What are Acoustic Panels and how to use them

Do you leave the restaurant with your head like a hype? Are you going to a conference, and you literally don’t understand the speaker, or do you fall asleep?

And if you are a business owner, how does bad appraisals affect your business? Well, imagine that this can be solved quickly without the need for decorative acoustic panels.

What are Acoustic Panels

Acoustic panels are panels that are used to absorb sound, their main function is to reduce reverberation and echo from rooms.

Not to be confused with the function of acoustic insulation, which is to protect a room from the noise of another room. This is done with dough, so that the sound bounces. What is the difference between acoustic insulation and acoustic conditioning? In this post we explain it to you in more detail. Here we are only talking about sound absorbing acoustic panels, to improve the acoustics of the premises itself.

Normally these panels come in sizes from 60cm to 1m with different shapes and colors, so they can be adapted very well to the aesthetics of any premises. They are usually 2 to 5 cm thick, and can either be hung or glued directly to the ceiling.

What kind of acoustic panels can I find on the market

Acoustic panels are distinguished by the absorbent material from which they are made, and by the shape they have, whether they are ceiling or wall panels.

Acoustic ceiling panels:

  • acoustic foam with textile finish or directly painted. There are self-extinguishing ones, which are sold in supermarkets, the black ones in the shape of cones, and the fire-retardant ones that are sold in online construction materials companies.
  • Fiberglass or rock wool, with a white finish felt. This is the yellow material that you see on construction sites and is usually put inside dry partitions. As it has an unpleasant touch, and can release toxic material, it is only used with a felt that comes from the factory with a white finish. Attention, it can only be painted at the factory, never paint by hand with a roller or the absorption is lost!
  • 100% recycled fiber material, also called PET. It has a textile finish, is stiffer than the others and can also be cut into any shape.

I am not writing about acoustic wooden ceilings, because they are not technically sound absorbing: it is a perforated layer of wood, which behind it has acoustic panels of foam or fiberglass, which is what fulfills its acoustic function. If you want to know more about the different acoustic ceilings, we have published a super post about it

Acoustic wall panels:

For the wall the important thing is that it is not too soft a material, or in the end it would end up damaged by the passage of people.

  • Fiberglass panels with fabric finish, Ecophon type.
  • PET panels
  • Acoustic paintings. They are usually a wooden frame with a core of foam or other absorbent material, and an acoustic printed fabric. They are usually more expensive because they are personalized, but for small offices or meeting rooms they are perfect. They fulfill both the acoustic and decorative function.

Acoustic panels and decoration

What if in addition to absorbing noise they were a decorative element?

What if in a school cafeteria we hang clouds, or make tree shapes? Or do we hang goldfish? Therein lies the ingenuity of the designer or decorator, in integrating acoustics into the design process.

acoustic ceiling panels

Perhaps acoustic paintings in an office room with the company logo. Or wave-shaped panels in a restaurant in front of the sea.

Find the color of the walls, and put a darker tone to make it stand out. Or hang acoustic clouds at different heights alongside power lines hanging with exposed bulbs.

Many times, when the decorator enters the work is already finished and you cannot play so much on the ceiling. As by law the restaurants have to be soundproof, we are going to find a smooth plaster ceiling that is the most reflective, so there is usually a lot of echo.

This is the typical case in which the problem has to be solved with acoustic panels since we will not be able to touch the current ceiling.

There is also the case in which the premises are already in operation, and now they realize how much noise there is and how annoying it is for both customers and workers.

As it can be installed without work, only by gluing the panels that are already painted and cut for the premises, it is not necessary to stop the activity of the restaurant, which is a great advantage for the owner of the premises.

Where can I find acoustic panels in my city?

In acoustic insulation companies they usually also have material for acoustic conditioning, such as decorative acoustic panels.

Keep in mind that if it is a public venue you have to put a fireproof material that means that it burns very slowly.

In these types of companies, they cannot normally manufacture custom panels, so if you want a special color, it is best to order it online. We have very short delivery times, and we deliver throughout India.