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Acoustic Panels Go on the Wall or Ceiling

Should Acoustic Panels Go on the Wall or Ceiling?

The placement of the acoustic panels is very important to get the desired sound quality. Placing acoustic panels randomly or covering every wall in a room with acoustic foam will not achieve the desired result. An important question arises: where should the acoustic panels be placed? And, what is the best way to use soundproofing panels?

If you want a room to have good sound quality, you need to treat the acoustics. There are many places where sound quality can be improved, including dining rooms, workplaces, living rooms, bedrooms, and home theaters. However, because there are no clear instructions, the arrangement of sound is often poorly done, which can make the treatment less effective.

The Way Sound Works Physically

Sound is simply the way we hear movement in the air. When sound enters a room, the situation is much more complicated. Sound can hit floors, walls, ceilings, chairs, fixtures, and anything else, even people. Sound waves will resonate in their own way depending on the length, width, and height of the room. As an example, think about the difference in sound when you talk in the bathroom versus in your bedroom.

Acoustic soundproofing panels seem relatively simple at first glance. However, they do more than just absorb sound. When installing acoustic wall panels, the location of the installation makes a big difference. If you want to get the most out of your acoustic panels, this post will cover where to place them, how they work, and how to install different types of acoustic panels.


Why Do You Need Soundproof Panels?

There are two reasons why soundproof panels are one of the most popular trends. First, acoustic panels look more aesthetically pleasing. Even people who don’t have resonance issues choose wooden soundproofing panels because they look good and work well.

The second reason is that acoustic panels are an important part of any space where noise needs to be blocked. Soundproofing panels are commonly used in music studios, cafes, recording studios, living rooms, home offices, and more.

How Can You Tell If You Need Soundproof Walls?

It’s simple, if the sound waves in the room don’t sound normal, you need soundproofing panels. If you are making a home theater, soundproofing panels will make watching movies better.

Soundproofing panels act as a buffer, absorbing reverberation and improving sound quality. Soundproofing panels are the best way to deal with a noisy office, whether you’re recording music or a podcast, or you just want to find a way to quiet yourself down.

How Do Soundproofing Panels Work?

Soundproofing panels slow or stop sound waves while also eliminating back noise, echo, and controlling reverberation. Sound waves that bounce off a building or wall are called reverberation. Sound waves are made up of movement in the air, which is like a cave where sound can enter but not come out.

Therefore, acoustic panels work by blocking the sound waves inside the material (e.g. wood, foam, etc.) and absorbing the echo and reverberation. This makes the room sound realistic and balanced.

Types of Acoustic Panels and How They Are Made

Soundproofing panels come in a variety of materials, forms, and sizes. The placement of soundproofing panels is the most important factor in their effectiveness. Soundproofing panels should be mounted on the walls and ceilings of a room for best results. This creates a triangle that acts as a conduit for sound waves, causing them to bounce back and forth until the energy is exhausted.

Some acoustic panels, such as wood slat acoustic panels and acoustic foam acoustic panels, do not have a rough surface. Instead, they rely on the sound-absorbing properties of the material itself. The acoustic foam panels are usually covered with a layer of fabric to give them a more pleasing appearance.


What Happens Without Soundproof Walls?

Without acoustic panels, sound waves are constantly hitting various objects in the room. Sound waves will hit walls, roofs, furniture, and other things and bounce back. This creates echoes and reverberations that fill the room with noise.

Best Placement of Soundproofing Panels

There is no single correct location for placing soundproofing panels in a room. The best placement depends on the size and shape of the room as well as the sound needs. However, there are some general rules you can follow to ensure that your acoustic flooring is both functional and aesthetically pleasing.

There are a few things you should always keep in mind when installing acoustic panels. Let’s take a look at reflection points, absorption rates, and how these and other factors can help us figure out the best place to install soundproofing panels.


Reflection Points

Reflection points are areas where sound waves hit hard objects and bounce back creating echoes or reverberations. This is one of the most important considerations when installing soundproof walls in a room. Walls, ceilings, floors, and corners are all common reflection points in a room. Placing soundproofing panels in these areas in a systematic manner will yield the best results.

When it comes to the placement of acoustic panels, there are three main reflection points to consider.

  1. Mirror point: This is the location between the speakers and the seating area where people are listening.
  2. Side walls: consider a sound system. You might place two speakers on either side of your TV. The second reflection point is the wall on either side of the speakers.
  3. Ceiling: The third reflection point is the ceiling, which is the other side of the speakers.

First deal with the reflection traps in the corners (walls and ceiling as described above), which will improve coverage. Then, deal with the early reflection points to improve the SBIR (Speaker Boundary Interference Response). The SBIR effect can be eliminated by installing acoustic panels around the speakers. Look at side walls, rear walls, roofs, and floor carpeting to identify walls with long reflection paths. These walls create reflections that arrive later and make the sound less clear.


Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC)

We can see how well a substance absorbs sound waves by looking at its Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC). This is one of the most important considerations when installing acoustic panels.

For example, fabric-covered panels have a higher NRC, usually between 0.7 and 0.8, and are more effective at absorbing sound. They absorb about 70-80% of the sound waves and only 20-30% of the sound waves are transmitted back into the room.

On the other hand, walls made of stone or marble have a lower NRC value of around 0.1 or 0.15. Wooden acoustic panels also have a high NRC value, usually between 0.5 and 0.85, depending on how they are installed.

To make the panels as effective as possible, make sure you use a material with a high sound absorption coefficient and place it on top of the panels or leave an air gap behind the panels. This will help the panels to absorb sound better.


It can be difficult to determine the degree of symmetry in a room. This is because acoustic panels need to be balanced in a room, but there is usually more than one pattern in a room such as windows, doors, vents, etc.

