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Foam gaskets for sound reduction

want2know's picture

In an article about sound reduction techniques in the January issue of FHB the author said some reduction in sound transmission could be achieved by using foam gaskets between the studs and drywall.  I am finishing my basement to include a home theater and wonder if the gaskets could be applied between the drywall and the floor joists above.  Is there a reason you wouldn't want to use the gaskets in a ceiling application?

(post #75807, reply #1 of 4)

I've never done what you suggest and I'm not confident it's good practice even as described in the article. It's not really designed for the task described. The resilient channels would be a better bet.

Two separate things need to be considered in serious home theaters.  First is vibration isolation... sound waves, bass frequencies in particular,  like to telegraph through structures.

Next is acoustic treatment...basically noise containment and frequency response characteristics of the room.

Here's some links if you wanna dive in the deep end...


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 


Everything will be okay in the end.  If it's not okay, it's not the end. 

(post #75807, reply #2 of 4)

If you're building a home theater, you should check out the AVS forums

They have a forum dedicated to construction techniques for sound isolation, budgets ranging from just a nice place to watch TV to the $100,000 rooms that you see in magazines.

One person on that forum used the gaskets that you are talking about on his ceiling and he was happy with the results. He ran furring strips perpendicular to the joists and put the gasket between the furring and the DW to minimize contact between the DW and joists.

Most people there would probably tell you to use RSIC clips, but they are alot more expensive.

Other things that help are insulation in the joist bays, and using multiple layers of drywall.

(post #75807, reply #3 of 4)

Thanks for the suggestions.  I've done some research on sound proofing but most of the high tech solutions have a hefty price tag associated with them and really aren't necessary for my application.  Just the cost of getting the heavy materials delivered to Iowa was quite high because there are no suppliers in this area.  I am trying to achieve some reduction in noise transmission at minimal cost and thought that the foam gaskets might be something to try.  It sounds like using them on the walls is OK but I'll have to rethink the ceiling.  

Perhaps spray-in Icynene foam in the ceiling would provide more sound reduction than fiberglass?

Any other suggestions would be appreciated.

(post #75807, reply #4 of 4)

Strapping the ceiling perpendicular to the joists, just like our bretheren in New England do, is a very good start on isolation. Wooly batts are better than spray foam in the cavities. You will want at least R-19.

Of all the methods I have seen, the most cost-effective simple method for isolating a noise source in frame construction is a double layer of 5/8" drywall with Green Glue in between. The Green Glue is a damping compound that kills the vibrations, making the assembly amazingly "dead" in the acoustic sense. Check out their informative site at

I used this to deaden a subfloor and the result was tomblike in its quietness.