Soundproofing Cathedral Ceilings

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In my studio I have cathedral ceilings, these may also go under the name vaulted ceilings. When you vault a ceiling you have to worry about moisture issues developing under your roof sheathing. In this article I will describe to of the best ways to design and build a soundproof cathedral ceiling. 


1) The Traditional Method

The traditional way to build a cathedral ceiling is to leave a space for an air vent between the underside of your roof sheathing and the insulation in the ceiling cavity. This allows air to pass under the wood sheathing and up through your roof cap vent, which prevents the build up of condensation under your roof. 

The best way to do this is to build soffits under both eaves that allow air to enter under the roof cavity up the vent air space and out through your roof cap vent. This is one of the best methods for venting cathedral ceilings, however, it is not the best method for soundproofing your cathedral ceiling. The reason is that that air circulation means the space above your drywall is open to the outside and sound will easily enter in. 


I will say that I did this system in my studio and the soundproofing is still adequate, however, if I were to build my studio again I would use on of the following other systems to prevent moisture build up under my roof sheathing. 


2) Using Spray Foam

Another option to prevent moisture buildup under your roof is to use spray foam on the underside of your roof sheathing. This means you no longer need to have an air space and you can close up your roof so that it is airtight. With soundproofing we always want our systems to be airtight. Using spray foam allows us to seal the entire roof cavity so sound will not enter. 

It is important to use closed cell spray foam. I also highly recommend you hire a professional who does this daily so that the job is done quickly and correctly. You want to make sure that the spray foam never touches your hat channels, acoustic clips or drywall. 


3) Insulate The Top Of Your Roof Sheathing

The third option to prevent moisture buildup under your roof sheathing is to add rigid insulation on top of your roof sheathing before you apply your shingles. This method will prevent the buildup of moisture under your roof. 

As with spray foam I highly recommend you find an experienced professional to install the insulation. Any small gaps in the insulation could lead to water damage over time. 



If you want vaulted ceilings in your soundproof room make sure to use one of the methods I recommended above. Remember option 2 and 3 will give you superior soundproofing while option one may arguably give you better water vapor protection.