A drop ceiling is simple a lightweight grid that hold ceiling panels. This system offers little protection in terms of soundproofing when compared to other ceiling systems. Luckily, there is a low cost and easy way to increase the soundproofing and insulation between the floors of your home.
Since you will be working with fiberglass insulation, plan on covering the items in your home with drop cloths to protect them from the glass fibers. You should also plan on wearing safety glasses, gloves, and a face mask or respirator when completing this project.
Step 1: Remove any vent covers and other items that may obstruct your ability to move the drop ceiling panels. Set them aside for reinstallation after the project is complete.
Step 2: Remove the drop ceiling panels, keeping them in perfect order for reinstallation. To remove, push up on one end of the panel, then angle it until the panel can be removed from the center of the grid.
Step 3: Install your first layer of insulation. While on a ladder, insert a layer of fiberglass insulation between the exposed joists in the ceiling. The paper backing of the insulation should be facing out, towards the floor. Staple the paper backing to the joists with a staple gun, and cut the fiberglass insulation as necessary using a utility blade.
TIP: The fiberglass insulation you use should be as wide as the space between joists and have an R-value of at least 19. This will give you the best soundproofing for the space while taking your budget into account.
Step 4: Continue installing insulation between the joists until all the cavities are filled.
Step 5: Cut a piece insulation that is roughly the same size as the drop ceiling panels. Put one drop ceiling panel back into place in the drop ceiling grid. Then slide the piece of insulation on top of the foam drop ceiling panel.
Step 6: Continue installing the drop ceiling panels and the accompanying pieces of insulation until the entire ceiling is filled. You may have to cut some pieces of insulation to fit around vents in the ceiling.
TIP: If your drop ceiling contains recessed lighting, you may have to make special accommodations to add insulation. Check with the building codes and a registered electrician, who will be able to advise you about the type of insulation to use, as well as any way to avoid creating fire hazards.
Step 7: Reinstall any vents, lighting fixtures, and other obstructions you removed during the first step.