There are many types of acoustic tile, so deciding which type is right for your situation is a decision you have to take. To help you do so, we have broken down our best in class for each type of tile and for various budgets.
Polyurethane Acoustic Tiles
These tiles are a great choice for most situations since they are relatively cheap, easy to handle, easy to install and very effective. It's worth doing a square metre calculation as they can range from around €10 - €70 per sq m and beyond. Beware of the thickness, since too thin and they won't be very effective and too thick and they can be too effective. So here's our pick of the best.
These tiles come out at just over €2 per panel of 30 x 30 x 5 cm, so just over €6 per sq m which is pretty good.
t.akustik is a Thomann, Germany own brand and they make some pretty cool stuff, from the budget right up to some pretty designer, feature-rich products. We feature the best they have in our view so continue reading.
These tiles are pretty cheap and essentially just a polyurethane foam, but in our view they do a pretty good job taking stopping sound reflecting off hard surfaces.
Material: Flexible polyurethane foam
Bulk density: 25.0 ± 5%
Compression hardness at 40% deformation: 5.0 ± 0.5 kPa
Tensile strength at least 100 kPa
Elongation at break min. 80%
Flame retardant according to MVSS 302 (burning rate <100 mm / min.) corresponds to DIN 4102 B3 (combustible)
Panel dimensions: 300 x 300 x 50 mm
Base: 20 mm
Convolution: 30 mm
DIN 4102 building material class B3
Delivery quantity: 16 individual panels
These are a soft polyurethane foam as well but the great thing about this product is that it 1m x 0.5m x 4cm, so it covers a lot of area quickly. A couple hours work and you've covered your room.
They look really sharp and we find them really effective. Not too deep to make the room smaller and not too thin to be ineffective.
A definite recommendation from us and at around €12 a sq m they are not too expensive. They look really good on the wall and are so light they do not require a lot of adhesive.
Main effective range: From approximately 2500 Hz
Material: Polyurethane soft foam
Bulk density: 25.0 kg / m³ +/- 5%
Fire behaviour: Burning rate < 100 mm / min.
MVSS 302 corresponds to DIN 4102 Building material class B3
Board size: 1000 x 500 x 40 mm
We really like this tiles since they really were designed for optimising room acoustics. the shape is interesting, innovative and helps the sound get trapped into the tile and stop things bouncing around too much. They are made of a Basotect Melamine Resin Fossentially makes them a bit more rigid than the foam ones.
The colours available Grey or Red, well, Bordeaux they say, are a bit of a change and overall, their sleek design means they pinch well above their weight for their budget. Who doesn't like a wine coloured wall?
They are at the higher end of the budget tile group but they still come in at around €67 per sq m, so they are reasonably priced for what they are, in our view.
For optimising room acoustics
Absorber profile: Wedges (steps)
Absorption performance has been optimised by a special design
The correct use of the absorber reduces flutter echoes, optimises the room acoustics and gives the room a professional atmosphere
Material: Basotect melamine resin foam
Fire behaviour according to B1-DIN 4102-1: Flame retardant
Sound absorption coefficient: > 0.9 from approx. 600 Hz
Dimensions (L x W x H): 600 x 600 x 70 mm
All of the above acoustic tiles can be installed using a standard caulking gun and an adhesive like this one, again from t.akustic. There are spray can varieties but in our view the tiles can come off when they dry out whereas this stuff holds them on tight, making them function better.
As we mentioned before, this stuff can be used to go around the corners of rooms to stop sound spilling out. Make sure you have wet cloth handy to wipe up any spillage.
If ever you need to take the tiles out because you are reconfiguring the room for example, you can take the tiles off but they will usually rip and not be useable again with this glue. But the residue left behind is easily removed with a scraper and you will have a clean surface again.
When applying this stuff to the tile (not the wall), put a blob in the corners and centre and then a light zig zag across the whole tile. It's around €4.50 a tube and one tube will generally be enough to install 8 sock x 30cm tiles.