Perforations within suspended ceiling tiles have been used ever since the start of production. These days, the main purpose of the perforations is largely focused on the acoustics of a ceiling panel, particularly sound absorption. For more information on acoustics, read our article. (to follow)
The perforations, often in the form of little pinholes or larger fissures, create a larger surface area within the face of the tile, which creates a larger absorption platform for the sound waves to be ‘trapped’ and absorbed within the tile.
Most environments should consider sound absorption as an important attribute, especially offices, school classrooms and retail units.
The problem encountered over the years by manufacturers, architects and specifiers was that many customers were after tiles that looked as plain white as possible, but at the same time had good acoustics at a reasonable price. Perforations, especially fissured pattern tiles, were gradually deemed not as aesthetically pleasing as plain tiles.
A selection of fissured tiles can be seen below:
|Armstrong Tatra||Treetex Spintone 180|
This style of tile is still incredibly popular as they offer good sound absorption at very reasonable rates (we have staff who were buying ceiling tiles in the 60’s and 70’s and the price of the tile has hardly changed in almost 40 years!).
Over time, the manufacturers managed to produce ‘plainer’ looking ceiling tiles for customers. The demand for even smoother tiles was still evident, which led many leading brands producing perforated and unperforated versions, below are a few examples:
|Armstrong Dune Supreme Perforated||Armstrong Dune Supreme Unperforated|
|Treetex-Sektor Sahara Perforated||Treetex Sahara Plain|
Although the unperforated tiles offered little or no sound absorption, they did offer a cost effective smooth faced tile.
Nowadays, through a combination of science, research and a further demand for smoother faced, higher acoustic tiles, a much wider range of products are available.
Some of the best value products include the Rockfon Artic and Rockfon Alaska tiles. These products offer excellent sound absorption (Class B and A respectively) whilst still looking relatively plain faced.