Soundproof Ceiling Cost

How Much Does it Cost to Soundproof a Ceiling

Here is a breakdown of the cost of soundproofing a ceiling using different products:

Soundproofing Material 10' x 10' Ceiling 20' x 20' Ceiling
Acoustical Sealant
5/8" Drywall
25 Gauge Hat Channel
Green Glue
RSIC Clips
Soundproof Drywall
Luxury Liner Mass Loaded Vinyl

The cost to soundproof a ceiling depends on the type of noise you’re dealing with, the current ceiling you have, the size of the ceiling, the soundproofing materials you choose to use, and the cost of local labor. In short, it’s not a simple question to answer. But nobody has ever accused Second Skin of shying away from the hard questions. We at least can help you at least get an approximation for what your project may cost.

What Does it Meant to Soundproof a Ceiling

To start with, let’s start by defining what soundproofing a ceiling means. When we say “soundproofing a ceiling”, we mean to stop sound from either entering or exiting the room through the ceiling. Soundproofing is all about stopping noise from transmitting between spaces.

A common misconception is that you can use acoustical materials to stop sound from coming through your ceiling. If the website you are on is telling you to put acoustic sound panels on your ceiling, run away as fast as you can. Sound absorbing materials will not soundproof your ceiling, because they are not designed to stop sound from transferring between two spaces. Acoustic foam and acoustic panels are good for improving acoustics and sound quality inside a room by reducing reverb. If you use acoustic material for soundproofing, you’re going to be disappointed.

The Types of Noise Transferred through the Ceiling Determines the Solution

There are two types of noise commonly dealt with through ceilings: impact noise and airborne noise. Impact noise is the sound of footsteps, balls bouncing, or something dropped on the floor above you. This noise is structural and travels through the building’s structure. The only way to stop this type of noise is to isolate the floor-ceiling assembly with something to decouple the floor above (we use our UnderBlock rubber flooring underlayment) or to decouple the ceiling in your room (sound isolation clips). Soundproofing folks use something called an IIC Rating to tell how well a floor-ceiling assembly will stop impact noise.

The second type of noise is airborne noise. Common types of airborne noise are people talking, dog’s barking, or sounds from the TV. The same methods we outlined above can be used for airborne noise, but you also have a couple more options in your toolkit. Those options include mass loaded vinyl and Green Glue with an additional layer of 5/8 drywall. We use a different rating system, called an STC Rating to understand how well a soundproof floor-ceiling assembly will block airborne noise.

Common Ceiling Soundproofing Scenarios

If we didn’t cover your situation or if you just have questions, feel free to reach out to us and discuss your project!

Scenario 1: Finished Ceiling with Impact Noise

With impact noise through a finished ceiling, you have two options. The best option is to add a rubber underlayment to the floor above, but that is not always doable in a multifamily residence. That leaves you with one option – remove your existing ceiling and install a new one using RSIC sound isolation clips. Insulation does not matter. Acoustic panels will not help. You must isolate the barrier from the building’s structure.

Attach the RSIC clips directly to the joists. Install your insulation of choice (for airborne noise). Snap in 25 gauge hat channel. Then screw in new 5/8” drywall. Seal up the perimeter with acoustical sealant.

Scenario 2: Finished Ceiling with Airborne Noise

The most common reasons for airborne noise through a ceiling is the ceiling has canned lights, which basically means you have giant holes in your ceiling. If you want a soundproof ceiling, no holes allowed! The best option is to remove the ceiling and install track lighting. If that isn’t possible, use acoustical sealant to seal up around each penetration as best you can.

If you have airborne noise but don’t have canned lights, we’d recommend double checking the cavity is filled with insulation (improves STC 5-7 points) and/or adding a new layer of 5/8” drywall with Green Glue between the two drywall layers. As always, seal the perimeter and around any penetrations with acoustical sealant.

Scenario 3: Unfinished Ceiling with Airborne Noise

If the ceiling is unfinished, you have more options! An unfinished ceiling is a very poor barrier, so you need to finish the ceiling to block that airborne noise. The best option is to go with an isolation clip system using RSIC clips and 25 gauge hat channel, because it also addresses any impact noise. Because the problem is airborne noise, you could also choose mass loaded vinyl or Green Glue to solve the problem.

No matter which soundproofing material you choose to use, you’ll need to fill the cavity with insulation, use 5/8” drywall or soundproof drywall, and seal the perimeter with acoustical sealant.

Cost Estimates for Labor and Soundproofing Materials

The cost for labor will depend on where you’re located and who you have doing the work. For a small job, you may be able to get a handyman out to do the work for between $40 and $150 per hour. For larger jobs, find an independent contractor and get a quote. For information on cost of soundproofing a floor, check out our article on the topic.

We created the table below to give you a rough approximation of the cost of the various soundproofing materials you’d use to soundproof a ceiling. If you’d like a quote for your specific job, call or chat with us and we’d be happy to provide one!


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How to Soundproof a Room

How to Soundproof a Ceiling

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