You’re ready for a home theater set-up, and you’re quivering with anticipation at the thought of a fully immersive movie experience right in your own home. But there’s that one nagging question:
Concrete or concrete block is simply a no-no. If you’re setting up in a basement with concrete walls, consider installing studs and drywall.
Other options include acoustic wall panels designed specifically for home theaters. These panels are called “sound absorption” panels, and they help modulate low and high frequencies, preventing echoes. Panels come as 1′ x 1′ or 2′ x 2′ squares costing $4 to $20 per square foot.
At $2 to $4, peel-and-stick carpet tiles are the budget-minded alternative. You just don’t want to end up with a room that looks like Lloyd and Harry’s shaggy van from Dumb and Dumber.
Remember sound abatement cuts both ways. Controlling the sound in your home theater room means peace and quiet for the rest of your house.
• Flooring. Wall-to-wall carpet, with a new cushy pad underneath, absorbs ambient sound and contributes to coziness. Kids like to sprawl on the floor to watch stuff, and you never know when some romantic comedies might get you and a loved one rolling on the carpet. With laughter, of course.
• Wall/room color. Paint your walls as dark as you can stand them: Bright colors reflect light that’s especially distracting when there’s a brightly lit scene on the screen. Stay away from gloss or semi-gloss sheen, choosing reflection-fighting eggshell or flat paint instead.
Go with neutral browns, tans and olive. Stronger colors, such as red and blue, will give an odd cast to any ambient light and may affect the colors you see on your screen.