What is a Soundproof Ceiling?

Amy Hunter

A soundproof ceiling is a ceiling that has been designed to cut down on the noise that is transferred from overhead to the area below. A soundproof ceiling is a nice addition for people who live in apartments, but, surprisingly, many people who live in private homes are also interested in soundproofing their ceilings.

Soundproof rooms are usually padded with surfaces that absorb vibrations.
Soundproof rooms are usually padded with surfaces that absorb vibrations.

Parents with teenagers often want to encourage their children, and their children’s friends, to hang out at their house. This way they know what their child is doing and who they are doing it with. The downside of this, however, is that teenagers live on a different schedule than adults.

A soundproof ceiling might contain acoustic insulation.
A soundproof ceiling might contain acoustic insulation.

Soundproofing the ceiling below the teen’s bedroom means that the parents can get some sleep, watch television or pay bills while their teens can listen to music, play video games or talk. A soundproof ceiling does not have to be expensive. If your home does not have soundproofing material in the ceiling, adding sound-deadening material is an easy do-it-yourself project.

Noise such as voices and music, particularly the bass tones, are particularly easy to quiet. These noises are considered airborne. By adding a buffer to your ceiling, you can absorb the sound waves before they reach the people below.

Materials used for a soundproof ceiling often come in a large roll, with an adhesive backing. The soundproofing materials are rolled out and placed firmly on the ceiling. While the soundproofing material will remain in place with no further treatment, for aesthetic purposes it will probably be necessary to add drywall or paneling to cover the soundproofing material.

There are several things to keep in mind if you are considering adding a soundproofing system to your home. Ask the retailer what percentage of sound you can expect to be silenced by the barrier. Some less expensive options may block around 65% of low frequency sounds. This may be adequate for dampening the sound between the upstairs and downstairs.

If your upstairs neighbors are particularly loud, you are installing the soundproofing in the ceiling of your bedroom, or you work shift work and want to sleep during the day, you may want to invest in a more expensive and higher-quality soundproofing material. More effective soundproofing materials can block up to 85% of sounds. You will have to weigh the price difference with your desire for quiet and the level of noise you are currently exposed to, and make a choice in soundproofing materials.

Soundproofing the ceiling below a teen’s bedroom means that parents can pay bills while their teen listens to music.
Soundproofing the ceiling below a teen’s bedroom means that parents can pay bills while their teen listens to music.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


I really think that houses and apartment should be already soundproof, at least to a certain degree. Most people don't want to hear everything their neighbors are doing, or everything their family members are doing on the other levels of the building.

If builders would just build things right the first time, people wouldn't have to bother purchasing extra soundproof ceiling panels or trying to find other ways to soundproof their homes.


@Monika - Yeah, renters are kind of limited in soundproofing options. However, you might try egg crate foam or some other kind of soundproof foam. You might be able to find some way to attach it to the ceiling without damaging it.

I know for a fact that egg crate foam works really well for soundproofing. A friend of mine has a recording studio in a house that he's renting, and they used egg crate foam on the walls to soundproof it so they don't bother their neighbors. I don't see why you couldn't do the same thing on a ceiling.


I know for a fact that the apartment I live in does not have soundproof ceiling insulation. I can hear my upstairs neighbors walking around like they were in my apartment instead of one floor up. However, I had read some reviews of my building before I moved in and I know what I was getting myself into.

I'm not really that bothered by it, which is lucky, because I don't think that I would take the time and effort to soundproof a ceiling in a rental. It's time and money I would never get back, and I imagine it would probably damage the ceiling to soundproof it and then take the soundproofing off when I moved.


My best friend was always having slumber parties at her house, but we kept her poor mother from getting any sleep with our noise. So, she finally got a soundproof drop ceiling installed.

It did take away from the height of the lower level of the house a little, but since they had high ceilings anyway, it didn't feel claustrophobic at all. The new ceiling had decorative etched tiles, so it looked as good as it worked.

Instead of coming downstairs and finding her bleary-eyed mom in the kitchen at midnight, we began finding the door to her room shut and hearing her snoring a little! I know that whatever she spent on the ceiling was worth getting the sleep she needed to go to work the next day.


The office where I work has soundproof ceiling tiles. It's best if our environment is kept quiet so that we can concentrate, but the floor above is where a lot of noisy stuff goes on, because that is where the copy machine, fax machine, and lobby are located.

The ceiling tiles are made of fiberglass and gypsum, both of which help to absorb sound. We cannot hear the hum of the machines or the sound of people talking and walking all around.

These tiles just look like the kind you would find in any ordinary office building. They make the room so much quieter than regular tiles, though.


@wavy58 – If you own your home, then you could get away with doing more to the ceiling. My aunt actually bolted a huge, thick rug to the ceiling in her bedroom to drown out the noise from my nephew above.

It created a really cool illusion of being upside-down, too. The floors were hardwood, so it really seemed like the room was flipped.

She got the biggest area rug she could find and had a handyman help her bolt it into the wood of the ceiling. Since carpet absorbs sound, it really did a lot to help her sleep at night.


I've often wondered how to soundproof a ceiling. I know it couldn't be just as simple as sticking something on the ceiling, because wouldn't you have to remove parts of it first?

I have a tile ceiling, so I would probably have to pop every tile loose to stick the insulation on and then put the tiles back in place. I would love to make this a do-it-yourself project, but it would take me forever to do.

Has anyone here ever just rolled out some soundproofing adhesive on your ceiling as it is and then covered it with something after the fact? I'm just wondering if I could get away with this instead of having to take off every tile.


my neighbours above have put down laminated flooring i would like to stop the noise.

Post your comments
Forgot password?