For optimal placement and effectiveness, you should also consider other things that may get in the way, such as lights and exit signs. These things need to be placed around the area.

Stick to a predominantly symmetrical pattern if you can. If you have to break the pattern to get around something, minimize the gaps between panels.


Covering the Area

Make sure that no two parallel walls are left uncleared. If this occurs, standing waves may form in the gaps in that area. When installing the panels, they should be evenly distributed throughout the room.

If the soundproofing panels are concentrated in one place, they will be much less effective. There is a reason for this, as only a few sound waves will reach that point within half a second or a second after the noise source is emitted.


If the soundproof panels are hung higher, it will take longer for the sound to reach the panels. Hanging the acoustic panels at a height above eye level can hide defects or spots that may occur during the hanging process, but it will reduce the acoustic performance of the panels. This may reduce sound insulation and create unwanted echoes.

The best solution to this problem is to purchase 8-foot or 9-foot tall wood soundproofing panels. These soundproofing panels can simply and beautifully cover an entire wall.

How to Place Soundproofing Panels: A Step-by-Step Guide

To help you install acoustic panels in any room, here is a simple step-by-step guide:


Wall-mounted Acoustic Panels

Wall-mounted acoustic panels reduce noise and eliminate echoes in a room. They absorb sound waves and stop them reflecting off hard objects, making the space quieter and more comfortable. Soundproofing panels mounted on the wall can be used to reduce reverberation and background noise, which can make it difficult to hear what is being said.

People install these soundproofing panels in their homes, offices, cafes, and other places where they need to block low and medium-frequency waves. In other places where better soundproofing is needed, people install wall-mounted acoustic panels along with the ceiling.

The recommended thickness of wall-mounted panels is one inch. At 500 Hz, a 1-inch thick panel will absorb about 90% to 95% of the sound, which is the range of sound frequencies. Sound absorption figures are usually based on 2-inch thick panels. However, this does not mean that 2-inch acoustic panels are necessarily better, as the additional thickness only increases sound absorption by 5-10% over the sound frequency range.

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How Do I Install Wall-mounted Acoustic Panels?

There are two effective ways to install acoustic panels on a wall:

Puncture Clip Method

Installing acoustic panels on the wall using this method is both simple and effective.

Step 1: Indicate the location of the acoustic panel on the wall. Place the piercing clips 4 inches inside the panel mounting location. Screw the piercing clips to the wall using the appropriate fasteners.

Step 2: Apply an industrial construction adhesive, such as Loctite Power Grab, next to each clip.

Step 3: On top of the clips, place each panel on the wall. Press down firmly on each clip on the panel to ensure that the clip is completely through the fiberglass.

Z-Clamp Method

Installing Z-clips requires more time to plan, measure, and maneuver. The metal has two parts that hold it together. When the panel has Z-Clips, a matching Z-Clip company clamps one to the back of the panel.

The other matching Z-clip is secured to the wall with the appropriate screws. The panel is then mounted to the clip on the wall. Z-clips are highly recommended if the renter needs to remove the acoustical panels with little damage to the wall.

Installation of Acoustic Panels on the Ceiling

Install acoustic panels in the ceiling of a room to minimize floor-to-ceiling slapback, height patterns, SBIR, and echoes. There are two ways to suspend acoustic panels from the ceiling:

Cloud Mounting Brackets

Using Acoustic Cloud Mounting Brackets to get a perfect 4″ air gap is the best way to go. These frames are very easy to use and can be installed in minutes for hanging acoustic panels.

Hanging with Wire Hooks

Cut a 26-inch piece of wire into four sections, the length of which depends on the height you want to cover. There are 4 hooks, also called S-hooks, on the back of the panel. Hang a piece of wire from each hook. Then, attach the other end of the wire to the four evenly-spaced ceiling hooks. Any hooks rated for hanging plants should work for your siding. However, you should consult a professional before picking out hooks or chains.


Freestanding Soundproof Panels

These soundproof panels are small, lightweight, and easy to move. They can be used as temporary walls in smaller rooms. You can use these panels to block out noise in smaller areas, such as where you study, and where your drums or speakers are located.

You can combine one or more soundproofing panels together for individual use. However, for larger rooms, it’s best to opt for more practical soundproofing panels, such as those affixed to the walls or ceiling.

Bedroom Soundproofing Panels

Bedroom soundproofing panels can provide complete privacy for your bedroom walls. If you share a wall with noisy roommates or neighbors, you can purchase soundproofing panels to put on the wall to block out all noise. You can use Styrofoam, but for the bedroom, you should choose some more attractive materials like wood paneling or fiberglass.

Add some soft carpets, rugs, and curtains to your bedroom and use them along with the soundproof walls for optimal sound absorption.


Removable Soundproof Walls

Removable soundproof walls are a great way to temporarily block out noise in a room. Materials that can be used to make removable soundproof walls include Styrofoam and fiberglass. These materials are small and lightweight and can be carried around.

With foam and fiberglass, all you have to do is pick a pattern you like and install it on the wall or ceiling that needs soundproofing.

Summing Up

In today’s busy world, secluded places are quickly becoming scarce. To be able to watch TV in peace, whether you live in an apartment or a house, or whether you’re a creative person who needs a quiet place to work, soundproofing panels can meet your needs.

However, you must know exactly where the soundproof wall should be placed to get the best results. Have you thought about it? At COOWIN, you may find the right soundproofing panels for you.

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Galen Content Writer
Galen is a content creator and decorator with five years of experience designing home decor. In his daily life, Galen is constantly on the lookout for the latest, great examples of house design and further optimizes his solutions. Additionally, he writes articles related to outdoor design, interior design, and architectural decorating materials to help brands build more engaging relationships with their audiences.

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