Author Topic: Hang separate ceiling rather than tear down existing?  (Read 2163 times)


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Hang separate ceiling rather than tear down existing?
« on: August 02, 2014, 07:23:37 PM »
I'm attempting to rent out the lower level of my house, but there the acoustical separation is very poor.  I can hear footfalls easily and conversation.  The house is about 50 years old, standard construction with 2x10 joists, wood board subfloor and hardwood floor.  The ceiling below is 1/2" drywall hung on wood strapping.  There is no insulation in the joist bays.

From reading here it appears that the best solution is to tear down the existing drywall, insulate the bays, use resilient channel, and hang two layers of drywall with green glue between.  However, this will run me about $5500 which is more than I want to spend.  I have another solution that I think may be cheaper and effective, but I would love some expert feedback.

I would like to build an independent, lowered ceiling out of 2x2 aluminum square tube on 24" centers, which is strong enough to cover my ceiling spans without being connected to the floor above.  I would then use wood strapping and drywall below.   I would have about a 1/2" space between the bottom of the existing drywall and the tops of my 2x2 beams.  Therefore I would have about 3 1/4" between the bottom of the existing drywall and the top of my new drywall.  So the new ceiling would be completely independent and not connected to the structure above.  I would lose about 3 1/2" of headroom, but this would be ok.

Will this accomplish anything?  I'm assuming it would help with the footfalls, which are a major problem.  I'm not sure what it would do for music and conversation sounds.  Should I blow in insulation in the bays above?  Should I put a thin layer of insulation (3") above my new ceiling?

Any thoughts or recommendations would be much appreciated!


  • Guest
Re: Hang separate ceiling rather than tear down existing?
« Reply #1 on: August 03, 2014, 04:10:08 PM »
NO. Take out the existing drywall first.

Add your 2 x 2 beams with a layer of 5/8" fire-rated drywall.  Make the beams go in between the ceiling/floor joists so that the bottom of the beams will sit below the ceiling/floor joists by 1". Fill the floor joists with attic blanket (lightweight fiberglass insulation) - do not pack it. Add your drywall strapping and drywall.
Mud and tape the panel joints... Caulk the perimeter to seal.

That'll kill those pesky foot steps. :)