bulky and heavy. Other than that, I must admit that their design is sometimes questionable.
If you really prefer the appearance of the room over the noise, then you might have a problem with acoustic foam panels.
Therefore, if you want to keep the interior and design of your room intact, you should probably use vinyl mats.
These fat mattresses are sometimes the great solution to both - soundproofing an interior of the room simultaneously.
But if you’re into doing some serious soundproofing for ceiling to protect yourself from noisy neighbours – vinyl is the way to go.
Now, keep in mind that vinyl mats are the solution not only to your ceiling, but also can do the trick with floors, walls, office cubicle, mechanical rooms, computer rooms etc.
For this purposes, I can recommend you Second Skin Audio's Mass Loaded Vinyl, as one of the best vinyl mats out there.
If you place this one on the ceiling, you will have really good protection from low and high-frequency noises. It will decrease transmission of vibrations, bass or drums for example.
Mass vinyl offers great absorbing protection. Its installing is simple.
Just measure it based on your room’s ceiling measurements and cut with a sharp knife. It can be easily done without the help of an expert- and that is the reason I’m mentioning it in this article.
However, the biggest problem with this one isn’t its quality, neither the easiness of installation but the price.
You know what? You will buy them once in, maybe, a few years. Right? So, why wouldn’t you invest a bit more for a better quality?
Generally, if we consider the design, quality, easiness of installation, and everything aforementioned about vinyl mats and acoustic foams, we can easily conclude which one is better.
Anyway, it’s only up to your preferences which one is better to use in your particular situation- acoustic foam panels or vinyl mats.
5. Check for Holes in the Ceiling
It’s not usual to find a hole in the ceiling. However, there might be little holes between floors as the cables were/are passing through.
I admit, it’s unusual to see this on newer buildings, but there are a lot of older ones that were sometimes the property of one owner who didn’t care much about the noise coming from these holes (since the whole house was his).
Therefore, if you are, after all of these steps, still hearing some noise from the ceiling, inspect for these crevices and little holes.
However, even if you have some holes in your ceiling – you might still be able to do an inexpensive ceiling soundproofing in a reasonably short amount of time.
Furthermore, in case you find some, the best possible solution is to seal them with some glue.
For this matter, I was using green glue. It showed really well against small crevices. The problem was the color - it didn’t match with the room color.
So, guess what - I learned it on the harder way. Namely, some of these glues can be painted over, while others can’t.
Make sure that you are purchasing the right one, as it may do some unwanted damage and expenses.
For this reason, I recommend this soundproofing green glue.
6. Follow the House Rules and Be the Good Neighbor
All of the previous methods demand some kind of investment and effort. This secret method is the easiest and cheapest of them all.
Although it demands some harmonizing of several floors, there are some basic house rules to follow in order to achieve this one.
What should be the responsibility of every single one of us is to be nice, generous, and non-harassing neighbor.
I always thought that being a good neighbor will have a boomerang effect - the goodness will come in return.
As you may know, most of the nowadays buildings have the thin ceiling. Therefore, you should probably follow some basic home rules, and respect other’s peace.
Especially if there is someone living beneath your floor, just below your room.
Sometimes, even footsteps can be heard from the upstairs, right?
Well, imagine if that escalates to some really unpleasant noises. You don’t want that for yourself, right?
Therefore, do not do what you do not want to happen to you. Try being as quiet a neighbor as you can.
Soundproofing the Ceiling... No Construction needed!
Soundproofing the ceiling is, generally speaking, not a that much expensive job. On the other hand, it demands a bit more effort rather than soundproofing the walls or the floor.
However, I would definitely recommend soundproofing if you are living in a building with several floors. Better to prevent than to treat. You never know if some new, unkind neighbor will move in.
No matter who lives above you, with the help of ceiling soundproofing foam (or any other type of ceiling insulation) will do the job and help you get your peace back.
- Acoustic foam panels
- Adhesive spray
- Acoustic foam egg panels
- Mass Loaded Vinyl
- Green glue
- Put acoustic foam panels
- Use Spray Adhesive to Install Foam Panels
- Place Some Acoustic Foam Egg Panels
- Use Mass Loaded Vinyl
- Check for Holes in the Ceiling
- Follow the House Rules and Be the Good Neighbor