Just imagine: the next time an exciting new movie comes out, you refuse to head to the theater, pay for overpriced drinks and popcorn, and sit in a room packed with noisy strangers straining to hear. Instead, you wait a few weeks for the film to arrive via streaming or DVD, proceed downstairs with a (grocery store-priced) snack or beverage of your choice, and relax in the peace and quiet of your own home theater to enjoy the show.
Excited yet? Fantastic! We don’t blame you — a home theater is among one of the coolest things to do with a basement. Before you call a contractor and head downstairs to look at the space, here are a few important things to consider when designing a basement home theater layout.
Will the Entire Space Be Your Theater?
First things first: consider how you’d like to use the space. This will likely depend on the size of your basement, but you need to think about whether you’d like the entire area to be devoted to movie-watching or if you’d like to include other activities. Perhaps one area will be a theater space, while the other side of the room will be a bar, a pool table, or a kids’ play space (basement home theaters aren’t just for man caves anymore, after all). You’ll need to make this decision early on in order to create a layout that works well for everything you’d like to include in the design.
With the right basement home theater layout, you’ll find that this is a luxurious way to finish your basement and truly maximize all the space your home has to offer.
Position the Seating Area Properly
Once you’ve decided which wall will house your gigantic movie theater-sized television screen, you’ll need to choose a spot for your theater seating. One of the biggest mistakes you can make in a basement home theater layout is to put the seating at an uncomfortable distance from the screen, whether it’s so close that your eyes hurt or so far away that you have to strain to see. A good rule of thumb for a 50-60” screen is placing your seating about 10 to 15 feet away.
Plan for Internet Connectivity
Whether you’d like to use your home theater strictly for movies or want to use it for gaming, as well, internet connectivity is a key part of designing a basement home theater layout. While an internet connection via wi-fi is easy and convenient, a wired internet connection is more secure and much faster, especially if you’re trying to tap into a Wi-Fi signal from upstairs. This will ensure that you don’t have delays or sudden buffering right when the knife-wielding villain is just outside the closet where our heroine is hiding!
Planning Your Basement Home Theater Layout
It’s important to plan out everything you’ll need before finishing the space out to ensure that everything is accounted for and run properly. This includes wiring for electricity, as well as speakers and cable/satellite. If you plan to use a video projector for your basement home theater layout, the wiring for this can be run and hidden ahead of time, as well.
Walls and Sound
A common concern is soundproofing so that the noise from your home theater doesn’t bleed up and out into the rest of the house. Although there are pricey wall treatments, standard drywall will do wonders to insulate the sound from your theater room. If you’d like to provide further soundproofing, you can hang drapes on the walls to capture excessive noise. With your walls finished out and your basement home theater layout complete, you’re now ready to enjoy the latest movies and games in the privacy of your own home!