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plasterboardlingsoundproofing a ceiling


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Our house was converted from an old stone barrique a number of years ago, and a first floor created slimply by nailing sheets of flooring grade chipboard over the beams and wallpapering the underside with woodchip (between the beams!

The result is that a) there are cracks in the woodchip where the floor has moved, which are visible from the ground floor and, b) the sound travels very easily from upstairs to downstairs.

We are planning to plasterboard the downstairs ceiling and put some insulation between the beams before the plasterboard goes on.  Can anyone advise the best way to do this?  Someone advised us not to fix the plasterboard directly onto the beams, but install some sort of rail system, or wires that would effectively mean that the ceiling was suspended.  They reckoned that we would have the same problem with cracks appearing in the plasterboard if we just nailed them to the beams.  

Also, what is the best thing to do for insulation? I wondered if we should just stuff in some rockwool, but we could have to cut it to fit between the beams, and it might get messy.  Also, we cannot use polystyrene faced placo installed below the beams, as this would lower the ceiling too much, and get in the way of other fixtures.

Advice appreciated.


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As per usual there are a number of different factors in this answer but I'll try.

If you were to replace the upstairs flooring you can lay your plasterboard first then battens then insulation and finally floorboards fixed to the battens (easy way if changing flooring!)

If not attach small battens to each side of main beams push in the paperbacked rockwool cut to tight fit and screw the cut sheets of plasterboard to the battens or if you can screw the cut sheets directly to the higher beams all depends on beam direction really and not seeing the ceiling I can only suggest these methods.. also if you use decorators cualk along the edges (assuming that you have plastered up and sanded down first) to give a neat and resonably flexible finish.

Alot of work upside down and fiddley but indeed possible.

If you are replacing entire floor think about a block and beam system perhaps a better sound proofing method.

hope this helps.

p.s when using rock wool wear protective clothing and eyewear! very painfull if you don't


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Thanks for that.  It kind of confirms my suspicion that it would involve scratchy rockwool!

Given me an idea about lifting the floor though - we only have chipboard panels and the last owner never got round to laying floorcovering, so looks like lifting a few panels might be my easiest bet.

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I am faced with a similar scenario as you. For my solution I have found that it might be easier to consider using, 'isolation thermique', which is plasterboard backed with a dense polystyrene, which comes in a variety of thicknesses. Available from Mr. Bricolage but obviously other similar outlets as well. Try the Mr. Bricolage website, rechecher 'isolation'   and look for 'doublage platre+laine de verre 10-80mm. This will give you an idea of what it looks like, but if you visit Mr. Bricolage, you will get a better idea of thicknesses to do what you want. It's easy enough to cut and trim by just using a Stanley knife and a saw. Hope this helps


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