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Thread: How can I deaden the sound in a room?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Santa Claus, In

    How can I deaden the sound in a room?

    OK gang, time to put your thinking caps on. We have a room at the park that is approx 30' square, standard 8' ceiling. When the doors are closed, it has one terrible echo, pretty bad even if they are open. Floor is concrete with tile, walls are block with 3/4" spacers and drywall. 3/4" foam board behind drywall. Ceiling is drywall textured and insulated. No windows, except in kitchen area. This needs to be a DIY project and of course cheap.

    I am thinking about making some panels and putting a air gap between the wall and the outer most panel. Maybe putting cork on the outer panel as well and a baffle system in the middle. I will try and sketch something out later. If you have an idea, let her rip.

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    If you don't take pride in your work, life get's pretty boring.

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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Between Aledo and Fort Worth, TX
    Try hanging some carpet strips on the wall. Find some carpet someone is throwing out and try some 2' wide strips the full height of the wall. Space 2' apart. See if that helps. If it does, you can get some carpet and frame it with wood molding to dress it up. If not, try mounting them perpendicular to the wall. Other possibility, though more expensive, is Homosote to cover the walls with. I'd check with the manufacturer to make sure it would work for that application though. Then there is the material that recording studios use on the wall to absorb sound. Can't imagine what that would cost. Jim.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Kansas City, Missouri
    Foam covered panels would probably be ideal, but carpet is probably cheaper. IF you can put down rugs or even regular carpet with the edges banded to look like rugs, it would help a lot. Pop-corn ceiling as much as most folks hate it does a great job of killing noise.

    To a small child, the perfect granddad is unafraid of big dogs and fierce storms but absolutely terrified of the word “boo.” – Robert Brault

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    somewhere east of Queen Creek, AZ - South East of Phoenix
    Steve my first though was accustical ceiling tiles. I did a little research and found that there are a lot of different manufacturers but Armstron seems to be a leader in the field. They have one product that they show installed in strips and clain to deaden the noise by as much as 50% with only 20% of the ceiling covered.
    "There’s a lot of work being done today that doesn’t have any soul in it. The technique may be the utmost perfection, yet it is lifeless. It doesn’t have a soul. I hope my furniture has a soul to it." - Sam Maloof
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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2007
    Buse Township MN
    Our church and others in the area have used these folks with great results.

    Way cheaper than building your own.
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  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Indianapolis area
    Quote Originally Posted by Don Baer View Post
    Steve my first though was accustical ceiling tiles. I did a little research and found that there are a lot of different manufacturers but Armstron seems to be a leader in the field. They have one product that they show installed in strips and clain to deaden the noise by as much as 50% with only 20% of the ceiling covered.
    My first thoughts were acoustical ceiling tiles. Then when I saw Don's post I was sure it was a good idea.


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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Floydada, Tx
    They sell a product called sound board. it is 1/2" thick and can go directly over drywall. it is better to put it under the drywall.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Oceanside, So. Calif. 5 mi. to the ocean
    When I was in high school I operated the sound system for the auditorium (the second largest auditorium west of the Mississippi). This was/is a fantastic auditorium. The ceiling and down the walls was an acoustical mix, sort of like Cellotex. Any place that human hands could reach it was soon destroyed. "Hey, look at this. If you stick your finger in it, it leaves a hole." And, of course, everyone had to prove that for themselves.

    The acoustical foam used in recording studios, radio stations, etc. is really great. However, if you stick your finger in it, you leave a hole. Need I say more. It is also VERY difficult to clean. Vacuums raise heck with it and it is totally impossible to dust or wash.

    There have been quite a few research programs and studies seeking ways to break up the sound waves, sound reflections, etc. One simple one was window screen spaced a couple inches apart (like bread in a sandwich, air was the p-butter and jam). It was so effective that Chaffey College built a sound room in the middle of a very large classroom that way. They could broadcast within the "cage" while HS students were making their usual noises outside of the "cage." It is totally impractical for what you want however.

    About 40 or 50 years ago a high school cafeteria was quieted by making frames out of 2 x 4s---like it was a frame around a window. Within the frame were some more 2 x 4s---like bars in the jailhouse window. As I remember these were about 4ft x 4ft. They were placed a few (2, 3, 4?) inches from the wall. They were placed a foot or two down from the ceiling; perhaps other places also---cannot remember. There was quite a bit of space between units. I have heard of that process being used other places but my memory won't tell me where. They were painted so they were not difficult to clean. I wonder if Google would have any thing on that? It was effective enough that there were some back page type news articles about how effective and economical it was for the school.

    As Glenn says, "Remember dad, Google is your friend."

    Glenn's rock band practiced in our, and other suckered parent's garages. They hung a couple layers of carped over the walls. It helped, however it was not professional quality sound control.

    I don't know if that was any help. I just hope it gets your brain working so you hit Google, the public library, etc. I bet there is at least one acoustical design forum on the web.


    Last edited by Jim C Bradley; 06-17-2012 at 05:41 AM.
    First of all you have to be smarter than the machine.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    North West Indiana
    Steve, you say this is at a park? If so, the fire marshall will make you take down any carpet hung on the wall that is not fire rated/designed for vertical installation.

    God and family, the rest is icing on the cake. I'm so far behind, I think I'm in first place!


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Windsor, CT
    To my read of this situation this is a "commercial", open to heavy use vs a home situation type room.
    Have you considered commercial grade carpeting?
    Good commercial grade carpeting is even used in some hospitals. Frequent proper vacuuming and shampooing with commercial equipment are critical however.

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