How To Build A Staggered Stud Wall
Build a staggered stud wall to help sound proof your home theater
Staggered stud walls are an effective way to prevent sound from getting out of your home theater. In a regular stud wall, sound waves hit one side of the drywall, travel through the stud and into the drywall on the other side. Since the stud connects the two sheets of drywall, the sound has a solid path to travel through. The trick is to separate both sides of the wall. That way, the sound won't be able to cross the wall as easily.
Here's how to build a staggered stud wall. Instead of using standard 2x4's for your top and bottom plates, you'd use a wider piece of lumber; usually a 2x6 or 2x8. Screw your 2x4 studs to each edge of the bottom plate in an alternating pattern. The studs on each side of the wall have to be spaced 16 inches on center.
I find it much easier to frame the wall on the floor, and then lift it up into place.
When building any wall, you have to think ahead to when you'll be hanging your drywall. Notice how I put a pair of 2x2 studs at the end of the base plate. To properly hang your drywall, you need to screw the outside edge of each sheet of drywall to a stud. This prevents the edge of the drywall from flexing, and maybe even breaking, if you happen to lean on it.
We use 2x2's because 2x4 studs won't fit on a base plate 6 inches wide. Remember the whole idea here is to prevent one side of the wall from directly touching the other.
Screw your top plate to the other end of the studs. Then lift the wall up into place, and screw it into the floor and ceiling. Stuff the cavity between the studs with sound-resistant fiberglass insulation then seal off the wall by mounting your drywall.
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