Room madness

My system is set up in a room that really isn’t helping achieve it’s potential despite lots of effort with acoustic treatment and positioning…… it’s good but I’m confident it could sound better……

I have the opportunity to use an integral garage as it’s no longer required for car duties.

The room is 5m long, 3.6m wide, 2.26m high with a 20cm gap to the room above. (Not that dissimilar to current room dimension wise but with solid walls instead of plaster board with large gaps that slap like a large dum and a more regular shape v one with steps (plasterboarded over an old fire place)

Accepting I’ll loose a little width as one wall is external and will need dry line plaster board coverage but it will give me a more uniform shape and not large gaps between plaster board.

One issue I have is the garage is below teenage daughters bedroom so looking for some counsel on the ceiling - the current one will be removed and replaced and I have a 20cm gap - what kind of materials / solution would be good both acoustically and sound proofing. Would also welcome others thoughts as I know former garages don’t make always ideal rooms……

It will be a bit of a no regrets thing as if it didn’t work out acoustically I would still have an additional useable room.

Any counsel would be appreciated

Get a professional to check the material used for you’re current ceiling. Many years ago, asbestos sheets were used, which are fine if they are not disturbed, but will need specialist removal and disposal.

Plenty of garages have been coverted into first rate listening roons. Though in this case, that very low ceiling won’t be your friend.

However, I got pretty good results once in a room that was just 2.18m high. With such a low reflection point, you may want that ceiling fully treated.

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I did this in our last house.
It was 20 years ago and a very different system, but it worked really well.
Both side and back walls were solid brick which we rendered and plastered rather than using plaster board, as the outside wall was cavity insulated and we bricked and windowed the garage door end. It also had an interesting ceiling space at that end allowing for vaulting. This helped break up the reflectivity from the window.
Made for a lovely listening room😊

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Is it that low? Sounds pretty standard for the uk

In order to conform to building regs you will need to check that you have adequate thermal insulation in external walls. If you have cavity walls that are already filled you may already have this covered. If not, or if the cavity insulation is insufficient, you may need to insulate internally which may lose you as much as 100 to 150mm of room space.
Given that garage conversions are often cold rooms because they were never designed to be lived in it’s generally a good idea to max out the insulation while you have the opportunity quite apart from the legal requirement.

Don’t forget insulation! I suggest minimum 100mm “Kingspan” type (150 better), though that would lose you a bit more. And while on the subjecr, floor insulation! Depending where you are building regs may well require both when converting a garage into a habitable room (and if so there will be a statutory minimum requirement).

Edit: Snap HH!

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Would be good, as mentioned, to know where you are, regs differ the world over so cant advise.

I think 240cm is the current standard in the UK. It certainly is in many countries. Perhaps one of the builders on here can confirm that. And that I can touch and I’m only 5’10" . Our last place had 222cm ceilings and I banged my knuckles every time I pulled my shirt off. It was by far the lowest ceiling I’d ever experienced with the exception of the cottage I was born in but that was getting on for an 600 year old building.

I hadn’t looked at your pics. Is that asbestos sheet on the ceiling? If it was put up between the 1950s and even as late as late 1980s it may be. Whatever you do, if you don’t know, do not do anything to distub it (especially drill, break or cut it) until you know it isn’t. Not a problem if all you are going to do is paint it or cover it in some way, other than if it is asbestos you then need to know that it is there and covered up, for potential future awareness. I can expand more if wanted.

Meanwhile re sound insulation, it depends how far you want to go. A simple and reasonably effective approach if the ceiling joists are substantial enough is a double layer of 12.5mm acoustic plasterboard, each layer sealed and joints not alighned (but beware the weight), above which a layer of high density mineral wool fully filling from side to side, end to end. Absolutely not the stuff commonly used for loft thermal insulation, and in general the higher the density the better (e.g. Rockwool RWA45, which is 45kg/m3): ideally at least 100mm thick thicker better but leave a 50mm air gap above. Also with the flooring above seal all gaps between or around floorboards, paying particular attention to the perimeter of the room, often poorly fitting, In addition you can buy specialist soundproofing floor coverings, and for even better insulation you can get a ceiling suspension system, though at significant cost.

Ref insulation you dont need to use celotex/kingspan etc 100mm thick.
Look at multifoil insulation.

Unfortunately from my look a few years ago I don’t think multifoil’s claims to be thinner for same insulation value hold up, though it depends on the precise usage. Regardless, what is required is something with an adequate U value, and local building regs will indicate what U value is required as a minimum (and I for one wouldn’t want less). There is a vacuum version of Kingspan which is far more effective and so can be thinner, but when I looked into it about a year ago, it didn’t yet seem to be fully in production, and no price was available.


Answering the previous post seeming to suggest that a much thinner layer of “multifoil” insulation would be as good as 100mm+ thickness of aluminium faced polyurethane foam board.

It’s the ‘Snap HH’ I didn’t follow.

I had found when I posted my observation about needing insulation that while I’d been typing you had posted virtually the same thing.

I’d not posted on this thread so you must be confusing me with a better informed member. Hence my confusion.

You are quite right, my mistake - I don’t know how! My apologies for ascribing @ChrisSU’s post to you

To conform to building regs I’m pretty sure you’ll have to insulate that floor, meaning it’ll come up 150mm or so

Our neighbours are going through the same thing, local building control seem very hot on the amount of insulation required, pretty sure they having to put a minimum of 100mm on the inside of the external garage wall.
Floor is being raised so 75mm of screed on top of as much insulation as they can get in to bring the garage floor level to match the house.
To be fare our building control will be flexible if there is good justification.