Soundproofing your basement can provide a quieter space for studying or relaxing. As you probably already know, soundproofing your basement will cost you some cash, but exactly how much should you expect to spend?
It costs $2,028 to $2,800 to soundproof a basement. The price to cover one square foot ranges from $1.25 to $1.90. The exact cost of a specific basement soundproofing project depends on labor costs and the size of the space.
Keeping noise in or out of your basement is possible with the right materials. This quick guide will explain in greater detail the above cost estimates. It’ll also cover how to soundproof a basement without spending a dime, so be sure to stick around to the end.
Like many home improvement projects, a few different factors come into play when determining the cost of soundproofing a basement.
Soundproofing a basement costs anywhere from $2,028 to $2,800 or more. The exact cost for each project depends on the quality of soundproofing material, the sound dampening method used, and the size of the basement.
While there is generally a fixed price for materials and labor, the size of the space you are working with can vary.
It costs around $1.90 per square foot for caulking, drywall, and R-value 19 fiberglass insulation. Based on this estimate, it could cost up to $3,000 or slightly higher to soundproof a 1,600-square feet basement using a DIY approach (i.e., excluding labor costs). As you’d expect, it’ll cost less to soundproof a smaller basement.
The soundproofing method you choose will determine the overall cost of your sound-dampening project for your basement.
Here are the four common soundproofing methods, ranked from the least to the most expensive.
Adding insulation to the basement ceiling (or joist floor) is the simplest and cheapest way to soundproof your basement. It involves installing a barrier to deaden noise and vibrations coming from the room above the basement.
Usually, installing insulation with an R-value of 19 before adding the floor joist is more than enough to prevent sound transfer. By the way, “R-value” refers to the thermal resistance of the insulation. The higher the number, the higher the material can prevent heat (and sound).
This soundproofing method decouples the wall joists and ceiling from the drywall to create an air barrier.
It involves three steps:
- Installing resilient channel (RC) clips into the wall joist and ceiling of the basement.
- Snapping the metal furring channels into the RC clips.
- Fastening the drywall to the resilient channel clips.
Installing the RC clips on the wall joist and ceiling will allow each side of the drywall to vibrate separately. That means there is less noise and vibration transfer between both sides.
Instead of one drywall sheet, you can install two drywall sheets. But not just any drywall sheet will do the job.
You need to use a sound-dampening drywall panel as the second layer to make this method effective. There are many of these options on the market, so it is not difficult to find good-quality soundproof drywall sheets.
Decoupling a wall can be an elaborate method, but it’s an excellent way to eliminate sound and vibration transfer between walls.
This method involves applying a viscoelastic damping compound (sound-isolating compound) between two drywall sheets. The Green Glue Noiseproofing Compound is a perfect example of a decoupler that excels at this purpose.
You can also use a single layer of damped drywall (AKA, Factory Damped Gypsum Board). This method will reduce your work by half, but it isn’t as effective as the Green Glue.
Can you soundproof your basement without incurring any additional cost?
Yes, you can!
However, installing sound-dampening during construction is the best way to eliminate or significantly reduce noise filtering into and out of the basement.
That said, here are a few ways to soundproof your basement ceiling without spending a dime.
Upholstered furniture can reduce the amount of sound that bounces around in your living space. Adding a few pieces of furniture in the room above your basement can minimize sound transfer.
What’s great about this method is that you don’t have to buy new furniture to soundproof your basement. You can simply rearrange the furniture you already have. Move heavy pieces like sofas and bookshelves to the spots above the basement where the noise comes in the most.
Thick curtains can reduce sound coming from outside your basement. Drapery and window treatments can also absorb interior noise.
This method isn’t something you do inside your basement. Instead, you’ll need to add rugs or carpets to the room above the basement.
Consider fluffy rugs as these are more effective for dampening footsteps. You might also want to place padding between the floor and the rug or carpet to improve sound absorption.
Many homeowners don’t usually consider soundproofing when they think of ways to increase the value of their properties. And while soundproofing isn’t going to turn your real estate into a goldmine, it can reflect positively on your property value.
Soundproofing adds value to your home because it eliminates noise-related disputes between neighbors, improves concentration, and facilitates better quality of life. Most prospective home buyers appreciate these benefits, and may be willing to pay more as a result.
So even if you spend a lot on soundproofing your basement, you’re not entirely losing that money. Instead, you’re investing in your property.
Preventing impact noise and airborne noise is crucial, whether you’re looking to convert your basement into a home office, library, or a chill crib. You can keep the basement soundproofing costs low by attempting a DIY project if you are a handy person.
Alternatively, hire a professional to do the job. Whatever your decision, you can expect to spend around $1.25 or more per square foot for a thorough soundproofing job.
- Trusted Pros: Rough cost estimate for soundproofing a basement apartment?
- Regents of the University of Minnesota: Structural System Components of a Basement
- Journal of Physics: A Review: Characteristics of Noise Absorption Material
- Science Direct: The indoor sound environment and human task performance: A literature review on the role of room acoustics