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Independent Ceiling

Cross section of an independent ceiling

Independent Ceiling Soundproofing - How it works
Where the impact sound from above is very bad, this is a ceiling soundproofing choice worth considering. Typically hanger systems and resilient bars are not able to cope with heavy vibration, the type that you might experience with young children thundering around in rooms above you, which might even result in your windows shaking. If you are able to lose ceiling height, which, depending on the span of your room could be up to 225mm (7-9 inches) then this will be the best performing system.

The independent ceiling soundproofing system comprises of the following:

- New ceiling joists of sufficient size to suspend a ceiling of mass 23kg/m2 need to be installed typically with 400-500mm centres. This information can be obtained from building regulations.

- The materials required are the same as those found in the resilient bar ceiling solution.

- These are resilient bars, acoustic mineral wool, friction fitted between the joists and a double plasterboard ceiling ideally of 19mm and 12.5mm SoundBloc plasterboard.

For customers looking to insulate noisy pipes please see our acoustic pipe wrap useful.

Sound proofing basics

When soundproofing a ceiling it is necessary to improve three components. 

  1. The mass of the ceiling- This we achieve by adding acoustic plasterboard and high density products. In addition to this mass the independent ceiling achieves complete separation from the vibrating surface. So vibrational sound through the ceiling is avoided. 
  2. The Resilience of the ceiling- This is the springiness of the new ceiling. Although you have removed direct vibrational contact the sound waves will still be passing in an airborne way. The resilient bars will mean the attached plasterboard mass performs up to 35% better.
  3. The sound "absorbency" of the ceiling. By adding different components the sound gets trapped more easily within the ceiling; here we prescribe the 100mm AMW 60. This is a key component in absorbing what is often low frequency impact sound.

Understanding Performance

Below you will see a performance table. The total performance which is normally quoted on most sites refers to the performance of an average ceiling with soundproofing materials added.

We also give an indication of performance uplift. Remember that every 10dB of performance uplift corresponds to roughly a 50% improvement in the performance of the ceiling. So 20dB would indicate a 75% improvement over and above the original ceiling.

Further information

Important note on recessed lights
If you are adding recessed spotlights in this ceiling you will need to add an acoustic fire retardant light hood to each light, otherwise your soundproofing efforts will be severely compromised due to the hole you have created. These  spot light hoodscan be purchased from our on-line store.


Key Points:

  1. Delivery direct to your door within 48 hours
  2. A very effective solution for those with 7 -9 inches to spare
  3. New joists will be installed to effect complete separation
  4. Separation from old ceiling and extra resilience ensure maximum soundproofing
  5. Online calculator will work out your exact requirements


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Independent Ceiling Sound Insulation performance table

Ceiling Depth Gain Total system Performance airborne Typical Airborne Improvement Typical Impact Improvement
Independent Ceiling 205mm / 8 inches 59 dB rW 24 dB 24dB +
Independent Ceiling SBx upgrade 205mm / 8 inches 63dB rW 29 dB 24 dB+

Compare all our ceiling solutions here.