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Discussion Starter #1
I just moved in to a new house and I finally have a basement. I'll be building a new dedicated theater room and I'm just starting the planning stages. At the moment, the basic room dimensions will be 14.5' x 21' x 9'. I'm looking at a 120" wide screen and two rows of seating. The door will be in the center of the back wall. The room outside the theater is also used for entertaining. I'm torn between making the theater room with no rear wall and more useful during parties and entertaining or completely accoustically isolated and sealed.

If i go with an accoustically isolated room, then I can use two exterior doors in an airlock setup. I just don't really like having the room so single purposed. If it's even possible or practicle, I'm trying to come up with ideas on how to make the room closed when I want it closed and open when I want it open. I could use a pair of french doors, though that wouldn' do good from a sound isolation point of view.

I have this idea stuck in my head, but I've never seen it done, so I hope some of you can give opinions. I was thinking about building myself a pair of custom pocket doors. This wouldn't be an ordinary pocket door however. I was thinking about taking three sheets of MDF and laminating them together with green glue. I would veneer them and trim them with wood pieces to make them look like paneled doors. I would use two opposing pocket doors that would result in a doorway opening of about seven feet wide. I could even use a removable mullion in the middle if helps. The doors would probably have built in castor wheels at the bottom. I would use foam weather stripping on all edges of the door for sound insulation and to keep the door from vibrating in its track. Since it is such a thick door, I would actually create the "pocket" between two framed 2x4 walls. I would probably use standard exterior sliding door type handle/latch.

So...am I :coocoo: or could this work? Do you have any other ideas for making a theater room capable of being both closed or open to an adjacent room? This plan opens up half of the rear wall, but I've even wondered if it is possible to make the whole back wall movable.
 

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Do you mean similar to this...

PhotoSlidingWallsinHallway.jpg

sliding%20walls.jpg

I'm sure is doable, but you'll have some compromises: Isolation or best usage of rooms :huh:
 

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I'm sure is doable, but you'll have some compromises: Isolation or best usage of rooms :huh:
Exactly.

Even with the compromise, however, when I build my next theater (in my next house), my goal is to have it dual purpose. I've had a dedicated HT for about 6 years now and while we love watching movies in there, I often wish I could open it up to the rest of the room.

Any way you do it, you'll lose some sound isolation, but IMO, it might be worth it.
 

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It can be done but pocket doors aren't going to yield very good isolation.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Even with the compromise, however, when I build my next theater (in my next house), my goal is to have it dual purpose. I've had a dedicated HT for about 6 years now and while we love watching movies in there, I often wish I could open it up to the rest of the room.

Any way you do it, you'll lose some sound isolation, but IMO, it might be worth it.
Exactly my point of view. It begs the question though. If you have a weak point in sound isolation like a large double door, is it still worth taking other extreme steps like building a room inside a room.
 

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Exactly my point of view. It begs the question though. If you have a weak point in sound isolation like a large double door, is it still worth taking other extreme steps like building a room inside a room.
I'm also in this dilemma.
 

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Exactly my point of view. It begs the question though. If you have a weak point in sound isolation like a large double door, is it still worth taking other extreme steps like building a room inside a room.
I would say no.

Depending on the room location, I'd still take some extra steps (i.e. if one wall is adjacent to a bedroom, I'd double drywall that wall with some green glue), but I don't think I'd go so far as a room within a room.
 

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Room in a room would still provide structural isolation. The double doors would just somewhat compromise airborne transmission isolation.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Well....if I have foundation on three sides and the rear wall is compromised by a large door, then is it safe to say that the only real appreciable gains to be had are in the ceiling? In this case, maybe it is best to focus there and use isolation clips for the top of the walls and resilient channel for the ceiling drywall.
 

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Whether there is foundation or not behind your new walls doesn't matter. Sound can still flank in the gap up into the room above.

Clips isolating the walls would be good. RC, I would not recommend. RSIC and hat channel is superior and much harder to install incorrectly and short out.

Bryan
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Room in a room might be challenging as I have some plumbing to either relocate or avoid. I won't know for sure until i pull the drywall down off of the ceiling to see what I'm working with. I think we are getting outside of the scope of my original thread and it is time for me to start a full up design/build thread.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I was brainstorming with my grandpa and we came up with a new concept. I'm thinking I can build the entire rear wall out of 24" wall sections. There can be a channel in the ceiling and a channel in the floor that retains the sections. Each section would fit snuggly together with a tongue and groove design at each seam. I could put gasketing foam in the upper/lower channels and in the tongue and groove joints to sound proof and rattle proof each joint. The center panel would have to be wider and contain a framed door for regular use. I could even do this idea for an inner wall that fastens only to the room-in-a-room ceiling and for an outer wall that fastens to my existing ceiling. When it is time to convert for a party, I would just disassemble and store the entire wall in a different room. So...what do you think?
 

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Sound isolation is really an all or none proposition. There really isn't an in between. The whole point of sound isolation is to keep noise out of the room, not from trying to keep it from escaping. So, the weak points will virtually negate any efforts or cost. What about designing a "secret" door? A large library bookshelf, or wall that can be made into a door but not look like a door? I would consider what constitutes a good sound isolation door and then proceed to design something that meets your needs and specs. If you need help, one of the best designers in the world is right in your town. I believe he has done a few things similar in the past. :) Best wishes!
 
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