Acoustic Ceiling Tiles

Acoustic performance is one of the key attributes to consider when selecting ceiling tiles. Good acoustics are essential for productivity and creativity in the workplace. If the acoustics of a room are not properly considered then this can have detrimental effects.

For example in education if the acoustics of a classroom are insufficient then the students will find it hard to hear their teacher. Likewise in the healthcare environment, noisy waiting rooms and wards increase stress and put a strain on hospital staff. There are ceiling tiles available with a multitude of acoustic properties to suit any eventuality.

Acoustic properties fall into the categories of sound absorption (absorbing sound out of the room) and sound insulation (preventing sound travelling between rooms). While most ceiling tiles are designed to do one or the other, there are a few specialist products that offer both.

  • Sound Absorbtion
    Sound absorption deals with the reverberation of sound within a space. Sound will dissipate as it travels but reflects in a similar way to light, so once a sound, for example, someone’s voice, reaches a wall, floor or ceiling, some of that sound will be reflected back into the room. Softer materials will absorb some of this energy, which will help prevent an echoey environment.

    Each tile has a rating measured in alpha waves between 0.0 (no sound absorption) and 1.0 (100% sound absorption), but for ease of comparison, manufacturers tend to categorise tiles into classes ranging from ‘A’ (best sound absorbers) to ‘E’ (poorest sound absorbers). Generally speaking, for good sound absorption you will want a tile rated Class C or above, this is also the minimum requirement for new suspended ceilings in schools.

  • Ceiling Tiles for Sound Absorption
    Below are a couple of the best-performing tiles for sound absorption:

    • Rockfon Artic- this micro-textured tile is a class A sound absorber and is ideal for applications such as call centres, classrooms and offices where noise levels need to be controlled.
    • Armstrong Ultima Plus- the ultima plus ceiling tiles offer great all-round acoustic performance.
    • AMF Topiq Prime- this tile offers excellent value for money and class A sound absorption.

  • Sound Insulation
    Sometimes referred to as ‘Sound Attenuation’, sound insulation relates to the transmission of sound from one space to another. A common example would be if you having a confidential meeting room adjacent to an open-plan office. You will likely require a high sound attenuation from your suspended ceiling and/or partitioning to prevent conversations in the confidential meeting room from being clearly audible from outside. Sound Insulation is measured in decibels (dB) and, as a general rule for a reasonable degree of privacy, the minimum sound insulation value between adjoining rooms should be 34dB.
  • Ceiling Tiles for Sound Insulation
    Below are a couple of the best-performing tiles for sound insulation:

    • Armstrong Dune eVo dB- this tile offers a perfect solution for improving the privacy between adjacent spaces.
    • Armstrong Ultima Plus- the ultima plus ceiling tiles offer great all-round acoustic performance.
    • British Gypsum Satin Spar- Sound insulation value 37dB