Acoustic Panel FAQs
How do acoustic panels work?
Acoustic panels provide the simple yet important function of absorbing sound. You can think of them like acoustical black holes – sound goes in and doesn’t come back out. Acoustic panels won’t make the source of sound go away, of course, but cutting down on the harsh echoes and empty ringing sounds coming from the walls can make a big difference.
Why does absorbing sound help?
The length of time it takes for a sound reverberation within a room to die off to inaudibility is called the RT value of the room. RT stands for reverberation time. In an untreated room for sound control, the RT60 values can carry for up to 10 seconds or longer. The problem defined is that the human ear can tolerate just 1.5 to 2.0 seconds worth of sound reverberation. Beyond this level, sound reflections become blurred, competing with new sound signals, and delivering unhealthy levels of what is called “background noise.”
Why absorb sound reverberation?
Good quality sound absorption will serve to slow down sound wave reflections, cleaning out unhealthy levels of background noise in a room, while restoring the room back to good acoustic balance with good clarity to original sound. For commercial settings, less background noise will trigger a more comfortable acoustic environment for groups of people that congregate in one room. No longer will people need to shout over the background noise to communicate.
How do I know what size and quantity of acoustic panels I need for my space?
There are two factors when determining the square footage of acoustic panels needed for a given space: the area and surface materials of the space. To calculate the area of the space, we will need to know the length, width and height of the room. We also need to know the surface materials of the space, which includes the walls, floor, and ceiling.
Does it matter where the acoustic panels are placed?
In general, where you place the acoustic panels in a room is not critical. A visually pleasant appearance is often the guiding factor in placement. The most important thing is simply to get the total needed square footage of panels into the room somewhere. No matter where you place them, the panels will soak up the extra sound that is bouncing off every surface in the room.
That said, we do have a couple of non-critical guidelines for acoustic panel placement.
First, you get more absorption per square foot of panel when the panel is placed in or near a corner. In other words, you will need slightly fewer panels in your room if you place some of them in or near corners.
Second, if there is a primary source of sound in the room, such as speakers in one corner of the room, it’s a good idea to place panels at first reflection points. These are places where the sound can come from the source, bounce once, and reach the listener. For example, on the side walls of a listening room approximately midway between the listener and the speakers. This is because sound that reaches the listener after traveling an indirect path arrives just a little later than sound that came directly from the source. This means your brain has to sort out multiple copies of the same sound, making things sound less clear and making speech more difficult to understand. Adding acoustic panels at the first reflection points reduces the late-arriving sound so your brain can focus on one clear copy of the sound.
What images are available?
Any image that GAA has the rights to re-sell and is high enough resolution for the desired size. We have millions of available images, and we can set up an online project for the client with selections. We can also use client provided images, so long as they have the right to reproduce the image and it is high enough resolution for the desired size.
How are acoustic panels mounted to the wall?
Non-changeable acoustic panels are affixed to the wall using security hardware. Changeable acoustic panels can be affixed to the wall either with security hardware or Z-Brackets.
What types of acoustic panels are available?
Acoustic panels are available in changeable and non-changeable formats. Changeable simply means that the image on the panel is removable and replaceable using image “skins.” Note that all changeable acoustic core materials are housed in an aluminum frame and the image “skin” is stretched over it.
What is the largest size available for each type of acoustic panel?
Non-changeable acoustic panels are available in sizes up to 48” x 96.” Changeable acoustic panels are available in sizes up to 10 ft. x 150 ft.
Non-Changeable Panel Specifications:
- Panels are manufactured using mineral wool and wrapped in 100% polyester fabric.
- Panels can have depths of 1”, 2” or 4”
- Max size of panel is 48” x 96.” Standard sizes are:
o 24” x 24”
o 24” x 36”
o 24” x 48”
- Panels can be framed with a float frame or standard frame, as long as the frame is deep enough to accommodate the panel.
- Panels have a ¼” wood back panel for easy mounting or hanging without glue.
- Professional installation kit and instructions are included at no extra charge. The kit includes aluminum clips, screws, and anchors for neat and secure installation on drywall, concrete, or wood walls.
1/3 Octave Band Center Frequencies, Hz
Data from independent testing of this
item by RAL, a leading acoustical laboratory.
Changeable Panel Specifications:
o Material – Aluminum
o Gauge – 14 (0.075 mil)
o 60 % Post-Consumer Recycled Content
o 100% Recyclable
o Standard Finish – Brushed Aluminum
o Optional Finish – Powder Coated
o Standard Powder Coated Colors
§ Glossy Black, Flat Black, White and Silver
o Custom Powder Coated Colors Available
o Made in the USA
o Material – 100% Polyester
o Weight – 5 Ounces
o Flammability – ASTM E84 Class A
o 100% Acoustically Transparent
o Machine-Sewn Silicone Seal, Pliable for the Life of the Fabric
o Made in the USA
· Acoustic Fiberglass
o Thickness – 1” and 2”
o Density – 6 PCF
o Flammability – ASTM E84 Class A
o 50% Post-Consumer Recycled Content
o Binders, Rapidly Renewable Bio-Based Materials
o GREENGUARD Indoor Air Quality Certified
o GREENGUARD Children and Schools Certified
o No Formaldehyde, Phenol, Acrylics or Artificial Colors
o No VOCs
o No Off-Gassing
o No Mold
o No Odor
o Made in the USA
· Independent Acoustic Lab NRC: .80 – 1.0 (80 – 100% sound absorption performance)
· Reduces Echo
· Increases Speech Intelligibility
· Improves Ambient Sound Levels
· Increases Employee Productivity and Customer Comfort
· Advanced dye-sublimation printing process transfers with heat, fusing dye into the fabric’s fiber, not topically on the surface
· Ultra-fine saturation allows sound waves to travel fluidly through the fabric weave, maintaining lab-tested acoustic values
· 25-Year Fade Resistant
· 100% UV Resistant
· Silicone Gasket Trimmed for Skinning and Re-Skinning Ease
What does the NRC value mean?
The Noise Reduction Coefficient (NRC) is essentially the percentage of noise that is absorbed by a material, with 0 being completely reflective and 1.00 being completely absorptive. A value of 0.9 is saying that 90% of the sound that comes into contact with the panel will be absorbed.
Example of product in use:
The acoustic panels looked stunning when they were hung and decreased the ‘black’ noise in the space by 10 decibels. Great news! – Hospital Client, IL
What does this mean?
Perceptions of Increases in Decibel Level
Barely Perceptible Change
Clearly Noticeable Change
About Twice as Loud
About Four Times as Loud
In essence, the noise in the atrium (where these panels were installed) was now approximately half as loud as before.
While results vary based on placement and total square feet of panels, with proper specifications and placement the noise reduction should be between 5dB and 10dB, meaning perception would range from “clearly noticeable” to a reduction by half.
What is the turnaround time for acoustic panel production?
Typically, the turnaround time for acoustic panels is 2-3 weeks.
Who coordinates acoustic panel installations?
You may choose to find an installer yourself, but we are experts at coordinating low cost, quality acoustic panel installations for clients. We will hire a local, qualified art installer to install your acoustic panels. Our art installer will install the panels in accordance with our installation instructions and specifications. All installation costs (should you want us to install the panels) will be included in the quote provided to the client.
How do I clean acoustic panels once they have been
You can use a soft cloth or feather duster to clean your acoustic panels. It is not recommended that you use chemicals, cleaners or abrasive cloths on this substrate because their use could cause damage to the panels.