Creating an acoustical ceiling, with effective sound absorbing qualities, to achieve a crisper, more treated sounding environment can be extremely costly, and often times – can be disregarded all together. When people think about acoustic treatment and how to improve a room’s noise reduction, they often think about wall panels and bass traps; anything on the walls that’s going to stop sound from bouncing all over the place, in hopes of taming harsh, unwanted frequencies that come from the listening source. While this is very much important in the grand scheme of acoustic absorption, the noise from the ceiling is also just as important to treat.
Whether the listening environment is a home theater, recording studio, restaurant, auditorium, etc. – highly reflective, noisy ceiling surfaces can negatively impact the quality of sound traveling within the listening environment. There are many solutions out there to resolve these issues, but it can be very costly and require a great deal of physical labor. Sometimes endless hardware, and the requirement of tools and skilled labor can make the installation of an acoustic ceiling both time consuming and extremely difficult. Luckily, there are now products available on the market that are both cost-effective and simple to install.
When considering what type of products to use to build an acoustical ceiling, keep in mind the most important factors:
- Acoustic performance
- Product durability and quality
- Environmental/safety requirements
When the goal is clearly drawn out and the decision is made, these factors will impact the effectiveness and success of the acoustic ceiling.
The “NRC”, or the noise reduction coefficient is the average rating for how much sound an acoustic product can absorb. Products with a higher NRC value will absorb more noise than products with a lower NRC value. Therefore, if the goal for an acoustic ceiling is to absorb as much noise as possible, it will be necessary to invest in products with a high NRC value.
As stated previously, many acoustic solutions for reflective ceilings can be extremely costly. When working with a budget, it is very important to find the best quality products at the right price point. You do not want to break the bank with an investment in costly acoustic products, and you certainly don’t want to go over budget paying skilled laborers for the install. It is highly beneficial to do research on these products, before purchasing, to plan out which one is best for the situation.
Labor and installation are another key factor to keep in mind when investing in an acoustical ceiling. Many products require intense skilled labor and the use of tools and hardware. In order to avoid lengthy set-up and grueling installation, a product with a simpler installation method is necessary. While complex and grandiose acoustic ceilings are highly sought after, there are many inexpensive, simple to install options available on the market. For instance, if a T-bar grid ceiling is already installed, one can simply replace the tiles with acoustically rated ceiling tiles that drop right into the existing grid. Simple installation can lead to a highly effective acoustic ceiling in minutes!
Another factor to keep in mind is the quality and durability of the product being used. There are many products available that may be lower in cost, but the quality is poor and the results are ineffective in appropriately treating a ceiling. Some products may deteriorate over time, and need to be replaced after a short while. Other products may look and feel great, but the NRC rating is not quite up to standard. Whichever product is going to be installed for your acoustic ceiling, it is necessary to make sure it is a durable product that will stand the test of time and perform well.
Lastly, the final key factor when considering a choice of products is the environmental benefits, and the safety concerns related to the product. Nowadays, many companies provide customers with third-party test results that display environmental certifications and data that correlates with the safety involved in the use of the product. These certifications will display the use or absence of certain chemicals, glues/binders, “VOCs” (Volatile Organic Compounds), recycled content, allergenic or toxic materials, etc. They will also state if a product is recyclable, and truly a “green” or eco-friendly product. When considering the environmental safety of a product, it is also essential to keep in mind how far a product will travel in freight/shipment, and the use of fossil fuels and gas emissions required to reach the destination.
With all of these factors in mind, there is one main product that comes to mind that meets all the criteria for a cost-effective, highly rated, quality acoustic ceiling. The SilentPoly Acoustic Ceiling Tiles, from Sound Acoustic Solutions, offer a thermal bonded two-layer structure with a hard, front-facing surface and a soft core. These tiles are perfect for absorbing unwanted echoes and reverberations caused by noisy, reflective ceiling surfaces. These tiles are available in 2’ x 2’ or 2’ x 4’ with a 1” thickness, and can fit into existing T-bar grid ceilings. Not only are these tiles extremely durable and lightweight, they are also very easy to install. These ceiling tiles are highly acoustically rated, and are perfect for absorbing unwanted noises and sounds within audible ranges. This product is made from 100% polyester fibers with no harmful glues, binders or VOC’s. Although they are lightweight, the polyester ceiling tiles are also extremely durable and provide long-term stability and performance.
Need a horizontal baffle solution for your office or retail space? Need to absorb or dampen the sound reflecting off of the walls? This product also works extremely well for sound absorption as a horizontally mounted hanging baffle or wall panel. With 3 color options available (black, brown & light grey), you can give your home-theater, music studio, auditorium or restaurant the right touch of aesthetically pleasing acoustic absorption.