How to isolate your home theater on the cheap
Down at the local cineplex nothing ruins the movie experience like annoying crowd noise; people loudly chomping on popcorn, talking to friends, answering cell phones, or crying babies. The home theater also suffers from distracting noise; from noisy neighbors, air conditioning units, water heaters, lawnmowers, traffic, or emergency vehicle sirens. There is an inexpensive way to help with this.
Or maybe your spouse/partner, or neighbor is bothered by the loud home theater you spent so much time dialing in just right. There is an inexpensive way to help with this.
Quiet Solution makes a special drywall called QuietRock which cuts down noise levels by up to 65%. They’ve recently introduced a budget-friendly series called QuietRock 500 which is available exclusively at Lowe’s home improvement stores for just over $30 per panel.
With QuietRock, you would simply screw the panels over your existing drywall, tape it, texture it and paint. For smaller media rooms you can buy the materials, and even hire someone to install it for you, and not spend more than a few hundred dollars. On larger rooms you might be looking at closer to a thousand dollars.
For the best isolation, use more layers. Quiet Solution recommends two layers on top of the existing gypsum panels on either side of the wall for the best level of noise reduction. With these four layers, virtually no sound will get through the walls, even loud rock music (try having band practice in the room, and never get angry neighbors over ever again).
There are, of course, many other things you can do to help create a silent room to provide the best theater experience, but this is by far the cheapest solution. Some people get so serious about it they float a room inside another room, and decouple all pipes, ducts, and conduits. You don’t need to go that far just for a simple home media room, and you may even save your marriage.