How to Maximize Acoustics

acheive great acoustics


It can be challenging to get acoustics right in loud spaces. Concrete floors, drywall and floor-to-ceiling windows may have a modern look, but those hard surfaces also reflect sound right back to our ears. Soft materials, such as carpets and curtains, help absorb the sound by stopping the energy waves, similar to how a sandy shore absorbs the energy of waves. When you select products specifically designed to mitigate sound, they can create environments that are more enjoyable—and more productive.

Measuring Acoustics
The noise reduction coefficient (NRC) and sound transmission class (STC) are two common ways to measure the acoustics of a space. The NRC indicates the amount of sound an acoustical material absorbs, and works on a scale from zero to 1.0. The STC rates the material’s soundproofing effectiveness at reducing noise in a room, on a scale from zero to 100.

Ceiling Finishes
In recent years, the market has seen a wide range of acoustical finishes for ceiling surfaces. Standard are acoustical ceiling tiles, but more innovative options also exist. Ceilings Plus, owned by the USG Corp., creates perforated ceiling panels for commercial applications that absorb sound even without an acoustical insulation backing.

Wall Finishes
Wallcoverings milled in various shapes with water-jet machines are now readily available and can become architectural features while achieving the maximum NRC. The options are endless.