I would like to insulate my kitchen ceiling for noise: my daughter's
bedroom is right above the kitchen separated from it by 3/4 pine and
I'm terribly allergic to fiberglass. I even stay away from insulation
isles at HD.
Are there other cheap alternatives to fiberglass if my only goal is
sound? I'm not gonna go with cellulose or something like that -- too
much work. But maybe something like cotton would work.
This ceiling will have IC rated recessed lighting cans in it.
Thanks in advance,
The cheapest solution is ear-plugs (maybe 50¢), followed by ear-muffs (maybe
Moving up the cost ladder would be headphones for the daughter and removing
all speakers from her room.
Next in cost would be, as others have mentioned, thick padding and carpeting
in the daughter's room (I'd recommend purple shag).
The ultimate solution is a false ceiling in the kitchen (not attached to the
current ceiling) and the intervening space filled with sound-deadening
Thanks for all the funny answers, but especially the thoughtful ones.
Let me add more information.
A. My daughters noise does not bother me. It's the other way, I don't
want the kitchen TV to interfere with here sleep.
B. A carpet is out of the question.
C. The ceiling will also contain IC recessed lights. So it needs to be
I will definitely look into cork, wool and paint - Thanks!
Sounds like you are trying to stop airborne noise.
Bedroom to Kitchen reduction is recommended as STC 42.
You can look up the term.
A floor of 1/2" plywood + oak flooring gives an STC of about 25.
Your floor has less mass and probably cracks ( they don't have to be
large to let sound through ) so the STC is low.
I would put a layer of gypsum board against the underside of the
single board floor to close any gaps and add a bit of mass.
A layer of 5/8" gypsum board nailed to the floor with joints sealed
should increase STC to that of the 'normal' floor + 25 STC.
Then the lower ceiling could be 5/8" gypsum board hung on resilient
clips which might add STC 20
The recessed lights will provide a flanking path.
You could add a layer of Homasote (the tack board stuff) to cut down
on reverberations in the ceiling cavity.
I like it!
What about Green Glue? http://www.greengluecompany.com /
It looks intriguing. It adds a lot of damping between the gypsum board
and the floor. If you buy it by the tube, they say it's $15 - $45 to
treat a 4 x 8 board.
Before doing the ceiling, I'd look at the kitchen TV. TVs often
resonate severely on some frequencies. That resonance is heard in the
next room as noise. A pair of self-powered speakers might make
listening more pleasant and quieter.
I'd turn on the TV and scan the bedroom with a microphone and headphones
to see if sound was coming through cracks that could be caulked. That
could be worthwhile whether or not gypsum board was added.
The cork and wool are not fire rated at all, also cotton batting even
if treated with boron still has a poor fire rating, neither is open
cell foam fire rated (remember that bar fire on the east coast a few
years ago) that was acoustic foam going up like gasoline. The only
class A fire rated material you can use that wont shed fiber would be
rigid fiberglass insulation boards, 7lbs per cu ft, they come in 4x8
sheets 2 inches thick (Manville). The fiberglass in rigid wont shed
easily if you have a problem with fiberglass in general. Unlike
fiberglass batting, rigid board will absorb into bass region. But a
layer of 5/8 drywall over resilient channel would still have best
sound and fire rating.
The noise you have is most likely being transfered through the ceiling
joist, insulation will not help very much. Knowing the source of the
noise my help in giving advice.
BTW you are not alergic to fiberglass, there is no such
allergy.Fiberglass iritates the skin by causing tiny cuts. Fiberglass
in the attic also may harbor a host of things that you are allergic to
but fiberglass is one of the most hypoallergenic substances known that
is not to say it doesnt have its own way of being an irritant.
Mass and isolation stop sound, not fiberglass or foam, etc. anyway.
Fiberglass or open cell foam is used to control reflection of high
frequencies off walls. At bass frequencies fiberglass and open cell
foam is virtually invisible to sound pressure waves. The bass is
probably what is bothering you.
Best solution is to use 5/8 inch sheet rock over resilient channel.
And recarpet the kids room with heavy rubber padding (mass) under the
But the cheapest solution by far is to purchase high quality
headphones for the kid, mayby AKG701's or something like that, which
will actually reproduce the bass she seems to enjoy. Ear buds suck at
The above poster is correct... mass and isolation are the only 'actually
effective' acoustic insulation, and the more the merrier. It doesn't
matter which direction the sound is traveling.
I'd run this question by the folks in the acoustics newsgroup:
If you're bothered by your daughter's noise, then throw her boyfriend
Otherwise, r-channel is the way to go. There is a dark matted sound
insulation that they use with it, but it has a weird smell for a while
so I'd keep away from it. When you install the r-channel, follow the
directions !!! Screws go from the channel to the joists. OTHER screws
go from the sheetrock to the channel. NO screws go from the sheetrock
to the joints. The ceiling floats and can actually move a little bit.
I have heard, but I do not know for sure, that if you stop the ceiling
and leave a gap to the walls (covered with moulding), it helps the
ceiling float. But I don't know and you need to follow the
You can also get sound-dampening sheetrock to go with the r-channel.
Fiberglass should be okay above the sheetrock because you're sealing
it in. You'll also going to have to lose the recessed lighting
because they will allow sound through.
Wow -- that's one I've never heard of. Fiberglass is just glass; does
that mean you're allergic to GLASS in general? Or what's the mechanism?
How do you avoid encountering fiberglass (it's so common)? Could it
be you're actually allergic to the resin that's often used to bind
fiberglass (I could understand that a lot more easily)?
I do not know what it is about fiberglass, but I have seen several people
breakout when they get around it. For one thing the glass breaks out into
small pieces and gets into the skin.
There is a company that makes fiberglass near the town I live in. I knew
several people that worked there. The stuff would get into their cloths and
car seats. When the family members would get into the car they would start
iching. Also got into some of their cloths when washed together and they
had to be thrown out.
While working at a mobile home place about 40 years ago the walls were
insulated with fiberglass. The wiring was placed in the walls as they were
built. This left about a foot of wire sticking out where the recepticals
would go. Some people could not wire up the recepticals without breaking
out around the hands.
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