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ElectronicsThe Secrets to Soundproofing a Home Theater
Treating the entire family to a night at the movies is no longer the cheap entertainment it once was, and a family of four can easily expect to drop $80 for admission, popcorn, and drinks for a couple of hours of cinematic escape. Add to that the $4 for each gallon of gas you burn getting to the theater, and if you live some distance away, you are looking at $100 for your outing.
So for the cost of about six months' worth of weekly nights at the movies, you could be well on your way to paying for your own Home Theater. If you have a garage, basement, or spare room which isn't going to be needed for any other use, why not turn it into a Home Theater using the same technique that you'd use to construct a soundproof home music studio?
You can construct a "room within a room" for you Home Theater by framing a set of new walls right in the room you intend to transform, assembling them flat on the floor and simply lifting them into position. By creating a room within a room, you'll automatically be adding some dead air space between the room's original walls and its new ones, and sealed dead air space is an excellent form of soundproofing. But if you intend to be watching movies with seriously loud sound tracks, you should bolster your soundproofing with some additional materials.
Our favorite batt insulations to use in the joist or stud cavities of a soundproof room are either Roxul Safe or Roxul AFB, but if you can't find either of them, a good substitute is high quality rock or mineral wool. When you've filled the joist or stud cavities, you can nail or staple a layer of Loaded Mass Vinyl(MLV) directly over the studs so that it can move in response to the sound vibrations. Use either the roofing nails which have large heads of plastic, or an industrial air stapler to attach the MLV to the joists or studs.
By resonating with the sound, the MLV will provide the maximum sound-deadening needed to completely soundproof your Home Theater.If you can overlap the seams sof the MLV when you nail or staple it, your soundproofing will be better, but if an overlap isn't possible, then you should butt the seams and caulk them along with the full perimeter of the vinyl, so that the MLV works as a
The caulked seams of the MLV should also be taped with sealer tape, and they you can install two layers of ½" drywall, not only to the walls, but to the ceiling of your Home Theater. If that stretches your budget, a 5/8" layer of fire code-compliant drywall will work.
If you decide to go with the two layers of drywall, you should use Green Glue damping compound on the second layer applying it to the back of the drywall and then using screws to attach it to the inner layer of drywall so that the glue is sandwiched between them. The Green Glue will add some moisture to both layers of the drywall and prevent the noise made inside your Home Theater from spreading outward along its walls. When the drywall has been installed, you can use acoustical treatments to turn your Home Theater into a working replica of an actual movie theater!
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