Author Topic: Drop Ceiling - Best Solution  (Read 5329 times)


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Drop Ceiling - Best Solution
« on: May 28, 2010, 04:27:01 AM »
First off, great site, very informative. I've been doing some research and just wanted some feedback on the proposed solution I've come up with.

One of the rental properties I own has one 1 bedroom apartment on the 1st floor and a second 1 bedroom apartment on the second floor. They're small units, roughly 20' x 20'. The 2nd floor apartment has wood flooring and the ceiling of the downstairs apartments is a drop ceiling with roughly 6" of usable clearance between the tiles and the beams.

Basically, I'm looking for the best possible sound proofing / isolation between the two floors so as to minimize tenant complains from both directions (top to bottom and bottom to top) and the only constraint is that I would like to maintain the existing drop ceiling.

From reading this site, my idea is to apply a layer of either "Mass Loaded Vinyl 48"W w/Closed Cell" or just "Mass Loaded Vinyl" to the back of each drop ceiling tile then use a layer of "SSP Cotton Fiber Insulation (3.5" thick)" on top of that.

I would appreciate any feedback, especially improvements, as I want to take care of this once and deal with fewer tenant complaints down the line.

Thanks in advance.

Randy S

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Re: Drop Ceiling - Best Solution
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2010, 03:52:16 PM »
Your on the right track for a "Band-aid" solution. You will need to reinforce the drop ceiling to hold the additional 1.75lbs sqft. weight. I would use the MLV w/ closed cell foam on this project.

Now if you want to fix this problem once and for all then I would recommend losing the drop ceiling system and actually float the ceiling on clips and channel closing the ceiling airtight adding cotton fiber in the cavity followed by MLV , then clips and double drywall with green glue sandwiched in between.
Randy Sieg

Super Soundproofing Co
Ph. 760-752-3030


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Re: Drop Ceiling - Best Solution
« Reply #2 on: June 17, 2010, 12:05:51 AM »
Thank you for the reply Randy. I'll weigh the options and check out floating the ceiling and adding cotton.

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Re: Drop Ceiling - Best Solution
« Reply #3 on: June 18, 2010, 05:07:32 AM »
Greetings from

First, we would like to reinforce that the “maintain the existing drop ceiling” approach will limit any improvements you might achieve.  However, if your ceiling tiles are fiberglass, then you might just be able to make an appreciable improvement.  Fiberglass tiles are very lightweight and are meant to mostly absorb sound in the room below.  They do not block sound from transmitting through them very well.  Consider using new 5/8” thick tiles made of mineral fiber.  Look for tiles that have a high CAC value of 30 or more (35+) (the higher the better).  Also consider using 5/8” drywall squares in lieu of the existing tiles or gluing ½” drywall to the backs of mineral fiber tiles (these are also available commercially already laminated together).  Be sure your grid can handle the extra weight.

Consider fastening the vinyl barrier as a continuous sheet/barrier to the underside of the wood joists (or several large pieces overlapped).  You can take all the tiles out and then remove one strip of grid cross members so you can slide big pieces of barrier up above the grid and then fasten to the underside of the joists.  A continuous sheet of barrier will provide better isolation than small squares directly on top of the tiles.  Insulate above the barrier (between the joists) and below the barrier (above the tiles).  Standard 3.5” thick fiberglass insulation will suffice.  If the wood floor above has any gaps or cracks (for example you can see light coming through) then be sure to caulk them all from the underside with a nonhardening latex caulk.  Uploading some pictures or a video clip would have helped us be more specific.  We wish you the best of luck!

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