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I'm planning to finish off my basement. Which type of basement ceiling insulation is most effective at reducing sound transfer between levels, blown in cellulose or rock wool batts and how much more effective is one versus the other? Where can I get quantitative measurements? I'm not considering closed-cell spray foam insulation as that is too costly for my project.

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  • In the window world there is a metric called STC. If you see this metric be aware that it is only based on how sound proof to conversations (human voice) things, and does not account for lower frequency sounds (road noise or in your case your surround sound movie and stompy feet). – virtualxtc Mar 17 '14 at 15:56
  • A drop ceiling is likely the easiest/quickest way to reduce sound transfer. – DA01 Jun 16 '14 at 17:24
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The overall construction method makes much more difference than the type of insulation. It seems intervening air gaps in assemblies is usually beneficial so batts may be more beneficial than blown in, given identical material. All just a guess on my part. Acoustics can be maddeningly illogical.

Some time ago California compiled acoustical tests from various sources into a catalog of sound-rated wall and floor/ceiling assemblies.

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  • This 175 page document looks like it will be very helpful, thanks so much. I do plan on using a decoupling installation method with the sheetrock and will research the various methods and hope to get a cost effective approach. – user20481 Mar 21 '14 at 22:10

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