Step 23a – Install Resilient Channel and Continuous Drywall
Normally, the ceiling drywall is installed first, followed by the upper half of the wall, and the lower half last. I had already installed the second floor ceiling, but I still needed to install the ceiling for the first floor. To reduce the noise from footsteps upstairs being heard downstairs, I first installed resilient channel between the floor joists and the first floor ceiling drywall.
Resilient channel is a strip of metal that works to decouple sound vibrations between building materials. If I installed the drywall to the floor joists, the vibrations from footsteps and the washer and dryer and water heater would carry straight through the floor to the joists and straight through to the drywall. The resilient channel breaks this direct path. It is screwed to the floor joists, and then the drywall is screwed to the resilient channel, which is especially built to eliminate contact between the two materials.
I installed the resilient channel perpendicular to the floor joists every 16″. I used a 14″ block to help me space it as I was installing. You use drywall screws to attach the resilient channel to the floor joists, and also to attach the drywall to the resilient channel. It is crucial to ensure that all of the screws going through the drywall penetrate only the resilient channel, not the floor joists.
You can easily trim the resilient channel to size with metal snips. You can also easily splice together two pieces by overlapping them. The installation of the resilient channel was very quick and easy.
The continuous drywall on the exterior walls was installed next. If you recall, I had left 3/4″ gaps wherever an interior wall met an exterior wall, and then I had installed ladder framing in the exterior wall.
This helps with air sealing and also makes drywall installation easier. I easily slid the 1/2″ sheets through the 3/4″ gap and screwed them into place.
Next, I added in the final stud and nailed it to both the ladder framing and the top and bottom plates. Now it was ready for the installation of the interior walls.