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1. Choose a quiet location. If you have a basement, locate your home theater there. An underground room with a concrete foundation has built-in soundproofing. A caution: If your basement floods during monsoon season, find another place for your home theater. A wet basement is no place to keep expensive electronic equipment. If you don’t have a basement, choose a room that you can close off from the rest of the house and one that’s nowhere near the bedrooms, home office or baby’s room, so your movie doesn’t disturb anyone else. Likewise, pick a location that’s far away from loud machines like pool pumps or your air conditioner’s circulating unit.
2. If you’re building a new home, plan your home theater before breaking ground. That way, you can build a room with no windows and put the wiring and soundproofing (barrier foam) into the walls, ceiling and floor before the structure is finished.
3. If you’re putting a theater into an existing home with no basement, consider building a “room within a room.” You’ll need a large room for this because you will put up two to four new walls inside the room so there’s a six- to 10-inch gap between them and the existing walls. Double-stacking drywall can add soundproofing. Fill the gap with a dense, noise-isolating material like Acoustiblok to reduce sound transmission.
4. Don’t forget to soundproof your theater’s door and windows. If you can, replace your hollow door with a solid-core model and choose a frame designed to seal in the sound. Otherwise, seal around the door frame. And install double-pane windows. They’ll help soundproof your theater and cut down on energy bills.
5. Seal gaps in the walls. Sound can leak through cracks, recessed ceiling lights, air-conditioning registers, electrical outlets and other gaps. Seal them all.

  • Sanderson Ford

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